Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 24, 2013

Zbig On Syria

Zbig on Syria:
Promoting destabilization and turmoil in the Arab world will not create a good longterm outcome for the US or Israel: http://t.co/UxJVSXsWgu
Neither for Syria, which should actually be the primary concern.

Posted by b on June 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

Comments

"... this is a highly motivated, good country. It is driven by good motives..."

Machiavelli plus Calvinism/Methodism, a brutally ruthless dismissal of the human rights of millions of Arabs, a prescription for violence at will, unlimited casualties, appalling barbarity and all discussed with an amoral insouciance which concludes with the paradoxical claim that " this is a highly motivated, good country. It is driven by good motives."

No, it is a greedy, selfish country whose inhabitants have no memory of war and its devastation and see the world through a fog of racism and the 'exceptionalism' of Providential theology.
Where else could the uselesss carnage of successive campaigns, most recently in Libya and Syria, be called "humanitarian interventions" to protect the very people in their bombsights?
(I know, Britain, Canada, France etc...)

Posted by: bevin | Jun 24, 2013 1:30:10 PM | 1

Reuters:
"ZAWIYAT ABU MUSALLEM, EGYPT- Kasbana Abdelaziz’s house guests had barely arrived when the mob was upon them, hurling petrol bombs and smashing holes through the roof of her home."
"The attackers then dragged four men—Shi’ite Muslims who had come to this Cairo suburb for a religious festival—out into the street and beat them to death."
"President Mohamed Morsi condemned the “heinous crime” that happened on Sunday and promised swift justice, but his opponents accuse him and his Muslim Brotherhood of allowing ultraconservative Salafist allies to whip up anti-Shi’ite sentiment in return for their support."

takfiris at work for Uncle Sam, humanity and apple pie.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 24, 2013 1:34:54 PM | 2

I think if we tackle the issue alone with the Russians, which I think has to be done because they’re involved partially, and if we do it relying primarily on the former colonial powers in the region—France and Great Britain, who are really hated in the region—the chances of success are not as high as if we do engage in it, somehow, with China, India and Japan, which have a stake in a more stable Middle East.
I think Zbig is being disingenuous. He knows the US will never 'partner' with any of these nations. It will dictate, or it will explode.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 24, 2013 1:40:19 PM | 3

Zbig has seen the error of his ways!
Promoting destabilization and turmoil in the Arab world will not create a good longterm outcome for the US or Israel

Meanwhile, Washington has simply taken Brzezinski's observation from 15 years ago and changed the target from the Soviet empire to Iran.

Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24, 2013 2:29:10 PM | 4

At least Zbig has the courage to point his little finger israelie.

Posted by: hilmi hakim | Jun 24, 2013 2:32:50 PM | 5

Alot of instability rippling out of Syria today.

In Lebanon Jihadists under the command of cleric Ahmad al Assir have killed 16 Lebanese soldiers. According to Angry Arab, Al Assir is sponsored by the Saudi government, so likely they are using him to sow sectarian strife in Lebanon to keep Hezbollah busy.

At least 16 soldiers have been killed and dozens wounded in Lebanon’s southern city of Sidon over two days of intense fighting between the army and gunmen loyal to Salafi Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir. Violence has largely subsided as of Monday evening except for some sporadic gunfire after Lebanese troops captured a compound in Sidon's Abra suburb reported to be housing some of Assir's armed belligerents who number about 250.

Meanwhile Assir, who was believed to be holed up in the Bilal bin Rabah mosque in Abra, has escaped. Military prosecutors announced Monday that a warrant has been issued for the cleric's arrest along with 123 of his gunmen over the army killings.

In Qatar it looks like the King who called for Assad to step down is now himself stepping down.

Qatar seems to be preparing its population of nearly 2 million for new leadership, with the emir and prime minister apparently ready to step down. The Qatari-owed al-Jazeera television channel said the emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, would meet ruling family members and decision makers on Monday "amid reports that he intends to hand over power to his crown prince, Sheikh Tamim".

Looks like the ambitious Emir finally bit off more than he could chew. His son Tamin (aged 33) will be the new Emir. A few outlets calling it more of a coup, directed by Saudi and the US. Likely they got sick of him sponsoring Muslim Brothers all over the Middle East and bungling the Syrian regime change operation.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 24, 2013 2:44:20 PM | 6

@6 That 2 million population figure may be a little misleading. Only about a quarter million are citizens.

http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-qatar

Posted by: dh | Jun 24, 2013 3:02:30 PM | 7

Promoting destabilization and turmoil is what the US does in many places in the world. The US has destabilized every country in Asia on a line between India and the Mediterranean. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon -- and why should Syria be any different.

The destabilization has been particularly oriented toward sharpening the Sunni-Shia divide, as I have commented before. Divide and conquer. Destabilization 'R Us, because there's so much money in it. Then add in the demonization of Iran, Syria and North Korea, because every empire needs enemies, and go to the bank with profits from wars and foreign military sales.

So, Zbig, although promoting destabilization and turmoil in the Arab world will not create a good long-term outcome for the US or Israel, what really counts in this world (for many) is what they have in the bank right now.

Think short-term, Zbig, just like you did in the nineties. Stop being older and wiser -- it's just not you.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24, 2013 4:19:06 PM | 8

Don Bacon

Speaking on divide and conquer watch this hollande lunatic demanding more violence.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/23/us-syria-crisis-france-rebels-idUSBRE95M09520130623

Even Zarkosy was better than this horrific warmonger.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 24, 2013 4:51:51 PM | 9

Sarkozy finally profited big-time with a cozy investment situation in Qatar, which will pay him 3 million euros per annum (on top of his France-supplied office, staff and security at over 2 million euros annually) so Hollande has euros in his eyes as he promotes the Qatari line -- against Saudi clients (AQI)? -- in Syria.

We thought this was only a US proxy war against Iran, is it also a Qatar-Saudi one, as a sub-text? Lordy, lordy and Mon dieu.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24, 2013 5:14:30 PM | 10

@10 And don't forget the billion and billions of Saudi/Qatar money in the City of London. Those people have clout.

Posted by: dh | Jun 24, 2013 5:28:09 PM | 11

Back when I was in college and just started getting interested in politics, I read Brzezinski's book "The Grand Chessboard - American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives", the whole book basically stressed the need for America to dominate the Eurasian landmass to maintain its superpower status. So its strange to hear Brzezinski is against destabilsing Syria. It's what he argued in his most famous book. One paragraph in particular sums up his thinking.

To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.

You would think this would mean he would support the regime change in Syria. After all what better way to "prevent collusion and maintain security dependence" than taking out a plank of the Resistance Axis, a group of nations and paramilitaries, doing such collusion. But I think what accounts for Bzeziski's shift is the danger of a rising China.

The Grand Chessboard was always USA and Europe sitting on one side and Russia and China sitting on the other side. The landmass between China and Europe was the "chessboard" and whoever won that would become the next superpower. Now I think he has a change of heart. He sees the US going bankrupt trying to dominate this region and China's power growing. It's why he supports the pivot to Asia.

At the end of the day that is why Brzezinski is opposed to war in Iran and regime change in Syria. He wants to move the Empire out of the quagmire of the Middle East and focus on the real threat China.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 24, 2013 7:16:21 PM | 12

#8 Zbig, "Stop being older and wiser -- it's just not you."

Good one, that is funny.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 24, 2013 7:46:03 PM | 13

I think Zbig is seriously worried that Obama does not know what he is doing. He sees, as I suspected for some time, that Obama did not have any larger strategic plan for the ME. He knew the area was a snake pit for the US and he had, at some level, a desire to extricate the US from there. His pivot to Asia was the attempt. What his policy lacked, however, any strategic vision for the ME.

Therefore, he is just lurching from unplanned circumstance to another without asking the big question: Is this in the interests of the US. We all have come to believe that the whole imperial venture is not in the interests of the American people, but what Zbig is saying is that it is not even in the interests of the 1%.

And China sits quietly on the side line, doing nothing but watching the US thrash and squirm in a mud pit of its own making.

BTW, anyone notice that "pivot to Asia" has sort of disappeared from sight? Where is that Transpacific Partnership (excluding China) that was the center piece of the pivot? (they are meeting next month in Malaysia, it will be amusing to see what happens there).

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 24, 2013 8:04:09 PM | 14

Very off-topic, I know, but this interview from Israel's (ex)Ambassador Gillerman is just so.... sorry, I'm finding it impossible to describe this. So I'll just urge everyone to watch The Great Man describe the Israeli world-view far, far better than I ever could.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5BioO03VtI&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 24, 2013 8:19:46 PM | 15

applies for Europe, too

Lampedusa in Hamburg

With “Opération Harmattan” on March 19th, 2011, France started the bombing of Libya, in a military alliance with Great Britain, USA and Canada. Three days later the air strikes under the command of the NATO followed.

The massive air strikes were publicly declared as a guarantee for “protection for the civil population”, in fact they were an intervention into the inner affairs of a sovereign state with the aim of a “Regime Change”.

We ourselves have been a part of the civil population in Libya. We did not belong to any political party or fraction, neither on the regime's nor on the opposition's side. We have been working and taking care of our families. We became victims of the bombings as we became victims of the attacks of various war parties, fueled by the intervention.

We have seen a lot of horrible things and we have lost a lot of people.

We are the surviving civilians, now vegetating on the streets of Europe, without rights and without any means.

Until this point in time we had a relatively good and secure life. We were living on our continent Africa, without any intention to come to Europe. Our flight was enforced by the violent international interest policies.

The very same states which carry out wars in the name of democracy and human rights are now refusing every shelter for us. They are even going more far and threat us with deportation into countries which we had left long time ago in order to make a living in our new home Libya.

We have lost everything and Libya has become a burning country full of weapons. We are in Europe now a we will stay here. In Italy, we have been living two years under hard conditions, administrated by the Italian state. After appreciation of our humanitarian state as refugees, we have been insistently requested to go to Northern Europe. None of the states of the European Unions is willing to take the responsibility and to take any steps to support the war refugees from Libya – the civilians which they declared they wanted to “protect” in the first place.

We tell the European governments: You cannot abscond from your responsibility. Neither ignoring our existence nor threatening us with deportation will stop our movement for defending our lives and our rights.

We tell the European governments: if you do not want to welcome refugees and give them shelter, then you will have to stop military interventions, weapon tradings and political interventions for your interests.

Do not speak of democracy and human rights in other countries if you are yourselves not willing to apply them.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 24, 2013 9:16:47 PM | 16

@Colm O' Toole #12
The landmass between China and Europe was the "chessboard" and whoever won that would become the next superpower.

That "Grand Chessboard" would apply more to the US Central Asia policy, and its New Silk Roak policy, and specifically to Afghanistan, and not so much to Syria.

And that would explain Zbig's shift on stabilization. (I don't concur with it, I'm just trying to explain it.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24, 2013 9:29:10 PM | 17

@somebody #16
R2P wars and non-support of refugees reminds me of the anti-abortion zealots who are also against welfare. And the women who brought us Libya are now playing musical chairs in Washington, as if they even deserved a chair. The ironic thing is that these GD wars are particularly hard on women (and children).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 24, 2013 9:34:40 PM | 18

Regarding the Emir. My understanding is that in general Qatar was a big supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. Saudi Arabia aligns more with salafis in these countries.

Why a 61 year old man would voluntarily abdicate is quite curious. Outside pressure is a possible explanation. Saudi Arabia could waltz in, just as they did in Bahrain. But I doubt that they would do that without US approval.

And so the real mystery here is why the US might prefer fanatic salafis to the Muslim Brotherhood. Haven't they learned their lesson yet in Syria?

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 24, 2013 10:48:24 PM | 19

"B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"

What a joker. I don't think that question's quite been answered yet. I think the whole world is starting to realize that we'd be better off had the a decent, secular government popped up in Afghanistan in the 80s and the Soviet Union became peristroika-topia rather than what we've ended up with: the poison seed of Al Qaeda sewn across the globe, then 9/11, the Iraq War, Syria, Drone Wars, NSA-istan, and god knows what horrors await us all.

I'll take the Russians stepping on their dicks desperately trying to figure out how to get more nylons to their women ANY fucking day.

ZBig-diot. Anti-communism is the original sin of this epoch. The United States power elite LITERALLY made a deal with the devil to defeat it. So what... so they could pay Auto Workers $12 an hour in Alabama?

