It’s been a while since the Western commentariat has been afflicted by the opinions of Alastair Crooke, another British spy who devolved into apologetics for Islamism.
Crooke’s last attempt to define down the Syrian revolution was in the Asia Times, where he blamed the entire uprising on Zarqawists from Iraq (no, really), in a piece that a little birdie tells me was originally rejected by Foreign Policy magazine for being morally obscene. Hardly anyone is buying Crooke’s Khomeinist bullshit these days except — you guessed it — The Guardian.
Here’s Crooke in CiF blaming an overwhelmingly peaceful Syrian protest against totalitarian dictatorship on terrorists abetted by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States:
Europeans, Americans and certain Gulf states may see the Syria “game” as the logical successor to the supposedly successful Libya game in moulding the Arab awakening towards a western cultural paradigm. In terms of regional politics however, Syria is strategically more valuable, and Iran knows this. Iran has said that it will respond to any external intervention in Syria.
It is already no “game”, as the many killed by both sides attests to. The radical armed elements being used in Syria as auxiliaries to depose Assad run counter to the prospect of any outcome emerging within the western paradigm. These groups may well have a bloody and very undemocratic agenda of their own.
Syrian state media couldn’t have put it better.
As readers of Harry’s Place know, Crooke has been a longtime defender of Shi’ite-inflected insurgency movements, which is why he loves Bashar al-Assad but not the Sunni head-loppers of Iraq (even though Assad subvented Ansar al-Islam in Syria and sent the group into Iraq to kill US and British soldiers). Crooke’s Conflicts Forum organisation, which received many hundreds of thousands of euros from the European Union not long ago, was a talk-shop for convincing Western statesmen that Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah were legitimate political movements worthy of international legitimacy. And this “workshop” paper makes clear that Crooke and a host of other ludicrous people who find homophobia, anti-Semitism and misogyny the future of the Middle East are very keen on selling this ridiculous narrative to liberals.
The good news is that Crooke’s arguments are so transparently propagandistic that they can’t be believed by anyone other than the audience he’s trying to flatter.
The last person who wrote and spoke this poorly in service of a fascist cause was Bob Lambert, whose retirement as a professional infiltrator of radical groups is now seriously being questioned by all his old chums in the Hamas Lobby.
Bashar might also wonder if his midget asset in Beirut is trustworthy, too.
UPDATE: This article was published first on 5 November. We’re republishing it now because… Crooke’s article is being carried by The Guardian. Of course.