On Ben Norton’s career-changing metamorphosis

Ben Norton was once a highly respected left-wing critic, often critical of the positions of many of the left (such as Stalinists and pro-USSR types) on things like the Syrian revolution, Ukraine and others.

However, since getting a job at Salon.com a few months ago, he has underwent the most remarkable of transformations, something that could be attested to by his tweets. From a supporter of the Syrian revolution, he has turned into another of the faux-left’s, neocon, equivalising (both sides are as bad as the other, why don’t we talk about the so-called “rebels”/Hamas, etc.), Islamophobic-verging (its all the Islamists blah blah) and genocide-denying Galloway-type shills. Ironically though, like Galloway, he seems to have a blind spot to certain types of Western intervention, instead preferring to shed the light on the morose joke of “support” the Syrian revolution has received from the US. Support which has included backing the enemies of the rebels, bombing the rebels, coordinating intelligence, airstrikes and on occasion ground offensives with the regime, and instituting 5-years arms blockades in direct facilitation of a regime breaking the record of any government using an airforce for this long inside its own borders (I aim to post a full and extended article on this soon. In the meantime this was a statement by the UK-based Syria Solidarity Campaign on the issue).

First a tid-bit – here’s Galloway admitting that he supports current Western airstrikes in Iraq, and would support them too in Syria if they aimed to back Assad advances. When confronted on this, he explained that “ISIS was the biggest threat since World War Two” – bigger than what the US did in Iraq, Vietnam, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Stalin etc etc, without mentioning Assad of course – and when he was labelled a “left wing War on Terror fanatic” who was supporting the US-Iranian alliance which has emerged in the wake of the Arab Spring (and in opposition to it), he said, “I want every member of Al-Qaeda and ISIS dead (i.e. many of whom were part of the Iraqi resistance to the Americans he  supported when he was trying to get British Muslims to vote for him a few years before that) – if that makes me a War on Terror fanatic then yes I am”.


Norton, who once heavily criticised the likes of Galloway (perhaps it didn’t get him much career-wise, who knows), and even stated that “the Western left is absolute reactionary trash when it comes to Syria”, and being part of a “”red”-brown alliance with fascists” (see below), has unfortunately seemingly become another one to provide a Western platform to the anti-Arab uprisings propaganda narratives of the Mubaraks, Salehs and Assads (of a Western conspiracy against them once people started coming out on the streets, in no small part because of their selling out to the West/Israel).

I’ve refrained from publishing this until recently, hoping that Ben Norton’s going through a phase and that he might snap out of it. I can do so no longer, as he is defaming my brothers and sisters in Syria. This is the story of Ben Norton, pre-metamorphosis.

(Dialogue attached in full, for transparency – Ben added Omar, though Omar first messaged Ben)

Norton Prinscreen 11.pngNorton Prinscreen 12.png

[“Asa” being referred to here is Asa Winstanley, another Galloway type and Assad apologist. Ben was commenting on an angry response-comment to Asa by Omar]

Ben Norton: “Awesome posts. Asa is so fucking oblivious (and condescending) as hell, in spite of his ignorance) on Syria.”

Omar Sabbour: “Cheers, tend to be a bit angry but I don’t have the tolerance nowadays as I once did”

Ben Norton [quoting]: “”Cheers, tend to be a bit angry but I don’t have the tolerance nowadays tbh as I once did”

You have every right to be. The Western left is absolute reactionary trash when it comes to Syria. They are in a “red”-brown alliance with fascists.”

It should be noted, finally, that Norton’s repetition of Assad’s claims of a Western conspiracy against him (Assad’s family of course having a very rich history of collaboration with the West which goes back 70 years, whilst today Assad himself literally declares that the US supports him in private and condemns him in public, as well as the small matter of calling “millions” of his population “terrorists or terrorist sympathisers”, paying put to the myth espoused by his propagandists that he has little or no internal opposition – indeed Assad’s supporters and apologists are literally often more pro-Assad than Assad himself) is all the more ironic for his ignoring of the actual and the main Western intervention in the conflict.

