Attack on Gilbert Achcar only divides anti‑war Left

Anti*Capitalist Resistance Editorial Board responds to a recent Counterfire Weekly Briefing that unfairly characterised Gilbert Achcar.

At a time of impending conflict between Russia and NATO over Ukraine, with each side driven by internal needs to intensify austerity and repression in their own spheres of influence, revolutionary socialists will need to be standing shoulder to shoulder in activity to stop the war machine. This will be at home, where we face our most immediate enemy, and internationally, in solidarity with our comrades and with those facing occupation and brutal calculated military action.

This will be a time of joint struggle against imperialist war and intense debate on the left, with different assessments of the situation and our tasks. In this context the recent comment by Lindsey German in a Counterfire weekly briefing (reproduced in the Morning Star) about our comrade Gilbert Achcar, accusing him of siding with imperialism, was a dishonest and unfair representation that sows division among the anti-war Left. It should be retracted and there should be an apology.

Gilbert is described by Lindsey German as someone who has gone over from the Left to supporting imperialism, along with Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and Norman Geras. Anyone familiar with the names invoked and with Gilbert Achcar’s writings would know that putting him in the same category with the former is both slanderous and preposterous.

Lindsey German herself, in the name of the Stop the War Coalition, recently rebutted Keir Starmer’s slanderous attack in The Guardian. This makes it even more important for her to respect the conditions of honest and comradely debate when arguing with other comrades of the radical left. If Lindsey German is willing to have such a debate in public with our comrade, he would be very happy to oblige.

We urge all comrades on the antiwar and anticapitalist left to refrain from unfounded accusations and conduct debate constructively.


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