Another of Assad’s useful idiots: Cynthia McKinney praises Syria’s ‘free health care’

The Lede: Writing on Facebook from Damascus, Cynthia McKinney, a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, praised Syria for its “free health care.”

Ms. McKinney, a liberal activist who traveled to the Syrian capital as part of a delegation led by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, posted the update late Wednesday, after meeting with President Bashar al-Assad. In addition to Assadcare, she noted, Syrians living under the Baathist dynasty also “enjoy free education.”

She concluded her brief report with kind words for Ogarit Dandash, a young Assad supporter who had offered herself as a human shield to defend Syrian government military installations from American air strikes. As Ms. McKinney explained, Ms. Dandash “founded ‘Over Our Dead Bodies,’ a group of young people who climbed atop Mount Qasioun and dared U.S. bombs to target them. They are still there in defiant resistance to any war against Syria. Mount Qasioun should be the site of a peace party, not bombing strikes.”

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8 thoughts on “Another of Assad’s useful idiots: Cynthia McKinney praises Syria’s ‘free health care’

  1. Laurie

    Why are these people referred to as ‘idiots’? Wouldn’t expect that from WIC…….. Please explain….

  2. Paul Woodward

    Laurie — there are cities in Syria that have suffered the level of destruction seen in Europe during World War Two. Over 100,000 Syrians have been killed, over six million have been forced to flee from their homes and two million flee from the country. The Assad regime controls the military forces that have the bulk of the heavy weapons and the Syrian air force controls the air space from which it bombs the cities. This is the context in which Cynthia McKinney is visiting the country which she praises “where residents enjoy free education and free healthcare.” By calling her an idiot, I am giving her the benefit of the doubt and suggesting that she has been duped. If it turns out that she is actually well-informed about what has happened in Syria, then she is much worse than an idiot.

  3. rosemerry

    I, too, am shocked as the heading. Cynthia McKinney is one of the most compassionate, fair, reasonable, experienced activists with knowledge of Syria (and Libya) that has been in the US Congress (pushed out, of course, by Zionist pressure).

  4. rosemerry

    I have just read Paul’s reply. Paul, of course Assad is at fault, but he did have a secular nation with a good standard of living, as in Libya and Iraq. Destroying these few remaining holdouts against the neoliberal/IMF/USI model of freedom and democracy is hardly in the interests of the people, no matter how much the dictator is criticised. Surely Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians (Afghanis, Somalians, Yemenis) are not better off now than before the invasions of foreigners?

  5. Paul Woodward

    Rosemerry — there is a certain irony in having an anti-imperialist view which justifiably supports the right of self determination and to then lump together Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Afghanis, Somalians, and Yemenis as though the people in each of those countries have faced the same situation. Imperialism and anti-imperialism end up mirroring each other in their simplistic view of the world.

    There is an even greater irony in people in the West taking it upon themselves to assert that the people in Syria or anywhere else would have been better off if they had simply resigned themselves to living under the rule of a dictatorial government. Praising Syria and Libya as secular nations seems tinged with a certain amount of Islamophobia.

    I have on several occasions seen Syrians quoted saying that if they had realized how much destruction there would be, they would not have risen up in the first place. Only the most brutal ideologue can assert that any price is worth paying in the name of the cause. Yet the idea that the reason the situation in Syria became so ugly was because of some kind of foreign invasion is pure propaganda, promoted by the Assad regime and then blindly accepted by Assad’s useful idiots who are willing to align themselves with any government that opposes the U.S..

    It was interesting that the chief Syrian spin doctor himself when interviewed by Fox News this week, referred to foreign jihadists coming to Syria individually, for their own reasons, and without the support of foreign governments.

    Assad: “… most of the Jihadists, when they come to Syria, don’t come through countries or organizations. They just come by plane to neighbouring countries and they cross the border like any other one, and they just want to come to Syria for the Jihad with the other Jihadists.” But he said this straight after having claimed that there are fighters of “80 or 83 nationalities” who have entered Syria “supported by foreign countries.” Even Assad doesn’t seem to be able to keep his “foreign invasion” narrative straight.

    In the Spanish Civil War, 40,000 foreign radicals from 53 countries joined the fight against fascism. Socialism provided the ideological driving force, but the willingness of young men to go and fight in the name of a cause they believe in, has a very long history.

    Whether a process of political change becomes violent seems to have much more to do with the capacity of political institutions to adapt and authoritarian rule is distinguished by its inflexibility.

    But here’s the thing that boggles my mind: There are so many people expressing so much outrage about the NSA reading their email and yet some of the very same people are dismissive about Syria — it’s not our problem; Assad couldn’t be that bad if Syria had free education and health care; he’s fighting terrorism. Seemingly, our political rights are the most sacred thing on earth, but the human rights of Syrians? That’s just not our business.

    Which leads to what I regard as a perverse form of shock: to be more shocked by me calling Cynthia McKinney an idiot than shocked by her praising Syria’s ‘free health care.’

  6. Norman

    Paul, lumping what the NSA has been doing/is doing, with idiots, well, that’s not fair. Kind of like comparing Pumpkins and Kiwi fruit, two different kinds of edibles.

  7. kfarbstudie

    There is this thing called a ‘propaganda war’, furiously fought by willing participants.

    It’s a kindness calling Cynthia McKinney an idiot.

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