He unfortunately has come to reflect the (morosely) hilarious attitudes of the Western left to the Arab Spring (from the “US was supporting the Muslim Brotherhood” in Egypt to peddling the narrative that the US is supporting the Syrian revolution whilst the entire revolution saying – since 2014 – that the “US is attacking us”)

Ben, if you’re reading this, subscribe to a Syrian activist facebook page, go watch the videos they release daily of the regime’s *appeased* (in the exact sense of the word – similar to how the West approached Hitler and Franco during the 30s) genocide, and keep in mind that this is not a game, or a competition of narratives in which you think you can now gain an “edge”, but real people.

Oh, and keep in mind that you sound like a Zionist when you ignore the party killing 95% of the casualties and say “why don’t we talk about the other guys [with beards and Islamic slogans]”.

UPDATE: All hail Ned Borton



And Ben’s descent reached a new low

Norton 2.jpg


Manbij – On Demographic Change policies by YPG/SDF – Statement by Manbij Council of Revolution’s Trustees

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

The city of Manbij and its countryside are today being subjected to critical junctures in all areas.

On the 17th March 2016 the Democratic Union Party (PYD) had declared from the city of al-Romailan the establishment of the federal partitioning system in the areas that it controls by force in North Syria, the matter which provoked waves of rejection from the revolutionaries and regional and international powers. Yet today, here are the forces of “Qasd” – the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) – declaring their occupation of the city of Manbij on the 12th of August 2016 with the help of the forces of the International Coalition and an eerie international silence and clear collusion which resembles a green light to the militias of “Qasd”/SDF, wherein the Assad regime and its allies attempt to conquer the will of the Syrian people in their entire ethnic and religious spectra, and subjugate their determination and pursuit for freedom and the right of common living between all Syrians.

ٍٍSubsequently, and proceeding from our values as Syrian citizens and the values of our revolution with its fundamental parameters and principles from which it was launched, including bringing the downfall of the regime and the preservation of the unity of the land and the people – we in the revolutionary institutions in Manbij and its countryside affirm the following:

1- Calling upon the wise from our sibling Kurds including civilians and politicians as well as our sibling Kurds in the Free Syrian Army, to disown”Qasd’s”/SDF’s declaration of the occupation of Manbij and rejecting this occupation and everything that follows from it from ramifications which aim to target the unity of Syria land and people.

2 – Working on a sustained basis on permanent coordination with the field forces that face “Qasd”/SDF and its occupation of Manbij. The only authority that represents us is the Free Syrian Army.

3 – The Independence Flag is the flag which groups Syrians.

4- We demand all world countries and the International Coalition and the Syrian opposition forces and human rights organisations to bear their moral and humanitarian responsibilities by not targeting civilians under the excuse of destroying ISIS and what accompanies this from a systematic policy of extermination by the gangs of the PYD through expulsion, killing , forced displacement and demographic change in Manbij (especially after its full occupation), has taken place in the villages of Al-Sheyookh and Sarryn, and is currently taking place in the villages of Shash al-Bobanah, Khaled, Al-Qashlah, Al-Sa’adeen, Khorbet-Tweiny, Mahsheyat al-Sheikh and Zamanah, all which serve as clear proof of the systematic nature of this policy.

Based on the above – we the Council of the Revolution’s Trustees in Manbij and its Countryside – civilians and soldiers and families of the martyrs and wounded and detainees, reject completely returning to Manbij whilst under the rule of the “Qasd”/SDF separatist gang, which has violated and usurped our land and plundered our possessions and assailed our honours, unless this gang exits from our land, and it will exit voluntarily or with the force of arms. And we tell our people and families: You will return to your homes dignified and honoured with your heads held high under the banner of our revolution and the leadership of the Free Syrian Army, no matter how long or short the passage of time may be. And war is a protracted debate. If “Qasd” is victorious in a battle it will not win the war, for we represent the broad people and posses the glaring right.

