Assad: All you need to get away with genocide in 21st century is to say I’m fighting jihadists & killing terrorists.
World powers & media do the rest.
The UN and the modern Western left: indistinguishable voices for the powerful, shilling for genocide
13-02-2015: It is, of course, no surprise that Stefan de Mistura, the UN’s envoy for Syria – or, to be clear, for the Assad regime – has insisted that the Assad regime is the solution to resolving the Assad regime’s war on Syria. After four years of the UN’s uncritical support for Assad’s ongoing genocide, it would be amazing only if he hadn’t.
The wealthy and powerful, after all, always stand by one another. International governments and the supranational bodies like the UN which represent their interests have no problem with totalitarianism, genocide and dictatorship so long as they don’t affect the West; they’re on the giving rather than the receiving end of tyranny, after all. Stefan de Mistura and Ban Ki-moon are honoured guests whichever presidential palace they visit and will always be treated deferentially. The oppressed, the powerless, the disenfranchised have never figured in their calculations; they are ‘collateral damage.’
The contemporary Western left of the Guardian and Counterpunch, which represent the interests of affluent bien-pensant liberals and beneficiaries of the status quo, similarly stand by their fellow members of the establishment and elite globally, reserving their solidarity for other prosperous beneficiaries of the status quo internationally, except in those isolated cases when the oppressed occasionally provide a useful backdrop for radically chic pseudo-anti-imperialist posturing. Even in those cases the oppressed themselves are of little interest except as useful ciphers for impassioned anti-imperialist speeches and editorials about opposing inhumanity and the need for greater compassion –the same approach used by Western and all other governments when the dictators they’ve previously propped up are no longer useful, albeit with occasionally different rhetoric.
In Syria, we’ve seen Robert Fisk complaining that the sound of the regime’s “anti-terrorist” bombardment disturbed his morning latte and delightfully fresh chocolate croissants at his favourite chi-chi riverside café in a pleasant affluent suburb of Damascus, even as the bodies of dozens of Assad’s victims, tortured then shot dead, were fished out downstream. We’ve seen his fellow patrician spokesperson for other well-heeled pseudo-leftist admirers of totalitarianism, Patrick Cockburn, inveigh against the ghastly Syrian proletariat, a.k.a. “extremists and terrorists.” We’ve seen George Galloway, another supporter of some Palestinians’ freedom and human rights (depending on their location and the oppressors’ identity) and fellow shill-for-hire to any brutal totalitarian regime with a generous expense account, rail against the “cannibals and savages” of the Syrian opposition, language indistinguishable from any ultra-Zionist railing against Palestinians.
We’ve seen well-heeled American pseudo-radicals including former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and six-times Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney rush in 2013 to stand alongside their fellow affluent beneficiaries of the status quo in Damascus, cheering on the regime’s Nakba and holding a ‘peace conference’ to defend Assad (from Obama’s occasionally mildly disapproving speeches presumably) at the military base used to bomb South Damascus and large parts of the surrounding areas, and to fire chemical missiles that killed around 1600 people in East Ghouta a few weeks earlier.
Had the contemporary Western left been around during the French revolution, they’d have been cheering for the Bourbons and their beneficiaries, obsessing over the ghastliness of the ‘Reign of Terror’ by the horrid terrorist sans-culottes, while – as always – brushing the regime’s own terrors under the carpet and reassuring everyone of the ‘stability’ provided by generations of the Bourbons’ rule. This is the New Western Left – solidarity with the powerful, universal brotherhood with the elite, liberté, égalité, fraternité only for fellow beneficiaries of the status quo.