Hatem Bazian is a co-founder of Zaytuna College – the same place of which Hamza Yusuf is a “Chairman.” Mr Bazian, over the years, for the most part, has taken a consistent anti-imperialist position, and has not engaged in bootlicking of the kind that Mr. Yusuf has done over those some years.
However, it looks like things have changed – today he was interviewed on Flashpoints Daily Newsmagazine – and his take on Syria reveals the extent to which Mr. Bazian has moved his politics to accomodate liberal humanitarian imperialism.
Reasonable people can disagree on the nature of the government of President Assad – that disagreement in itself is not the issue. However, reasonable people cannot disagree on the nature of the armed groups and mercenaries that are seriously destabilizing the region. Such disagreements have little to do with actual facts, and has much more to do with where one stands on the question of US/NATO interventionism, and reveals one’s political alignments.
There are a few points that need to be made with regards to Mr. Bazian’s positions.
1. Mr. Bazian while chastising President Assad’s response to the violence, only barely acknowledges the violence of the mercenaries – and makes no mention whatsoever of the killings of civillians by the so-called “rebels.”
2. Mr Bazian makes no mention whatsoever of US/NATO supplying of arms and other aid to the “rebels” and situates this armed imperialist destabilization of Syria in the context of the largely non-violent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
3. Mr. Bazian blames President Assad’s government for fostering sectarianism, while he completely ignores the extremist sectarian nature of the “rebels” and “mercenaries” – whose anti-Shi’a statements are available all over the internet. And it is no secret whatsoever that Al Qaeda is one of the major forces amongst the mercenaries. Anyone who is remotely familiar with Al Qaeda knows not only about its terrorist actions, but also it’s virulently anti-Shi’a sectarianism, and indeed its extremist views against Christians, who make up a significant portion of Syria’s population.
3 (a) It is also no secret that “Saudi” Arabia, Qatr, and other gulf sheikhdoms are sponsoring, arming and supporting this effort at destabilizing Syria. And the sectarian nature of those regimes is also no secret. Mr. Bazian conveniently ignored the above fact in order to prove his own faulty thesis.
4. Mr. Bazian claims that a post-Assad government (i.e. one where the “rebels” win) would not be friendly with “Israel” but that it would be friendly with the United States. This is a ridiculous statement coming from a seasoned Palestinian activist such as Mr. Bazian. There is no country, no government on the face of this earth that is friendly with the US and not friendly with “Israel” … and vice versa, there is no country, or government on this planet that is friendly with “Israel” and not friendly with the United States. Such a statement also suggests some serious cognitive dissonance going on within the mind of Mr. Bazian – as he attempts to justify his unjustifiable position vis a vis Syria – that are not based on facts, but more on his newly found support for pro-liberal/humanitarian imperialism.
As a result, Mr. Bazian comes off sounding more like a US State Department Spokesperson than an honest political analyst… of-course there is also the issue of why Dennis Bernstein (of Flashpoints) who is normally astute about these issues, refused to raise the above points during the interview. But that has a lot more to do with the progressive politics in the United States that supports Obama’s humanitarian imperialism doctrine.
President Chavez of Venezuela has correctly identified the nature of this conflict:
”The attack on Syria has begun, they are accusing President Assad of killing his people. And the Yankees want to come in and bomb the people in order to save them. What shameless cynicism. It’s a new strategy they’ve invented, to generate violent armed conflicts and spill blood in a country in order to then bomb it and intervene and take ownership of its natural resources and convert it into a colony” – President Hugo Chavez “”
Mr. Bazian, by refusing to address the real issues, may end up getting some additional funding for his college, but, in the long run, the college will only produce dumb house, native informant, and sectarian type of Muslims. Lets not forget that Mr. Bazian is a Senior Lecturer at UC Berkeley, seriously, Mr. Bazian, I hope you are teaching your students to look at all the relevant facts, before arriving at a conclusion – and are not teaching them to do as you did in this interview.