Counterpunch prints "fraudulent" Nasrallah interview

Lebanese scholar Gilbert Achcar writes via e-mail: "Many of you have certainly seen an interview allegedly done with [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah by a Turkish radical left newpsaper... I have enquired about it, and a source in Beirut in close touch with Hezbollah has confirmed to me that it is a forgery." However, Counterpunch has seen fit to keep the evident forgery on its website, despite growing questions about its authenticity (albeit, with a note at the end acknowledging the controversy). The pseudo-interview is interesting because of what it reveals about the willful illusions the radical left cultivates about radical Islam. Here it is:

"Goodbye to the Unipolar World"
The Nasrallah Interview

By CounterPunch News Service

From an interview conducted shortly before the ceasefire by reporters from the Turkish Labor Party daily, Evrensel.

Q. What is the current state of your relations with the Socialist movement?

Hasan Nasrallah: The socialist movement, which has been away from international struggle for a considerable time, at last has begun to offer moral support for us once again. The most concrete example of this has been Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. What most of the Muslim states could not do has been done by Chavez, by the withdrawal of Venezuela's ambassador to Israel. He furthermore communicated to us his support for our resistance. This has been an immense source of moral strength for us.

We can observe a similar reaction within the Turkish Revolutionary Movement. We had socialist brothers from Turkey who went to Palestine in 1960s to fight against Israel. And one of them still remains in my memory and my heart; Deniz Gezmis..!

[Deniz Gezmis, 1947-1972, was a Turkish revolutionary in the Marxist-Leninist tradition. He led major student actions in the late 1960s, went to a Fatah training camp in Lebanon in late 1969, returned to Turkey where his group seized four US army privates in Ankara. After their release of the soldiers, Gezmis was captured, tried for attempting to overthrow the Turkish state and, with two of his comrades, was hanged in the central prison in Ankara on May 6, 1972. Editors.]

Q. What is the importance of Denizs for you?

Hasan Nasrallah: We now want new Denizs. Our ranks are always open to new Denizs against the oppressors. Deniz will always live in the hearts of the peoples of Palestine and Lebanon. No-one should doubt this. Unfortunately, there is no longer a common fight and fraternity against the common enemy left over by the Denizs. What we would have liked is for our socialist brothers in Lebanon to fight against imperialism and Zionism shoulder to shoulder. This fight is not only our fight. It is the common fight of all those oppressed across the world. Don't forget that if the peoples of Palestine and Lebanon lose this war, this will mean the defeat of all the oppressed people of the world. In our fight against imperialism, the revolutionaries should also undertake a responsibility and should become, in the hearts of our people of Palestine and Lebanon, Denizs once again.

Q. It is possible to see the posters of Che, Chavez and Ahmadinejad side by side in the streets of Beirut. Are these the signs of a new polarization?

Hasan Nasrallah: We salute the leaders and the peoples of Latin America. They have resisted the American bandits heroically and have been a source of moral strength for us. They are guiding the way for the oppressed peoples. Go and wonder around our streets..! You will witness how our people have embraced Chavez and Ernesto Che Guevara. Nearly in every house, you will come across posters of Che or Chavez.

What we are saying to our socialist friends who want fight together with us for fraternity and freedom is: Do not come at all if you are going to say "Religion is an opiate". We do not agree with this analysis. Here is the biggest proof of this in our streets with the pictures of Chavez, Che, Sadr and Khamenei together. These leaders are saluting our people in unison. So long as we respect your beliefs, and you respect ours, there is no imperialist power we cannot defeat!

Q. Returning to threats in the region, western governments are intensifying their pressure on Damascus and Tehran, for which they are proposing a "change of regime." Some sources are of the view that the attack on Lebanon will be directed on Syria. According to your point of view, is a regional war possible?

Hasan Nasrallah: The centers of imperialist power want to make collaborators of our region as a whole. They expect us to kneel before them. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are opposing this. The provocation concerning the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the efforts to secure the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon and -- going even further -- their wish to attack callously on to Tehran and Damascus are all due to this reason.

Syria, with Iran and Hezbollah will certainly resist this. We are going to resist for our motherland and freedom. We are going to resist in order not kneel before them. The imperialists of the west are seeking to make a second Kosovo out of Lebanon and our region. They are seeking to create a clash in between sects. But we have spoiled this trick. In our streets, the whole of Lebanon, with its Christian, Sunnis and Shias, are flying the flags of Hezbollah. Again, "the unipolar world" has already been left behind in history. There is us, there is Iran, there is Syria, there is Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. There are the resisting peoples of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan! As long as there is imperialism and occupations, these people will continue resisting. They can forget about peace. If they want peace, they should now respect the freedom of peoples and should eliminate the collaborators. God willing, the victory will be ours.