Great trade off, you stupid dicks.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 24, 2013 11:00:46 PM | 20

The best Mr Tunnel Vision (Zbig) has ever, or will ever, come up with is pointless claptrap. He's a slave of the 1% and Israel.
This non-conversation has been inspired by Uncle Sam getting out of its depth in Syria. The proof is Zbig's decision to pretend that Russia hasn't got the Yankees snookered (and is now going to make the Yankees look almost as stupid as they really are).

The simple truth is that, no matter how much the 1% might have wished Russia could be toppled and brought under Yankee control, it has NEVER been weak enough for the gutless, piss weak Yankees to attack.
Now, it's too late.
And that's what Zbig stepped into the spotlight to avoid talking about.

By any conventional measure, the United Stasi of America is a train wreck which, imo, has already passed the point of no return. One of the reasons America keeps so many of its military personnel and equipment off-shore is to minimise the risk of a military coup.
America has only 3 choices.
1. Back down and stfu.
2. Let the military coup proceed.
3. Suffer regime change from outside.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 24, 2013 11:38:43 PM | 21

bevin @1: "No, it is a greedy, selfish country whose inhabitants have no memory of war and its devastation and see the world through a fog of racism and the 'exceptionalism' of Providential theology."

Yes, for the most part.

Posted by: ben | Jun 25, 2013 1:18:10 AM | 22

Looking forward to reading Pepe Escobar's take on the musical chairs in Qatar. There is certainly more to this than meets the eye.

A growing realisation that the Syrian Government will not be defeated by their rent-a-mob might have something to do with it. Perhaps they're now trying to draw a line under their ties with cannibals and child killers - though I doubt this.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jun 25, 2013 4:37:16 AM | 23

Why make such a big thing out of the situation in Qatar.
Its nonsense that this a coup triggered from abroad as some seems to think here. Also that Qatar and Saudiarabia is somewhat enemies. Nonsense too.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25, 2013 7:36:04 AM | 24

My take on it is that although ultimately both Saudi & Qatar are US clients (and very obedient ones, even to the point of pretending to be disobedient when required to do so, to give the US some deniability), they are also rivals in their eagerness to run Sunni guerrilla groups (real guerrillas, suicide bomb campaigns and just plain sectarian death squads). It has been repeatedly reported over the last year at least that Saudi runs Salafis while Qatar runs MB branches. They 'run' these in two ways: primarily, by funding; secondarily, by putting directors in as a condition of funding.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 25, 2013 8:08:13 AM | 25

I do not expect any real change coming from the Qatar putsch. At least o immediate one.

---

Interview in French with a Lebanese professor. Machine translation:

When you look at where there have been protests in Syria, what was the social composition of the demonstrators and what was their number, it is clear that they were in poor rural poor outlying rural areas near the borders with Jordan and Turkey. The images also speak for themselves. They contrasted with the grand mass demonstrations, Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemeni, where all social and age groups all classes were at the rendezvous. We quickly saw the arrival of weapons in the hands of opposition groups that have formed on the ground. In addition, there was the outburst of an absolutely spectacular media war against the Syrian regime. However, the mass demonstrations in Syria have taken place in favor of the regime and against the armed opposition, in these events we saw all social classes, all age groups and many women ...

This is an absolutely fundamental difference compared to other situations of revolts in the Arab world. In addition, the army has no collapsed and faced with more determination and violence arrival of international fighters wrongly called jihadis, because when Muslims kill other Muslims, it is not a jihad. It has been in Syria a scenario that is set up that is being lead to a systematic destruction of the Syrian society and its material wealth (infrastructure, housing, industrial potential). This is a repetition of what the international community has done to Iraq and tomorrow we'll see - as happened in Iraq or Lebanon before - under the pretext of rebuilding the country will be looted by large companies Arab or Turkish or international construction industry. We have already seen that in Lebanon, where, at the end of fifteen years of violence between 1975 and 1990, the country was forced into an incredible debt and that after twenty-two years of reconstruction there is still no water or of current electricity! And Iraq, despite its enormous oil wealth, large water and electricity infrastructure are still not completely rebuilt. We must therefore expect the same scenario in Syria.

