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.