Debating Syria Productively

Bush, David

Publisher:  Socialist Project
Date Written:  30/12/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20187

A collection of remarks on how the debate, within the left, over the Syrian conflict has been lacking and could be made more productive.




The antiwar movement in the West faces numerous challenges: the rising right represented by Trump and the European far-right, increasing xenophobia and Islamophobia, increased terrorist attacks, the refugee crisis, and the expansion of unending wars in the Middle East. Framing these questions around abstract debates about how some on the Left orient to Russia actually hinders the growth of antiwar movements and sentiments. Opposing Russian aggression above and beyond one's own government is a strategic dead end for the antiwar movement, especially in the context of rising nationalism and anti-Russian rhetoric pumped out by the media and politicians.


The Left has not fully grappled with phenomenon of social media in relation to this story. The instant hot takes and analysis is often based on partial or totally misleading stories. The promise of social media, its potential to bypass the corporate media and elevate the voices of regular people, has failed to materialize. Rather social media as a medium has been effectively incorporated into the propaganda system which is still owned and operated by the corporate media, state-owned media, and the PR strategies of governments.
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