Posted by: b | Jun 25, 2013 8:40:42 AM | 26

Zbig is playing good cop.
And he isn't
He was up to his eyeballs in the creation of the Islamic mercenary army... he isn't going to stray to far

Just want to share this pipeline aspect
btw: US is sending troops to Egypt for "peacekeeping"
lol and just the other day Egypts military issued a strange warning
Since Egypt's military is beholden to the US....
something is up
most definitely
take a look at the map in my post "the arab pipeline" it runs through Egypt and will strengthen the shiite arabs..
very complicated situation

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2013/06/syria-secret-steps-in-doha-russiasyria.html

Posted by: Penny | Jun 25, 2013 8:49:10 AM | 27

"...with China, India and Japan, which have a stake in a more stable Middle East."

There we have it. The pivot to Asia. Chaos in the Middle East is part of the "pivot", a major piece of the puzzle. Chinese military power is not the issue, economic power is.

I keep saying, I think the only aim is chaos itself. If China, India and Japan have in interest in a "stable" Middle East then it follows that the US has an interst in an unstable region.

?????

Posted by: Billy boy | Jun 25, 2013 8:57:48 AM | 28

Horseface kerry cries again. Now blaming the victim.

http://presstv.com/usdetail/310769.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25, 2013 9:31:52 AM | 29

Billy boy | Jun 25, 2013 8:57:48 AM | 28, fully asgree!

Posted by: kev | Jun 25, 2013 9:38:10 AM | 30

@Billtbot Re: kev | Jun 25, 2013 9:38:10 AM | 30: Or 'agree' for that matter, all thumbs with the mobile... In that, @b, cant you do a review feature, it would assist; at least me!

Posted by: kev | Jun 25, 2013 9:48:51 AM | 31

FYI

remember the outrage when it was alleged thru a dodgy translation, Ahmadinejad said: israel should be wiped off the map': he didnt say this but he was pilloried around the globe..

NOW guess who says a country SHOULD be wiped off the face of the map....in plain english: the country to be genocided is North Korea..the person who said it..a former israeli ambassador...as an eg to Iran
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r5BioO03VtI
no response in 2 months from media

Posted by: brian | Jun 25, 2013 10:25:27 AM | 32

re: the chemical Red Line, from news reports

Aug 21, 2012: Obama warns Syria not to cross 'red line' -- " a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized."

Nov 15, 2012: Pentagon Says 75,000 Troops Might Be Needed to Seize Syria Chemical Arms

Nov 23, 2012: Information Minister Omran Ahed al-Zouabi denied that Syria has any chemical or biological weapons -- on moral grounds; insisted that his country is battling a foreign terrorist conspiracy rather than a domestic insurgency, and said that fight was "pretty much the same" as the United States government's war on terrorism.

Dec 1, 2012: Western intelligence officials say they are picking up new signs of activity at sites in Syria that are used to store chemical weapons.

Dec 3, 2012:
--There have been signs in recent days of heightened activity at some of Syria’s chemical weapons sites,
-- SecState Clinton -- "[utilizing their chemical weapons] is a redline for the United States."
-- Syria combining chemicals to make sarin gas: U.S. official
--Obama warns Assad against using chemical weapons: "There will be consequences"

Dec 4, 2012: No evidence Syria mixing chemical agents, Pentagon official says

Dec 24, 2012: U.S. Officials Doubt Syrian Rebels’ Chemical Attack Claim

Mar 21, 2013: U.N. to Investigate Chemical Weapons Accusations in Syria

Apr 13, 2013:
--MI6 smuggles Syrian soil sample to UK; soil polluted
--UK scientists 'find evidence of Syrian chemical attack'

Apr 18, 2013:
--Britain, France claim Syria used chemical weapons
--Britain and France have informed the United Nations that there is credible evidence that Syria has used chemical weapons on more than one occasion since December,

Apr 23. 2013: Syria Has Used Chemical Arms Repeatedly, Israel Asserts

April 24, 2013: State spokesperson Ventrell: "Well, we think that, given the conflict in Syria, that it’s very difficult and challenging to make a final conclusion on this, and we have not made a conclusion."

Apr 25, 2013:
--SecDef Hagel: "The United States has evidence that the chemical weapon sarin has been used in Syria on a small scale."
--SecState Kerry: "There have been two instances in which chemical weapons have been used."
--White House official: "The world needs “clear evidentiary facts” before acting."