They are not going to be able to turn our country and region into a Kosovo. Now our people are aware of everything and will not play into imperialist tricks. We will absolutely not permit them to attack Iran or Syria. We are going to fight for our freedom to the last drop of our blood. Let no one doubt this. They are claiming that Iran has nuclear weapons at its disposal. On the contrary, most of the nuclear weapons are in the hands of Israel and the US. Furthermore, nuclear weapons are nothing but excuses put forward in order to create collaborating regimes in the region.

Q. There are claims that Hezbollah is being directed by Tehran. What are your views on this issue?

Hasan Nasrallah: This is a great lie. We are an independent Lebanese organization. We do not take orders from anyone. But this does not mean that we are not going to form alliances. We are on the side of Iran and Syria. They are our brothers. We are going to oppose any attack directed at Tehran and Damascus to the last drop of our blood just as we do in Lebanon. We uphold global resistance against global imperial terrorism.

Q. Is there any other additional point you want to make?

Hasan Nasrallah: Peace cannot be unilateral. So long as there is imperialism in the world, a permanent peace is impossible. This war will not come to an end as long as there are occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Editors' Note: The authenticity of this interview has been challenged, maybe because Nasrallah doesn't speak entirely according to Orientalist expectations of what a Shi'a leader should be saying. CounterPunch has confirmed that the interview did appear in the Turkish socialist daily Evrensel on August 12 and 13, provoking comment in the Turkish corporate press because Nasrallah expressed his admiration for the 1960's generation of revolutionaries like Deniz Gezmis.

One of our more astute readers writes: "Psuedo-Nasrallah is talking like the fantasy of what a young Turkish anarcho-syndicalist stoner wants Nasrallah to represent. There's no way he would invoke Che, even tho his roots are in the left. There's no way he would talk about ending occupation, and then peace would follow."

Others, such as Peter Hudis of the Marxist-Humanist News & Letters have noted the unseemly phenomenon of leftists "tailending Islamic fundamentalism." This would appear to be a pretty egregious example.

See our last posts on the Lebanon crisis and the idiot left.

Slanderous libel

Young anarcho-syndicalist Turkish stoner?

Go fuck yourself!

No decent anarcho-syndicalist I know supports Leninist liars!

For the record and for reputation capital purposes it might be noted if this is a hoax, that Alexander Cockburn might be taking after his father and that is this is not a good look. After all red fascist Leninists used the BIG LIE technique even before the brownshirts did.
It's a disgrace to socialism imho that left fascist holocuast denial from 1918-26 has succeeded so well - thanks to disgusting liars like the Cockburns.

Two Clarifications

1. I don't know if there is one anarcho-syndicalist (in full meaning) in Turkey.

2. Deniz Gezmis is now a common figure for all the Turkish Left. Everyone loves Che and everyone loves Deniz.

Dude, we share your outrage

See this.

he does make strange

he does make strange reference to Kosovo.

but why idiot left? shouldn't people who consider themselves anti-fascist do something about the Palestinian plight? shouldn't we fight zionist child murderers and oppressors?

or is left synonimous with crybabies and hypocrites?

Yes, the left is synonymous with crybabies & hypocrites

Don't blame me. Don't blame the messenger, dude. If the supposed "left" is going to cultivate illusions about clerical ultra-reactionaries like Hezbollah, they deserve the idiot appellation. We wish there existed more of an intelligent left that could intelligently resist Zionist aggression—e.g. by refraining from counter-productive "zionist child murderers" rhetoric.

wow! how persuasive...

wow! how persuasive...

I wonder...

Are you refering to me or the psuedo-interview, Mr. Sarcastic?

i'm referring to your reply.

i'm referring to your reply. humour me, please?
tell me what you think: do the palestinians have the right to armed resistance and defense in line with international law against the zionist aggression, warcrimes and occupation in west bank and gaza?

Of course

But so what? What does it have to do with forging interviews and cultivating illusions that clerical reactionaries are groovy leftists? I don't get it.

well, it had to do with your

well, it had to do with your attitude which i was curious about. I appreciate greatly your writings on Yugoslavia and exposing the «left» revisionists and I strongly agree with you on that. I also appreaciate the article The Left Revisionists written by M. Hoare, but have been profoundly disappointed later to find out he is a member of Henry Jackson Society. I was just wondering where you stood… and the "idiot left" phrase somehow got stuck in my head... because I feel like the left or people of good will should do something about the Palestinians, even to the point of participating in the armed struggle, (regardless of what one thinks of the other ideologies fighting the same enemy). since clearly nothing is going to happen on the part of any other country or UN. Things are only going for the worse. And children are getting killed and wounded there every day.

