Middle East

Crooke ♥ Assad

Remember Alastair Crooke?

You know, the ex-MI6 spook who converted to Islamism, and now runs Conflicts Forum: the pro-Hamas and Hezbollah lobby group, with Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi and Moazzam Begg on its board? Who who lives in Hezbollah-run Lebanon, just across the border from its master, Syria?

Were he to write an article for Foreign Policy – the foreign policy journal with Stephen Walt and Mark Lynch on its board – about about Bashar Assad’s chances in Syria, what do you think it would say?

Find out for yourself.

Were you surprised to find that his support for democracy activists in Syria is perhaps a little less strong than one might hope?

Here’s a snippet from Conflicts Forum’s “about us” section:

Since the late 1980’s, Conflicts Forum’s directors, Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry, have been in dialogue with a wide range of leading Islamists. During this period, Islamism has emerged as the most significant indigenous political force in the region.

The overwhelming majority of Islamists are striving to create just societies and bring about political reform in a region entrenched with inequity, that has long suffered the overbearing influence of foreign powers.

However, when it comes to Middle Eastern liberation movements which are not aligned with the sponsors of Hamas and Hezbollah, Crooke is against them. His co-director, Mark Perry, left Conflicts Forum over the issue:

Perry left Conflicts Forum in the wake of Iran’s June presidential election, when he and Crooke found themselves on opposing sides. “He wrote an article on the June elections that showed disregard for the demonstrators,” says Perry. “And I wrote a piece castigating the regime and showing admiration for the opposition.”

I wonder if anybody will leave Conflicts Forum over Crooke’s latest shill for a totalitarian dictator who is killing his own citizens?

UPDATE

I failed to read the various comments to the article on FP. I recommend that you do – they’re a hoot!

That article is practically propaganda. The author has no idea what he’s talking about. None of the uprisings had a thing to do with foreign policy. Every single one of them is about the domestic politics of those countries which is mainly corruption and lack of political freedom. Syria is worse than Egypt was under Mubarak on both counts. That article might as well have been written by Assad himself. He is not a reformer and is solely responsible for every Syrian who has been murdered since the uprisings began. What rubbish.

This article should be filed under “Science Fiction”

Was this written for publication in Tishreen, Syria’s state propaganda outlet? How absolutely embarrassing that it appeared in a respectable outlet like Foreign Policy.

Some of the comments are really quite coarse, and unsuitable for a family publication such as HP.

Oh, and I wouldn’t describe Foreign Policy as a “respectable outlet”.

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