Strange Bedfellows: What Happens When Language Is Subverted.

Gilad Atzmon’s –“Progressives”: In Bed With Bibi– caught eye because it included names such as Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, or a  Fredric Jameson. They along with several others stood in solidarity with millions of Syrians, who have struggled for “Dignity” and “Freedom” since the March of 2011. Over two years now. They have also Concluded (Europe Solidaire) that “Asad could never accept the legitimate demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity. Thus, there is no hope for a free, unified, and independent Syria so long as his regime remains in power“. Atzon queries rhetorically, “One may wonder how it can happen that our progressives, in spite of their good will and humanist credentials, have managed once again to end up in bed with Bibi?“; and answers, “The progressive philosophy is the latest and most advanced form of ideological choseness“. Bibi is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ordered its war planes to strike inside Syrian territory just last weekend.
The feeling of “Chosen-ness” leads to a stance of “Righteous-ness”, which in turn engenders “Close-ness”. The Choseness that Atzmon talks of is an obvious throwback to the Jewish doctrine of Chosen People. This he says has made progressives to discover themselves in the same bed as Netanyahu. The result is not surprising as the language of empire and allies has adorned the progressive veneer for too long now to separate the two without a conscious and monumental effort. For Reagan, the Contra rebels were “Freedom Loving Fighters” against the tyranny. Bush wanted to spread Democracy, Liberty, Western Values, to Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama wants to do the same in Libya and Syria. But such artifice is not without its toll on ’empire and allies’s psychological personality, which looks frighteningly schizophrenic. In Mali, which was called the new center of Al Qaeda regrouping, the “War on Terror” is out to decimate Al Qaeda fighters. Yet, the same “War on Terror” supports in Syria, Free Syria Army (FSA), which shows increasing signs of Al Qaeda influence. Jabhat Al Nusra -an FSA ally and Al Qaeda affiliate- is said to be far better organised and militarily potent than the bigger but loosely coordinated FSA. It promises an Islamic republic in the Levant.
Libya too, which was introduced recently to Freedom/ Democracy and Western Values, is showing signs of Islamist influence where they managed to get just a few days ago Political Isolation Act passed. Osama Bin Laden was a “good” Jihadist when he was fighting infidel Soviets, but later came to be described as the enemy number one of the same empire that created it. In order to extricate itself from the messy entanglement in Afghanistan, Obama and Kerry distinguish between the “good” Taliban and the “Bad” Taliban, and hope to use the former against the latter. Such two-facedness can get only more messy and hideous with passage of time. The disease has come to afflict “progressives” too, Atzmon points out. It has, but for totally different reason. It is not the burden of two-facedness, but the fatally embraced self-image of “Do Gooders” that seems to drive the Progressives’ madness. 
Democracy Now’s audio interview of Robert Fisk is a sobering thought in this blurring of the reality. Mind you, the visuals that accompany the audio track are, in my opinion, not at all connected. May be what Fisk says is better understood with “closed eyes”. 
In the beginning when Amy Goodman says that Fisk was embedded with Syrian Army, Fisk seems to “visibly” bristle, and counters that he was never “embedded” with any army, not even US army in Iraq. The crucial take away of his interview are:
  • The largely Sunni Syrian army of Syrian government is dealing with the rebellion brutally. In a sign of its military philosophy, the two episodes where it killed scores of rebels, it took no prisoners.
  • A Syrian officer says that when they have MIGs and missiles, far better weapons than Chemicals, why would they use the latter? Fisk also didn’t see anyone using Gas masks in his travels in North-West Syria- a telltale sign of use or readiness to use chemical weapons.
  • Why would Syria, which is in a bloody conflict with Western backed FSA and other rebels, send much needed at “home” missiles and other weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, where there is no imminent need? This was the pretext used by Israel to launch the latest aerial attack in Syria.
  • Obama defended Israel’s right to self defense by attacking on mere suspicion or allegation into a sovereign territory. Would he defend Syria if it were to retaliate against Israel for the latter’s blatant act of war?
  • Fisk says when Syrian ground and aerial forces were not in a position to defend Syria when Israel attacked, he very much doubts their capability to do it now or later. Such possibility may arise as a last stand down if Syria were losing the war against the rebels, which he says doesn’t seem to be happening. 
This post comes on back of another one on Syria: Sarin In Syria: some degree of varying confidence

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