Home > Keeping Bloggers Honest, Syria, The Gulf > The Left’s Plan B, Outrageous Fearmongering – in response to Kapil Komireddi’s Haaretz article

The Left’s Plan B, Outrageous Fearmongering – in response to Kapil Komireddi’s Haaretz article

September 21, 2012

It is interesting to observe the ever shifting talking points of the Assad regime’s “anti-imperial” Leftist friends. No longer able to claim with a straight face anymore that the son of the equally murderous Hafiz Assad is a “reformer” who just needs time to implement said “reforms”, the Left’s tone has now shifted remarkably; yes, Assad is a murderous tyrant, but his opponents are Saudi-funded and inspired Salafi maniacs who are even worse, and whose triumph in Syria would spell the demise of Western civilization as we know it.

Nobody exemplifies this trend of thinking better than the fear-monger- at-large, the Indian freelance writer Kapil Komireddi. I had previously written a blog post regarding the numerous inaccuracies and falsehoods in an article of his in the New York Times (a blog post which earned me an infantile insult from Kapil Komireddi on Twitter). Kapil Komireddi is at it again, this time peddling his fear mongering in Ha’aretz, in an article entitled “Rebels with an Anti-Semetic Cause”. In his article, Kapil Komireddi isn’t content with just mis characterizing the Syrian revolutionaries as blood-thirsty savages who dream of murdering Jews; nope, apparently a Kapil Komireddi article  isn’t complete if the author doesn’t indulge his infantile chauvinism against Saudi Arabia.

Let’s go through Kapil Komireddi’s talking points, and see how the anti-imperial Left’s position has had to shift so dramatically in order to sustain the unsustainable narrative of Bashar Assad as the “victim”.

“What began as a limited but genuine people’s uprising against a kleptocratic dictatorship has now been overtaken by a Saudi-backed project to destabilize Syria.”

Well, thank goodness the Left have finally bought themselves around to admitting that Assad isn’t the misunderstood paradigm of virtue that they were claiming for 18 months. Of course, when your favorite despot is bombing civilians with TNT barrels, and sending in his shabiha militias to murder civilians in their hundreds in places like Houla and Daraya, it is pretty hard to maintain the lie that said dictator is just a bulwark against American hegemony. Not that Kapil Komireddi hadn’t tried. Now that line has failed in the face of the Assad regime’s increasingly barbaric atrocities, Assad is now held up as a bulwark against Islamist hegemony (leftists like Kapil Komireddi would prefer to forget that it was this very same dictator who threatened the world with “a thousand Afghanistans” if he was deposed).

“Bashar Assad, like his father Hafez, was never a friend of Israel’s – but nor was his worldview shaped exclusively by antagonism toward the Jewish State”

So much for the “axis of resistance” myth then, which the “anti-imperial” Left kept telling us for 18 months was the reason the UN, OIC and Arab League were all plotting to remove Assad. Actually, Bashar Assad’s entire worldview is shaped exclusively by his need to maintain power no matter what the cost to the country; he regards his own Alawite community as expendable as rounds of ammunition or barrels of tank fuel. To date, Kapil Komireddi’s favorite “bulwark against Islamist savages” has not attended one military funeral, nor set up a single refugee camp for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians. The Syrian opposition keeps better records on the names and numbers of killed regime soldiers than the regime does itself.

“The results of Saudi Arabia’s tireless efforts were on display in Al-Midan, a suburb in southern Damascus where I recently interviewed rebel fighters. Mateen, a fighter who claimed to have traveled from Afghanistan, shared his ideas for Syria’s future after ridding it of the Assad dynasty.”

Well, I can’t really speak for “Mateen”, or his notions of what Syria should be like after Assad is deposed. But to claim that a gang of Afghan Jihadists would be able to impose their will on a country of 23 million, made up of numerous diverse ethnic and religious groups, is to insult the intelligence of one’s readers, and to hold one’s own journalistic integrity in very low regard indeed. Jihadists no more dominate the Syrian revolution than the Free French dominated the Allied armies in World War 2. Not since the American Revolutionary War has any prolonged conflict ever been free from foreign elements.

