Stalinists hail “liberation” of Aleppo

December 13, 2016 at 3:36 pm (apologists and collaborators, CPB, Human rights, Jim D, murder, Pro-War Left, Putin, reactionay "anti-imperialism", Russia, stalinism, Syria)

The front page of the paper that claims to represent the British labour movement:

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While the UN and all reputable news sources report on pro-government forces in Aleppo executing dozens of civilians including women and children, British Stalinists hail the massacres as a “liberation”.

The Morning Star‘s uncritical support for Assad and parroting of Putin’s propaganda throughout the Syrian war has been a disgrace that must call into question the financial support that this filthy, lying rag receives from major unions.

The only – small – thing to be said in the rag’s favour, is that it has published a few letters from a couple of readers who retain some shreds of human decency and critical thinking. As they don’t appear on the rag’s website, we reproduce them here:

December 3-4 2016
GIVEN that the United Nations estimated in October 2016 that there were no more than 900 Nusra Front fighters in Aleppo out of a maximum of 8,000 rebels in total, I’m confused by the recent Morning Star headline: “Thousands freed from jihadist grip in eastern Aleppo” (M Star November 30)

I realise the make-up of rebel groups in Syria is complex but I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest the rebels in Aleppo are all jihadists.

Furthermore, rather than cite the Kremlin and the Russian Defence Ministry as the article does, perhaps it would be wiser to focus on reports from NGOs such as Amnesty International which has called on Russia to “end indiscriminate and other unlawful attacks” in Syria, including the “use of cluster munitions and dropping unguided bombs on civilian areas.”

December 7 2016
I HAVE read recent reports and an editorial on Syria in our paper with dismay. I note the use of such expressions as “solidarity with the nation’s struggle against foreign-backed aggression” but never is there any mention of the people of Syria’s struggle against the hated and feared Assad regime.

Has everyone forgotten that the conflict in Syria started when the people came out on the streets, in the tail end of the Arab Spring, in revolt against the brutal repression of President Bashar Assad and his torturers?

Of course, much has changed since then, with the intervention of many other forces in this complex war but there is overwhelming evidence that the Assad regime, aided by the Russians, has been bombing civilians, hospitals and schools: murdering Syrian civilians because they oppose the regime and then describing them as “terrorists”.

It seems convenient for some to forget what the Assad regime stands for, the repression and brutality, the torture used not just to extract information but to put fear into the population so that no opponents of the regime will challenge it.

Perhaps readers are not aware that, to give just one example, a 13-year-old boy was arrested in 2011 during a protest and then tortured, castrated and his body mutilated while in the custody of the Syrian government.

I support the position of the Stop the War Coalition which I believe is that there should be no intervention or bombing, including by Russia and that we must do everything possible to achieve a negotiated settlement.

There is no easy solution but surely we must not gloss over decades of appalling human rights abuses in Syria and express solidarity with the regime at the expense of the Syrian people?

December 9 2016
IN A RECENT editorial the Morning Star argued “there would be no advantage for Assad in carrying out atrocities” such as bombing hospitals and schools (M Star November 29).

If one is trying to force a large city into submission through the application of overwhelming and deadly force, as the Syrian government is doing in Aleppo, then it is logical to target hospitals in an attempt to make life unbearable for the rebels and the population they are living amongst. Furthermore, bombing hospitals significantly reduces the fighting capability of the opposition relying on the hospitals to patch up their wounded.

Surely it is the duty of all thinking and humane people to raise their voice in opposition to this illegal, murderous and morally depraved military tactic — whether it is carried out by Western/Western-backed forces or Syrian/Russian forces?

NB: see also Comrade Coatesy, here.


  1. Jim Denham said,

  2. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

    Good job Jim. Something I wrote today: How Labour trashed Tatchell, not Assad

    • David Lindsay said,

      Peter Tatchell has joined the long list of old left-wing star turns who resent having been made into supporting acts by a man whom they had spent decades assuming was the cloakroom attendant, but who turns out to have an appeal beyond their wildest dreams.

  3. Jim Denham said,

  4. David Lindsay said,

    Say the people who think that Russian hackers swung the EU referendum.

    There is much castigation of the Morning Star for its coverage of Aleppo. But it is unique among national newspapers in having opposed every British military intervention of the last 20 years. The best that can be said of the war in Sierra Leone is that it failed to deliver any improvement. All of the others have been catastrophic. I say again that the Morning Star is the only national newspaper to have opposed each and every one of them.

    A small number of MPs is also in that venerable category. Of those, by far the most prominent today is Jeremy Corbyn. He even voted against the war in Libya, and how about that for civilian casualties? Only a handful of Labour MPs did that. But precisely one Conservative did so. One.

