Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 3, 2013

The provenance of Mint Press News

Filed under: journalism,Syria — louisproyect @ 4:52 pm


A disclaimer now appears beneath the Mint Press article: “Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates.”

The Mint Press News article about the FSA fighters who accidentally spilled some sarin gas in a tunnel while juggling the bottles during a carefree moment intrigued me. Where did this new online periodical come from? Assuming that the 18 people on staff were not writing, editing, etc. for free, that’s a pretty piece of change to keep going. A cursory search on the paper revealed an interesting article that appeared in the January 18, 2012 Minnesota Post on “Who is MintPress and why are they doing all this hiring?” Written by David Brauer, it profiled a 24-year-old Palestinian-American woman named Mnar A. Muhawesh’s who founded Mint Press News. Ordinarily such a young person would not have the funds for such a start-up unless they were world-class hustlers like Bhaskar Sunkara but Ms. Muhawesh had help:

Muhawesh has investors, “retired businesspeople” whom she will not name — unfortunate for a journalism operation fighting alongside people seeking transparency. (The site’s “About Us” page is similarly skinny.) Her father-in-law Odeh A. Muhawesh — an adjunct St. Thomas theology professor, and veteran Twin Cities businessman — is a key adviser.

Am I out of line in assuming that her dad is a prime investor and that he has lined up like-minded businessmen to make this venture succeed? Well, maybe so, but not much more so than the author of the article about the rebels accidentally causing the deaths of more than a thousand Syrians living in 7 scattered locations at some distance from the tunnel where the accident supposedly occurred.

If you do a cursory search on Odeh A. Muhawesh, not much comes up except that he is pretty serious about his religion with several Youtube lectures about Islam. The best place to go, however, for the ideas of this man is the Odeh Muhawesh Fan page on Facebook. It is quite an inventory of some rather thought-provoking items starting at the top with a link to Iran PressTV  and something from Russia’s RT.com just a few entries below. Hmmm.

Despite being called a fan page, there is little doubt that it is Odeh Muhawesh himself who is what they call a “provider”. That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from this entry:

Many of you asked me about receiving a good Islamic education. Here is the next best method to actually going to Qom n Iran. [sic] The professors are all top scholars and the offered prigrams [sic] are excellent!


Going down a bit further, there’s a video clip from Iranian TV about “terrorists” beheading a Christian in Syria, with this warning:

I apologize in advance for posting this video and recommend you only read the article because it is gruesome. The video shows US backed syrian rebels beheading Christians including a priest. Our givernment should be held accountable for supporting these monsters. (Takfiris means Wahhabi terrorists)

Well, it is news to me that the USA is backing the jihadists but why quibble? What might require some quibbling, however is the veracity of the beheading since Human Rights Watch has identified it as a Baathist hoax. The priest in question was shot, not beheaded—not that it is any consolation—but the Vatican said that the circumstances of the shooting could not be determined.

Muhawesh naturally is worked up over the rebel who took a bite out of a dead Baathist’s heart. Who wouldn’t be? But the right of the Syrian government to fire rockets into apartment buildings? Well, that’s their God-given right, one supposes. On the scale of Allah, surely a bite out of a dead man’s heart is far more sinful than turning a working-class neighborhood into something that looks like this:


  1. If Jabhat al-Nusra controlled the Syrian government, faced a violent internal rebellion, and had a buttload of late Soviet artillery, what do you think they’d do to working class (Christian, Alawite, Kurdish) neighborhoods?

    Comment by jimmyconway24 — September 3, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

  2. I have no idea why you are asking this question. Al-Assad was bombing neighborhoods controlled by the FSA long before the jihadists became powerful. In terms of aerial bombardment of apartment buildings, I would be opposed to any government responsible for such actions although a Baathist suck-up like you probably masturbates to the sight of rubble in Homs and Aleppo.

    Comment by louisproyect — September 3, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  3. America treats the disabled as second class citizens, I know this because I am one, and yet wants to play “morality police” by striking Syria? A civilized nation doesn’t throw its most vulnerable citizens under the bus so how can our government think it can right other wrongs? Turning a blind eye to homeless, hungry and impoverished disabled citizens is beyond bad public policy here, it’s cruel and inhumane. Stray dogs get more justice than the disabled and our goverment casts moral judgment on Syria?

    Comment by Deborah Jeffries — September 4, 2013 @ 2:56 am

  4. I support anti war propaganda. I reject war propaganda on Syria.

    Comment by Bankotsu — September 4, 2013 @ 5:19 am

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