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What a Sorry State of Affairs by William Bowles

by William Bowles
Writer, Dandelion Salad
williambowles.info
19 November 2013

I have been involved with left-wing politics in one guise or another pretty much my entire life and I have to admit to getting an awful lot of stuff wrong, largely because rather than thinking things through properly for myself, I listened to the ‘authority’, to those who allegedly know best.

Contrary to popular belief, I’ve gotten more radical as I’ve gotten older and as just as willing to consider new ideas, new approaches, perhaps due to my 19th century ‘liberal’ arts education that encouraged us to explore wherever our fancy took us, (though it has to be said that much depended on the quality/interest/encouragement of the lecturers we had and a pretty motley but interesting crew it was).

All of this by way of a run-in to this Mother Agnes Mariam affair that once again reveals the bankrupt nature of left political activity in this country (and elsewhere in the ‘developed’ world).

If I remember correctly, Mother Agnes came to our attention back in September when she  blew the lid on the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, incurring the wrath of the Western media as she contradicted the story then being peddled, that it was Assad wot did it.

The International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights (ISTEAMS) has just published a comprehensive report on the chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta. The document is called The Chemical Attacks on East Ghouta to Justify Military Right to Protect Intervention in Syria. With video clips and the evidence provided by witnesses to support the conclusions, the report has been submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council and spread among foreign diplomats.

The author is ISTEAMS President and International Coordinator Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross (el-Salib), the Mother Superior of the Monastery of St. James the Mutilated (Syria). A fearless faithful, she has been collecting the evidence related to bloody events in the conflict zone since the very start of Syrian rebellion: the militants running rampant, the staged fakes and instances of one-sided highlighting of the events in Syria by Western media… ‘East Ghouta: False Flag Chemical Attack‘ By  Nikolai MALISHEVSKI | 28.09.2013, Strategic Culture Foundation

So Stop the War have organised (yet another) conference and Mother Agnes got invited (and as it turns out, the only person speaking who had actually experienced Syria first-hand!) and a couple of rogues, Jeremy Scahill activist journalist and Owen Jones of the Independent newspaper, refused to attend if Mother Agnes was on the platform, on the grounds that Mother Agnes was an apologist for ‘mass murderer’ Assad. No proof was offered for this opinion, nor has any emerged since then as far as I know that Mother Agnes is an ‘apologist’ for the Assad regime. In any case, isn’t Owens the pot calling the kettle black?

Owen Jones…is a paid-up member of a UK…[Labour]…party that played a lead role in no less than genocide; in an act of military and economic aggression on Iraq totally against International Law, not to mention morality. He sits beside these politicians and pleads with leftist thinkers to join them and “change them from within”. — ‘Owen Jones & Mother Agnes. A lesson on conciliatory “leftists”’ By Phil Greaves

In any case Mother Agnes disinvited herself from the affair but the smell left by Scahill and Jones remains. Frankly, I think it’s outrageous that two people and one of them an employee of the corporate press, and the other a US journalist/writer, can dictate who should and should not appear at a public meeting organised by the left in the shape of the Stop the War Coalition!

I mean like what kind of threat is it if these two buffoons didn’t pitch? Who is likely to miss their presence? And shame on STW for caving in on this, once again revealing the bankrupt and utterly dishonest nature of the ‘left’.

I know I keep banging on about this but once more into the breach…when is the left here (and elsewhere) going to jettison its imperialist baggage? What does it take? Why is it that we are always, I mean always telling the rest of the world what to do?

Therein lies the imperialist core at the heart of the left, more commonly known as the ‘White Man’s Burden’. Apparently running the planet and its people is hard to give up even for those who claim to be anti-imperialist.

Mother Agnes’ biggest ‘sin’ was calling the ‘rebels’ murderers and exposing the Ghouta gas attack, and after all it was the ‘rebels’ that torched her monastery so perhaps she’s biased. But by the same token and in spite of this she has mediated meetings with all sides in the conflict even those she condemns as murderers. And what if she does support Assad? So what? What if she thinks Assad is preferable to mass murder? She’s not alone in thinking that in Syria.

What these sniveling ‘lefties’ want is everybody, everywhere toeing the Western lefty line. It’s all or nothing apparently. Essentially the Western left is saying, ‘What we need is a real revolutionary running Syria not Assad the phony anti-imperialist and until he comes along, we support bombing you into democracy’.