So… I was just wondering whether you proclaimed this article a fake because you really had credible info on it or because you were trying to discourage the left from taking more action on the Palestinian problem by attacking Counterpunch (which you correctly exposed as offering its readers crap on Yugoslavia, but which also has a lot of good stuff on other topics (notably Israel) depending on the author…).

I also wondered about your attitude towards zionism, since you attacked the «zionist murderers of children rhetoric», when in reality that's what the israeli army is – child murderers. Every day in Palestine. I'm having great trouble living with it.

Well… i guess i'll have to wait and see some more re the interview and judge from that… thanks for the reply…

For starters...

...I didn't "proclaim" the interview fruadulent. I quoted others who did. If I have any political axes to grind here, it is that the idiot leftists like Counterpunch are cultivating the same illusions about Hezbollah and Islamist extremism that they did (ironically!) about Milosevic and his Muslim-slaughtering minions--that they are really groovy socialists.

Geez, how many times do I have to reiterate that I am anti-Zionist? I have no problem with the phrase "Zionist aggression," which is wholly accurate. But "Zionist child murderers" is a.) inaccurate ("murder" implies something more personal and targeted than the clinical carnage we just witnessed in Lebanon), and b.) smacks of blood-libel rhetoric (or didn't you notice?).

I think you would object to propagandistic phrases like "Palestinian child murderers" to refer to suicide martyrs, wouldn't you? C'mon now.

personal and targeted?

'I can't imagine anyone who considers himself a human being can do this'

On Friday a four-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by a soldier - the most recent child victim of the Israeli army. Chris McGreal investigates a shocking series of deaths

The Guardian
Monday July 28, 2003

[...] Yet among the most shocking aspects of the past three years of intifada that has no shortage of horrors - not least the teenage suicide bombers revelling in mass murder - has been the killing of children by the Israeli army.

The numbers are staggering; one in five Palestinian dead is a child. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) says at least 408 Palestinian children have been killed since the beginning of the intifada in September 2000. Nearly half were killed in the Gaza strip, and most of those died in two refugee camps in the south, Khan Yunis and Rafah. The PCHR says they were victims of "indiscriminate shooting, excessive force, a shoot-to-kill policy and the deliberate targeting of children". [...]

more than 408

If Americans Knew puts the number of dead Palestinian children since the start of the second intifada at 775.

121 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 775 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stats/children.html

when you shoot a child with

when you shoot a child with a sniper or bomb a house you know children are sleeping in in the middle of the night or you kidnap 400 children and put them in prisons - well that's very personal to me.

re milosevic and hezbollah -- i think that is uncomparable. or did hezbollah commit ethnic cleansing and genocide? how many civilians did hezbollah kill? is hezbollah striving to create a greater lebanon?

i think milosevic can be better compared to sharon and other israeli warcriminals.

We agree...

...on the Sharon-Milosevic analogy, which we have made ourselves. And I didn't say Hezbollah and Milosevic were equivalent. I only said it is equally idiotic to portray either of them as groovy socialists. Nasrallah may not be Milosevic (what a vindication!), but he is assuredly a clerical reactionary.

"I think you would object to

"I think you would object to propagandistic phrases like "Palestinian child murderers" to refer to suicide martyrs, wouldn't you? C'mon now."

I would not object if they would go to kindergartens or schools to blow themselves up.

i do not support killings of civilians. i personally don't even call them martyrs. i call them war criminals.

Glad to hear it

By the way, a little something from our archives on the question of murdering children, and where exploiting said murders for propaganda purposes can lead...

a source stating how exactly

a source stating how exactly the children died

http://rememberthesechildren.org/remember2006.html

re Hezbollah

Well… what if Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are the only ones willing to help the palestinians? Am i going to criticise them for their reactionary clericalism or whatever (something i know very little about or don't understand) because of my ideals or principles? Is Hebollah mistreating non-shias in lebanon? Is it imposing itself on them using force?

The situation being as it is and the popular support for Hezbollah in Lebanon being now very high, plus if you take into consideration the impressively small number of civilian deaths they caused and that they were fighting on their own land… you do realize that this war was started by israel, by their soldiers crossing on the lebanese side and getting shot and kidnapped in lebanon?

I just don't see fit to attack hezbollah now. I thought about it and i decided that my ideals are not worth the deaths of those children… it's just my opinion

This is why the left...