Apr 26, 2013: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which works with the United Nations on inspections: Assertions of chemical weapon use in Syria by Western and Israeli officials citing photos, sporadic shelling and traces of toxins do not meet the standard of proof

Apr 27, 2013:
--UN asks Syria to allow experts unconditional access, which is denied
--Syria nerve gas claims undermined by eyewitness accounts
--As reports of chemical weapons abound, Obama urges caution on Syria

May 6, 2013: UN's Carla Del Ponte, leading member of a United Nations investigatory commission, says there are “strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that Syrian rebels have used the nerve agent sarin.

Jun 13, 2013: The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons -- no evidence is presented

Jun 21, 2013: Sérgio Pinheiro, chairperson of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on alleged human rights violations in Syria, says there is no proof of government use of chemical weapons.

Jun 22, 2013: Foreign ministers from 11 countries meeting here cited the presence of foreign fighters in the country and the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus in agreeing Saturday to increase arms shipments to the rebels.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25, 2013 11:06:09 AM | 33

Billyboy @ 28

"If China, India and Japan have in interest in a "stable" Middle East then it follows that the US has an interst in an unstable region."

Two thumbs up!

The US/Israel( Israel has to be included because they are the power in the ME) gain from the instability


Posted by: Penny | Jun 25, 2013 11:09:02 AM | 34

If you seek the source who benefit from sunni attacks on shia, youll end up with Israel.

Disturbing pictures.
http://presstv.com/detail/2013/06/24/310617/prominent-shia-sheikh-killed-in-egypt/

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25, 2013 11:45:00 AM | 35

New pro-israel propaganda movie on cinema now.

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/06/hollywoods-zionist-embrace.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25, 2013 12:47:16 PM | 36

b (26)

When you look at where there have been protests in Syria, what was the social composition of the demonstrators and what was their number, it is clear that they were in poor rural poor outlying rural areas near the borders with Jordan and Turkey. The images also speak for themselves. They contrasted with the grand mass demonstrations, Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemeni, where all social and age groups all classes were at the rendezvous. We quickly saw the arrival of weapons in the hands of opposition groups that have formed on the ground. In addition, there was the outburst of an absolutely spectacular media war against the Syrian regime. However, the mass demonstrations in Syria have taken place in favor of the regime and against the armed opposition, in these events we saw all social classes, all age groups and many women ...

Great link and article, thanks.

The machine translation, while generally quite good, is unsatisfactory however at a critical point (marked bold by myself).

(Original: On a très vite assisté à l’arrivée d’armes aux mains des groupes d’opposants qui se sont constitués sur le terrain.)

Correct translation of the meaning (and not word by word): One has very early on assisted in the delivery of arms to opposition groups which have been building up (on the terrain).

Note the plural of "opposition groups", the building up of those and the "on a" construction.

The "building up" is the professors way of saying that there were - not yet organized - discontent rural people - and - (not necessarily by those people) the buildup of opposition groups.

This rather vage indication, leaving open the how and by whom must be seen in the context of the beginning "on a" of that sentence. While "on a" can, so it seems at first sight, be simply translated by "one has", the usage of "one has" (english) and "on a" (french) are actually most often rather different.

To put it short, the "on a" as used here "demonstratively" (as well as the construction of the sentence) leaves open the question of "who?" in a way that indicates a third party.
(explanation for the picky: "on a assisté" can hardly mean the Syrian opposition groups; if they had weapons to be delivered then there wouldn't have existed a need for assistance in the delivery of weapons. Furthermore, I did translate "arrivée" as "delivery" because that's what is meant but actually the professor says "arrival" which is another indicator of an outside party).

While in english "one has/does" usually either means a generalization or the implementation of a generalization (Mom saying "one doesn't let body winds go at the table!"), in french it's rather based in some weird group psychological issue, indicating normality ("What did you do on thursday at 3am?" - "One has slept"), vagueness/generality (similar to english), a social group thing (not speaking the "we" but implicating the we on another level while stressing the action as in "what you gonna do tonight?" - "One will go dancing") or something along that line.

Summary: The professor basically puts three striking points there. a) Some third party has arranged the weaponization very early on, b) there was no organized opposition movement that was intending and ready to fight but rather some (probably third) party feeding and organizing that, and c) there were different groups from the start on (and not one "the Syrian opposition").

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 25, 2013 6:42:47 PM | 37

SecState Kerry had a press conference with Saudi FM Saud (what else) today. Main points:

Saudi--unprecedented genocide and a foreign invasion of Hezbollah and Iran.
USA-- Iranians and Hezbollah crossed international lines and are "managing a war" for Syria (no mention of chemical weapons).

