June 02, 2012
In Which I Agree With People I Don't Like
I am confused. What is wrong with me today that I agree, at least in parts, with the Russian Orthodox Church, the National Review and Henry Kissenger?
As the West sought to pressure the Kremlin recently to help stop the killing in Syria, diplomats from Damascus were ushered into the heart of one of Russian Orthodoxy’s main shrines.
In his warnings, Patriarch Kirill I invokes Bolshevik persecution still fresh in the Russian imagination, writing of “the carcasses of defiled churches still remaining in our country.”
The issue of “Christianophobia” shot to the top of the church’s agenda a year ago, with a statement warning that “they are killing our brothers and sisters, driving them from their homes, separating them from their near and dear, stripping them of the right to confess their religious beliefs.”
The statements on “Christianophobia” amount to a denunciation of Western intervention, especially in Egypt and Iraq, which lost two-thirds of its 1.5 million Christians after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The National Review (via FLC):
Yes, Assad’s minority Alawite Muslim regime is a key ally of Iran’s revolutionary Shiite-supremacist government. That does not alter the stubborn fact that the anti-Assad “opposition groups” are dominated by Sunni supremacists. Stubborn facts cannot be evaded by clever labeling — “opposition groups” in Syria having become the euphemism du jour that “rebels” was in Libya, “peaceful protesters” in Egypt, “uprisings” in Tunisia, and so on. Nor can we confidently assert any longer that what is bad for Iran must be good for us.
That war criminal:
Who replaces the ousted leadership, and what do we know about it? Will the outcome improve the human condition and the security situation? Or do we risk repeating the experience with the Taliban, armed by America to fight the Soviet invader but then turned into a security challenge to us?
In reacting to one human tragedy, we must be careful not to facilitate another. In the absence of a clearly articulated strategic concept, a world order that erodes borders and merges international and civil wars can never catch its breath. A sense of nuance is needed to give perspective to the proclamation of absolutes.
The Thirty Years’ War decimated the German population by a third through fighting, maiming and hunger. It was a sectarian civil war with lots of self interested outside interference. One of my favorite plays, Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children written in 1939, is set in the Thirty Years' War. The war finally ended with the Westphalian Peace which forbid outside interference in interior sovereign state affairs. As a German aware of my people's history I deeply believe in this system.
Syria is a secular state that threatens no one. A small minority of Syrians wants to change that by force and with the help of some self interested people from other countries. That is a sure recipe for a much bigger war. We should not allow this to happen.
Posted by b on June 2, 2012 at 03:11 PM | Permalink
Stirring up sectarian end ethnic violence from Lebanon through Syria, Iraq, and then to Iran and Pakistan, is probably the way to make the whole region ungovernable. The different warring subgroups can then be manipulated by favours, bribes, threats, black ops, etc. In some mystical way this never-ending belligerence would supposedly increase US "national security".
Posted by: JohnE | Jun 2, 2012 3:31:56 PM | 1
First there were the Treaties of Westphalia.
Then came to Munroe Doctrine, which, since the Second World War, the United States has extended to cover the world. It reserves to the United States the right to interfere everywhere employing, for the most part, criminal gangs, armed and subsidised by the United States but financed by their own ingenious activities. In Kossovo, notoriously, the KLA (Albanian bandits) extended its range of criminality from drugs (the normal means, from Indo China to Latin America) to people trafficking (slavery) to the sale of body parts!
The war in Syria is not about religion but about power and globalisation: the US ruling class brooks no challenges, it has on its side every criminal gang, from the Saud family to the Mafia to the Colombian cartels and the Honduran military and so on.
The idea that the drug addled hedonistic playboys who run Qatar and Saudi Arabia are pious muslims, or even pass as such among their countrymen, is ludicrous.
We all know this, of course, but it does no harm to remind ourselves that the salafi militias fighting for Israel, Hariri and Uncle Sam are no more muslims than the lunatics running the USAF Academy are christians, both lots are simply mercenaries and conformists.
Posted by: bevin | Jun 2, 2012 3:45:43 PM | 2
It's in the interest of european countries as well as Russian and Chinese to stop US and allies interference in domestic affairs in middle eastern countries. This thing might not spread to the US, but it could in time spread throughout the continent. But predictably, NATO-puppets are going to keep implementing US sanctions on its enemies, bomb in US campaigns, even when it's contrary to the individual NATO-countries national interests.
Errh, by the way, Kissenger might be a tool, but he talks some sense now an then.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 2, 2012 4:04:22 PM | 3
This Houla massacre is getting stranger and stranger ...
