al-Qaeda

Reading "western" media on Syria

OMG! Those damned Russians! One week they're interfering with the US presidential election, the next they're bombing hospitals and schools in Syria. Woe is us!

How are we to understand such perfidy?! Herein a few pointers.

Syrian "Revolution": Campists unite!

We're duds!

Those of us who support the elected Syrian government over the foreign-supported and supplied proxy war, the fighters of which are a wahhabist, head-chopping rabble, have it all wrong. We're not anti-imperialists, we're "campists."

Achcar: Left confused about Syria. Me: Oh, really?

Is the "left" confused about Syria? Are we overlooking the revolutionary possibilities in the Syrian "uprising"? According to Gilbert Achcar, we are. He's just published a piece in Jacobin magazine...

RIP, "blowback"

We're in the process of losing a really good word: "blowback."

How are we losing it? A lot of writers think it's a pretty cool word, and writers like to use cool words. Unfortunately, they don't know what it means. They think it means "reaction."

It doesn't. It's a word invented by CIA operatives to describe the negative, often surprising, consequences that rebound on an actor because of things that actor does in pursuit of their own objectives. It's a very special type of reaction. Here're some examples:

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