Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

October 1, 2019

Follow the Money

Filed under: Kevin Coogan,Syria — louisproyect @ 12:14 am

A shadowy group that supports Syrian dictator Bashar-al Assad is giving thousands of dollars to far-right activists, conspiracy websites, YouTube personalities, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — all under the guise of an award for “uncompromised integrity in journalism.”

The Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, an umbrella nonprofit based in the San Francisco Bay area, ostensibly exists to raise awareness of “social justice issues that are key to sustainable world peace.” In practice, that has meant bolstering public support for the Assad regime, which has rewarded the group and one of its main fronts, the Syria Solidarity Movement, with visas and access to top officials in Damascus.

The association is now rewarding its fellow travelers, a number of whom joined its treasurer at a state-sponsored conference this month, addressed personally by Bashar al-Assad, to promote “solidarity with the workers and people of Syria.”

“The Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism honors non-mainstream journalists who continue to tell challenging truths in difficult times,” states a website the group set up. The award is named after a U.S. woman who worked for Press TV, an Iranian government television outlet, and died in a 2014 car accident while reporting from Turkey. “The funds provided by this Award enable these courageous journalists to continue their work in an environment that penalizes them for their clarity of vision and willingness to expose the powerful,” the award website states.

While obscure, and not to be confused with the “AIPAC” that supports the state of Israel, the association behind this latest journalism award made headlines for their generosity just last year, when former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich disclosed that he’d been paid $20,000 to speak at a 2017 pro-Assad conference in the United Kingdom. Kucinich was running for governor at the time of the admission, which helped cost him the race.

“On the campaign trail Dennis has refused to condemn Assad,” former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat, said at the time. “What we now know goes further. Dennis wasn’t just defending Assad out of conviction, he was also being paid by a group that has been a vocal cheerleader for this murderous dictator.

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  1. One name that caught my eye in story is this:

    The Syria Solidarity Movement was established in 2013 to facilitate a North American speaking tour for Mother Agnes, as per its website. Mother Agnes is a pro-Assad nun who argued that the hundreds of victims of a 2013 Ghouta Sarin attack were planted by anti-government insurgents, not killed by the state, spoke at rallies across the U.S. as a representative of the Syrian Mussalaha (“reconciliation”) movement — a faux-peace initiative launched by the regime in Damascus and led by Ali Haidar, a minister in Assad’s government and leader of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).

    Although Davis does not mention them, the LaRouchies played a leading role in helping sponsor the Mother Agnes trip in Europe and America and were quite open about promoting her.

    Of course, you didn’t need a deep dive investigation to figure out Mother Agnes was sponsored by the Syrian government, but I think it is still worth noting the LaRouche connection, Syrian officials sometimes speak at LaRouche gatherings as well.

    Comment by HH — October 3, 2019 @ 9:57 pm

  2. FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL. This is from Bellingcat’s “About” page:

    Funding and Partnerships
    Bellngcat currently receives grants from the following organisations:
    The National Endowment for Democracy
    Pax for Peace
    Open Society Foundations
    The Dutch Postcode Lottery

    Remuneration policy directors and employees
    The remuneration for staff and empoyees of Stichting Bellingcat is withing the middle margin of the NGO-sector salary scale. The yearly brutto remuneration of the executive director of Stichting Bellingcat is 118.000 EUR (including pension and holiday allowance – 1fte/12 months). The yearly brutto remuneration of the operations director/manager is 90.000 EUR (including pension and holiday allowance, 1 fte/12 months). Both remuneration scales are well beneath the maximum ceiling of 158.000 EUR within the framework of Goede Doelen Nederland (GDN).

    SOURCE: https://www.bellingcat.com/about/

    Comment by walterlx — October 4, 2019 @ 2:57 pm

  3. How predictable that Walter Lippmann would write such garbage, a man who makes Max Blumenthal look like a paragon of integrity. As far as Bellingcat is concerned, it is obvious that Lippmann is unaware that it has done investigations such as this:




    I guess Lippmann must think that if you denounce Assad for bombing pediatric hospitals, you are promoting regime change. How sick that a Trotskyist can end up sounding as bad as the worst Stalinist.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 4, 2019 @ 3:16 pm

  4. Sorry, Louis,I made NOT ONE SINGLE COMMENT. I simply posted the facts STATED BY BELLINGCAT of its funding sources on its own website.

    Is posting THEIR funding sources as THEY STATED them somehow slanderous?

    Look again: SOURCE: https://www.bellingcat.com/about/

    Comment by walterlx — October 4, 2019 @ 3:25 pm

  5. Do you think the people who follow this blog are stupid? When you post a list of funders that includes the NED, it is your way of saying that Eliot Higgins is for Colored Revolutions. If you had any guts, you’d tell us why you love Assad. Go ahead. Don’t be shy. Everybody knows that if you are truly for Cuba, you have to be for bombing hospitals in Idlib.

    Comment by louisproyect — October 4, 2019 @ 3:42 pm

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