Kerry played dumb, not difficult for him:

We also wanted to – I wanted to hear from His Royal Highness the views of Saudi Arabia with respect to the strategy going forward, and larger concerns: What are the implications of Iran and Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, being involved across international lines in another country, in effect managing a war for that country? What are the impacts on our friends who are neighbors, on Jordan, on Israel, on Lebanon, on Turkey? These are all important considerations, and sometimes one needs to sit face to face in order to have an opportunity to be able to better understand our friends’ thinking on these issues. And that’s exactly what we did.

SecState Kerry's been on the senate foreign relations committee for about 25 years and was its chairman for several, so why would he want "to hear from His Royal Highness the views of Saudi Arabia with respect to the strategy going forward?" Impact on Israel? Dumb and dumber.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25, 2013 9:04:24 PM | 38

@Don Bacon#38

Kerry wants to get input from Saudis about how to convince the American people that the redline for US engagement in Syria has been crossed NOW because a TERRORIST organization (Hezbollah) JUST ENTERED the fight. Given that 70% of Americans still oppose intervention in Syria, given that the Saudis have been funding Salafist insurgents since early in the conflict, given that the US declared one of those groups, AQI, a terrorist-linked group many many months ago, given that, even though the MSM tells them little of value, a certain percentage of Americans know how to refresh their memories by "doing the google," and given that Americans don't perceive the Saudis as supporters of democracy, how do the Saudis suggest the Obama administration proceed?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jun 25, 2013 9:55:34 PM | 39

12, you misread the situation. you're forgetting "off-shore balancing" It's important for there to be a Shia nexus to balance the Sunni nexus. Assad tortured for us, protected Israel and was a team player. Even the craven Zbig, who strikes me as the fairest voice in the pantheon of admin/MSM approved commentariat--though far from and earnest voice.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 25, 2013 10:28:39 PM | 40

Somebody 16 the great irony/funny thing is how this racist imperialism brings all these immigrants to the empires. I remember poor Vietnamese when I was a we child--now I frequent their restaurants. We had all these Iraqi immigrants, I have enjoyed eating in their homes. Same for the Koreans, Japanese and all the others. Just like the Indians in England. It's fucking great, it's wonderful, time and entropy triumph over the best laid plans. And the diversity and the food are the fruits.

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 25, 2013 10:45:01 PM | 41

bacon 18 that's not ironic, it's sad and reveals the craven bankruptcy of their arguments

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 25, 2013 10:46:39 PM | 42

@RP #39
Agree -- it's a sorry state of US foreign affairs when the secretary of state has to:
--carp about others that they have "crossed international lines" when the US has military in a hundred countries
--depend upon Saudi Arabia for foreign policy advice, a country that rates lower than the US congress in esteem (except with visiting Washington boot-lickers).
--depend AGAIN on Iran (and Hez) as the bogeyman that causes us all to lay awake nights (heh)

It reminds me of the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954.

"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" -- Joseph Welch

Get off you knees, Johnny, and be a man for once. "I wanted to hear from His Royal Highness the views . ." Cheeez.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25, 2013 11:43:51 PM | 43

@sid #42
No argument -- it's ironic, sad and revealing. Also criminal, while we're at it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25, 2013 11:47:27 PM | 44

Once a rebel stronghold, the town of Tal Kalakh on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon changed sides at the week-end and is now controlled by the Syrian army. The switch in allegiance is the latest advance by government forces into areas where they have had little or no authority since the start of the revolt in Syria two years ago.
Patrick Cockburn

Major event this. What I have been saying for months was likely to happen, and it will spread.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 26, 2013 2:33:08 AM | 45

Theirry Meissan wrote on Sunday:

In Qatar, the US has given Prince Hamad Al-Thani until August to give up his throne to his son Tamim and be forgotten along with his Prime Minister.

Hamad formally did it on Tuesday. Meyssan doesn't give any sources, unfortunately.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 26, 2013 7:19:19 AM | 46

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25, 2013 9:04:24 PM | 38

Kerrys should have asked the saudis about this under his predecessor:
US -saudi deal

'You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. '
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD02Ak01.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 26, 2013 7:28:24 PM | 47

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter