Meet Idrees Ahmad, an obsessive hawk who smears anti-war voices and lobbies for regime change in Syria

Idrees Ahmad, a writer and university lecturer, is an obsessive war hawk who has spent years lobbying for and defending regime change in Syria and Libya — and who has also devoted himself to dishonestly smearing anti-war voices.

The following brief profile on Muhammad Idrees Ahmad is a modified excerpt from a larger article on the pundits who cheered NATO destruction of Libya while lobbying for Syria regime change, originally published at AlterNet.

Idrees Ahmad

Idrees Ahmad is part of a coterie of hawkish trolls who relentlessly harass anyone who opposes US-led regime change in Syria.

He and a slew of online interventionist trolls like Robin Yassin-Kassab, Turkish state media employee Oz Katerji and Sam Charles Hamad purport to be leftists. But as writer Louis Allday has demonstrated, their principal role has been to denigrate and intimidate anyone on the left who strays from the regime change line.

This is also rather ironic, because Idrees Ahmad wrote an entire book on the Iraq War, entitled The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War, which reflects a right-wing, anti-Semitic political outlook that essentially amounts to, “Blame the Jews.”

One of the two reviews of The Road to Iraq on Amazon (five out of five stars, naturally) made this reactionary anti-Semitic worldview quite clear, writing affectionately that Ahmad “quickly demolishes the ‘war for oil’ argument … Rather he identifies the key instigators of the war as a network of fanatical Jews whose first loyalty was to Greater Israel, otherwise known as the neoconservatives.”

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad also somehow maintains a role as a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books despite his habit of phoning in violent threats to journalists and attacking women on social media as “bovine.”


Like Christopher Hitchens, but without the drunken charms or any of his literary flair, the motley crew of Trotskyite blowhards and shady rage-a-holics of which Ahmad is a leader have become some of the most insidious voices in the anti-anti-war movement, dedicating themselves to advancing US imperialism behind a left-wing guise.

Idrees Ahmad has spent years persistently defending NATO regime change in Libya, striving to rewrite the history of Western intervention. He has gone so far as to claim that the real problem in Libya was not US-led regime change, but rather “hasty disengagement.” That is to say, the West did not intervene enough, in Ahmad’s view.

Unsurprisingly, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad welcomed Trump’s April 2017 missile attack on Syria.

Ahmad wrote and tweeted nonstop about Libya, in support of regime change, in 2011. From September 2011 to September 2014, as the nation descended into bedlam, Idrees Ahmad’s Twitter account made no mention of Libya, falling silent. Since 2014, he has resumed his ardent defense of intervention in Libya, using right-wing arguments, such as attacking Venezuela’s socialist government and popular former president Hugo Chávez to justify the casualties of NATO war.

idrees ahmad libya

In recent years, Idrees Ahmad has vociferously called for even more US intervention in Syria and regime change. On April 7, he doubled down on his demand for regime change, in an article in a small website called The Progressive that rehashes opposition propaganda citing pro-rebel sources.

While spreading the ludicrous conspiracy that the US has supported the Syrian government — which it has spent years and billions upon billions of dollars trying to violently overthrow — Muhammad Idrees Ahmad admirably wrote that Trump’s “strikes were tactical and punitive.”

“The consequences of today’s actions are likely to be far-reaching,” he said. Ahmad happily noted that the US attack “already softened the Kremlin’s stance” and “exposed the limits of Russia’s power in Syria.”

“The regime has lost part of its impunity,” Idrees Ahmad rejoiced. “Whatever the administration’s motives, it worked for Syrians.” He then proceeded to attack the anti-war left, using neoconservative talking points.

Yet it wasn’t enough for Ahmad to help destroy Libya — where NATO “liberation” led to the enslavement and ethnic cleansing of dark-skinned Libyans, along with the rise of ISIS, the deaths of thousands, and the mass displacement of at least one-third of the population.

Idrees Ahmad desperately wants Syria to be the next country violently toppled by US imperialism.