PDA

View Full Version : Prospect of Invasion of Syria



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Ceannaire
29-12-2012, 03:51 PM
There does not appear to be an existing thread on the sitaution in Syria, not one that I found anyway, so I thought I'd raise the topic to provoke discussion.


What concerns me is how misrepresented the situation there is by the Western media, and how this may represent a softening up of public opinion in favour of an imperialist invasion.


The war is now effectively a sectarian civil war, not some kind of heroic battle of freedom against tyranny. This was recently and explicitly confirmed by a UN report under former Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte, which found that no form of military intervention would improve things. Nevertheless, Western media sources continue to paint it as some kind of liberation struggle and argue that we should support the "rebels", when in actual fact the military assistance that has already been coverly given to them has escalated the conflict. They also constantly quote from unreliable anti-government sources such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which consists of a single man who owns a clothes shop in Coventry, and report government attacks on places on the basis of little evidence.


Even long-time dictators will cave in without support (Ceaceascu crumpled like paper as his own army deserted him at the first sign of popular discontent), so it's clear that Assad has a signficant degree of support and therefore that an intervention opposed to him rather than a negotiated settlement aimed at power-sharing would harm rather than help the situation.

The most likely explanation for America's motive is to take out a long-time Soviet and now Russian ally and increase its strength in the Middle East under the guise of "humanitarianism".

C. Flower
29-12-2012, 03:57 PM
We do have a thread in which the situation on Syria has been discussed

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=8876&highlight=Assad+Syria

Also some posts on this general thread on the Arab spring.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=6297&highlight=Assad+Syria

My view is that there very certainly was and is a genuine opposition to Assad, in fact more than one kind of civil opposition - but that persistent incursions of "foreign jihadists" and others have engineered the situation into outright war. The US and Britain, as in Libya, clearly intend that friendly faces will be installed in a post Assad transition. The original unarmed civilian opposition, and the first wave of soldiers who defected to them, have repeatedly opposed a military solution, even though they were taking serious casualties themselves.

There has been some involvement by Irish citizens, one of whom recently died.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=10058&highlight=syria+assad+libya

Do you think that invasion is imminent, or that a Libyan style "transition" will happen ?

Either way, Syria is not Libya. The opposition was well organised and extensive.

Ceannaire
29-12-2012, 04:07 PM
We do have a thread in which the situation on Syria has been discussed

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=8876&highlight=Assad+Syria

Also some posts on this general thread on the Arab spring.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=6297&highlight=Assad+Syria

My view is that there very certainly was and is a genuine opposition to Assad, in fact more than one kind of civil opposition - but that persistent incursions of "foreign jihadists" and others have engineered the situation into outright war. The US and Britain, as in Libya, clearly intend that friendly faces will be installed in a post Assad transition. The original unarmed civilian opposition, and the first wave of soldiers who defected to them, have repeatedly opposed a military solution, even though they were taking serious casualties themselves.

There has been some involvement by Irish citizens, one of whom recently died.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=10058&highlight=syria+assad+libya


Apologies -- I saw that the "Syrian Politics" section was blank.


You're absolutely right that there is real opposition. I was more saying that they are not to be found amongst the so-called rebel fighters, as the violent side of the opposition movement has primarily been appropriated by the more violent Islamist or quasi-Islamist types at this stage, owing in a large part to Western assiastance to them.


Yes, if I remember correctly it's the National Co-ordination Committee which has or had more member organisations than any other grouping in Syria, and opposes intervention.

jpc
29-12-2012, 04:37 PM
No money in the budget for it I'd say.

Ceannaire
29-12-2012, 04:46 PM
Sure who needs to care about money when you rule the world? And that's what adding Syria to America's collection of client states would help do!

Yojimbo
29-12-2012, 06:00 PM
If there is a foreign intervention, it may well be from an unexpected source. It is clearly the Saudi's and the Gulf States who have been most active in supporting the rebels. And of course this has had a major influence in ensuring that the rebels are now dominated by sectarian Sunni forces. While I don't see the Saudi's invading, they may well use mercenaries or fund other groups to do their work for them - or perhaps the Turks could be persuaded.

But the reality is that the US and Britain and Israel have been content to let the Arab States make the running in Syria. There is simply no benefit to an invasion, it would be massively costly, with an unpredictable out come, and no way of paying for it (i.e. no oil).

Incidentally, I think that by far the best reporting on Syria has come from Patrick Cockburn of the Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/syria-the-descent-into-holy-war-8420309.html

riposte
29-12-2012, 06:53 PM
There does not appear to be an existing thread on the sitaution in Syria, not one that I found anyway, so I thought I'd raise the topic to provoke discussion.


What concerns me is how misrepresented the situation there is by the Western media, and how this may represent a softening up of public opinion in favour of an imperialist invasion.


The war is now effectively a sectarian civil war, not some kind of heroic battle of freedom against tyranny. This was recently and explicitly confirmed by a UN report under former Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte, which found that no form of military intervention would improve things. Nevertheless, Western media sources continue to paint it as some kind of liberation struggle and argue that we should support the "rebels", when in actual fact the military assistance that has already been coverly given to them has escalated the conflict. They also constantly quote from unreliable anti-government sources such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which consists of a single man who owns a clothes shop in Coventry, and report government attacks on places on the basis of little evidence.


Even long-time dictators will cave in without support (Ceaceascu crumpled like paper as his own army deserted him at the first sign of popular discontent), so it's clear that Assad has a signficant degree of support and therefore that an intervention opposed to him rather than a negotiated settlement aimed at power-sharing would harm rather than help the situation.

The most likely explanation for America's motive is to take out a long-time Soviet and now Russian ally and increase its strength in the Middle East under the guise of "humanitarianism".





On 28/08/2012 15:22, Complaints wrote:


Dear Michael,
Thank you for your e.mail and your interest in RTÉ.

Your comments will be included in the Audience Log of calls and e-mails, which is circulated for information to senior RTÉ programme management and is reviewed at the weekly meeting of the Editorial Board.


I have also forwarded your mail to the RTÉ News Editorial team for attention.


Thank you for making your views known.

With every good wish.
Máire Nic Fhinn,
RTÉ Information


From: Michael O'Flanagan [[email protected]]
Sent: 27 August 2012 13:55
To: Complaints
Subject: Reporting the Civil War in Syria.

I wish to complain about RTE News failure to report on the Civil War in Syria in an impartial manner. Over the last 18 months of the conflict RTE News has daily interviewed representatives of the insurgents (terrorists) and has not once interviewed any representative of the Syrian Government. In effect RTE has become a broadcast arm of the terrorists in Syria which is ironic considering that RTE rigourously enforced Section 31 of The Broadcasting act in Ireland for 30 and refused to broadcast the views of Sinn Fein during that period. RTE was wrong then as is evidenced by recent polls which now show Sinn Fein as the 2nd biggest party in the State........ and RTE is wrong now ..... even Sky News is withdrawing it's support from the terrorists in as it is dawning on them that the terrorists do not represent the views of most Syrians ...... and most Syrians hate them because they kill civilians for propaganda purposes.

Ireland claims to be a neutral country nad RTE has a duty to be impartial and truthful in it's reporting of these matters. RTE actions in this instance brings disgrace to the station and to the country.

Michael O'Flanagan



............

Ceannaire
29-12-2012, 07:29 PM
Excellent! What was the exact e-mail address you used for RTÉ complaints?

riposte
29-12-2012, 08:05 PM
Excellent! What was the exact e-mail address you used for RTÉ complaints?

[email protected]


I spoke to the News Room on the phone as well ....... but you have to make your complaints in writing.

About 5 days after I made my complaint ....... RTE stopped reporting on the war in Syria and it didn't get another mention for about 3 weeks. In their next report on Syria they quoted a statement by Asad in full and showed a flattering video of him meeting with a Red Crescent (Red Cross) team.

Todate ... they have stopped interviewing the terrorists in person ......although they still occasionally quote press releases from the "activists."

C. Flower
29-12-2012, 08:11 PM
Apologies -- I saw that the "Syrian Politics" section was blank.

You're absolutely right that there is real opposition. I was more saying that they are not to be found amongst the so-called rebel fighters, as the violent side of the opposition movement has primarily been appropriated by the more violent Islamist or quasi-Islamist types at this stage, owing in a large part to Western assistance to them.

Yes, if I remember correctly it's the National Co-ordination Committee which has or had more member organisations than any other grouping in Syria, and opposes intervention.

Yes, if I had a slogan for Syria, it would pretty well be to leave it to the Syrians.

There is no chance of them being left though, any more that Africa will be left, to solve things itself.

It is a problem of this era that wherever possible modern Imperialism uses proxies, rather than direct action, and consequently people can't see what is going on.

riposte
29-12-2012, 08:34 PM
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES

7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.

C. Flower
29-12-2012, 08:37 PM
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES

7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.

But it doesn't say anything about not providing arms and training to "jihadist" bands that find their way across borders.

riposte
29-12-2012, 08:37 PM
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

CHAPTER I: PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter;

Ceannaire
29-12-2012, 08:39 PM
[email protected]


I spoke to the News Room on the phone as well ....... but you have to make your complaints in writing.

About 5 days after I made my complaint ....... RTE stopped reporting on the war in Syria and it didn't get another mention for about 3 weeks. In their next report on Syria they quoted a statement by Asad in full and showed a flattering video of him meeting with a Red Crescent (Red Cross) team.

Todate ... they have stopped interviewing the terrorists in person ......although they still occasionally quote press releases from the "activists."

That's fascinating. It would be remarkable if your complaint had that much impact.


Yes, if I had a slogan for Syria, it would pretty well be to leave it to the Syrians.

It is a problem of this era that wherever possible modern Imperialism uses proxies, rather than direct action, and consequently people can't see what is going on.

Yes, I fully agree.

riposte
29-12-2012, 08:48 PM
That's fascinating. It would be remarkable if your complaint had that much impact.



It wouldn't have been because I have any influence Ceannaire ....... but having made a well presented case ....... they were forced to examine their policy against their professed impartiallity. RTE have had to subject themselves to a lot of self- scrutiny lately.

C. Flower
03-03-2013, 04:51 PM
The U.K and U.S. to "assist the opposition."

Ceannaire
03-03-2013, 05:50 PM
The U.K and U.S. to "assist the opposition."


The fact that this takes place against a backdrop of what seemed like the increasing likelihood of peace negotiations just serves to underscore the US's indifference to any amount of loss of life that may take place for it to meet its own ends.


If anything, the prospect of peace negotiations might have motivated this: a peace brokered by Russia that allowed a transitional government with some members of the Assad regime would be less desirable for America than having the whole edifice ripped down so the country could be taken out of Russia's sphere of influence altogether, even if that means wading through rivers of blood.

C. Flower
03-03-2013, 06:04 PM
The fact that this takes place against a backdrop of what seemed like the increasing likelihood of peace negotiations just serves to underscore the US's indifference to any amount of loss of life that may take place for it to meet its own ends.


If anything, the prospect of peace negotiations might have motivated this: a peace brokered by Russia that allowed a transitional government with some members of the Assad regime would be less desirable for America than having the whole edifice ripped down so the country could be taken out of Russia's sphere of influence altogether, even if that means wading through rivers of blood.

There is a lot of evidence that the real local opposition never wanted any kind of civil war, and was prepared to take a lot of losses without military retaliation.

fluffybiscuits
03-03-2013, 06:12 PM
The fact that this takes place against a backdrop of what seemed like the increasing likelihood of peace negotiations just serves to underscore the US's indifference to any amount of loss of life that may take place for it to meet its own ends.


If anything, the prospect of peace negotiations might have motivated this: a peace brokered by Russia that allowed a transitional government with some members of the Assad regime would be less desirable for America than having the whole edifice ripped down so the country could be taken out of Russia's sphere of influence altogether, even if that means wading through rivers of blood.

America would take the view that Russian intervention would be a decline in their influence in the area. Syria is without a doubt going to get a transitional government which will be a puppet government a regime friendlier to US interests.

Count Bobulescu
03-03-2013, 07:26 PM
The fact that this takes place against a backdrop of what seemed like the increasing likelihood of peace negotiations just serves to underscore the US's indifference to any amount of loss of life that may take place for it to meet its own ends.


If anything, the prospect of peace negotiations might have motivated this: a peace brokered by Russia that allowed a transitional government with some members of the Assad regime would be less desirable for America than having the whole edifice ripped down so the country could be taken out of Russia's sphere of influence altogether, even if that means wading through rivers of blood.

What increasing likelihood of peace talks? I don’t know what basis you have for claiming any Russian, UN, or other, led talks were about to begin, much less succeed. The rebels have spurned both US and Russian overtures.

C. Flower
03-03-2013, 07:49 PM
What increasing likelihood of peace talks? I don’t know what basis you have for claiming any Russian, UN, or other, led talks were about to begin, much less succeed. The rebels have spurned both US and Russian overtures.

Which rebels ?

Count Bobulescu
03-03-2013, 08:03 PM
Which rebels ?
Free Syrian Army.

C. Flower
03-03-2013, 08:14 PM
Free Syrian Army.

The stars of the Atlantic photos ?

We have had this discussion before. The Syrian opposition to Assad doesn't come down to "an army."

Panetta described it better. There is no such thing as a unified Syrian rebel army, and by far the biggest proportion of the anti Assad opposition is local and unarmed.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?p=255167&highlight=Free+Syrian+Army#post255167

random new yorker
03-03-2013, 08:16 PM
There does not appear to be an existing thread on the sitaution in Syria, not one that I found anyway, so I thought I'd raise the topic to provoke discussion.

good choice to start



What concerns me is how misrepresented the situation there is by the Western media, and how this may represent a softening up of public opinion in favour of an imperialist invasion.

The most likely explanation for America's motive is to take out a long-time Soviet and now Russian ally and increase its strength in the Middle East under the guise of "humanitarianism".


is this guy for real??

...'favor of an 'imperialist invasion'?' would you get over it already about our 'imperialism'!
.

Count Bobulescu
03-03-2013, 08:37 PM
The stars of the Atlantic photos ?

We have had this discussion before. The Syrian opposition to Assad doesn't come down to "an army."

Panetta described it better. There is no such thing as a unified Syrian rebel army, and by far the biggest proportion of the anti Assad opposition is local and unarmed.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?p=255167&highlight=Free+Syrian+Army#post255167
How are these non SFA factions manifesting their opposition?

Ceannaire
03-03-2013, 10:05 PM
What increasing likelihood of peace talks? I don’t know what basis you have for claiming any Russian, UN, or other, led talks were about to begin, much less succeed. The rebels have spurned both US and Russian overtures.

I never said anything was "about to succeed": you're just putting words in my mouth. This year sees the conflict entering its third year without either Assad or anti-government forces obviously going to win any time soon (in itself something which could arguably be said to make peace talks more likely, before America announced its increase in support for the rebels), and early last month the leader of the "Syrian opposition coalition" offered talks with Assad's vice-president, before the stance was admittedly toughened a few days later. I think I'm justified in saying that this represented an "increase" in the likelihood of peace talks over what the chances would have been previously, as the fact that the idea was even mentioned makes it seem more acceptable as an option.


At the time the initial offer was made, the US showed how serious it was about peace talks by saying that Assad would have to be held accountable for his crimes. Whilst ideally I would like to see Assad put behind bars along with Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld, he's clearly going to keep fighting rather than put his own head on a block if that's the only other option, so asking for a peace that involves him being "held accountable" in reality is asking for the war to go on.


good choice to start

is this guy for real??

...'favor of an 'imperialist invasion'?' would you get over it already about our 'imperialism'!
.


If you could provide an alternative motivation for America's potential invasion of Syria in terms of altruism I'd be interested to hear it.

C. Flower
03-03-2013, 10:24 PM
How are these non SFA factions manifesting their opposition?

Again, we have discussed this before. For twelve months before there was any organised use of "rebel" arms, there were constant unarmed protests ---


scores of youtubes and live streams over many months, showing noisy and enthusiastic protests (love this jumping/dancing thing they do), mass funerals, the dying and dead, from men to tiny babies, towns and villages being shelled and being raided by military and thugs, Syrian soldiers torturing people and laughing at the dead, and people coming out again the next day and protesting again, under fire, people spelling out non-sectarian and anti sectarian messages to be read from the air, using limited english to try to communicate that they want freedom and equality, posters with messages against terrorism, there are hundreds of items out there on the net that give a bit of an impression of what is really going on.

There is a socialist and trade union opposition in Syria - of course this is not the type of news that the US Press likes to report.

Dojo
03-03-2013, 10:38 PM
The U.K and U.S. to "assist the opposition."

Good.

Dojo
03-03-2013, 10:41 PM
America would take the view that Russian intervention would be a decline in their influence in the area. Syria is without a doubt going to get a transitional government which will be a puppet government a regime friendlier to US interests.

I would hardly call the Muslim Brotherhood "friendly" re. the US. But hey, don't let me stop this site's far left pro Assad, anti western whinge-fest. :rolleyes:

Count Bobulescu
03-03-2013, 11:23 PM
Again, we have discussed this before. For twelve months before there was any organised use of "rebel" arms, there were constant unarmed protests ---

There is a socialist and trade union opposition in Syria - of course this is not the type of news that the US Press likes to report.
CF, it seems you ideological purity allows you to make the “perfect’ the enemy of the “good’
It would seem that the leader of the Syrian Opposition Coalition is happy to have US/Western aid go to the Syrian Free Army/

I have no doubt that there are many in Syria who peacefully protest Assad, but they are almost irrelevant to the problem. If you want to stop the killing you have to engage with those who are doing the killing. The peaceniks aren’t killing anybody.


ROME — The food rations and medical supplies that Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday would be provided to the Free Syrian Army mark the first time that the United States has publicly committed itself to sending nonlethal aid to the armed factions that are battling President Bashar al-Assad

Mr. Assad is “out of time and must be out of power,” Mr. Kerry asserted after meeting here with Moaz al-Khatib, the leader of the Syrian opposition coalition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/world/middleeast/us-pledges-60-million-to-syrian-opposition.html?pagewanted=all

random new yorker
04-03-2013, 12:49 AM
If you could provide an alternative motivation for America's potential invasion of Syria in terms of altruism I'd be interested to hear it.

speechless here, mind boggled \.i./

random new yorker
04-03-2013, 06:04 PM
If you could provide an alternative motivation for America's potential invasion of Syria in terms of altruism I'd be interested to hear it.


whine whine whine....
the americans are coming...
no the americans are NOT coming??
(we cant pay our bills...we cant go to syria...)
will they come? please oh please come...


how bout you pack up your people and YOU go in??

C. Flower
16-03-2013, 02:06 AM
Enda Kenny sounded bemused this evening that there were different views amongst the EU Foreign Ministers as to whether or not to arm the insurgents/militias in Syria.

I've not seen any real report on who is supporting what as yet. Pretty well everything submerged the the Roman holiday.

Ceannaire
16-03-2013, 05:33 PM
Enda Kenny sounded bemused this evening that there were different views amongst the EU Foreign Ministers as to whether or not to arm the insurgents/militias in Syria.

I've not seen any real report on who is supporting what as yet. Pretty well everything submerged the the Roman holiday.


The man is clueless enough when it comes to running his own country without thinking about other ones.


It seems Britain and France -- by no coincidence the two most recent imperialist powers in the EU -- are leading the way in calling for the arming of the "rebels".

Hollande is particularly hilarious in his claim that they would get "assurances" from the secular "rebels" that their arms won't go to al-Qaida-linked groups. Who does he think he's kidding?

Dojo
16-03-2013, 06:23 PM
The man is clueless enough when it comes to running his own country without thinking about other ones.


It seems Britain and France -- by no coincidence the two most recent imperialist powers in the EU -- are leading the way in calling for the arming of the "rebels".

Hollande is particularly hilarious in his claim that they would get "assurances" from the secular "rebels" that their arms won't go to al-Qaida-linked groups. Who does he think he's kidding?

Here's a better idea. How about the EU puts pressure on the Russian gov to stop arming the tyrannical Assad regime, who use said weaponry to massacre the people of Syria? If the Kremlin refuses then providing legitimate means for the populace to defend themselves against the dictator Assad is the only real alternative.

Ceannaire
16-03-2013, 06:44 PM
Here's a better idea. How about the EU puts pressure on the Russian gov to stop arming the tyrannical Assad regime, who use said weaponry to massacre the people of Syria? If the Kremlin refuses then providing legitimate means for the populace to defend themselves against the dictator Assad is the only real alternative.


I would welcome it if both sides stopped arming their respective proxies in Syria as they reduce the country to rubble, but it's inaccurate to say that the West is "arming the populace" to overthrow Assad. It was when protests against the regime were peaceful that they had mass popular support. Since the conflict has escalated, support for the "rebels"/terrorists has dwindled. They are in no way representative of the Syrian population, and nor is it easy for Syrians to assert themselves amongst the rebel/terrorist forces and make their wishes known to them, as they were last December cobbled together into a grouping by the US in a hotel in, if I remember correctly, Qatar: they are hardly under the control of the Syrian people. Even the UN acknolweded in a report last December that this is no longer a popular uprising, but should instead be classified as a sectarian civil war.


Aside from the Washington DC, some of their members take orders from al-Qaida and other radical Islamist forces. The Syrian rebel/terrorist forces are fast becoming a magnet for radical Islam internationally and their success could see the entire region plunged into bloodbath as Iran and Lebannon have assembled a large reserve force ready to try and re-take Syria, and it will not take much for Iraq to be tipped back into sectarian civil war if the conflict spreads. It isn't a simple case of defending the people of Syria, but of adding fuel to the flames of a sectarian conflict that could potentially engulf the whole Middle East.

Dojo
16-03-2013, 09:19 PM
I would welcome it if both sides stopped arming their respective proxies in Syria as they reduce the country to rubble, but it's inaccurate to say that the West is "arming the populace" to overthrow Assad. It was when protests against the regime were peaceful that they had mass popular support. Since the conflict has escalated, support for the "rebels"/terrorists has dwindled. They are in no way representative of the Syrian population, and nor is it easy for Syrians to assert themselves amongst the rebel/terrorist forces and make their wishes known to them, as they were last December cobbled together into a grouping by the US in a hotel in, if I remember correctly, Qatar: they are hardly under the control of the Syrian people. Even the UN acknolweded in a report last December that this is no longer a popular uprising, but should instead be classified as a sectarian civil war.


Aside from the Washington DC, some of their members take orders from al-Qaida and other radical Islamist forces. The Syrian rebel/terrorist forces are fast becoming a magnet for radical Islam internationally and their success could see the entire region plunged into bloodbath as Iran and Lebannon have assembled a large reserve force ready to try and re-take Syria, and it will not take much for Iraq to be tipped back into sectarian civil war if the conflict spreads. It isn't a simple case of defending the people of Syria, but of adding fuel to the flames of a sectarian conflict that could potentially engulf the whole Middle East.

A certain amount of truth in that, though I'm unsure why you place quotes around "rebels", but not "terrorists". The truth is Assad has lost all rights to govern. He is brutally murdering the majority Sunni people, who are unfortunately being driven into the arms of Al Qaeda militants. Syrian based militants are now linking up with former Baathist Sunnis in Iraq with the resulting quagmire turning rapidly into a general Middle East wide Sunni/Shia civil war.

I'm not sure it's wise for NATO and SCO forces to be using the Arab states as their proxy for the latest round of the east/west global Cold War. It would be better if the UN were to intervene, install a new government and flood the country with peace-keepers to get the guns of the streets. Of course Assad will never agree to this, neither will the rebels in all likelihood. What is inevitable is more bloodshed unfortunately, with Syria the new Balkans.

Ceannaire
25-03-2013, 11:40 PM
The collapse of the supportive Lebanese goverment and the Arab League's move to have Assad replaced by the American leader of the Syrian opposition Hitta in Syria's representation in the body both will make a Western invasion more likely.

C. Flower
26-03-2013, 04:14 PM
I would welcome it if both sides stopped arming their respective proxies in Syria as they reduce the country to rubble, but it's inaccurate to say that the West is "arming the populace" to overthrow Assad. It was when protests against the regime were peaceful that they had mass popular support. Since the conflict has escalated, support for the "rebels"/terrorists has dwindled. They are in no way representative of the Syrian population, and nor is it easy for Syrians to assert themselves amongst the rebel/terrorist forces and make their wishes known to them, as they were last December cobbled together into a grouping by the US in a hotel in, if I remember correctly, Qatar: they are hardly under the control of the Syrian people. Even the UN acknolweded in a report last December that this is no longer a popular uprising, but should instead be classified as a sectarian civil war.


Aside from the Washington DC, some of their members take orders from al-Qaida and other radical Islamist forces. The Syrian rebel/terrorist forces are fast becoming a magnet for radical Islam internationally and their success could see the entire region plunged into bloodbath as Iran and Lebannon have assembled a large reserve force ready to try and re-take Syria, and it will not take much for Iraq to be tipped back into sectarian civil war if the conflict spreads. It isn't a simple case of defending the people of Syria, but of adding fuel to the flames of a sectarian conflict that could potentially engulf the whole Middle East.

Sad but true. But I think that opposition to Assad has not diminished, but been crushed, pushed underground or to the background. The peaceful opposition was diverse but did not want civil war or invasion. Both have been ramped up by stealth, by outside forces.

Count Bobulescu
26-03-2013, 08:20 PM
The collapse of the supportive Lebanese goverment and the Arab League's move to have Assad replaced by the American leader of the Syrian opposition Hitta in Syria's representation in the body both will make a Western invasion more likely.

Care to explain why you think invasion is more likely now? I’m agnostic on that issue myself at the moment. No doubt, given recent developments, that confusion has increased, but I don’t see who is going to do any invading anytime soon..

Ceannaire
26-03-2013, 10:28 PM
Assad has been deprived of an ally, making him a more vulnerable target. In deciding whether or not to invade, the ease with which Assad could be overthrown is a key variable, and depends on factors like this.

random new yorker
27-03-2013, 01:27 AM
Care to explain why you think invasion is more likely now? I’m agnostic on that issue myself at the moment. No doubt, given recent developments, that confusion has increased, but I don’t see who is going to do any invading anytime soon..

funny...i second that completely...

C. Flower
20-04-2013, 09:21 PM
US army has been moving into Jordan over the last few days while we are looking at Boston.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/17/world/us-jordan-troops-order


In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the deployment of more American troops to Jordan.
Hagel announced the deployment, which was first reported on CNN, in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
He said the troops will work alongside Jordanian forces to "improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios."
The troops, which will number up to 200, are from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, two Defense Department officials told CNN.....
n town ruled by rebels
The deployment "creates an additional capability" beyond what has been there, one official said, and will give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered."
The new deployment will include communications and intelligence specialists who will assist the Jordanians and "be ready for military action" if President Obama were to order it, the official said.

C. Flower
20-04-2013, 11:43 PM
I did not give Kerry's tour enough attention. He has announced that future aid to the Syrian opposition will be chanelled via the military. Boot on the ground now along the Jordanian border.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/19/Jordanian-Islamists-reject-U-S-troop-deployment-.html

Kid Ryder
21-04-2013, 12:28 AM
According to the Guardian US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the provision of $130m of 'non-lethal' aid to the Syrian rebels. This may include:

...body armor, armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communications equipment.
The article goes on to state that $117m of 'non-lethal' aid has already been given by the United States to the rebels. However:

President Barack Obama has said he has no plans to send weapons or give lethal aid to the rebels, despite pressure from Congress and even some administration advisers.
Also, the article references the preference of the UK and French govts for arming the rebels. It says there's support in some US govt. and Obama administration circles for this approach, but there is opposition from the Netherlands and German govts on the grounds that it would worsen things on the ground. There is this curious unattributed statement in the report:

The US is not opposed to other countries arming the rebels, provided there are assurances the weapons do not get to extremist groups that have gained ground in the conflict.
Although Kerry is mentioned immediately afterward at the start of the next paragraph, this statement is left hanging in the air. Is it from 'State Dept. sources', or is it the reporter's own surmise?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/20/us-syria-130m-military-aid-package

Apjp
21-04-2013, 01:34 AM
A certain amount of truth in that, though I'm unsure why you place quotes around "rebels", but not "terrorists". The truth is Assad has lost all rights to govern. He is brutally murdering the majority Sunni people, who are unfortunately being driven into the arms of Al Qaeda militants. Syrian based militants are now linking up with former Baathist Sunnis in Iraq with the resulting quagmire turning rapidly into a general Middle East wide Sunni/Shia civil war.

I'm not sure it's wise for NATO and SCO forces to be using the Arab states as their proxy for the latest round of the east/west global Cold War. It would be better if the UN were to intervene, install a new government and flood the country with peace-keepers to get the guns of the streets. Of course Assad will never agree to this, neither will the rebels in all likelihood. What is inevitable is more bloodshed unfortunately, with Syria the new Balkans.

In all seriousness we have enough problems at home. Maybe we should mind our own business. This is far more than just a question of getting rid of a dictator. What business has bloody Ireland in regime changing some far away war torn faultline country anyways? Look at what is happening in Libya and Egypt. Ambassadors getting killed, minorities being targeted and pitted against each other to fuel instability, citizens paranoid of the new regime refusing to give up their military status(perhaps understandably given the quasi junta regime in place, but that's beside the point) and in Algeria and Mali with the conflicts there and the widespread threats to any Western employees/tourists in the border areas of these countries because of the kidnapping situation. You really want to go one further and open a can of worms that could get Iran, Israel and the Hezbollah involved? Do you value that passport of yours? Mossad may be in need of it.

The reality is the EU has many voices on this issue, and the more sensible of them which excludes ourselves for the forseeable future due to the insane mugs running the place on behalf of absentee landlords, will hopefully have the sense to avoid encouraging regional instability. Turkey has had a few terrorist attacks over the last year too. This could get a lot closer to home than even the most ardent British,French or Euro imperialist would like.

The middle East and much of Africa will soon resemble middle age Europe.

C. Flower
21-04-2013, 09:37 AM
According to the Guardian US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the provision of $130m of 'non-lethal' aid to the Syrian rebels. This may include:

The article goes on to state that $117m of 'non-lethal' aid has already been given by the United States to the rebels. However:

Also, the article references the preference of the UK and French govts for arming the rebels. It says there's support in some US govt. and Obama administration circles for this approach, but there is opposition from the Netherlands and German govts on the grounds that it would worsen things on the ground. There is this curious unattributed statement in the report:

Although Kerry is mentioned immediately afterward at the start of the next paragraph, this statement is left hanging in the air. Is it from 'State Dept. sources', or is it the reporter's own surmise?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/20/us-syria-130m-military-aid-package

By "given to the rebels" I think we can take it as read that the Syrian Trade Unionists, socialists and youths who were much involved in the original protests are not being supplied with arms by the US (nor did they want that).

There is a pattern emerging (Libya would be another case) in which an early stage progressive opposition is driven off the streets and overrun by intervention, using imported "jihadis" in shiny SUVs to crack the place open to make it easily exploitable and "free." With just enough instability maintained to keeo it that way indefinitely.

Kid Ryder
21-04-2013, 01:30 PM
By "given to the rebels" I think we can take it as read that the Syrian Trade Unionists, socialists and youths who were much involved in the original protests are not being supplied with arms by the US (nor did they want that).

There is a pattern emerging (Libya would be another case) in which an early stage progressive opposition is driven off the streets and overrun by intervention, using imported "jihadis" in shiny SUVs to crack the place open to make it easily exploitable and "free." With just enough instability maintained to keeo it that way indefinitely.

Yes, I presume these are the 'extremists' the United States govt. has in mind. After all, Saudi Arabia arming Islamists/wannabe Wahabbis is in fact the US/UK/NATO arming them by proxy (remember who sells arms to the Saudis folks.) And the Empire has form in arming Islamic fundies for either 'regime change' (Afghanistan, Libya spring to mind) or to shaft the secular/leftist wings of liberation movements (Palestine).

C. Flower
21-04-2013, 01:57 PM
Yes, I presume these are the 'extremists' the United States govt. has in mind. After all, Saudi Arabia arming Islamists/wannabe Wahabbis is in fact the US/UK/NATO arming them by proxy (remember who sells arms to the Saudis folks.) And the Empire has form in arming Islamic fundies for either 'regime change' (Afghanistan, Libya spring to mind) or to shaft the secular/leftist wings of liberation movements (Palestine).

If that was generally understood, it would not work so well any more. Although in the areas infested with these people they are pretty well universally hated.

Hamas an exception, as it was based in the local community. The lesson was learned from that and the expat and footloose elements are now relied on instead.

http://www.dw.de/us-to-double-nonlethal-aid-to-syrian-opposition/a-16760059

How the US is channelling "Non lethal aid" (and also lethal aid) to its pet "jihadis" in Syria.

Kid Ryder
21-04-2013, 03:49 PM
If that was generally understood, it would not work so well any more. Although in the areas infested with these people they are pretty well universally hated.

Hamas an exception, as it was based in the local community. The lesson was learned from that and the expat and footloose elements are now relied on instead.

http://www.dw.de/us-to-double-nonlethal-aid-to-syrian-opposition/a-16760059

How the US is channelling "Non lethal aid" (and also lethal aid) to its pet "jihadis" in Syria.

Just read that article and in it Kerry is stated as saying that the US will increase its aid to the rebels to $250m. A bit ambiguous this; it could mean a running total ($117m already given and $135m to come) or it could be an extra $250m on its way. Kerry is also looking for other imperal allies to fatten the pot to $1bn. There does appear to be considerable nervousness on NATO's part to put their own boots on the ground there (the 250-odd US troops in Jordan excepted), probably because if NATO enters there most likely will be no quick or easy exit. Looks to me like the Empire expects the locals to do all the bleeding and dying for their interests.

Sam Lord
21-04-2013, 05:12 PM
There is a pattern emerging (Libya would be another case) in which an early stage progressive opposition is driven off the streets and overrun by intervention ....

In neither place was the early stage opposition driven off the streets and overrun by intervention. In both cases it was done by the bullets of the regime. Hyperbole does not assist your case.

C. Flower
21-04-2013, 05:28 PM
In neither place was the early stage opposition driven off the streets and overrun by intervention. In both cases it was done by the bullets of the regime. Hyperbole does not assist your case.

Well, in fairness, the sequence of events in Libya is not so clear, and there was a very short period of street protest before it was one way or another stifled (leaving aside Benghazi, which fell out of control of Gadhaffi's regime, and where there were still some protests against armed intervention/the "no fly zone").

But in Syria the unarmed opposition was not driven off the streets for over a year, until the situation had shifted to outright armed conflict.

Apjp
21-04-2013, 09:08 PM
Well, in fairness, the sequence of events in Libya is not so clear, and there was a very short period of street protest before it was one way or another stifled (leaving aside Benghazi, which fell out of control of Gadhaffi's regime, and where there were still some protests against armed intervention/the "no fly zone").

But in Syria the unarmed opposition was not driven off the streets for over a year, until the situation had shifted to outright armed conflict.

One of my best friends from my year in France is part of a well connected Tripoli family. It was his uncle, a local philosophor, who went on the television to encourage all Libyans to get out on the streets. That started the whole uprising. He is a big fan of Norwegian politics and French revolutionary ideals. Take what you will from that, but he has said what is happening in Libya now may be comparable to some of the fragile European democracies in the inter war period. There is considerable freedom given what was there before, but not the freedom people fought and died for, or so he says. Whatever people call themselves, people definitely want an end to poverty and some reasonable standard of living

He is quite religious but easily one of the most progressive people I know. There are leftwing moderates in these countries too, so lets not make the mistake of lumping socialists and muslims into different camps when it is in fact possible to be something of both. If Libya ended up like Norway, it would be no bad thing.

C. Flower
21-04-2013, 09:11 PM
One of my best friends from my year in France is part of a well connected Tripoli family. It was his uncle, a local philosophor, who went on the television to encourage all Libyans to get out on the streets. That started the whole uprising. He is a big fan of Norwegian politics and French revolutionary ideals. Take what you will from that, but he has said what is happening in Libya now may be comparable to some of the fragile European democracies in the inter war period. There is considerable freedom given what was there before, but not the freedom people fought and died for, or so he says.

Very interesting and would be great to hear more.

Apjp
21-04-2013, 09:55 PM
Very interesting and would be great to hear more.

I was careful not to pry too much. He focused more on the politics than the dreadful things he and his family saw. He went there at great personal risk for a few months during the conflict, crossing I think from the Algerian border one way, and into Tunisia the way back(which was pretty unstable itself at the time). He nearly got killed once or twice, having to hide from Gaddafi's forces. That's all he told me really. I thought it only polite not to ask too much. I'm guessing a good few people he knew were killed or worse.

C. Flower
21-04-2013, 10:51 PM
I was careful not to pry too much. He focused more on the politics than the dreadful things he and his family saw. He went there at great personal risk for a few months during the conflict, crossing I think from the Algerian border one way, and into Tunisia the way back(which was pretty unstable itself at the time). He nearly got killed once or twice, having to hide from Gaddafi's forces. That's all he told me really. I thought it only polite not to ask too much. I'm guessing a good few people he knew were killed or worse.

It's the politics that is the most interesting.

Simonsays
22-04-2013, 01:00 AM
One of my best friends from my year in France is part of a well connected Tripoli family. It was his uncle, a local philosophor, who went on the television to encourage all Libyans to get out on the streets. That started the whole uprising. He is a big fan of Norwegian politics and French revolutionary ideals. Take what you will from that, but he has said what is happening in Libya now may be comparable to some of the fragile European democracies in the inter war period. There is considerable freedom given what was there before, but not the freedom people fought and died for, or so he says. Whatever people call themselves, people definitely want an end to poverty and some reasonable standard of living

He is quite religious but easily one of the most progressive people I know. There are leftwing moderates in these countries too, so lets not make the mistake of lumping socialists and muslims into different camps when it is in fact possible to be something of both. If Libya ended up like Norway, it would be no bad thing.

Two big problems with revolutions are that (a) some of the leadership in the initial phase can be quite moderate but also quite weak, ill-disciplined and ineffectual, and (b) so many groups take part in the revolution that there is no one clear aim for the outcome other than sweeping away the previous regime.

So when the previous regime is deposed, the revolution quickly collapses into a form of civil war between the factions who had different aims for what comes next. Hence in Egypt you see a rapidly growing degree of alienation as secularists look on the new president and the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood with increasing horror saying 'we didn't get rid of Mubarak to end up with you lot trying to impose Islamic law by stealth.' Very often it is the more fundamentalist groups, with a very black and white ideology, who end up taking control rather than liberal secularists. Counter-revolutions then often happen as some of the middle ground decide that however much they despised the old regime it was preferable to the new hard men in power. That is why states so often slip into civil war post revolutions.

It is one reason why states don't like supporting revolutionaries in other states, even where they agree with their aims. They know from history that the moderates usually get swept aside by the hardliners - as happened with Bani-Sadr in Iran, for example. The fear is that the eventual new regime, run by hardliners, might be worse than the original regime the revolution overthrew. The fact that hardliners usually take power is why most revolutions don't end up with democracies and so many revolutions ended up producing reigns of terror and mass execution of moderates and democrats in the original revolution.

Sam Lord
22-04-2013, 02:01 AM
Well, in fairness, the sequence of events in Libya is not so clear, and there was a very short period of street protest before it was one way or another stifled (leaving aside Benghazi, which fell out of control of Gadhaffi's regime, and where there were still some protests against armed intervention/the "no fly zone").


The sequence of events in Libya is only unclear to yourself. And the street protests were not stifled "in one way or another". They were brutally cracked down on by the Gadaffi regime.



But in Syria the unarmed opposition was not driven off the streets for over a year, until the situation had shifted to outright armed conflict.

The armed conflict began because people who were protesting peacefully were coming under continuous armed attack by the regime. People started defending their demonstrations. You must surely know this.

C. Flower
22-04-2013, 10:27 AM
The sequence of events in Libya is only unclear to yourself. And the street protests were not stifled "in one way or another". They were brutally cracked down on by the Gadaffi regime.

In Libya, there was a planned protest that was pre-empted a couple of days early by a group who attacked a police station. That is how it started. I saw video of protests that were indeed brutally fired on, and there were a number of reports of anti-tank guns being used on peaceful protests. Do you have any photos of Gadaffi's troops firing on those protests ?
They may well exist. There were plenty of that type of photo in Bahrain, for example.

[QUOTE]The armed conflict began because people who were protesting peacefully were coming under continuous armed attack by the regime. People started defending their demonstrations. You must surely know this.

There was a great deal of video evidence in Syria that people were coming under tremendous repression, there was video of people running out under gunfire protesting. Peaceful protests went on under dire conditions for many months, and the local Syrian oppositionists opposed civil war and persistently looked for a negotiated end of the Assad regime. When protests started in the capital city, and the regime seemed shaky, a war took off between mainly outside militias and Assads forces. These outside forces have been groomed for takeover by the US and UK, who have cultivated them as a government-in-waiting and cut the local secular Syrian opposition out of it.

Sam Lord
22-04-2013, 03:31 PM
In Libya, there was a planned protest that was pre-empted a couple of days early by a group who attacked a police station. That is how it started. I saw video of protests that were indeed brutally fired on, and there were a number of reports of anti-tank guns being used on peaceful protests. Do you have any photos of Gadaffi's troops firing on those protests ?


If you saw video why do you want me to look for photos for you?




When protests started in the capital city, and the regime seemed shaky, a war took off between mainly outside militias and Assads forces. These outside forces have been groomed for takeover by the US and UK, who have cultivated them as a government-in-waiting and cut the local secular Syrian opposition out of it.

This is absolutely and entirely untrue. The initial armed resistance to Assads forces was provided by defectors from those forces.

C. Flower
22-04-2013, 04:23 PM
If you saw video why do you want me to look for photos for you?

I did not say I'd seen video of Gadaffi's troops firing on protestors. It is an opportunity for you to show that is what happened, if you wish to.


This is absolutely and entirely untrue. The initial armed resistance to Assads forces was provided by defectors from those forces.

Yes, that is the case: there was a certain amount of early defection, but it levelled off and most of the armed forces remained pro-Assad.

Many of the defections were because the men did not want to take part in killing fellow citizens. That did not mean they all wanted to go onto the offensive in a civil war.

The political message that came from oppositionists continued to be that they did not want civil war.

Your quotation was selective - this is what I said, and from the very many reports I've read on the situation in Syria I believe it to be correct.


There was a great deal of video evidence in Syria that people were coming under tremendous repression, there was video of people running out under gunfire protesting. Peaceful protests went on under dire conditions for many months, and the local Syrian oppositionists opposed civil war and persistently looked for a negotiated end of the Assad regime. When protests started in the capital city, and the regime seemed shaky, a war took off between mainly outside militias and Assads forces. These outside forces have been groomed for takeover by the US and UK, who have cultivated them as a government-in-waiting and cut the local secular Syrian opposition out of it.

Saoirse go Deo
22-04-2013, 07:41 PM
http://syriareport.net/

A website offering an alternate analysis of the conflict - somewhat pro Syrian government.

Sam Lord
23-04-2013, 06:09 AM
Your quotation was selective - this is what I said, and from the very many reports I've read on the situation in Syria I believe it to be correct.

I am responding to this assertion which you continue to stand over.



When protests started in the capital city, and the regime seemed shaky, a war took off between mainly outside militias and Assads forces. These outside forces have been groomed for takeover by the US and UK, who have cultivated them as a government-in-waiting and cut the local secular Syrian opposition out of it.


You are entirely and absolutely incorrect and simply regurgitating the propaganda of the Assad regime from day one that what they were fighting were armed groups from outside the country.

This is a link to an interview with a journalist who spent two months in Syria over a year ago. It provides a very detailed account of the beginning of the armed resistance in Syria early in 2011. It might be educational for you to read it.



AJ: Who are the fighters - army defectors, armed civilians or "armed gangs"?

NR: The issue of defectors is a distraction. Armed resistance began long before defections started. While fighters are often portrayed in the media as defectors from the Syrian military, the majority are civilians who have taken up arms. The opposition believes it will have more legitimacy if fighters are dubbed "defectors", and described collectively as the Free Syrian Army.

They are also not armed gangs, as the regime and its supporters describe them. They are much more akin to a popular armed struggle or an insurgency. In fact, many Syrian revolutionaries use the term muqawama, ["resistance"] to describe themselves. This I find particularly ironic, as the Syrian regime and its supporters champion "resistance" (to Israel and the West) as the reason for their legitimacy, and the reason why they are being targeted by an alleged "foreign conspiracy" in the form of this uprising.

As the armed groups gain experience, they are adopting classic insurgent techniques of providing services to the population, while also blending in with them. In my encounters with armed opposition groups throughout Syria, I was reminded of Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in south Lebanon, Iraqi Sunni and Shia insurgents and resistance groups as well as the Taliban in Afghan villages - not in the religious sense, but in how they were an organic part of the community

NR: The first acts of armed self-defence or opposition in Syria took place by late April, especially after April 22 when Friday demonstrations throughout the country were met with live fire, causing many deaths.

By the end of April, individuals in Homs' Bab Amr and Bab Sbaa neighbourhoods took up arms to defend themselves. At first they used shotguns and hunting rifles, along with rocks and improvised weapons. In Homs, the first armed group was established in Bab Sbaa in May. Likewise, the first accounts of armed resistance in Idlib, Deraa, Damascus and its suburbs date from late April.

AJ: Who were the first to take up arms?

NR: The armed phenomenon began in rural areas, known in Arabic as the reef, and in the working class urban shaabi areas. Men there were more likely to own guns and were known as qabaday - "tough" men more likely to have the courage (and potential for violence) that one needs to respond violently to security forces. They had more grievances - and less to lose - than middle or upper class activists with university degrees.


It is clear that the resistance began entirely as ordinary Syrians taking up arms to defend themselves, with the support of army defectors. It had nothing to do with "outside militias" who had been groomed for takeover by the US and the UK. This is a complete and utter fallacy. How the resistance has evolved over the last year is another question but your attempts to mould it's birth into something to fit your worldview is not credible.

With regard to your belief that mass popular movement was opposed to armed resistance:



AJ: To what extent is the Syrian uprising a peaceful one?

NR: The debate over whether or not it is peaceful is not based on empirical research but on propaganda from both sides. The pro-regime media wants to portray the revolutionaries as nothing more than armed criminals and terrorist gangs. In response, opposition supporters have, until recently, denied all violence - fetishising the notion of a peaceful revolution - which has hurt not only their credibility, but the credibility of foreign media which often uncritically report their accounts.

The debate is also largely irrelevant. On the ground it was clear that by the end of Ramadan (late August), that there was a growing consensus on the part of opposition supporters that only an armed struggle could overthrow the regime.

AJ: Is the armed opposition popular with the protesters?

NR: In the anti-regime demonstrations which take place throughout Syria every day, many of the same songs are sung and same chants shouted. Among them for the past few months have been slogans supporting the "Free Syrian Army" or even: "The people want the arming of the revolutionaries." In some areas: "The people want a declaration of jihad," has been a popular call.

Chants in support of the FSA can now be heard in every demonstration taking place in Syria. In fact, many demonstrations take place only because the armed opposition is there to secure them.



http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/201221315020166516.html

C. Flower
23-04-2013, 07:36 AM
I am responding to this assertion which you continue to stand over.



You are entirely and absolutely incorrect and simply regurgitating the propaganda of the Assad regime from day one that what they were fighting were armed groups from outside the country.

This is a link to an interview with a journalist who spent two months in Syria over a year ago. It provides a very detailed account of the beginning of the armed resistance in Syria early in 2011. It might be educational for you to read it.



It is clear that the resistance began entirely as ordinary Syrians taking up arms to defend themselves, with the support of army defectors. It had nothing to do with "outside militias" who had been groomed for takeover by the US and the UK. This is a complete and utter fallacy. How the resistance has evolved over the last year is another question but your attempts to mould it's birth into something to fit your worldview is not credible.

With regard to your belief that mass popular movement was opposed to armed resistance:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/201221315020166516.html

Educational for you, too, as you said this in one of your recent posts -


The initial armed resistance to Assads forces was provided by defectors from those forces.

Not the case, according to that interesting report.

There was an influx of "foreign fighters" into Syria in the last year, very widely reported and it seems that some of the arms reaching them have come from Croatia, via Jordan. Saudi Arabia is now stepping up supplies and the US is moving more troops into Jordan, where they have had a base for some time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/world/middleeast/in-shift-saudis-are-said-to-arm-rebels-in-syria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

US boots on the ground in Jordan now, and numbers increasing. There are also reports of a large new supply of arms funded by Saudi Arabia, which has acted as a US proxy in the region.

The article says that the opposition has denied all violence and consequently lost credibility. How could the opposition deny violence when there is a civil war going on ? I assume he may be talking about intercommunal violence?

On the one hand, the reporter says that the armed opposition was at a stand still, and on the other, says that it is confident in bringing down Assad with military means. Elsewhere, it says that there is no cohesive and centrally organised Syrian Opposition or force - this is certainly 100% the case. There are all kinds involved, many undoubtedly honest anti-Assad Syrians, but also the usual dodgy jihadi types and "pro democracy" mercenaries.

The US is working overtime to create a government in waiting to its taste, as it did with Libya.

Denial that violence was going on from the opposition, which it clearly was, is not the same at all as having a political position opposing civil war and looking for a political solution backed by the mass of people.

Mass demonstrations defended by arms, because that is the only way they can take place, seem to me to be right and proper.

Count Bobulescu
24-04-2013, 11:45 PM
Washington seems to be playing for more time on chemical weapons

Obama unconvinced by mounting reports of chemical weapons use in Syria (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001cogXSj7THVrO2LGK5cu1XupcJ8dx5mx1kNbXNq p11M-ughn6lYe7YPjkkvfOFK0W_-bQFIdQ4b7SGWzQ0Aeqtwi-zU--y7lUjz753vkofC0zwnyQXxFLfCNGDDYiTAjglRZ0ZC9NKIxg08 L3KgqmCxI1HQPgTwENCqjuODYiQOHShSCBZW2q0pPrgy6ql9em AcS8zN59uOQ9D_WRBLZSr0HyQTKGPNdlG9x7WC9jm68Ux9VfdU m-GQmQE9w3ahD36YJq7A1ft1p9N2H5BF-Jmg==)
By Julian Pecquet
The Obama administration remains unconvinced that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons that would cross the President Obama's “red line,” administration officials said Tuesday.

SYRIA HAS USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS, BRITAIN, FRANCE TELL U.N. Britain and France say there is credible evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons on more than one occasion since December in the ongoing battle with opposition forces, The Washington Post reports. The two countries wrote letters to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, detailing results of soil sample tests and witness interviews that show the Syrian government has used nerve agents around the cities of Aleppo, Homs, and possibly Damascus. The United States is still evaluating the evidence. “The European reports are in part aimed at countering accusations by the Syrian government that opposition forces had used chemical weapons,” The Post writes. Read more

(http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=7d15d0f2b9&e=c7a7983233)

KERRY: NETANYAHU ‘NOT IN A POSITION TO CONFIRM’ THAT SYRIA USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “cannot confirm” comments by Israeli intelligence analyst Brig. Gen. Itai Brun that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons on rebels, Reuters reports. “I talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning. I think it is fair for me to say that he was not in a position to confirm that in the conversation that I had," Kerry said at NATO headquarters. "I don't know yet what the facts are.” Read more

(http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=9e31c13f55&e=c7a7983233)

White House press secretary Jay Carney ducked questions (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=a1c6aeb32b&e=c7a7983233) on what the U.S. response would be: “What I won't do is jump to the next step and say if claims are verified, what action will we take. That's speculating and I won't be doing that.

The administration confronts the news of what an Israeli official said about chemical weapons use in Syria. Just hours after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left Israel yesterday came the report that a top Israeli official believed the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons, dampening, to some extent, the goodwill created by Hagel's goodwill stop there and clearly surprising Hagel and top staffers traveling with him. The White House and Pentagon responded, saying the comments made by an official with the IDF, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, didn't change their own thinking about whether the Assad regime has used chemical weapons - to the U.S., there is still no conclusive evidence that it has, but that it was taking the claims seriously and was investigating. It's not uncommon for an Israeli official to use a high-profile visit, such as Hagel's this week, to make an attention-getting announcement. But this may be more a case of one Israeli agency leaning forward on intelligence and not necessarily a reflection of the broader view of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.


Steven Simon, a former senior director of the National Security Council who specialized in Middle East and North African affairs, told Situation Report he thinks Brun¹s comments may not be as significant as they had been cast by yesterday's reports. The fact of the matter, he said, is that there is no incontrovertible evidence that the Syrians have used chemical weapons on any large scale.