Death to the Assadist Daeshi scorpions in Black
Death to the Assadist Daeshi scorpions in Yellow

Long live Syria free and dignified

The Council of the Revolution’s Trustees in Manbij and its Countryside


Here are 5 statements on a humanitarian disaster by “US-backed forces” in Syria. Report them, Mr Benjamin Norton (and other self-denominated Western “anti-imperialists”), if you dare





Manbij siege by US-led International Coalition and SDF becoming a humanitarian catastrophe

Statement issued from the Political Committee in the City of Manbij
“No to the killing of civilians in Manbij”

With the continuation of battles between the sides of the conflict (Syrian Democratic Forces and the Daesh organisation) in the city of Manbij, and which started from 31-5-2016, the suffering of the civilian population increases day after day, whereby talking about the essential necessities for the population from food and medicine is no longer enough to balance against the ghost of death that has come to threaten the old and the women and the children who have been besieged and indeed taken by the Daesh organisation as human shields, and that as a consequence of the siege which has been imposed by the [International] Coalition forces cordoning off the city from its four directions. The Syrian Democratic Forces were able to enter to a number of the city’s neighbourhoods, the matter which has transformed the battle to street fighting which has made the civilians easy prey to all forms of death (Coalition planes – Predating snipers on roofs and inside houses – the mines that were planted by the Daesh organisation in the streets and the paths and the public places), and in the midst of this tragic reality most citizens have now become unable to find a safe haven that prevents from them [i.e. shields them from] the shells and missiles of death which they don’t know at which moment can fall above their heads, to add to that the city has [already] witnessed many cases where no one was able to recover and remove the bodies of the dead from the streets due to the fear of being abruptly killed.

The Political Committee in Manbij has already previously implored – and from the start of fighting – all sides and at their head the United States of America, and the rest of the Coalition countries, and affirmed to everyone that the strategy that has been taken up in fighting Daesh would have disastrous results on the civilian population, and at the time that the committee has affirmed its welcome in fighting Daesh and expelling it from the city except that it has pointed out repeatedly that the Coalition’s insistence on fighting in this way gives the world the impression that what approaches 200,000 individual inhabitants who are civilians are all from the Daesh organisation, and it is worth mentioning in this context that this is not the only time that heavily populated cities are liberated from the authorities of the Assad regime or Daesh but [this happens] without these disasters which do not indicate anything other than not caring about the lives of civilians and a clear indifference towards the lives of Syrians.

The political committee in the city of Manbij whilst expressing more of its sadness and concern regarding the cases of death which are reaping the civilian innocents, it at the same time calls vigorously on the international community in its entirety, and the coalition countries especially, affirming to them the duty of the entire international community to shoulder its moral and humanitarian responsibilities regarding a war imposed on isolated civilians [who are] powerless and defenceless, and almost have nothing in terms of life necessities, as well as them having no option which can enable them to eschew the death which is threatening their life. Noting that the insistence of the coalition states to ignore the humanitarian situation in the city of Manbij cannot be explained except as disregard for the totality of human values which have been guaranteed by all the canons and laws to preserve the sanctity of blood and protection of the human entity.

The Political Committee in the city of Manbij

يان صادر عن الهيئة السياسية في مدينة منبج
(لا لقتل المدنيين في منبج)

مع استمرار المعارك بين طرفي النزاع ( قوات سورية الديمقراطية وتنظيم داعش)في مدينة منبج، والتي بدأت منذ 31 – 5 – 2016 ،تزداد معاناة السكان المدنيين يوما بعد يوم، إذ لم يعد الحديث عن الاحتياجات الضرورية للسكان من غذاء ودواء كافياً في موازاة شبح الموت الذي بات يهدد الشيوخ والنساء والأطفال الذين حوصروا بل اتخذهم تنظيم داعش دروعاً بشرياً وذلك نتيجة للحصار الذي فرضته قوات التحالف وطوّقت المدينة من جهاتها الأربع. لقد تمكّنت قوات سورية الديمقراطية من الدخول إلى عدد من أحياء المدينة، الأمر الذي حوّل المعركة إلى قتال شوارع مما جعل المدنيين عرضة سهلة لكافة أشكال الموت( طائرات التحالف – قناصات المتربصين على الأسطحة وداخل البيوت – الألغام التي زرعها تنظيم داعش في الشوارع والطرقات والاماكن العامة)،وفي ظل هذا الواقع المأسوي بات معظم المواطنين لا يجدون مأوى آمناً يقيهم قذائف الموت الذي لا يعرفون أية لحظة يمكن أن يحلّ فوق رؤوسهم،إضافة إلى أن المدينة شهدت حالات عديدة لم يتمكن فيها أحد من انتشال جثث الموتى من الشوارع بسبب الخوف من القتل المباغت. لقد سبق وناشدت الهيئة السياسية في منبج – ومنذ بدء القتال – كافة الأطراف وعلى رأسها الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وباقي دول التحالف، وأكدت للجميع بأن الاستراتيجية التي تم اعتمادها في قتال داعش سوف تكون لها نتائج كارثية على السكان المدنيين،وفي الوقت الذي أكدت فيه الهيئة بترحيبها بقتال تنظيم داعش وطرده من المدينة إلا أنها نوّهت مراراً على أن إصرار قوات التحالف على القتال بهذه الطريقة يوحي للعالم بأن ما يقارب ( 200000 ) نسمة من المدنيين وكأنهم جميعا من تنظيم داعش،ومن الجدير ذكره في هذا السياق أنه ليست هذه هي المرة الوحيدة التي تتحرر فيها مدنٌ آهلة بالسكان من سلطات نظام الأسد أو داعش لكن بدون هذه الكوارث التي لا تدل سوى على عدم اكتراث بحياة المدنيين ولامبالاة واضحة تجاه حياة السوريين. إن الهيئة السياسية في مدينة منبج إذ تبدي مزيد حزنها وقلقها حيال حالات الموت التي تحصد المدنيين الأبرياء، فإنها في الوقت ذاته تطالب بشدّة المجتمع الدولي كافة ، ودول التحالف على وجه الخصوص، مؤكّدة على وجوب تحمّل المجتمع الدولي كافة مسؤولياته الأخلاقية والإنسانية حيال حرب مفروضة على مدنيين عُزّل لا حول لهم ولا قوة، وقد باتوا لا يملكون من مقوّمات الحياة شيئاً، فضلاً عن عدم امتلاكهم لأي خيار يمكّنهم من تحاشي الموت الذي يهدد حياتهم. علماً أن إصرار دول التحالف على تجاهل الحالة الإنسانية في مدينة منبج لا يمكن تفسيره إلا كونه تجاهلاً لمجمل القيم الإنسانية التي كفلتها كل الشرائع والقوانين للحفاظ على حرمة استباحة الدم وحماية الكائن البشري.

الهيئة السياسية في مدينة منبج
– 7 – 2016

SDF and US-led Coalition siege tightens on Manbij – Humanitarian disaster warned

[Committee Logo]
Syrian Arab Republic
The General Political Committee for the City of Manbij and its Countryside

Statement issued from the Political Committee in the City of Manbij and its Countryside

“Save the rest from the siege”

Since late May 2016 the city of Manbij has been subject to a hateful siege as a result of the occurring confrontation between the Democratic Union Party PYD represented in its military wing “People’s Protection Units” backed by the forces of the International Coalition, and the “Daesh” organisation which occupies the city of Manbij since the beginning of the year of 2014, whereby the People’s Protection Units is besieging the city from its four directions [sides], whilst the Daesh organisation is not allowing civilians to leave the city, the matter which has increased in the suffering of the civilian population whose numbers reach approximately 250,000 individuals, as well as the prevailing atmosphere of fear of death which is threatening them from everywhere as a result of the mines and [planted] bombs and the snipers and the plane shells [all of] which reach them from every direction, and so their suffering becomes multiplied in light of the loss of most of the causes of life from the city, whereby to add to the severe scarcity of water and electricity most of the other life staples are almost completely absent such as baby milk and medicine and other nutritional supplies and vegetables and combustibles [fuels], the matter that forewarns of a humanitarian disaster which is on the verge of ravaging the lives of thousands of citizens.

