Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 5, 2013

Reading the NY Times on Syria

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 3:02 pm

Rebels-thumbStandard-v2Rebels standing over executed prisoners

The average reader of the NY Times probably skims most articles. I tend to skip anything involving lifestyle, a feature of every Thursday’s edition, with its sections on style and home. For someone in the garment trade, the style section is a must, needless to say. That being said, they probably couldn’t miss the lead articles that appear customarily on the upper center and left hand corner of the front page. There—today—you will see articles titled “Obama Faces Barrier in his Own Party on Syria” and to its left “Rebel Brutality in Syria Posing Dilemma in West”. Clearly, the two are related, although I have to chuckle about the idea of “rebel brutality” posing a problem to “the West”.

It should be obvious that the gray lady was putting pressure on Obama to go slow. The barrier referred to in the other article obviously included the Times itself, a stalwart of Democratic Party opinion for decades.

I know that many people on the left have a short attention span but just a week or so before Obama got worked up over his “red line” business, his top general was telling Congress that the USA should go slow on military intervention. In April he stated that it was “not clear” that intervention would produce the kind of outcome members of Congress desire, adding, ”that’s the reason I’ve been cautious about the application of the military instrument of power.”

Now for the conspiracy-minded among us, it had to be the rebels who carried out the chemical weapons attack on August 21 as a false flag operation since Bashar al-Assad was winning. If you are a deeper conspiracy type thinker, isn’t it just as plausible to entertain the possibility that the Baathists used chemical weapons because Dempsey had virtually assured them that imperialism had no interest in getting involved militarily? The Baathists surely must have been aware that even after Congress had passed legislation to arm the FSA, not a single shipment had taken place. That’s some rush to war, like a snail on Quaaludes. Even more importantly, the Ghouta villages were hotbeds of resistance to the Baathist government that had failed to be suppressed by conventional weapons. Why not go chemical? One supposes that if Obama had not stuck his foot in his mouth with the “red line” business, Bashar could have gotten away with it. After all, there is evidence that he had been using chemical weapons all along but not on the scale demonstrated on August 21.

In any case, the article titled “Rebel Brutality in Syria Posing Dilemma in West” should be read to the conclusion because if you wend your way through the thousands of words, you will find this toward the very end:

Their cellphones, the former aide said, had videos of soldiers raping Syrian civilians and looting.

Mr. Issa declared them all criminals, he said, and a revolutionary trial was held. They were found guilty.

This might ring a bell. Remember the Youtube video of Abu Sakkar, the rebel who took a bite out of a dead Baathist soldier? This is how he explained himself:

He goes on to talk about the man whose flesh he held in his hands: “This guy had videos on his mobile. It showed him raping a mother and her two daughters. He stripped them while they begged him to stop in the name of God. Finally he slaughtered them with a knife… What would you have done?”

For much of the left, it was taking the bite out of a dead man’s heart that was an outrage, not raping a mother and her two daughters apparently. The NY Times, like the rest of the bourgeois press, turned Abu Sakkar into a poster child for a rebel movement that it had little use for. If the CIA had not poised itself on the borders of Jordan and Turkey to intercept MANPAD’s destined for the rebels, perhaps they would have been in a stronger position and not prone to such desperate and counterproductive acts.

7 Comments »

  1. Great points I was going to make but you beat me to it.

    FWIW the photo caption “Rebels standing over executed prisoners” is technically wrong because they have not been shot yet so should say “soon to be executed prisoners.”

    Karl

    Comment by iskraagent — September 5, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  2. The NYT article now carries this correction, the shits:

    *Correction: September 5, 2013* > > An earlier version of this article misstated the date of the video showing > rebels executing seven captured Syrian soldiers. The video was made in the > spring of 2012, not April of 2013. >

    Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust Linux Beach Productions Venice, CA 90291 (310) 581-1536

    Read my blogs at the Linux Beach

    Comment by Clay Claiborne — September 5, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

  3. It’s amazing how the pro-Putin, Poison Gas Left can get themselves so worked up about Abu Sakkar’s little indiscretion but remain completely relaxed about mass rape, the machette dismembering of children, indiscriminate and massive aerial and artillery bombardment, 100,000 dead, 7 million refugees and the deadly deployment of poison gas.

    I see they are still protesting an intervention which is yet to take place and very well may not take place at all. In fact the only intervention by the West that there has been so far is the vicious aEU/US arms embargo whilst the crypto fascist Russian oligarchy freely supplies Assad and the Gulf States slip arms to the Jihadis.

    Comment by David Ellis — September 6, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  4. “It’s amazing how the pro-Putin, Poison Gas Left can get themselves so worked up about Abu Sakkar’s little indiscretion but remain completely relaxed about mass rape, the machette dismembering of children, indiscriminate and massive aerial and artillery bombardment, 100,000 dead, 7 million refugees and the deadly deployment of poison gas.”

    Meanwhile human beings on the planet earth decry both sides in this barbaric bloodbath that is as much a symptom of capitalism in its decay as anything.

    Comment by Dave Liev — September 6, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  5. There is only one side causing a barbaric blood bath and by the way another symptom of capitalism in decay is resistance.

    Comment by David Ellis — September 6, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

  6. […] “although I have to chuckle about the idea of “rebel brutality” posing a problem to “the West”.” (thanks […]

    Pingback by Dear As’ad AbuKhalil | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — September 6, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

  7. […] I mentioned in my last post on this topic, NY Times readers do not bother to read many of the articles, but rely on the title […]

    Pingback by Reading the NY Times on Syria, part 2 | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — September 11, 2013 @ 8:06 pm


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