    Possibly more than anything else, the British Right now defines itself by reference to its having supported the wars of Clinton and Bush, Blair and Cameron. Russia and Iran can do no good in its eyes. Israel and the Gulf tyrannies, supremely Saudi Arabia, can do no evil. America was in the latter category, and it looks as if the next President might keep it there after all.

    The British Right is first and foremost the War Party, and it is very proud to be so, despite having been proved horrifically wrong over, and over, and over again. Against, which is the key point, Seumas Milne and Andrew Murray, Lindsey German and John Rees, Tariq Ali and John Pilger. Against Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, George Galloway and Ken Livingstone. Against Ken Loach and two million people, including the young Richard Burgon, on the streets of London in 2003. Against Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, the ghost of Tony Benn and the ghost of Michael Foot.

    Against the vulgar and presumptuous interference of organised labour in political affairs. Against the vulgar and presumptuous existence of organised labour at all, for it is not a coincidence that the hated rail unions are all stalwarts of the anti-war movement. Against Jeremy Corbyn and the Morning Star.

    The liberation of Aleppo is not a pretty sight. But what do you think that the liberation of, say, Paris looked like? A tea dance? Putin and Assad are bad. But their enemies are worse. Far, far, far worse. Those enemies are armed by Saudi Arabia, on occasion even fighting under its flag. In that full knowledge, Britain arms Saudi Arabia. The head-choppers, crucifiers and heart-excisers are armed by Britain.

    • Jim Denham said,

      “Putin and Assad are bad. But their enemies are worse. Far, far, far worse. Those enemies are armed by Saudi Arabia, on occasion even fighting under its flag. In that full knowledge, Britain arms Saudi Arabia. The head-choppers, crucifiers and heart-excisers are armed by Britain.”

      But socialists should give no “lesser-evil” support to Assad and Putin! To do so is to deny all our fundamental principles!

      The Morning Star is, simply, a disgrace: we should campaign to have its union support withdrawn in the light of its shameful coverage of Aleppo.

      Remember, its forerunner, the Daily Worker, supported Hitler between 1939 and 1941: the Morning Star is now running true to form.

      • David Lindsay said,

        We should not actively support either of them. The Morning Star opposed the Coalition’s attempts to intervene on both sides at different times, and Jeremy Corbyn voted against both such interventions. But we should be in no doubt as to which side we want to lose. It looks as if that side has lost.

      • Jim Denham said,

        “But we should be in no doubt as to which side we want to lose. It looks as if that side has lost”: you mean those who rose up against Assad’s tyranny?

    • Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

      About ‘but we have no proof Russia interfered with the referendum’ …

      Truth Will Out. Quacks Like A Duck. Etc.

  5. Robert said,

    Of course the DAILY WORKER support of Hitler was only provisional — on the effects of hsi Western campaign weakening the Nazis enough that Muscovy (as Joseph Conrad’s father called the proto-USSR under the then Tsar) could come in under Tsar Stalin and just roll it up — burp, British Union of Redpinted Poltroons! .

  6. Stephen Bellamy said,

    Watching you Stalinists and Trots squabbling is just so, so funny. Especially as the Trots, in classically Stalinist style, work with the Zionist Zealots in working to clamp down on freedom of expression.

    • Jim Denham said,

      So you think the massacre in Aleppo is “just so, so funny” do you, Stephen?

      You live in a strange, morally debased sub-political hinterland of cynicism, anti-Semitism and indifference to humanity. You are clearly a very nasty piece of work.

      • Stephen Bellamy said,

        Don’t think I made any reference to Aleppo Jim. Could be wrong…….lemme double check. Nope. I didn’t.

      • Jim Denham said,

        You were making your smart-arse comments BTL on a post about Aleppo. Could be wrong … lemme double check … Yup you did.

        You piece of filth.

    • Stephen Bellamy said,

      Jim I assume piece of filth is a sorta kinda typical racist AWL , considered opinion ?

  7. JP Marat said,

    The “new left” continues its disgrace. Yes, Putin and Assad are mass murderers, but nobody in the new left talks about Mosul. Or that this was and still is a US-backed coup, and like in Libya or Afghanistan, the US is backing Islamist groups against secular governments.
    It doesn’t surprise me the least. You are the same people who were cheering when the Socialist block was falling without having the decency to acknowledge that this opened the Pandora’s box for imperialism and neoliberalism. You are pitiful stooges of conglomerate capitalism.

  8. Covering Western foreign policy: the Morning Star versus The Guardian | Ian Sinclair journalism said,

    […] a letter to the paper stating this, which was published on their letters page — like other letters I’ve recently written critical of their Syria […]

  9. A tale of two cities — double standards over the ‘liberation’ of Aleppo and Mosul – Bob's Stuff said,

    […] Syria and Iraq (although the author, Ian Sinclair, is only an occasional columnist for the Star and does not follow its editorial line). There was also an article in November last year based on an Amnesty report […]

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