by Brayden Wawn

I.

From 1975 to 1990, Lebanon was engaged in a chaotic and ferocious civil war, the belligerents of which belonged to a bewildering array of ethnic, religious, national and religious factions. The conflict saw one serious consequence for Australia: the arrival, in the late 1970s, of 30,000 Lebanese refugees, who were allowed in to the country by the notoriously liberal and pro-multi culti Fraser government. Because of the race – and not the religion – of these immigrants, Australian nationalists at the time looked on their arrival with dismay. It mattered not what faith the immigrants belonged to, Muslim or Christian: they were all Arabs. Their entry into country signified the death of White Australia.

Now suppose that one section of the Australian nationalist movement in the late 1970s chose sides when it came to Lebanon’s Civil War, and cheered on one of the select belligerents and fervently hoped that the special belligerent would triumph over the others; other Australian nationalists would see this position as lunatical. For starters, no Australian nationalist should take sides in what is an intramural Arabic and non-white conflict: it’s not as though any one of the belligerents are more white, and more Western, than the other, and therefore more deserving of support. Besides which, all belligerents in the Lebanese Civil War helped bring about that war. And it could be that one belligerent more than any other bears responsibility for the war – and for the war refugees, and for the Lebanese refugee ‘crisis’ which has led to the importation of tens of thousands of Lebanese Muslims and Christians. No Australian nationalist, in his right mind, would support that belligerent; indeed, he would curse that belligerent’s name.

But what is happening in nationalism in Australia (and elsewhere in the West – in America, and Europe) is that some nationalists, some on the Far Right or Alt Right or whatever you call it, are throwing their support behind the Assadist belligerent (and hence the Iranian and Russian belligerents) in the Syrian Civil War, which resembles the Lebanese Civil War in many respects (Lebanon and Syria made up a single nation state in the first half of the 20th century, and culturally and racially are more or less indistinguishable). This is despite the fact that Assad and his sponsor – Little Vladimir Putin – bear the responsibility for the war, and hence for the refugee ‘crisis’ which has afflicted Europe since the summer of 2015, when the weak Angela Merkel – Germany’s Malcolm Fraser – threw open the gates to immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa after weeks of unrelenting pressure from the liberal media. (It is true that most of the ‘refugees’ invading Europe have emigrated not from Syria but from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, even India; the drowned Kurdish boy Aylan Kurdi came from Turkey. But Merkel opened the floodgates out of a desire to ‘do something’ about the Syrian Civil War refugee ‘crisis’; the liberal media bullied her around the clock until it got the result it wanted. After Merkel gave in, one headline of an Australian newspaper read, ‘Compassion Wins’). Had Assad stood down in 2011 – after an eleven-year reign – the war wouldn’t have happened; there would be no refugee ‘crisis’, no massive invasion, no disruption, no crime, no rapes and sexual assaults of German women, girls – and boys. Assad owns all this, and so do his supporters in the West.

It all comes back to the Arab Spring in 2011, which was primarily a revolt against unelected rulers who had been in office for a very long time and who had brought stagnation – social, political, intellectual, economic – to their respective countries. I will illustrate this by way of an analogy. Suppose that, in 1963, the Australian Liberal Party took power, and William McMahon became prime minister after an internal party coup in 1970. In 2000, McMahon dies in office after thirty years in power, and his son – McMahon Jr – becomes prime minister. By 2011 – after 48 years of Liberal Party rule – sectors of the Australian population rise up and begin a mass campaign of civil disobedience, demanding reforms, and then the overthrow of McMahon Jr… I think anyone can understand and sympathise with, in this hypothetical scenario, the desire of the Australians who wanted to see significant political change – for better or worse. Even the best political parties, and the best rulers, can’t weather forty years in office. The regimes in Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany were cut down in their prime and were never given the chance to stagnate and decay. Hitler only lasted for twelve years, Mussolini for twenty-two. Perhaps had they stayed in power for fifty or so years, their respective populations may have turned on them too.

In 2011, Assad, like Ghaddafi in Libya, responded to the Arab Spring the only way he knew how: with violence. Not for him the adroit manipulations of the rulers of Jordan and Morocco, who nimbly managed to sidestep the popular fury and defuse the revolts through cosmetic reforms.

The Wikipedia entry on the Syrian war gives a summary of how the brutal suppression of domestic dissent led to war, which became probably the worst that the Arab world has ever seen:

Protests, civil uprising, and defections (January–July 2011)

The protests began on 15 March 2011, when protesters marched in the capital of Damascus, demanding democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners. Security forces retaliated by opening fire on the protesters,[176] and according to witnesses who spoke to the BBC, the government forces detained six of them.[177] The protest was triggered by the arrest of a boy and his friends by the government for writing in graffiti, “The people want the fall of the regime”, in the city of Daraa.[176][178] Writer and analyst Louai al-Hussein, referencing the Arab Spring ongoing at that time, wrote that, “Syria is now on the map of countries in the region with an uprising”.[178] On 20 March, the protesters burned down a Ba’ath Party headquarters and “other buildings”. The ensuing clashes claimed the lives of seven police officers[179] and 15 protesters.[180] Ten days later in a speech, President Bashar al-Assad blamed “foreign conspirators” pushing Israeli propaganda for the protests.[181]

Protests in Douma

Until 7 April, the protesters predominantly demanded democratic reforms, release of political prisoners, an increase in freedoms, abolition of the emergency law and an end to corruption. After 8 April, the emphasis in demonstration slogans shifted slowly towards a call to overthrow the Assad government. Protests spread. On Friday 8 April, they occurred simultaneously in ten cities. By Friday 22 April, protests occurred in twenty cities. On 25 April, the Syrian Army initiated a series of large-scale deadly military attacks on towns with tanks, infantry carriers, and artillery, leading to hundreds of civilian deaths. By the end of May 2011, 1,000 civilians[182] and 150 soldiers and policemen[183] had been killed and thousands detained;[184] among the arrested were many students, liberal activists and human rights advocates.[185]

Significant armed rebellion against the state began on 4 June in Jisr al-Shugur, a city in Idlib Governorate near the Turkish border, after security forces stationed on a post office roof fired at a funeral demonstration. The mourners set fire to the building, killing eight security officers, and then overran a police station, seizing weapons from it. Violence continued and escalated over the following days. Unverified reports claim that a portion of the security forces in Jisr defected after secret police and intelligence officers executed soldiers who had refused to fire on civilians.[186] Later, more protesters in Syria took up arms, and more soldiers defected to protect protesters.

Initial armed insurgency (July–October 2011)

On 29 July 2011, seven defecting Syrian officers formed the Free Syrian Army (FSA), composed of defected Syrian Armed Forces officers and soldiers, aiming “to bring this regime (the Assad government) down” with united opposition forces.[187][188] On 31 July, a nationwide crackdown nicknamed the “Ramadan Massacre” resulted in the death of at least 142 people and hundreds of injuries.[189]

On 23 August, a coalition of anti-government groups called the Syrian National Council was formed. The council, based in Turkey, attempted to organize the opposition. The opposition, however, including the FSA, remained a fractious collection of political groups, longtime exiles, grassroots organizers and armed militants divided along ideological, ethnic and/or sectarian lines.[190]

All of it dreary enough. Something that can be gleaned from the above dry summary is that chutzpah is not confined to the Jews: one has to ask how Assad could have accused the protestors of ‘Zionism’ with a straight face. But by invoking ‘Zionism’ so frequently, Assad has cheapened the word (just like our left-wing has cheapened the word ‘racism’ through overuse). What is more, Assadism, Ba’athism and the cause of ‘saving’ the Syrian Arab Republic from ‘Zionism’ has led to a terrible war which has seen hundreds of thousands of casualties and millions of refugees – and which exceeds in its bloodshed and devastation the Lebanese Civil War and the Yugoslav War of 1991-1995. How could ‘Zionism’, ‘CIA-ism’, ‘neoconservatism’, ‘Western imperialism’, ‘ regime change’, etc., which the Assad regime ‘saved’ the Syrian Arab Republic from, have been any worse? Put it this way: Assad makes ‘Zionism’ and ‘liberal interventionism’ look good by way of comparison. During the primaries and the election campaign, Trump called the Libyan intervention of 2011 and the toppling of Ghaddafi a ‘disaster’. But, as the American communist Louis Proyect points out, only 900 or so people died in Libya last year, which makes Libya, by way of comparison to the Syrian Arab Republic, a human rights paradise.

