The Sunni-Trotski Pact

I remain bemused by the passionate cheerleading for the Syrian ‘insurgency’ exhibited by so many of my Lefty comrades. In the case of The Great Wet Hen himself, Louis Proyect, the mania seems to have tipped him over into taking sides in what is, after all, a religious war — to the extent that any war is really a religious war. I refer of course to the Sunni/Shia aspect of recent events in the Middle East. Louis appears to be on the verge of a conversion to Sunnism. (Of course I have a Proddie weakness for Shiism myself, so who am I to talk?)

The GWH recently penned a furious essay which took its starting point from a creepy little Israeli rumor site called Debkafile. Louis writes:

Today a Debkafiles item titled “US and Iran’s First Joint Military Venture: Fighting al Qaeda in Iraq” turned up on Facebook. As you might know, Debkafiles is an Israeli intelligence website committed to the “war on terror” so you can assume that they are pleased with Obama’s turn against a common enemy.

Now this is so muddled that it qualifies as Not Even Wrong.

First of all, who cares what appears on Debkafiles? Does even the GWH believe that a pipsqueak operation like this gives us a window into the deepest counsels of Netanyahu et al.?

But even if we join the Hen in his curious enthusiasm for Debkafile, he doesn’t seem to have read the piece he cites very alertly. It’s written in a superficially straight, journalistic style, but clearly reflects a certain dividedness of mind. An undertone of dismay about hints of a US rapprochement with Iran coexist uneasily with the usual sloganeering about al-Qaeda, ‘terrorism’, ‘jihadists’ and so on — these latter being the people that the US and Iran have supposedly teamed up to defeat. The GWH’s comment that ‘you can assume [Debkafile] is pleased’ seems manifestly wrong if you actually read the piece.

But of course, as noted, Debkafile is of no consequence. Let’s step back a moment from this kind of offal-reading and just do a little thinking about Israel and its situation.

The most important fact about Israel is that all its neighbors hate it — with good reason. Israel has no friends in the region. How could it? Everybody there understands perfectly well that the Israeli game plan is to become the unrivalled regional hegemon, and its tactical approach, of some decades’ standing, is to weaken, destabilize, and if necessary dismember all the states in the region who might offer any competition. Even the Sunni petroligarchs of the Gulf can hardly be expected to sign on to this proyect project.

But fortunately for Israel, its neighbors are also divided among themselves.

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.

So the obvious tactic is ‘both ends against the middle’. It seems unlikely that the Israeli regime wants either the petroligarchs or the Iranians and their allies to achieve an actual clear-cut victory. Rather, as with the gingham dog and the calico cat, the hope is surely that they eat each other up.

At the strategic level, of course, Iran is more worrisome than the Gulfi states; it’s a real country and not just a postcolonial contrivance ginned up on top of an oil field. Syria is nearby, and plays a role in Lebanon, also nearby; and Hizbollah and Hamas are thorns in the Israeli side, as ‘Qaeda’ is not. And this, I think, is the reason why Israel’s amen corner in the US is so wildly enthusiastic about the Sunni reptile-funded Syrian insurgency. Not to mention the Hipster Insurgency in Iran itself, a few years back.

But then again, time was that Iran — back in the dear old Shah’s day — was a useful counterbalance for the Israelis against Arab nationalism; and who knows but what a chastened, globalized Iran might not someday play that role once more? Hey, even the Sunnis have been known to get frisky from time to time.

All this seems like Politics 101 to me — an improvisatory muddle, reeling from crisis to crisis. States collude and simultaneously contend. To update an old observation, states have neither friends nor enemies — only frenemies.

The Hen doesn’t think this way, though. For him, as far as I can tell, it’s all a question of trivial lemmata derived from deep essences. All the bad guys are of course on the same side. Hey, they’re bad, aren’t they? What deeper bond could there be?

13 thoughts on “The Sunni-Trotski Pact

  1. Thanks, this is a great post to start the new year. I’m glad you’re reading GWH and reporting on him because I can no longer wade through all of his verbiage.

    • Yes father smiff hounding Leon henski is a delight

      Ahh if only the old wet bird would respond

      Alas GWH has a very high bar for engagement
      Except at his chat booth of a site
      And there Oz rules create a climate
      of contrived polemic
      looming banishment
      and The stench of dogmatical putrefaction

  2. I was a teenie wannabe bopper way back in the day when I read Charlie Marx’ Little Bad Book. For sure there were some new-to-me ideas, but it overall sounded like some New Age religion. Not that far from Scientology. I set it down.

    Now comes this guy from the Dark side of the Web that only Michael J Smith can access, with the title “Unrepentant Marxist.” Hmm. Also a Shiite-Sunni schism that I would never have even imagined a decade ago. Big trouble here in River City for sure. What to think?

    If it’s any consolation at all, maybe China will take Israel off our olden hands:

    “Political support – In pursuing warmer ties with China, Israel hopes to leverage its skills in hi-tech and agricultural innovation to win the political support of the Chinese government, which has signaled it wants to play a greater diplomatic role in the region. For Israel, China’s willingness to do business without attaching conditions related to human rights or the negotiations with the Palestinians looks particularly attractive in the face of growing Western frustrations with Israel’s policies in Gaza and the West Bank.” — Mind-Crawl — A Pearl Necklace:

    But don’t look for it. This is just how the Chinese do not do business. But wait… We could find ourselves in an auction for the Holy Land with the Great Eastern Leviathan. We are that stupid, right?

  3. Report: Israeli Military Intelligence Sees ‘Deep Strategic Change’ In Iran
    BY MATT DUSS ON DECEMBER 31, 2013 AT 12:19 PM

    Haaretz reported in September that on the eve of Netanyahu’s departure for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the head of MI, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, provided him with an assessment holding that a deep strategic change was being played out in Iran, expressed in Rohani’s election victory in June.

    Kochavi appears to be sticking to this opinion. …

  4. Imagine my delight: I just got an email notifying me that the GWH had unsubscribed me from his mailing list, presumably because of this post (I haven’t had much to say on the list itself for quite some time).

    Now, of course, I will have to find a new source for intellectual comedy; but that’s probably a good thing.

    • Seems like an honor much deserved! I have no idea how or even why you continue to subject yourself to this guy, I think he’s only trying to help you.

  5. There have been threads on his blog where comments by certain folks were disappeared, the only evidence of their existence was the opprobrium heaped on them by name in remaining comments. One hopes he’s not airbrushing you out of the picture as others of his tribe were once wont to do:

    Of course, Proyect will protest about tribal affiliations, but paraphrasing a witticism (“of all the Jesuits, the worst are the Protestant ones”): of all the Stalinists, the worst are the Trotskyites.

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