Scott Horton Interviews Eric Margolis

Scott Horton, December 13, 2011

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Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses the conflict in Syria, where Western-backed instigators and a legitimate domestic opposition face off against the Assad regime – which still enjoys widespread popular support; the consequences of Syrian regime change for Palestinians, Iran and Hezbollah; how Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are exporting homegrown Islamic radicals to fight in Syria (shades of 1980s Afghanistan – what could possibly go wrong?); what a truly democratic Middle East would look like; whether Egyptian sympathy for Palestinians will be tempered by continued US bribe money; and why the US needs to accept the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political force – or deal with something far more radical later on.

MP3 here. (19:52)

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow. A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet and American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

37 Responses to “Eric Margolis”

  1. Character assignation of Occupy Seattle — Mainstream

    Yesterday the high society of Seattle ordered the Mayor to order the Police Chief to pop a few flash-bang grenades, throw a can of tear gas and spray a few drops of pepper spray — all so that when the mainstream majority of Seattle watched the nationwide news, mixed in with their daily does of mainstream brainwash would be the illusion that Occupy Seattle was just “700” angry and hostile rioters hell-bent on destroying our economical recovery. See NBC.

    Yes but, what will the Seattle rich nobility do for an encore, when next spring their Ponzi scheme called capitalism can no longer fleece the next man more ignorant, because once burned no one is ignorant, when the economy is twice as miserable causing our protests to grow exponential?

    Being on the right side of history, how sweet it is.

  2. Character assignation of Occupy Seattle — Mainstream

    Yesterday the high society of Seattle ordered the Mayor to order the Police Chief to pop a few flash-bang grenades, throw a can of tear gas and spray a few drops of pepper spray — all so that when the mainstream majority of Seattle watched the nationwide news, mixed in with their daily does of mainstream brainwash would be the illusion that Occupy Seattle was just “700” angry and hostile rioters hell-bent on destroying our economical recovery. See NBC.

    Yes but, what will the Seattle rich nobility do for an encore, when next spring their Ponzi scheme called capitalism can no longer fleece the next man more ignorant, because once burned no one is ignorant, when the economy is twice as miserable causing our protests to grow exponential?

    Being on the right side of history, how sweet it is.

  3. Occupy Seattle — Off the mainstream radar

    “Occupy shuts down 3 West Coast ports…

    “CBS/AP) OAKLAND, Calif. … 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks… in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash… the protests attracted far fewer people than… turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland's port…”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57341895/occu

  4. TRUTH — SEVEN (7) PORTS SHUT DOWN
    (1) Seattle
    (2) Longview
    (3) Portland
    (4) Oakland
    (5) Los Angeles
    (6) Long Beach
    (7) San Diego.

  5. FANATIC — MORALITY LOVER

    Scott Horton
    “So then, it all gets conflated together, the only people who
    organize based on bull sessions of what is really going on
    around here are the religious fanatics among Muslims,
    rather then in any other part of what could be civil society.”

    You see, even though Egypt is over 80% Muslim, Scott is of the opinion that only a fanatic would say that it takes a moral people to create a moral government. More to the point, Scott feels that that there is no such thing as morality, that fair and just laws will make government fair and just — the dominant paradigm ideology.

    Problem is, capitalism is where everyone is brainwashed into thinking they deserve to be rich. Truth is, what a man feels he deserves, what his morality is based on, this is his highest priority in life, his high watermark to achieve, and it controls every aspect of his mind, character and personality.

  6. Someone on this board needs to get a life. Care to guess who that might be?

  7. Scott, you rely way too much on Eric Margolis (who's not what he used to be – and amazingly, pronounces Salafi the way you do! He does speak Arabic, doesn't he?) and Pepe Escobar (who's what? an expert on everywhere in the world? or at least anywhere that's in the news and would get him invited to speak?). Surely there are actual Syrians you can find somewhere? I see the same pattern as with your coverage of Libya – no understanding of the despicable acts of these regimes over decades or what it's like for people living in these countries, mocking the people who try to resist and fight back, and giving way too much weight to the U.S. and the CIA. It would be naive to think that they don't have influence and play a role, but their influence is not what it used to be.

    I know this is a waste of time, and I can't respond to every point made, but I hope your listeners will take a broader view and read/listen to other sources.

    Eric basically said that he couldn't go to Syria (which is understandable), but is telling us what he saw from Turkey. That's sort of like Sarah Palin being a foreign policy expert because in parts of her state, you can see Russia.