II.

But wait, isn’t Assad, in prosecuting this war against the civilian population of the Syrian Arab Republic, defending the rights of religious minorities – including Yazhidis, Christians and his own Alawite Muslim sect – against ‘Islamists’? Doesn’t Ba’athism equal secularism?

I will argue later that the secularist Ba’athist State has by and large ceased to exist in Syria. But let us pay attention to the words of one left-wing blogger, Michael Neumann, who arrives at the shocking – to many of us in the West – conclusion that Assad is, in fact, worse than ISIS:

The worst atrocities are almost never reported.  Incredibly, the latest Amnesty International account of torture in Syrian jails specifies the details of only of cases which are mild by Assad’s standards.  Perhaps here again, to report worse is thought merely prurient by an agency known for its ‘even-handedness’, that is, its refusal to compare.

But the details say something otherwise impossible to convey:  that the Assad regime, even in the face of all the other horrible regimes around the world, introduces a level of barbarism scarcely conceivable.  How typical for the world to focus on Assad’s bombing, as if this was his worst, as if some fancy American fighter jets could do some flyovers and make all well.  There are two reasons this won’t do.

First, the focus won’t overcome the refusal to compare: think how many will say, “but doesn’t the West bomb civilians too?  Didn’t the US and Britain do this, deliberately, in the Second World War?  Isn’t bombing civilians, whether or not it is fully expected ‘collateral damage’, a terrible thing?  What, are we going to compare atrocities now?”  Second, the focus on barrel bombs is oblivious to Syria’s realities.  For Assad, barrel bombs are a mere convenience.  Before the barrel bombs, his forces didn’t kill children from the sky.  They took knives and slit the throats of babies and toddlers.  There are photographs and well-confirmed reports of this for anyone who takes the trouble to find them.

The refusal to compare and its consequent avoidance of details conceals uncomfortable facts.  ISIS’ beheadings that so shock the world take moments; they are humane compared to the slow deaths Assad’s torturers have inflicted on victims as young as 11.  Bombing hospitals is indeed terrible:  before the bombings, regime troops invaded the hospitals on foot and tortured people in their hospital beds.  And the tortures of Abu Ghraib are love pats compared to what Assad inflicts on human flesh.

To these qualitative comparisons must be added quantitative ones.  Assad murders and tortures many times more people than any other participant in the conflict.  To first preach about the awfulness of atrocities, and then assign no weight to how many human beings suffer them, is nothing short of bizarre.

It’s hardly a surprise that honest comparisons are avoided: the conclusions they compel are so unwelcome.  But they loom large because they point to a crossroads of morality and political realism.  The fact – it is a fact – is that ISIS, which conducts massacres, beheads people, blows up civilians, executes by burning alive and throws homosexuals off buildings – is, according to all reports on the scale and nature of the atrocities, much less brutal than the Syrian government.

III.

Yockey’s Imperium (1948) writes at length on what happens when political organisms – States – lose their sovereignty and wither and fade away. Once the organism ceases to exist, anarchy results, and the country soon becomes the plaything of other powers. Other, rival political organisms fill the vacuum and take over the functions of the deceased organism; the country may end even up being partitioned. England survived this fate, Yockey observes, during the English Civil War only because of its isolation from the Continent; the Syrian Arab Republic, not being an island, has not been so lucky. It has descended into a state of Hobbesian anarchy and has become the prey of its powerful neighbours. The investigative news site Bellingcat writes, in ‘How Relevant to Syria is Syria’s Regime?’:

Despite the regime’s fierce, bloodthirsty defense of its “sovereign right” to rule Syria indefinitely, it possesses nowhere near the capacity to actually hold this stance. The Syrian Arab Army, once numbering in at nearly 625,000 active duty and reservist fighters, has been crippled by attrition, defections, and a constant siphon of knowledge and expertise. As defense policy analyst Tobias Schneider wrote in August for War on the Rocks:

Despite the regime’s fierce, bloodthirsty defense of its “sovereign right” to rule Syria indefinitely, it possesses nowhere near the capacity to actually hold this stance. The Syrian Arab Army, once numbering in at nearly 625,000 active duty and reservist fighters, has been crippled by attrition, defections, and a constant siphon of knowledge and expertise. As defense policy analyst Tobias Schneider wrote in August for War on the Rocks:

“Following the swift collapse of its forces in the Battle for Idlib last year, President Bashar al-Assad had given a much publicized speech admitting the regime’s armed forces were suffering tremendous manpower shortages and would have to withdraw from certain fronts.  Newspapers had been reporting for many months before of desperate conscription and recruitment efforts around the country. By late July, Assad appeared to crumble under the cumulative weight of years of slow attrition and defection, triggering a combined Russian and Iranian intervention seeking to reverse the regime’s fortunes.”

Schneider agrees with the common assessment that the Russian and Iranian intervention has provided a precipice for the regime to desperately maintain its slipping grip over Syria, but he also addresses the warlord-based economy which has emerged as a direct result of severe regime attrition:

“While much better supplied by the Syrian Arab Army’s still-standing logistics skeleton, the government’s fighting force today consists of a dizzying array of hyper-local militias aligned with various factions, domestic and foreign sponsors, and local warlords. […] Today, where briefing maps now show solid red across Syria’s western governorates, they ought to distinguish dozens and perhaps even hundreds of small fiefdoms only nominally loyal to Assad. Indeed, in much of the country, loyalist security forces function like a grand racketeering scheme: simultaneously a cause and consequence of state collapse at the local level.”

How did Syria reach the point of “hundreds of small fiefdoms” united, however loosely, under a delicately hung portrait of Bashar al-Assad? Despite repeated assurances by Assad that he will remain in power indefinitely, and a steady stream of Orwellian, “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia”-esque claims that Syria is in fact better off now than it was five years ago, it has become increasingly apparent to the outside observer that the Syrian state has degraded into a series of localized fiefdoms run as mini-mafia states.

But this system isn’t spontaneous; it didn’t manifest simply overnight amid an attrition of centralized state structures. The foundation for devolution into the sort of state which would make a Somali warlord blush has been laid since the earliest days of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, making Syria’s contemporary series of fiefdoms a simple reflection of the country’s pre-war socioeconomic system – a cronyist, corporatist, oligarchic system which has been shown to be heavily reliant on patronage, and only sustainable in the short term.

We come to the fact that Iran and Russia are militarily calling the shots in the Syrian Arab Republic:

tsi_assadcoalition_p2

Fighters from a diverse array of Muslim countries – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories – make up the bulk of Assad’s forces:

tsi_assadcoalition_p3

Anyone claims that this coalition is ‘secular’ and ‘Ba’athist’ is blowing unicorn bubbles out of a magical dream pipe. They probably believe that fairies live at the bottom of the garden.

IV.

The Far Right has fallen for the Assadist propaganda, but so has the Far Left, which has once again revealed its hypocrisy. The Left, in the past forty or so years, has consistently portrayed itself as humanist so far as Arabs and Muslims are concerned, vibrating in sympathy with every Arab and Muslim death at the hands of the Jews and the Americans. But Assad has changed all this. The Left finds the immiserisation, starvation, kidnapping, torture, execution, etc., of Arabs acceptable – so long as it happens to the right sort of Arab. It all depends on who is doing the killing. Suppose that a hospital is bombed from the air in Serbia or Iraq or Afghanistan or Lebanon or the Palestinian Territories – outrageous, because an American or Israeli must have done it. But a hospital in Syria – ah well, they were ‘terrorists’ in Assadist parlance (which sounds eerily like that of the IDF) who deserved it. The Assadists regard the Sabra-Chatila massacre of 1982 – which saw the deaths of up to 3500 Palestinians and Lebanese Shia at the hands of Christian Maronites – as an atrocity; the massacre of 25,000 or so Syrians in the town of Hama in 1982 by Hafez al-Assad – a crime of greater magnitude – is dismissed with a wave of the hand as of being no consequence.

