Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 18, 2014

Mondoweiss as a Baathist outlet

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 11:06 pm

annieAnnie Robbins: Baathist mouthpiece

The comments underneath Talal Aylan’s article on Yarmouk that I linked to below are really quite shocking, as bad as Moon of Alabama–an open sewer of Baathist talking points.

It seems that Annie Robbins, the editor-at-large of Mondoweiss, is a mouth-breathing Baathist tool based on her comments:

i’m sorry, but i can’t throw my lot with fighters who slice open the chest of non believers and eat their heart out. this is not a ‘revolution’ i can support and it has nothing to do with the palestinian cause just because some of those radicalized jhiadist might be palestinians. and i’m also not saying or implying most or all palestinians who have a dog in this fight are aligned with those factions. and there are rebels aligned with those with legitimate aspiration of freedom in syria fighting against assad, but they shouldn’t embed inside a densely populated refugee camp.

note how they didn’t wear burkas in iraq so much before we invaded and now they do. it would be perfectly fine for some people for the entire middle east to be fanatical stone age, backwards. you bring up assad bombing his own cities. frankly, something tells me decimating appello or damascus isn’t high on assad list of things he’d like to do.

Dreadful stuff, really dreadful.



Long before I wrote this, I tried to post a comment on Mondoweiss. After nearly 24 hours, it is still in a moderation queue and likely never to appear there.

I am really quite shocked by the level of Islamophobia on display here that comes straight out of the “war on terror” rhetoric of both Putin and Bashar al-Assad. It is almost as if I have wandered into the Moon of Alabama website.

There is a deep malaise obviously at work in “Palestinian solidarity” circles, which is probably rooted in the bogus credentials of the Baathist dictatorship as a front-line state against Israel. Of course, you can only adopt that orientation in clear ignorance of the facts. It was Bashar al-Assad’s father who colluded with the Phalangists and Israel to slaughter Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila.

It is hardly worth answering the Baathist talking points here. At this stage of the game, anybody who sides with a government that drops barrel bombs on civilians is beyond hope.


  1. for some of the commenters I think its an ingrained Islamophobia and this idea that there’s already significant Western (U.S.) intervention in Syria and that Assad is right in everything he does because he’s supposedly fighting against terrorists backed by the United States..where does this info come from by the way?…for Annie Robbins and a lot of others I think they’re just being willfully ignorant and I think unintentionally pro-bathist….what evidence does she have that the fighters inside the camp are the same ones who eat the hearts out of their opponents?…second perhaps the reason those fighters are inside that camp is because they have the support of that camp…perhaps they are doing as best they can to defend that camp with whatever meager weaponry they have just like the vietcong against the American imperialists…these are questions I’m not sure anyone has the answer to….and yet annie robbins and so many of the commenters on Mondoweiss feel free to assume that Assad wouldn’t attack the camp if there weren’t fighters inside….one of the objectives of Assad’s regime is to kill civilians…its certain that he would be attacking the camp even if they’re weren’t fighters in the camp. at any rate I can’t believe how they don’t realize how inconsistent there positions are from Israel/Palestine to Syria in terms of blaming the oppressed for their oppression

    Comment by Reflective Thinking — January 19, 2014 @ 12:57 am

  2. what is your opinion on this from the BBC

    “A first batch of food aid entered successfully this morning and distribution to residents has begun,” Palestine Liberation Organisation official Anwar Abdul Hadi told Agence France-Presse, describing the delivery as a trial run.

    Anwar Raja, a Palestinian official, told AP news agency that much of the material was carried “on the shoulders” of members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), whose militia has been allied to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    The PFLP-GC has previously clashed with the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) over control of the camp. Rebels seized much of Yarmouk in December 2012 but fighting there has continued.”

    Comment by Reflective Thinking — January 19, 2014 @ 1:54 am

  3. Nevertheless I think it’s unfair to say that Mondoweiss is a Batthist outlet. They did post the article on their website, despite one of their editors disagree with its contents. Also I think it’s unfair to say that the views of the commenters at Mondoweiss represent the views of Mondoweiss.

