phony socialist groups

Decriminalizing Bashar al Assad: towards a more effective anti-war movement

This article by Carlos Martinez was previously published in on 26 Sep 2013 and on 26 Sep 2013. See also: of 24 Sep 2013 by Wassim Raad on .

On 10 April 1993, one of the greatest heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, , was gunned down by a neo-fascist in an attempt to disrupt the seemingly inexorable process of bringing majority rule to South Africa. Although direct legal culpability for this tragic assassination belonged to only two men — a Polish immigrant by the name of Janusz Walus " id="txtSubj1">1 " id="txtSubj2">2 and a senior Conservative Party MP named Clive Derby-Lewis — the crime formed part of a much wider onslaught against the ANC and its allies. ...

... This onslaught — paramilitary, political, legal, psychological, journalistic — was not primarily conducted by fringe lunatics such as Walus and Derby-Lewis, but by the mainstream white political forces and their puppets within the black community (such as the Inkatha Freedom Party). The leaders of the ANC, and particularly the MK (Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed liberation movement with which Chris Hani's name will forever be associated) were subjected to a wide-ranging campaign of demonisation. This campaign created conditions such that political assassinations of anti-apartheid leaders became expected, almost inevitable. Of course, the more 'dovish' leaders of the main white party, the National Party, were quick to denounce Hani's assassination; but the truth is that they were at least partly responsible for it.

Speaking at Hani's funeral, of this phenomenon: "To criminalise is to outlaw, and the hunting down of an outlaw is regarded as legitimate. That is why, although millions of people have been outraged at the murder of Chris Hani, few were really surprised. Those who have deliberately created this climate that legitimates political assassinations are as much responsible for the death of Chris Hani as the man who pulled the trigger."

Turning to the current situation in Syria, we see a parallel between the "climate that legitimates political assassinations" in early-90s South Africa and a media climate that legitimates the being planned in Washington.

The Syrian state has been under direct attack by western imperialism for the last two and a half years (although the US and others have been for much longer than that). The forms of this attack are many: to opposition groups trying to topple the government; ; in the media for the opposition whilst effecting a near-total media blackout on pro-government sources; and relentlessly slandering the Syrian president and government. In short, the western media and governments have — consciously and deliberately — "created this climate that legitimates" a military regime change operation against Syria.

An anti-war movement that takes part in war propaganda

Building a phoney case for imperialist regime change is, of course, . What is really curious is that the leadership of the anti-war movement in the west — the people whose clear responsibility is to build the widest possible opposition to war on Syria — has been actively participating in the propaganda and demonisation campaign. Whilst opposing direct military strikes, they have nonetheless given consistent support to the regime change operation that such strikes are meant to consummate.

Wilfully ignoring the indications that the Syrian government is , Tariq Ali — perhaps the most recognisable figure in the British anti-war movement — feels able to claim that "the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people want the Assad family out". Indeed, he , saying "non-violent pressure has to be kept up externally to tell Bashar he has to go."

Rising star of the British left Owen Jones used his high-profile Independent column of 25 August this year (just as the war rhetoric from Cameron, Hollande and Kerry was reaching fever pitch) to the "gang of thugs" and "glorified gangsters" that run Syria, before worrying that "an attack could invite retaliation from Iran and an escalation of Russian's support for Assad's thugs, helping to drag the region even further into disaster." Jones evidently doesn't know very much about Syria, but that doesn't stop him from participating in the Ba'ath-bashing: last year, his response to a bomb attack in Damascus which killed several Syrian ministers was the gleeful " (I hope)".

According to Stop the War Coalition national officer , "no-one can minimise the barbarity of the Assad regime, nor want to defend it from the justified rage of its own people." Any objectively progressive actions ever taken by the Syrian government (such as its support for Palestine and Hezbollah) are nothing more than — which claim is rather reminiscent of the Financial Times Hugo Chávez of "demagogy" in pushing for land reform in Venezuela!

Rees is that the number one enemy for Syrians is the government, and that pro-west sectarian Saudi-funded rebels are a secondary enemy — a position virtually indistinguishable from the Israelis, who : "We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren't backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran." Further, Rees believes that what is really needed is to "give the revolutionaries the chance to shake off their pro-western leaders and defeat Assad." That's presumably if they're not too busy or .

