This is a guest post by Marcus C
In recent days, US Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that after nearly two years of uprising, the US will being providing ‘non-military’ support to Syrian rebels in the form of medicine and food, but not weapons.
Not surprisingly, this has led John Wight of Socialist Unity to launch another one of his long-winded and self-righteous tirades against “western intervention”.
I won’t bother to quote anything from his piece, as any reader familiar with Wight and his style of writing will know that once you’ve read one John Wight piece, you will have read them all. Imperialism, colonialism, western hegemony, axis of resistance. It’s all in there.
Personally, I don’t know if I support direct intervention in Syria. Quite frankly, I hadn’t thought it through. I can see the argument both ways, and I realize that Syrian rebels include many groups which I would hardly consider desirable.
What strikes me, however, each time I come across such a piece – whether by Wight or someone else – is its blatant hypocrisy and cynicism.
To begin with, reading Socialist Unity, one could hardly tell that there’s anything going on in Syria at all. Even though more than 70,000 have lost their lives in two years of fighting, in the past 12 months Socialist Unity has published fewer than 10 posts on the subject. In comparison, during the same period it has published more than 30 pieces directly relating to the Israeli/Palestine, even though the entire Israeli/Palestinian conflict hasn’t caused a fraction of the amount of casualties as the current war in Syria.
Another thing that strikes me is how selective Wight and his SU co-authors are in their opposition to outside intervention. They are vehemently against even indirect intervention which is perceived as anti-Assad, but woefully silent when it comes to direct Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah support for Assad.
And last week Ha’aretz reported on Iran already making deals to establish a pro-Iranian militia to protect its interests should Assad fall:
These deals will be backed by Iran, which, according to various reports, already has 50,000 combat fighters and consultants in Syria and has already established units similar to the Iranian Basij, a volunteer militia. Some of these reports say that General Hassan al-Shatri, who was killed in Syria, allegedly by an Israeli bombardment of Jamraya, was the one responsible for establishing these forces.
“The goal of Iran and Hezbollah is to remove the chance that a political solution in Syria or the fall of Assad will reduce Iranian control over Lebanon and Syria,” a member of the Lebanese opposition in France told Haaretz. “If Assad’s fall is inevitable, then as far as Iran and Hezbollah are concerned, the appropriate replacement is to establish, in Syria, a Shiite military force over any new regime that arises there. Just as Hezbollah controls Lebanon by virtue of its military power, a well-armed and well-trained militia in Syria will be able to impose its own will on any Syrian regime.”
There is nothing new about that idea. Iran, which is having a difficult time winning the cooperation of many of the Arab states, relies on extra-governmental organizations to promote its interests in those states.
Moreover, senior Iranian officials have been quoted as speaking of Syria as Iran’s “35’s province” and stating that they will not allow Assad to fall quietly.
Wight and co. wear their theoretical opposition to “imperialism” and “outside intervention” as a badge, yet when it comes to Iran and Hezbollah actually killing Syrian civilians, they have nothing to say.
Wight blasts the latest US move in Syria as
“efforts to maintain a status quo of unipolarity when it comes to global power and influence”
If he really wants to know who’s trying to do that, all he has to do is look in the mirror.
Gene adds: In case anyone was in any doubt about Wight’s position, he clarified it in the comments:
Who’s neutral? I’m with Assad and the Syrian people against a Saudi and Qatari armed insurgency, supported by the West, comprising religious zealots and obscurantists engaged in barbarism.