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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Change-Links new Syria list policy would make Putin proud

Change-Links@yahoogroups.com is a progressive list-serve based in Los Angeles that was started by my long time friend John Johnson to complement the monthly Change-Links newspaper that for decades has been the go-to guide of progressive activities in Southern California. I wrote about this paper, the email list it spawned, and John Johnson after his passing last year in April, Rest In Peace John Johnson of Change-Links. I have been a member of, and posted regularly to the Change-Links list long before I started blogging in support of the people rising up against the fascist Assad regime in Syria. Now the moderator and several prominent list members want to banned me from the list for alleged pro-war views:
[change-links] POLICY: Related to Calls for War against Syria | 25 Aug 2015

I am personally opposed to any US wars. I will not, however, block efforts by others to make their cases in this list even if I disagree with them so long as they are coming from a conscientious perspective on the political left. So long as they are not personally attacking other members of the list. So long as they are not spamming the list with large numbers of messages in a single day saying essentially the same thing and, effectively, shutting down discussion in what amounts to a shouting match. I'm not saying that's the intent here but, if I start feeling that there are too many messages in a day calling for war from a single person, I'll delete all but the first one unless the others are not, in my view, redundant. "Name calling" from people already under moderation for same will result in their posting privileges being blocked entirely. I will repeat this last paragraph in a separate message as it is to be added to list policies.

- list moderator.[uncledon@well.com]
From the title of this policy, four sad conclusions can be drawn:

1) The millions of Syrians who demonstrated on the "Friday of Immediate Military Intervention", “Friday of International Protection”, “Friday of No-Fly Zone”, “Friday of The Buffer Zone is Our Demand”, and “Friday We Want Weapons, not Statements”, as well as those who support these demands are "Calling for War against Syria" as understood by the moderator of this list.

2) An armed-struggle against the Assad regime is the same thing as "War against Syria" as defined by the moderator of this list.

Is it the policy of this list to consider it beyond reasonable to question whether the current Iranian staffed Assad bureaucracy, collection of sectarian Shia and Alawite militias, Iraqi militias, Hezbollah and what's left of the Syrian Arab Army after 4 years of defections, is the legitimate Syrian government because Assad won over 97% of the vote in two elections or because he uses mass murder, rape and torture as means of control?

3) The right to post to this list is subjected to be regulated if the political views expressed on Syria run counter to those held by the moderator no matter how many Syrians support those politics.

4) This Change-Links list is positioning itself to imitate and conform to the bourgeois media blackout on the massacres being carried out daily by the Assad regime.

With regards to the charge of "spamming the list," I sent 29 messages to the list in August, or less than one a day. My most "spammy" day last month was 23 August when I bombarded the list with 5 messages "all saying the same thing":
  1. Fwd: [Critical-Syria] starvation amid the ongoing siege of Eastern Ghouta
  2. Fwd: [Critical-Syria] Syrian defectors reveal horrors of life under Bashar al-Assad's regime in reminder for West to 'not just focus on fighting Isis'
  3. Fwd: [Critical-Syria] A false flag in Douma?
  4. Fwd: [Critical-Syria] HRW: Impose Arms Embargo on the Syrian Government
  5. Fwd: [Critical-Syria] EXCELLENT: Blame dictatorship, not democracy, for the unravelling order in the Arab world
I also always post exerts and links to my Linux Beach blog posts.

Now you may better interpret the meaning of the moderator's words. Anything that shines a light on the suffering of the Syrian people, anything that calls for their relief, and anything negative about the Assad regime is considered pro-war spam that he wants to ban from this list. A far as the moderator is concerned, all of these messages say the same thing. I'm just repeating myself. So he would delete all but the first one. In truth, he would like to delete them all. They represent views that the "anti-imperialists" can't deal with effectively any other way because they are grounded in truth, so in the best authoritarian tradition, they want to silence me. If they could shut-down this blog and lock me up for speaking out, they would.