These are not isolated examples. It is decidedly rare to find a British anti-war leader mentioning Bashar al-Assad and his government in anything but an intensely negative light. Bashar is "brutal"; he is a "dictator"; at the International Criminal Court. Frankly, this leader of independent, anti-imperialist Syria is subjected to far more severe abuse from the mainstream left than are the leaders of Britain, France and the US. In the imperialist heartlands of North America and Western Europe, the () (">Preview) (">Preview) , although thankfully the (far more important) left movements in , , and elsewhere have a much richer understanding of anti-imperialist solidarity.

At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious: if you're trying to spread anti-war sentiment and build the most effective possible movement against military action, then taking part in the demonisation of the country under threat is probably not a very smart strategy.

This campaign of propaganda, lies and slander has been very effective in creating a public opinion that is ambivalent at best in relation to the attack that is under preparation. Whilst most people may be "against" bombing Syria in principle, to what extent are they passionate enough to actually do anything to prevent this criminal, murderous act from taking place? Two million people marched against war in Iraq (and given the right leadership, they would have been willing to do considerably more than just march); yet no demonstration against war on Syria has attracted more than a couple of thousand people. Would thousands of people be willing to participate in direct action? Would they be willing to conduct, say, a one-week general strike? Would workers follow the great example of the and actively disrupt imperialist support for regime change? Highly unlikely. And this is because all they have heard about Syria — from the radical left to the fundamentalist right to the
Saudi-sponsored Muslim organisations — is that Bashar al-Assad is a brutal dictator whose overthrow is long overdue.

OK, but haven't we just prevented a war?

In the light of the House of Commons exhibiting an unusual level of sense by authorising use of force against Syria, some anti-war activists were quick to claim that the "sustained mass power of the anti-war movement" has "undoubtedly been a decisive factor." Members of this movement should " : we have stopped the US and Britain from waging a war that, if the British parliament had voted the other way, would already have taken place, with who knows what consequences."

Now, optimism and jubilation have their place, but they shouldn't be used to deflect valid criticism or avoid serious reflection. Anybody who has been involved in the anti-war movement in Britain over the past decade will have noticed the level of activity steadily dwindling. Just two years ago, we witnessed a vicious war fought by the western imperialist powers (with Britain one of the major instigators) in order to effect regime change in Libya. Over . were brought to power. A , while . Decades of development — that had turned Libya from a colonial backwater into the country with the — have been turned back. Stop the War Coalition weren't able to mobilise more than a against this war, and yet we are expected to believe that, two years later, Britain suddenly has a vibrant and brilliantly effective anti-war movement capable of preventing war on Syria? This is .

Regardless of how much attention the British public pays to the anti-war movement, the fact is that public opinion in the west is only a small factor in the much larger question of the balance of forces. Syria is different to Libya in that it has and that it has never disarmed. Furthermore, it shares a border with Israel and is capable of doing some serious damage to imperialism's most important ally in the Middle East. This makes military intervention a highly dangerous and unpredictable option from the point of view of the decision-makers in Washington, London and Paris.

The uprising was supposed to take care of this problem. A successful 'Arab Spring' revolution — and its regional proxies in Saudi, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan — would have installed a compliant government and would have constituted an essential milestone in the imperialist-zionist regional strategy: the breakup of the and the overthrow of . This strategy — seemingly so difficult for western liberals and leftists to comprehend — is by the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah: "What is happening in Syria is a confrontation between the resistance axis and the U.S./Israeli axis. They seek aggression against the resistance axis through Syria in order to destroy Syria's capabilities and people, marginalize its role, weaken the resistance and relieve Israel."

Beyond the Middle East, a successful 'revolution' in Syria would of course be a vital boost to the US-led global strategy: protecting US hegemony and , Russia and the other major developing nations.

And yet, in spite of massive support given to the armed opposition; in spite of the relentless propaganda campaign against the Syrian government; in spite of on Damascus; in spite of a brutal and tragic campaign of being conducted by the rebels; in spite of the blanket support given to the rebels by the and  " id="txtSubj4">4; . The tide has clearly turned and the momentum is with the patriotic forces. . Russia has to the region and has demonstrated some genuine in the diplomatic field in order to prevent western military strikes. Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela and others have been immovable in their demands for a peaceful, negotiated solution to the crisis.

