Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Gilbert Achcar’ Category

Home Truths About Ukrainian Resistance to the Russian Imperialist Invasion

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“Marine Le Pen’s party is binning its 8-page electoral tract, which features a picture of her shaking hands with Vladimir Putin. Apparently that’s not a vote-winner any more! 1.2 million copies had been printed.”

Hint to Left-Wingers in Anti-War War Movements everywhere :

Russian Troops Out of Ukraine Now!
Solidarity with the Ukrainian Resistance!

Adopt a policy proposed by Noam Chomsky :

Noam Chomsky is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky?wprov=sfti1

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939, to take only two salient examples.

Meanwhile, we should do anything we can to provide meaningful support for those valiantly defending their homeland against cruel aggressors, for those escaping the horrors, and for the thousands of courageous Russians publicly opposing the crime of their state at great personal risk, a lesson to all of us.”

https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-us-military-escalation-against-russia-would-have-no-victors/.
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British Anti-War Movement : “Attack on Gilbert Achcar only divides anti‑war Left”

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The British organization Anti-Capitalist Resistance (ACR) responds to Lindsey German’s recent Counterfire Weekly Briefing that unfairly characterised Gilbert Achcar.

Source : https://anticapitalistresistance.org/attack-on-gilbert-achcar-only-divides-anti-war-left/?fbclid=IwAR18xt1jaIbaHSYvPMGu_XJEOTe0O57r11fIVMlDdDP2A9AaPGq6m3Vfkpg

Who is Gilbert Achcar? “Gilbert Achcar grew up in Lebanon. He is currently Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. His most recent books are Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (2016) and The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising(2013). Other books include The Clash of Barbarisms (2nd expanded edition 2006); dialogues with Noam Chomsky on the Middle East in Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy (2nd edition 2008); and The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives (2010)” Achcar left the British Labour Party after Sir Keir Starmer started his Blairite turn. He is now a member of the ACR. Readers can judge his politics from this recent article published on the International Viewpoint site. https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7530

At a time of impending conflict between Russia and NATO over Ukraine, with each side driven by internal needs to intensify austerity and repression in their own spheres of influence, revolutionary socialists will need to be standing shoulder to shoulder in activity to stop the war machine. This will be at home, where we face our most immediate enemy, and internationally, in solidarity with our comrades and with those facing occupation and brutal calculated military action.

This will be a time of joint struggle against imperialist war and intense debate on the left, with different assessments of the situation and our tasks. In this context the recent comment by Lindsey German in a Counterfire weekly briefing (reproduced in the Morning Star) about our comrade Gilbert Achcar, accusing him of siding with imperialism, was a dishonest and unfair representation that sows division among the anti-war Left. It should be retracted and there should be an apology.

Gilbert is described by Lindsey German as someone who has gone over from the Left to supporting imperialism, along with Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and Norman Geras. Anyone familiar with the names invoked and with Gilbert Achcar’s writings would know that putting him in the same category with the former is both slanderous and preposterous.

Lindsey German herself, in the name of the Stop the War Coalition, recently rebutted Keir Starmer’s slanderous attack in The Guardian. This makes it even more important for her to respect the conditions of honest and comradely debate when arguing with other comrades of the radical left. If Lindsey German is willing to have such a debate in public with our comrade, he would be very happy to oblige.

We urge all comrades on the antiwar and anticapitalist left to refrain from unfounded accusations and conduct debate constructively.

A good friend and comrade Paul Stewart adds this context :

For those, so many good, solid comrades, many indeed who have fought imperialism, its not too later to stand not just against NATO but also Putin, to stand with the people of Ukraine. No more parsimonious mealy mouthed, “yes Putin is bad too”, while spending your time showing pictures of Ukrainian fascists while ignoring Russian fascists’ support for invasion. It will be salutory to know that throughout Europe from the north to the south, it’s the far right who support Putin……Le Pen and Eric Zemmour in France, Farage in Britain….and so on …

Paul Stewart

John Meehan February 24 2020