"There isn't dispositive evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime," said Simon, who left the White House at the end of last year. Simon said he knows Brun and views him as "smart and disciplined." But, he said, "my interpretation is that I don¹t think he quite understood the implications of his statement. I think he thought he was being asked for his opinion, I don't think he was envisaging headlines."


Brun didn¹t appear to have any new or definitive intelligence or other evidence to back up his claims, nor do his comments box the White House in in any way, Simon said. "Just because an Israeli creates some doubts about the administration's take on chemical weapons use created by an Israeli at a conference wouldn't constitute any pressure on the White House to change the rules of the game," Simon said.


Pentagon pressec George Little, traveling with Hagel, on an evaluation into whether Syria has used CWs - "We are concerned about reports of potential chemical weapons use, which is precisely why we've called for a thorough investigation... It's important that we do whatever we can to monitor, investigate and verify any credible allegations, given the enormous consequences for the Syrian people and given [President Barack Obama's] clear statement that chemical weapons use is unacceptable."



Want to know what Assad's WMD arsenal looks like? Read Killer Apps' John Reed's explainer (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001s4s_T5EAOW7ozbXooWo6RcZn3fYgIBgPDpbmw_ y5wkMiE78vRz2dEN7JLOVvpn3UxxzhL9GINKBDYw8ByXyOqF_t v3AwVr30UlGdecnXpoVI3kKAtQBbzIue1OzFs7Qe__47HF-0hOxPcBi3mg2ZJ7rfgm3IfCKJPMMUseZAS5udLNdA3jKNwC4fE TJnNLngW0IR-J2hfr3CavCmyln3UA==): "The United States' Intelligence Community's 2013 Worldwide Threat Assessment released last month states that Syria has a 'highly active chemical weapons program' maintaining a stockpile of sarin, VX, and the longtime staple of chemical warfare, mustard gas. These weapons can be delivered a number of ways, via cluster bombs dropped from jets and helicopters to chemical warheads placed atop Scud ballistic missiles. They can even be fired via shorter-range artillery guns or missiles systems, like the Soviet-made BM-27 Uragan," he writes. In addition, the intelligence community's report says that it's likely the Assad regime has biological weapons, just without dedicated delivery systems.


From the threat assessment: "Based on the duration of Syria's longstanding biological warfare (BW) program, we judge that some elements of the program may have advanced beyond the research and development stage and may be capable of limited agent production...Syria is not known to have successfully weaponized biological agents in an effective delivery system, but it possesses conventional and chemical weapon systems that could be modified for biological agent delivery."

Sam Lord
25-04-2013, 06:48 AM
There was an influx of "foreign fighters" into Syria in the last year, very widely reported and it seems that some of the arms reaching them have come from Croatia, via Jordan. Saudi Arabia is now stepping up supplies and the US is moving more troops into Jordan, where they have had a base for some time.


We were not discussing the last year. We were discussing your claim that:



When protests started in the capital city, and the regime seemed shaky, a war took off between mainly outside militias and Assads forces. These outside forces have been groomed for takeover by the US and UK, who have cultivated them as a government-in-waiting and cut the local secular Syrian opposition out of it.


All you had to do was say I was wrong.

C. Flower
25-04-2013, 07:40 AM
We were not discussing the last year. We were discussing your claim that:

All you had to do was say I was wrong.

Protests only started in Damascus in the last year, bar the very small and occasional. They had started over a year earlier in Deraa and other towns remote from the capital.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/world/middleeast/syrian-protesters-fill-streets-of-damascus.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This was a new phase, politically - Damascus had been perceived as fairly solidly pro-Assad until then. People by and large wanted Assad to step down and to have a less repressive, more equal and democratic government. Some would have been sectarian and/or islamicist perhaps, but very much the minority. There's a report on it here from February 2012. At that stage Assad's position was looking insecure. The opposing armed sides then began to fight it out intensively and numbers of arrivals in the militias increased. Also, the outside diplomacy of the west was stepped up, in terms of promoting and alternative government composed mainly of ex pats of their choosing.

The west has always been happy enough with Assad's regime which helped to maintain the status quo in the region, and has possibly been forced into this. Or it could be seen as a back door attempt to take Iran on. There are now US troops in Jordan.

I most certainly don't think I was wrong that the US wants to cut out the local working class, secular, socialist opposition out of it. Syrian based opposition has complained that it has been excluded consistently and I've posted links to sources on this on this thread on a number of occasions.

C. Flower
25-04-2013, 07:59 AM
Opposition in Syria to the SNC and FSA - they don't want outside interference and want a local Syrian leadership

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/12/2012121685117200190.html (http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidesyria/2012/12/2012121685117200190.html)

This is a run down across the Syrian Opposition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition

The US is backing the Syrian National Coalition: Muslim Brotherhood, expats, essentially the right wing of the opposition as the Government-in-Waiting.

This has no credibility in Syria.

Some of the left parties and opposition groups that are not aligned with the US



National Coordination Committee for the Forces of Democratic Change (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Coordination_Committee_for_Democratic_Cha nge) (NCC or NCB, for National Coordination Bureau): Syrian opposition bloc chaired by Hassan Abdel Azim[39] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition#cite_note-39) consisting of about 13 mostly left-leaning political parties and independent political activists, including three Kurdish political parties, and youth activists, operating within Syria and abroad.[40] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition#cite_note-40) The NCC gathers a large proportion of the secular political parties in the pre-revolutionary Syrian dissident movement, mainly leftists and Arab nationalists. Many of its leaders are veteran dissidents, some of them famous former prisoners of conscience. It was the first major coalition formed during the revolution, in summer 2011. It was originally considered a chief rival of the SNC, and portrayed itself as Syria's "internal opposition" (in contrast to the exile-backed SNC), but it has lost influence as the conflict has become more militarized.



National Democratic Rally (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Democratic_Rally_(Syria)): Banned opposition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_opposition) alliance formed in 1980 comprising five political parties of a secularist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular), pan-Arabist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-Arab), Arab nationalist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_nationalist)and socialist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist) bent; Democratic Arab Socialist Union (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Arab_Socialist_Union), Syrian Democratic People's Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Democratic_People%27s_Party), Arab Revolutionary Workers Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Revolutionary_Workers_Party), Movement of Arab Socialists, Democratic Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Socialist_Arab_Ba%27ath_Party). In 2006, Communist Labour Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_Labour_Party_(Syria)) joined the coalition. The Rally originally signed the Damascus Declaration, but most members later split from the group. Among the Rally parties, only the SDPP is now active in the SNC, while most others have joined the NCC, a rival opposition alliance.

C. Flower
25-04-2013, 08:04 PM
The U.S. and U.K. are both saying that that Syria / the Assad regime has used chemical weapons - "at least twice used the substance sarin gas against rebels."

Israel earlier this week said that there was evidence of chemical weapons use for a while.

This is an indication of a threat of war by the U.S. and U.K. against the Syrian state, as this would be considered to be use of "weapons of mass destruction."

Video images of rebels foaming at the mouth in hospital at Aleppo is cited.

Count Bobulescu
25-04-2013, 08:17 PM
The U.S. and U.K. are both saying that that Syria / the Assad regime has used chemical weapons - "at least twice used the substance sarin gas against rebels."

Israel earlier this week said that there was evidence of chemical weapons use for a while.

This is an indication of a threat of war by the U.S. and U.K. against the Syrian state, as this would be considered to be use of "weapons of mass destruction."

Video images of rebels foaming at the mouth in hospital at Aleppo is cited.

The US has now said it is "likely" that Assad used a small amount of Sarin, but is threading very carefully on this. See 65 above.


SYRIA DENIES CHEMICAL-WEAPON USE, EXPECTS AID FROM RUSSIA, IRAN. Syria’s information minister said Wednesday that his country would not use (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=e56a114339&e=c7a7983233) chemical weapons against its own citizens or Israel, Reuters reports. The comments came after Israel accused the country of repeatedly using chemical weapons. In response to Israel’s comments, the United States said it has no hard evidence (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=93ec863c59&e=c7a7983233) of Syrian chemical-weapon use, Bloomberg reports. Syria’s comments were made the same day the government took control (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=7c72975575&e=c7a7983233) of a strategic town east of Damascus, the country’s capital, that rebels have used as a weapons-supply route for eight months, Reuters reports. The government also announced it is expecting more financial assistance from Russia and Iran. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=ac30a0cf87&e=c7a7983233)

Top news: The White House said Wednesday that it is still investigating allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebel forces, an escalation that President Barack Obama has said would be a "game changer (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001tQCEwXx95Em-ex7r49gH2dwrm15SDHQ0ncuV6EqBcvpCOuRdtKzVRgBkOAeHdd PAhmsDzbJw64ov3wZZ9GE01W8aGz3A18DOKWYYzmigMhE7ODSW oSXyWBAbZsxHY9nR1wG7Ht2VuNWIi_uy7u-oUxa9vKfnOWfnHIuPlSKqgGz2pmfHoqe5fe5cStTiXor-DdTarQyVPHkAMqDDzXhk9dTppg5ihXVO_96D_yvfGWPuJLENfE wN6w==)," potentially necessitating direct U.S. intervention in the conflict. "It is precisely because this is a red line that we have to establish with airtight certainty that this happened," an anonymous senior White House official told the New York Times (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001tQCEwXx95EmXeD2KePhpt2YhG2IvGUeLY1Ei9e bNjWJR-HGKEnk41uf5O1Od9cHkV_ZuLGFQeNYHxbbwox9mY89BdIQBb1V w3RD-Irt4GWwaWcFV_QIgULOJtq6Bvu1D2CZg46ZDYyLparMkLgqZEI eZWX0knkJKCYXFoO36b5qFoZ6s0v5jPZe2CJSW4OeO0tPvij-UuFOX3FvW3rdXy94qJAxlMnPuzafKI_lN6jgndBeqT9jrC7fxy SC-k1di). "The bar on the United States is higher than on anyone else, both because of our capabilities and because of our history in Iraq."

Count Bobulescu
27-04-2013, 09:54 PM
Here are a few pieces on Syria from Friday and Saturday.


Obama Looking for Reasons to Delay Response on Syria

It would seem to add up to certain U.S. military action: On Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the United States now believes “the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically, the chemical agent sarin."
That finding appears to be a direct violation of the “red line” and “game-changer” for action that President Obama has set.
In truth, the same game is still going on, and the administration appears to be equivocating over a response while all the “facts” are established. “We want to continue to investigate above and beyond those intelligence estimates,” a senior administration official told reporters on Thursday afternoon, in order to gain “a definitive judgment for whether a red line has been crossed.”
Some of the usual U.S. hawks called for immediate action, and even Obama ally Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., issued a statement indicating the administration’s credibility was at stake on the matter.
The administration remains very leery of getting directly involved in Syria, but the question is, at what cost? Read more

(http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=6aa4087a24&e=c7a7983233)

“What are the pros and cons of intervention in Syria for Obama administration?” (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/AADB45/TPRT4J/VBAYM9/F57HZD/72G8XY/SN/h) — Scott Wilson, Washington Post

Fine Print: Syria and legal airstrikes? (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/KYNZS9/40G223/TTVKZE/TFRPQN/9Z6BXF/7V/h)
COLUMN | U.S. has no legal basis to launch a military action in Syria, but Congress could change that.
(, The Washington Post)

Protect yourself from Syrian hackers on Twitter (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/KYNZS9/40G223/TTVKZE/TFRPQN/NSK4UC/7V/h)
Syrian Electronic Army, which supports al-Assad’s regime, claims success with several hacks.
( by Max Ehrenfreund , The Washington Post)

The Latest Videos of Alleged Chemical Weapons Use in Syria Are Terribly Disturbing (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/04/latest-videos-alleged-chemical-weapons-use-syria-are-terribly-disturbing/64609/)

Around the same time that the White House announced that it believe the Assad regime had crossed the "red line" President Obama set months ago, some troubling videos of alleged victims of a chemical attack made their way around the web.

OBAMA LOOKS FOR REASONS TO DELAY SYRIA RESPONSE. On a day when the U.S. confirmed (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=128de6fe6d&e=c7a7983233) that it had evidence Syria used chemical weapons on its own people, a clear violation of President Obama’s “red line,” the administration appeared to be equivocating over a response while all the “facts” were established. “We want to continue to investigate above and beyond those intelligence estimates,” a senior administration official told reporters Thursday, to gain “a definitive judgment for whether a red line has been crossed,” National Journal’s Michael Hirsh reports. Also, NJ’s James Kittfield explains (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=293ce6ce81&e=c7a7983233) why doing nothing may be riskier than getting involved. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=54b397b5d0&e=c7a7983233)
Meanwhile on the ground, the Syrian regime reported on Friday (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001mIXBLfjunrCHLpy7Mj7BkYIKcYrFz9NuqyuOFM sniEKdvCoCXEfqRwEqkDpo7HXjcX_hEDv7hwAdV0VCwzR0czZF K8CiebZZtmql4K1wg72LP3iSYnwUiv4jdPpJExGId3JkS00gYx QbK1sdgL9PkITGSiFOA_rxyCpznO-r5vST8IrNY35L-DENXYYYWUrv108GdkWizM4FUfODSkYwipz43h54viZ_f5JFnYH QfUU=)that it had captured the strategic town of Otaiba, east of Damascus. A pro-government newspaper reported that troops had found tunnels "utilized by the terrorists for transport and hiding and to store weapons and ammunition." Opposition activists disputed these accounts.

So You Want to Intervene in Syria? (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001p4uDUwgF8xJBfawq7jseHHuDoF6jqIY4qsYg8-3zQjAyZ1nw8QNAQOxYVwasy7vqS2OWlH1vJYvg5Sha2Q149OnW k5KH1PRXrfzXw2GFLvGJSRwfBOQ_YbQBWKXDzy2QvPLFLz3k5c 9nXjSg-Tx5yvdTMau0HZTRCm4F3dhGUK1XHQlPvOb1gW91P-TpV5njt6RV78kiL0obRHEqzHMW3w==)

by JAMES F. JEFFREY Russia, China, and Iran might have something to say about that.

Q & A on Assad’s WMD Use and the U.S. Response. Alexis Simendinger breaks down (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/04/26/qa_on_assads_wmd_use_and_the_us_response_118142.ht ml) yesterday’s developments after the White House acknowledged evidence that the Syrian regime has used the chemical agent sarin in that nation’s civil war.


Four Bad Arguments Pushing U.S. Into Syria’s War. RealClearWorld editor Greg Scoblete asserts (http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2013/04/26/four_bad_arguments_pushing_the_us_into_syria_war.h tml) that the Obama administration is being goaded by a series of dubious rationales for U.S. involvement.


The American decision on Syria's use of chemical weapons may say as much about Iran as it does about Syria. After weeks of questions, the U.S. came out and said it thought the Syrian regime probably had used chemical weapons on its people, at least on a small scale. The admission, made by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the UAE, seemed to be a tacit acknowledgement of what the French, British, Qataris and now the Israelis all believe, even if the administration doesn't seem completely convinced. Some experts believe the evidence is probably thin, but the White House decided it would be better to acknowledge the use of chemical weapons, even on a small scale, than endure the fallout from some members on Capitol Hill by not acknowledging CW use. The White House could also confront a perception internationally of "a significant erosion of American credibility," as one analyst put it, by ignoring the intel, even if it's still shaky.

Regardless, the administration needs to send a message to Iran as much as it does to Syria, said Steve Heydemann, a senior adviser for Middle East Initiatives at the U.S. Institute of Peace who has done extensive work on Syria.

"I think everyone understands that there is a pretty widespread sense that whether or not the administration responds to this new information about chemical weapons in a way that is consistent with redlines will have important implications for Iran and whether or not the Iranians take seriously the White House's comments that it isn't bluffing on Iran."

But the administration isn't completely boxed in. It can still respond to the use of CW in Syria in a commensurate way by keeping the response on a more "tit-for-tat" level, Heydemann told Situation Report. That will send the message that the U.S. will honor its commitments without responding, at this stage, anyway, in a way that could create far larger and more strategic consequences, he said.

Read on FP why Obama's "redline" is about as "clear as mud," here. (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ClmW1IXtGWm0_Civxza35-3pYpSbo-CSYaf5--KWTdj8p11huql9oM5pQHcZfqfxA3b0Ul9-H9EAFLdGhZeoHvScWDo-nQfGSEcfBVm7gDmdIR2yDuro2DTCrQtIOVxqfUTWtJF9dtlhl8 75mu-TCLDy1qnKcLgLUatMcXZsq4IEz7dqwl6xqrZsRCxtqfZsAhUKc GqJnuqq8vdHe-zmqKJloF08QcK6)

Strategic question: why would Assad even use sarin? Read here. (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001ClmW1IXtGWl7rpZoi71upeTNzHn1LN75RMIwZv mGc8drNxEjdDiF6pkD5S2cmJ2729o46UAk1YPoJ4qf-n2Z0d6ReBhXkx5dF7jz8bgj2nVzrrElIQnpIW2Q9g-S7DilgoMIYn6LYwdRAm66ZESbJgRCgKlWOjD1I-h2t6ePEZQnKlwdHnEPTKFY5YlNTBHU32GhbJaOu4TVBlFguubf Bb40iUIULTMsU3kY0Szjgc7PzJ92WIf47tAikMcl0BWJ)


DOING NOTHING IN SYRIA IS RISKIER THAN GETTING INVOLVED. Should the United States and its allies become directly involved in Syria’s civil war, historians may well look back at Thursday’s announcement that the regime of strongman Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people as an important inflection point. In truth, the Obama administration has already been quietly increasing its assistance to the Syrian rebels for months, as red flags continue to mount indicating that the cost of doing almost nothing about Syria has steadily begun to outweigh the risks of doing more, National Journal’s James Kitfield reports. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=3e7355cd2f&e=c7a7983233)

Obama wants ‘strong evidence’ of chemical weapons use in Syria (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/F490YD/C5AKJU/949LRG/VP1JL9/YHNPRK/50/h)

Analysts say the White House’s call for further proof from investigators pushes off the need for a decision.


Jordan: Syria is sliding toward ‘failed state’ that could imperil region (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/F490YD/C5AKJU/949LRG/VP1JL9/40TB1S/50/h)

Jordanian monarch sounding alarm on Syria during meetings with Congress, Obama administration

Ceannaire
28-04-2013, 09:00 AM
The latest chemical weapons claims are looking increasingly dubious: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/28/syrian-nerve-gas-claims-eyewitness

C. Flower
28-04-2013, 10:11 AM
The latest chemical weapons claims are looking increasingly dubious: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/28/syrian-nerve-gas-claims-eyewitness

Even the US seems wary.

There is a propoganda war being waged, and they have indicated that chemical weapons are considered a WMD and a possible justification for invasion.

Mind you, in Boston, they have defined a home made nail bomb as a WMD, so it is a flexible term.

DCon
28-04-2013, 11:19 PM
Obama being "pressed"


Republican senators on Sunday pressed U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene in Syria's civil war, saying America could attack Syrian air bases with missiles but should not send in ground troops.


Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, said the United States should step up its support for Syrian rebels even if it turns out that Assad's forces have not used poison gas in the conflict.

McCain said an "international force" should also be readied to go into Syria to secure stocks of chemical weapons.

"There are number of caches of these chemical weapons. They cannot fall into the hands of the jihadists," he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/28/us-usa-syria-idUSBRE93R0FA20130428?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

Kid Ryder
29-04-2013, 01:19 AM
Even the US seems wary.

There is a propoganda war being waged, and they have indicated that chemical weapons are considered a WMD and a possible justification for invasion.

Mind you, in Boston, they have defined a home made nail bomb as a WMD, so it is a flexible term.

Flexible enough to exclude white phosphorus, I suppose: White phosphorus use in Iraq: Legality - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_use_in_Iraq#Legality)

Pots, kettles, and the colour black come to mind. And Israeli 'intelligence assessments' are as reliable as Colin Powell speeches to the UN or British 'dodgy dossiers'...

C. Flower
29-04-2013, 07:27 AM
Flexible enough to exclude white phosphorus, I suppose: White phosphorus use in Iraq: Legality - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_use_in_Iraq#Legality)

Pots, kettles, and the colour black come to mind. And Israeli 'intelligence assessments' are as reliable as Colin Powell speeches to the UN or British 'dodgy dossiers'...

Very. A pressure cooker bomb is a WMD and a bunker bomb that destroys half a neighbourhood to a depth of twenty metres is not.

Phosphorus was used in Gaza in full view of the international TV coverage, on the civilian population. I remember reporters standing, with the white arcs of phophorus shells in the sky behind them, saying that people were alleging that phosphorus was being used.

DCon
29-04-2013, 08:35 AM
breaking news


Syria's Prime Minister Wael Nader al Halqi survives a bomb attack in central Damascus, according to reports.

State-run TV reported that the blast went off near a school in the capital's western neighbourhood of Mazzeh.


http://news.sky.com/story/1084267/syrian-prime-minister-survives-bomb-attack

DCon
30-04-2013, 10:08 PM
Obama getting ready to arm Syrian rebels


President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-preparing-to-send-lethal-arms-to-syrian-opposition-officials-say/2013/04/30/3084d0d4-b1a6-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html

Count Bobulescu
30-04-2013, 10:15 PM
Officials: Obama preparing to send lethal arms to Syrian rebels (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-preparing-to-send-lethal-arms-to-syrian-opposition-officials-say/2013/04/30/3084d0d4-b1a6-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html)



President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials.


The officials emphasized that political negotiation remains the preferred option. To that end, the administration has launched a new effort to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that the probable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government — and the more direct outside intervention that could provoke — should lead him to reconsider his support of Assad.
Obama says there will be no rush to judgment on Syria (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/HXJVEI/S3JH4L/004SKN/HXEF8T/HDMD5I/HK/h?a=http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-no-rush-to-judgment-on-chemical-weapons-in-syria/2013/04/30/60eca3a6-b1a0-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story.html)
President Obama on Tuesday said there will be no rush to judgment on escalating U.S. intervention in Syria until there is hard evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the government.

“We now have evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria,” he said in a wide-ranging news conference at the White House. “But we don’t know when they were used, how they were used, or who used them [...] If we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we can find ourselves where we can’t mobilize the international community to support what we do."


Poll: A hefty majority of Americans do not believe the U.S. should intervene in Syria. A new CBS/New York Times poll shows that 62 percent of Americans do not believe the U.S. has a responsibility to intervene in Syria, while 24 percent do think the U.S. should so something - a four percent increase over a month ago, CBS reports. (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001GQXmzBEI7AtB2r6XM-sSNHuBNWU5Pb0dHbbsq0Xu0lVHAA-tLzfCFRgKOX97-JNu3ErlE1kbYuxWN8p3T6ysXwOKRlu4e184OWx5S57uOaslbjV txARHZRfHIypwaCZ3Ow_zn3w0XvC_84lgwf5PZ8Kw6Pbtlx6bB z2KIt6__dZ_oxqpKDNMLfH_UIOumzFBkui0fp34HfvdACKRLG1 Q5fWiFluwddHo)

Their report: "Even as news of the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government was announced by the Obama Administration, fewer Americans are paying attention to news about Syria than were doing so last month. In March, slightly more than half of all Americans were following news about Syria at least somewhat closely. Now, four in 10 say they are doing so, including just 10 percent who are following it very closely. Still, those following the news about Syria very closely are far more likely to think the U.S. has a responsibility to get involved there. Nearly half (47 percent) of that group thinks the U.S. has a responsibility to get involved there -- though about as many do not (48 percent)."

Aid begins to arrive. CBS is also reporting that American aid to the Syrian opposition is just beginning to arrive today. It includes military food rations and medical supplies - aid the Obama administration had promised some time ago, the network reported earlier this morning. That assistance arrives just as the LAT reports (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001GQXmzBEI7Av64rMD57FDabSeTJT4Z__B1dIpif L5wmSmZJ-4RW5xbGyWAbaZv_avr1gPmrPOvp2sUcXLh1vWWp28esnybrjuG 1quv-5Y9gCNSgOGOBB2JSv2lWUf7_kW70wA17Qxp5Mj2JonsW4OzdNu R6SKUA6SQR7PkqIiFQdLN3L1GkkV_R75GIE7AuBYMLkRECJG7n kCyOVNhmNq6kH955129wRbItPi7e4y6tU=) of a large blast in Damascus that has killed 13 people and caused dozens of other casualties - the second big one to rock the city in as many day.

Different poll, different results.

MORE AMERICANS SUPPORT MILITARY ACTION IN SYRIA. Although Americans now support American military action by a 45 percent to 31 percent margin, public interest in the Syrian conflict remains low, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 25-28. But the results do show more willingness to consider the use of force in Syria than previous polls. The likely reason was the inclusion of a mention of chemical weapons, which the U.S. government says it has evidence the Syrian government used. But the percentage of respondents who follow the situation in Syria has remained consistent over two years, at just under 20 percent. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=d725e53b1d&e=c7a7983233)

Count Bobulescu
01-05-2013, 12:25 AM
Hezbollah is helping Assad fight Syria uprising, says Hassan Nasrallah (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/30/hezbollah-syria-uprising-nasrallah)
















Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has confirmed for the first time that members of the powerful Lebanese Shia organisation are helping President Bashar al-Assad fight the uprising against his rule - and will stand by him.

DCon
04-05-2013, 12:33 PM
Israeli air strike


ISRAEL has carried out an air strike into Syria, targeting a shipment of missiles bound for Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon, an Israeli official said today.


Independent.ie ‏@Independent_ie 1h

Israel confirms air strike on Syria http://ht.ly/kHBDF

C. Flower
04-05-2013, 12:59 PM
Interesting to see how easy it is for US Poll "support" for military action against Syria to increase, as talk by Obama and others becomes more warlike, and talk of chemical weapons, although generally agreed to be spurious, affects the mood.

Count Bobulescu
04-05-2013, 04:14 PM
Interesting to see how easy it is for US Poll "support" for military action against Syria to increase, as talk by Obama and others becomes more warlike, and talk of chemical weapons, although generally agreed to be spurious, affects the mood.

Both polls are well respected. Not sure what caused such different results. Different questions maybe. There seems little doubt that chemical weapons have been used. The question is who, when, where?