Nobody in imperialist policy circles expected things to turn out like this. The 'revolution' was supposed to have succeeded long ago. As a result, the western ruling classes have moved from a firm, united policy (i.e. help the rebels to victory and then 'assist the transition to democracy') to chaos, confusion and division. There are hawkish elements that want to bomb their way to victory, and there are more cautious/realistic elements that realise this would be an incredibly dangerous course of action for the western powers and for Israel. Imperialism is faced with a very delicate, even impossible, balance: trying to preserve its increasingly fragile hegemony whilst actively attacking the global counter-hegemonic process. It is a case of "damned if they do and damned if they don't".

Such divisions within the ruling circles in the west are to be welcomed, but it would be an act of significant deception to claim victory for a western anti-war movement that has persistently refused to ally itself with global anti-imperialism.

Decriminalise and defend Syria

If we are going to build an anti-war movement capable of mobilising people in a serious way to actually counter imperialist war plans for Syria, we cannot continue with the hopeless position, which is designed to avoid the obvious question: when imperialism is fighting against the Syrian state, which side should we be on?

A far more viable anti-war slogan is: Defend Syria from imperialist destabilisation, demonisation and war.

But can we really defend this brutal, oppressive, repressive regime? Wasn't the much-missed Hugo Chavez just being a bit of a nutcase when he expressed his fondness for and worked to counter the offensive against Syria by ?

As with so many things, we have to start with a total rejection of the mainstream media narrative. The country they paint as a brutally repressive police state, a prison of nations, a Cold War relic, is (or was, until the war started tearing it apart) a dignified, safe, secular, modern and moderately prosperous state, closely aligned with the socialist and non-aligned world (e.g. , , ), and one of the leading forces within the — a bloc that the imperialists are absolutely to break up.

In , Syria is "an independent state working for the interests of its people, rather than making the Syrian people work for the interests of the West." For over half a century, it has stubbornly refused to play by the rules of imperialism and neoliberalism. that, in spite of some limited market reforms of recent years, "the Ba'athist state has always exercised considerable influence over the Syrian economy, through ownership of enterprises, subsidies to privately-owned domestic firms, limits on foreign investment, and restrictions on imports. These are the necessary economic tools of a post-colonial state trying to wrest its economic life from the grips of former colonial powers and to chart a course of development free from the domination of foreign interests."

The Syrian government maintains a commitment to a strong welfare state, for example ensuring universal access to healthcare (in which area its performance has been ) and providing . It has a long-established policy of secularism and multiculturalism, and refusing to tolerate sectarian hatred.

Syria has done a great deal — perhaps more than any other country — to oppose Israel and support the Palestinians. It has long been the , as well as of . It has intervened militarily to prevent Israel's expansion into Lebanon. It has provided a home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees, who are . In spite of massive pressure to do so — and in spite of the obvious immediate benefits that it would reap in terms of security and peace — it has refused to go down the route of a bilateral peace treaty with Israel. Palestine is very much at the forefront of the Syrian national consciousness, as exemplified by the Syrians who went to the border with Israel on Nakba Day 2011 and were .

True to its Pan-Arabist traditions, Syria has also provided a home to in the aftermath of NATO's 2003 attack. " id="txtSubj3">3

Whatever mistakes and painful compromises Ba'athist Syria has made over the years should be viewed in terms of the very unstable and dangerous geopolitical and economic context within which it exists. For example:

  • It is in a permanent state of war with Israel, and has part of its by the latter.

  • While it has stuck to the principles of Arab Nationalism and the defence of Palestinian rights, the other frontline Arab states — Egypt and Jordan, along with the reactionary Gulf monarchies — have capitulated.

  • It has suffered constant destabilisation by the western imperialist countries and their regional allies.

  • It shares a border with the heavily militarised pro-western regime in Turkey.

  • It shares a border with the chronically unstable Lebanon (historically a part of Syria that was carved out in the 1920s by the French colonialists in order to create a Christian-dominated enclave).

  • Its most important ally of the 70s and 80s — the Soviet Union — collapsed in 1991, leaving it in a highly precarious situation.

  • Its economic burdens have been added to by , significantly in 2003 by George W Bush, specifically in response to Syria's support for resistance movements in the region.

  • Its economic problems of recent years have also been exacerbated by the illegal imperialist war on Iraq, which created a refugee crisis of horrific proportions. Syria absorbed 1.5 million Iraqi refugees and has made significant sacrifices to help them. Given that it's not difficult to understand how its economic and social stability must have been affected.

