SocraticGadfly: White Helmets: "Russian meme" vs mainstream liberal progaganda

November 01, 2018

White Helmets: "Russian meme" vs mainstream liberal progaganda

Taking on a new level of interest, with Germany and other EU members indicating they're willing to cooperate with Moscow, is the short- and medium-term future of Syria. And, part of that will surely be further discussion of how evil Bashar al-Assad is, and how saintly in many people's minds the White Helmets are. Related and lurking in the background for many will still be "Putin collusion with Trump ideas."

Unfortunately, people who should know better refuse to.

Shane Bauer's new book about the problems of the private prison system, expanded from an article he wrote for Mother Jones, is pretty good to very good.

Unfortunately, Bauer's employer is Mother Jones — the same Mother Jones that has been part of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment in warmongering about the Middle East, including Syria, and even more, led the now clearly vacuous "Trump-Putin collusion" brigade.

So, I guess it shouldn't be of any surprise that Bauer, jumping in a Twitter conversation that was started by Glenn Greenwald, claimed that anybody who attacked the mainstream line that the White Helmets were saints in preserving Syria's Arab Spring against the Assad regime was spouting a "Russian meme."

So, per Bauer's "Russian meme," then:

The United Nations, in confirming much of Ted Postal's analysis at Eastern Ghouta, is a Russian meme.

UN weapons inspector and Iraq invasion critic Scott Ritter is a Russian meme.

Sy Hersh, on Khan Sheikhoun, is a Russian meme.

Dennis Kucinich is a Russian meme.

So, too, is Counterpunch Consortium News founder Robert Parry and along with him, many others. That would even possibly include the European Union, though it may have opposed Syria sanctions for other reasons. (Per David's comment, Ken Silverstein, the actual founder of Counterpunch, would also be a Russian meme, though.)

Bauer joins a long list of people to strawman Syria. They're neocons plus (neo)liberal hawks for the most part, though there's also a few Trots claiming that no leftists but them understand Syria. Both groups, in more nutter expressions, call leftists like me "tankies." Wrong. Neither I nor any of the "Russian meme" people above are apologists for either Bashar al-Assad or Vladimir Putin. (Trots use the term "tankie" more narrowly to attack non-Trots of the left or far left on any grounds.)

And, an example here of Fisk NOT whitewashing Assad, at the end of this column about Jamal Khashoggi in particular and Middle Eastern hypocrisy in general.

And, with that, it's once again time to cite our old philosopher friend Idries Shah.

Idries Shah
Once again, Idries Shah:
“To 'see both sides' of a problem is the surest way to prevent its complete solution. Because there are always more than two sides.” 
It's not surprising that average janes and joes with an investment in two-siderism pull this crap. And, that they don't want to know better. At one time, I would have called it surprising that a Shane Bauer did something like that. But, even though I know he knows better (I think), in the last 18 months, I find this less and less surprising.

This is also NOT to say, as my third-siderism goes fourth-siderism, that I agree with every bit of Russia apologetics from a Mark Ames or Yasha Levine. I like a fair amount of what both say, but don't buy everything.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Minor correction: unless you know something I don't, Robert Parry was the founder of Consortium News, not Counterpunch.

I've admired Bauer's work for MJ, but in the year or so he has become toxically dogmatic on Russia/Syria. It's getting hard for me to take anyone who associates with him seriously.