Corbyn’s fundamental sameness with Tony Blair (and the US) on Syria

“Last night, Jeremy Corbyn was hanging out with “counter-extremist” and pro-Assad campaigner Marcus Papadopoulos, of the “European Centre for Counter-Extremism” (ECCE). The ECCE has previously invited representatives of the Assad regime to speak on its platform [1].

Papadopoulos has an “edgy” record of previously saying the Bosnian genocide at Srebrenica “didn’t happen” and citing the Arab Spring as a “Western conspiracy”. On Syria Papadpolouos incidentally shares the same view as another notable Labour politician, Tony Blair, whose thinktank slandered most of Syria’s armed revolutionaries as “extremists” [2]. Unfortunately, Jeremy has also repeated the same anti-revolutionary slander in parliament [3]. He has also proclaimed that the problem in Syria was “regime-change” – i.e. the 2011 cry of “The People demand the downfall of the regime” – rather than Assad’s genocidal violence [4].

Thus far from moving on from the days of Blair (indeed, Jeremy’s foreign secretary is someone who repeatedly opposed an investigation into the Iraq War), is Jeremy, in presenting these views, representing a fundamental continuity disguised under an “anti-establishment” veil – not unlike the likes of Farage and Trump?

What happened to being against the War on Terror, Jeremy?

[1] http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-syria-extremism-rowan-williams-12845074
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/20/most-syrian-rebels-sympathise-with-isis-says-thinktank
[3] http://jeremycorbyn.org.uk/articles/jeremy-corbyns-speech-against-military-intervention-in-syria/
[4] https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/05/jeremy-corbyns-chatham-house-speech-full-text”

 

Response to some idiot (going under the page name “We are the Sinister Fringe”) who responded to the below Corbyn post by saying: “Doing your stuff for MI5 boys? Your war is over and you can shut your mouth about your Hollywood style B movie disaster shite fantasy chemical attacks. Go and eat some pizza yourself your fucktards”

“Syria Solidarity Campaign “Doing your stuff for MI5” – We are the Sinister Fringe

Syrian activist’s passport seized by UK government at the request of the Assad government:
http://www.independent.co.uk/…/uk-seizes-syrian…

West cooperating secretly with Damascus against militants: Assad:
://www.reuters.com/…/us-mideast-crisis-syria-assad…

Assad’s foreign secretary: US airstrikes going in right direction:
://www.reuters.com/…/us-syria-crisis-minister…

MI6 in secret talks with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime: http://www.mirror.co.uk/…/isis-air-strikes-mi6-secret…

With help from US and Hezbollah, Assad retakes Palmyra: linkis.com/washingtonpost.com/ov6qC

Dozens of more references: https://www.facebook.com/events/312534259134453/

If anything, it is you and your types who have spent years misrepresenting *actual* Western policy on Syria. You have failed miserably to understand even the most basic reality of it – either because you find it too “complicated” or because it’s simply much less tasking to fashionably condemn the West’s rhetorical commitment to Syrian Democracy (despite it for years being actually being at odds with its practical policy), instead of doing the actual scrutinizing work of finding whether Western policy actually matches the lofty and expected “we support democracy” rhetoric. By trying to pose as “opposite” to the most obvious and basic posturing by Western governments of “supporting” the Arab Spring, you have completely failed to document the *real* crimes of how Western governments have actually collaborated with regional regimes in killing the uprisings. Instead, you fashion idiotic and abstract conspiracy theories that are fashionable in some “chic” radical circles which you may belong to – circles which have probably never invited a Syrian to speak at – and which deny the agency and suffering of millions. Theories like “Assad is unfairly demonised” as if there was no uprising of millions of Syrians against him; or “the West funds ISIS” whilst Western governments blitzkrieg ISIS-held areas (with thousands of civilians killed as a result). Theories which make you think you’re cool and alternative but ultimately have no relation whatsoever to reality; even less to “anti-imperialism”.

Meanwhile, by the very same virtue of wanting to mindlessly (and ironically, inaccurately) appear “alternative” to your Western establishments, you might also have supporter Hitler during the Second World War, the fascist who was also claiming to be fighting “the West”. You are no anti-imperialist, you are simple prey for the forces of dictatorship, imperialism and reaction.”

Other exchanges:
Corbyn defender: “believe me, I’m no supporter of Assad (who could not be aware of the terrible suffering of the Syrian people?) but I’d rather have talks than guns and barrel bombs, and that has always been Corbyns approach.”
“If Corbyn actually wants a balanced playing field in Syria free from foreign intervention, we’re all for it. In fact, for those who have followed and actually studied Syria policy for years, Western intervention (though Corbyn thinks its the opposite) has been crucial in preventing the collapse of the regime. See this for details how for instance: https://www.facebook.com/events/312534259134453/
 
The problem with Corbyn’s lines – like “there is no military solution in Syria, only a political one” and “Syria’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” – is that these are heavily contextually-loaded lines repeated by Russian and Iranian propaganda and are in short code for “There should be no condition for Assad to step down”. The notion that Russia and Iran – who have intervened militarily with thousands of bombs and tens of thousands of soldiers – actually think that “Syria’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” is an Orwellian propaganda line not dissimilar to Israel’s “The Palestinians refuse to recognise Israel and live in peace with it” – as if it wasn’t the Israelis who were occupying the Palestinians not the other way round. The opposition has long accepted a political solution with the regime (which is far from the revolutionary ideal) where core regime members and institutions are integrated into a transitional government (probably including those who would’ve undoubtedly committed crimes in defence of the regime). So what political solution do Russia and Corbyn talk about if it excludes the absolute minimum of one person – Assad stepping down? Well that’s exactly it: a “solution” which drops the condition of Assad stepping down, which is non-negotiable. That’s why Corbyn’s lines – though sounding nice and theoretically unproblematic – are absolutely vacuous; because of their established contextual applications.
 
So if Corbyn *actually* uses the phrase in its genuine sense, regardless of whatever convoluted understanding he has on the conflict (i.e. demonising rebels etc.), then fine. And in that case, without external intervention (Assad’s army being mainly now made up of invader foreign militias) Assad would collapse within a matter of months. That would be “Syria’s fate decided by the Syrian people”. Unfortunately, the option of the revolutionaries forcibly collapsing the regime has been opposed for years (www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-13/cia-director-says-assad-s-collapse-would-risk-terrorist-takeover) not only by Russia but by the US as well, as the US does not want to replace a regime it knows how to do business with with an unknown variable (www.cbsnews.com/news/dempsey-syrian-rebels-not-ready-to-back-us-interests/). The US preference instead was a political solution which maintains most regime institutions intact and replaces Assad with another regime figure – in other words an intra-regime coup (https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pursued-secret-contacts-with-assad-regime-for-years-1450917657) This is what was achieved in other Arab Spring domains (such as Egypt and Yemen – in the former case the regime now is even more repressive than Mubarak, who remember was also “asked” to leave by the US).
 
The most ironic thing therefore is that far from being “alternative” to Western policy, the likes of Corbyn (and many, many others) have so badly misunderstood it that in a roundabout way they actually end up advocating the same existent Western position. Want proof? Here’s Trump also saying “Assad’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people” – effectively removing the “Assad should go” condition (https://www.rt.com/usa/382839-tillerson-assad-syrian-people/), and here’s Kerry saying that Assad should be able to stand for presidential elections (www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/30/world/middleeast/john-kerry-syria-audio.html?_r=0).
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s