    50% or more of the Syrians support the government? I've never met one, although certainly there are people who benefit from their relations with the Assad family and Baath Party. If Damascus and Aleppo haven't erupted, it's not because they're happy but because they've not yet reached the point where they think the consequences of revolting (i.e., torture and killing of you and your family members) are worth it. I think that international human rights organizations are saying that already 5,000 people have been killed – and how many more injured, detained, and;or tortured?

    As with Libya, you've never explained to people what the Syrian government has done over the years. To cite only one example, in 1982 in Hama, they killed 10,000 – 20,000, with some saying more. Eric Margolis calls these people 'fundamentalists with a grudge'…

    I don't know how many soldiers have defected from the Syrian Army, but it seems clear that it's more than the handful you mention derisively. (I really don't understand this attitude towards the Syrians – and before them the Libyans. If you're anti-war and don't want your government involved, then fine; that's a valid opinion. But why do are you so condescending towards these people?

    An understanding of Islamic teachings and the current situation of the Muslim world would help in understanding what's going on in these countries and the motivations of Turkey.

    By the way, Scott, if you think that people are free to dissent and be as radical as they want in Saudi mosques, you really don't understand much about Saudi Arabia. If Saudi radicals want to organize against the government, I don't think they'd do it in the mosques, which are monitored by the government. They'd do it in their houses or farms or out in the desert, away from any surveillance.

    At least Eric did point out the the Muslim Brotherhood are not the angry, ignorant bearded men as reported in most Western media. They are the Egyptian people, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc.

  8. Forgot to say that the regular soldiers in the Syrian Army are conscripts. Many Syrian men stay out of the country for years – except for brief visits – until they're old enough to not be drafted. Those who do serve in the Army are not necessarily supporters of the government, and while many may be willing to defend their land against Israel, for instance, killing their own people for protesting against the Assad regime is a whole different thing.

  9. @ummabdulla
    Can you document any of those allegations and statistics you present? How many Syrians do you know and were do you live, in Syria??
    Remember ‘The kettle and pot’ story??
    watch this without prejudice

  10. A valuable contribution, and thanks. Your perspective is appreciated.

  11. [...] an interview with Antiwar Radio, Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the [...]

  12. "Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq"

    Any moron could have predicted Iraq would be engulfed in civil conflict help by allied forces with British SAS caught red handed placing bombs in Iraq market as a means to insight civil conflict divide and conquer.

    Neocons wanted Iraq so they could use it as a base for armed militants to attack Iran and insurance guarantee for supporting the Nabucco project which they can use Kurdish militants to blow up the pipeline once Iran is deposed of from the Caspian to Turkey.

  13. Muslim brotherhood is an MI6 connected/created? piece of shit which Atta and Zawahiri were both members.

  14. Willing to defend their land against Israel? The Syrian opposition is ultimately fighting on behalf of Israel. Check out the staunch support from Israel lobby organs such as UN Watch, WINEP, FPI, FDD, Cyberdissidents, etc. for the anti-Assad forces.

    Would you agree with Ehud Barak that the fall of the Assad regime would be a “blessing” for the region?

  15. WHEN YOUR NUMBER IS UP

    One would have thought that both the CIA and Mossad be long gone by now, what with such a criminal record of high level assignations with strong implications of their being instrumental in the death of JFK.

    But quite the reverse, for astronomical has been their growth and the demand for their services to kill off the leaders of those who oppose our brutal imperialism is most essential to our empire building. High level terrorism to keep in submission those at the top, which makes one wonder at what point in time Gaddafi knew that his number was up?

  16. American world army is now called axademy trainincc cloud protectinkkk U$kingcorpz = Zion 24×7

    Great Sryia is coming back and AbodjK$Aordan is going out.

  17. Eric has been good lately. I used to read his name Mar-go-lus though.

  18. Well, this wasn't my main point. I'm just saying that many of these Syrian soldiers don't want to even be in the Army in the first place, much less want to shoot their own people when they protest against the government.

    But your logic is flawed. if Israel is against a certain tyrant dictator, does that mean that when the people rise up against him, they're supporting Israel? So the Syrian people should put up with the Assad family and their cronies because Israel is supposedly against him?

    (And I'm not even so sure about that… Israel may prefer stability to another popular uprising that will bring in another popular government, which will be controlled by Sunni Muslims and will not be friendly towards Israel. It will, however, have strong ties with Turkey, Egypt, Libya, the Gulf States, etc., adding to the growing bloc of countries run by Sunni Islamists.)

  19. I don't know if Atta was, but from what I've read, Zawahiri joined them at a very young age and left for a more radical group. He didn't agree with their views, and they didn't agree with his.

