How intervention by US, Saudi, Qatar helped al-Qaeda, ISIS in Syria — Interview on Dead Pundits Society with Rania Khalek

To provide more nuanced analysis of the war in Syria and US intervention in the Middle East, journalist Rania Khalek and I spoke for some 2.5 hours on Adam Proctor’s podcast Dead Pundits Society on April 9.

Part one of the interview is here: On Syrian war, extremist Salafi rebels, “Arab Spring,” US hypocrisy, Saudi Arabia — Interview on Dead Pundits Society.

In part two, we discussed more nuances of the war in Syria, the horrendous media coverage the conflict has gotten for years, and the Trump administration’s missile attack on a Syrian government air base.

We also addressed the crucial role of Turkey in the war in Syria, how US government documents show close allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and one of the less-discussed but most important conflicts today: the US-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Listen to part two here:

In part three, Rania Khalek, Adam Proctor, and I spoke about the response of leftist groups from around the world to the war in Syria. We criticized socialist organizations in the US, including the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), for their stances on the conflict.

I also noted the tendency of Cliffite Trotskyite groups — that is to say, organizations based on the tendency established by activist Tony Cliff, many of which are part of the International Socialist Tendency (IST) — to adopt these anti-anti-war, soft-imperialist views. This problem is limited not just to the US; the British Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is just as responsible for spreading these irreconcilable views.

Listen to part three here: