On Twitter, if you question the benevolent intentions of US foreign policy, you will inevitably have some liberal or “anarchist” label you “pro-Assad.”
(These accusations almost always come from the left, not the right.)
It doesn’t matter what you actually think about the current President of Syria or if you’ve even heard of him. It doesn’t have to be about the Middle East. All you have to do is say something like the following.
“Well gee. It didn’t work out in Vietnam or Iraq or Libya or Syria. What makes you think US intervention is going to work in Venezuela.”
(It’s actually a little difficult to explain to “normal” people just how effectively accusations of being “pro-Assad” can shut down a conversation on social media but you could do worse than to imagine how effective accusations of being “pro-terrorist” or “pro-Saddam” were in shutting down dissent during the Bush years.)
One of the most egregious, pro-imperialist gate keepers of the discourse on Twitter is a Mother Jones writer named Shane Bauer. Bauer got his first 15 minutes of fame back in 2009 when he was detained by the Iranians for over a year for illegally crossing their border. He claimed that he was just on a hiking trip, that he and his companions took a wrong turn, and accidentally found themselves on Iranian territory. The Iranians accused him of being a spy.
Whether not Bauer was spying on the Iranians for the CIA remains open to debate. His behavior on social media would strongly suggest it, but as of yet there’s no smoking gun. Nevertheless, David Ravicher at Ken Silverstein’s Washington Babylon website has an interesting post on how Bauer has indeed taken money from the United States government, money that came with an obligation of future service.
These are a few of the curious things in the memoir concerning Bauer and his companions’ hike. The most interesting is that in 2003, the future Mother Jones star — along with MSNBC whore David Corn and Kevin Drum, the blandest writer of this or possibly any time — applied for a Boren Scholarship to study Arabic abroad. This scholarship came through the National Security Education Project (NSEP), in conjunction with the CIA and department of Defense, State and Homeland Security — odd bedfellow for a “progressive” journalist.