American liberal mainstream media has picked up a story which originated from the state-owned Qatari propaganda outlet Al Jazeera which seeks to link the American far-right, sometimes called the alt-right with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party.
As I wrote yesterday in The Duran,
“First of all, Bashar al-Assad is a socialist. He is a member of Syria’s ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. Although the clue is in the name, it helps to understand the intellectual origins of Ba’athism.
The three leading founders of Ba’athism Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Zaki al-Arsuzi and Michel Aflaq were all Syrian Arabs, Aflaq being a Christian Arab with Salah and al-Arsuzi were Muslims. Ba’athism’s essence combines traditional Arab cultural values with the anti-imperialist concept of Arab nationalism while harnessing the ideas of traditional socialism as both a bulwark against imperialist aggression and as a means of allowing post-colonial peoples to elevate their economic independence efficiently and rapidly.
Ba’athism, unlike Marxist-Leninism is not anti-religious and encourages the integration of Islam and Christianity with modern forms of government. Ba’athist organisations throughout the Arab world continue to attract all varieties of both Muslim and Christian men and women. Religious tolerance under a secular government and female rights are key features of Ba’athism”.
To say that the US far-right is somehow pro-Ba’athist is not only a contradiction in ideology but it is an objective falsehood. The US far-right is on the whole vehemently anti-Muslim and anti-Arab, thus making it totally incongruous to say that the leader of an Arab Ba’athist government who happens to be a Muslim is an iconic figure of the US far-right.
What is true is that the US far-right is not the well-organised group that the liberal media claims it is. It is more accurately described as a loose and informal coalition of various individuals reacting negatively to the identity politics which the US mainstream media and political elites have been promulgating for decades. This position in and of itself is not only not extreme but is objectively moderate.
What is extreme is the symbolism that many online self-identified alt-right individuals use to promote their ideas. Such symbolism includes praising the fascist German leadership of the 1930s and 1940s and the posting of vulgar and obscene memes. However, such people are a minority, even among the American far-right let alone the much wider US conservative movement. In many cases, such individuals are engaging in intentional parody in order to inflame or ‘trigger’ the left. Whether this is in good or bad taste is a matter of subjective opinion.
Among this wide coalition there may be some individuals who correctly understand that the Syrian conflict is a battle between secular tolerant Ba’athism and radical Wahhabi/Salafist terrorism which ought to be called extremist ‘alt-Islam’. These people are almost certainly from the more moderate, worldly and informed wings of the vague right-wing movement in the US.
The following video of a man at an alt-right protest in the United States has been used by the liberal mainstream media to demonise all supporters and those sympathetic to the Syrian branch of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath party as members of the extreme right, even though many such people are on the traditional paleo-conservative right, the libertarian left or right or the traditional socialist or communist left.
"Assad did nothing wrong" – Baked Alaska at UVA tonight. "Barrel bombs, hell yeah!" pic.twitter.com/GCsR5oy1ts
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) August 12, 2017
This video does not demonstrate that the far-right is pro-Assad but rather that some Americans on the so-called fringes of politics are not only more informed but are more peace minded than the dangerous US mainstream.
Irrespective of who this man is and what he stands for, his statement about the Syrian conflict is far more accurate than anything that has been said in Congress with the noble exceptions of Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard.
Indeed, such a statement is similar to those frequently made by Ron Paul and his colleagues at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a classical liberal/libertarian body with some traditional anti-war conservative elements.
The fact of the matter is that it is the liberal and neo-con parties in the US that consistently advocate for, apologise for and actually implement crimes against humanity in foreign countries that have left millions dead.
The illegal US wars in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, the extra-legal fascist coup in Ukraine and the disastrous Hillary Clinton authored crime against humanity in Libya had nothing to do with the alt-right/far-right but they had everything to do with the opponents of the far-right/alt-right. Ironically, this includes liberals who label their domestic opponents as ‘fascist’ even when they are not, while supporting open, classical fascists in Kiev.
The labels of right and left are becoming increasingly difficult to pin down. While the anti-Vietnam war movement was generally a leftist movement for peace, today’s radical left say precious little about foreign war, preferring instead to feign being upset by distasteful memes which do not result in any country going to war.
Not only has the liberal left lost its way, but in advocating for war against a secular, socialist, tolerant, religiously pluralistic and pro-women’s rights Arab Socialist Ba’athist government in Syria, one could reasonably say that they have also lost their minds.
This is not to say that the far-right in the US is good, extreme political movements are rarely wholesome. The fact is that while the US far-right makes memes and holds marches calling for a revisionist view of the US Civil War and Second World War, it is the US liberal left and neo-con right who are waging wars in the present.
Therefore, no matter how one views the far-right/alt-right, they are vastly less dangerous than the liberal and neo-con war mongers who leave behind them not a trail of memes but a trail of blood throughout the world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.