AP informs us, citing a post to an unnamed jihadist wesbite, that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “emir” of the Islamic State in Iraq, formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, has announced a merger with Syria’s Nusra Front to form a new organization, the “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”—the latter term refering to Syria, or the whole Levant. “It is time to declare to al-Sham and to the world that Jabhat al-Nusra is simply a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq,” the statement reads. Al-Baghdadi said the Iraqi group is providing half its budget to the Syrian counterpart, and that the Nusra Front will not have a separate leader but be led by the “people of Syria themselves”—implying that he will be in charge of both.
This ominous development does have one delicious aspect to it: the bind into which it places those elements of the “idiot left” in the US (Workers World Party, International Action Center, International ANSWER, FIST, Party for Socialism and Liberation [sic]) that cheered on the jihadis in Iraq as the “resistance” and then attempted to discredit the Syrian rebels as jihadis! We’ve pointed out before that those Syrian jihadists were likely exactly the same ones they were so recently rooting for in Iraq! Now it’s official!
Making it even more surreal, these idiot-leftists repeatedly assert that the Syrian jihadists are entirely a creation of US imperialism—while their Iraqi counterparts were of course heroic anti-imperialists. Whoops!
How will they finesse this dilemma? Probably, in cowardly manner, they will simply ignore it and hope nobody notices, for as long as possible. We should all do our part to press them on it, and expose them as the opportunist hucksters they are. The sooner the “idiot left” is laughed off the political stage, the sooner we may hope for the emergence of a real intelligent left, that can oppose US imperialism without betraying secular democratic principles, logic, or basic human solidarity.
Meanwhile, the regime launched air-strikes on Aleppo over the weekend, killing at least 15 in the city. Air-strikes elsewhere around the country killed that many again, including eight civilians—five from one family—in the village of Hurbanafsa, Hama province. This information from the decidedly non-jihadist Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based on reports from the Local Coordination Committees—the civil resistance network which is the revolution’s earliest organized manifestation, and continues to survive even as armed actors have come to dominate the scene. (Daily Star, Lebanon, April 7)
It is sadly telling that most of the “left” in the United States is more outraged over supposed US support for the Syrian rebels than over this bloodletting. What’s up with that?