One can imagine the ‘Stop the War’ marches if it were the US or Israel behaving as Assad does. But the actual Stop the War organisation – a British communist front group – supports Assad, or at least the main players in the Stop the War do (Jeremy Corbyn, Tariq Ali, George Galloway) as do other prominent ageing baby boomer leftists John Pilger, Patrick Cockburn, Robert Fisk… This support seems uniform across the West. The Communist Party of Australia stands with Assad, as does the American communist group Party for Socialism and Liberation. Last week we were blessed with pro-Assad missives from the Worker’s World Party (‘War against Syria defines today’s imperialism’) in America and the lunatic Trotskyite outfit Socialist Fight (‘Liberate Aleppo, Defeat Imperialism in Raqqa, Mosul, Yemen and Ukraine’) in Britain. Other left-wing groups do not nail their colours to the mast in the way that these do: they purport to be ‘neutral’ and blame whatever woes exist in the Syrian Arab Republic, not on Russia and Iran, but on ‘NATO imperialism’. But would they show the same emotional detachment were the US or Israel doing the bombing and killing? Of course not.

What of the Far Right? Nick Griffin stands in the pro-Assad, ‘anti-imperialist’ camp, as does the Italian neofascist party, Forza Nuova, which recently attempted to break up a left-wing anti-Assad photography exhibition (consisting mostly of pictures of dead people, tortured people, rubble and the rest) in Rome:

This morning about 20 young guys carrying flags of “Forza Nuova”, Italian fascist movement, broke in “Nome in Codice Caesar” exhibition in Rome. They are attacking us (the organisers) with exactly the same words used few days ago by “communist” newspaper Il Manifesto.

We are very pleased by the attention and by the further proof that Assad and Putin are fascists, and the pseudo-left that support them is fascist as well.

Anyway, they have been shameless to praise the genocidal regime while watching the faces of its victims.

Forza Nuova, of course, stand with Little Vladimir Putin as well as Griffin, and like Griffin, are probably receiving cash from him.

putinforzanuova

V.

What does the Australian public – or rather, the Australian electorate – think of all this? It regards Assad as a butcher, a war criminal, etc., and rightly so, and must view any Australian nationalist organisation which condones his actions as a bunch of queer fish indeed. The ‘normie’ in Australia puts Assad in the same class as some head-chopping African warlord, and the Syrian war seems as far removed and foreign – and as barbarous – as some war in the Congo. I would even venture to say that any Australian party that supports Assad makes itself unelectable; Assadism seems thuggish, Lebanese, foreign – and un-Australian. But many nationalists, and many on the Far Right, Alt Right, etc., don’t see themselves as others do; they live in a bubble – one created for them by the Kremlin propaganda machines Russia Today and Sputnik. They believe in Russian, Iranian and Syrian Arab Republic propaganda with the same intensity that they repudiate the BBC, the New York Times, CNN…

The embrace of Assadism by some Australian nationalists provides us with a clear instance of what Yockey calls Culture Distortion: when one Culture overlays another and perverts it from its natural aim. In this case, the Arabic-Semitic-Islamic Culture (or Magian Culture, as Spengler calls it) is distorting the Western. Part of this phenomena can be attributed to the large number of Syrian, Lebanese and other Arabic immigrants here in Australia – whom Yockey would call Culture Parasites. Not a few of these would support Assad. The Bellingcat article describes how militias formed by mafia clans have taken over large parts of the Syrian Arab Republic, which raises an interesting question. Given that such mafias exist in Australia amongst the Lebanese immigrant community, especially in New South Wales, one may ask: do the Arabic supporters of Assad here in Australia have links to organised crime?

Assadism here in Australia represents the Lebanonisation or Arabisation of Australian nationalist politics. Nationalist Alternative seeks true national independence – free of Iranian, Syrian and Russian intrigues and free of the Islamic and Arabic immigrant population.

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2 Responses to Syria 2016, and Who Shall Be King of the Kebabs, Lord of the Lebs?

  1. Maurice says:

    This is complete bullshit. Is Nick Folkes writing for you now? That is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin, moreover, it is a flagrant attack on Australia First Party. The entire reason for supporting Assad is anti-globalism and self-serving; once he is back in control all the Arabs can fuck off home. And Putin? That is waaaaayyyy off. With the west arming ISIS and generating this thing THAT is what you come up with?

  2. admin says:

    No, Nick Folkes is not writing for us. The crux of the article is that Australian Nationalism is better served by not taking strong partisan positions in external conflicts.

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