This is a Cross-post from Howie’s Corner
The human tragedy of the Syrian civil war continues unabated with well over 100,000 dead and millions displaced starving and homeless both inside and outside the country. Like all civil wars there are atrocities as countryman fights countryman, but add to the conflict a religious as well as a political divide then things are bound to get brutal.
The news that medieval Jihadists have been terrorising those unfortunate enough to get caught in an area they control with summary executions as part of the Islamists imposition of Sharia law is widely known. Even the normally pro-Islamist website Socialist Unity had John Wight calling the Jihadis “savages”. He must have a point as his mate Bob Pitt of the disingenuous Islamophobia Watch didn’t condemn him as is Pitt’s normal tactic of refusing to accept any criticism from anyone about any aspect of Islam or Muslim without condemning them for “Islamophobia”.
Perhaps this has something to do with the blatant attempts by the Syrian Government to use the Jihadists for their own ends as the Telegraph reports:
The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has funded and co-operated with al-Qaeda in a complex double game even as the terrorists fight Damascus, according to new allegations by Western intelligence agencies, rebels and al-Qaeda defectors.
Jabhat al-Nusra, and the even more extreme Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS), the two al-Qaeda affiliates operating in Syria, have both been financed by selling oil and gas from wells under their control to and through the regime, intelligence sources have told The Daily Telegraph.
Rebels and defectors say the regime also deliberately released militant prisoners to strengthen jihadist ranks at the expense of moderate rebel forces. The aim was to persuade the West that the uprising was sponsored by Islamist militants including al-Qaeda as a way of stopping Western support for it.
However Socialist Unity has a strong pro Islamist agenda and backs not just the terrorist groups like Hamas (under the guise of so-called anti-Zionism), Hezbollah and of course that bastion of progressive thinking Iran. So it’s hardly surprising that John Wight backs the brutal Syrian regime.
The Guardian reported that:
Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges in the light of a huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the “systematic killing” of about 11,000 detainees, according to three eminent international lawyers.
The three, former prosecutors at the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone, examined thousands of Syrian government photographs and files recording deaths in the custody of regime security forces from March 2011 to last August.
Most of the victims were young men and many corpses were emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture. Some had no eyes; others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution.
The UN and independent human rights groups have documented abuses by both Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels, but experts say this evidence is more detailed and on a far larger scale than anything else that has yet emerged from the 34-month crisis.
You can read the full investigation here: http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/1390226674736/syria-report-execution-tort.pdf
Whilst the rest of the pro-Assad left like the Morning Star and the misnamed Stop the War Coalition have simply chosen silence, Wight asks the following question:
Do they think we are stupid?
The question is relevant in light of the concerted anti Assad media, diplomatic, and political onslaught that has been unleashed over the past week, starting on the eve of the Geneva II peace talks over the Syrian conflict, when a dossier purporting to provide incontrovertible evidence of the mass torture and massacre of detainess by the Syrian authorities was released.
Heaven forbid that the authors have produced substantial evidence, including photographs obtained at great risk by their informant. Its just “purporting” in Wights narrow view of the world.
Nothing to see here, move along is the response from the Islamo-Stalinists of Socialist Unity.
John Wight is a leading so-called “anti-Zionist” campaigner who writes on occasion for the Putin media outlet RT. He got into hot water over linking to a far right website on at least one occasion as the Engage website reported here. Samples of his thinking included:
“The state of Israel is a hydra-headed monster, comprising Zionist ethnic cleansers, US imperialists, and Arab collaborationist regimes. Arrayed against this monster are the forces of human progress.”
“As soon as the scales fall from the eyes of international Jewry with regard to the racist and fascist ideology that is Zionism, the world will begin to emerge from the iron heel of war and brutality in the Middle East.”
Yet the Syrian conflict hasn’t exactly been kind to the Palestinians that Wight claims he supports, according to reports of Assad’s regime-caused starvation at the refugee camp at Yarmouk, South Damascus that Harry’s Place noted here.
A man who seemingly denies atrocities by his regimes of choice is not one I would trust on solving the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The various campaigns that purport (to borrow Wight’s phrase) Palestinian “Liberation” have long attracted unsavoury types. It’s widely known that the former Chairman of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Francis Clarke Lowles was expelled for being a Holocaust denier.
The real question that was never really addressed was how did a man with such disgusting revisionist historical views ever get to lead the PSC in the first place?
And of course given a fifth of the meeting that expelled him still supported Clarke Lowles, how many people like him are still in the PSC?
So the “comrades” at Socialist Unity will have to be seen as promoting hate, not hope and cannot be considered part of any “progressive” trend at all.
They are without doubt reactionaries of the worst order.