Now Assad’s credentials may or may not be up to the mark, this is not the point. It’s the idea that we, that is the miniscule Western left decides on the fates of others. It’s outrageous!

So it’s alright to rain bombs on Syria, Libya or wherever, if the pres ain’t Che Guevarra, seems to be the cry of many on the left. More chickenshit opportunism. But this attitude has a pedigree, it didn’t just happen. For as long as other countries have been having revolutions, we have been dismantling them in our critiques and more shamefully, in our actions, like effectively censoring Mother Agnes because two men objected.

Surely the lesson here is for us to keep our noses out of other country’s business and doing something about our own fucked up situation instead. Lost in shuffle are the fate of millions while we debate whether or not to support a country that’s getting hammered by the Empire, whether by proxy or direct intervention. I’m ashamed to be part of a left that even entertains these backward and reactionary views, never mind acting on them. What a sorry state of affairs.

11 Responses

  1. […] What a Sorry State of Affairs by William Bowles […]

  2. Thank you very, very much for your astute analysis, Mr. Bowles. I found it posted by Betty M.’s FB page and looked for you but only found you here. It is clear you have more depth of knowledge of what the word “anti-imperialist” truly represents and I too have often been infuriated/saddened by the thinking of “lefts” here in USA. Congrats on being true to the oppressed people’s struggles!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Arezu O. I edited it slightly by shortening Betty’s last name to M. Unless you have permission from Betty to post her full name on a public website/blog, it’s best to not do so.

  3. BRAVO William Bowles!
    All strength to your pen Sir.
    The only regret I have in this saga is that the craven Jeremy Scahill and Owen Jones ilk are unlikely to go do some first hand investigative truth seeking and reporting of their own amongst the Wahhabi savage proxy army – and will continue to profiteer from the ravages of war in sensational reporting, books and movies.
    I do take small comfort that such vicious vilification of Mother Agnes confirms her truth telling, and no small measure of terror from Empires direct and useful fools of the m.east balkanisation brigade.

  4. You become a outsider by often default, as one attempts to be on the side or have empathy for the man in the street, you come to realize that indoctrination has effected the integrity of the man, and you are likely to get shafted by the same, when you examine establishment and the authority it imposes, you realize also you are being shafted.

  5. Hopefully someone can explain the reason(s) for Jeremy Scahill’s differences with Mother Agnes Miriam.

  6. You begin well but end up sounding like a snivelling lefty yourself. The issue seems to be the two ex-heroes you feature. Owen Jones has posted reasons. You can find them on his blog. They amount to the following:
    * Mother Agnes is infamous (sic) for publishing a 50-page report claiming that the video footage of the Ghouta massacre was faked.
    * Syrian Christians for Peace have attacked Mother Agnes for publicly claiming that there had been no peaceful demonstrations in Damascus, though she had seen one. The said they had never received any money she had raised, and called for her to be “excommunicated”.
    * A Jesuit priest, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, exiled by the Assad dictatorship and imprisoned by ISIS, an al-Qaeda group, denounced her for “assuming and spreading the lies of the regime” through the power of her religious persona.
    “I therefore responded to one of the activists that I appreciated the concerns, and would not a share a platform with her. The following day, Stop The War announced that Mother Agnes had withdrawn because of the controversy.” (Owen Jones)
    These are the excuses Jones has given for his capitulation before the pro-Western hate campaign.
    * Mother Agnes’s report has been available on the web for those interested, but Jones does not like it, calling it faked, though most of the evidence against Assad has been faked, and the faking in this is that the “evidence” the nun showed was itself faked by the rebels.
    * The Syrians for Peace are an absolutely anti-Assad body, as the speech by Bahnan Yamin, Secretary of Syrian Christian for Peace on 28 September proves clearly.
    * Father Paolo Dall’Oglio has been a critic of the Assad regime and a sympathiser with the rebels. Assad expelled him, but after a spell in Iraq he returned to rebel held territory in Syria and disappeared. He is presumed killed by fanatical rebels.
    Jones claims he has not taken sides in the western attack on Syria, which is feeble enough in the first place, but to refuse a platform with Mother Agnes because she allegedly favours Assad (most Syrian Christians favour Assad over the rebels, just as most Syrians do!) when he (Jones) seeks media attention debating with all sorts of right wing monstrosities, on Question Time for example, is just… well, pathetic!

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