    Comment by Reflective Thinking — January 19, 2014 @ 2:33 am

  4. I think it is fair. During August and September they were repeating all the talking points heard from Robert Fisk, Phyllis Bennis, Pepe Escobar et al. When you all write about Syria is the need for the USA to stay out at the same time you are repeating the talking points about “false flag” operations, you are part of the Baathist brigades. They published Jonathan Cook’s attack on me. (http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/analogy-syria-palestine.html) Cook is on the same exact wavelength as them.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 19, 2014 @ 2:45 am

  5. Hi, Reflective.

    You asked:
    “what evidence does she have that the fighters inside the camp are the same ones who eat the hearts out of their opponents?”
    Actually, she did not say that they were the same ones, as far as I could tell, because she added “there are rebels aligned with those with legitimate aspiration of freedom in syria fighting against assad,”

    I would agree that much of the leftists’ outlook is based on the idea that “he’s supposedly fighting against terrorists backed by the United States”. Personally I think this idea is not so incorrect or overstated.

    Comment by H. Smith — January 19, 2014 @ 4:59 am

  6. Hello again, Reflective. It is interesting that you noted the PFLP is allied with Syria’s government, because in the past at least the PFLP had a very Marxist orientation in its ideology. Regarding Mondoweiss, as you pointed out, they have a range of ideas on the topic, since as you pointed out they posted the article on the camp. However, I assume many of their views are critical of most of the forces for being fundamentalists.


    Comment by H. Smith — January 19, 2014 @ 5:05 am

  7. Hello, Louis!

    Personally I like Mondoweiss, although of course not everything I read there. Perhaps you might write a post for their website analyzing persuasively your viewpoint?

    All the best.

    Comment by H. Smith — January 19, 2014 @ 5:07 am

  8. My suggestion is that Proyect himself go to Syria, accompanied by a translator and some cameramen. He should go to as many parts of the country as possible — those held by the government and those held by the different Islamist factions. I would suggest that he go to the areas held by the “democratic revolutionaries” there too, but such areas do not, of course, exist (except in the minds of “leftist” and “Marxist” backers of the CIA-supported “revolution” in Syria.)

    In the areas dominated by Sunni chauvunist “rebels,” I don’t think Proyect’s hallucinations about a “democratic revolution” would be too well understood, though some of these “rebels” — interested primarily in riches and positions in the state apparatus for themselves — do apparently have a good PR sense.

    Going to the heart of cities like Damascus and Aleppo — both of which are held by the government — might prove difficult, as the people there largely detest the CIA’s foreign-infiltrated “rent-a-rebels” who he has been praising here for nearly three years as “progressive revolutionaries.”

    Comment by Frizzo — January 19, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

  9. My suggestion is that Proyect himself go to Syria, accompanied by a translator and some cameramen.

    I don’t have to go to Syria to understand that Bashar al-Assad is the country’s Pinochet. In terms of CIA “rent a rebels”, it was the human garbage Bashar al-Assad (as well as his fellow piece of shit Qaddafi) who were partners with the CIA in extraordinary rendition. Or that the Baathists conspired with the IDF and the Lebanese fascists to massacre Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila. Or to understand that Bashar al-Assad’s cousin controls 60 percent of the economy while 60 percent of the population survived on less than $2 a day in 2011. It is scum like you who are carrying the Baathist banner along with British fascist Nick Griffin. What filth you are.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 19, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  10. 1) The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC) is an entirely different organization than the PFLP, and has been closely tied to the Syrian regime for decades.

    2) While the Syrian state was involved in the suppression of the Lebanese left and its Palestinian allies in the 1970’s, including enabling the massacre of Palestinians at the Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp in 1976, I have never come across any evidence or even serious accusation of Syrian involvement in the massacre of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila in 1982. Is there such evidence, Louis, or did you just slip and confuse the two massacres?

    3) It’s not clear why you, Louis, say that “Bashar al-Assad is the country’s Pinochet”? Is every nasty dictator his country’s Pinochet, or is there something more to this particular analogy?

    4) I don’t come close to reading everything on this blog, so maybe I missed the occasions when terms like ‘human garbage’ and ‘piece of shit’ were used to describe, e.g., George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, Bibi Netanyahu, or any other imperialist or Zionist head of state. references to such uses would be appreciated.

    Comment by Roger Abrams — January 20, 2014 @ 8:39 am

  11. To start with, I consider apologists for the Baathist dictatorship to be the moral and political equivalent of those who tried to justify Stalin’s crimes. If Trotsky could call the Stalinists the syphilis of the workers’ movement, my epithets are mild by comparison.

