War in Syria

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Babble Policy wrote:

rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and as such encourages discussions which develop and expand progressive thought.

Who knew that using the term imperialist was a problem.  If the owners of this site want to ban the use of the term then please take it out of the policy statement.

sherpa-finn

Geez, this is worrying, Unionist, North Star and sherpa-finn may actually agree on something. (Pity its got more to do with Rebecca West than the crisis in Syria!)

Personally, I thought the quality of the discourse on this thread had vastly improved in the last few days once someone had taken the initiative to challenge the tripe of sequential media links that seemed to be the long-standing currency of contributions here. And in so doing opened up the gates to a real live active discussion.

So a few words of elaboration / clarification from RW would be appreciated.  

And I await with interest the ruling from our trusty moderators whether RW's line re "frat party pissing contest" has crossed Babble's closely monitored line in the sand re sexist language!

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

Just wondering Unionist, if the expression 'international solidarity' means anything to you? (Or does the Unionist reference have more to do with Ulster politics than working class resistance.)

Yes. International solidarity to me means, first and foremost, waging the same struggle here, at home, against the same enemies, and for the same aims, as people of other countries. It also means doing whatever we can to stay the hands of our own regime when it tries to interfere, whether by military, economic, or political means, in the struggles of people abroad. It does NOT mean trying to work out which party in a civil/ethnic/sectarian battle in another country is "left-wing" or "democratic" or "better" and supporting them while condemning the others.

Quote:
Back in the day, many of us cut our international teeth in solidarity movements working in support of people's rights to self-determination around the world.  This is a long-standing tradition on the Left and often involved making difficult choices ... ANC vs PAC, violence vs non-violence, etc. 

Excellent example. ANC vs PAC? You chose? Holy shit. Lucky people of South Africa that they had someone to tell them right from wrong. Well, I didn't choose. I steered far away from anyone who tried to embroil us in internal polemics.

Violence vs non-violence? You chose? Wow. Which one did you choose for South Africa? How about the Palestinian people's struggle? Oh, and which Palestinian organization is the best?

I have a very very difficult time making those kinds of choices here in Canada - never mind for others.

Quote:
Are you making the case that the preferred option now is non-interventionist / isolationist? Seems a bizarre response to an ever integrating, increasingly inter-dependent world.

Yes. Non-interventionist. "Isolationist" is just a sort of prejudicial swear-word, so I'll ignore that one. You realize that what I've just quoted from you could have come from the pen of Michael Ignatieff, or Barack Obama, or François Hollande?

Quote:
But happy to hear the logic ....  its just not my inherent nature to go all warm and fuzzy thinking about "impartiality and neutrality" when I see the tanks and jets of dictators pounding their own cities, or oligarchs starving their people.

I find your comments frankly scary. I thought we had some kind of consensus on the left in Canada that we were not going to be partial or interventionist in Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya or Syria or Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Mali... It seems I was mistaken.

 

Fidel

Yeah we're all idiotic macho types and anti-imperialist "conspiracy mongers."  I sometimes think the feminist forum is code for anti-communism, pro-imperialism, and hate fests against males in general. I mean if they want to sling shit and insults at me for my political opinions on the left, then that's not feminism - it's just a dirty old political agenda in disguise.

Paladin1

Unionist wrote:

 

I don't support democracy in Syria. I support the right of the Syrian people to determine their affairs without any foreign intervention whatsoever.

I really agree with this.

sherpa-finn

 Unionist: I don't support democracy in Syria. I support the right of the Syrian people to determine their affairs without any foreign intervention whatsoever.

OathofStone: I really agree with this.

Well, I think we can all agree on this, as an abstract principle. 

But "... without any foreign intervention"?????  What constitutes 'foreign intervention' in this day and age?  Foreign investment? Foreign media?  Foreign websites? Foreign trade? Foreign arms? Foreign aid? Or are we only talking about foreign 'boots on the ground'? 

I think we do best by addressing the real world as it is, and not how we wish it could be: as such, the debate needs to be framed by the simple reality that nowadays there are always going to be significant foreign interests at play in each and every country.  Given that, what is the most appropriate response or action from a progressive perspective? 

Wishing the world to be other than it is seems decidedly unhelpful to formulating solutions.

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

But "... without any foreign intervention"?????  What constitutes 'foreign intervention' in this day and age?  Foreign investment? Foreign media?  Foreign websites? Foreign trade? Foreign arms? Foreign aid? Or are we only talking about foreign 'boots on the ground'?

Generally speaking, all of the above, depending on how they are deployed.

Perhaps a counterexample would be order. Any or all of the above could be justifiable in support of a nation warding off foreign aggression or occupation. That could involve difficult choices.

But Saddam Hussein "killing his own people"? Gaddafi "killing his own people"? Assad "killing his own people"? The Taliban killing and stoning women and not letting girls go to school? Not a difficult choice.

And have you noticed how imperialists don't invade and occupy and overthrow any more to deliver Christianity or to rape and plunder? These days, it's always and solely to save people from being killed by their own governments.

Progressive people can't afford to be suckers. Nor can they afford to assume the White Man's Burden. Our job is to stay the hand of our own ruling class. That's where we must, and maybe even can, be effective.

Quote:

Wishing the world to be other than it is seems decidedly unhelpful to formulating solutions.

I don't believe the real world is asking us to determine whether the People's Front of Judaea or the Judaean People's Front deserves to rule.

 

MegB

The danger of throwing around the word imperialist at every possible opportunity is that it becomes diluted, meaningless.  An insult or accusation rather than a depressing reality. 

As for the macho posturing, you should try being a woman on this board.  Oh wait, all but a handful of women from years past no longer contribute. I wonder why that is?

And yes, I have relatives who died in war, but I wouldn't dream of dragging their ghosts out as some kind of cred to rationalize bad behaviour. Which seems to be the only response to being called on your never-ending pissing contest - make excuses, twist words and intent, bully the one who called you on it all the while building yourself up. Shameful doesn't quite cover it.

Not that I'm enjoying getting crapped on, but least I briefly got you all to stop pummeling each other. My work here is done.

sherpa-finn

Unionist posed a set of questions to me in #303 that I will respond to here. Alternatively, if Babblers think this line of discussion should be taken off the Syria-specific thread to a more generic thread on "what does international solidaritymean in 2013?", I will defer to others.   

Unionist: International solidarity to me means, first and foremost, waging the same struggle here, at home, against the same enemies, and for the same aims, as people of other countries. It also means doing whatever we can to stay the hands of our own regime when it tries to interfere, whether by military, economic, or political means, in the struggles of people abroad...

OK, I can happily agree with the first statement re Canadians primary act of solidarity being engagement domestically here in Canada.  On the second statement, I suspect that we may disagree on the definition of "interference".  I happen to believe that context means a lot. For example, calling upon Canadian companies and gov't to boycott apartheid South Africa on one hand, yet to support trade and investment in Cuba on another are examples of two "solidarity" campaigns I have actively engaged in and of which Unionist would presumably disapprove. In both cases, large groups of like-minded Canadian progressives did our political analysis, made political decisions, and took political action. I suspect not many are inclined to apologize for any of it. 

(And what is it about this constant assertion about "non-interference" in the affairs of others that so reminds me of the efforts of men to insist that domestic violence is a "private matter" that happens behind closed doors, should never be mentioned in polite company and certainly not addressed in public policy.)  

Unionist:  ANC vs PAC? You chose? Holy shit. Lucky people of South Africa that they had someone to tell them right from wrong... Violence vs non-violence? You chose? Wow. Which one did you choose for South Africa? .... I have a very very difficult time making those kinds of choices here in Canada - never mind for others.

Well, two quick points. First of all, it sounds like Unionist has a classic case of analysis paralysis: faced with a choice, you make none. Of course, that really is a choice (inaction vs solidarity) but if the illusion of impartiality helps you sleep better at night, so be it. From my side, I sleep fine. Because I know that I am not making a choice on behalf of others, I am making a choice in support of others. The people on the ground  have already made their choices well before and wholly unaffected by mine (be that /partisan - ANC vs PAC - or strategic - armed struggle vs civil disobedience). I am am just choosing to align my choices with those who have made similar ones to me. (Google "History of the Socialist Internationals" for further explanation as to how this whole international solidarity thing works, or not.)    

Unionist:  Non-interventionist. "Isolationist" is just a sort of prejudicial swear-word, so I'll ignore that one. You realize that what I've just quoted from you could have come from the pen of Michael Ignatieff, or Barack Obama, or François Hollande?

No problem.  I seem to recall that "non-interventionist" was the phrase of choice of Hitler and Stalin, at a particular time and place. Happy you feel comfortable embracing it. Its all about context.  

Unionist: I find your comments frankly scary. I thought we had some kind of consensus on the left in Canada that we were not going to be partial or interventionist in Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya or Syria or Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Mali... It seems I was mistaken.

Two quick points. We seem to have jumped from a discussion that was initially focused on engagement of state + non-state actors (individuals and social movements) in international solidarity actions, - to one now focused exclusively on state actors. I would make the case that the respective 'rules' and guiding principles for these two sets of players are - or at least should be - quite different. 

Secondly, what does it mean in this day and age for a state to be (or not to be) partial or interventionist?  Well, if the criteria is "no foreign military boots on the ground" then we probably can agree. But anything more nuanced than that and I think we will likely only agree that Yes indeed, Unionist, you are mistaken.

North Star

Hey Sherpa-finn I don't necessarily think it always has to be a clear choice of organization to lend support to. The Palestinian Solidarity Movement doesn't necessarily pick favourites. During the Second Chimurenga in Zimbabwe, international solidarity activists would hold fundraisers and split the money between ZANU and ZAPU. However, to be fair in the context of South Africa the ANC (and with it SACP & MK) was practically hegemonic and actively sought out international support and I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with specifically supporting the ANC.

sherpa-finn

A separate point from Unionist, which I think warrants a separate response:

Unionist: And have you noticed how imperialists don't invade and occupy and overthrow any more to deliver Christianity or to rape and plunder? These days, it's always and solely to save people from being killed by their own governments. Progressive people can't afford to be suckers. Nor can they afford to assume the White Man's Burden.

Progressive people also can't afford to be stuck in the 19th century: the world has long since moved on. So lay off the Kipling: the key principle in question nowadays is "The Responsibility to Protect", as approved by the UN. (Not a white man's club, last time I checked. And the R2P initiative had actually first been pioneered and promoted by the African Union. Inconvenient truths, I realize ....)

Getting final agreement on R2P in 2005 was probably Canada's last great achievement on the world stage before we were subsumed into The Dark Ages. The three key principles laid out in the R2P:   

  1. A state has a responsibility to protect its population from mass atrocities;
  2. The international community has a responsibility to assist the state to fulfill its primary responsibility;
  3. If the state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities and peaceful measures have failed, the international community has the responsibility to intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered the last resort.

Can and will states try to abuse the provisions of R2P for their own purposes by promoting interventions when they shouldn't - or avoiding then when they should? Absolutely. Do people and states need to be vigilant? Absolutely. 

But its now a very real part of the new global order. And its all about basic human rights, - which P2P clearly and definitively affiirms are the burdens of us all.

Unionist

@Sherpa-finn: If you concluded from my remarks that I didn't support boycotting apartheid South Africa (just as I support BDS against Israel) - or that I didn't think Canadians have a sacred duty to defend Cuba against imperialism - then either I wrote very unclearly, or you choose to make rhetorical distortions in an effort to win some sort of debating point.

I didn't want to accuse you of preaching and supporting R2P. But now that you've proclaimed it as your creed, and as Canada's great contribution to the world, I think we have to part ways and wish each other well.

@North Star: In my humble way, I supported and attended meetings and wished well to both ANC and PAC during the 1980s (maybe earlier, I forget...). I was aware that they were sniping at each other, but that was their business. Both were seemingly engaged in the struggle against apartheid, and that was good enough for me. I never studied their writings or counted their fighters to decide who should rule. I really didn't see that as my role.

 

 

North Star

Hey Unionist, I'm someone who is constantly reading more and more into South Africa's history, I'm interested if you could elaborate what kind of presence the PAC had outside of the front line states - there's not a lot I've found about the PAC in minute detail. I know about Leballo and his Maoist faction versus the more traditional hardline African nationalists as well as the sniping between it, the ANC and IFP. And I see that the PAC received support from the Chinese even before Leballo took a Maoist turn - probably as a counterweight in Chinese eyes to the SACP. But I digress on the topic of this thread...

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I'm in general agreement with the comments made by North Star in this thread.

Assad has committed war crimes against his own people, slaughtering over 70,000 Syrians in order to hang on to power. He's not going to surrender without being militarily defeated, because if he does so he'll almost certainly be tried, convicted of war crimes, and very likely sentenced to death. So he fights.

Those that have taken up arms against Assad have largely done so because they have friends and relatives who've been slaughtered by the Syrian Army, and they believe that the only way to end the bloodshed is to overthrow Assad. This may well be the case.

Assad likely cannot win. It's unlikely that Assad can slaughter enough Syrians to stop them from taking up arms against his regime, which is a necessary condition for Assad to win. It was the continued ability of the Viet Cong to recruit that made it impossible for U.S. and South Vietnamese forces to win the Vietnam War, and it's the continued ability of the Taliban to recuit that makes it impossible for the U.S. and its NATO allies to win in Afghanistan today.

By contrast, the FSA, though it's not in a position to win at the moment, can more or less win if it can get rid of Assad. This cannot happen without further bloodshed, but the path to victory for the FSA does appear to be less bloody.

So the only real options appear to be the overthrow of Assad, or perpetual bloodshed.

I don't advocate imperialist intervention in Syria, because I don't support U.S. and other imperialist countries aims in Syria and elsewhere in the region. I'm against the arming by the U.S. and other foreign interests of one faction of the FSA. I'm also against any direct foreign military intervention in Syria, whether in the form of a no-fly zone and aerial bombing, or boots on the ground, or both. Though at this point I doubt the advanced capitalist countries are going to get directly involved in the military conflice in Syria.

My first priority is ending the bloodshed in Syria. Anything that happens after the bloodshed ends will be an improvement over the current hell being visited on the people of Syria;  and what continues to put the lives of ordinary Syrians in danger right now is Assad's fight to stay in power and stave off his death at the hands of a war crimes tribunal.

NDPP

World Must Unite Against US-Saudi-Israeli Proxy War in Syria  -  by Tony Cartalucci

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2013/03/world-must-unite-against-us-sau...

"...While the West has attempted to reclaim Syria as part of its sphere of influence for decades, concrete plans for the latest proxy war were laid at least as early as 2007. It was admitted in 2007 that the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel conspired together to fund, arm and direct sectarian extremists including militants 'sympathetic' to Al Qaeda, [and] particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, against the governments of Iran and Syria.