  • In recent years, Syria has been suffering from a "impacting more than 1.3 million people, killing up to 85 percent of livestock in some regions and forcing 160 villages to be abandoned due to crop failures". The root of this problem is the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights, as .

  • Given the number of different religious sects and ethnicities within Syria, it has never been difficult for the west and its regional proxies to stir up tensions and create unrest.

While there is clearly a need to enhance popular democracy and to clamp down on corruption and cronyism (in what country is this not the case?), this is well understood by the state. As : "There is this mass demand for reform. But paradoxically — and contrary to the 'awakening' narrative — most Syrians also believe that President Bashar al-Assad shares their conviction for reform."

So there is every reason to defend Syria. Not because it is some sort of socialist utopia, but because it is an independent, anti-imperialist, anti-zionist state that tries to provide a good standard of living for its people and which aligns itself with the progressive and counterhegemonic forces in the region and worldwide.

Tasks for the anti-war movement

If the anti-war movement can agree on the need to actively defend Syria, then its tasks become relatively clear:

  1. Clearly explain to the public that this is not a revolution or a civil war, but an imperialist war of regime change where the fighting has been outsourced to sectarian religious terrorists. It is not part of a region-wide 'Arab Spring' process of "overthrowing reactionary regimes"; rather, it is part of a global process of destabilising, demonising, weakening and removing all states that refuse to play by the rules. It is this same process that brought about regime change in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Grenada, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Congo, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere. This process was described in a very clear, straightforward way by Maurice Bishop, leader of the socialist government in Grenada that was overthrown 30 years ago: "Destabilisation is the name given to the newest method of controlling and exploiting the lives and resources of a country and its people by a bigger and more powerful country through bullying, intimidation and violence… Destabilisation
    takes many forms: there is propaganda destabilisation, when the foreign media, and sometimes our own Caribbean press, prints lies and distortions against us; there is economic destabilisation, when our trade and our industries are sabotaged and disrupted; and there is violent destabilization, criminal acts of death and destruction… As long as we show the world, clearly and unflinchingly, that we intend to remain free and independent; that we intend to consolidate and strengthen the principles and goals of our revolution; as we show this to the world, there will be attacks on us."

  2. Stop participating in the demonisation of the Syrian state. This demonisation — repeating the media's lies against Syria, exaggerating the negative aspects of the Syrian state and downplaying all the positive things it has done — is totally demobilising. It is preventing the development of a meaningful, creative, courageous, audacious anti-war movement.

  3. Campaign for an end to trade sanctions on Syria.

  4. Campaign for an end to the arming and funding of rebel groups by the British, French and US governments and their stooges in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait.

  5. Send peace delegations to Syria to observe the situation first hand and report back. The by Cynthia McKinney, Ramsey Clark, Dedon Kamathi and others is an excellent example that should be emulated.

  6. Campaign for wide-ranging industrial action in the case of military attack.

  7. Support all processes leading to a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the Syrian crisis, reflecting the will of the vast majority of the Syrian people.

The defense of Syria is, at this point in time, the frontline of the struggle worldwide against imperialist domination. It is Korea in 1950, Vietnam in 1965, Algeria in 1954, Zimbabwe in 1970, Cuba in 1961, Nicaragua in 1981, Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, Palestine since 1948. It's time for us to step up.

Further reading

Patrick Seale's biography of Hafez al-Assad, 'Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East', provides an excellent overview of 20th century Syria and a very balanced, detailed depiction of the Ba'athist government.

The following articles are also particularly useful:

Alastair Crooke:

Asia Times:

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb:

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb:

Monthly Review:

Stephen Gowans:

Stephen Gowans:


Appendix: More lies about Syria by 'socialist' groups and phony humanitarians


13 Sp 2013 by Max Blumenthal. From behind a paywall at The Nation

Article consists of interviews with refugee opponents of Syrian government in Jordan:


When news of the August 21 chemical attacks that left hundreds dead in the Ghouta region east of Damascus reached Zaatari, terror and dread spiked to unprecedented levels. Many residents repeated to me the rumors spreading through the camp that Bashar would douse them in sarin gas as soon as he crushed the last vestiges of internal resistance—a kind of genocidal victory celebration. When President Barack Obama announced his intention to launch punitive missile strikes on Syria, however, a momentary sense of hope began to surge through the camp. Indeed, there was not one person I spoke to in Zaatari who did not demand US military intervention at the earliest possible moment.