"Israeli strike on Syria targeted weapons shipment," by AP's Lolita C. Baldon in D.C. and Ryan Lucas in Beirut : "An Israeli airstrike against Syria was targeting a shipment of advanced missiles bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Israeli officials confirmed Saturday. It was the second Israeli strike this year against Syria and the latest salvo in its long-running effort to disrupt Hezbollah's quest to build an arsenal capable of defending against Israel's air force and spreading destruction inside the Jewish state. The officials said the attack ... was aimed at sophisticated 'game-changing' weapons, but not chemical arms. One official said the target was a shipment of advanced, long-range ground-to-ground missiles."


HAGEL: U.S. RETHINKING ARMING SYRIAN REBELS. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the Obama administration is reconsidering its opposition to arming rebels who oppose the Syrian government, the Associated Press reports. “Arming the rebels — that's an option," he said at a press conference. "We must continue to look at options.” He said the U.S. is looking at a range of ideas and consulting with allies. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=bff9618725&e=c7a7983233)
National Journal’s Michael Hirsh writes (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=86409da7f1&e=c7a7983233) that memories of Iraq and Libya are weighing down Obama’s decision on Syria.

Iran's influence on Syria is "extensive and expensive:" Out this morning is a new, joint report by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War that deepens our understanding of the role Iran is playing in Syria. It says Iran has conducted an "extensive, expensive and integrated effort" to keep the Assad regime in power and in return is laying the groundwork to retain Syrian territory to pursue its interests in the region if and when Assad falls. According to the report, the Iranian security and intelligence services' assistance to the Syrian military have evolved "into an expeditionary training mission using Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Forces, Quds Force, intelligence services, and law enforcement forces." The deployment of the IRGC "is a notable expansion of Iran's willingness and ability to project military force beyond its borders," says the report, written by Will Fulton, Joe Holliday and Sam Wyer, and titled simply "Iranian Strategy in Syria."


But the report's analysis digs into the significance of the assassination of Iranian Brig. Gen. Hassan Shateri, killed in Damascus while traveling to Beirut in February after having travelled to Aleppo. Shateri was a senior Quds Force commander who had been operating covertly in Lebanon in 2006 - and had also worked in Afghanistan and Iraq. The report concludes: "Western media has missed the significance of Shateri's assassination. Reporting on his death highlights his activities in Lebanon, both because he was assigned there most recently and because of the location and manner of his death. But Shateri was not simply a supporter of and rebuilder of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Rather, Shateri was a senior, covert Quds Force operative whose assignments ranged from the Hindu Kush through Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean. His involvement in the Syrian conflict is further indication of the depth of Iran's commitment to its interests in Syria and the grand strategic importance it places upon that conflict. Shateri's presence in Syria also raises broader questions about how Syria fits into Iran's global force projection strategy. A forthcoming paper published by AEI's Critical Threats Project and the Institute for the Study of War will address the depth of Iranian involvement in Syria and the implications of the difficulties the Syrian regime is facing for Iranian regional and global strategy." Read the full report here. (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001NKyU_EAcPIC9o4Pa-3zxNF511bdTwxxPt0iztmvvT1FDCt9QiJSiyWdl8HZ3FgbWSf-lQSb0iDZT55HuUTawSMLKW88loyoKHX-YZF_6YGzper92DjB6OUiWk8bLSNxhiiwnHwXA8uPg0durnzwtF b3GzMqjCUy_l8ohHWMNALM=)


Obama’s ‘useless’ waiting (http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/TNGYL1/18TAAT/NNG7OW/462GED/OJYN1U/XL/h)

The Syrian rebel forces’ commander is growing more and more frustrated with the White House’s caution.

The New York Times: Syria’s war has once-quiet border area in Israel on alert (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001_bvbtCpf-wODvrfpS3Z6YGWIlPBIgQCSM407lo2rSZr4VauxUoINvcoC7bI avqTPFOObjjvn2yYv7-u2MfX-jzkNta_6Jet7tzTCXemFsbmNaM76-dfbIE3P5m0aIsE0gEIDhHhOYbOHvBxRrQq0Di5WWvV4WtIcTeZ q7qxSbIgIVb5Cw4bLmLTQWKezOWsJUwB8I00dznnTbhCEcv7_h 5WcFBQ_7oKK)
By Jodi Rudoren
Errant munitions from Syria’s conflict have landed in the Golan Heights some 30 times. But the concern runs deeper along what was long one border Israel didn’t have to worry much about.
Two different views on the same press conference.


Obama virtually rules out sending U.S. ground troops into Syrian conflict
(http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/8VXTM7/QF9B7D/TTVKZE/AAXBNP/KEWUOO/50/h)
President says he does not see a situation in which deploying ground forces would make sense for the U.S. or for the Syrian people.
( by Zachary Goldfarb , The Washington Post)

The Hill: Obama won't rule out boots on the ground in Syrian conflict (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001_bvbtCpf-wP0edHErKF_P82FOU6lh-SxBo-8Qtuz6MqOEO9JaQWtF8ytoUt9brC6eba_gw32UDDo9quYrTtr7 U05b2EyqOMIYECWAFDSeN1KQ2XYJbGTRQz7ZdzREqVYpGXTCjS F-r2Eztb0MczdPhczV81lZooRXUKnUdWi17_3-9BLbq6gPCxqkKf2eK6t-Z0OY6CIbg2DLuyB4vs2dHfdfxZLrOkZ-CKcg7XDVU-bFQ9jD6HlptXPeR1PzJMw)
By Julian Pecquet
The president's comments during a news conference in Costa Rica came amid reports that Israel had bombed targets inside Syria.

C. Flower
04-05-2013, 04:20 PM
There seems little doubt that chemical weapons have been used. The question is who, when, where?

Is this a Conspiracy Theory of yours ? Check your post 77 - Obama doubts it. I haven't heard a single commentator who thinks it is proven.

Count Bobulescu
04-05-2013, 04:25 PM
Is this a Conspiracy Theory of yours ? Check your post 77 - Obama doubts it. I haven't heard a single commentator who thinks it is proven.

77 is a DCon post?

Count Bobulescu
04-05-2013, 10:54 PM
This, by way of having nothing better to post.

Israel may be behind Syrian chemical weapons use' (http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israel-may-be-behind-Syrian-chemical-weapons-use-312051)


"We don’t know what the chain of custody is. This could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation, it could’ve been an opposition in Syria... or it could’ve been an actual use by Bashar Assad. But we certainly don’t know with the evidence we’ve been given. And what I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey," retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, told Cenk Uygur in an interview with Current TV.

Simonsays
04-05-2013, 11:27 PM
talk of chemical weapons, although generally agreed to be spurious, affects the mood.

The talk of chemical weapons is not "generally agreed to be spurious". It is generally agreed to be not proven to the level of proof needed for definitive conclusions. That is not surprising as Syria has prevented independent evidence-gathering so unreachable veracity is an almost impossible level of evidence to reach. But pretty much everyone is agreed that there is conclusive evidence something happened. The only issue is establishing who did it.

Simonsays
04-05-2013, 11:29 PM
Is this a Conspiracy Theory of yours ? Check your post 77 - Obama doubts it. I haven't heard a single commentator who thinks it is proven.

'not proven' does not mean spurious, as you seem to think. It means simply not proven.

PaddyJoe
05-05-2013, 01:14 AM
Unconfirmed report of Israeli missile strikes on Damascus tonight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_j8ID-m1pU&feature=youtu.be

DCon
05-05-2013, 09:58 AM
Unconfirmed report of Israeli missile strikes on Damascus tonight.

It has been confirmed. RT reporting over 300 fatalities


A senior US official confirmed to NBC News that Israeli Air Force bombed the military research center.


A senior Israeli official confirmed to AFP that the Israeli Sunday’s airstrike on Syria was carried out near Damascus Airport overnight, targeting Iranian missiles destined for Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement.

"The attack was very close to the airport, the target was Iranian missiles which were destined for Hezbollah," he said.


While no official casualty number has been made public, rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers stationed at Mount Qasioun have been killed and hundreds of others injured, Mawazini said. Many Syrians are calling for retaliation as the possibility of a full-scale war with Israel is speculated upon.


http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-explosions-sunday-831/


From Zerohedge


The last question is how Russia responds, whether it remains neutral, or comes to the support of president Assad and defends its military naval assets on the Syrian coast.

While speculation a US-led escalation is ripe, the lack of any US naval support (as shown by Stratfor's naval update map from May 2) off the coast of Syria likely makes any immediate war is hardly likely, or that Israel will be on its own for at least the foreseeable future.

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/05/Naval_Update_05-01-13_v2_0.jpg


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-04/powerful-explosions-shake-damascus-israel-attacks-syria-second-time-past-week

C. Flower
05-05-2013, 10:09 AM
Not showing Diego Garcia on that map.

http://www.msc.navy.mil/mpstwo/garcia.htm

I would not be relying on Stratfor too much as they couldn't even prevent their own reader/customer data base being hacked last year (silly gimmick btw).

Giving Israel the nod for this is an escalation.

Just posting on the Boston thread about Dagestan, and the increased "jihadist" pressure on Russia there. It puts pressure on Putin, but I would have thought would make it all the more important for Russia to maintain an ally in Syria.

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html

DCon
05-05-2013, 10:18 AM
Billy Hague on Sky News will not comment on the Israeli attack, but emphasises the need for the Brits to arm the Syrian Opposition

Cites "credible reports of chemical weapons"

DCon
05-05-2013, 12:44 PM
I'm sure this was not part of the script


During the attack, one Israeli jet was reportedly shot down by Syria's Air Force, according to Hezbollah's Manar TV channel, citing security sources in Damascus. Two Israeli pilots of the downed IDF jet have been taken to a military area in Damascus under Assad’s control, according to reports in Lebanese and Syrian media.

http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-explosions-sunday-831/

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 02:28 AM
It has been confirmed. RT reporting over 300 fatalities

Has any other news outlet picked up on RT’s claim of 300 fatalities? If so, I’ve not seen it, or anything like it.

Simonsays
06-05-2013, 03:44 AM
Has any other news outlet picked up on RT’s claim of 300 fatalities? If so, I’ve not seen it, or anything like it.

So RT is wrong? Surprise. Surprise. In reality it generally is. It gives an indication of how low its reputation is as a source when even Fox is thought of as (marginally) more reliable. And it is BS.

In fact, however, RT didn't say there were 300 dead. What it actually said was "rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers stationed at Mount Qasioun have been killed and hundreds of others injured."
http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-explosions-sunday-831/

As to the prospect of an invasion of Syria, the topic of the thread, the answer is very slim, if the thread means by some coalition of external powers such as the US, UK, etc. A decade after the end of the Cold War major western states underwent massive downsizing of their military. The ending of the cold war and new technology made the maintenance of massive defence forces unnecessary. (Among the aspects of the military being abandoned as next to useless were conscripts, who as France found to its cost lacked the modern warfare skills needed.) Some governments for ideological reasons slashed their military by far greater numbers than recommended. Rumsfeld in the US in particular made cuts far deeper than recommended. As a result critics said that the US would be stretched to fight in two theatres of war and unable to fight in three. Britain would be too stretched to fight in more than two theatres of war, where previous plans had ensuring enough capability for three or even four.

That was one of the reasons for the withdrawal from Iraq - the US was struggling with the smaller size of its military to be there and Afghanistan for prolonged periods.

That is one of the reasons both the US and UK baulk at the idea if invading Syria. They don't want to end up in two theatres of war again for a long time.

Syria is also in one of the most unstable regions in the world, with Iran, Russia and Israel. Jordan, Turkey, etc. all around. The area is the modern equivalent of the Balkans in the early 20th century, a potential minefield no-one wants to get sucked into because they aren't sure what the effects would be. So intervention is likely to be the last option considered.

Ceannaire
06-05-2013, 07:34 AM
So RT is wrong? Surprise. Surprise. In reality it generally is. It gives an indication of how low its reputation is as a source when even Fox is thought of as (marginally) more reliable. And it is BS.

In fact, however, RT didn't say there were 300 dead. What it actually said was "rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers stationed at Mount Qasioun have been killed and hundreds of others injured."
http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-explosions-sunday-831/

As to the prospect of an invasion of Syria, the topic of the thread, the answer is very slim, if the thread means by some coalition of external powers such as the US, UK, etc. A decade after the end of the Cold War major western states underwent massive downsizing of their military. The ending of the cold war and new technology made the maintenance of massive defence forces unnecessary. (Among the aspects of the military being abandoned as next to useless were conscripts, who as France found to its cost lacked the modern warfare skills needed.) Some governments for ideological reasons slashed their military by far greater numbers than recommended. Rumsfeld in the US in particular made cuts far deeper than recommended. As a result critics said that the US would be stretched to fight in two theatres of war and unable to fight in three. Britain would be too stretched to fight in more than two theatres of war, where previous plans had ensuring enough capability for three or even four.

That was one of the reasons for the withdrawal from Iraq - the US was struggling with the smaller size of its military to be there and Afghanistan for prolonged periods.

That is one of the reasons both the US and UK baulk at the idea if invading Syria. They don't want to end up in two theatres of war again for a long time.

Syria is also in one of the most unstable regions in the world, with Iran, Russia and Israel. Jordan, Turkey, etc. all around. The area is the modern equivalent of the Balkans in the early 20th century, a potential minefield no-one wants to get sucked into because they aren't sure what the effects would be. So intervention is likely to be the last option considered.


The invasion of Iraq involved fewer troops than were available though; it was less that they didn't have the troops than that they decided not to use them. I think Rumsfeld sent in something like 170,000, but the military wanted something like 400,000.


I wonder if your point about the undesirability of fighting in two theatres of war could actually motivate them to go into Syria? A war with Syria might give them the cover they need to scale down their Afghanistan involvement without a humiliating retreat.

DCon
06-05-2013, 01:25 PM
The UN have found that only the US sponsored rebels have used chemical weapons




A United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in Syria has found evidence to suggest that rebel forces may have used chemical weapons, its lead investigator has revealed.

Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN independent commission of inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that the nerve agent sarin gas was used by rebel fighters.

"This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she added, speaking in Italian.


Ms Del Ponte added that the inquiry has yet to see any direct evidence suggesting that government forces have used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was required before this possibility could be ruled out.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-says-there-is-evidence-rebels-used-sarin-in-syria-8604920.html

riposte
06-05-2013, 01:56 PM
For the benefit of those who haven't read the whole thread........

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303372#post303372

and

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303382#post303382

C. Flower
06-05-2013, 02:18 PM
For the benefit of those who haven't read the whole thread........

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303372#post303372

and

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303382#post303382

When they are not sawing peoples' heads off, they are gassing them. #schooloftheamericas

Sam Lord
06-05-2013, 03:21 PM
The fact still remains that all the bloodshed in Syria is the responsibility of the dictator Assad and his ruling circle. People should not forget this.

C. Flower
06-05-2013, 03:47 PM
The fact still remains that all the bloodshed in Syria is the responsibility of the dictator Assad and his ruling circle. People should not forget this.

Hard to know how significant this is, but there was a referendum in Syria in 2012 and the people voted to move to a multi-party system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Syria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Syria)

I don't recall reading reports on this.

The first Regional elections were to be held in Aleppo in March but were suspended / moved to Turkey ?? due to fighting.

DCon
06-05-2013, 04:12 PM
'projectile'


zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 22s

PROJECTILE FROM SYRIA HITS GOLAN HEIGHTS, ISRAELI ARMY SAYS.

riposte
06-05-2013, 04:36 PM
The fact still remains that all the bloodshed in Syria is the responsibility of the dictator Assad and his ruling circle. People should not forget this.

Sam .... never mind the quality of our memories........ no sane person could believe that Assad would start a civil war in his own country when he had full control over it. It's down to outside interference pure and simple. The CIA took down Gaddai ....... Assad was next on their list.

The fact is...... the west has declared war on Islam ....... Islam is fighting back...... the USA/UK/France thought they weaken all these Islamic countries by over-throwing their dictators...... but they will end up with a global conflict between Islam and the west........ and there's no guarantee that the west will win. Russia and China will be the big beneficiaries.

C. Flower
06-05-2013, 05:37 PM
Sam .... never mind the quality of our memories........ no sane person could believe that Assad would start a civil war in his own country when he had full control over it. It's down to outside interference pure and simple. The CIA took down Gaddai ....... Assad was next on their list.

The fact is...... the west has declared war on Islam ....... Islam is fighting back...... the USA/UK/France thought they weaken all these Islamic countries by over-throwing their dictators...... but they will end up with a global conflict between Islam and the west........ and there's no guarantee that the west will win. Russia and China will be the big beneficiaries.
My own view is that most Islamic people are states are not so different to ours, and post WW2 the Arab world was becoming secular and democratic. The US and UK were not suited by that, and have covertly cultivated both the Moslem Brotherhood and a particularly horrible modern concoction referred to as Salafism or jihadism, that provides dogs of war to bring down all social cohesion and organisation and leave States unable to protect themselves from all kinds of economic and political depradation by the West. They recruited these people in Afghanistan, with Saudi money, and flew them in to Yugoslavia and Iraq, now Dagestan, Mali, the Yemen - many of them are ex pats from the US or UK.

Whenever there is a push for social progress, in the Middle East, it is interfered with and hijacked by these forces. The same, increasingly in Africa.

It isnt a religious war by the West, it is the usual robbery with violence.

Ceannaire
06-05-2013, 06:23 PM
The fact still remains that all the bloodshed in Syria is the responsibility of the dictator Assad and his ruling circle. People should not forget this.


Why are you so determined to blame literally everything in Syria on Assad? Is it because of his purges of Communists or something? That makes no difference to the fact that the insurgency in Syria is not solely his fault. The flames are being fed by US and other Western governments. The current situation is one of sectarian civil war, not repression of an armed uprising, which he might rightly be said to have been responsible for.

riposte
06-05-2013, 06:35 PM
My own view is that most Islamic people are states are not so different to ours, and post WW2 the Arab world was becoming secular and democratic. .

With all due respect Cass that's sentimental rubbish ........and very dismissive of the nature of Islam. Moslems the world over believe in God. They don't want any truck with decadent West.

The growth of secularism was forced the Moslems by puppet dictators in the maw of the west such as The Shah, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Mubarak going right back to Atatürk.

The problem is people in the west..... and particularly on the left .....tend to think of people who believe in God as primitive and thick.

Moslems on the other hand regard the people of the secular west as decadent, dumb, dishonest, avaristic, atavistic and nihilistic .......... and sadly they are 100% correct.

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 08:54 PM
So RT is wrong? Surprise. Surprise. In reality it generally is. It gives an indication of how low its reputation is as a source when even Fox is thought of as (marginally) more reliable. And it is BS.

In fact, however, RT didn't say there were 300 dead. What it actually said was "rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers stationed at Mount Qasioun have been killed and hundreds of others injured."
http://rt.com/news/damascus-syria-explosions-sunday-831/
Ah, I see now. Bad editing then by DCon to blame. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 09:01 PM
The invasion of Iraq involved fewer troops than were available though; it was less that they didn't have the troops than that they decided not to use them. I think Rumsfeld sent in something like 170,000, but the military wanted something like 400,000.


I wonder if your point about the undesirability of fighting in two theatres of war could actually motivate them to go into Syria? A war with Syria might give them the cover they need to scale down their Afghanistan involvement without a humiliating retreat.

Do you know anything at all about the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan, or are you just out there with Riposte and CF in cloud cuckoo land?

Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan - Wikipedia, the free ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withdrawal_of_U.S._troops_from_Afghanistan)en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/Withdrawal_of_U.S._troops_from_Afghanistan‎
During the 2012 Chicago Summit NATO and its partners agreed to withdraw its combat troops from Afghanistan by the ...



Obama wants to cut troop level in Afghanistan in half over next year ... (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-12/world/37051681_1_afghanistan-afghan-army-troop-level)articles.washingtonpost.com › Collections (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/) › Afghanistan (http://articles.washingtonpost.com/keyword/afghanistan)
Feb 12, 2013 – About 68,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan. The military's withdrawal plan calls for that figure to drop to about 60,000 by May and 52,500 by ...

DCon
06-05-2013, 09:03 PM
Ah, I see now. Bad editing then by DCon to blame. Can’t say I’m surprised.

You're incorrect Count. Not that I'm surprised

I said


RT reporting over 300 fatalities

RT reported


While no official casualty number has been made public, rumors on Syrian social media say that at least 300 soldiers stationed at Mount Qasioun have been killed and hundreds of others injured, Mawazini said.

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 09:06 PM
With all due respect Cass that's sentimental rubbish ........and very dismissive of the nature of Islam. Moslems the world over believe in God. They don't want any truck with decadent West.

The growth of secularism was forced the Moslems by puppet dictators in the maw of the west such as The Shah, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Mubarak going right back to Atatürk.

The problem is people in the west..... and particularly on the left .....tend to think of people who believe in God as primitive and thick.

Moslems on the other hand regard the people of the secular west as decadent, dumb, dishonest, avaristic, atavistic and nihilistic .......... and sadly they are 100% correct.


Sweet tap dancing Hey-Zoose, what load of of inaccurate stereotypical generalizations of both muslim and non-muslim. I have little doubt there is more where that came from. It would be hard to be more wrong in fewer words.

random new yorker
06-05-2013, 09:11 PM
Sweet tap dancing Hey-Zoose, what load of of inaccurate stereotypical generalizations of both muslim and non-muslim. I have little doubt there is more where that came from. It would be hard to be more wrong in fewer words.


:)

riposte
06-05-2013, 09:14 PM
Do you know anything at all about the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan, or are you just out there with Riposte and CF in cloud cuckoo land?



lol !! ......... it's goody Count...... it's a goody.

DCon
06-05-2013, 09:15 PM
The White House have decided, seemingly without any proof, that the UN are wrong



“We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. “We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/white-house-assad-behind-chemical-arms-article-1.1336403#ixzz2SXsri2Lu

riposte
06-05-2013, 09:16 PM
Sweet tap dancing Hey-Zoose, what load of of inaccurate stereotypical generalizations of both muslim and non-muslim. I have little doubt there is more where that came from. It would be hard to be more wrong in fewer words.

I try.... I try...... lol !!

random new yorker
06-05-2013, 09:23 PM
The White House have decided, seemingly without any proof, that the UN are wrong

i never read the NY Daily News...this is our tabloid watered down a bit...

DCon
06-05-2013, 09:35 PM
i never read the NY Daily News...this is our tabloid watered down a bit...

Is the actual press conference an acceptable source for you?

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/82775-1

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 09:40 PM
In separate news in Syria, a U.N. human rights investigator said (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001tlm-ol3bHr92ylkponvlwozBQ5gXWqIsnQtZ76q1ABcKo4XqipssFk TpBzJrM_UMe_hzua_gBl5gK6OLfQJTt-xgmncrXxpR3U1ibrFB4W0PWlFYf9G0f_XD2zAiNiRVeVotsb0v vEpBH_aicM2KMrRXaAdsHIsh) that she has gathered evidence indicating that Syrian rebels have used sarin gas. In an interview with Swiss television, Carla del Ponti described the evidence as "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that the rebels used sarin. The news threatens to upend a debate being carried out in Washington and European capitals over whether reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime constitutes sufficient reason for a limited military intervention in Syria.

From the BBC link embedded above.



Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".

Ms Del Ponte did not rule out the possibility that government forces might also have used chemical weapons.
Later, the commission stressed that it had "not reached conclusive findings" as to their use by any parties.
"As a result, the commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time," a statement added...........

..........A separate United Nations team was established to look specifically into the issue of chemical weapons.

It is ready to go to Syria but wants unconditional access with the right to inquire into all credible allegations.
Both the Syrian government and the rebels have in the past accused each other using chemical weapons.

The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the statement was terse and shows that the UN was taken by surprise at Ms Del Ponte's remarks.



So, the UN has two separate investigations on Syria. One on human right, of which Carla Del Ponte is a member, and one on the use of Chemical weapons of which she is not a member,.

Count Bobulescu
06-05-2013, 09:45 PM
TESTIMONY TO U.N.: SYRIAN REBELS USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS. United Nations human rights investigators have spoken with victims and medical staff who say Syrian rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, Reuters reports. The same independent commission has not found evidence of the Syrian government using chemical weapons. The commission is separate from another investigation into Syrian chemical weapon use launched by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=6dda2a49cb&e=c7a7983233)

DCon
07-05-2013, 08:08 AM
The EU has lifted an oil embargo on Syria


The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad's regime.

The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory, the import of oil and gas production technology, and investments in the Syrian oil industry, the EU said in a statement.

http://www.ktvn.com/story/22042912/eu-lifts-syria-oil-embargo-to-bolster-rebels

Count Bobulescu
07-05-2013, 09:52 PM
SYRIAN ACTIVISTS: SUNDAY AIRSTRIKE KILLED 42 GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS. A group of anti-regime activists told the Associated Press on Monday that a Sunday air strike blamed on Israel killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers. Syrian government officials called the strikes (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=902a07d487&e=c7a7983233) “an act of war.” Israeli officials have not officially confirmed their involvement in the strike, which hit a military complex near Syrian capital city Damascus, but a U.S. official told CNN (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=a426be9dae&e=c7a7983233) it believed Israel was indeed behind the strike. Israel said Friday’s airstrikes were meant to stop an arms shipment from Iran to Lebanon-based, anti-Israel group Hezbollah. The area targeted by the Sunday strikes normally houses roughly 150 soldiers, according to Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Read more

(http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=299e264f81&e=c7a7983233)

KERRY PUSHES RUSSIA TO GO TOUGHER ON SYRIA. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Russia (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=5498053771&e=c7a7983233) Tuesday to try and convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to take a tougher stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Associated Press reports. Russia is al-Assad’s most powerful ally. Meanwhile, the United Nations clarified a report Sunday that a U.N. investigation had found evidence of Syrian rebels using the chemical agent sarin, The Hill reports. The U.N. will not comment on the situation further until it has its final findings. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=be1bb48729&e=c7a7983233)

Count Bobulescu
07-05-2013, 10:00 PM
You're incorrect Count. Not that I'm surprised

I said



RT reported

Missed this earlier. You don’t seem to understand. RT were not reporting 300 fatalities, and you claimed they were. By you saying that RT is reporting 300 fatalities, you are attributing RT”s credibility such as it is, to the claim of 300 fatalities. when in fact RT itself made clear that they were simply reporting on claims made on social media. The confusion arises because you incorrectly attributed those claims to RT itself. It’s 100% on your shoulders.

DCon
07-05-2013, 10:03 PM
Missed this earlier. You don’t seem to understand. RT were not reporting 300 fatalities, and you claimed they were. By you saying that RT is reporting 300 fatalities, you are attributing RT”s credibility such as it is, to the claim of 300 fatalities. when in fact RT itself made clear that they were simply reporting on claims made on social media. The confusion arises because you incorrectly attributed those claims to RT itself. It’s 100% on your shoulders.

I deeply apologise. I hope no harm was done.

Count Bobulescu
07-05-2013, 10:05 PM
I deeply apologise. I hope no harm was done.

None.

DCon
07-05-2013, 10:10 PM
Syria may be internetless

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-07/syria-traffic-goes-dark-country-disappears-internet

riposte
07-05-2013, 10:37 PM
Are there any pigeons in Syria?

Count Bobulescu
09-05-2013, 09:06 PM
UN envoy hails US-Russia deal on Syria as 'hopeful news' (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0010JQn3X4485ocRJiLieDdzYC7la97aMKqUTyFDJ Tje1Uw4erXvs11hM7aKcGizhGqvQ4a9VURC0DwxXA_Hn57jJiA amEcG-uWGsTB3cljJyLL3BexLsOnnpTWmvvXQmct7fwNvbxbPJhE5TM4 dQyAvXoJh6LJW9-FHu3ECYJB_Bs8VzCecBqeSFzEvFiQC2Ft1Zyo2HxDp7nykbBIt OVOShP_zLtV0l8Egdf7gpujknTkz5-UlDGp7AeXdTgPsanBYZqBmi6UTQ_gMNsia6zVOpYbADtuEViG)
By Julian Pecquet
The decision by the United States and Russia to put their differences aside and jointly host a peace summit between Syrian rebels and the Assad regime earned plaudits from the United Nations' special envoy to the war-torn country.

KERRY INCREASES AID, TRIES TO GET SYRIAN GOVERNMENT, REBELS TO MEET. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned leaders in Europe and the Middle East Wednesday to build support for a conference between the Syrian government and the rebels trying to overthrow them, The New York Times reports. The American ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, flew to Istanbul to try and convince leaders from both sides to agree to the meetings. “There were initial indications, at least, that both sides were not opposed to the idea,” The Times writes. Kerry hopes to get all parties together within a month. Kerry also is expected to announce today from Rome a 25 percent increase in humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians, which would bring the American total to $510 million. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=ce22161bcf&e=c7a7983233)



Fareed Zakaria at The Washington Post on U.S. credibility toward Syria (http://theatlantic.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2d318978b7dc9b30b1f464f&id=5fc502b876&e=e5c72d445c) "Syria is a humanitarian nightmare, which the United States should do more to address," writes Fareed Zakaria in a discussion of President Obama's vaguely drawn "red line" in terms of Syria. "Washington should help create and sustain more havens — in Jordan and elsewhere — for refugees and should coordinate with other countries to get aid in faster and more effectively to those in need. ... But we must understand that the Syrian conflict is fundamentally a civil war between a minority elite and the long-oppressed majority — similar to those in Lebanon and Iraq. People fight to the end because they know that losers in such wars get killed or 'ethnically cleansed.' The only path to peace in such circumstances is through a political accord among the parties."

But Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic (http://theatlantic.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ed2d318978b7dc9b30b1f464f&id=91a2012888&e=e5c72d445c) thinks direct intervention is necessary, and now: "Wouldn’t the prevention of ethnic cleansing and genocidal war be reason enough? Is the death of scores and even hundreds of thousands, and the displacement of millions, less significant for American policy, and less quickening? The moral dimension must be restored to our deliberations, the moral sting, or else Obama, for all his talk about conscience, will have presided over a terrible mutilation of American discourse: the severance of conscience from action."

C. Flower
09-05-2013, 10:35 PM
Robert Ford, State Department "point man" for Syria has reportedly entered Syria and met with oppositionists.

Arrangements for more Sarin gas attacks ?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/05/09/182665171/top-u-s-official-meets-with-rebels-inside-syria

riposte
09-05-2013, 10:42 PM
Robert Ford, State Department "point man" for Syria has reportedly entered Syria and met with oppositionists.

Arrangements for more Sarin gas attacks ?



The word is he brought a sack full of it with him.

dammit_im_mad
09-05-2013, 11:15 PM
a sack full of US money to support the Al Nusra terrorists (aka "rebels") at any rate

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 12:21 AM
Robert Ford, State Department "point man" for Syria has reportedly entered Syria and met with oppositionists.

Arrangements for more Sarin gas attacks ?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/05/09/182665171/top-u-s-official-meets-with-rebels-inside-syria

I feel for your plight, and for Riposte, and dammit. It must taste like a cup of cold sick to have to absorb news that portrays the US in a favorable light. Seems it is affecting your brain also. No mention of Sarin in the NPR piece you cite. You are reduced to flinging wild allegations. Get well soon.

dammit_im_mad
10-05-2013, 12:40 AM
favourable light CB?

Kerry was authorised to give the Al Nusra terrorists (aka rebels) 250 million smackers officially just recently.
And history shows that "official" donations are generally just the tip of the iceberg.

They've been facilitating these salafist terrorists in every way possible since the beginning.

Nobody with 2 brain cells sees the US in a good light in regard to Syria. The Hypocrisy at work there by the US is staggering.

Bobbles, Have a read of these , then come back and talk to me about US good intentions

https://176.9.43.238/article/102162 (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102162)
http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

But then, we all know you aren't really interested in reality as regards the US are you
EDIT: link changed to non HTTPS normal link to indymedia as nameserver probs seem to have been fixed

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 04:21 AM
favourable light CB?

Kerry was authorised to give the Al Nusra terrorists (aka rebels) 250 million smackers officially just recently.
And history shows that "official" donations are generally just the tip of the iceberg.

They've been facilitating these salafist terrorists in every way possible since the beginning.

Nobody with 2 brain cells sees the US in a good light in regard to Syria. The Hypocrisy at work there by the US is staggering.

Bobbles, Have a read of these , then come back and talk to me about US good intentions

https://176.9.43.238/article/102162
http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

But then, we all know you aren't really interested in reality as regards the US are you

With respect to your first link, I got an “unsafe connection” message. And I see you also posted a faulty link over in the Robots and Internet thread. I’ll be treating your links warily until further notice.

As to the second link.

What is this? Some witches brew of anti-American diatribe, full of stuff unrelated to the thread topic of Syria. Talk about derailing a thread.

Screeds like that are a dime a dozen. If you think for half a second that I’m going to fall for that Trojan Horse and wade thru that mess of potage you’re deluded. What the **** has The Phillipines 1898-1914, got to do with Syria today? Spare me the spam, and answer the question you were asked in the Science Research and Business thread.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 07:22 AM
With respect to your first link, I got an “unsafe connection” message. And I see you also posted a faulty link over in the Robots and Internet thread. I’ll be treating your links warily until further notice.

As to the second link.

What is this? Some witches brew of anti-American diatribe, full of stuff unrelated to the thread topic of Syria. Talk about derailing a thread.

Screeds like that are a dime a dozen. If you think for half a second that I’m going to fall for that Trojan Horse and wade thru that mess of potage you’re deluded. What the **** has The Phillipines 1898-1914, got to do with Syria today? Spare me the spam, and answer the question you were asked in the Science Research and Business thread.

I don't know about the Phillipines, but according to Obama, up to a million communist supporters (the communists were elected into a government) were killed there in the late 50s. The CIA handed out lists to "Islamicists" with machetes. The rivers ran red for weeks.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 07:23 AM
I feel for your plight, and for Riposte, and dammit. It must taste like a cup of cold sick to have to absorb news that portrays the US in a favorable light. Seems it is affecting your brain also. No mention of Sarin in the NPR piece you cite. You are reduced to flinging wild allegations. Get well soon.

What news that portrays the US Government in a good light ?

The news that the UN confirmed Sarin gas was used not by Assad but by the opposition, is widely known enough not to require a link.

Ceannaire
10-05-2013, 09:21 AM
I don't know about the Phillipines, but according to Obama, up to a million communist supporters (the communists were elected into a government) were killed there in the late 50s. The CIA handed out lists to "Islamicists" with machetes. The rivers ran red for weeks.


Was that not Indonesia?

Binn Beal
10-05-2013, 10:31 AM
Yesterday's news that Russia is to supply Syria with missiles that will prevent future Israeli (or other) air attacks may be the reason for the increase in US involvement in Syria and its feeble effort to restart peace talks with Palestine.
Also, yesterday, Hezbollah said they were to receive new 'game-changing' rockets from Syria.
The US is now between a rock and a hard place.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 12:09 PM
Yesterday's news that Russia is to supply Syria with missiles that will prevent future Israeli (or other) air attacks may be the reason for the increase in US involvement in Syria and its feeble effort to restart peace talks with Palestine.
Also, yesterday, Hezbollah said they were to receive new 'game-changing' rockets from Syria.
The US is now between a rock and a hard place.

Indeed. And in the week of the Benghazi hearings too.

There is only so much messing they can do without getting a hard slap or two back.

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE]What news that portrays the US Government in a good light ?
The favorable news for the US is the delivery of 65,000 MRE's


The news that the UN confirmed Sarin gas was used not by Assad but by the opposition, is widely known enough not to require a link.
No, you’re wrong. It’s not widely known at all. In fact it is not even narrowly known. The UN did not confirm that the Syrian rebels used sarin. That’s why try as you might you wont find a link to confirm it.

See this: (Del Ponte has “form” as you’d say yourself.)

U.N. investigator on Syria: Out over her skis yet again? (http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/06/the_clarifying_of_the_uns_carla_del_ponte)


With the United Nations now walking back (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-skeptical-on-reported-use-of-chemical-weapons-by-syrian-rebels/2013/05/06/789e3720-b65b-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html) statements byCarla Del Ponte about the use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels, the storied war-crimes investigator is finding herself in a familiar position: Having her remarks muted by her own organization.

Today, the U.N. issued a statement (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-skeptical-on-reported-use-of-chemical-weapons-by-syrian-rebels/2013/05/06/789e3720-b65b-11e2-92f3-f291801936b8_story.html) saying it "wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict." The statement comes 24 hours after Del Ponte, a lead investigator of the U.N.'s Independent International Commission of Inquiry, suggested (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-says-there-is-evidence-rebels-used-sarin-in-syria-8604920.html) that the preponderance of evidence implicates the Syrian rebels over the government. "There are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated," she told a Swiss TV channel. "This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities."


Del Ponte's allegations were further scrutinized Monday by the White House, which called her remarks "incredible (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/white-house-denies-obama-ad-libbed-syria-red-183450045.html)," and the State Department (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=181633566), which said the United States believes Syria's large chemical weapons stockpiles remain securely in the hands (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=181633566) of the regime.


Del Ponte is a legend in international circles: the nemisis of some of the world's worst tyrants and war criminals. She is a former chief prosecutor of two U.N.-backed tribunals, including the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Just this week,the New Yorker described her as an "indefatigable (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/06/130506fa_fact_schmidle?currentPage=all)" lawyer. But that doesn't mean she doesn't come off half-cocked from time to time -- leaving the U.N. to "clarify" her remarks and clean up the mess.


In December 1999, Del Ponte quite dramatically raised eyebrows after being asked if she was prepared to press criminal charges against NATO related to war-crimes allegations in Kosovo. She told London's Observer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999/dec/26/theobserver2), "If I am not willing to do that, I am not in the right place: I must give up the mission." Four days later,after an international uproar, her office walked it back (http://www.icty.org/sid/7707), saying "NATO is not under investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There is no formal inquiry into the actions of NATO during the conflict in Kosovo."


In 2008, Del Ponte again stirred the pot at the U.N. with the publication (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/12/warcrimes.kosovo) of her book The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals, which alleged the systematic theft and smuggling of human organs from kidnapped Serbs in the aftermath of the Kosovo war. The allegations were so contested, and controversial, that the Swiss government, for which she worked at the time as its ambassador to Argentina, banned her from promoting (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120812796372611429.html)the book because of the effect it would have on the country's foreign relations. Authorities on the tribunal, such as Mirko Klarin (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/12/warcrimes.kosovo), described the allegations as "irresponsible and appalling ...She shouldn't put rumours in her book."


Back at the U.N. Tribunal, where she very recently left, Del Ponte's remarks again had to be clarified. "The Tribunal is aware of very serious allegations of human organ trafficking raised by the former Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, in a book recently published in Italian under her name," said an ICTY spokesperson (http://www.icty.org/sid/9858). "No evidence in support of such allegations was ever brought before the Tribunal's judges."

Del Ponte also put herself out on the line in 2005 when she accused (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4263426.stm) the Vatican of helping Croatia's most-wanted war crimes suspect, Gen. Ante Gotovina, avoid capture and prosecution, speculating that he was hiding (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4263426.stm) in a monastery in Croatia. Gotovina was later acquitted after an appeal, an outcome Del Ponte protested (http://dalje.com/en-world/carla-del-ponte-shocked-by-the-acquittal-of-croatian-generals/451145). "I'm shocked. I was very surprised and shocked." she told Serbian reporters.


This isn't to suggest that Del Ponte's chemical weapons claims are false, but it's worth remembering she has something of a history when it comes to shooting from the hip ahead of an official U.N. consensus.

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/06/the_clarifying_of_the_uns_carla_del_ponte

And this:


Syria: The United Nations on Monday distanced itself (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001tANi6-MUoau7DKjTF_WX79XgySw-UYjPIcbm4CLP8yL6K8qie9Zz7khx4L_GaZWcroDOcG2M7lR_PR qqenXxr84JK9ckdXN-0QI-8s7Lp0dvpxHldg5b4931-qddj5NOIwU8p2Amfz8FTz7LMsFJSFtfx04ht-Iu) from comments made by Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, alleging that rebel forces may have used chemical weapons in their fight against the Syrian government. The commission, according to a statement released Monday, "wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict."


and see my posts at #117 & #118 above.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334369#post334369

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334371#post334371

riposte
10-05-2013, 05:37 PM
I feel for your plight, and for Riposte, and dammit. It must taste like a cup of cold sick to have to absorb news that portrays the US in a favorable light. Seems it is affecting your brain also.





As to the second link.

What is this? Some witches brew of anti-American diatribe, full of stuff unrelated to the thread topic of Syria. Talk about derailing a thread.

Screeds like that are a dime a dozen. If you think for half a second that I’m going to fall for that Trojan Horse and wade thru that mess of potage you’re deluded.

Quite correct too Count .......... never allow yourself be swayed by the facts.

dammit_im_mad
10-05-2013, 06:16 PM
With respect to your first link, I got an “unsafe connection” message. And I see you also posted a faulty link over in the Robots and Internet thread. I’ll be treating your links warily until further notice.

As to the second link.

What is this? Some witches brew of anti-American diatribe, full of stuff unrelated to the thread topic of Syria. Talk about derailing a thread.

Screeds like that are a dime a dozen. If you think for half a second that I’m going to fall for that Trojan Horse and wade thru that mess of potage you’re deluded. What the **** has The Phillipines 1898-1914, got to do with Syria today? Spare me the spam, and answer the question you were asked in the Science Research and Business thread.

They are not a dime a dozen, because US always keeps trying to rewrite history. But even if they were, that doesn't mean they aren't correct!

The first link is just indymedia. I supplied a direct IP link because the indymedia nameserver is causing some problems lately. And the reason you got an "unsafe connection" is because indymedia create their own security cert rather than relying on a US based chain of trust. If your site does not pay these US sites for an official certificate, you get this browser message until you add the certificate to your browser. This is totally safe. Using their own security certificate rather than a corporate one is understandable if you consider past seizures of indymedia servers.

If you remove the "s" in https you won't get that warning ( but facebook / google / your US handlers might then know what you were reading on indymedia ). I guess you don't know much about these things do you bobbles? You are showing P.ie levels of wilful ignorance here! Old habits die hard ;-) TBH I think you know full well, but you just want to deliberately try to damage my credibility so people won't read my posts or links. Thats pretty low behaviour for a nice guy bobbles. That is assuming you are one.

I'll post the alternative (non https) link again at the end for those who are technically challenged (or pretending to be!) . Please take the time because it's really an excellent article and very illuminating. You can see that by the way CB is trying to discourage people from reading it!! ;-)

As to the second link, it outlines every soverign incursion or coup by (or supported by) the US right up to the coup in Honduras a couple of years ago. You start to see that, contrary to what US foreign policy shills like CB and the MSM memory hole would have us all believe, current US policy is merely business as usual, just a logical continuation of its normal foreign policy since 1900.

Here's the ordinary version of that first indymedia link which doesn't use a certificate (i.e. it's not https)
Activist Education at the Albert Einstein Institution: A Critical Examination of Elite Cooption of Civil Disobedience (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102162)

CB wants you to be afraid of clicking this because it's just way too much truth and blows the whole US tactics from Kosovo to the arab spring right out of the water.

And in case you missed it, here's the second "witches brew" link CB is desperately trying to prevent anyone else reading:
http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 07:32 PM
They are not a dime a dozen, because US always keeps trying to rewrite history. But even if they were, that doesn't mean they aren't correct!

The first link is just indymedia. I supplied a direct IP link because the indymedia nameserver is causing some problems lately. And the reason you got an "unsafe connection" is because indymedia create their own security cert rather than relying on a US based chain of trust. If your site does not pay these US sites for an official certificate, you get this browser message until you add the certificate to your browser. This is totally safe. Using their own security certificate rather than a corporate one is understandable if you consider past seizures of indymedia servers.

If you remove the "s" in https you won't get that warning ( but facebook / google / your US handlers might then know what you were reading on indymedia ). I guess you don't know much about these things do you bobbles? You are showing P.ie levels of wilful ignorance here! Old habits die hard ;-) TBH I think you know full well, but you just want to deliberately try to damage my credibility so people won't read my posts or links. Thats pretty low behaviour for a nice guy bobbles. That is assuming you are one.

I'll post the alternative (non https) link again at the end for those who are technically challenged (or pretending to be!) . Please take the time because it's really an excellent article and very illuminating. You can see that by the way CB is trying to discourage people from reading it!! ;-)

As to the second link, it outlines every soverign incursion or coup by (or supported by) the US right up to the coup in Honduras a couple of years ago. You start to see that, contrary to what US foreign policy shills like CB and the MSM memory hole would have us all believe, current US policy is merely business as usual, just a logical continuation of its normal foreign policy since 1900.

Here's the ordinary version of that first indymedia link which doesn't use a certificate (i.e. it's not https)
Activist Education at the Albert Einstein Institution: A Critical Examination of Elite Cooption of Civil Disobedience (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102162)

CB wants you to be afraid of clicking this because it's just way too much truth and blows the whole US tactics from Kosovo to the arab spring right out of the water.

And in case you missed it, here's the second "witches brew" link CB is desperately trying to prevent anyone else reading:
http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

Only read the first link so far, but it is on the nail. Somewhere here I quoted a wikileak on the US's Venezuela projects that puts flesh on the bones of how NGO's work resets peoples thinking and vocabulary. The article only describes a tiny part of what goes on. But it all costs and is part of what is dragging the US deeper and deeper into debt.

The US said there was evidence of use of Sarin gas, but not of where exactly or who. The heavy implication was that it was Assad, and would be used to justify arming the opposition further. The US sent its envoy in to meet the opposition in Syria. Based on multiple interviews with physicians and others, del Ponte's team concluded that it was in probability used by oppositionists.

Of course the US is not happy with what del Ponte said and the usual silly smear machine will crank into action.


http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-un-syria-rebels-chemical-weapons-20130506,0,7451300.story

dammit_im_mad
10-05-2013, 10:12 PM
Thanks for taking the time to read that link C. It's a long piece but it's very illuminating.
[ Aside: May I ask how many posts before a noob can have an avatar / signature / post an image etc? Can't find that info in the FAQ - cheers ]

On the Venezuela thing, Of course, I presume everyone saw this documentary at this stage? :
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-revolution-will-not-be-televised/
It was made by an Irish film crew who happened to be around at the time of the attempted coup.

It's also interesting how hypocritically the US acted over the well known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles (http://www.thenation.com/article/159919/luis-posada-carriles-acquitted-texas#) despite having an extradition treaty with Venezuela. In spite of going on endlessly about the "war on terror", it seems when a proven self confessed hard core terrorist is in their midst, they bend over backwards to protect him.

Back to Syria:
Here's that youtube video that was floating around before all this talk about chemical weapons really took hold.
It depicts Syrian terrorists using chemical weapons on some unfortunate test subjects and threatening their use on people in Syria.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPEfSal8hmM

If it's genuine, the second part regarding chemically poisoning the drinking water is more worrying than exploding a chemical weapon because it's much harder to get a burst weapon to work effectively. However, introducing such materials into a crucial water supply could be disastrous.

No sign of Assad! ;-)

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 10:32 PM
Kerry was authorised to give the Al Nusra terrorists (aka rebels) 250 million smackers officially just recently.
And history shows that "official" donations are generally just the tip of the iceberg.
They've been facilitating these salafist terrorists in every way possible since the beginning.

Our new esteemed member, [dammit_i'm-mad] MOD, claims that the US has given $250M to the al-Nusra front. In case you don’t know who al-Nusra is, they are the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. They were formed in January 2012, and the US designated them a terrorist organization in Dec 2012.

Now along comes [dammit_im_mad],MOD and just airily flings it out there without any evidence in support, that the US is funding al-Nusra/al-Qaeda,to the tune of $250M, and is apparently dumb enough to expect that everyone here is dumb enough to believe that the US is funding al-Qaeda.

Would someone who is sympathetic to his views, (and there are many here), take him aside and explain that we operate to a higher standard here. And you might also explain that his failure to adhere to these standards casts a shadow over other like minded individuals, and Team Left in general. In short you need to tell him he’s an embarrassment to the cause, otherwise, I'll tie him up in knots.

"US blacklists Syrian rebel group al-Nusra" (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/2012121117048117723.html). Al Jazeera (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jazeera).

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 10:34 PM
Quite correct too Count .......... never allow yourself be swayed by the facts.

Riposte, dude, I often scratch my head and wonder about you, if that’s the best you can do, why you even bother posting. Don’t you feel embarrassed or anything?

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 10:39 PM
Only read the first link so far, but it is on the nail. Somewhere here I quoted a wikileak on the US's Venezuela projects that puts flesh on the bones of how NGO's work resets peoples thinking and vocabulary. The article only describes a tiny part of what goes on. But it all costs and is part of what is dragging the US deeper and deeper into debt.

The US said there was evidence of use of Sarin gas, but not of where exactly or who. The heavy implication was that it was Assad, and would be used to justify arming the opposition further. The US sent its envoy in to meet the opposition in Syria. Based on multiple interviews with physicians and others, del Ponte's team concluded that it was in probability used by oppositionists.

Of course the US is not happy with what del Ponte said and the usual silly smear machine will crank into action.

http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-un-syria-rebels-chemical-weapons-20130506,0,7451300.story


Geez CF, that was lame and you know it. First you claim that use of sarin by the rebels was so “widely known” that it didn’t even need a link in support. When that claim is shown to be patently false, you do a 180 degree somersault, and assert, again without any link in support, that claims of inconclusiveness are just establishment propaganda. You were happy to believe a UN official when it suited your purposes, and as soon as you were shown to be completely wrong, you brand the UN a propaganda instrument. Totally contradictory piffle.

Even the LAT piece you cite has been updated to reflect the most current UN position.

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 10:41 PM
They are not a dime a dozen, because US always keeps trying to rewrite history. But even if they were, that doesn't mean they aren't correct!

The first link is just indymedia. I supplied a direct IP link because the indymedia nameserver is causing some problems lately. And the reason you got an "unsafe connection" is because indymedia create their own security cert rather than relying on a US based chain of trust. If your site does not pay these US sites for an official certificate, you get this browser message until you add the certificate to your browser. This is totally safe. Using their own security certificate rather than a corporate one is understandable if you consider past seizures of indymedia servers.

If you remove the "s" in https you won't get that warning ( but facebook / google / your US handlers might then know what you were reading on indymedia ). I guess you don't know much about these things do you bobbles? You are showing P.ie levels of wilful ignorance here! Old habits die hard ;-) TBH I think you know full well, but you just want to deliberately try to damage my credibility so people won't read my posts or links. Thats pretty low behaviour for a nice guy bobbles. That is assuming you are one.

I'll post the alternative (non https) link again at the end for those who are technically challenged (or pretending to be!) . Please take the time because it's really an excellent article and very illuminating. You can see that by the way CB is trying to discourage people from reading it!! ;-)

As to the second link, it outlines every soverign incursion or coup by (or supported by) the US right up to the coup in Honduras a couple of years ago. You start to see that, contrary to what US foreign policy shills like CB and the MSM memory hole would have us all believe, current US policy is merely business as usual, just a logical continuation of its normal foreign policy since 1900.

Here's the ordinary version of that first indymedia link which doesn't use a certificate (i.e. it's not https)
Activist Education at the Albert Einstein Institution: A Critical Examination of Elite Cooption of Civil Disobedience (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102162)

CB wants you to be afraid of clicking this because it's just way too much truth and blows the whole US tactics from Kosovo to the arab spring right out of the water.

And in case you missed it, here's the second "witches brew" link CB is desperately trying to prevent anyone else reading:
http://www.flagrancy.net/timeline.html

Listen , [dammit_i'm-mad] MOD If you believe Fox is biased to the right, (and I do), then Indymedia is even more biased to the left. Fox at least make a claim of “fair and balanced”. Indymedia makes no such claim. I go with news sources that are as close to straight down the middle as I can find, to avoid the crazies on both the left and right. So, I wouldn’t touch Indymedia with a 40 ft.

There are two threads here on PW on the subject of Indymedia, and they tell you all you need to know about them.

http://www.politicalworld.org/search.php?searchid=35644

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 10:45 PM
Geez CF, that was lame and you know it. First you claim that use of sarin by the rebels was so “widely known” that it didn’t even need a link in support. When that claim is shown to be patently false, you do a 180 degree somersault, and assert, again without any link in support, that claims of inconclusiveness are just establishment propaganda. You were happy to believe a UN official when it suited your purposes, and as soon as you were shown to be completely wrong, you brand the UN a propaganda instrument. Totally contradictory piffle.

Even the LAT piece you cite has been updated to reflect the most current UN position.

The current position of the UN is not that the opposition did not use Sarin gas. They merely say, as did del Ponte, that use was not definitively proven.

The US rush to dismiss on the basis of no attempt at assessment of del Ponte's information is sooo suspicious.

riposte
10-05-2013, 10:45 PM
Riposte, dude, I often scratch my head and wonder about you, if that’s the best you can do, why you even bother posting. Don’t you feel embarrassed or anything?

If you are trying to embarrass me Count...... you'll have to try a lot harder.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 10:47 PM
You wording attempts to imply that allegations of use of Sarin gas by the opposition were false. I would advise anyone in any doubt to read the linked reports themselves.

del Ponte's assertions were based on extensive interview and investigation.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 10:50 PM
On the other hand, the US says there is evidence that Sarin gas was used somewhere in Syria. But there is no evidence whatsover that Assad used it. On the other hand, del Ponte of the UN says that her investigations suggest it is highly probably that the opposition used it.

Which section of the opposition is the next question, as you could not get a more mixed bag.

Count Bobulescu
10-05-2013, 11:44 PM
The current position of the UN is not that the opposition did not use Sarin gas. They merely say, as did del Ponte, that use was not definitively proven.

The US rush to dismiss on the basis of no attempt at assessment of del Ponte's information is sooo suspicious.

But that’s not what YOU said. You said, @#134

The news that the UN confirmed Sarin gas was used not by Assad but by the opposition, is widely known enough not to require a link.

You attributed to the UN words they did not use, and when that was pointed out to you, you dismissed it as propaganda.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334939#post334939

Wrong again on US dismissal.. The US has made no attempt rushed or otherwise to dismiss anything the UN has officially said, because the UN has said nothing definitive other than to imply that Del Ponte was ahead or out of step with current status. Here’s the last sentence of the piece I cited at 138.


This isn't to suggest that Del Ponte's chemical weapons claims are false, but it's worth remembering she has something of a history when it comes to shooting from the hip ahead of an official U.N. consensus.

Simonsays
10-05-2013, 11:50 PM
On the other hand, the US says there is evidence that Sarin gas was used somewhere in Syria. But there is no evidence whatsover that Assad used it. On the other hand, del Ponte of the UN says that her investigations suggest it is highly probably that the opposition used it.

The reason why there is confusion is simple. The gas was linked to weapons fired by the opposition. However they had stolen weapons from an Assad arms dump and they were the ones launched. The confusion is whether the opposition knew the weapons had been doctored by Assad's forces to spread chemicals, or whether they had not realised it and thought they were firing ordinary warheads. So the issue is whether the weapons had been doctored by Assad's forces prior to their theft by the opposition, in which Assad's forces, even if they did not physically fire them, are legally responsible in international law, whether they were doctored subsequent to the theft by the opposition, in which case the opposition are legally responsible in international law, or if the doctoring had happened before the theft whether the installation of illegal chemicals had been done unofficially by soldiers without Assad's authorisation. That is the issue - not who fired them but who put the chemicals there and when. Del Monte established who most likely fired them, but not yet who put the chemicals in them.

C. Flower
10-05-2013, 11:50 PM
But that’s not what YOU said. You said, @#134

The news that the UN confirmed Sarin gas was used not by Assad but by the opposition, is widely known enough not to require a link.

You attributed to the UN words they did not use, and when that was pointed out to you, you dismissed it as propaganda.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334939#post334939

Wrong again on US dismissal.. The US has made no attempt rushed or otherwise to dismiss anything the UN has officially said, because the UN has said nothing definitive other than to imply that Del Ponte was ahead or out of step with current status. Here’s the last sentence of the piece I cited at 138.

All the UN said was that it had not been definitively confirmed.

The bottom line is that the US says sarin gas was used in Syria, that there is no evidence whatsover of Assad using it, and that del Ponte, to her surprise, came across substantial evidence that the opposition had used it.

dammit_im_mad
11-05-2013, 12:05 AM
Listen dim, If you believe Fox is biased to the right, (and I do), then Indymedia is even more biased to the left. Fox at least make a claim of “fair and balanced”. Indymedia makes no such claim. I go with news sources that are as close to straight down the middle as I can find,

Like Fox apparently, since you seem to know so much about them ;-) (http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/outfoxed-rupert-murdochs-war-on-journalism/)

Indymedia means well. Fox does not. They are not comparable.



to avoid the crazies on both the left and right.

AFAIAC you ARE one of the crazies on the right bobbles, so tell me, how do you avoid yourself? ;-)

If you'd paused before spewing ad hominems and vomiting up your predictable opinions on indymedia, for a second and actually followed the link, you'd realise that the article was a serious paper penned by respected academic Michael Barker of Griffith university submitted as part of the "Activating Human Rights and Peace 2008" Conference. So much for "operating to a higher standard"

Surely one should at least read something before launching a vacuous ad hominem tirade against it. That's a pretty basic requirement. Evidently your "higher standard" doesn't include that basic requirement.

It doesn't surprise me that you are against the concept of open publishing, since it was / is largely your kind which systematically trolled the indymedia site to death. It's still there though and still occasionally hosts some reasonable articles, despite the efforts of P.ie submariners and trolls like yourself. I wish them well.

Count Bobulescu
11-05-2013, 12:10 AM
[QUOTE]All the UN said was that it had not been definitively confirmed.
Again, that's what everyone except you said.


The bottom line is that the US says sarin gas was used in Syria, that there is no evidence whatsover of Assad using it, and that del Ponte, to her surprise, came across substantial evidence that the opposition had used it.

This sentence makes no sense. The US has made no claim that either Assad, or any of the opposition factions either DID or DID NOT use sarin. The UN have said that Del Ponte's claims do not represent current official position. The US has simply said that it appears sarin has been used, and it is awaiting more information to determine who used it, where, and when.

dammit_im_mad
11-05-2013, 12:18 AM
[QUOTE=C. Flower;334939]
The favorable news for the US is the delivery of 65,000 MRE's


No, you’re wrong. It’s not widely known at all. In fact it is not even narrowly known. The UN did not confirm that the Syrian rebels used sarin. That’s why try as you might you wont find a link to confirm it.

See this: (Del Ponte has “form” as you’d say yourself.)

U.N. investigator on Syria: Out over her skis yet again? (http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/06/the_clarifying_of_the_uns_carla_del_ponte)



http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/05/06/the_clarifying_of_the_uns_carla_del_ponte

And this:




and see my posts at #117 & #118 above.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334369#post334369

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=334371#post334371

(...rest of huge cut and paste post deliberately abbreviated as it was too long )



If you think for half a second that I’m going to fall for that Trojan Horse and wade thru that mess of potage you’re deluded


Ha! the irony ;-)

It's terrible practice to paste huge tracts from the internet (unless of course you are just deliberately trying to drown out another person ). Just a few lines and a link is proper etiquette.

More of those fictitious "higher standards" perhaps bobbles? ;-)

You'd think after 4000 posts you'd understand BB posting guidelines a little better

Count Bobulescu
11-05-2013, 12:50 AM
Moving right along with some substantive material on the current Syrian situation..

The Turkish government is testing patients from Syria for chemical weapons as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told NBC news last night that his government will support a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone. "Right from the beginning ... we would say 'yes'," Erdogan told (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001mx4UToUR04Va0_EK89Z5ghu5jaqju926xiy0uq UufcznVTxftDumB8ECKXZiizfBBSMIikx-YNTEztzRm7meItWcXz0ypOthzqDm0bZgR7vZeHfNiPBozGXTJm CqljTDOGR9jFJfYvDt4twQxlfyh7RN9l8PlLQMvvdTbqRunESf HtaND3KyexhYS5enRaLuR3ED_SyaEJovXiX-QB8DvksUguLYhVDGqJ4sAO-8FJo8QldbBO-sjehVUQCWqqN7uWbH1fhlVZivbwisWH29PaKtPI7QCRZZ) NBC's Ann Curry in an interview that aired last night. "We want the United States to assume more responsibilities and take further steps. And what sort of steps they will take, we are going to talk about this." Obama and Ergodan will meet May 16. Meanwhile, other news reports say that about 12 patients from Syria are being tested in Turkey for exposure to chemical weapons after the prime minister announced that his government believes the Syrian regime used them, but isn't yet sure if sarin was a chemical weapon used.

A Turkish source told (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001mx4UToUR04W7sEgXOj7bkOi19miY_-Huc0nOrvaXPQwTD2s0BaY1kZ5296uZaVsqKQZfBkROOHfNhhta C1KbGSKQtsXI04yGXAYAfZikl4n_V-drbf8khcwPMFuMFdYlhr9lOA7GDVSeX1dlkKxM0zkUoasXPtjd gGmcHqbJ7mzn9RW8xqzb1kQ64DA8M7wOV3WpYBCQrgEfGvTXCA z698tYYafvrnQD) CNN: "They were not injured by any kind of conventional arms. Tests showed excessive results which produced findings to let us make that statement."

Top senators ask Obama to strike Syria. Kevin Baron writes (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001mx4UToUR04WWITYWRr2Z7ZEYKFcp5EMTtmvPA-cfu424UZDxoUC78FtoCN_fH-T86MRTuK16ozLFC3HvIRVgAHILmSLHBX2KqogeNYIDxnqRE-EdeEnQD2lDq2AltvNFPZ2QqzG6fxDB3XXTEfCwLGD-LI87kICA0__OLxzlc1x83NgVja8cPQl_8u6uXZ6p7YtXl6Jx1v MYFk1lukBfeQ==): "The top two Democratic and Republican senators on national security issued a new bipartisan plea for President Barack Obama to lead a military campaign against Syria, including missile strikes and arming opposition rebels, in pointed floor speeches. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the floor with a long list of limited U.S. military interjections into the conflict. They argued such moves were not only possible, but necessary to save lives and prevent spillover instability in the Middle East."

Source: Patients from Syria being tested for chemical weapons (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=newssearch&cd=2&ved=0CDoQqQIoADAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2013%2F05%2F10%2Fwo rld%2Fmeast%2Fsyria-turkey-chemical-weapons%2F%3Fhpt%3Dhp_t2&ei=BUiNUaTXOI3D4AOnw4G4AQ&usg=AFQjCNHQZ10jOmGFiLO3uUEyCJKd--OdIw&sig2=1gXOoT6fUQDmbxqBzKJqaQ&bvm=bv.46340616,d.dmg)

The Turkish source was referring to an announcement by Turkey's prime minister which accused the Syrian government of using chemical ...



Russia says no new plan to sell air defense systems to Syria (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/10/us-syria-crisis-russia-idUSBRE9490JO20130510)

That would significantly boost Syria's ability to stave off outside intervention in its civil war, such as the air strikes launched by Israel this month.



Arabs Ask U.S. to Lead on Syria (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324244304578473212174423122.html?m od=djemITP_h)



WASHINGTON—The U.S.'s closest Arab allies are jointly pressing President Barack Obama (http://topics.wsj.com/person/O/Barack-Obama/4328) to take the lead in bridging the Middle East's divisions over Syria, traveling to Washington to personally drive home their fears that some of the region's other leaders are strengthening radicals and prolonging President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

They are also concerned that aid from Qatar has bolstered the Al-Nusra Front, a powerful Syrian militia fighting Mr. Assad's forces, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization.
"We need someone to manage the players" in the region, said a senior Arab official involved in the discussions. "The U.S. and the president are the only ones who can put Qatar in its place."


Qatari officials, who have publicly denied supporting the Al-Nusra Front, declined to comment Thursday. A Turkish official denied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government was favoring Islamist parties in Syria or anywhere else in the region. "We just support the rights of the Syrian people," the official said.

elric666
11-05-2013, 10:56 AM
What was the the reasoning behind the Israeli attacks on Syria? Was this agreed with Obama or did Netanyahu exceed his remit. Full text at link.


Over the weekend of May 4-5 Israel launched air raids against targets in Syria. Yassamine Mather and Moshé Machover, two members of the Hands Off the People of Iran steering committee, discuss the issues raised by this latest development

YM: The two Israeli air raids into Syrian territory have to be looked at in the context of the current Syrian civil war and realignment of regional powers. However, there is an Iranian dimension to all this. According to some Iranian military strategists, “Syria is the 35th province [of Iran] and a strategic province for us. If the enemy attacks us and wants to appropriate either Syria or Khuzestan [in southern Iran], the priority is that we keep Syria.”1

According to ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s most senior foreign policy adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, “Syria has a very basic and key role in the region of promoting firm policies of resistance … for this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.”2

Until May 4-5, there could have been no doubt that, in the event of a military attack by US or Israeli forces, Iran’s first line of defence would be a retaliation against Israel using Hezbollah, who in turn would rely on Syrian military support. The Israeli bombings have clearly changed the situation and weakened Iran’s position considerably. What do you think? Am I right or is this a very Iran-centric analysis?

Moshe Machover
Image Manager: Click for details on may2013/moshe1.jpg

clip edit hide pending delete featurise
MM: You can regard these air raids as a narrow intervention in the Syria civil war, but this is not the way to understand their wider significance. If you look at it only in this way, it appears very paradoxical. If it was aimed at helping the forces opposed to president Bashar al-Assad, there was no logic to it.

First of all, it compromises the Syrian opposition, which is very heterogeneous. Some elements are genuine popular forces, others are supported from the outside by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and indirectly by the US. Those sponsors don’t mind collaborating with Israel, but the forces on the ground, even the forces supported by Qatar, the Islamists, are not happy being in a common front with Israel. In this respect, it gives Assad a means to denigrate the opposition and he has taken it. So this is not the context in which to understand the logic of these attacks.

I think that context is a wider regional one. Israel is doing everything it possibly can to widen the confrontation and there are several reasons for this. A couple of weeks ago there was a hoo-ha about weapons of mass destruction, specifically poison gas. The Israeli intelligence agency alleged that poison gas had been used, knowing that president Barack Obama had said this was a “red line” for intervention. Clearly the intention was to draw Obama into a more direct intervention in Syria: in other words, to widen the confrontation. ...
http://www.hopi-ireland.org/c/syrian-bombing-netanyahu-attempts-provoke-new-confrontation

C. Flower
11-05-2013, 04:13 PM
Please be advised to all members without exception to post on the subject only and to avoid ad hominem or personally abusive posting, including insulting nick names. More than one poster has been modded on that score. MOD CF

C. Flower
11-05-2013, 06:25 PM
What was the the reasoning behind the Israeli attacks on Syria? Was this agreed with Obama or did Netanyahu exceed his remit. Full text at link.

Says that the forthcoming Iranian election is the context. I can't see why Israel would want to widen the conflict. An all out war against Iran would have highly unpredictable consequences for Israel.

riposte
11-05-2013, 06:49 PM
I can't see why Israel would want to widen the conflict. An all out war against Iran would have highly unpredictable consequences for Israel.

They suffer from an Invulnerability Complex.

DCon
11-05-2013, 09:24 PM
[QUOTE=C. Flower;335100]

The US has made no claim that either Assad, or any of the opposition factions either DID or DID NOT use sarin.

"Highly likely" was the term used by the White House. Hardly on the fence, are they?


“We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position.”


Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/white-house-assad-behind-chemical-arms-article-1.1336403#ixzz2SXsri2Lu

Interview the Source is based on: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/82775-1

Count Bobulescu
11-05-2013, 09:52 PM
[QUOTE=Count Bobulescu;335108]

"Highly likely" was the term used by the White House. Hardly on the fence, are they?



Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/white-house-assad-behind-chemical-arms-article-1.1336403#ixzz2SXsri2Lu

Interview the Source is based on: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/82775-1

No, the US is not on the fence at all. It is very firmly off the fence. It has been saying for well over a year now that it wants to see Assad gone.

It is of course is an eminently sensible position to take that in any use of CW’s Assad is ”highly likely” the perp. Assad is in control of the stockpile of CW’s, so the finger of suspicion will naturally get pointed at him first, and there have been no reports of any CW’s being stolen/looted/seized that would lead to suspicion of the rebel forces.

If you have an alternative theory, do tell.

Count Bobulescu
11-05-2013, 10:05 PM
What was the the reasoning behind the Israeli attacks on Syria? Was this agreed with Obama or did Netanyahu exceed his remit. Full text at link.

I did read the entire piece. Bigger fool me. My overall reaction is Meh, nothing new here.

To take just two small segments:


According to ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s most senior foreign policy adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, “Syria has a very basic and key role in the region of promoting firm policies of resistance … for this reason an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran and Iran’s allies.”2

That is indeed, as the speaker had queried, a very Iran-centric view of affairs. It’s also either arrogant and/or naive. If the US were to adopt a similar position, it would be like saying Canada’s role is to act as a buffer between US and Russia/China.

and:


The key point is that Israel is trying to widen the confrontation. This is expressed well by a cartoon I saw, showing Israeli planes spouting petrol over the flames of the civil war.

That’s hardly a reassuring method on which to base public policy.

As to the claim that Israel wants to widen the conflict, I don’t think that holds much water. It is widely believed in the US that Israel’s preferred option on Syria would be to see Assad remain in power. Israel has dealt with him for 20 years, he is a known quantity and they successfully managed the relationship with him. No guarantee of that with a new player.


The first half of the piece is nothing more than an Iranian blaming Israel for the region’s ills. Nothing new there. And nothing much relevant to the conflict in Syria.

The second half mostly discusses the internal Iranian situation as it pertains to the upcoming presidential elections and again is of little direct relevance to Syria.

Count Bobulescu
12-05-2013, 12:15 AM
Some more substantive material on Syria


KERRY PUSHES RUSSIA TO GO TOUGHER ON SYRIA. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Russia (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=5498053771&e=c7a7983233) Tuesday to try and convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to take a tougher stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Associated Press reports. Russia is al-Assad’s most powerful ally. Meanwhile, the United Nations clarified a report Sunday that a U.N. investigation had found evidence of Syrian rebels using the chemical agent sarin, The Hill reports. The U.N. will not comment on the situation further until it has its final findings. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=be1bb48729&e=c7a7983233)



Syria: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001_ZfCmzQUVnl2ncbH5iruzCFMnx4sxvJawKfcKg SYSzjKJlD_zWxK5vpaxmLWOHqAEb_jCfmSAf0yJvcGeSWeKFLg P35o1tfMzXbHobcLf0OcKwMOprF2hGQNi77hIhu2zRCl8dzhFp 7Cu9lq6oj6SHlPeMWCMCVN1mNzrCf2Z5vW6v462ovbD82ZydWA esoGmiDpHTy-TWvDdYwlSxQ6WufWZYm3ZGftIymYb5KcQfljEXoszZWGtw==) that they will convene within weeks a conference aimed at ending the Syrian civil war. Though short on details, the announcement is a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that has been marked at the international level by a total stalemate between the United States and Russia. The announcement also comes against the background of escalating violence on the ground in Syria, including recent raids by Israeli jets inside Syria, indications of chemical weapons use, and an escalating refugee crisis.



The Pentagon is planning for the worst in Syria. Per the WSJ's Adam Entous and Julian Barnes: "The Pentagon is stepping up plans to deal with a dangerous regional spillover from Syria's possible collapse-a scenario it had recently seen as remote-drawing up proposals including a Jordanian buffer zone for refugees secured by Arab troops, said U.S. officials familiar with the discussion. The plans seek to minimize direct U.S. involvement, but they reflect a reassessment of the Pentagon's hands-off approach. The shift comes after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's trip last month to the Middle East, during which Arab leaders appealed for the U.S. to focus on the danger of Syria's disintegration into warring sectarian fiefdoms."



How much would a no-fly zone cost for Syria? Kevin Baron asked (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0018iwLnvMnOH4PEnx8iQVp8Og0bDI8YhLLHYkIwY BFaN6_e2OhTmxwsPpSX5UaH0bauOyFS-EUB7VPt0WIdhAysYzkEV9U1ovJcL6d7zJowu3L4Yt_psKozore prDzHyXUGo2AfltE45LdMUTpBhcj95wz1AklbiNL-DEHi8DOujRKCvjWdWBkgE8PSLmYPrUQS4MIkV9gtVWXi-KPY52ydT58AAy2LmYl) that very question. "Tomahawk cruise missiles, fighter jets, aerial refueling tankers, flying hours -- the taxpayer cost for creating and holding a no-fly zone over Syria seems like an expensive operation, right? Not so fast. According to defense budget analysts, creating a no-fly zone over Syria may be far easier -- and cheaper, as military operations go -- than top brass are letting on. There are several factors that contribute to the cost of a no-fly zone, but in short it all depends on just how far the United States and its allies are willing to take it. The size and duration of the operation are top factors. But there's more than one way to keep Syria's Air Force out of the skies. 'I get why people get so amped up about no-fly zones" said Christopher Harmer, senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. People often tend to think of Iraq, he told the E-Ring, and the 12 year-long complex, high-demand Operation Southern Watch and Operation Northern Watch. Those missions cost an estimated $1 billion per year, combined."



U.S. TO COMMIT ANOTHER $100 MILLION IN AID TO SYRIA. The United States is set to provide $100 million in new humanitarian aid to Syrians, the Associated Press reports. The funds, which will be announced Thursday by Secretary of State John Kerry, are designated solely for humanitarian purposes such as aid to refugees and may not be used to aid rebels. The funds will be distributed to U.N. agencies that assist refugees, 1.4 million of whom are in neighboring states such as Jordan. The new commitment brings to $510 million the amount of humanitarian aid provided by the United States to Syrians over the last two years. Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=9ec3063e0f&e=c7a7983233)



NO ONE WANTS TO DEAL WITH IT’: BEHIND THE ADMINISTRATION’S DEBATE OVER SYRIA. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “appears to be testing the tactical value of his chemical arsenal. But he’s testing the political limits too,” Gary Samore, who until February was President Obama’s chief adviser on weapons of mass destruction, told Dexter Filkins of The New Yorker. Filkins takes readers inside the White House debate over Syria as al-Assad continues to bait the West with increasing use of force, seeing how far he can push before crossing Obama’s vague “red line.” Assad’s chemical arsenal is dispersed across Syria, mostly in populated areas, meaning an effective military strike would have to be both widespread and meticulous. At a recent State Department meeting, a person who attended told Filkins, “No one wanted to say that Assad had crossed the line, because no one wants to deal with it.” Read more (http://nationaljournal.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=acc30b544fa4aa185af803703&id=49c33af785&e=c7a7983233)

C. Flower
12-05-2013, 02:58 PM
There have been car bombs today in Turkey across the border, denied by the Assad government, in an area in which refugees are living.

Overall, the situation in Syria is becoming more and more dangerous. Assad to some extent was always tolerated by the Western powers as he maintained some kind of uneasy balance in the region. If he falls, or if Syria becomes ungovernable, it is hard to see how the US, no matter how there might be reluctance, would not feel forced to go in, with unknown consequences, to prevent Iranian or Russian interests being perceived to win out.

C. Flower
12-05-2013, 08:21 PM
I'm moving this discussion to a feedback thread, as is the norm here, in order to avoid the thread discussion on Syria being disrupted.

dammit_im_mad
12-05-2013, 09:43 PM
Are the turkish car bomb atttacks a desperate ploy by the terrorists to try to bring Turkey into the fray?

"The timing is certainly very suspicious – a couple of weeks ago the Syrians were accused of using poison gas, and then Carla Del Ponte from the United Nations said recently that it appears that it was the insurgency used this poison gas. Suddenly the poison gas disappears, then this bombing happens. I think you have to ask, would the Assad government be stupid enough to pick an open fight with a country on its border that has the second largest army in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? I don’t see the sense in that; it would suggest that the Assad regime has a suicide complex, and they haven’t demonstrated any of that in the past."

full story here:

http://rt.com/op-edge/turkey-blasts-syria-suicidal-164/

riposte
12-05-2013, 10:03 PM
Are the turkish car bomb atttacks a desperate ploy by the terrorists to try to bring Turkey into the fray?

"The timing is certainly very suspicious – a couple of weeks ago the Syrians were accused of using poison gas, and then Carla Del Ponte from the United Nations said recently that it appears that it was the insurgency used this poison gas. Suddenly the poison gas disappears, then this bombing happens. I think you have to ask, would the Assad government be stupid enough to pick an open fight with a country on its border that has the second largest army in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? I don’t see the sense in that; it would suggest that the Assad regime has a suicide complex, and they haven’t demonstrated any of that in the past."

full story here:

http://rt.com/op-edge/turkey-blasts-syria-suicidal-164/

+100% .......... also some people like telling lies ...... because they like telling lies ....... and they just can't break the habit.

dammit_im_mad
12-05-2013, 10:38 PM
Perhaps you were referring to al jazeera?

http://current.com/community/94010160_al-jazeeras-director-general-cia-agent.htm

Some have referred to them on this thread.
Their Syria coverage is totally biased towards the rebels.
Their biased coverage of Libya was widely criticised.
Not surprising considering their main funding comes from Qatar.

And if hillary clinton approves of it, something is definitely wrong! ;-)
408

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ae_1332890966
http://www.voltairenet.org/Wadah-Khanfar-Al-Jazeera-and-the

riposte
12-05-2013, 10:55 PM
Perhaps you were referring to al jazeera?

http://current.com/community/94010160_al-jazeeras-director-general-cia-agent.htm

Some have referred to them on this thread.
Their Syria coverage is totally biased towards the rebels.
Their biased coverage of Libya was widely criticised.
Not surprising considering their main funding comes from Qatar.

And if hillary clinton approves of it, something is definitely wrong! ;-)
408

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ae_1332890966
http://www.voltairenet.org/Wadah-Khanfar-Al-Jazeera-and-the

I'not sure if you have seen this Dammit........ http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303372#post303372

dammit_im_mad
12-05-2013, 11:11 PM
Yes I read nearly all of the thread.

kudos for kicking RTE ass on their blatant bias on Syria.

They were equally awful on Libya.

I remember they Interviewed Noam Chomsky. The RTE interviewer asked him "are you saying I am biased or pushing an agenda?"
Chomsky replied "You're missing the point. The question is not whether or not an individual interviewer has a particular viewpoint, but whether they would still be there conducting the interview if they didn't"

Ceannaire
13-05-2013, 09:52 PM
I was leafing through TIME magazine (I would never buy it) in Easons today to see in the contents pages under the headline of an article on the situation in Syria the question posed how to prevent Assad's -- deep breath -- nuclear-weapons stockpile falling into the wrong hands! The article itself referred only to WMDs of a chemical and biological nature, and it was presumably an error, but what does it say about the right-wing press that thinking on the situation should be so ignorant and warped that such a mistake could go unnoticed?

riposte
13-05-2013, 10:24 PM
I was leafing through TIME magazine (I would never buy it) in Easons today to see in the contents pages under the headline of an article on the situation in Syria the question posed how to prevent Assad's -- deep breath -- nuclear-weapons stockpile falling into the wrong hands! The article itself referred only to WMDs of a chemical and biological nature, and it was presumably an error, but what does it say about the right-wing press that thinking on the situation should be so ignorant and warped that such a mistake could go unnoticed?

Aha! Ceannaire ......Time are lucky that their paying customers are not as savvy as yourself....... lol !!

Count Bobulescu
13-05-2013, 10:38 PM
I was leafing through TIME magazine (I would never buy it) in Easons today to see in the contents pages under the headline of an article on the situation in Syria the question posed how to prevent Assad's -- deep breath -- nuclear-weapons stockpile falling into the wrong hands! The article itself referred only to WMDs of a chemical and biological nature, and it was presumably an error, but what does it say about the right-wing press that thinking on the situation should be so ignorant and warped that such a mistake could go unnoticed?

All it says is that a copy editor screwed up. And if you think Time is right wing, you aint seen nuttin yet.

PS. I'm shocked, shocked, that you would pick up a rag you believe to be right wing.

Ceannaire
13-05-2013, 10:50 PM
PS. I'm shocked, shocked, that you would pick up a rag you believe to be right wing.

It does well to know the tune the devil plays.

dammit_im_mad
13-05-2013, 10:50 PM
That's no error. Remember all the "errors" regarding Libya? (http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=870:the-role-of-mass-media-in-armed-conflict-a-libyan-case-study&catid=60:conflict-terrorism-discussion-papers&Itemid=265)

more here including The picture shown by the BBC of a huge anti Gadaffi protest (which was actually a bunch of people in India) (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread744969/pg1)

(I don't like the site itself much but this article brings together some of the well known Libya distortions )

I've already posted here before about Al Jazeera (http://current.com/community/94010160_al-jazeeras-director-general-cia-agent.htm)

It's a long and expensive process from "news" gathering to printing a high profile magazine like "Time". Do you honestly think they missed that?

It's just like George bush and his allusions to links between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein.
at one point around 60% of US citizens thought SH was responsible for 9/11

When called on this he would back down, but he and his handlers knew that if you hint at something it's enough. Presumably Time will go "oops" when called on it too, but they know that the damage will be done. It's very cynical policy and I would say deliberate.

It happens just too often and in the same kind of circumstances for it always to be just coincidence.

dammit_im_mad
13-05-2013, 11:04 PM
All it says is that a copy editor screwed up. And if you think Time is right wing, you aint seen nuttin yet.

PS. I'm shocked, shocked, that you would pick up a rag you believe to be right wing.

What a coincidence that these screw ups so often serve the interests of US imperialism. It's not often you see an error that favours the likes of Assad, Gadaffi or Putin or any number of irritants to US hegemonic plans!!

Regarding picking up Time magazine, I presume the toilet paper was out Ceannaire! ;-)

That's what I did with this one:
412

Here's one especially for our esteemed Count:
413

Count Bobulescu
13-05-2013, 11:22 PM
What a coincidence that these screw ups so often serve the interests of US imperialism. It's not often you see an error that favours the likes of Assad, Gadaffi or Putin or any number of irritants to US hegemonic plans!!

Regarding picking up Time magazine, I presume the toilet paper was out Ceannaire! ;-)

That's what I did with this one:
412

Here's one especially for our esteemed Count:
413

Please put me on your ignore list.

dammit_im_mad
13-05-2013, 11:27 PM
Please put me on your ignore list.

Wouldn't dream of it. Your posts are such a font of wisdom, empathy and ultimate truth.

Plus, as Ceannaire said, "It does well to know the tune the devil plays. " ;-)

dammit_im_mad
14-05-2013, 06:04 PM
Sickening video shows "rebel" commander cutting open the chest of a Syrian army soldier and eating his heart (no it's NOT a joke!)



These are the monsters the US and it's allies in Qatar etc are funding and arming to destroy Syria

riposte
14-05-2013, 07:03 PM
Sickening video shows "rebel" commander cutting open the chest of a Syrian army soldier and eating his heart (no it's NOT a joke!)



These are the monsters the US and it's allies in Qatar etc are funding and arming to destroy Syria

Jazus Dammit ....... kudos to you if you get away with this post ...... lol !!

dammit_im_mad
14-05-2013, 11:44 PM
Jazus Dammit ....... kudos to you if you get away with this post ...... lol !!

This was a real video. It may be graphic but it is the reality of what people are discussing here.
It's been all over the news today. It shows exactly the kind of amoral terrorists being supported by the US and it's cronies in Syria all this time.

please google "Syria heart eating" on youtube site to see the footage. It's pretty awful.

How can people truly understand the horrors of war if they are shielded from it every time some actual footage leaks out?

Meanwhile a huge amount of cinema / tv fake violence is totally acceptable to normalise the idea of violence itself or as a vehicle to sell us some cheap imperialist gung ho "Americans are the good guys" propaganda

For example, the moderators would probably not bat an eyelid if I linked to "zero dark 30", "24" or "Spartacus war of the damned" and such material is shown on prime time TV. Such is the hypocrisy of the society we live in. ( Note: this statement is NOT intended as an attack on the moderators )

I believe if our TV screens showed real footage of the true horrors of war, as opposed to the sanitised fake version we get, wars would be stopped much sooner.

This happened to some extent during Vietnam war which is one reason people were so against it.
You need to feel that utter revulsion and nausea at the thought of war in the pit of your stomach to really give a damn about what happens in some country far away as opposed to treating it as some sort of intellectual game. It is that feeling in your gut that makes you to become an activist and actually stand up and be counted in these matters as opposed to just talking about them. I think this is the feeling Lloyd George was describing here:


"I listened last night, at a dinner given to Philip Gibbs on his return from the front, to the most impressive and moving description from him of what the war really means, that I have heard. Even an audience of hardened politicians and journalists were strongly affected. If people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know. The correspondents don't write and the censorship wouldn't pass the truth. What they do send is not the war, but just a pretty picture of the war with everybody doing gallant deeds. The thing is horrible and beyond human nature to bear and I feel I can't go on with this bloody business."
- Lloyd George

C. Flower
14-05-2013, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=dammit_im_mad;335982]This was a real video. It may be graphic but it is the reality of what people are discussing here.
It's been all over the news today. It shows exactly the kind of amoral terrorists being supported by the US and it's cronies in Syria all this time.

please google "Syria heart eating" on youtube site to see the footage. It's pretty awful.

How can people truly understand the horrors of war if they are shielded from it every time some actual footage leaks out?

After much thought, I decided early on in this forum that images of executions and atrocities would not be shown, out of respect for the dead and their families, and to avoid becoming complicit in spreading the fear and trauma that this type of video intends to cause.
You are welcome to use words to describe what is shown.


Meanwhile a huge amount of cinema / tv fake violence is totally acceptable to normalise the idea of violence itself or as a vehicle to sell us some cheap imperialist gung ho "Americans are the good guys" propaganda

For example, the moderators would probably not bat an eyelid if I linked to "zero dark 30", "24" or "Spartacus war of the damned" and such material is shown on prime time TV. Such is the hypocrisy of the society we live in. ( Note: this statement is NOT intended as an attack on the moderators )

I believe if our TV screens showed real footage of the true horrors of war, as opposed to the sanitised fake version we get, wars would be stopped much sooner.

This happened to some extent during Vietnam war which is one reason people were so against it.
You need to feel that utter revulsion and nausea at the thought of war in the pit of your stomach to really give a damn about what happens in some country far away as opposed to treating it as some sort of intellectual game. It is that feeling in your gut that makes you to become an activist and actually stand up and be counted in these matters as opposed to just talking about them. I think this is the feeling Lloyd George was describing here:


"I listened last night, at a dinner given to Philip Gibbs on his return from the front, to the most impressive and moving description from him of what the war really means, that I have heard. Even an audience of hardened politicians and journalists were strongly affected. If people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know. The correspondents don't write and the censorship wouldn't pass the truth. What they do send is not the war, but just a pretty picture of the war with everybody doing gallant deeds. The thing is horrible and beyond human nature to bear and I feel I can't go on with this bloody business."
- Lloyd George

Videos released by perpetrators of atrocities are not the same was documentary footage of war. Gibbs was able to convey the horror of war with words, and that route is open to you.

dammit_im_mad
15-05-2013, 12:36 AM
I think if I was murdered horribly by terrorists in a sectarian war, I'd want my death to at least have some worthwhile purpose, such as the generation of widespread public revulsion possibly leading to widespread mobilisation to end an ugly war sooner.

Is it not possible that by letting this mans death be deliberately hidden from view, and in doing so, allowing the illusions about what this war is to persist longer is even more disrespectful to this man? Remember he was personally willing to die to try to end this war. By hiding his death it means nothing, he's just another statistic. By highlighting it, it might have a real effect and serve a higher purpose. One which he believed in.
( this discussion is however somewhat academic in this particular case, as you can't actually identify the man )

You get the same kind of responses to showing or publishing animal rights material, meanwhile factory farming horrors are perpetuated on millions of creatures in silence daily on an industrial scale for corporate profits. It's often only when one such video leaks out into the mainstream consciousness that there is an outcry and something is done.

When I previously engaged in real world activism ( anti war / factory farming etc), ironically I had had to sit through more of this kind of horrific footage than any human should ever have to (not as if I actually needed convincing). Each time I got a sickening knot in the pit of my stomach. But it was this feeling, and not any amount of intellectualising about the topic, that angered me and strengthened my resolve to continue the fight in the face of adversity.

dammit_im_mad
15-05-2013, 01:21 AM
Gibbs was able to convey the horror of war with words, and that route is open to you.

I strongly suspect Gibbs was far more gifted in that respect than I!!

I also strongly suspect that Gibbs would have shown HI Def footage if he could have to move these people to act. Words can only go so far.

dammit_im_mad
17-05-2013, 03:36 AM
The widely respected WSWS site has something to say about the gruesome Syria "rebel" video:
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/16/syri-m16.html

This video is important as it shows the western backed Syrian terrorists for what they really are, unmasks the lies of the US and it's allies and shows what they are actually willing to support to achieve their own financial and strategic ends, and displays for all to see that the "war on terror" is a complete lie when the very worst terrorists are supported directly by those supposedly pushing the "war on terror" itself

(aside: note they linked directly to the video!)

dammit_im_mad
18-05-2013, 09:00 AM
another excellent and informative opinion piece on the Syrian conflict :

The International Socialist Organization and the imperialist onslaught against Syria - WSWS (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/11/isos-m11.html)

riposte
18-05-2013, 02:00 PM
[QUOTE]

After much thought, I decided early on in this forum that images of executions and atrocities would not be shown, out of respect for the dead and their families, and to avoid becoming complicit in spreading the fear and trauma that this type of video intends to cause.
.


Cass ....... I don't doubt your sincerity in this ........ but reading your expressed support and enthusiasm for the "rebels" and the "Arab Spring" over a wide range of threads on this forum......a suspicion naturally arises that some videos are more unacceptable than others.

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:02 PM
[QUOTE=C. Flower;335989]


Cass ....... I don't doubt your sincerity in this ........ but reading your expressed support and enthusiasm for the "rebels" and the "Arab Spring" over a wide range of threads on this forum......a suspicion naturally arises that some videos are more unacceptable than others.

If you see any video linked here that you think are in breach of that line, please report them, irrespective of who posted them.

I'm sure at this stage you are aware that I don't support US proxies who are out to destabilise much of the Middle East, the Caucusus and Africa.

riposte
18-05-2013, 02:09 PM
If you see any video linked here that you think are in breach of that line, please report them, irrespective of who posted them.

I'm sure at this stage you are aware that I don't support US proxies who are out to destabilise much of the Middle East, the Caucusus and Africa.

Good....... I haven't been wasting my time so........ lol !!

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:18 PM
Good....... I haven't been wasting my time so........ lol !!

Neither have you been reading my posts.....

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:19 PM
another excellent and informative opinion piece on the Syrian conflict :

The International Socialist Organization and the imperialist onslaught against Syria - WSWS (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/11/isos-m11.html)

It's good up to a point, but skates over the existence of the Syrian left and TU movement, and says nothing about what they might do or what they are saying. WSWS should do better than that, as an International website.

At this stage it would look like the difficult road of taking on the proxies, while still being attacked by Assad. A united front would seem an impossibility.

dammit_im_mad
18-05-2013, 02:25 PM
I guess I shouldn't try to post the latest Syrian "rebel" atrocity video where they execute 11 kneeling Syrian army personnel then! ;-)

RT have a story on it here (no video):
http://rt.com/news/syria-rebel-execution-video-392/

(you can access the video on youtube by searching for user @dirtytrainers)

Saoirse go Deo
18-05-2013, 02:35 PM
I have to say at this stage it is clear, to me at least, and I believe a number of the establishment media outlets, that although Assad is no saint the sectarian, fragmented opposition, part native Syrian and part foreign extremists, are many degrees worse.

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:36 PM
I guess I shouldn't try to post the latest Syrian "rebel" atrocity video where they execute 11 kneeling Syrian army personnel then! ;-)

RT have a story on it here (no video):
http://rt.com/news/syria-rebel-execution-video-392/

(you can access the video on youtube by searching for user @dirtytrainers)

I started watching videos of what was going on in Syria in March 2011. For months there were videos of local protests, sometimes going ahead uninterrupted, but sometimes coming under fire. I remember someone describing similar shootings at the start of the break up of Yugoslavia. There were no images at the outset of Syrian forces firing on protests.
But early on were videos of Bashar Assad and his troops carrying out atrocities, that were unmistakeable.

There are all kinds of mis-ascribing of images and videos going on on both sides. Kate Adie was on RTE the other day, saying that she had seen herself in the background of a video reported to be of (I think) Syria, when she had never been there. Many of these videos are used specifically with the intention of fuelling sectarian hatred.

dammit_im_mad
18-05-2013, 02:39 PM
so are you saying this video is a fake?? Before you have even seen it?? Hmmm...

All this talk about selective clips Reminds me of "the revolution will not be televised"

Also of the BBC video of a crowd protesting Gadaffi, who turned out to be carrying indian flags. It was a clip of a crowd in India!!

riposte
18-05-2013, 02:48 PM
Neither have you been reading my posts.....


Never miss them.

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:53 PM
so are you saying this video is a fake?? Before you have even seen it?? Hmmm...

All this talk about selective clips Reminds me of "the revolution will not be televised"

Also of the BBC video of a crowd protesting Gadaffi, who turned out to be carrying indian flags. It was a clip of a crowd in India!!

I'm not saying it is a fake and I think the story should be reported.

There were videos of Benghazi crowds released with captions saying that they showed crowds in Tripoli (still pro Gaddafi) who had risen against Gaddafi.

The BBC has made that kind of "mistake" more than once.

Both sides are fighting a propoganda war, and all reports and videos should be seen in that context.

C. Flower
18-05-2013, 02:55 PM
I have to say at this stage it is clear, to me at least, and I believe a number of the establishment media outlets, that although Assad is no saint the sectarian, fragmented opposition, part native Syrian and part foreign extremists, are many degrees worse.

There's a post here on the political orientation and character of opposition to Assad - which is not all pro US.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=332323#post332323

riposte
18-05-2013, 03:01 PM
The BBC has made that kind of "mistake" more than once.



Yeah ..... and they always seem to make a mistake........in favour of the side they favour.

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 09:11 AM
More reports of massacres of women and children by the Government side in Syria.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/world/middleeast/grisly-killings-in-syrian-towns-dim-hopes-for-peace-talks.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&smid=tw-share

There is still great determination not to allow the place to be disintegrated along sectarian lines, just as there was in Iraq. People know that the State itself and any prospect of a decent future depends on holding together across religious divides.


Not all reactions followed sectarian lines. Survivors said Christian neighbors had helped survivors escape, and on Tuesday, Alawite and Christian residents of the province said they were starting an aid campaign for victims to “defy the sectarian wind.”

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 11:51 AM
More reports of massacres of women and children by the Government side in Syria.
[URL]http://www.nytimes.com2013/

Are you actually quoting and trusting the new york times on Syria??? :-/

The same new york times talked about here? (remember WMD, Judith Miller etc etc?) (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.148.8905&rep=rep1&type=pdf)

Some more examples of the positions they take and how they dovetail with the foreign policies of the US establishment
new york times defends drone murder (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/11/pers-m11.html)

new york times' Bill Keller smears Bradley Manning (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/18/mann-m18.html)

"Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator." (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/09/nytc-m09.html)

New york times on the boston bombings police state lockdown (https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/25/time-a25.html)

Quote:
"The New York Times published an editorial Monday that not only endorses last week’s police-military lockdown of Boston, but suggests that it was entirely consistent with democratic procedures. In “How to Handle a Terrorism Case,” the Times makes the absurd argument that the operation that led to the arrest of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a vindication of “the fundamental rights that distinguish this country from authoritarian regimes.”

Want more?

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 12:33 PM
I'm not trusting anyone. Why not find a source that contradicts the NYT ?

I'm not going to play the knock the source game on this thread as it leads to a debate with no substance other than messenger shooting.

I've seen plenty of evidence of repression by the Syrian army and that does not lead me to support the US agenda. The US agenda in the Middle East and North Africa was to push mass secular left wing opposition off the streets, by militarisation and false flag activity, and by supporting the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood when all else failed.

Taking an uncritical approach to Assad leaves the Syrian left and masses without support.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 01:21 PM
I'm not going to play the knock the source game on this thread as it leads to a debate with no substance other than messenger shooting.

Thats a cop out and you know it Cass.

Of all sources you could choose, the NYT is probably among the worst. Evidence is overwhelming that it is highly untrustworthy on this kind of thing. Why did you pick that particular source?

And my pointing out the obvious about your source is not as unreasonable as you assert either, given the overwhelming evidence.

please just find a slightly more credible source if you are posting stuff about Assad murdering people ok?

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 02:08 PM
And FWIW my personal opinion of the article itself:

Terrible article. Deliberately emotive and clearly reeks of an agenda. Doesn't even attempt to corroborate or provide evidence of assertions.

One of the comments said: "Mr.Bassam Al- Qadi has denied that he had an interview with your newspaper,and he doesn't consider himself a pro-government !!?

Another said "This reminds me of babies and incubators. Looks like war is being sold to us again."

he may have a point!

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 02:36 PM
And FWIW my personal opinion of the article itself:

Terrible article. Deliberately emotive and clearly reeks of an agenda. Doesn't even attempt to corroborate or provide evidence of assertions.

One of the comments said: "Mr.Bassam Al- Qadi has denied that he had an interview with your newspaper,and he doesn't consider himself a pro-government !!?

Another said "This reminds me of babies and incubators. Looks like war is being sold to us again."

he may have a point!

No, I think that you are copping out. If you want to debate this and you are particular about the sources referred to, why not at least give a list of some sources you consider reliable ? You know quite well that it is very difficult to get reliable news from Syria as both sides are propoganising energetically and the media is either biased or lazy in many cases.

If you want to refute that report, I'm afraid the only way of doing it is to provide evidence that it is wrong.

Here is the Wikipedia entry on Syrian atrocities. The evidence that the Syrian army as well as sections of the opposition have carried out atrocities has come from many different sources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_violations_during_the_Syrian_civil_wa r

The Assads killed tens of thousands in crushing a previous uprising.

The comparison with the fake incubator story from Kuwait is not good. In Syria real massacres with real people getting tortured and killed are going on. It is more like the Balkans.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 02:51 PM
You cite some dodgy article then you expect me to prove that what it says didn't happen. Do you expect me to prove a negative??
The onus is on the NYT or you to back up these extraordinary claims since you reposted them publicly.

In the absence of any proper evidence from yourself or the NYT, I will make the observation that most if not all of the allegations in the article were stated completely without proof.

and in the words of Christopher Hitchens

"That which is asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof"

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 02:54 PM
And a wikipedia article on a current hot topic of interest to a million think tanks isn't much use for the same reason the obama article isn't much use.

and it cites mainly Amnesty international and human rights watch.

Did you know that Suzanne Nossel, ex US state department, headed Amnesty International US until this January Cass?

"Citing her stated positions on the use of military force in what they view as illegal and unjust US aggression, and her position on the government's treatment of US dissidents, protests from prominent peace activists [8] have followed Nossel since her appointment and tenure at Amnesty International and upon her selection to head PEN.[9] Organizers from the feminist peace group Code Pink formed a campaign asking Amnesty's board for Nossel's resignation due to Nossel's support of the war in Afghanistan.[10]
Journalist and peace activist Chris Hedges resigned from PEN in protest of Nossel's appointment. Hedges claimed in his resignation letter to PEN that "Nossel's relentless championing of preemptive war—which under international law is illegal—as a State Department official along with her callous disregard for Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians and her refusal as a government official to denounce the use of torture and use of extra-judicial killings, makes her utterly unfit to lead any human rights organization, especially one that has global concerns."

as for HRW:

"The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year."

"HRW has been criticized by national governments, other NGOs, its founder and former Chairman Robert L. Bernstein, and the media. It has been accused by critics[28] of being influenced by United States government policy,[29] in particular in relation to reporting on Latin America"

Thats just the tip of the iceberg.

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 03:03 PM
And a wikipedia article on a current hot topic of interest to a million think tanks isn't much use for the same reason the obama article isn't much use.

Now this is getting silly. If you name a few news agencies, ngos, the UN etc. - anyone you consider acceptable sources on Syria, I'll reply. I'm not going to spend my day posting by trial and error until you maybe eventually consider yourself suited.

I am not claiming the report is correct. It is an allegation. Are you claiming you know for a fact who did it ?

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 03:18 PM
Hyperbole.

Thus far you have only tried two sources. Two really awful ones in this context.

the New York Times and Wikipedia

and on that basis you are accepting a whole host of atrocities into the record on Assad's part.

Its rather like me quoting Assads state media to you.

The fact is the US is on one side of this conflict. So are its servile mouthpieces. Those include NYT and numerous NGO's , al jazeera, BBC, french media, Guardian, a virtual army of think tank cyber warriors editing online forums.

You act as if you believe these are trusted sources. You know full well they aren't. Either that or you are truly gullible and naive.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 03:28 PM
And anyway, don't you think teasing out the shadowy links of some of the most commonly trusted media outlets and NGO's might be a rather illuminating and worthwhile exercise in and of itself?

I thought that kind of thing would interest you.

I have to ask, Is there perhaps another undercurrent in play in this exchange, which does not have to do with Assad?
I sense a certain animosity. If so, please spit it out.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 03:37 PM
You know quite well that it is very difficult to get reliable news from Syria as both sides are propoganising energetically and the media is either biased or lazy in many cases.

including the NYT and wiki editors


If you want to refute that report, I'm afraid the only way of doing it is to provide evidence that it is wrong.

That terrible NYT article makes lots of unsubstantiated assertions, and like I said, how can I prove a negative. How can I prove that what the NYT says johnny said he saw in Syria one day is not true? It's not possible. All I can say is "this is asserted without evidence" and assess the source asserting it for it's credibility on the topic based on historical behaviour.




The Assads killed tens of thousands in crushing a previous uprising.

Assad's Dad's (brutal) actions in suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood do not have a bearing on whether the NYT statements are true or not


The comparison with the fake incubator story from Kuwait is not good.

in your opinion


In Syria real massacres with real people getting tortured and killed are going on. It is more like the Balkans.

Where is your evidence Assad is doing this? the NYT? Wikipedia?

He acted far too heavy handed towards democratic protesters with genuine grievances in the early stages. No question. However I'm still waiting on some decent evidence that Assad is currently engaged in deliberate and systematic massacres of his own people. However It's clear from the evidence that the rebels are up to no good.

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 03:46 PM
And anyway, don't you think teasing out the shadowy links of some of the most commonly trusted media outlets and NGO's might be a rather illuminating and worthwhile exercise in and of itself?

I thought that kind of thing would interest you.

I have to ask, Is there perhaps another undercurrent in play in this exchange, which does not have to do with Assad?
I sense a certain animosity. If so, please spit it out.

Not animosity, but limit to patience :) At this stage, I have made my views clear, and don't need to be poked about dodgy sources. I have spent many hours of my life debunking them.

This forum is a political discussion forum, not a press review site. Saying "I don't like the NYT" and not following through with any alternative is imo a waste of your time and mine.

And I am also exasperated with the amount of stuff I see in Left journals and elsewhere that covers for Assad. These people imo are not Lefts at all, they are career politicians looking for resources to cuddle up to. The fatal attraction of bourgeois nationalist rulers to people who fundamentally fear the masses when they get into action. A deathly hush about the existence of Left parties and organised workers in Syria.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 04:04 PM
Saying "I don't like the NYT" and not following through with any alternative is imo a waste of your time and mine

I didn't just say "I don't like the NYT". I actually provided information to corroborate the bias I claimed


And I am also exasperated with the amount of stuff I see in Left journals and elsewhere that covers for Assad. These people imo are not Lefts at all, they are career politicians looking for resources to cuddle up to. The fatal attraction of bourgeois nationalist rulers to people who fundamentally fear the masses when they get into action. A deathly hush about the existence of Left parties and organised workers in Syria.


Sorry but you can't be talking about me because I ain't no career politician. I am not a member of any political organisation.
Hey, I like the idea of the grassroots masses getting into action, but several "gene sharp" type colour revolutions later, the penny has dropped.
And need I remind you that salafists have little tolerance for left movements. They hate the left.

Syrians have a much better chance of improving their lot under Assad than in a basket case mad max salafist scenario as in Libya, don't you think?

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 04:15 PM
And need I remind you that salafists have little tolerance for left movements. They hate the left
I posted recently on salafism. I take it you did not read the posts.

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 04:23 PM
no. I missed that. have you a link?

edit: oh I see, you meant this didn't you :


My own view is that most Islamic people are states are not so different to ours, and post WW2 the Arab world was becoming secular and democratic. The US and UK were not suited by that, and have covertly cultivated both the Moslem Brotherhood and a particularly horrible modern concoction referred to as Salafism or jihadism, that provides dogs of war to bring down all social cohesion and organisation and leave States unable to protect themselves from all kinds of economic and political depradation by the West. They recruited these people in Afghanistan, with Saudi money, and flew them in to Yugoslavia and Iraq, now Dagestan, Mali, the Yemen - many of them are ex pats from the US or UK.

Whenever there is a push for social progress, in the Middle East, it is interfered with and hijacked by these forces. The same, increasingly in Africa.

It isnt a religious war by the West, it is the usual robbery with violence.

yeah I did read that post. I Thought you meant something more substantial. There I was searching through the forum thinking there would be a thread specifically on salafism or wahabbism or something.

C. Flower
19-05-2013, 05:32 PM
no. I missed that. have you a link?

edit: oh I see, you meant this didn't you :

yeah I did read that post. I Thought you meant something more substantial. There I was searching through the forum thinking there would be a thread specifically on salafism or wahabbism or something.

Beg your pardon: it is not the only post I've written about salafis, but don't intend to send you searching all over the place for them.

I had misread your post as saying you needed to remind me what salafism is and was pointing out that you did not.


Hey, I like the idea of the grassroots masses getting into action, but several "gene sharp" type colour revolutions later, the penny has dropped.
And need I remind you that salafists have little tolerance for left movements. They hate the left.

Syrians have a much better chance of improving their lot under Assad than in a basket case mad max salafist scenario as in Libya, don't you think?

Are you writing off the prospect of any genuine and successful mass movements in the future? The colour revolution model has failed in several instances and is so predictable that it should be possible at this stage to find means of dealing with it.

No, I don't think the Assad regime is the best that the Syrian people can get.

Why do you think it was in Libya that the Mad Max scenario won out ?

dammit_im_mad
19-05-2013, 06:38 PM
Beg your pardon: it is not the only post I've written about salafis, but don't intend to send you searching all over the place for them.

I had misread your post as saying you needed to remind me what salafism is and was pointing out that you did not.

Are you writing off the prospect of any genuine and successful mass movements in the future? The colour revolution model has failed in several instances and is so predictable that it should be possible at this stage to find means of dealing with it.

No, I don't think the Assad regime is the best that the Syrian people can get.

Why do you think it was in Libya that the Mad Max scenario won out ?

No I wasn't questioning your knowledge of Salafism. It was just a turn of phrase. In fact I was quite interested in reading your thoughts on Salafism which is why I wasted 10 minutes of my remaining life clock searching through the forum for a meaty post about it.

I'm not writing off the prospect of mass movements, but people need to be a whole lot smarter about it. Because the folks who are co opting them are pretty smart indeed. And clearly they've really thought a lot of this through.

And FYI most people still haven't copped the whole colour revolution thing and still believe the NYT al jazeera and RTE are telling them the truth most of the time ! In most company, to suggest that the media systematically lie is "conspiracy theory".

As regards Libya, It seems to me much of that was driven by tribal anger, religious fervour, thirst for power. Those kind of motivations are easily co opted. Give em a bunch of guns training logistic support and money, the support of the media, the nod from the US and off they go.

IMHO a revolution which is to have even the slightest hope of success needs deep awareness of class, the nature of capital, imperialism and it's history, some principled and astute leaders to drive and to focus it and it should not be rooted in superstition. Without that basis, it is probably all too easy to lose ones way, or be led in the wrong direction when the 5h1t hits the fan. IMHO that deep awareness etc just wasn't there. And many of the people leading were just jihadists working with the US. But what do I really know about such things anyway.

dammit_im_mad
23-05-2013, 11:03 AM
US steps up it's campaign of propaganda and support for the al nusra terrorists in Syria, prompted no doubt by the recent gains by the Assad government forces and Hezbollah fighters in Qusayr.



While ostensibly touring the Middle East to discuss a joint US-Russian proposal for peace talks between the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and Western-backed “rebels,” Secretary of State John Kerry met with US allies to prepare for region-wide war.

Stopping first in Oman, Kerry held talks with the ruling Sultan, one of the string of monarchical dictators that constitute, together with Israel, the foundation of US influence in the Middle East. The secretary of state’s visit coincided with the signing of a $2.1 billion deal between the absolute monarchy and Raytheon Corp. for the sale of advanced weapons systems, including Avenger fire units, Stinger missiles, and Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, part of a ring of steel that Washington has sought to erect around Iran.

From there, he flew to Amman, Jordan for a meeting Wednesday of the “Friends of Syria,” a US-led “coalition of the willing” that is fomenting the war for regime change in Syria. It consists of Washington, its European NATO allies, led by Britain, Turkey, Egypt and the various sheikhdoms and sultanates of the Persian Gulf, including the major arms suppliers to the anti-Assad militias: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

As the conference was convening Wednesday, Syria’s ambassador to Jordan held a press conference to denounce it as “a meeting of Syria’s enemies”

Speaking at a news conference in Amman at the opening of the “Friends of Syria” meeting, Kerry warned that if the Assad regime failed to negotiate a political solution, Washington would consider “growing support for the opposition in order to continue to fight for the freedom of their country.” With US officials demanding Assad’s ouster as a condition for any settlement, it appears that the proposed talks will be turned into a pretext for escalating the US intervention.

Kerry’s remark came just one day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved by a 15-to-3 vote a proposal for Washington to directly arm the opposition militias. The CIA is already coordinating the arms flows from the Gulf states and has reportedly organized large shipments from Eastern Europe through third parties.


Full article here:
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/05/23/syri-m23.html

dammit_im_mad
23-05-2013, 11:19 AM
Are you writing off the prospect of any genuine and successful mass movements in the future? The colour revolution model has failed in several instances and is so predictable that it should be possible at this stage to find means of dealing with it.

Speaking of colour revolutions,
is the US planning to implement a colour revolution to overthrow the Malaysian Government (http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ie/2013/05/us-prepares-to-overthrow-malaysian.html)??

DCon
27-05-2013, 08:20 PM
John McCain in Syria to meet the rebels.


http://bigstory.ap.org/article/sen-mccain-makes-trip-syria-visit-rebels

DCon
28-05-2013, 11:05 PM
Russia planning to arm Syria, Israel thratning to attck if they do..


Russia insisted Tuesday it would deliver anti-aircraft missiles to war-torn Syria despite international criticism and a border-area attack killed three Lebanese soldiers, adding to growing fears of a wider conflict.

Israel warned it would act if the Russian delivery went ahead, and Syria's top rebel commander gave Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement, a 24-hour ultimatum to stop fighting alongside regime forces.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/17351538/russia-to-send-syria-missiles-as-spillover-fears-grow/

C. Flower
28-05-2013, 11:18 PM
The EU today agreed that it would not arm rebel militias, but would not object if individual states do.

riposte
29-05-2013, 01:40 AM
The EU today agreed that it would not arm rebel militias, but would not object if individual states do.

That's not the way William Hague tells it. He said the EU has lifted it's arms embargo on Syria. Ireland doesn't sell arms anyway .... neither does the EU. By any definition....... this was a green light to arm the terrorists.

C. Flower
29-05-2013, 09:13 AM
That's not the way William Hague tells it. He said the EU has lifted it's arms embargo on Syria. Ireland doesn't sell arms anyway .... neither does the EU. By any definition....... this was a green light to arm the terrorists.

Exactly.

Sam Lord
29-05-2013, 09:43 AM
No reason why the Syrian people should not be armed ... the dictator is well past his sell by date.

C. Flower
29-05-2013, 10:07 AM
At the moment, even anti-Assad people are rallying to Assad, the armed version of the alternative being what it is.

Ceannaire
29-05-2013, 10:33 AM
No reason why the Syrian people should not be armed ... the dictator is well past his sell by date.


The "Syrian people" are unfortuately not being armed, but rather a small and unrepresentative band of ultra-right-wing jihadists, many of whom are not even from Syria but are pouring in from other countries as Syria becomes a magnet for global jihad. There are no secular fighters left and all the leftist anti-Assad groupings are opposed to the arming of the jihadist insugents.

C. Flower
29-05-2013, 10:46 AM
The "Syrian people" are unfortuately not being armed, but rather a small and unrepresentative band of ultra-right-wing jihadists, many of whom are not even from Syria but are pouring in from other countries as Syria becomes a magnet for global jihad. There are no secular fighters left and all the leftist anti-Assad groupings are opposed to the arming of the jihadist insugents.

There has been fighting between oppositionist groups reported. These jihadist extras are pretty well loathed wherever they crop up on the globe.

Sam Lord
29-05-2013, 01:42 PM
I know you guys like to mouth the Assad propoganda that everyone fighting him is a foreign Jihadist.

But anyone who does the smallest bit of investigation will see beyond the big lie.

Once again the "left" betrays the people because of an inability to view the world in anything but cliches. Such things are never forgotten by the masses.

And then they wonder why the working class movement is in tatters ...

Sad really.

DCon
29-05-2013, 02:06 PM
how to make friends..


zerohedge ‏@zerohedge

Syrian army has destroyed tankers carrying crude to Turkey - state TV

Ceannaire
29-05-2013, 02:13 PM
I know you guys like to mouth the Assad propoganda that everyone fighting him is a foreign Jihadist.


I don't align myself with Assad. I would align myself with the secular opposition, which opposes both Assad and Western intervention.


But anyone who does the smallest bit of investigation will see beyond the big lie.


Well if so could you point me to a single secular grouping amongst the insurgency? I would genuinely be interested to hear of one.

Count Bobulescu
31-05-2013, 04:06 AM
Well if so could you point me to a single secular grouping amongst the insurgency? I would genuinely be interested to hear of one.



You can find info on the various opposition factions, secular and otherwise, here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition

They don't appear to have been able to agree on much of anything at their Istanbul talks. The Sunni/Shia animosity is all that prevailed.

Ceannaire
31-05-2013, 08:38 AM
You can find info on the various opposition factions, secular and otherwise, here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition

They don't appear to have been able to agree on much of anything at their Istanbul talks. The Sunni/Shia animosity is all that prevailed.


I have absolutely no intention of trawling through that and checking up to see whether or not each one is Islamist. If you're aware of one that meets the criteria, tell me, and stop trying to overwhelm people with unnecessary links.

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 10:19 AM
I know you guys like to mouth the Assad propoganda that everyone fighting him is a foreign Jihadist.

But anyone who does the smallest bit of investigation will see beyond the big lie.

Once again the "left" betrays the people because of an inability to view the world in anything but cliches. Such things are never forgotten by the masses.

And then they wonder why the working class movement is in tatters ...

Sad really.

"You guys"? I don't think there are two people posting on this thread who agree with each other on what is happening and who should be supported.

I have certainly never argued that the opposition are all US backed jihadi. There is more than one US backed faction - there are the covert/false flag guys posing as islamists, and there are the "transition" would be leaders, who are pitching for the lead role in a post -Assad regime - as happened in Libya.

Neither of those factions is supported by the secular and local Syrian oppositionists who first protested against Assad.

Two posts here, on the local and secular opposition to Assad.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=303348#post303348

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?13518-Prospect-of-Invasion-of-Syria&p=332323#post332323

Ceannaire, if you have information to show that the entire secular opposition has been wiped out in Syria, it should be shared. Part of that opposition has suspended its actions, in opposition to the outside interventions and against civil war.

But from the beginning, it opposed precisely such a sectarian Sunni Shia civil war that is now under way, armed by the west and supported by Israel on one side and by Iran on the other.

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 10:25 AM
You can find info on the various opposition factions, secular and otherwise, here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_opposition

They don't appear to have been able to agree on much of anything at their Istanbul talks. The Sunni/Shia animosity is all that prevailed.

Many of them of course did not take part in those talks.

DCon
31-05-2013, 10:28 AM
A Russian company is selling fighter jets to Syria


A Russian arms manufacturer has said it is signing a contract to deliver at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.

Earlier, President Bashar Assad said he remained "confident in victory" in his country's civil war and warned that Damascus would retaliate in kind to any future Israeli air strike on his territory.

Assad also told the Lebanese TV station Al-Manar that Russia has fulfilled some of its weapons contracts recently, but he was vague on whether this included advanced S-300 air defence systems.

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/russian-firm-signs-syria-jets-deal-29310542.html

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 10:41 AM
A Russian company is selling fighter jets to Syria



http://www.independent.ie/world-news/russian-firm-signs-syria-jets-deal-29310542.html


On one side, the governments of the US, the EU states, Turkey (with its new US anti-ballistic "Star Wars" bases), Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
On the other, Russia, Iran, the pro-Assad and anti-intervention sides of Syria, Hezbollah.

In the middle, the people of Syria, and the rest of us, apparently being dragged towards WW3.

Binn Beal
31-05-2013, 11:21 AM
I don't think there are two people posting on this thread who agree with each otherI disagree.

Binn Beal
31-05-2013, 11:27 AM
Israeli is threatening to take action against those Russian rockets before they are operational. If they bomb any Russian assembly engineers or transporters, we will really be in for a major war.

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 11:44 AM
Israeli is threatening to take action against those Russian rockets before they are operational. If they bomb any Russian assembly engineers or transporters, we will really be in for a major war.

Israel has already attacked Syria, and Assad yesterday was making noises about the Golan heights, always a popular cause. All the ingredients for war.

Binn Beal
31-05-2013, 12:04 PM
An Israeli attack is probably Assad's most fervent hope as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States would not want to be on the same side as Israel.

And the US may soon have to make a decision as to who really is their best ally in the Middle East.

Ceannaire
31-05-2013, 12:10 PM
Ceannaire, if you have information to show that the entire secular opposition has been wiped out in Syria, it should be shared. Part of that opposition has suspended its actions, in opposition to the outside interventions and against civil war.

But from the beginning, it opposed precisely such a sectarian Sunni Shia civil war that is now under way, armed by the west and supported by Israel on one side and by Iran on the other.

I never said the entire secular opposition had been wiped out. In fact, I emphasised that I would align myself with them. What I did say was that there are no secular fighters in the insurgency, i.e., those involved in the violent struggle.



Well if so could you point me to a single secular grouping amongst the insurgency? I would genuinely be interested to hear of one.

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 12:50 PM
I never said the entire secular opposition had been wiped out. In fact, I emphasised that I would align myself with them. What I did say was that there are no secular fighters in the insurgency, i.e., those involved in the violent struggle.

Ah, thanks. I was not sure what you meant by insurgency.

I could not be as sure as you that there are no secular people in militias. What is certainly true is that the main drivers for outright civil war have been from jihadist and other islamic factions. The extend to which the former are really religious is moot. Plenty of reports of them having a taste for alcohol and scant regard for the ethics of Islam. Although they only do it to fool us into thinking they are secular, of course.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090612203952AAXFB8I

Sam Lord
31-05-2013, 01:11 PM
Information on the composition of the Syrian armed opposition. Groups operating under the FSA banner still comprise the largest number of fighters. I can't guarantee you that they are all "secular" (in accordance with however Ceannaire defines that) ... but they are certainly not imported jihadists as some would have us believe.




Various armed opposition groups

The Syrian armed rebellion, often discussed as a singular movement working in unity to overthrow President Assad, is more accurately described as an array of ideologically diverse and uncoordinated brigades and battalions with limited areas of operation. One high-ranking U.N. official recently estimated the number of armed militias operating in the Syrian rebellion at “more than a thousand.” These anti-Assad groups range from defectors of the Syrian army to civilians with no formal military training to fighters affiliated with terrorist organizations.

Some brigades and armed groups have developed a degree of ideological and tactical cohesion by operating in larger coalitions such as the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian Liberation Front, or the Syrian Islamic Front. But even these coalitions are merely allied groupings of disparate brigades from across Syria and do not adhere to a uniform command structure. Despite the unifying goal of ousting President Assad, these alliances and their subunits have a range of tactics, constituencies, and visions of what a post-Assad Syria should look like.

The Free Syrian Army:

The Free Syrian Army, or FSA, is the largest group within the Syrian armed opposition. It is an umbrella group comprising small, ideologically moderate, and uncoordinated militias and battalions operating at local levels. The FSA’s leadership is fully incorporated into the SMC and is closely linked to the Syrian Opposition Coalition. The term FSA has often been used to describe the overall armed opposition to the Assad regime, but, in practice, the FSA is one of several alliances of rebel groups operating in Syria.

Composition: The FSA is made up of small, localized battalions from all across Syria, organized loosely through provincial military councils. These battalions tend to fight in small geographic areas in defense of their hometowns and are less ideologically driven than others. It is estimated that there are as many as 50,000 fighters who align themselves with the FSA.

Command: Commanders of FSA-affiliated brigades and battalions do not receive strategic or tactical orders from FSA and SMC leaders such as Gen. Idriss but instead operate unilaterally in the control of their forces. The FSA leadership’s primary responsibility is to facilitate coordination between battalions. Gen. Idriss is officially the commander of the FSA but serves as more of a political leader than as a field commander.

Funding: The FSA receives financial, materiel, and limited lethal support from Western and Arab states through the SMC, as well as individual donors and informal funding streams.

The Syrian Liberation Front:

The Syrian Liberation Front, or SLF, also known as the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front or Jabhat al-Tahrir al-Souriya al-Islamiya, is an alliance of approximately 20 brigades and battalions across Syria. An estimated 37,000 fighters are affiliated with the SLF, making it the largest coalition of rebels independent of the Free Syrian Army. Each of the SLF’s subunits has its own name and operates independently; there is no inherent strategic or tactical unity in the coalition. The most powerful and well known of these brigades are the Suquor al-Sham brigades and the Farouq battalions.

The SLF’s leadership has largely been incorporated into the Supreme Military Command, but the alliance remains more of a militant grouping than a political entity. SLF-affiliated groups are considered to be ideologically moderate Islamists, putting them at odds with some of the extremist groups operating in the country. While the SLF maintains brotherly relations with the FSA, it has criticized the FSA’s exiled leadership for being too detached from the realities of the in-country military conflict. The Saudi Arabian government has been the primary supporter of the SLF, but Saudi Arabia agreed in April to channel all future assistance through the SMC.

The Syrian Islamic Front:

The Syrian Islamic Front, or SIF, also known as Jabhat al-Islamiya al-Tahrir al-Souriya, is an alliance of approximately 11 brigades and battalions across Syria, most notably the Ahrar al-Sham brigades. An estimated 13,000 fighters are affiliated with the SIF. SIF-affiliates are viewed as conservative Salafists, who are more religiously motivated than the Free Syrian Army or the Syrian Liberation Front. Most SIF-affiliated groups, however, are considered to be Syrian nationalists that don’t share the most extreme ideological elements of Al Qaeda-affiliated groups such as support for a transnational Islamic caliphate. The Syrian Islamic Front’s subunits each have their own name and operate independently but are beginning to merge leadership and forces, making it a more hierarchical and structured rebel coalition than the SLF or the FSA.

The Syrian Islamic Front’s leadership is not well incorporated into the SMC, but it has ties within the leadership council and its subunits have been cooperative with the SMC. The Syrian Islamic Front is largely financed by wealthy individuals from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Gulf states.

The Nusra Front:

The Nusra Front, also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, is an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group, comprising approximately 6,000 foreign and domestic fighters. The Nusra Front has reportedly been receiving significant funding, arms, and training from Al-Qaeda and the Al Qaeda-affiliated group, Islamic State of Iraq. Some of Nusra’s fighters are foreign jihadists, many of whom are veterans of the Iraqi insurgency; it is unclear, however, what percentage of the Nusra Front’s supporters are foreign fighters as opposed to Syrian nationals. The Nusra Front is a well-armed group that has claimed responsibility for multiple suicide bombings and asymmetric attacks against Assad-regime targets. The Nusra Front is also considered to be a fiercely sectarian Sunni group in violent opposition to Syria’s Alawite community—an ethnoreligious group of Shiite Muslims who comprise 12 percent of the Syrian population and the majority of the Assad regime.

The Nusra Front has a mixed relationship with other elements of the Syrian rebellion. Shared opposition to President Assad and the effectiveness of Nusra Front fighters have led to some cooperation between the Nusra Front and other rebel battalions, including the SLF’s Deir ez-Zour Revolutionary Council and the Syrian Islamic Front’s Ahrar al- Sham. Opposition to the Nusra Front’s extremist ideology and the influence of foreign fighters within the group, however, has led to direct confrontation between the Nusra Front and other rebel groups throughout Syria. Leaders of the FSA and the SLF have sought to publicly distance themselves from the Nusra Front following its open pledge of allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Kurdish groups:

Kurds are an ethnic group representing 9 percent of Syria’s ethnically diverse population and are concentrated in the country’s north and northeast regions. Until recently, most Kurds had not taken sides in the rebellion, but the expansion of indiscriminate violence by the Assad regime against population centers and the prospect of greater autonomy for Kurdish regions in Syria have led to an increase in Kurdish support for the rebellion. While Kurdish militias still prioritize the independence and protection of their communities over a nationalist or revolutionary agenda, their role in the conflict may grow. As of late March, the Kurdish People’s Defense Units, often referred to as the YPG, has agreed to share control of a district in northern Aleppo with other rebel groups. Additionally, some Kurdish fighters have been incorporated into the SLF, the Tawhid Brigade, and the Suquor al-Kurd Brigade. There have been reports of clashes earlier this year between Nusra Front battalions and Kurdish groups in the north, leading to criticism of the Nusra Front by fellow rebel groups for wasting precious resources that could otherwise be used in the fight to remove President Assad.

Independent groups:

There are also roughly nine brigade alliances that operate independently of the Free Syrian Army, the Syrian Liberation Front, or the Syrian Islamic Front. Some of them have been incorporated into the SMC structure, while others, particularly fringe extremist groups, remain independent. The largest of these independent brigades is the Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade. Its leadership is incorporated into the SMC and it coordinates with the SLF. It is composed of an estimated 15,000 fighters and has been funded by the Qatari government. Other notable independent groups with leadership incorporated into the SMC are the Syrian Martyrs Brigade, the Fajr al-Islam Battalion, and the Al-Haqq Brigade.
Multiple funding streams



http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/05/14/the_structure_and_organization_of_the_syrian_oppos ition_118405.html

http://i1142.photobucket.com/albums/n611/boavista1/SyriaOpposition_zps02a9620d.png

Ceannaire
31-05-2013, 03:44 PM
Well I read all of that and there was little to change my mind. I did not actually say that most of the insurgents were imported jihadists, but highlighted the presence of foreigners amongst the fighters. Although that source doesn't go into much detail on many of the forces, I'd imagine groups with names like "Syrian Martyrs Brigade" aren't secular.

C. Flower
31-05-2013, 06:35 PM
There was a measured and informative report on RTE Drivetime at about 5.10 p.m. today.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/drivetime/

It accurately reported the very calculated and edited feed of youtube videos at the early stages of the uprising and said that in general the media had accepted its unbalanced picture. Reinforces the picture of an early, genuine, local upsurge of protest against the Assad regime followed by militarisation. He reported one of the early opposition militia leaders resigning because he says his "movement" is now run by Qatar and the Saudis (which it goes without saying means matching the US gov. agenda).

This is not the "Colour Revolution" gambit, in which a middle class and student mass is mobilised out onto the streets to displace a government or regime and replace it with a US friendly liberal one. It shares some features with the destabilisation and break up of Yugoslavia and much more so with the recent events in Libya. Civil/unarmed protest is made impossible by sniper fire and astro turfed militias are armed and given political credibility in "negotiations" by the people who armed them.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Yugoslav_breakup

Trow
31-05-2013, 07:09 PM
With the all clear given to send arms to Syria, won't be long now until they're sending legs and wheelchairs.

Sam Lord
31-05-2013, 08:51 PM
Solidarity With the Syrian Struggle for Dignity and Freedom

Petition by

Campaign of Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution


We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have been struggling for dignity and freedom since March 2011. We call on people of the world to pressure the Syrian regime to end its oppression of and war on the Syrian people. We demand that Bashar al-Asad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future.

Since March 2011, Asad’s regime has steadily escalated its violence against the Syrian people, launching Scud missiles, using weapons banned by the Geneva Convention such as cluster bombs and incendiary munitions, and using aerial bombardment. The regime has detained and tortured tens of thousands of people and committed untold massacres. It has refused political settlements that do not include Asad in power, and it has polarized the society through strategic acts of violence and by sowing seeds of division. The regime has also, since the early days of the uprising, sought to internationalize the crisis in order to place it within geopolitical battles that would only strengthen the regime. Staying true to the logics of an authoritarian regime, Asad could never accept the legitimate demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity. Thus, there is no hope for a free, unified, and independent Syria so long as his regime remains in power.

This is a revolt that was sparked by the children of Deraa and the sit-ins and demonstrations of the youth in the cities, the peasants of the rural areas, and the dispossessed and marginalized of Syria. It is they who rallied non-violently through protests and songs and chants, before the regime’s brutal crackdown. Since then, the regime has pushed for the militarization of the Syrian nonviolent movement. As a result, young men took up arms, first out of self-defense. Lately, this has resulted in attempts by some groups fighting the regime to force a climate of polarization, and negation of the Other politically, socially and culturally. These acts that are in themselves against the revolution for freedom and dignity.

Yet, the revolution for freedom and dignity remains steadfast. It is for this reason that we, the undersigned, appeal to those of you in the global civil society, not to ineffective and manipulative governments, to defend the gains of the Syrian revolutionaries, and to spread our vision: freedom from authoritarianism and support of Syrians’ revolution as an integral part of the struggles for freedom and dignity in the region and around the world.

The fight in Syria is an extension of the fight for freedom regionally and worldwide. It cannot be divorced from the struggles of the Bahrainis, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, and other peoples who have revolted against oppression and authoritarianism as well as against those seeking to usurp or destroy the uprisings and divert them for their own agendas. It is connected to the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, dignity and equality. The revolution in Syria is a fundamental part of the North African revolutions, yet, it is also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian, and Chinese movements for freedom.

The Syrian revolution has confronted a world upside down, one where states that were allegedly friends of the Arabs such as Russia, China, and Iran have stood in support of the slaughter of people, while states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the US and their Gulf allies, have intervened in support of the revolutionaries. They have done so with clear cynical self interest. In fact, their intervention tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.

Given that regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone, we ask you to lend your support to those Syrians still fighting for justice, dignity, and freedom, and who have withstood the deafening sounds of the battle, as well as rejected the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom.

As intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, concerned citizens, and social movements we stand in solidarity with the Syrian people to emphasize the revolutionary dimension of their struggle and to prevent the geopolitical battles and proxy wars taking place in their country. We ask you to lend your support to all Syrians from all backgrounds asking for a peaceful transition of power, one where all Syrians can have a voice and decide their own fate. We also reject all attempts of any group to monopolize power, and to impose its own agenda, or to impose unitary or homogenous identities on the Syrian people. We ask you to support those people and organizations on the ground that still uphold the ideals for a free and democratic Syria.



List of signatories (including many progressive Syrian intellectuals and activists) here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/solidarity-with-the-syrian-struggle-for-dignity-and-freedom