In Pulitzer Prize-winning  journalist Seymour Hersh's 2007 New Yorker article, 'The Redirection - Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?' the conspiracy was described...Hersh also cited US, Saudi and Lebanese officials who indicated that, 'in the past year, the Saudis, the Israelis and the Bush administration have developed a series of informal understandings about their new strategic directions,' and that, 'the Saudi government, with Washington's approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad of Syria..."

 

Women in War - Example Syria

http://mato48.com/2013/02/24/women-in-war-example-syria/

"In every war and in all societies under strain, women are the untold victims. Women are kidnapped, raped and murdered, they disappear without a trace and their plight nevertheless is nothing more than a side issue.

..The Western funded NGOs and Western media try to spread the blame equally on the FSA terrorists and government forces, some US based NGOs and aid organizations even go so far to claim, that 'government perpetrators have committed the majority of sexual violence in Syria."

 

Fidelio: Stay strong and speak free!

in sol

 

 

sherpa-finn

Unionist: @Sherpa-finn: If you concluded from my remarks that I didn't support boycotting apartheid South Africa (just as I support BDS against Israel) - or that I didn't think Canadians have a sacred duty to defend Cuba against imperialism - then either I wrote very unclearly, or you choose to make rhetorical distortions in an effort to win some sort of debating point.

No, Unionist, - while I am not beyond the occasional rhetorical  flourish (somehow here on Babble, I do not feel alone), I sincerely read your line that international solidarity means "doing whatever we can to stay the hands of our own regime when it tries to interfere" as precluding engagement to get our government to actively "interfere" through those actions (boycotts, sanctions, aid, investment, etc) which we do happen to support. No more, no less.

Its a pity the "Responsibility to Protect" reference shut down the exchange so abruptly.  R2P seems to be based on two simple principles: genocide is bad and the world should not stand by and let it happen. Seems kind of a "motherhood" statement to me (Apologies for sexist language - its late).

NDPP

R2P and Genocide Prevention  -  by Diana Johnstone

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/01/the-good-intentions-that-pave-the...

"R2P serves primarily to create a public opinion willing to accept US and NATO intervention in other countries..."

 

The Road to Damascus...And on to Armageddon?  -  by Diana Johnstone

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/13/road-to-damascus-and-on-to-armage...

"Unlike Libya, Syria has a fairly strong army. Unlike Libya, Syria has a few significant friends in the world. Unlike Libya, Syria is not next door to Israel. And above all, the diversity of religious communities within Syria is much greater and more potentially explosive than the tribal divisions of Libya. The notion that 'the people' of Syria are unanimously united in the desire for instant regime change is even more preposterous..."

 

North Star

sherpa-finn wrote:

Unionist: @Sherpa-finn: If you concluded from my remarks that I didn't support boycotting apartheid South Africa (just as I support BDS against Israel) - or that I didn't think Canadians have a sacred duty to defend Cuba against imperialism - then either I wrote very unclearly, or you choose to make rhetorical distortions in an effort to win some sort of debating point.

No, Unionist, - while I am not beyond the occasional rhetorical  flourish (somehow here on Babble, I do not feel alone), I sincerely read your line that international solidarity means "doing whatever we can to stay the hands of our own regime when it tries to interfere" as precluding engagement to get our government to actively "interfere" through those actions (boycotts, sanctions, aid, investment, etc) which we do happen to support. No more, no less.

Its a pity the "Responsibility to Protect" reference shut down the exchange so abruptly.  R2P seems to be based on two simple principles: genocide is bad and the world should not stand by and let it happen. Seems kind of a "motherhood" statement to me (Apologies for sexist language - its late).

R2P sounds good like so much liberal babble. But, I have to ask, doesn't the right to protection by a state go all the way back to Hobbes? It's been pretty dismal since then, though some in the West have it a little better so long as there is stability. Aren't these things at least implicit in the constitution/social contract of most nations?

However in practice R2P has been a joke. The US has of course intervened where it felt necessary while other governments with atrocious record have been let of the hook. Vietnam invaded Cambodia and helped end the Khmer Rouge genocide there yet the US contiuned to support the Khmer Rouge holding Cambodia/Kampuchea's UN seat.

Rwanda is waved in everyone's face despite the fact it's a very messy deal - look at the role of the French. What's most shameful is that the West is willing to use the death of 900 000 people to justify other interventions while they knew exactly what was happening.

If we are to believe that the West is so moral and enlightened then should it have not intervened in the DRC long ago? There have been 5 million deaths there since the 1990's, yet Rwanda and Uganda who continue to stoke conflict there are allies of the US.

R2P is imperial opportunism disguised as morality.

I have yet to see anyone invoking R2P in anything even close to resembling the Vietnam-Cambodia conflict, despite the fact that yes the invasion was still in Vietnam's national interests.

EDIT: I'll add this: you know who gets away with breaking laws more than the rich and powerful? Rich and powerful nations. International law is a joke and powerful nations never have to face the consequences.

howeird beale

Rebecca West wrote:

My work here is done.

What 'work' would that be? To throw in a baiting comment irrelevant to the thread? I'm with Unionist on this one, if precious little else. What is your personal experience with war zones? Is it... nil? zilch? nothing? Unionist responded to your post from the war-torn corner of, what? Bloor and Palmerston? with the bona fides of his personal experience. That experience being the murder of his entire extended family through state violence. And you mocked him for it. How utterly revolting.

Nice work, pretentious one.

Not many women posting on Babble sucks. But that's a subset of the fact that hardly anyone posts on Babble AT ALL, outside of the NDP/ Canadian politics thread. Maybe that's because anytime someone dares to suggest that people in the third world may actually have their own agency, or may seek an alternative to dynastic succession, the mods pop in to suggest that the conversation mocks anti-imperialism, or, in this case, feminism. If the object is to make babble the e equivalent of the three lonesome souls handing out leninist pamphlets at the periphery of demonstrations they never organize, well, then, mission accomplished. You now hold a position of equal relevance to the broader Canadian left.

And I appreciate the recent posts on this thread. Thanks, north star, sherpa, left turn.

 

Paladin1

Rebecca West wrote:

The danger of throwing around the word imperialist at every possible opportunity is that it becomes diluted, meaningless.  An insult or accusation rather than a depressing reality.

I found this to be true. Imperialist get's thrown around a lot here and I find it looses it's significance. The same as referencing Hitler when talking about modern day politics.

Quote:

As for the macho posturing, you should try being a woman on this board.  Oh wait, all but a handful of women from years past no longer contribute. I wonder why that is?

Caught up in online video games, like me ;)

 

Quote:

And yes, I have relatives who died in war, but I wouldn't dream of dragging their ghosts out as some kind of cred to rationalize bad behaviour. Which seems to be the only response to being called on your never-ending pissing contest - make excuses, twist words and intent, bully the one who called you on it all the while building yourself up. Shameful doesn't quite cover it.

Unless someone has personally lived through being a civilian in a warzone it's hard to chime in on how it is. Having ones extended family members experience it may provide a more personal view thanks to first person recollections and stories spoken, handed down, but all of us here are posting from the comfort of a roof over our head, food within reach and the general security of knowing we probably won't be killed going to the market today.

sherpa-finn

I'll take the R2P discussion into another thread, just to help restore a Syria focus to this one.

I do not know how to search old, archived threads to see if there is a pre-established one we should re-activate. So will open a new one.

NDPP

US 'Fueling and Orchestrating' War Crime Against People of Syria - Sara Flounders IAC

http://rt.com/op-edge/russia-syria-us-weapons-450/

"The Russian foreign minister has drawn a parallel with Iraq where he says that false reports of weapons of mass destruction of course led to the invasion there. Could we perhaps be seeing something similar happening in Syria?"

 

Al-Qaeda Chief Calls on Muslims to Unite in Struggle

http://rt.com/news/zawahiri-qaeda-islamic-state-469/

"...The Al-Qaeda chief pressed Syrian rebels waging 'holy war' to do everything within their power to establish a 'jihadist Islamic state'. He said such a state would help re-establish the Islamic 'Caliphate' system of rule. '

The enemy has begun to reel and collapse,' he said in reference to Syrian government forces. However, he warned Syrian rebels from allowing the United States, the Arab League, the UN or Israel to dictate Syria's failure in the event of victory.

'They want to steal your sacrifices and your jihad to give them to their supporters in Washington, Moscow and Tel Aviv.' He reserved harsh words for Iran and Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for providing support to President Bashar Assad adn his government, which the Al Qaeda leader characterized as a 'criminal secular' regime..."

 

Syria Becoming New Cradle for Foreign Extremists, Research Warns

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9970074/syria...

"Syria is on course to become a more fruitful breeding ground for jihadist fighters than Afghanistan or Iraq, according to new research which found that up to 5,500 foreigners have joined the civil war in less than two years..."

NDPP

Iraq's Al-Qaeda Confirms Ties With Syria Rebel Nusra Front - Reports

http://rt.com/news/nusra-front-qaeda-branch-558/

"Iraqi Al-Qaeda has confirmed the Syrian hardcore rebel group the Nusra Front is a branch of its organisation.."

NDPP

Exposed: Syrian Human Rights Front is EU-Funded Fraud

http://nsnbc.me/2013/04/12/exposed-syrian-human-rights-front-is-eu-funde....

"In reality, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has long ago been exposed as an absurd propaganda front created by Rami Abdul Rahman out of his house in England's country-side.

According to a December 2011 Reuters article titled 'Coventry - An Unlikely Home to Prominent Syrian Activist', Abdul Rahman admits he is a member of the so-called 'Syrian Opposition' and seeks the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Once could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his 'Observatory' has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media..."

 

Syria To Be 'First to Usher in Arab World's New Dawn' (and vid)

http://rt.com/op-edge/syria-arab-world-new-dawn-694/

"...What one can witness in the Middle East now is the threshold of real indepdendence for Arab countries, the Syrian presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban told RT. 'At the end it's the Syrian people who are going to make the future of Syria regardless of all the designs that others might have against Syria and its people..."

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

artical posted by NDPP wrote:

One could not fathom a more unreliable, compromised, biased source of information, yet for the past two years, his 'Observatory' has served as the sole source of information for the endless torrent of propaganda emanating from the Western media..."

Same could be said about many of the "expert" sources used by PressTV and RT news services.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Hard to find any media that is not merely propaganda spin.  The way I approach it is to read multiple sources and shift through the facts and then draw my own conclusions about what those facts might mean on the ground.  That opinion is of course framed by my past reading and my view of history and empires. I also bring a legal understanding that includes the fact that the least reliable evidence in most criminal cases are the eye witness accounts. Only if you have many eye witnesses can one get any real idea of what actually happened.

Bacchus

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Hard to find any media that is not merely propaganda spin.  The way I approach it is to read multiple sources and shift through the facts and then draw my own conclusions about what those facts might mean on the ground.  That opinion is of course framed by my past reading and my view of history and empires. I also bring a legal understanding that includes the fact that the least reliable evidence in most criminal cases are the eye witness accounts. Only if you have many eye witnesses can one get any real idea of what actually happened.

 

This is the only way to do it. All meda sources have their agenda

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Yes, and in the case of Syria and the opposition you can deduce from reading articles on both sides of the debate that that side is made up of multiple groups; some of which are terrorist associated groups with foreign fighters in them (which many here like to point out as being all inclusive of the opposition) and others whom are Syrians with legitimate claims to resistance against the Assad regime. To make matters more complicated even those two groups are divided into sub groups.    

It’s also easy to see this is a civil war, tempered by religious denomination, between a ruling minority (Shiite) and a ruled majority (Sunni) Both sides are pandered to by outside influences, political and religious, and both sides commit war crimes, some more obvious than others. YouTube shows both sides doing such deeds.

Would you not agree video is a much better witness the peoples written accounts?   

North Star

Syria's Alawites deny full loyalty to Assad in Cairo conference

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67586/World/Region/Syrias-Al...

Alawi Syrians’ Cairo Declaration

http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=8438

 

NDPP

More:

Syrian Anti-Assad Alawites Meet in Egypt

http://sbs.com.au/news/article/1749730/syrian-anti-Assad-Alawites-meet-i...

"The meeting of almost 50 Alawites reflects fears within the tiny sect that they would fall victim to revenge killings and assassinations should Assad by toppled..."

NDPP

Russian War Games Send a Strong Message Against NATO Intervention in Syria

http://www.4thmedia.org/2013/04/12/russian-war-games-send-a-strong-messa...

"Is there a connection between events in Syria (maybe even US tensions with North Korea? and Russia's impromptu Black Sea war games..."

NDPP

The Arab Spring Reaches Israel

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34589.htm

"...Things will still get much worse and more confusing before they get better in the Syrian civil war...Going by the trend, with Al Nusra gaining ground and influence, the Israeli border will come under frequent rocket and mortar attack, forcing Tel Aviv to strike at rebel advances it has so far backed..."

Watch Israel use this 'encroachment' to launch further grabs of Syrian territory for itself..

North Star

NDPP wrote:

More:

Syrian Anti-Assad Alawites Meet in Egypt

http://sbs.com.au/news/article/1749730/syrian-anti-Assad-Alawites-meet-i...

"The meeting of almost 50 Alawites reflects fears within the tiny sect that they would fall victim to revenge killings and assassinations should Assad by toppled..."

Or perhaps they are tired of living under a dictatorship.

NDPP

Syria's War to Get Dirtier Than Ever

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/syrias-war-to-get-dirtier-...

"From small clandestine offices in countries as far flung as Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and Croatia, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers have acted as brokers and overseers of a massive arms shipment  program to Syria's opposition rebels.."

 

US To Increase Its Help to Syrian Militants (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/Program/297851.html

"The leader of Syria's foreign-backed opposition have reiterated their appeals for Washington's further support for their fight against the government of President Bashar al Assad. Kerry has said that the US administration is looking at possible ways to increase its help to the militants in Syria." George Galloway MP's weekly call in program also discusses the Margaret Thatcher funeral protests...

 

 

MegB

Bacchus wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Hard to find any media that is not merely propaganda spin.  The way I approach it is to read multiple sources and shift through the facts and then draw my own conclusions about what those facts might mean on the ground.  That opinion is of course framed by my past reading and my view of history and empires. I also bring a legal understanding that includes the fact that the least reliable evidence in most criminal cases are the eye witness accounts. Only if you have many eye witnesses can one get any real idea of what actually happened.

 

This is the only way to do it. All meda sources have their agenda

This is exactly it. There are no winners in civil war, and no "good guys". The media loves to create false dichotomies to sell crap to their audience who would like to believe that there are guys in white and black hats. If you look at the history of intra-state conflicts, you'll find unholy alliances and atrocities on all sides.

Fidel

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A. MArch

The New York Times wrote:
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

Another "civil" war with the CIA in there like dirty shirts propping-up right wing fundamentalists and violent misogynists same as they did in Afghanistan and Bosnia through to Libya and paving the way for AQIM.