...deserves its own marginalization.

You don't know that the Israeli soldiers were abducted on the Lebanese side of the border, but it is really beside the point. How exactly was Hezbollah defending Lebanese children? By firing rockets from civilian neighborhoods, thereby drawing Israeli airstrikes? If Hezbollah only killed some 200 Israelis (including a handful of Arab Israelis, by the way) in the recent conflict, as compared to some 1,000 Lebanese killed by Israeli aggression, it wasn't for lack of trying. It was due to inferior firepower and nothing else. Either you support bombing civilians or you don't. Which is it?

Then there's the question of politics. I know it's terribly unfashionable of us to bring it up, but are you minimally familiar with the human rights situation, the status of women, labor rights, etc. in Iran, the state which purportedly arms Hezbollah, and which it presumably emulates? Even if Hezbollah has mellowed out on the stringent enforcement of sharia in their zones of control in recent years (according to the group's BBC Profile), this is still the ideology they represent. Why does the supposed "left" no longer care about this sort of thing?

In Lebanon, as in Iraq, Colombia and elsewhere, WW4 REPORT has endeavored to support the secular civil resistance. Alas, this has become an increasingly lonely task.

Did I say Hezbollah was

Did I say Hezbollah was defending Lebanese children? Oh yes maybe I implied it, since Hezbollah was actually fighting an invasion and occupation of the Lebanese territory, and an aggression many agree (even some Israeli Jews) was planned in advance by Israel.

Certainly, if we would have impartial war crimes investigations we would be able to know where and when exactly Hezbollah endangered the lives of civilians inside Lebanon during this conflict. However, there is a large number of incidents where there was no Hezbollah or should we say Islamic Resistance (Hezbollah's armed wing, since they are the only ones who should be considered the legitimate target, Hezbollah being a political party?). I saw destroyed buildings bombed by the Israelis where no weapons could have been stored and no legitimate military target was located.

You're counting the israeli soldiers as well?… what is the number of israeli civilians killed? 50? I should say that is different from 200… hezbollah killed more soldiers than civilians. It was not the case for the israeli army, who killed 10 times as many civilians as fighters.

Sorry, but if Hezbollah was trying to kill as many civilians as possible, this would result in many more deaths of Israeli civilians.

You know … a lot of Serbs died in Bosnia. Approximately 5000 short to match the total death toll of the muslim civilians killed in the Bosnian war. Only, the dead Serbs were overwhelmingly soldiers or armed paramilitaries. There is an imporant difference between killed civilians and soldiers.

I also read that Hezbollah has made a policy not to deliberately attack civilians. Which is why Hezbollah is not a terrorist organisation.

Hezbollah said that their rockets were launched into northern Israel in «retaliation» for Israeli bombings of Lebanese civilians and these rocket attacks started after the Israeli aggression on Lebanon started. I don't consider this justified, it is a war crime. However, I also read people saying that there were israeli military targets in or near Haifa and that Israelis deliberately positioned tanks near Israeli Arab villages.

Anyway, here in Europe we happen to consider Hezbollah a part of Lebanese society (not an Iranian puppet), a political party that has its ministers in the Lebanese government and support of a part of the Lebanese population (which is not at its heights) and we do not approve of their «destruction» or elimination.

Personally and because of the Palestinians, in the time of war I consider Hezbollah an ally. In the time of peace I'd say I would not have much in common with them and would criticise certain aspects of their ideology and practice (after i read enough and get enough knowledge to understand Islam and their culture). I do not aprove of war crimes and believe all those responsible should be brought to justice. But I support armed struggle against the Israelis in Lebanon and Occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories in line with international law.

I do think human rights are extremely important, but there is a different situation in the time of war and in the time of peace…. By the way i saw the Iranian homosexuals asked the US not to attack Iran to save their rights… so there you have it. Yes it's very unfashionable to criticise Iran on human rights right now, since the Israelis and Bush's neo-cons are trying to get us all into war with Iran. Take Turkmenistan for a while or Sudan...

ps - i don't speak for the left, just my own self.

And I didn't say...

...that only those areas where Hezbollah was shooting off missiles got bombed. But that was certainly a good guarantee that a given area would get bombed! You are correct on the distinction between Israeli civilian and military casualties, but I think it is utterly deluded to believe that Hezbollah was trying to avoid civilian casualties.

As for "Take Turkmenistan for a while or Sudan..." Are you really suggesting that we not write about human rights abuses in Iran? That's pretty cynical. And by the way, we have also taken shit for writing about Darfur from those who think the whole thing is a manipualtion to justify US intervention against Sudan!