Let me guess, some people are getting desparate, Assad may survive ...
Raslan served until last Saturday in the Syrian Air Force in the strategically vital port city of Tartous. He had been in Houla on leave when the town was shelled just after 1pm last Friday, then invaded by a civilian militia, known as the Shabiha, in the worst single atrocity of the Syrian uprising.
The officer's account to the Observer of what took place is among the most important of the testimonies to have emerged since the massacre, the aftermath of which appears to be causing fresh turmoil inside Syria 16 months after the first stirrings of revolt inspired by the Arab spring.
Raslan said he was in his house, around 300 metres from the site of the first massacre in the village of Taldous, when several hundred men whom he knew to be Shabiha members rode into town in cars and army trucks and on motorbikes.
"A lot of them were bald and many had beards," he said. "Many wore white sports shoes and army pants. They were shouting: 'Shabiha forever, for your eyes, Assad.' It was very obvious who they were.
"We used to be told that armed groups killed people and the Free Syria Army burned down houses," he said. "They lied to us. Now I saw what they did with my own eyes."
Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 4:37:51 PM | 4
Oups, this doesn't look good at all. Bizarre actually.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 2, 2012 4:52:41 PM | 5
Raslan there, though a compelling story - we should consider, is now part of Free Syria Army.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 2, 2012 5:05:40 PM | 6
Henry Kissinger says today in the article linked to by 'b', "the international diplomacy generated by the Arab Spring replaces Westphalian principles of equilibrium with a generalized doctrine of humanitarian intervention." Kissinger was opposed to Western interference in the Balkans in the 1990s for more-or-less the same reasons he has today for not interfering in Syria. Kissinger doesn't believe in the doctrine of "humanitarianism". In the 1990s he said he saw no strategic utility for the Western powers to interfere in the Balkans and he said he thought the people of the Balkans would be equally or better able to solve their disputes by being left on their own. The USA foreign ministry under president Clinton in the 1990s was not persuaded to agree with Kissinger's "strategic" point of view, and they militarily intervened in the Balkans on a "humanitarian" spiel or doctrine.
Since I'm speaking of Kissinger, I'll repeat a joke I came across at Youtube just yesterday: "When Henry Kissinger got a Nobel Peace Prize, satire died. But when the king of Saudi Arabia became a big advocate of human rights and democracy in Syria, one has to say it's come back to life in grotesque form." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pKnYxxVHuM
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 2, 2012 6:07:12 PM | 7
I'm always amazed how American Christianists continually bleed Zionist blood but have no regard--none whatsoever--for Christian blood spilled by the Occupiers. They are shamefully oblivious to all the Christian blood spilled in Palestine over the last 60 years. And the never consider the plight of the Palestinian Christian population.
In Iraq there was a similar obliviousness to Christian blood spilled during the American occupation. Instead, most Christianists supported the slaughter in Iraq under the guise of religious freedom (freedom for them to proselytize.)
Yet whenever there is Jewish blood at stake, these supposedly God fearing Christianists go ballistic!
The Roman catholic church is no better. They stridently vilify those who kills the unborn but barely raise a whisper when live human beings--including Christians--get mowed down in Palestine, Iraq, and Syria.
Good for the Russian Orthodox Church. Somebody needs to stand for peace!
Posted by: JohnH | Jun 2, 2012 6:56:15 PM | 9
'As the West sought to pressure the Kremlin recently to help stop the killing in Syria'
Notice the phrasing: 'stop the killing' not stop Assad killing etc
Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 9:38:08 PM | 10
'The officer's account to the Observer of what took place is among the most important of the testimonies to have emerged since the massacre, the aftermath of which appears to be causing fresh turmoil inside Syria 16 months after the first stirrings of revolt inspired by the Arab spring.'
this is a 'trust-me-i-was-there' moment..except the Observer is sister to the atrocious Guardian...and both are intent on supporting the FUKUSArael-saudi jihadi war on syria....
just cause you read it in the paper doesnt make it true..
Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 9:56:04 PM | 11
"We used to be told that armed groups killed people and the Free Syria Army burned down houses," he said. "They lied to us. Now I saw what they did with my own eyes."
Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 4:37:51 PM | 4
this is really pathetic...is the fellow lying? of course he is...his wonky testimony is meant to muddy the story and push the western public into backing a aggressive invasion of syria...You should be ashamed of yourself for promoting this brazen preopaganda
Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 9:58:34 PM | 12
i like the way fascist are treated in hamburg, the only way, with fists & whatever is at hand
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 2, 2012 10:34:46 PM | 14
the Shabiha remind me of the mythical black libya mercenaries.
what we have is some mastermind reusing the same MEME
Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 11:20:05 PM | 15
A cornerstone of Chinese FP is non-intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. This not just a slogan but is their policy. This contrasts with US, British and French policy of "humanitarian" intervention (under Democrats) or just plain intervention (under Republicans). China's influence in South America and Africa is expanding while that of the US is in decline. I wonder why?
Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 3, 2012 12:45:54 AM | 16
brian, it is no use, we do not know what happened, except that it has been used for who knows what very fast. it is very easy to invent and manipulate witnesses. you have to accept though that Syria ranks very low on the index of political freedom and transparency.
the main thing for the Syrian regime would be how the massacre is understood within Syria, and that actually might be in their interest, but that also is difficult to know from here.
there will be no military intervention. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/european-voices-go-silent-on-syria/2012/05/31/gJQAbbXD5U_story.html
the US has a problem being convincing about the morality of their interventions, it is amazing that they still try.
"Similar crimes have been repeatedly documented but the world has yet to hear a single condemnation or even criticism from the same leaders who are shedding crocodile tears over the heinous killings in Syria last week.
That's not to say a massacre like this should not be condemned in the strongest terms. But men, women and children were killed at point blank by the Israelis in Operation Cast Lead, as verified by the independent, internationally-respected judge Richard Goldstone, and U.S. leaders looked the other way.
In another cruel, hypocritical twist, the West continues to bribe Palestinian authorities to return to the negotiating table with the Israelis (who have repeatedly shown they're not interested in peace by stealing more and more of what's left of Palestine's land) while also funding the Syrian opposition to reject negotiations in their country and to instead incite what will be a disastrous civil war to wrest control of their country from President Bashar al-Assad.
Finally, to the Arabs who are financing and arming the Syrian opposition and cheering their brethren on toward killing each other while sowing deep seeds of hatred and division among all people in the region, the time will come, and it may be sooner than expected, when their country becomes the killing field and their people's blood will be shed.
After all, the West has shown time and time again that all Arab citizens, and their leaders, are equally expendable to them. "
Posted by: somebody | Jun 3, 2012 1:12:01 AM | 17
Brian, I'm not saying they had anything to do with the Houla massacre, I still think it was done by religious freaks that aren't Syrian but to say that there's something mythical about the existence of the shabiha is not accurate. As I already said, they may go by several names, the shabiha being one of them, but their existence is very real and they are part of the dreaded Syrian mukhabarat secret service that has been keeping an eye on Syrians for decades as they did on the Lebanese during the Syrian occupation. Whether or not they are killing people as the Guardian article is claiming is not proven either way but the general description of what they are about is not far off the mark. Americans have identical agencies keeping an eye on people and they have assassination squads, as do the Brits, the French, the Russians and of course the Israelis that are masters at it.
Posted by: www | Jun 3, 2012 1:13:12 AM | 18
>>> there will be no military intervention>>>
One isn't really needed to make life miserable for the Syrians. The US is already doing a Gaza-job on it by having other countries break relations with it, but it still wouldn't snuff out the regime. Cuba has been in a choke-hold by the US for over 60 years and still going on.
Posted by: www | Jun 3, 2012 1:29:21 AM | 19
www I agree, it is just that the "international community" seems to be shrinking.
Cuba seems to be well integrated into Latin America nowadays, and Syria has a landline through Iraq to Iran (and to Turkey and Lebanon). The "international community" seems to have given up on Lebanon, Turkey has placed its bet on a Sunni/Muslim brotherhodd axis which is bound to cause grave internal problems.
In the end the power of countries is based on their economy, as wars have to be paid for, and their cultural advance, as they have to pacify their empire, or to maintain it will cost more than it extracts.
I think the retro colonialism we are witnessing is part of the comparative economic decline of western power. They do no longer have the informational, technological advantage that attracts people, they have to destabilize and exploit countries' weaknesses to stay in the game.
An arts dealer tells me that Chinese buyers are buying back their 18th/19th century art from Europe ...
Posted by: somebody | Jun 3, 2012 2:30:38 AM | 20
b I have said many times the only reason that the weasel Medvedev did not sell out Syria was due to the Russian Orthodox Church. They would have been massive demonstrations if Russia voted for the SC resolutions. This is the red line, they failed in Iraq, Kosoveo, Libya. The Church of Antioch is one of the five patriarchates, it currently ranks third among the world's Orthodox churches, behind Constantinople and Alexandria.
Posted by: hans | Jun 3, 2012 3:47:51 AM | 22
Somehow all three sources make this out to be a religious issue. I do not think it is, not in Syria and not in the geopolitical context.
