Carrying all of the attributes of a globalized unconventional war to affect “regime-change”, the war on Syria has polarized the regional and international landscape perhaps more than any other conflict since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc three decades ago. A good part of that polarization still revolves around the “meaning” of a decade of ongoing death, destruction, displacement, and despair in Syria today.
The narratives of the Syrian War couldn’t have been so diametrically opposed, with an anti-Syrian axis trying to impose, through its omnipotent presence, a self-serving version of events. Only this concoction of international and regional villains has had a historically proven record of occupation, interventionism, covert operations, and reactionary proclivities. Therefore, its charade of humanitarianism and liberal rhetoric goes not only against its quintessential grain, but against the very facts on the ground, namely: 1) their active support of terrorist, takfiri, and secessionist groups in Syria, be they local or imported from outside Syria, 2) their imposition of a criminal blockade on Syrians in those parts of the country which are not controlled by terrorist, takfiri, or secessionist mobs, that is, on most of Syria, 3) their pillage and plunder of natural resources in occupied parts of Syria, and 4) their launching of military strikes against the Syrian Arab Army and/or its allies, that is, against the only bulwark standing between terrorist, takfiri, and secessionist hordes on one hand, and Syria on the other.
Moving back and forth between personal eyewitness testimonies and a broader objective contextualization of the Syrian conflict, “Voices from Syria” debunks disinformation about Syria with primary personal accounts, evidence, documentation, common sense, and sheer reason.
While deconstructing the fallacies shrouding the Syria War with lies and innuendos, “Voices from Syria” tells the story of a gruesome case-study of a Fourth Generation Warfare in progress, its mind games, and overlapping theaters of mayhem. As such, Mark Taliano proceeds agilely to link this particular case-study with two important catalysts without which it cannot possibly be understood: 1) global strategies to subjugate independent states to an overarching matrix of hegemony, i.e., imperialism, 2) the dark forces lurking in the deep recesses of that matrix, i.e., international financial capital, and its links to its facades, and its regional and local proxies, be they state or non-state actors.
So in the end, “Voices from Syria” becomes a case-study of the use of local and foreign terrorists, foreign-financed NGO’s, massive disinformation campaigns, and regional allies in conducting asymmetrical warfare to subdue and tear an independent state asunder, in conjunction with standard tools from the imperialist toolkit like occupation and selective military strikes by the US government and NATO allies.
In terms of literary style, “Voices from Syria” is both personal enough to convey the suffering of the Syrians living through the calamities of the war on their country in their own voices, and general enough to tie that suffering into the wars on Iraq and Libya and the occupation of Palestine, that is, into imperialist designs for the region as a whole.
In the process, Mark Taliano emerges as an unconventional leftist, who uses his analytical tools to explore the topology of real contradictions on the ground, and to pick his side accordingly. The point, after all, is to be anti-imperialist, if one is to be progressive at all. Alas, this is precisely the point too often missed by the liberal leftists who end up storefront preachers for imperialism.
Especially in the 21st Century, pro-imperialists sometimes adopt leftist jargon, and those actually bearing the full brunt of the resistance against imperialist hegemony may sometimes seem too far removed from anything progressive by the standards of Western leftists. Not being able to discern which stances are effectively anti-imperialist and which are not has been the downfall of too many a leftist. Mark Taliano is one of the select few who do NOT make that mistake. He is able to stay open to the nuances of the local culture without preconceived Euro-centric 19th Century notions. This enabled him to see the alignment of forces on the ground as they actually are. Reading reality rigorously is what it is all about. In this case, “Voices from Syria” presents the reality of the war on Syria better than anything one can find in the mainstream.