13 Sep 2013 by. From behind a paywall at

Evidently W H Chong, one of Crikey's , spent time in August 2013 "hanging out" with the above-mentioned eaters of human hearts. The article consists of 7 photos including two of W H Chong's rebel mates horsing around in the apartment of a Syrian police captain. A link to a from the pro-war New York Times is also included.

by former Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown, 2 Jun 2011

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today supported Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd's call for the United Nations to refer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court to account for his atrocities.


by former Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown, 9 Feb 2012

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown moved in the Senate today to condemn human rights abuses in Syria and said China and Russia's veto of the UN Security Council resolution aimed at stemming the bloodshed was reprehensible.


"The Greens back the sanctions measures imposed by the Foreign Minister.

"The next question to consider is whether the embassy here in Canberra should be closed, as at present they don't represent decency or democracy."

Senator Brown successfully moved:

That the Senate -

a) condemns the appalling human rights abuses and escalating violence in Syria, that has seen thousands of innocent civilians killed; and

b) calls on President Assad to step down, to finally put an end to the intolerable bloodshed of the Syrian people. " id="txtSubj5">5

Curiously, in spite of the Greens' past professed concern about Syria and in spite of the death toll having risen from around 20,000 in February 2011 when Senator Brown's first motion was put to the Senate to around 100,000 at the time of the Federal elections on 7 September 2013 nothing was said about Syria on the Greens during the election campaign. Could it be more than coincidence that, according to the , in 6 states and 2 territories only 3 Greens were elected to the Senate whilst 7 candidates from other minor parties were elected?


" id="fnSubj1">1. ">↑ See page 205 in Chapter 10, "Democracy born in chains South Africa's constricted freedom" of The Shock Doctrine (2007) by Naomi Klein.

" id="fnSubj2">2. ">↑ The name is rightly spelt with a final character of the special Polish character known as 's acute'. It has the same slash above it as á ('a acute' or á). Curiously much text rendering software from Anglophone countries or Western Europe can't handle this character.

" id="fnSubj3">3. ">↑ According to the of the Wikipedia article on Syria, which cites the :

"... Syria hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 1,852,300. The vast majority of this population was from Iraq (1,300,000), but sizable populations from the former Palestine (543,400) and Somalia (5,200) also lived in the country."

Australia, under Liberal Party Prime Minister John Howard, participated in the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. Prior to John Howard's 1996 election to Prime Minister, the previous Labor Party Governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating imposed sanctions on Iraq commencing in 1990. Those sanctions by Australia and other members of the "Coalition of the Willing", which denied food and medicine even to starving or ill children, eventually cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Australia also participated in the 1991 war against Iraq, for which the fraudulent claim, that brutal Iraqi invaders had thrown Kuwaiti babies out of incubators onto the hospital floor to die, was used as a pretext.

" id="fnSubj4">4. ">↑ Whilst Ia am strongly opposed to the reactionary geopolitical role played by the state of Israel and support those forces resisting Israel, I, nevertheless take exception to the way in which the term 'zionist' is used pejoratively in almost all written material in support of the Arab cause. Whilst the appalling conduct of Israel should be resolutely opposed, it does not follow that every person who labels himself/herself 'zionist' necessarily supports all of Israel's actions.

" id="fnSubj5">5. ">↑Shortly after this was carried by the Senate, , Foreign Minister Bob Carr expelled the Syrian ambassador from Australia as the ambassador's daughter was preparing to sit for her year 12 exams.

Disinformation comes no less from 'left wing' sources than the Murdoch newsmedia

Whilst the Murdoch newsmedia has, in the past, been able to manipulate political, economic and military outcomes in Australia, the US, the UK and across much of the rest of the world with its messages of hate and misinformation, it is no longer able to wield as much influence for harm as it was formerly able to. Much of the work, which was formerly handled by the likes of the Murdoch newsmedia is now handled by the supposed 'alternative' and 'left wing' newsmedia

The source of this illustration was which is an excellent article about the methodology of disinformation professionals.