It kind of makes me think of

It kind of makes me think of those Osama & Bert (of Ernie & Bert) posters that people in Pakistan were holding up after 9/11. I'd like a poster with Chavez, Che and Nasrallah (& Bert).

Angry Arab: it's a fake

Professor As'ad AbuKhalil (Angry Arab News Service):

Thursday, August 17, 2006
This "interview" with Nasrallah that is posted on Counterpunch is fake. I declare it to be a hoax, OK? I mean, it is so obvious. The guy does not sound like Nasrallah form the first sentence. Wait. It is possible that this is Hasan Dib Nasrallah, the Lebanese grocer kidnapped by Israel in a "daring commando raid?"

The "fraudulent" interview

Thus far, evidence that the interview is fake is limited to

1). People who opine that "Nasrallah wouldn't say that," and

2). One blogger who claims he spoke with an unnamed source in Beirut who is "close" to Hizbullah and who confirmed the interview is a fake. Ludicrous, to take such a statement as proof of fraud. You know somebody, your not saying who, but he is "close," whatever that means, to the military organization Hezbollah, therefore he can state authoritatively whether the leader of Hezbollah did or did not grant a specific interview? Its like saying you have a friend of a friend who is not in the US army, but is "close" to it, and therefore you can state authoritatively what Donald Rumsfeld did or didn't say.

Meanwhile, we have a poster on another blog

http://www.leftwrites.net/2006/08/17/nasrallah-interview-with-turkish-socialists/

who says

"My partner is a journlist/producer on the SBS Turkish radio program and before he came to Australia he was National politics editor of Evrensel. Last Thursday he interviewed the Evrensel journalists who spoke to Hasan Nasrallah for SBS. The interview is not a fake."

Still hearsay, but it is fair to say that those who state authoritatively that the Nasrallah interview is a fake based solely on the so-called evidence cited above are pretty much full of shit.

Sorry Bill, that means you too.

I just calls 'em as I sees 'em

Take it up with Gilbert Achcar and As'ad AbuKhalil. They speak with an authority I lack. I merely look to them as a journalist.

Present Positions

Nasrallah "interview" has become a real challenge to the ironical faculties of the Turkish Left. Evrensel is walking around sideways.

can you tell us more

...about what they're saying about the piece in Turkey? are people there skeptical of Evrensel?

Turkish site: Is the interview with Nasrallah fake?

Is the interview with Nasrallah fake?
Sendika.org
August 21, 2006

The interview with Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah reported by Roza Çiğdem Erdoğan and Mutlu Şahin (of the Şeyh Bedrettin Film Collective) published in the national daily Evrensel on August 12 started widespread discussions both within Turkey and elsewhere. However, there are allegations that the interview, which had also been translated and published in the respectable international left internet site Counterpunch, was faked. The interview, now under suspicion, had enjoyed interest worldwide and had spread via internet throughout the world from Bolivia to France, and from England to the US, has been the subject of many debates and discussions.

Many articles were written about the interview, which was also mentioned in the respectable Turkish daily Milliyet. While creating surprise as well as interest, the interview included Nasrallah’s admiration for Deniz Gezmiş (a revolutionary leftist who was executed by the military rule in Turkey) and Che Guevara, his disappointment for not having the unity in the Middle East that existed before, and his words, “If the socialists are going to come to Lebanon with their motto of, ‘religion is the opiate of the masses’ they better not come.” The interview under suspicion also included issues specific to the left in Turkey.

The names who claim to have done the interview, Şeyh Bedrettin Film Collective (ŞBFK), do not have a positive image among the left circles in Turkey. The same group had recently claimed in mailing lists in the internet that they were able to enter Lebanon during the war and were also able to get interviews and discuss issues of anti-imperialist front with Kim Jong-Il, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmedinejat, Fidel Castro, Moukteda es-Sadr, Beshar Esad and Evo Morales who normally would not give interviews to even the most famous journalists. In the past, since we suspected these announcements and did not want to be a party to disinformation, we chose to ignore these claims.