Posted by: somebody | Jun 3, 2012 5:39:17 AM | 23
somebody @ 23
They are trying to turn it into a religious/sectarian thing, as seen in Lebanon these days.
Posted by: Alexander | Jun 3, 2012 6:57:11 AM | 24
noone should trust the mainstream media..but there is always SOMEBODY ready to give it credence!
Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 6:58:31 AM | 25
'brian, it is no use, we do not know what happened, except that it has been used for who knows what very fast. it is very easy to invent and manipulate witnesses. you have to accept though that Syria ranks very low on the index of political freedom and transparenc'
no surprise that somebody tries to sows doubt and confusion....he may say he doesnt know,.,.but the info provided is quite clear as to who did not do it: the syrian govt.
My guess is Somebody is a troll..ive seen them on facebook...always sowing doubts, muddying the waters...pushing the official narrative when not doubt in alternatives. Political freedom and transparency as nearly zero in the US and EU autocracies...and so far the syrian govt side of the story has all the evidence in its favor
Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 7:05:55 AM | 26
'Syria is a secular state that threatens no one. A small minority of Syrians wants to change that by force and with the help of some self interested people from other countries. That is a sure recipe for a much bigger war. We should not allow this to happen.'
since when has this ever been a reason no to go to war against them? The psychos dont think in terms of hes a threat...but of gaining more power
Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 7:07:51 AM | 27
SOMEBODY likes to keep quoting the MSM...as if it were politically free and transparent..and not a basket full of lie and fraud and a stable of propagandists called 'journalists'
Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 7:10:50 AM | 28
>>>Good for the Russian Orthodox Church. Somebody needs to stand for peace!>>>
Other than b, nobody here understood what the Russian Orthodox Church was about. It was notabout peace or about stopping the killing but about the risk of seeing 10% of Syria's population, which is Christian leaving the country if Assad falls and the Islamists take over. Thanks to the US having brought democracy to Iraq, 2/3 of Iraq's Christians no longer live there and thanks to the Islamist electoral victory in Egypt, in the first week after the elections, 10,000 Christian Egyptians applied for visas to immigrate to other countries. There is an ongoing campaign by the West to enpty the Middle East of its Christians and this is the issue that the Russians Orthodox Church is addressing. B's closing quote above that puts this into perspective:
>>> The issue of “Christianophobia” shot to the top of the church’s agenda a year ago, with a statement warning that “they are killing our brothers and sisters, driving them from their homes, separating them from their near and dear, stripping them of the right to confess their religious beliefs.”
The statements on “Christianophobia” amount to a denunciation of Western intervention, especially in Egypt and Iraq, which lost two-thirds of its 1.5 million Christians after the fall of Saddam Hussein.>>>
Posted by: www | Jun 3, 2012 10:20:24 AM | 29
I see an increasing no. of ppl are questioning entrenched pol. parties and club belonging, or blind group membership, and considering positions, principles, ideas, interpretations, independently of source, and somewhat in isolation from other ideas coming from the same source.
A very good thing, and European politics is in for consequent, if slow, shake ups all round. I can see and hear that here in CH. One thing I particularly appreciate about it is I see the MSM sorta losing its footing, whenever they are unsure or stumble I cheer. Here, they are obviously destabilized. Admittedly, in CH we have a far freer press/TV than in many other places (e.g. France Italy...)
Veering off, though it is relevant:
Advice to activists of any kind, for any pol. orientation: reject the media stranglehold, fight against it, if only to denounce it when possible in front of even a small audience, find other outlets beyond the usual internet site / presence. Don’t model your efforts on what exists, do anything different / lame, even if it fails. Don’t try to ‘get a buzz’ in the MSM, or financial support from anonymous contributors, that is the kiss of death.
Look at Egypt: real (?) revolutionary zeal, which grew out of a labor movement (in part), had a lot of media coverage and success, and the end result, the Army will control the country as before, with a new figure, leader, with Mubarak expiring in prison... Many died, invested their time, energy, gave up jobs, future, for no change, though the story is not finished, of course.
There are 80 million ppl in Egypt, 99% don’t read twitter messages. The only pol forces they come into contact with are the Army - who owns much of the country in the shape of various biz, land, control of finance, tourism, agriculture, Gvmt., etc. - the Brotherhood, which takes care of the ‘social’ side and distributes minor aid, psych comfort, prayer, why not - and the 'Gvmt' which lays down some rules and controls a lot, belonging to that class is an aspiration for many.
bevin at 2, right on.
Posted by: Noirette | Jun 3, 2012 12:26:44 PM | 30