[Debate] At least Russia Believes Foreign-Funded NGOs are Agents of Western Imperialism!
critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Jul 7 14:04:12 BST 2012
The position of Pham Binh's essay, recommended by Patrick, Peter, and
Doug for us as superior to any anti-interventionist argument, is that
"Our first duty in the West is to do whatever we can to aid, abet, and
provide material support for our Syrian brothers’ and sisters’ fight
against the Assad regime" @ <http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=1097>.
Do you oppose this position? If so, why?
On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 8:56 AM, Neville Adams <nada01 at claranet.co.uk> wrote:
> Who on the debate list has advocated for material support for the FSA?
> Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com>
> Sender: debate-list-bounces at fahamu.org
> Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2012 08:40:22
> To: Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information and analyses of interest to the independent left in South and Southern Africa<debate-list at fahamu.org>
> Reply-To: Debate is a listserve that attempts to promote information and
> analyses of interest to the independent left in South and
> Southern Africa <debate-list at fahamu.org>
> Subject: Re: [Debate] At least Russia Believes Foreign-Funded NGOs are
> Agents of Western Imperialism!
> Assad-baiting is not an invitation to debate. It is a device used by
> those who are not interested in debate, as As'ad AbuKhalil has
> explained (see below*). It's just like the good old red-baiting --
> only more absurd. If Doug, et al. actually have a reasoned argument
> for "material support" to the "Free Syrian Army," let's hear it from
> them first of all.
> I Condemn, Do You?
> By As'ad AbuKhalil - Mon, 2012-06-11 18:50- Angry Corner
> There are rules for discourse in the US, particularly if you are an
> academic, and more particularly if you espouse views that are
> moderately or sharply different from the stance of the US government.
> If you are dealing with the Middle East, the rules apply more rigidly.
> You are to preface and conclude your remarks by condemnation. You are
> always reminded that when you disagree with the US position on foreign
> policy, you do so at your own peril. The intellectual and political
> intimidation is not so subtle. It is rather universal and widespread.
> If you talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict, you are expected to
> condemn “Palestinian terrorism.” One is not allowed to speak on
> Arab-Israeli conflict in the US without the refrain of “condemning
> Palestinian terrorism.” In a book on BDS which is critical of Israel,
> Slavoj Žižek concludes his little chapter by, you guessed it,
> condemning Palestinian terrorism.
> In other words, there are licenses issued to allow a person the right
> of free expression. And even those are controlled so that a person
> does not stray too far away from the acceptable defined parameters of
> political debate.
> I have watched this phenomenon since I came to the US. Academics can’t
> open their mouths on Arab-Israeli issues without condemning
> Palestinian “terrorism”. Even when Palestinians seem to have suspended
> violent struggle against Israel, people are still expected to condemn
> Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad before they get to make their
> There is something similar going on today about Syria. One is expected
> to inject condemnation of the Syrian regime before one can speak about
> Syria. This is not to argue whether condemnation is in order or not
> (and here I feel the pressure to write my own share of “of course, I
> condemn the Syrian regime”), but to argue that debate and political
> rhetoric are politically defined.
> What is amazing though is that one is not expected to habitually
> condemn Israeli terrorism in order to obtain license to speak on
> Arab-Israeli issues. Similarly, one is not expected to offer
> condemnation of crimes against civilians by armed Syrian opposition
> groups in order to comment on Syria. So the prerequisite of
> condemnation is a method to control speech and debate. It is a system
> of control and restrictions.
> These “condemnation” requirements are strictly imposed on Arab and
> Muslim American organizations in Washington, DC. If a Muslim or an
> Arab anywhere in the world commits an act of murder or terrorism,
> those organizations are expected—nay required—to issue statements of
> Such requirements are not in any way imposed on Jewish organizations
> in Washington, DC. In fact, if such requirements are imposed on Jewish
> organizations, there would be justifiable accusations of
> anti-Semitism, because the requirements assume that the whole is
> responsible for every individual of the group, and that the group is a
> monolithic group involved in a nefarious conspiracy.
> However, this is exactly how Arabs and Muslims are treated. I
> sometimes used to be asked by the press to express condemnation for
> this act or that. I would argue that the condemnation merely
> reinforces collective guilt. I have urged people in Arab American
> organizations in DC (before they were all bought off by Gulf gas and
> oil money) to be aware of this danger.
> An Arab in the US is as much responsible for a crime by an Arab
> anywhere in the world, as much as a Christian in the US is responsible
> for the crimes by individual Christians anywhere in the world.
> Should people not condemn crimes? Politicians should, but the language
> of academics, writers, or journalists should not adhere to the
> political standards of people whose career choice is to run for
> office. Those should set their own standards of rhetoric and
> On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 7:58 AM, Riaz K Tayob <riaz.tayob at gmail.com> wrote:
>> And this takes the debate forward how? Not to be curt, but to use licence to
>> be familiar with brothers and sisters, in the spirit of muhabat which is a
>> much lighter term than the weighty solidarity.
>> If you were to adopt their "premise", what would be a course of
>> action/reasoning they ought to take to address concerns that would mitigate
>> your concerns? yes, what would strengthen their argument? No use taking
>> issue with the worst followers of an idea, or the weakest argument only. To
>> be disinterested and not neutral/objective one necessarily needs to take
>> both levels of abstraction into account.
>> For me this can be seen as the flip side, making the best of a given
>> circumstance. And lest I be unclear about the chagrin - which I deeply share
>> with you - it is almost about the only generosity I can find myself
>> extending to the "left" like Cole and Achcaar (i.e. taking a position prior
>> to intervention regarding the intervention a fait accompli - which is a very
>> different proposition from supporting the intervention on its "merits").
>> Often I don't even make sense to myself, so even if this is batty, I hope
>> that Neville, PeterW, Bond, Doug and others can help me tease this out if it
>> seems -sensical.
>> On 2012/07/07 02:20 PM, Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>> so Assad-baiting
>> is just about their only argument for "material support" for the "Free
>> Syrian Army."
>> Debate-list mailing list
>> Debate-list at fahamu.org
> Yoshie Furuhashi
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