This is not the first time these "free speech advocates" have tried to ban me from the list. This latest attempt was preceded by a rebuke of me for "attacking" other people on the list. After bschier@yahoo.com posted this to the list:
Check for author's role (despite screenwriting and directing of documentary unequivocably opposed to U.S. war in Vietnam and its results) as rooting for rooting / routing out Washington's "enemies" -- and consider what he advocates as apologia. Check.
I responded:
This is your arrogant and chauvinistic response to government organized rape, torture and the murder of a quarter million? This is your "fuck you" to the people?
This exchange took place after I sent my republication of Bild's The truth about Assad's war on Syria to the list. They can't handle the truth. So instead of my post leading to a lively discussion of what is really happening in Syria, it lead to a discussion of my "attacking" people on the list.

My comment above was followed by one from the list moderator that repeated DO NOT ATTACK PEOPLE ON THE LIST! in six paragraphs together with a threat to ban. In case anyone was confused about who he was referring to, he repeated my comment above as the example of what he was talking about and didn't mention bschier. His comments applied only to me and not the attack on me. After the list moderator isolated me for criticism, Frank Dorrel, of Addicted to War fame, thanked Don for his good moderation of the list and Don thanked him for his comment. After four years of "study," Frank still doesn't know which side of the barricades to stand on in Syria. That is very convenient for him because he still gets to sell his books and DVDs at PSL and WWP events and remain "friends" with everybody on the "Left." The only people that get dissed in this are the Syrian people and if Frank gives a fart about them, you couldn't tell it from the postings to his own atw-news list. With all that has been happening in Syria in 2015, Frank's list, which goes out everyday, has mentioned Syria three times, twice in ANSWER submissions, and once in a list of places visited by Dedon Kamathi. This is what I posted to the list in response:
Why no response to bschier@yahoo.com's attack on me? Your polite exchange with Frank doesn't answer that. His attack on me was designed as a distraction from the fact that another 50 human beings were murdered by a government that many on the "Left" supports, including some on this list.

The choice to discuss my conduct and not his and not what should be done to stop another 50 people from being murdered by Assad in Douma, is also designed to be a distraction from an honest discussion of what is causing the greatest holocaust of the 21st century

The truth is that the practise of the "Left" with regards to the fascist destruction of a country and a quarter million people has been absolutely shameful.
Here is just a small sampling of the things that have been said about me without ever receiving even a warning from the list moderator:
Those like the CNN stringer and Clay, who cheered for Obama's destruction of Syria's government (Mark Richie - 12/29/14)
No angry DO NOT ATTACK PEOPLE ON THE LIST! admonishment followed multiple personal attacks in the same day:
Can clay, les, or cort be pardoned by international workers for their social chauvinist bloody terror against first Libya and now Syria. Black, Libyan and Syrian lives matter, so much harsher the judgement the world needs deliver against these funded fake Marxists, at least one of whom -- Clay -- appears to be African American.( Dr. Hank 04/21/15)
as the death toll grows and grows supported by obama, kerry, clinton, les evenchik, cort greene, clay claibourne, bernadine dohrn, and the entire fake left liberals social chauvinists racist pigs of amerikkka /usa and NATO... (Dr. Hank 4/21/2015)
Cort Greene is another list member that stands with the Syrian people and is also being threatened with banning. This didn't receive a rebuke either:
Clay probably knows if he is paying critical attention to his publications, (or he may not since they are widely circulated talking points from the CIA and State Department about the intervention in Libya and now Syria)(Dr. Hank 8/29/15)
After our "unbiased" moderator made clear his views on Syria, 1 Sept 2015:
ISIS has been considered a strategic asset of the US and has been supplied by the US/NATO through Turkey. ISIS is a smoke screen for the US to attack Syria. Russia once again is running interference on a Syrian war and is calling the bluff ... they will "help fight ISIS" too ...
As you can see, our "anti-imperialists" don't object all foreign intervention in Syria, never mind that it has been mainly Russian weapons that have been killing Syrians for going on five years, these people blame the US for all the carnage. It is also easy to see why they are desperate to silence their critics. This ridiculous position can't handle any scrutiny. It can only survive in any environment where everyone already agrees. To this is how 'Henry D.' henryduke2004@yahoo.com responded:
I would ask that we not allow people who call for open and overt US support to ISIS, as Clay says "Assad would be worst than ISIS" in one of his recent posts.(Dr. Hank 9/2/15)
And, of course, the moderator didn't have any problem with that personal attack and misrepresentation. I said Assad is worst that ISIS. He his killing about 7 times as many Syrians everyday.
Clay appears to have money in his funded misinformation agains African people. [Yes he himself is African-American, the higher he is paid to betray and enslave Libyan Africans and Syrian Arabs.(Dr. Hank 12/17/14
Again no objections from Uncle Don to this personal attack and no demand for proof of this slander by our moderator. It should now be clear to every reader that our moderator is very biased in his moderation of the discussion. But apparently, our moderator has had second thoughts about just outright banning people that don't share this "anti-imperialist" orthodoxy so he is now proposing a vote (9/6/15):
MODERATOR: ChangeLinks Pro-War Postings' POLL - (Change Links list active posters)

