Left’s position on Syria

The American Establishment Left’s position on Syria and its romanticization of the takfiri-jihadis reveals the “Red Savior Complex” this camp has developed; similar to its white counterpart, the “White Saviour Complex”, RSC intellectuals believe they are saving the Muslim world from Islamophobia and standing up to the terrorism industry when they defend, justify or attempt to account for the actions of ISIS, Nusra and similar Qaeda offshoots. 

In so doing, they project the abuses of the “War on Terror” and domestic law enforcement policies which target Muslims, onto the war fighting scene itself outside US. The absurdity of this, is that this counter-terrorist warfare is being waged by the Syrian and Iraqi governments, Iran, Hizbullah, the PMU and other, predominantly MUSLIM, anti-imperialist actors who are fighting groups funded and armed by the US government itself. 

Intellectually, the leftist position on takifiri-jihadis lies in “Critical Terrorism” which began as a noble attempt to expose the terrorism industry and its discourses which criminalize resistance movements like Hizbullah and Hamas, but which is now being grossly misapplied to jihadi groups, which pose an existential threat to those same anti-imperialist/Zionist resistance forces. The RSC Left's basic logic seems to be “if the US empire is at war with ISIS & co then they must be our natural allies.” This reasoning is not only flawed because the US has only recently and half-heartedly been targeting ISIS in Syria, as part of its wider “containment” (not to be confused with eradication) strategy, but has actively supported other jihadi groups. This is hardly an extension of the US “War on Terror”, whose actual targets are the Syrian, Lebanese, Yemeni and Iraqi people, and the Resistance project at large.
There is nothing revolutionary, romantic or anti-imperialist about jihadis whose links to the US, Israel and Saudi have now been uncovered even by mainstream media and US officialdom. Jihadis are not the victims of Islamophobic non-Muslims in the region, but of Wahhabi-phobic Sunnis and minorities fighting for their very survival. The RSC Left isn’t defending misunderstood Islamists but Arab Right contras who rely on a cult-like, exclusionary, Wahhabist ideology to fuel their death-squads against everyone but American and Israeli forces. Their ideology is essentially a subversion of every liberal, progressive, PC value the est. left champions. 

In their attempts to justify jihadi terrorism as responses to “Assad’s oppression”, they fetishize takfiri barbarity. Every time they claim to speak for the presumptively "voiceless" jihadi "native", they exoticize him and are guilty of neo-Orientalism; every time they urge their government to unseat Assad rather th
an wage its mythical war on the takfiris, they channel the Christian guilt they have internalized from White Saviours.

by Amal Saad - 8 May 2017


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