  20. Forgot to answer your question – yes, I think that getting rid of them would be a blessing. And that certainly doesn't make me a supporter of Israel.

  21. Thanks for your informed comments.
    I am not much for moral indignation or moral judgments for what is happening in Syria or the Middle East right now; since what we say here or elsewhere does not make the slightest difference to the course of events coming our way.
    I am interested in predictions: Your predictions about Syria.
    — What kind of Syria or Middle east will we see in 6 months’ or one year’s time?
    — Will a new regime in Syria forgive and forget the annexation of Golan by Israel?
    — Will a post-Assad Syria be an ally of Iran, Turkey or Saudi Arabia?
    — How much political influence can Saudi money corner and buy?

  22. As in Libya, the price for Israel lobby-induced Western support for the “revolution” in Syria is accommodation with Tel Aviv. Commenting on the implicit admission of this quid pro quo by the SNC’s chief spokesman, Burhan Ghalioun, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of al-Akhbar, not surprisingly wondered if this is a “Revolution against Resistance?”

  23. Hmmm… well, this is just my opinion, and please excuse the length.

    I don't know how long it will take, and how difficult it will be, but eventually I would expect in Syria – like Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya – that the majority would be in control, and that's Sunni Muslims. (And if they actually are Islamic, that doesn't mean the destruction of their Christian community.) I don't know how much the 'experts' understand this – and I haven't seen any evidence that they do – but Islamic teachings play a very important part in what's going on.

    1400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that there would be prophethood for as long as God willed, then (when he died) righteous caliphates, then oppressive rule (by kings), then tyrants, and then those would be overthrown and replaced by a just leader. From the Muslim point of view, this exactly describes what has happened since this time, and many see the rule of the Saddams, Mubaraks, Qaddafis, Assads, etc., as the 'tyrant' stage, which they see coming to an end now.

    The Qur'an explains that every nation has an appointed term, and Islamic history covers many empires who have come and gone (Romans, Persians, Byzantines, even the 'golden age' of Islam). The idea that any empire represents 'the end of history' or 'exceptionalism' and will stay in power forever is not one that Muslims would accept. It's inevitable that nations/empires come to power, reach their peak, and get weaker while another nation gains power.

    That's why I think that the talk of the CIA or Mossad hand behind all of this is overblown. Like I said, it would be naive to ignore it, but they are not as powerful as some make them out to be. Another very well-known saying in the Muslim world is the Qur'an verse that says that while the disbelievers may plot, "Allah is the best of planners".
    ———–
    I doubt that a new Syrian government would forget about the Golan Heights. That doesn't mean that they'll immediately go to war over it; like Egypt with Israel, there is probably no appetite for war, but they're not going to be so accommodating.
    ———–
    My guess is that a post-Assad Turkey would not be friendly with Iran, but definitely would be friendly with Turkey AND Saudi Arabia, because something else that's not understood is the fault line between Sunni and Shia, which underlies much of what goes in in the Middle East.
    ———–
    Saudi (and Gulf) money can buy influence, but I think it's more about supporting the attitudes that are already there, not so much changing them.

  24. Would replying to one's own posts be considered a mark of instability?

  25. umm… :
    ‘ Another very well-known saying in the Muslim world is the Qur’an verse that says that while the disbelievers may plot, “Allah is the best of planners” ‘

    What? Come again? Is it a sayin or a verse?
    If a verse which one?
    BTW
    Post-Assad?? Care to bet? Oh wait you don’t bet, drink or whore. Just like Atta

  26. [...] Eric Margolis – Author, Journalist – Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/ Nazir Nayouf – Syrian Journalist, US Troops Deploying on Jordan-Syria Border – The [...]

  27. [...] biased coverage of Syria throughout 2011, most notably from Justin Raimondo, Philip Giraldi, Eric Margolis, and Pepe Escobar, the prevailing impression one got from reading it was a simplistic narrative of [...]

  28. [...] Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/ [...]

  29. [...] Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/ [...]

  30. [...] http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/ [...]

  31. [...] ‬

Eric margolis – Author, Journalist 

Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – ‪http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/‬ [...]

  32. [...] Eric margolis – Author, Journalist Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/eric-margolis-59/ Nazir Nayouf – Syrian Journalist US Troops Deploying on Jordan-Syria Border – The Corbett Report [...]

  33. [...] Antiwar.com Radio With Scott Horton – http://antiwar.com/radio/2011/12/13/e… [...]

  34. Also, Israel fought hard and I think successfully monopolised the term "holocaust" by ensuring Armenians weren't allowed to use that term to describe their genocide at the hands of the Turks.

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