Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 16, 2018

Castrated in the 21st Century

Filed under: Syria — louisproyect @ 2:36 pm

The other day I learned that I was FB friends with a British academic named David Miller who was part of Tim Hayward’s Assadist propaganda group. (See earlier London Times articles for more on the group).

I wrote a brief comment to explain why I was unfriending him:

David, why in the world did you ever send me a friend request? Surely, you must be aware that I have written many articles against people like Tim Hayward, Tim Anderson, Seymour Hersh, Ted Postol, and 25 other people carrying Assad’s water. Frankly, I was shocked to see your post about the Times attacking your pro-Assad academic network. I am unfriending you now. I really can’t deal with this kind of provocation, even if it was not a conscious one.

He replied:

Hey Louis, no provocation intended! I think I was first aware of your work on the LM network, about which you seem to have a reasonable position. I was not aware of all of your work on Syria. Nevertheless, to be targeted by Murdoch’s Times is hardly something that should be celebrated in left quarters. I am not pro-Assad, and many of the claims in the four separate pieces in the Times are ludicrous. But anyway, if you must unfriend me so be it. Syria seems to be creating interesting new splits on the left. I guess for my own part that I am keen on following evidence, wherever it might lead, but obviously this is not always the same place for each of us.

What really got my attention, however, was the comments from Leah Wild, who is the Project Coordinator of the Blue Door Project that provides support for displaced peoples, including Syrian refugees:

When you count conspiracy theories as evidence and peddle propaganda that props up islamophobic tropes and genocide apologism it kind of undermines your credibility. That was you, not the Times. Sadly unfriending too but not before I share a story here from Mohammad Ali. Some food for thought for academics and students everywhere right now:

In March 2008, Bushra Al-Assad, sister of Bashar Al-Assad, came to Damascus University College of Pharmacy as a guest lecturer for third year Pharmacy students. My friends and I were in the lecture hall when she started her lecture with “The immortal leader”…. She kept going on and on about different topics, until she start talking about the specific components of a certain drug and how the way they come together is how the country should come together. One of my friends interjected to correct her by saying that the drug she named didn’t have all the components she named. We all began to laugh, which was stupid of us.

After the lecture was over and Bushra Al-Assad left, the Army Major came in and told us not to move. He then asked who interrupted her lecture, and my friend stood up confidently and said he did. He walked over all the pharmacy students until he got to my friend, pulled him by the ear, and dragged him out. The Colonel waiting outside was disappointed and said, “You only brought one person? Bring the entire front row.” Unfortunately, I was a part of the first row. My friend was put in a car on his own while, the rest of us were loaded up into a bus as they beat us. One girl started to cry and said “Where’s Dr. Bushra, let her see what they’re doing to us.” She was immediately slapped on the face with blood pouring out of her nose. We were taken to the interrogation branch and were detained for 12 hours of beating. There was even an Alawite girl who’s father was a General in the Army who kept threatening them to tell her father, to which they didn’t bother to care.

We went back to school and waited for them to release my friend but a month passed and we never heard from him. After two months we left the lecture hall and found our friend standing at the door of the lecture hall with the most horrifying facial expression and said he was coming to say his goodbyes. We went to a cafe and asked him what happened when they took him away. He said, “Nothing, they were amazing and said because I was so brave, Bushra Al-Assad wanted to send me to Germany on a scholarship she will fund herself so I can pursue a higher education.”

A couple of times a week, I would video call him on Skype and I would joke how he got the ultimate hook-up. He would just laugh a long drawn-out lifeless laugh. Then I would ask him when he would get married and he would say “not till you get married first” and would turn his face away from the camera.

A few weeks ago, my friend got an incredible job at a drug company in Germany and I called to congratulate him. We talked for about 3 hours and then he said “Do you mind if he hang up, I’m starting to get a headache.” Joking, I said, “So now that you’re high up there with a great job, you don’t talk to the little people anymore?”.. He then said, “No I’m serious, I have a headache, I have to go.”

Two minutes later he sent me a message on Whatsapp saying “Do you remember in 2008 when I was dragged out of the lecture hall? I lied. They castrated me and gave me two month to leave the country with a paper that said ‘Not valid for sexual relations'”.

So if you’re curious what Syria was like before people demanded freedom, this story can sum it up for you. You couldn’t even interrupt the president’s sister or you were CASTRATED…. IN THE 21st CENTURY. What country in the world still castrates human beings and gets away with it? Imagine someone demanding the president to step down, of course he was going to burn the entire country down. We don’t know what the strike will be, but we do know that the more Assad loses power, the more people are saved from his barbaric ways. This strike is too little too late, but it’s something. A slap on the wrist if you will.

But for those of you who are “gray” or have the audacity to support him, don’t you dare ever say Syria was fine. It was never fine.

May God protect the civilians, and wipe out every inch of Assad, Russia, and Iran’s weapons.

If you want to read the original story in Arabic, it’ll be the first comment.

(Sorry for the butchered translation)


  1. Shocking story. The only “rebuttal” is to say he’s lying or doesn’t exist.

    Comment by Elliot Podwill — April 16, 2018 @ 3:47 pm

  2. Wait, you’re for the strikes? Jesus.

    Comment by Rojo — April 16, 2018 @ 5:46 pm

  3. I absolutely am for the strikes. Oklahoma’s teachers are hugely underpaid.

    Comment by louisproyect — April 16, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

  4. Rojo, address Louis’s article, Do you assume it’s based on fabrication? And yes, a teachers’ strike everywhere would be fabulous. Plenty of money for the Pentagon and corporate tax breaks, squat for everything else.

    Comment by Elliot Podwill — April 16, 2018 @ 6:46 pm

  5. The al-Assad family has been mutilating and murdering people piecemeal since 1970, with a multiplication in 1980. Since 2011 they have been doing it on a massive scale. How can this be denied or condoned? Does it always have to be either or? More than a century ago world conflict was judged imperialistic by Lenin, Luxemburg and others, not national or religious. They refused to wave any flag, except that of humanity against capital. Capital that holds sway over all nations and faiths.

    Comment by kenneth couesbouc — April 17, 2018 @ 7:25 pm

  6. Tell about the rape rooms! I hear Uday and Qusay like to garnish their Margaritas with blood!

    Comment by masoud — April 18, 2018 @ 8:13 am

  7. I love how he says ‘I am not Assadist’. If he isn’t an Assadist I don’t know what one is.

    Comment by John Gamey — April 18, 2018 @ 8:52 am

  8. […] The Times exposes the UK professors (wrongly called “top”) promoting Assadist lies (via Louis P). Chris York on the UK academics fueling conspiracy theories. More on this group from Brian Whitaker, who has been tracking them for some time on his brilliant blog. Here’s a Syrian refugee, Mohammad Ali,  on un-friending defenders of Islamophobic conspiracy theorists. […]

    Pingback by Bob’s roundup of the best writing on fascism, Syria, conspiracy theories, spin, fake news, etc – Shiraz Socialist (Second Run) — April 23, 2018 @ 10:04 am

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