The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t

Outstanding and informative rebuttal to a recent piece by Eric Draitser on CounterPunch, as well as to the lies in general purported by corporate media and rights groups as to how events played out in Syria in the early days of the unrest/war on Syria. Gowans also provides a much needed lesson in historical context. Masterpiece, by Stephen Gowans!

what's left

October 22, 2016

Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him.

By Stephen Gowans

There is a shibboleth in some circles that, as Eric Draitser put it in a recent Counterpunch article, the uprising in Syria “began as a response to the Syrian government’s neoliberal policies and brutality,” and that “the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria has been sidelined by a hodgepodge of Saudi and Qatari-financed jihadists.” This theory appears, as far as I can tell, to be based on argument by assertion, not evidence.

Mass demonstration in support of Syria's secular Arab nationalist government, 2011. Mass demonstration in support of…

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  1. I hope you don’t mind, Eva, but I pilfered your introductory remarks. I also thought the piece was brilliant. I’d read Draitser’s piece the previous day, and it wasn’t the first time that I’d heard about “the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria” being co-opted by ‘political islam,’ at the instigation of the West. Even Samir Amin had been making similar remarks, and I was puzzled by the notion that Syria had taken a “neo-liberal turn,” since I couldn’t find, apart from offhand and unreferenced assertions, any evidence that this had indeed been the case, and that “objective conditions” existed in Syria for a “popular uprising.” Then Stephen writes this piece! And it all dovetails quite beautifully with the equally brilliant and absolutely vital work that you and Vanessa Beeley have been doing . . .

  2. Not at all, no problem. Main thing is to share Stephen’s brilliant article. Thank you!

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