Indeed, no less than ten French regiments took part in that war. If one wants to see an example of a war dominated by foreign elements, one just has to look at the Spanish Civil War, where entire brigades involving foreigners took part. The Syrian Revolution does not have anywhere near that level of foreign involvement. When one looks to write on a country with a history as rich as Syria’s, it would help if one knew a thing or two about history itself, something that apparently Kapil Komireddi does not feel obliged to do.

Kapil Komireddi peppers his article with remarks on Saudi extremism, and claims that the entire revolution is just one big plot by Saudi Arabia to destabilize Syria. Why the House of Saud should suddenly be so hell-bent on making life hell for the House of Assad is, in typical Leftist fashion, left entirely up to the imagination of the reader. But in fact, Saudi Arabia has gone to extreme lengths to bar its citizens from taking part in any fighting in Syria. Whatever aid the Syrian rebels are getting does amount to more than a small trickle of ammunition and light arms, hardly the “untiring efforts” of a regional power determined to sow chaos in a country. Indeed, contrary to  Kapil Komireddi’s hysterical views on Saudi Arabia, it was one of the few countries that did not go ape over the ridiculously bad anti-Islamic movie “The Innocence of Muslims”.

“In the province of Homs alone, rebel fighters have driven some 80,000 Christians out of their homes”

Dear heavens above, not this lie yet again. Kapil Komireddi is the only person who is still repeating it. I don’t know whether it has escaped Kapil Komireddi’s notice, but there is a war going on. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been displaced all over the country, regardless of sect or religion. I was trapped in my home for ten days in February while Kapil Komireddi’s shabiha scum friends blasted and shelled their way to Baba Amr. It is not an experience I want to go through again, and I was all too glad to get out.

To say that Christians have been driven from their homes is to imply a systematic cleansing of Christian neighborhoods by the FSA. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is natural for anyone, no matter what their religion, to want to flee a war zone. If Kapil Komireddi wants an example of oppression of Christian minorities, maybe he should look up what happened to a young Christian filmmaker called Bassal Shahade. who was murdered by the regime in May 2012, and whose subsequent funeral was disrupted by Kapil Komireddi’s shabiha scum friends. Again, an inconvenient fact the ‘anti-Imperial” Left would rather people didn’t know.

“On a state visit to New Delhi in 2008, Assad admitted to Indian officials that arriving at an enduring settlement with Israel was his topmost priority.”

Then I am impressed with how simplistically minded India’s officials are. Assad has a reputation for saying things he thinks he wants his immediate audience to hear, and then conveniently forgetting his commitments after said audience have gone out the door. It is something everyone from French presidents, to the UN’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to Turkish diplomats and delegations from Dar’a have commented on. Simply put, Assad never has any intention of keeping his commitments if they get in the way of his murderous oppression of people he sees as opponents. If Kapil Komireddi and Indian officialdom have not learned that basic fact yet, then I shudder to think of the incompetence India would wreck by having a permanent place on the UN’s Security Council. Heaven save us from that day.

Far from being in league with Jihadists, the Free Syrian Army has itself eliminated more leaders of Jihadist groups than the Assad regime ever managed to do. To mis-characterize the entire Syrian Revolution as nothing more than a bunch of Islamist savages, is the last desperate lie of the “anti-imperial” Left that has run out of excuses for their favorite despot. It is an insult to the memory of numerous secular and moderate Syrians who suffered at the hands of Kapil Komireddi’s Baathist tyrants; people like Najati Tayara, internationally respected human rights actvisist.

Ali Ferzat, the region’s most respected cartoonist.

Malik Jandali’s elderly parents, who were  beaten up by Kapil Komireddi’s shabiha friends after their son attended a pro-freedom demonstration in the USA.

Ghaith Mattar, called by some people “Syria’s Ghandi”, who pioneered numerous innovative means of peaceful demonstration, and whose throat was ripped out by Kapil Komireddi’s “bulwark against extremism”.

Bsssel Shahade, a Christian film maker who was murdered by the regime and his funeral disrupted by Kapil Komireddi’s shabiha scum friends.

And Kapil Komireddi wants to convince the world that anything that comes after this barbaric regime could be any worse? Unfortunately for the intellectually bankrupt BRIC enablers of tyranny like Kapil Komireddi, the Syrian people have made their views on the matter all too abundantly clear.

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