After the interview was translated and published in Counterpunch, serious accusations of its authenticity started to circulate as well. Below you will find the famous Lebanese Marxist author Gilbert Achar’s e-mail to the internet site ‘World War 4’:

Counterpunch prints "fraudulent" Nasrallah interview
Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Sat, 08/19/2006 - 02:38.
Lebanese scholar Gilbert Achcar writes via e-mail: "Many of you have certainly seen an interview allegedly done with [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah by a Turkish radical left newpsaper... I have enquired about it, and a source in Beirut in close touch with Hezbollah has confirmed to me that it is a forgery." However, Counterpunch has seen fit to keep the evident forgery on its website, despite growing questions about its authenticity (albeit, with a note at the end acknowledging the controversy). The pseudo-interview is interesting because of what it reveals about the willful illusions the radical left cultivates about radical Islam. (…)
http://ww4report.com/node/2347
We expect our friend daily Evrensel newspaper to make an announcement on the issue and clear the confusion this matter has caused in the public.
Sendika.org

About Debates in Turkey

People under some responsibility are generally sceptical about the Nasrallah interview, and the layman is quite certain: "It's f... fake."

In the name of Evrensel, Kamil Tekin Surek delivered a reply to Sendika.org:

http://www.sendika.org/english/yazi.php?yazi_no=7273

and Sendika.org didn't find it persuasive (not yet in English, but check: http://www.sendika.org/english/).

One of the interviewers, Roza Cigdem Erdogan, delivered a reply to istanbul.indymedia.org in the same vein.

Failing to supply any material evidence, both replies amount to the last sentence of the Mr. Surek's: "Instead of advancing ideas or participating in the discussions about the political developments in the world, the region or the tactics of the left or socialists, it is futile to try to find something wrong when it doesn't exist."

As for this "wrong," it might be illuminating to quote a paper (referring to the issue at hand) by one of the regular autors of neodemocracy.blogspot.com, Erdogan Ahmet (in Turkish, alas):

http://neodemocracy.blogspot.com/2006/08/sinif-mucadelesin
de-etik.html

In that paper (entitled "Ethics in the Class Struggle") Mr. Ahmet alleges that under capitalism Marxists ought to reject any ethics.

I entered into an argument with Mr. Ahmet and maintained that the morality and ethics of the proletariat must be incomparably stricter than and superior to the morality and ethics of the bourgeoisie (in Turkish, again):

http://istanbul.indymedia.org/news/2006/08/140604_comment.php#140671

http://istanbul.indymedia.org/news/2006/08/140604_comment.php#140789

All the participants' opinions were against Mr. Ahmet's.

A last word about the translation of Mr. Surek's reply:

"The Arab left or communist parties, organizations or the intellectuals do not approach Hezbollah or Nasrallah like our secular "leftists" do." - This "secular" must have been "secularist" (or, more accurately, not "laic" but "laicist"). Distinctions like these are extremely important in Turkey's present conjuncture.

Marxist " ethics vs Bourgeois ethics

It was by coincidence that I have come across with this comment about my essay and my approach to ethics .. and its bragging critique.

Writer! Notes:

As for this "wrong," it might be illuminating to quote a paper (referring to the issue at hand) by one of the regular autors of neodemocracy.blogspot.com, Erdogan Ahmet (in Turkish, alas):

http://neodemocracy.blogspot.com/2006/08/sinif-mucadelesin
de-etik.html

Here is my response to that in English, no more ALAS Turkish…

It has always been the bourgeois tactic to rip a sentence out of its context and defy the argument of others.

Here is what I think and believe Marxist approach to "ethics" is:

First of all there is misconception and misunderstanding on the meaning of "ethics". It has either purposefully or due to lack of knowledge, mixed with the concept of `moral` and “values".

Being against or pro war is a question of "values". It may well be a moral question for some, may not for others. Similarly, it is not an "ethical" question, since it mostly applies to "professional, organizational, ideological, etc conduct".

To kill a wounded enemy fighter is an "ethical" question. It has nothing to do with "moral", or "values" for all.(as the cases in Iraq war prove)

For the civilians to rape and pillage his own people by benefiting the chaos of war is a "moral' question. For the military personal doing the same, it is more an "ethical" question.

Now clearing the differences, for those who thinks and proceeds ; Moral, Values and Ethics are all the same, let’s go back to Mr. Left Marxist’s comment:

He (replier) says: “I entered into an argument with Mr. Ahmet and maintained that the morality and ethics of the proletariat must be incomparably stricter than and superior to the morality and ethics of the bourgeoisie (in Turkish, again):

Now, first of all, the question my essay has taken, had nothing to do with “morality” in bourgeois sense, but “ethics”. However, I, intentionally, have added some quotes from Marx with the purpose of showing Marxist approach to the ethics question,

Some of them;

“”””It may be remarked in passing that German philosophy, because it took consciousness alone as its point of departure, was bound to end in moral philosophy, where the various heroes squabble about true morals. (MECW, 5:36)””””

“””I wrote An Address to the Working Class.... My proposals [in this Address] were all accepted by the subcommittee [of the Workingmen’s International Association] . Only I was obliged to insert two phrases about ‘duty’ and ‘right’ into the Preamble to the Statutes, ditto ‘truth, morality, and justice,’ but these are placed in such a way that they can do no harm””” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Selected Correspondence,

Marx’s sociology of morals is that, the moral ideas people come to have is determined both by the mode of production, and their class position. Yet there is a difference between Marxist sociology of moral and his” Moral” theory. What is right and wrong can never be independent of the relations of production. For Marx’ “moral systems” arise from the interests of social groups.