    Yes, you are right. The Baathists were more directly involved with the massacre at Tel al-Zaatar. That is what I would call a distinction without a difference. But the main involvement in Lebanon was political rather than military. As Van Clausewitz said, warfare is an extension of politics by other means. Israel and Syria saw eye to eye on “pacifying” the Palestinian revolutionary movement. That is why Israel has always been comfortable with Baathist rule, as Noam Chomsky pointed out:

    In fact, if Israel and the US really did want to undermine the Assad regime and to support the rebels, they have very straightforward ways to do it without arms. Israel could considerably mobilize forces in the Golan Heights. If they mobilize forces in the north, the Syrians are compelled to respond by mobilizing forces. But they do not do it, which can only mean they do not want the regime to fall.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 20, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

  12. It goes beyond Tel al-Zaatar. In September 1970, the Jordanian Arab Legion started slaughtering Palestinians. At the time, the left-wing of the Baath Party was in power in Syria, and it had an interventionist, pro-Palestinian foreign policy. The Syrian dictator at the time, Salah Jadid, sent troops into Jordan to save the Palestinians, but Hafez al-Assad, the Defense Minister and leader of the conservative faction of the Baath Party, refused to provide air cover. The Syrian army was roundly defeated by King Hussein’s troops, and Jadid was humiliated. About a month later, Assad overthrew Jadid in a reactionary coup. In other words, the Assad dictatorship’s founding act was a betrayal of the Palestinians.

    Comment by jimmyconway24 — January 20, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

  13. How do we know that Syria was responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres?
    The Israeli-oriented website “Family Security” has an article by Franck Salameh blaming it on Syria because it claims Syria benefited and that a Lebanese official had contacts with Syria. Is there anything more direct that shows Syrian responsibility?

    The same article seems to imply Sharon was not responsible for that massacre, and that Syria was responsible for Hariri’s death. However, hasn’t it since turned out that there is evidence instead of Israeli involvement in both events?

    Comment by H. Smith — January 20, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

  14. It would seem that Mondoweiss as published another piece by a Palestinian Activist in the same vein as the one by Talal Alyana although the commentary below it remains just as vitriolic in most cases.

    Comment by Reflective Thinking — January 21, 2014 @ 4:33 am

  15. Yeah, I saw. Annie is as awful as ever but plaintively asks, “Adam and Phil, what’s our position?” I have a feeling that they are having trouble figuring things out because they are rather weak in the Marxism department, which makes dealing with contradiction difficult. And there ain’t nothing more contradictory than Syria.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 21, 2014 @ 4:41 am

  16. Re:@11: It’s not clear, Louis, what it takes to make one an apologist for the Baathist dictatorship in your eyes. Does that include anyone who might consider that regime, however brutal, a lesser evil than a sectarian Sunni Islamist regime that may — or may not — be the alternative? Does it include anyone who questions particular atrocities allegedly committed by the Baathist regime?

    Trotsky’s calling the Stalinists “the syphilis of the workers’ movement” wasn’t just name-calling but a metaphor, comparing the effects of Stalinism on the workers’ movement with the effects of syphilis on the human body. Your epithets seem to have no similar significance. Moreover, why do you reserve your epithets for those demonized, with or without justification, by the imperialist media, and not apply them to, for example, any of the presidents of the U.S., almost all have been responsible for far more murder and mayhem than Bashar al-Assad has or that Muammar Gaddafi was in his lifetime. (Moreover, the latter was, some of the time, a factor on the anti-imperialist side of struggles, while that can hardly be said about almost any key politician in the U.S. or other imperialist countries.)

    Comment by Roger Abrams — January 21, 2014 @ 4:24 pm

  17. “Roger Abrams”, not only is your email address bogus, you used to post here as “Red Snapper”, once again using a bogus email address. I put “Red Snapper” into a spam filter because I got tired of his trolling. One of these days I am going to bite the bullet and upgrade to a version of WordPress that requires you to register with a genuine email address. These sock puppets who like to challenge my credentials as if they are “genuine revolutionaries” disgust me to my core. For all I know, “Roger Abrams” is some pimply 18 year old living in his parents’ basement. When I make a comment on a blog, the owner should know damned well that it is me making the comment. This kind of anonymous trolling is the worst thing about the net.

    Comment by louisproyect — January 21, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  18. Nice cyber-crushing of those Ba’athist maggots and ignorant burka-phobics by you, Louis! God bless

    Comment by Younes Samman — January 22, 2014 @ 2:51 am

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