As we also direct [a call] to all the Human Rights and Humanitarian bodies and organisations and scream to every live conscience in the world to contribute to the lifting of the death and the suffering from this city which has been afflicted by an assembled siege [put together] whose scope is the increase of suffering day after day.

The Political Committee in the city of Manbij and its countryside directs [a call] to all the governmental agencies in the international community and in particular the governments participating in the Coalition forces and asserts to them that your interests which you seek to achieve in this war has victims and these are the deaths of defenceless civilian citizens and not terrorists, and at the time which you proclaim fighting the terrorism of Daesh you are in this method and with these followed [adopted] mechanisms only participating in terrorism towards the rights of the citizens which is not any less insulting to human dignity than the terrorism of Daesh.

We are calling everyone to immediate action and to work for the entry of the necessary substances for citizens such as food and medicine and fuel, as we also call call upon everyone to take every form of pressure on the combating sides to neutralise [safeguard] the civilians from the ghost of death which they face.

The Political Committee in the city of Manbij and its Countryside



A new low from Stop the War Coalition

Stop the War Coaltiion have rescinded an invitation to a Syrian member of the UK-based Syria Solidarity Movement, Abdul Aziz Al-Mashi, who was due to speak at a local Birmingham event – because they were “told” (presumably by their national leadership) that the Syria Solidarity movement “supported an imperialist-imposed No-Fly zone” (that didn’t stop them jumping on a record London demo for refugees organised by the Syria Solidarity Movement two weeks earlier however).

As it happens, there is a variety of opinions within the Syria Solidarity Movement on the subject, and two SSM members have written on opposing a NFZ (mainly because it’s the exact opposite of what is currently happening, with both the US and Russia bombing Syrian rebels and coordinating the same airspace with the Assad regime). You can read their articles here and here.

What makes this absolutely insane however, is that one of the panel’s speakers (whose invitation has most certainly not been rescinded) is a member of the PYD, i.e. the *only* force serving as a ground force for the current “imperialist airstrikes” in Syria, and one which has repeatedly praised the “imperialist US” for its airstrikes (and asked them for more).

And we’re supposed to believe there’s no socialist “bias”, right?

 Birmingham Stop the War


Just in case there is any doubt as to the vacuous, ideologically inconsistent, unprincipled hypocrisy of the pro-fascist Stop the War Coalition.

Let STWC continue its hemorrhage of British Muslim support.

Endgame: Both US and Russian forces in Syria

Loads of news as Syria’s endgame approaches.

Roundup: both US and Russian (‘advisory’) forces in Syria

1) Russian envoy at the UN states: the US does not want regime to fall http://in.rbth.com/news/2015/09/16/us-does-not-want-asad-regime-in-syria-to-fall-rusian-envoy-at-un_397119

2) US Defence spokesman: US special op forces enter Syria, to advise YPG, whilst Russian forces enter to advise regime

(Presumably, they will now be aptly described, by the Western left’s scab opponents of the Syrian revolution, as “proxies”)

3) US newspaper: Ground invasion needed to fight ISIS

4) Pictured: Russian armoured tanks in Syria

5) Revolutionary forces launch missile attacks on Russian positions

Only difference between US and Russian policy on Syria – US wanted to prolong the conflict and to weaken (but maintain) the regime, Russia wanted regime’s stability.

It is tempting to state that this (de facto) inter-imperialist alliance is unprecedented, but the fact is that such alliances have occurred with relative regularity between imperialist competitors throughout history. This is just the most substantial one to yet happen in the post-CW era, where the conflict in this case between the US and Russia is not ideological (or even a pretense of ideology), but pure geopolitical competition.

5 years of lies, coming to an end. Pity about those who allowed Western powers to bluff their way full circle.