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Best regards,
Andrew Stewart 

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Ajamu Baraka" <ajamubara...@gmail.com>
> Date: June 13, 2018 at 1:33:22 PM EDT
> To: "'Ajamu Baraka'" <ajamubara...@gmail.com>
> Subject: The Fake Left at the Left Forum: The Attack against Ajamu Baraka
> 
>  
> As some of you may have heard I have been the object of mobilizations from 
> some sector of the white left over the last few weeks that culminated in an 
> organized action against me during the closing plenary of the left forum.  We 
> recognize that this is not an attack on me as a person but on those of us 
> from black liberation movement and the authentic left that have taken a 
> consistent anti-imperialist stance during the current period of right-wing 
> ideological retrenchment that intensified under the Obama administration. We 
> thank comrade Haiphong for his defense and analysis. We will continue to 
> build and to uphold the tradition of Black/African internationalism. 
>  
>  
> The Fake Left at the Left Forum
>  
> By Danny Haiphong
>  
> https://blackagendareport.com/fake-left-left-forum
>  
> The Fake Left at the Left Forum
> “Black Agenda Report and the Black Alliance for Peace have been called 
> ‘Assadists’ for defending the Syrian people’s rightful decision to determine 
> who governs them and under what type of state.”
> 
> I was at the Left Forum held on the first weekend of June in New York City. I 
> did what I’ve done every year that I’ve attended. I spoke at Black Agenda 
> Report’s panel, chatted with a few comrades I rarely see due to distance, and 
> attended a few of their panels. More than a few colleagues mentioned to me 
> that a contingent of so-called “Trotskyists” publicly protested Black 
> Alliance for Peace founder Ajamu Baraka for his support of the Syrian 
> government. These so-called “Trotskyist” forces passed out leaflets 
> condemning Baraka and protested his remarks at the closing plenary in 
> opposition to “the brutal Assad regime.” A UNAC statement on the matter can 
> be found here.
> 
> While some were engaged in unprincipled, pro-empire, and chauvinist actions 
> such as these, others such as myself were using the Left Forum to figure out 
> who the left is and what it should stand for and do. This is an important 
> task because the real left in the United States is small. As Glen Ford stated 
> in Black Agenda Report’s panel,the small size of the real left means that it 
> shoulders a heavy burden. Not only must the real left in the United States 
> find a way to develop an organized anti-imperialist, and class-based 
> opposition to the ruling class, but it must also combat the fake left in its 
> many forms. Those who participated in slandering Baraka are what the fake 
> left looks like and sounds like in the flesh.
> 
> “The real left must combat the fake left in its many forms.”
> 
> The fake left at the Left Forum should be distinguished from the fake left of 
> the non-profit industrial complex. The non-profit industrial complex indeed 
> hires fake activistsbeholden to government and corporate funders responsible 
> for the very problems that non-profit activists oppose in the first place. 
> Fake left activists reside in non-profit organizations such as MoveOn.org and 
> Indivisible. The fake left I refer to in this piece are perhaps even more 
> insidious than those paid by foundations and non-profits. This band of 
> leftists verbally states opposition to imperialism and an embrace of 
> socialism in theory yet behaves more like amateur soft agents of the US 
> intelligence services in practice.
> 
> These fake leftists reside in an alphabet soup of so-called Trotskyist 
> organizations like the International Socialist Organization (ISO). So-called 
> “Trotskyist” organizations have a long history of supporting US imperialism. 
> I don’t pretend to know which organization the fake leftists who protested 
> Baraka belonged to. An attendee told me that the organizers of the protest of 
> Baraka stemmed from the League for the Revolutionary Party. Thetrend is more 
> important than the organization. Just days prior to the Left Forum, activists 
> in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) wrote an opinion piece claiming 
> that “The 2,000 US troops in Syria are not there to conduct ‘regime change.’ 
> They are there to defend the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in North 
> East Syria and to oppose ISIS. Trump has made that clear.” One of the authors 
> of the piece has been active on social media denouncing Baraka and the Black 
> Alliance for Peace for being so-called apologists for Assad. This falls in 
> line with the ISO, which has long been known to support US-led operations in 
> Libya and Syria in the name of “revolution.”
> 
> “This band of leftists verbally states opposition to imperialism and an 
> embrace of socialism in theory yet behaves more like amateur soft agents of 
> the US intelligence services in practice.”
> 
> While claiming to want revolution, there are many activists in these 
> organizations that choose to insult and defame every revolution that has ever 
> occurred in history, even the Russian Revolution of 1917. According to their 
> pro-war ideology, every socialist revolution in history has been led by 
> despotic, self-interested authoritarians who wielded “state capitalist” 
> formations to repress and impoverish the working class. This includes the 
> Chinese and Cuban revolutions in addition to the Russian. And it ultimately 
> includes any government that the US doesn’t like and wants to overthrow. As 
> Diana Johnstone put it simply, “The trouble with these Trotskyists is that 
> they are always “supporting” other people’s more or less imaginary 
> revolutions. They are always telling others what to do. They know it all. The 
> practical result from this verbal agitation is simply to align this brand of 
> Trotskyism with U.S imperialism.”
> 
> Syria has been in the crosshairs of these fake leftists for some time. Real 
> leftists at Black Agenda Report and the Black Alliance for Peace have been 
> called “Assadists” for defending the Syrian people’s rightful decision to 
> determine who governs them and under what type of state. This position is the 
> essence of self-determination. Self-determination, as V.I. Lenin articulated 
> , means that the independence of oppressed nations struggling against 
> colonialism must be achieved and then defended for the conditions of 
> socialism to exist at all. Syria has a long history of struggling against 
> colonialism and imperialism, dating back to the early 20thcentury when it was 
> divided up by the colonial powers under the Sykes-Picot agreement. It just so 
> happens that the same colonial powers that dominated Syria in the early to 
> mid-20thcentury have coalesced with the United States to place the Arab 
> nation back under their political and economic thumb. The so-called 
> “revolutionaries” in Syria have long been proven to be armed terrorist 
> proxies of the colonial powers and their Gulf allies, something that fake 
> leftists like those who protested Baraka refuse to admit.
> 
> “The attack on Baraka is an attack on any person, group, or organization that 
> dares to struggle against imperialism.”
> 
> For this, Baraka, the Black Alliance for Peace, and the real left has been 
> the target of a smear campaign. In this campaign, support for countries under 
> the threat of US warfare is considered “fascist” and part of some mythical 
> “Red-brown” alliance.” This theory was concocted by the likes of academics 
> like Alexander Reid Ross and other self-proclaimed experts of fascism. What 
> is their evidence for such a claim? The evidence lies in spurious connections 
> in the political positions of the left and right. Right-wing groups and 
> organizations are said to be infiltrating the real left and directing them in 
> a right-wing direction. This assumes that the Syrian government, the Russian 
> government, and the Iranian governments are fascist entities. No such label 
> has been awarded to the U.S. government, the Israeli government, or their 
> allies in Europe and the Gulf. Ukraine is under the direction of a U.S. 
> installed fascist government but this has garnered little concern from the 
> crusaders of the “red-brown” alliance theory.
> 
> The wide umbrella of pro-war propaganda includes the fake leftist politics 
> that reared its head in the ugliest of ways at the Left Forum. What 
> transpired at the Left Forum is much more than a smear campaign against Ajamu 
> Baraka, someone who has spent much of his life struggling to overthrow 
> capitalism. The attack on Baraka is an attack on any person, group, or 
> organization that dares to struggle against imperialism. And it sends a clear 
> message. Anyone who supports the right to self-determination is in league 
> with the fascist, imperialist alliance of Syrian, Iran, Russia, and China. 
> This alliance is said to be more dangerous than US imperialism. After all, 
> just look at all the children the White Helmets have saved from Assad’s 
> lethal weapons of mass destruction (sarcasm my own)!
> 
>  
> 
> “The same colonial powers that dominated Syria in the early to 
> mid-20thcentury have coalesced with the United States to place the Arab 
> nation back under their political and economic thumb.”
> 
> We have a name for such foolishness: social imperialism. A social imperialist 
> is anyone who espouses socialism yet promotes imperialism. Social imperialism 
> doesn’t require evidence, just racism and pro-American chauvinism. It is the 
> subtlest variant of American exceptionalism. While claiming to be against 
> police brutality, mass incarceration, and drone warfare, social imperialists 
> huddle alongside the State Department to demonize nations abroad that US 
> imperialism desperately wants to destroy. Social imperialists call Assad a 
> war criminal yet have nothing to say when presented with the well-documented 
> evidence of atrocities committed by proxies backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi 
> Arabia, Israel, and a host of imperialist countries. In fact, social 
> imperialists deny the very existence of these forces, thus negating over four 
> decades of marriage between US imperialism and jihadist mercenaries .
> 
> Social imperialism is not new. Its origins lie in the Second International’s 
> betrayal of the colonial peoples during World War I when only the Bolsheviks 
> were willing to oppose the war. It is our duty as the real left to ensure 
> that historical mistakes are not repeated. While workers and oppressed people 
> have little exposure to the more radical forms of social imperialism such as 
> the attack on Ajamu Baraka, they are exposed regularly to the likes of the 
> Congressional Black Caucus and Bernie Sanders. These forces have used their 
> political power to expand the war machine alongside their allies in the 
> intelligence and military apparatuses. We must defend Ajamu Baraka and the 
> Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) from social imperialist attacks because they 
> distract us from our real target: the ruling class. But we must also be 
> unafraid to call out whoever has decided to serve as a pig for imperialism. 
> Especially when it manifests in pathetic displays like what transpired at the 
> Left Forum this year.
> 
> Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He is 
> currently writing a book with Roberto Sirvent entitled American 
> Exceptionalism and American Innocence: The Fake News of US Empire. He can be 
> reached at wakeupriseup1...@gmail.com
> 
>  
> 
>  
>  
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