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Funny that Porter's name just came now because I also just saw this dreadful interview with Porter conducted by Rania Khalek: https://raniakhalek.com/2016/09/19/ceasefire-deal-us-reluctant-to-force-syrian-rebel-groups-to-cut-ties-with-al-qaeda/

It is a breathtakingly ignorant piece, on the part of both of them - for example, Khalek "asks" and Porter "confirms" that the structure of the rebellion in Aleppo is such that all rebel groups are not only attached to Jabhat al-Nusra, but are led by it. Of course, for those who know stuff, Nusra's weakness in Aleppo, indeed its withdrawal from much of central and northern Aleppo last year, is too well-known; indeed, the large coalition of some 35 rebel militias that rules free Aleppo - Fatah Halab - explicitly excludes Nusra. But it doesn't matter: even though Porter clearly has no expertise on anything Middle eastern, let alone Syria, and presents no facts to back up this bizarre assertion, he is a *famous person*, and therefore, if he "confirms" something, then it has become a "fact."

More to the point though, over and above the demonstrated ignorance of basic facts that both show in this scrawny little piece, is the issue: the US and Russia have been negotiating a wide-ranging agreement to share intelligence to jointly bomb not only ISIS, but also Nusra, the issue with Nusra being (apart from the fact that it is a little lamb compared to ISIS) that its fighters are spread around many of the same areas as other rebels, with few specific areas. The US has ordered the rebels to separate themselves from Nusra on the ground, if they know what's good, ie, otherwise they will be bombed also. Thus it is demanded that the rebels break with any cooperation on the ground with Nusra, which, with all its shit that noone doubts, actually aids the fight against the fascist regime, for example, played an important role in the recent breaking of Assad's siege of 300,000 people in free Aleppo, yet this demand is made by the US, which has never provided more than irrelevant aid (when not actually bombing them itself), in alliance with Russia, the main imperialist invasion force in Syria slaughtering the population.

What would good anti-imperialists Khalek and Porter have to say about such a plan for joint imperialist bombing by the world's two superpowers of a small militia in Syria (and of any other militia that does not do what it is told) on behalf of a genocidal regime? Condemn imperialist intervention and war? Well, no. In fact Porter explicitly says that launching this joint war is a GOOD THING compared to the last ceasefire! The whole point of the interview is the concern of these two Good Citizens that the US government may not have a good enough mechanism, or may not really even by committed enough, to forcing the rebels (who this shit-face Porter calls "US proxies" with the implication that the US can force them to do what it wants) to separate from Nusra.

That's what it comes down to to be anti-imperialist - after the US has been bombing Nusra in Syria now for 24 months straight (along with lots of other rebels), the problem is that the US might still let Nusra get away with continuing to exist, may not really be dedicated to bombing the life out of them.

-----Original Message----- From: Louis Proyect via Marxism Subject: [Marxism] Fwd: The War Against the Assad Regime Is Not a "PipelineWar"

(Gareth Porter dismisses the vulgar Marxist theory that the war in Syria
had something to do with a gas pipeline but he has his own idiocy to
contend with, namely that the USA needed to protect its military bases
in Sunni-controlled states. Porter is a rather stupid individual with a
stain on his career that will never go away--being a spin doctor for Pol
Pot. This obviously prepared him for the shit he writes on Syria.)

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