Murdoch media disinformation

I found this comment in a mailing list discussion:

One vital thing necessary to accompany any form of Direct Democracy would be the responsible neutering of the Murdoch press as an agent of hate, fear and misinformation.

Whilst I can only agree with what was written above about the Murdoch newsmedia, I think it is no longer able to sway public opinion to its hateful views in the way it used to.

Certainly, at least until the 2003 Iraq War the Murdoch Media was able to wield enormous influence, which it used to almost at will, decide the outcome of elections and and have whatever Government won office dance to its tune. I recall, how Murdoch's overtly harmful role in Australian politics began in 1974, when it turned savagely against the Federal Labor Government of Gough Whitlam. Prior to that, I had considered Rupert Murdoch's Australian a truthful, left-wing and pro-Labor newspaper. From the middle of 1974 it began a relentless campaign to discredit the Whitlam Labor Government in which it ignore its achievements, blew up almost every mistake, nor matter how trivial, of every Labor Minister into a major front-page scandals lasting days, weeks and months. It blamed the Whitlam Government for all of Australia's misfortunes regardless of their causes and almost never bothered to report any of the Whitlam Government's positive achievements.

The Murdoch Press created the climate in which it was possible for the Governor General Sir John Kerr to dismiss the Government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975 and for Labor to lose the subsequent Federal election in spite of the initial public outrage against the dismissal.

Overseas, a particular target of the Murdoch Press was the now late Senator Edward Kennedy, the last surviving brother of the Kennedy family of his generation. His eldest brother Joseph was killed in action in the Second World War. His brother John was assassinated as President in 1963 and his murder blamed on the Patsy Le Harvey Oswald. His last surviving brother, Robert, was assassinated in 1968, just when he appeared to be set to win the US Democratic Party nomination to stand for President, Robert was assassinated. Another patsy Sihran Sihran was tried and found guilty at a rigged trial and remains in jail to this day.

In 1979 Edward Kennedy announced his intention to contest for the Democratic party nomination. According to :

A midsummer 1978 poll had shown Democrats preferring Kennedy over (then President) Carter by a 5-to-3 margin. During spring and summer 1979, as Kennedy deliberated whether to run, Carter was not intimidated despite his 28 percent approval rating, saying publicly: "If Kennedy runs, I'll whip his ass." Carter later asserted that Kennedy's constant criticism of his policies was a strong sign that Kennedy was planning to run for the presidency. Labor unions urged Kennedy to run, as did some Democratic party officials who feared that Carter's unpopularity would lead to bad losses in the 1980 congressional elections. By August 1979, when Kennedy decided to run, polls showed him with a 2-to-1 advantage over Carter, and Carter's approval rating slipped to 19 percent. Kennedy formally announced his campaign on November 7, 1979, at Boston's Faneuil Hall. He had already received substantial negative press from a rambling response to the question "Why do you want to be President?" during an interview with Roger Mudd of CBS News broadcast a few days earlier. The Iranian hostage crisis, which began on November 4, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which began on December 27, caused the electorate to rally around the president, allowed Carter to pursue a Rose Garden strategy of staying at the White House, and knocked Kennedy's campaign out of the headlines.

Edward Kennedy lost the campaign in 1980 largely as a result of him being attacked for his role of 1969 in which a friend, Mary Jo Kopechne drowned after he ran a car over a bridge into a river in 1969.

However, given that Kennedy was not pursued over this incident after he lost his Presidential campaign and allowed to remain in office until his death in 2009, it seems that the motives of the Murdoch and the rest of the US corporate newsmedia was less for justice than for preventing Edward Kennedy reaching the White House. Had he won, it seems highly likely that he would have ordered proper inquiries into the murders of his two brothers and almost certainly have uncovered a lot of embarrassing secrets about the US .

"Left wing" media disinformation

Today the task of misleading public opinion has largely fallen on what most take for 'alternative', 'left wing', 'socialist' and 'far left' media, and if their record at least back to the early 1960's, the time of the murder of President Kennedy and its cover-up by the US establishment, it can be shown that they have also played no less a role in misleading the public on behalf of powerful vested interests.

In more recent years, the role of misleading the public has more and more fallen on the hands of the supposed ''left' newsmedia than on the likes of the Murdoch Media.

