Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

July 12, 2017

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton: Saudi Arabia’s snitches

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 8:19 pm

On July 6th Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton co-authored an article for Alternet that fingered one Bilal Abdul Kareem as an al-Qaeda member, something that put not only his right to travel freely in jeopardy but also his life. Given the intensity of the “war on terror” under both Obama and Trump, such accusations might give the military or the CIA the excuse to do to him what they did to Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011—end his life with a Predator drone strike, as well as that of his teen-age son two weeks later. Not satisfied with their murder, Donald J. Trump ordered a strike on al-Qaeda in Yemen that resulted in the death of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 8 year old daughter. So, if you are going to accuse someone of being an al-Qaeda member, you’d better be damn sure you are right.

What do these two snitches point to as proof? They write, “In fact, the Saudi Arabian news outlet Al Arabiya reported on June 7 that Abdul Kareem officially joined al-Nusra in 2012.”

Habituated at this point to shoddy reporting from people like these two creeps, I clicked the link to the Al Arabiya article for more information on Kareem’s membership in a group Donald Trump is committed to exterminating. I imagine that the liberals who read Alternet on a regular basis couldn’t bother checking the article since if the Katzenjammer Kids said it, it must be true.

It turns out that the article is a diatribe against Qatar in keeping with Saudi Arabia’s recent attempt to bring the impudent emirate into line, including an ultimatum to shut down al-Jazeera. Did I mention that Al Arabiya is the Saudi news agency that was created to compete with al-Jazeera but from the royalist right?

The article is titled “Al-Nusra religious leader, prominent ISIS supporter defend Qatar” and describes Qatar as the nerve center of jihadist terror in the Middle East and Bilal Abdul Kareem as one of its key operatives. It makes a bald assertion that “What’s interesting here is that Abdulkareem had traveled to Doha for the panel [sponsored by the Brookings Institute] from the Syrian city of Aleppo. He went to Doha although he joined al-Nusra in 2012.” So, if Al Arabiya, the official propaganda arm of the Saudi monarchy, says that Kareem was an al-Nusra member, it must be true. You have to believe the Saudis, don’t you, especially when they are a major player in the war on terror.

Taking note that Kareem denied being a member, the two jihadi-hunters, second only to Pamela Geller in investigative skills, offered some more irrefutable evidence:

However, one of Abdul Kareem’s closest colleagues has also been accused of membership in Syria’s al-Qaeda franchise. Akif Razaq, an employee of Abdul Kareem’s online media group, On the Ground News, was recently stripped of British citizenship for his alleged involvement with al-Nusra. A notice presented by British authorities to Razaq’s family in Birmingham accused him of being “aligned with an al-Qaeda-aligned group” and declared that he “presents a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom.”

During Abdul Kareem’s Facebook video response to the Al Arabiya report, he was seated beside Razap. Razaq has also co-hosted On the Ground News segments with him.

What did they used to call that? Guilt by association? This is more than guilt by association. It is guilt by association squared. Razaq has been accused? So who accused him? The fucking British authorities? How in the hell did these two stooges end up using the word of the “British authorities” to help sentence men such as this to execution by Trump’s out-of-control police state?

It turns out that the “al-Qaeda-aligned” group he was punished for joining was none other than Kareem’s On the Ground News.

Let me get this straight. Kareem is guilty because he is associating with Razaq and Razaq is guilty by associating with Kareem? Where is Franz Kafka when we really need him?

Moon of Alabama, a website that can be described as ground zero of the batshit Assadist conspiracy-mongering universe, was incensed with Blumenthal and Norton’s article. The screwball in charge wrote an item titled “Syria – The Alternet Grayzone Of Smug Turncoats – Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek” that rightfully accused the two boys of reversing previously held opinions without explaining why. I don’t think it takes much brains to figure out why. They do what they do for the money. Writing articles opposing Assad won’t pay the rent. All you need to do is look at the wheelbarrows of cash that poured into the pockets of people writing salutes to Seymour Hersh’s brilliant investigative reporting that contained the totally unscientific claim that fertilizer contains organophosphates (it is phosphates). I invite anybody to find a bag of fertilizer containing the organophosphate poisons normally found in pesticides in a farm supply store. If you do, I will personally eat it.

The article basically charges Blumenthal and Norton with plagiarism, pointing out that Vanessa Beeley, one of their recommended authorities on Syria, wrote a piece for 21st Century Wire on August 4, 2016 that they obviously poached. Titled “SYRIA: CNN Normalizes Suicide Bombers and Embeds Reporters with ISIS and Al Qaeda”, Beeley’s piece is her customary Islamophobic tripe holding up Bashar al-Assad as the last best hope for civilized values in Syria. This is the kind of shit that would have made Goebbels blanch.