As one can clearly see these are not my “quotes” but of Marx Engels. And clearly can have an idea on “what and how they think about Moral”. And can you imagine what they think about bourgeois ethics

Thus, by adding “moral” to the question, in reality this bragging left-Marxist replier, is not criticizing me but, Marx and Engels.

My entire essay was based on Ethics and titled “Ethics in Class Struggle “which claimed that the ‘ethics” under capitalism are ethics of those who own the means of production, ie capitalists. In this sense these are bourgeois ethics, and they only use them for the “others “but they always disregard them.

Revolutionary Democrats ethics are not that of bourgeois ethics.

“”””But is there such a thing as communist ethics? Is there such a thing as communist morality? Of course, there is. It is often suggested that we have no ethics of our own; very often the bourgeoisie accuse us Communists of rejecting all morality. This is a method of confusing the issue …………… instead of basing ethics on the commandments of morality, on the commandments of God, they (bourgeoisie) based it on idealist or semi-idealist phrases, which always amounted to something very similar to God's commandments. ````

And I have quoted the following from the same writing of Lenin:

“”””We reject any morality based on extra-human and extra-class concepts. We say that this is deception, dupery, stultification of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landowners and capitalists. “”

“”`We say that our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the proletariat's class struggle. Our morality stems from the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.”””” Lenin,The Tasks of the Youth Leagues

Establishing the Marxist difference on bourgeois ethics, I have claimed that the class struggle can not be limited within the boundaries of bourgeois rules. Those (bourgeois) rules can, and should be broken for the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.

We should have a different approach and attitude towards the ethics among ourselves and ethics with the class enemies. In this sense Revolutionary Democrats’ ethics can not be compromised, but bourgeois ethics can and should be when and if it will further the cause and benefit the class struggle.

Proceeding from this Marxist approach, my main approach and critique to the referenced so called “ethical” event was in two fold:

One, if Evrensel was not sure about the interview, yet after carefully studying and analyzing every outcome, they wanted to use it for the interest of class struggle, it was quite ok with me for the simple reason that due to this sectarian left-Marxists, vast majority of somewhat-religious people who stayed away from left, could come one step closer to the ranks. It could break the ice and can create the atmosphere to approach these working class people and organize them for the cause, rather than pushing them to the bosom of reaction. At any rate it did.

Two, if they knew about the false interview and publish without any study and any analyze of the possible out come but of their own group, it was as wrong as another `leftist” taken the duty of bourgeois detective duty and disclose the “ethical misconduct”.

For bourgeois it is within the “ethics” for “haves” to drop cluster bomb from the air and kill thousands of people at once and afterwards, yet it is not within the ethics for “HaveNots” if one of them takes one bomb and jumps in to a military compound and blows it.

Who determines what is ethical and what is not? Working class or Bourgeois? And FOR WHOM since bourgeoisie is the only one who violates all the time?

Critiques continues :

“””’All the participants' opinions were against Mr. Ahmet's.”””

I have only responded to one, and realized I am not dealing with people who want to read and understand, but (mostly ) people who either have no idea about Marxism, or there to search and pick on something to be against, or there to waste time and curse one another. That’s why I can not claim he is wrong on this observation of his, yet so most of the bourgeois liberals are against me, which do not bother me at all, contrary makes me happy.