In Chapter 5 of "Towers of Deception" of 2006 Canadian Malthusian and truth activist, Barrie Zwicker warned that the "left wing" newsmedia, in fact, played a more vital role than the right wing corporate newsmedia in misleading public opinion on behalf of corporate interests. Two examples he gave were:

  1. the role of the supposed "left wing" in helping the US Government cover up the truth about the false flag terrorist attack of 11 September 2002.

  2. The role of many left wing organisations in helping to cover up the truth about the conspiracy to murder President John F Kennedy in 1963. This includes concealing the fact that President Kennedy stood up to the military industrial complex to prevent them from launching nuclear war on three occasions ans worked tirelessly to prevent the outbreak of wars in Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, Indonesia ans other places.

In 20011, we can add to this the efforts of far-left groups to mislead about the war against Libya and the threatened war against Syria.

For most phony left-wing groups, their disinformation is either somewhat subtle or else they are almost completely silent. However, one UK group Workers' Liberty has come out openly in support of NATO's attacks on Libya and Syria.

Disinformation about Libya

It is recommended that, before following the links below and risking becoming confused and disoriented by the disinformation linked to by those links, you read the truth about the wars being waged against Libya and Syria, if you have not already done. One good place to read the truth is

( Articles about Syria and Libya include: . . , , . . .

- a A teaser and headline linked collection to a series of articles, currently on the front page of . Curiously the most current article in the 'debate' is dated 4 May 2011! That's over 4 months ago?! The teaser follows, followed by the links to articles from the linked page:

Gilbert Achcar, Ira Berkovic, Clive Bradley, Barry Finger, Martyn Hudson, Dan Katz, Sean Matgamna, Solidarity [US] National Committee, Peter Taaffe, Martin Thomas debate the proper socialist attitude to the conflict in Libya and UN- sanctioned outside intervention.

  1. S

Also, linked to on the front page is of Workers' Liberty is another collection of articles in the 'debate' with the Socialist Party (formerly the Militant tendency):

Peter Taaffe of the Socialist Party on the "no-fly zone" in Libya; the Socialist Party on imperialism; how the proto-AWL separated from the proto-SP; and other disputed questions.

Surprisingly, The has not taken up Workers' Liberty's ( is linked to from that page) and little can be found on its front page about Libya. Most curiously, I was not even able to find on the pages of the UK Socialist Party newspaper an article by by Peter Taaffe, Libya: the no-fly zone, AWL, and the left. I could only find it on Workers' Liberty with a publication date of 25 May 2011.

So, why the UK Socialist Party, presumably opposed to the capitalist government of the UK and its participation in the criminal war against the sovereign nation of Libya would avoid a public debate with Workers' Liberty is a mystery.

In any public debate any opponent would have little difficulty, with an abundance of facts obtained from sites like , tearing shreds off Workers'' Liberty for its support of war. They could not lose.

The only plausible explanation I can come up with is that, in truth, the UK Socialist Party is no more 'socialist' and no more opposed to the bombing of Libya than Workers Liberty nor a large number of other phony socialist organisations, both from the UK and Australia on candobetter. Rather, it is controlled by people who are consciously working on behalf of the British elites. They help to prop up their rule by diverting the energies of people, who would otherwise be engaged in more effective campaigning into supporting political campaigns for relatively trivial causes or phony progressive causes (such as, in Australia, the for the rights of the relatively tiny numbers of supposed asylum seekers, who are able to pay people smugglers to bring them to Australian shores) and "party building" activities.

Engaging in an effective debate that would reveal to the UK public the truth about Workers' Liberty, at least, and help pave the way for an effective campaign to oppose the war against Libya and the planned war against Syria runs counter to the script of the pantomime in which 'opposed' supposedly Trotskyist organisations denounce the other as 'reformists' or 'revisionists', 'apologists for Stalinism', etc in the tradition of sectarian far left politics which dates back to at least the 1970's

Disinformation about Syria and preparations by NATO to make war against Syria.

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of 11 August 2011b by Ali Khalaf, a "Syrian activist based in the UK"

of 4 August 2011

The Syrian state under Bashar al-Assad used tank fire and heavy machine guns on Sunday 31 July as the army overran barricades erected by the citizens of Hama. 500,000 had marched in Hama on Friday 29 demanding 'the regime must go!'...

of 20 July 2011

The heroic uprising of the Syrian people against brutality and despotism continues to grow despite intimidation, mass arrests, torture, extreme violence and murder. ...