I don’t know what Beeley is complaining about. There’s plenty of money out there for every Assadist to make a good living. It’s like writing articles hailing the Moscow Trials in 1938. If chief prosecutor Vyshinsky was praised for his integrity in the NY Times of all places, you could sell the same kind of article anywhere.

Today, there’s nothing more scary than some guy in a beard who backs sharia law and yells “Allahu Akbar” after firing an missile that blows up a regime tank. Gee whiz, if we don’t stop them in Iraq and Syria, they might come to Bushwick and destroy our way of life.

Max Blumenthal has become a new Christopher Hitchens in his quest to exterminate Sunni jihadists, even if it requires American power. If you go to 6:50 in the Real News interview above, you’ll see what I mean. He says:

In its zeal to bleed … Russia and Iran, the National Security State has completely abrogated what should be its top mission, which is to take on these Sunni jihadist organizations, which have repeatedly attacked soft targets in the West, caused chaos—they should be fighting them. Instead they are using them as proxies in many cases to bleed Russia and Iran and Syria as well—countries which pose no…which have no intention of attacking the United States and which are active in the fight against ISIS.

I don’t think it could be much clearer than this. Blumenthal is urging the “National Security State” to escalate its war on terror. To use more Predator drones, to kill alleged al-Qaeda operatives like Bilal Abdul Kareem and Akif Razaq whose guilt is established by their willingness to interview its members, and to top it all off to achieve victory in places where the Sunni jihadists held sway. Just look at the photo of liberated Mosul to get an idea of what gets Blumenthal salivating.

Update:

Apparently, my worries about Blumenthal and Norton’s piece helping to undermine Kareem’s survival were not ill-founded.

 

9 Comments »

  1. Do you ever wonder if he is following his dad’s line of work and pushing Clinton foreign policy notions?

    Comment by stew312856 — July 12, 2017 @ 11:24 pm

  2. No, I don’t think his father explains this. It is filthy lucre that does. Thank god I made an honest living as a programmer rather than a left journalist.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 12, 2017 @ 11:25 pm

  3. Terrific article Louis, and very well-deserved for these two degenerated war-on-terror spooks. “Just look at the photo of liberated Mosul to get an idea of what gets Blumenthal salivating.” I know you’ve left the obvious unstated, but I just can’t help asking who the hell Blumenthal thinks carried out this Mosul “liberation” if he thinks the US National Security State “should be” fighting these “Sunni jihadist organisations”. Or, if as we assume he knows it is the US (tightly allied to Iran and its proxies/death squads in Iraq, who he claims the US is fighting against) that destroyed the city in order to save it, does he think this is perhaps still too much of a soft approach? Maybe the US should have just nuked Mosul and Raqqa and be done with it? Frankly, the rate at which these two scumbags are moving, that suggestion might soon move out of the realms of sarcasm. By the way, putting Kareem’s photo in your addendum might play into Norton/Blumenthal’s hands: its shows a dark guy with a beard, after all.

    Comment by mkaradjis — July 13, 2017 @ 3:56 am

  4. Would anyone care to investigate the case of Dr. Shajul Islam?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2193771/John-Cantlie-NHS-doctor-led-Syrian-terror-cell-took-British-journalist-hostage.html

    vs

    Comment by max — July 14, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

  5. I don’t feel the interview adequately addressed what Cantlie allegedly told the Daily Mail. This is probably the highest profile of the “Islamic Terrorist Doctor” cases, which are currently being pursued with a passion unseen since the hunt for Zionist doctors under Stalin, so I’d love for someone to get to the bottom of this. I tried contacting On the Ground myself, but they never got back to me 😦

    Comment by max — July 14, 2017 @ 4:58 pm

  6. I’m confused. Is Louis Proyect a Marxist or full-time PR flak for Al Qaeda? Why is this former SWP hack now running scrimmage for Salafis and acting like they are poor victims? They are fascist, sectarian mercenaries committing terrorism as basic method.

    Remind me not to put Louis on the guest list for the next Eagles of Death Metal concert. I mean, seriously.

    Comment by Radek Capiche — July 23, 2017 @ 5:45 pm

  7. Yes, you are confused. I recommend Thorazine. It will clear things up–hopefully.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 23, 2017 @ 5:52 pm

  8. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our communigty and I enjoyed reading your work. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Comment by Autumn Cote — July 27, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

  9. Sure, go ahead.

    Comment by louisproyect — July 27, 2017 @ 12:59 pm


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