So, again here, I, as a Marxist do believe in rejecting any and all bourgeois ethics if and when it is necessary to further the cause of working class and for the benefit of working class.

````“You shoot first, Messieurs the Bourgeoisie,” wrote Engels, ……..at the necessity of our violating legality after the bourgeoisie had violated””” Lenin

If these left-Marxists study Marxism instead of memorizing it to impress themselves and others cause would be better served. Yet it is not what they want to serve..

As for the last, for those who can understand the concept of ethics, this is much better short explanation.

According to Marxist materialist philosophy there is no good or bad. The opposition of good and bad is not dialectic, Marx says, but only a "mystery" of bourgeois morality””

Erdogan Ahmet

Comrades,

Comrades,

In the light of Mr. Ahmet's last paragraph, I want to share a philosophical consequence of mine with you:

Let it be banned to ask "What is . . .?" for some thousand years, and then be set free under strict control.

Dialectic or not?

My last paragraph was;
According to Marxist materialist philosophy there is no good or bad. The opposition of good and bad is not dialectic, Marx says, but only a "mystery" of bourgeois morality””

and my response 'is;

"it is not a question of banning to ask " what is.." , but it is a question of how to approach to "what is..".. Dialectic or not?

For the sake of Social Democratic ethics and with the hope that the "question" of ethics may be understood in an ideological way in which one claims to be, I will respond one last time.

Again the last paragraph is not mine but of Marx. You do have the right to disagree with what he says, but you can not claim to be a Marxist and disagree with Marx without bringing an alternative.

Marx was not talking there again `moral` in general, but in capitalist society where the bourgeois controls, sets the rules and decides on everything from what is good and bad to what is allowable to what is not.

He was, in a way, giving a very effective example of what dialectic is and how it should be used.. Good and bad. He was not denying the existence of the opposing terms, but he was using this as an example while he was criticizing Proudhon.

I hope that these quotes from him would be helpful to understand what he was talking about, and how it applies to our ‘referenced’ discussion.

“””. . one good, the other bad. He looks upon these categories as the petty bourgeois looks upon the great men of history: Napoleon was a great man; he did a lot of good; he also did a lot of harm. The good side and the bad side, the advantages and the drawbacks, taken together form for M. Proudhon the contradiction in every economic category. The problem to be solved: to keep the good side, while eliminating the bad. Slavery is an economic category like any other. Thus it also has two sides. Let us leave alone the bad side and talk about the good side of slavery………ethics exist in the material situation itself, in this example, in the institution of slavery. The good of slavery is that without it, you would have no cotton, and no modern industry, and no world trade. "The value of slavery is not in any good inherent in the abstract concept of its thesis -- we have left aside its 'bad' side -- and it seems that the 'good' side is good only relative to whether you think that it is 'good' to have a system built upon slavery at all" (Marx 1978:105).’’”””

On every society good and bad differs and relative to the society one lives in, and his/her relation to the means of production….

It is "ethical" to glorify the war, and boirgeois media show nothing about the cruelness of the war, yet, it is "unethical" to show the real face of the war.

It is "ethical" to broadcast and print the government propoganda materials as "news", yet it is "unethical " to broadcast and print any anti government material with the pretex that they are propoganda..

It is ethical to consider a general or an embedded journalist as an “independent” , “impartial”, “reliable” source for a news, yet it is “unethical” to consider the “victim” or “witnesses who contradicts” the ‘reliable source”, as a reliable source..

What is good, what is bad, what is reliable, what is not, what is within the “ethics” what is “unethical ‘… all relative…to “which side” you are on…as far as the “truth” (manipulated or not) concern, and whose interests the (manipulated) “truth” serves…

As I have noted in one of my essays: there is only one truth, truth itself. In any given event, the “event it self” is the only truth. Anything related to the event ;( who, why, when, how,) can be manipulated and always differs depending on the sides involved/affected by the event. Thus, they are not “truths”, per say, but merely “comments” on the events by two opposing sides involved in..

So, our approach to the question of what is right, what is wrong, what is just, what is unjust, what is ethical, what is not.. can not be based on what we are told as such, but we know as they should be…As anti-imperialists, as anti-racist, as anti-fascist, as anti-unjust war, as “real Social Democrats” ,one well known Marxist, put it.

Erdogan Ahmet

Hebollah spokesman: interview is a hoax

From: http://www.thecatsdream.com/blog/2006/08/nasrallah-and-counterpunchs-hoax.htm

Here is a summary of a report just made by the Anatolian News Agency:

Hussain Rahhal, Hezbullah's responsible for press has issued a written statement saying that no such interview was made. He said: "Our secretary general Nasrallah has not made any interviews with any Turkish or other non-Lebanese journalist during the month of August. In front of this imaginary interview that is untruthful, and hence does damage to journalism, credibality and objectivity, Hezbollah reserves its right to take legal action against those who have published it."

Here's another link to the Turkish press on the hoax: http://www.stargazete.com/starextra/index.asp?haberID=37336

Let's see Cockburn wriggle out of that one.

Cockburn eats crow

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn09012006.html

I fail to understand why this became such a big deal. The Nasrallah "interview" wasn't half as ludicrous as the bulk of the unedited frothing conspiranoid bilge regularly published on Counterpunch. Would that half such serious attention be paid to Diana Johnstone's genocide denial tracts regularly granted Cockburn's unerring imprimateur.