This is an ADVISORY poll to provide information to the list moderator. Anyone reading this message via the listserve or a direct message to list subscribers may respond. In addition, people working with the production collective may respond even if they are not subscribed to the list. Please respond to to have your input compiled and considered in any decision-making process. The list moderator will publish results to the listserve membership and production collective members. He will note the response rate of the list membership who have posted to the list in the last THREE MONTHS. A response by less than half of these list members will not be considered valid. The moderator will allow at least a week or two for results to come in. (There were 31 unique individuals posting to the list over the past three months.)

Please answer Y/N/U for "Yes", "No", or "Unsure/no opinion":

QUESTION) Y/N/U?: ChangeLinks' list should NOT allow posting of messages calling for the US to enter or support a war.

- A YES answer means that the respondent wishes to have all such pro-war postings blocked from the list. This would change current list policy.
- A NO answer means that the respondent does NOT wish to have all such pro-war postings blocked from the list. This would NOT change current list policy.

*** PLEASE READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY TO BE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR RESPONSE INDICATES!

After answering this single question with a Y/N/U response, please feel free to add a message to elaborate on your answer. Only the Y/N/U responses will be added up but comments up to their first 150 words in length will be compiled into a single message. Longer responses will be cut off.after 150 words. One poll response and one comment per person, maximum 150 words, in the compilation.

*** PLEASE PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFO FOR THE MODERATOR: Please let me know whether I can post your name or the nickname you use for posting message along with your poll responses (the question and any comments) or whether you wish to remain anonymous.

-The Change-Links list Moderator
Since the ADVISORY already defines support for the Assad regime as the "anti-war" position, and support for Syrian revolt against that regime, or even informing people about their suffering, is defined as the "pro-war" position, I feel like this resolution is stacked against me. However, I now understand better why they don't have a problem supporting a fascist dictatorship, and I hope that they never hold more power in our society than they already do. I don't make the argument that Syrians have to choose between ISIS and Assad, I support the Syrian revolution. I do think Assad is worst than ISIS. Furthermore, I think these "anti-imperialists", if they ever were to gain state power, would be worst guardians of our civil and human rights than even our present bourgeois rulers. I don't think I would like their interpretation of the First Amendment.

UPDATED: Apparently, as a result of this blog post "Uncle Don" has gone ahead and banned me from the Change-Links list. He post this to the list 5 hours after my post. No results of this "ADVISORY" poll have been published:
Life is too short for this. Others are welcome who post about Syria with a variety of opinions. People picking fights based on specious claims about the intents of others are not welcome regardless of their opinions on any matter. Clay's claims about my intentions are not worth refuting. Goodbye Clay!
He has the power, and he knows he's right and that's all that matters to this "anti-imperialist" defender of democracy.


Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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