The “Liberal Left” Promotes the CIA’s Covert War on Syria

Quote:
US foreign policy experts have stated that Washington’s shock troops are the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, which still receives support apparently unhindered by the CIA—even though Washington declared Al Nusra a terrorist organization last December. (See also: Washington’s proxy in Syria: Al Qaeda )

Same formula used in Afghanistan thru Libya: Black-white bad vs good with nothing in between. This allows them to bypass support for moderates and justifiying(in their minds) aiding and abetting right wing extremists.

In fact, the "formula" dates even further back to Uncle Sam's covert support for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and Thailand, ton ton macoutes in Haiti, contra mercenaries from all over Latin America and so on ad nauseum. Their goal is always the same: destabilization of countries for the purpose of democracy prevention. They prefer dealing with other right wing extremists just like themselves, and so that's who they support as a rule.

NDPP

The Islamic Emirate of Syriastan -  by Pepe Escobar

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-120413.html

"...Every grain of sand in the Syrian-Iraqi desert knows that the 'rebels' who really matter in fighting terms in Syria are from Jabhat al Nusra - hundreds of transnationals, fond of beheading and suicide bombings.."

Fidel

Bashar Al Assad Interview: Foreign Powers are Supporting the Entry of Terrorists in Syria

Quote:
“The Arab League lacks legitimacy. It’s a league that represents the Arab states, not the Arab people, so it can’t grant or retract legitimacy,” he also stated in reference to the recent move by the league to give Syria’s seat to the Doha coalition headed by Moaz al-Khatib.

Puh! Mr. Assad is trying to tell us that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait etc are not legitimate democracies? Is he trying to tell us that nobody votes for a king? And here I was under the illusion that democracy and humanitarianiusm are trademarks of actually existing imperialist countries backed by the sword gang here in the west? Boy, was I confused about that!

 

The CIA Is Training Syria's Rebels: Uh-Oh, Says a Top Iraqi Leader

And just what kind of training are these mercenaries for hire receiving from the C.I.A., SAS etc?

Are they teaching them to organize on twitter and FB? Is Qaeda-linked and U.S.-backed Al Nusra Front a women's rights movement protesting for basic human rights in Syria? Because we have a sneaking suspicion that this is not the case.

"I have looked over Jordan and have seen,

Things are not what they seem" -- Roger Waters, Sheep

Fidel

France’s Media Admits that the Syrian “Opposition” is Al Qaida. Then Justifies French Government Support to the Terrorists

Quote:
These rebels Le Monde attempts to whitewash have been systematically targeting civilians from the start of this conflict. They have put bombs in cars in busy market squares, they have bombed universities murdering and maiming hundreds of innocent civilians. They have been torturing and beheading civilians and soldiers alike [5], even forcing children to participate in the decapitation some of their victims. Children have also been used as soldiers.

Al Nosra'duh sounds like your run of the mill scum of the earth the CIA and friends have supported over the years.

North Star

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/345338/case-supporting-assad-daniel-pipes

Nice to see some here share the same perspective of unrepetant neocon Daniel Pipes.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So North Star who is your slanderous swipe aimed at?  If I am not mistaken non intervention is the stance that most of us who don't support Bombing  for Peace believe in. If you are looking for interventionists you should look to the R2B crowd. (Reason to Bomb)

Its not surprising that an arrogant westerner like the idiot you posted too believes that he has the answer. 

NDPP

US, NATO Develop Scenarios For Military Intervention in Syria

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/u-s-nato-develop-scenarios-fo...

"US, Western allies scenarios for intervention in Syria.."

 

Sellouts, Imperialist Agents in Mideast: Analyst (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/04/18/298925/sellouts-imperialist-age...

"A commentator tells Press TV that imperialism uses sellouts to implement its agenda in the Middle East region.."

NDPP

US To Deploy 200 Troops to Jordan to Curb Syria Violence

http://rt.com/news/jordan-us-troops-syria-028/

"The US will deploy 200 troops to Jordan in the coming weeks in a bid to support that country's defences, Washington says, as the Syrian crisis escalates."

and speaking of Jordan...

Mountie to Be Appointed Canada's Ambassador to Jordan

http://o.canada.com/2013/04/17/mountie-who-heads-harpers-personal-securi...

"The Mountie who heads Prime Minister Stephen Harper's personal security detail will be appointed Canada's ambassador to Jordan. "

North Star

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So North Star who is your slanderous swipe aimed at?  If I am not mistaken non intervention is the stance that most of us who don't support Bombing  for Peace believe in. If you are looking for interventionists you should look to the R2B crowd. (Reason to Bomb)

Its not surprising that an arrogant westerner like the idiot you posted too believes that he has the answer. 

Really? Because I don't see Pipes talking about sending in US troops or using bombs. He wants to prop up Assad using diplomatic means and arm shipments.

Pipes thinks Assad is better than the alternative. Which is something others on this board think. 

I think the people of Syria will choose what's best and it's clear that it certainly won't be Assad.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well we will have to disagree since in my view arms shipments to either side is intervention and will only lead to more innocent Syrians being murdered. I am sure that most Syrians would prefer that the rebels and the current government sit down and work out a truce agreement so that the needed reforms can happen.  I have no proof of that belief but it seems to be the case from my reading of various sites.

In the meantime innocent non-partisan Syrians are being killed by both suicide bombers and government airstrikes. Sending arms to either side is just fueling an out of control fire. In effect pouring gasoline on the flames.

Fidel

North Star wrote:
Pipes thinks Assad is better than the alternative. Which is something others on this board think.

And what's behind door number one, Monty?

Surreal: US Troops Stage in Jordan to Defend and Protect Al Qaeda in Syria

Syrian opposition militia declares allegiance to Al Qaeda

Kinda makes you think all that hub-bub about 9/11 was a steaming pile of horseshit, doncha think? Thought so.

Quote:
I think the people of Syria will choose what's best and it's clear that it certainly won't be Assad.

Is that like the way Libyans chose militant Islam over Gadaffi's socialism?

Will it be like how Iranians "chose" the very brutal, right-rightist and western-backed Shah over Mossadegh? Will it be as Iranians freely chose militant Islam as they swapped out one brutal right wing dictatorship for another with Khomeini?

Will it be like how Pakistanis and Afghans "freely chose" Talibanization of their countries since the 1990's?

Is there any real choice for the people in these U.S.-->orchestrated Contras-style "civil" wars? Helluva lot of foreign-sponsored terrorism and ultra violence when it comes down to the "choosing" end of things, wouldn't you say?

North Star

Fidel, 

Gadaffi was as much a socialist, especially by the end as the Pope is. 

I'm not exactly sure why you think a popular uprising against a regime that has lowered living standards among workers and showed great brutality in the past is somehow 100% being directed by the CIA. It denies the agency of the Syrian people. Will the US try to do this and that to have an outcome that is amenable to their interests? Absolutely! However, the outcome of this civil war is not a binary choice. It's not CIA/Al Qaeda or Assad.

http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/editorial-of-the-new...

NDPP

Syria Militants Will Soon Overthrow the Jordanian Monarchy (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/04/18/298975/jordan-risks-all-with-ex...

"An analyst says the Jordanian regime risks being attacked and toppled by the same group of powerful, estremist Salafists they are using to attack Syria.."

 

Recent Events in US May be Prelude to Attack on Syria (and vid)

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/04/19/299072/us-may-be-preparing-for-...

"A political commentator [ Webster Griffin Tarpley] tells Press TV that the recent wave of events in the US might be a sign that Washington is preparing for an attack on Syria..."

Fidel

North Star wrote:

Fidel, 

Gadaffi was as much a socialist, especially by the end as the Pope is.

So when did Denmark, China, Italy, The Netherlands, Mauritania, Slovenia, Nicaragua, The Russian Federation, Spain, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway, Ecuador, Hungary, South Africa, The Phillippines, Maldives, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Australia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Angola, Nigeria, Congo, Burundi, Zambia, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Zimbabwe all vote to bestow an award on the Pope for his contributions to human rights the same as they intended for Gaddafi leading up his murder by foreign-supported terrorists?

As for the rest of your theory concerning "Al Qaeda", why would the west support "Al Qaeda" in Libya with LIFG, and then support the same terrorists again in Syria while using Turkey and Jordan as staging countries to attack soliders and innocent civilians in Syria in similar manner to the way Costa Rica and Honduras were used by U.S.-backed Contra mercenaries to terrorize Nicaraguans in the 1980's? These are many of the same terrorists the U.S. Army fought in Iraq for 10 years, and who, coincidentally, were attacking the real anti-US "insurgents" in Iraq all the while. What's up with that?

Obviously one of us is misinformed about who Gaddafi was. Libya was the most prosperous country in Africa. They paid no electricity bills, and newly weds automatically received $50,000 from the dictatorship as a gift for starting out in life. And they donated more doctors and health care aids to desperately poor African client states of the west than any other country including Cuba for many years.

I'll tell you why the U.S. and Gladio helper nations hated Gadaffi enough to order a Qaeda hit on him - he was advocating for a Unitd States of Africa in addition to being a thorn in the sides of the U.S.-backed Arab imperialist nations.  The last African leader to advocate for a strong and united Africa similarly was Patrice Lumumba, murdered by the Gladio Gang in the 1960's. Same as Saddam, Gaddafi was leading his people a-way from Islam and religion. We don't have to ask why rabid anti-communists in the west and their right wing fundamentalist friends in "Qaeda" didn't like him very much at all.

NDPP

A Bleak Look at the West's Vision for Syria 

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.ca/2013/04/a-bleak-look-at-wests-vison-for...

"...Western-backed terrorists have driven out most religious and ethnic minorities, leaving Syria's ancient churches all but abandoned. Those who remain, live a life of perpetual fear and uncertainty. While the UN grandstands, claiming the refugee crisis is the result of the Syrian government, The Atlantic reported that some 300,000 Syrian Christians have fled the country, apparently from areas held not by the Syrian government, but by Western-backed sectarian terrorists.

Terrorist controlled areas are scenes of sectarian brutality, fear, kidnappings, mass murder, collective punishment, and pillaging - the obvious endgame of Western-backed regime change."

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