December 27, 2016
Syria Roundup: Aleppo Liberated - Turkey's Problems Increase
As planned by the Russian forces the liberation of east-Aleppo was completed before Christmas. There are no longer beheadings by Takfiris in East-Aleppo. Instead a Christmas mass could be held in the damaged Elias Cathedral in the Old City in east-Aleppo.
A total of about 88,000 people left the area during the evacuation of east-Aleppo. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross some 35,000 (13,000 militants and their immediate families) left to al-Qaeda held areas in Idleb governate. The UN Humanitarian Relief Organization found that 54,000 entered the government held west Aleppo.
Currently the area is searched by sapper teams and several hidden bombs were found. Several exploded and killed dozens of Syrian army soldiers. Mass graves were found of Syrian soldiers and civilians executed by al-Qaeda, Ahrar al Sham and other U.S. supported groups, presumably shortly before their evacuation. The Syrian government had wanted to negotiate their release before the evacuation. But an estimate of the additional death toll by a prolonged presence of the Takfiris during negotiations was high and international politics demanded a fast solution of the crisis.
Many weapon and food storage were found as well as intact health clinics. The fighters and their families were obviously well supplied while the rest of the population suffered. The weapons and ammunition found (video of just one stash - 1, 2) - mostly produced in Bulgaria, paid by the Saudis and transported and distributed by the U.S. - are estimated to be about $100 million in value.
The Turkish forces and some of its Syrian Islamist proxies are trying to capture Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, from Islamic State forces. Their "Euphrates Shield" operation has run into severe problems. The proxy forces ran away instead of fighting ISIS. On Dec 22 a suicide bomber killed some 16 Turkish soldiers. In total some 80-90 Turkish soldiers were killed during the short campaign so far - more than Russian soldiers killed in Syria since the start of their campaign more than a year ago. Ten of the most modern tanks in the Turkish army, German build Leopard 2A4, have been damaged or destroyed by ISIS forces. These use U.S. manufactured TOW anti-tank missiles provided by the CIA to support "moderate rebels" fighting the Syrian government. ISIS pictures of battle damage in Al-Bab show UK/U.S. supported "White Helmets" doing "rescue" work.
The Turkish army now sent 500 additional special forces as well as artillery to get a hold of Al-Bab. Turkish jets are not allowed in Syrian air space and the U.S. has denied all air support. Today the Russian air forces(!) gave air support to Turkish troops fighting ISIS in Al-Bab. (Remember that not so long ago neocon propagandists were claiming that Russia’s Giving ISIS An Air Force.)
In east-Syria ISIS is again trying to capture the government held enclave in Deir Ezzor but has failed so far to make any gain. Kurdish YPG forces and some bribed tribal Arab groups with the (rather funny) name Syrian Democratic Forces, both under U.S. command, slowly approach the ISIS held city of Raqqa.
Shortly before Christmas the U.S. president signed a new directive that allows the distribution of air-defense MANPADs to "moderate rebels" in Syria. Like with the TOWs the CIA distributed to "moderate rebels" some of these MANPADs will inevitably end up with ISIS and may well be used against civilian airliners outside of Syria. The Kurdish YPG/SDF also wants these weapons though their only potential enemy with an air forces is the Turkish NATO army. The Russians understand the distribution of MANPADs to their enemies in Syria as a "hostile act" and will likely response in kind.
With his losses in Syria accumulating the Turkish president Erdogan now accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria - groups Erdogan himself supported until the probably U.S. induced coup against him was warded. His permanent ideological U-turns (pro-ISIS/anti-ISIS; pro-Russian/anti-Russian/pro-Russian etc) are taking a toll with his followers. (The economic problems don't help either.) The recent assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey by some Islamist policeman can be seen as a result of these confusions.
Erdogan followers are not the only ones who are getting confused about the various actors, allies and interests in Syria. Elijah Magnier has written an insightful year-end recap about the current "Regional and international balance in the Levant". Part one covers the Turkish shifts in the Syrian war and part two Russia’s role in the Syrian war and the tactical differences with Iran. He concludes:
Syria is headed toward more battles but a peace deal is visible on the 2017 horizon. Sometimes diplomacy necessitates the language of guns and fire to impose peace on the participants. One thing is certain: the jihadists certainly will not be laying down their arms for the simple reason that this would blow away the essence of their ideology: they would have to choose to migrate to a country outside Syria.
The first choice of the migrating Takfiris will be Turkey where they have a support base and many followers of their ideology. With the pursuit of the war on Syria and support for radical Islamists Erdogan has put his country in the same position Pakistan had put itself when Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq supported the CIA supplied Mujahedin in Afghanistan against the progressive Afghan government in 1978. The result in Pakistan has been a slow boiling, deadly insurgency ever since. It will probably take decades for Turkey to rid the formerly secular country of such deadly cancer.
Posted by b on December 27, 2016 at 02:01 PM | Permalink
"His permanent ideological U-turns"
Tsk! tsk! tsk! You are very unkind to Erdogan.
He his firmly dedicated to his OWN ideology, no U-turns here.
Posted by: acrimonious | Dec 27, 2016 2:21:30 PM | 2
Thank you, b. That photo of the St. Elias Cathedral speaks volumes.
And speaking of deadly cancers, I am wondering if any other country has such a long period between the election of a new president and his inauguration. Here it has never seemed such a problem as it is today - I guess that is a legacy of some sort for the current president.
Posted by: juliania | Dec 27, 2016 2:29:39 PM | 3
I just had this exact conversation with someone from Turkey this weekend. He did say that I was the only person over hear he had talked to that had a clue.
Posted by: phodges | Dec 27, 2016 2:47:50 PM | 4
Elijah Magnier says "But the reasons behind Russia’s intervention [...] to stop the Syrian state from disintegration and prevent the US from threatening Moscow’s access to the Mediterranean"
The second is only a small driver to Russia. The first is not a driver at all as Russia has done nothing to stop the Kurdish forces (Hasakah is anti axis of resistance and pro FUKUS+Israel) which also adds up to the disintegration. Even in his analysis, Elijah Magnier indicates that Russia was a rather reluctant actor that was trying diplomacy instead of seeking hard core results as in destroying the terrorists and foreign jihadi aligned proxy forces to the detriment of Damascus and Teheran. Russia's main driver is the long term economic aspect of a gas pipeline that would make it's way from Qatar to Turkey (and then the EU of course) over Syrian soil that would rival it's own gas supplies to the EU and badly hurt Russia's economic interests (+ diplomatic leverage). When Russia recently seeked to lower the oil production together with the OPEC to lower the supply with a demand that remains at the same level which thus increases the oil price, it was mainly to increase the gas price which is pegged to the oil price.
That Turkey would suffer a similar faith as Pakistan was obvious when it became clear that they were acting as a logistic hub for the terrorists coming from all over the world. What makes it even worse for Turkey are the Kurds because the US (+ other Atlanticists) is clearly working towards something like the Yinon plan. This is beneficial to both the US (easy to pressurize Turkey when needed) and Russia (a gas pipeline crossing KSA, Muslim Brotherhood (if Deir E Zor would fall) and Kurdish territory in northern Syria is unthinkable).
Posted by: xor | Dec 27, 2016 3:15:42 PM | 5
Russia has managed to make diplomatic steps with KSA so maybe they don't want to lose that?
Posted by: Mina | Dec 27, 2016 3:28:00 PM | 6
Welcome back, B.
Signs are looking already that your journalism is going to be even more needed in 2017. Stay safe.
Posted by: Skeletor | Dec 27, 2016 3:41:39 PM | 7
There are multiple ways to read the admonition for B to 'stay safe.' Perhaps it is a good thing that MoA stays (relatively speaking) under the radar.
Posted by: rg the lg | Dec 27, 2016 4:00:38 PM | 8
"The Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad says Turkish forces will leave Iraq soon, without specifying how soon. This information came during a meeting with former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. [Shafaq]"
Posted by: Mina | Dec 27, 2016 4:13:09 PM | 9
Barry still has 20 or so days to breeze through until he is supposed to step down....could've won it....third time
Posted by: pubumwei | Dec 27, 2016 4:24:37 PM | 10
From the same. Surreal "The Coalition says the Iraqi Air Force air dropped four million letters to the long-suffering residents of Mosul Dec. 22, to give them courage and support while they await liberation from Daesh. This air drop is the culminating event of The Institute for War and Peace Reporting initiative named Letters to Mosul. IWPR digitally launched their campaign on Oct. 17, 2016, the same day as the operation to liberate Mosul began. They photocopied and distributed 2,160 handwritten letters to the people still held captive by Daesh.
The letters of empathy and support for Mosul residents were written by Iraqis from all over the country. This initiative by the people of Iraq reassures the residents of Mosul, held hostage by Daesh for more than two years, that they have not been forgotten and that the rest of Iraq is standing with them, waiting to welcome them back in solidarity when Daesh is defeated. [InherentResolve] "
You wonder why not dropping cyanid pills. Rather than being killed because you were caught reading a coalition pamphlet/letter of love.
Posted by: Mina | Dec 27, 2016 4:39:44 PM | 11
Great article as always, b.
The mere act of Obama approving Shoulder-fired SAMs will come back to haunt the U.S., even if they are never delivered as a result of his edict. There are already many MANPADs in Syria, either from the CIA/U.S. State Department rat lines from Benghazi (thanks, Hillary) or just head-chopper smuggling from Libya. The GCC has provided hundreds (maybe thousands?) of these to it's proxy head-choppers in Syria. Then there's whatever has been looted from the Syrian Army in various places. Israel's eagerness to send fake al Nusra to take out the Syrian air defenses on the Golan border means al Nusra has plenty of them. Unintended consequences: any attack on a civilian airliner by any kind of MANPAD anywhere on earth can now be officially blamed on the U.S. because of Obama's policy declaration. He has to be a fool not to realize the number of these things floating around among the head-choppers right now.
I also have to respectfully whine a bit about your use of the terms "radical Islamists" and "Islamic policeman". It's your blog and I'm just a guest, so take this for what it's worth.
"Radical Islamist" was originated in, but was put into wide(er) use a few months ago by newswires Reuters and AFP and subsequently picked up by AP (as far as anyone can tell). It's a propaganda term - a linguistic trick to make us think a certain way. I would guess quite intentionally to associate Iranian Shia Muslims with al Qaeda and ISIS fake Muslims, as Israel jumped all over the term when it became popular. It's in such wide use now that nobody questions it. While technically correct, it still unnecessarily slurs 1.6 billion followers of Islam that detest the head-choppers and are embarrassed that Islam is even associated with them. And despite Israel's insistence otherwise, Iranian Shia are not terrorists.
'Radicalized Salafist' would probably be more precise, but that implies something done to a 'normal' Sunni Salafist to make them 'radical'. While that does happen, it ignores large social groups of Salafists that have normalized militancy, religious bigotry and radical, revolutionary ideas. Example: Saudi Wahhabists don't need to be radicalized - they already are. Erdogan's nationalist Salafism has more or less normalized radical militancy (as long as Erdogan approves). The GCC's flavors of Muslim Brotherhood Salafism already have many 'radical Salafist' ideas at their core.
I don't have a better term than 'jihadi terrorist', but that's far better (and less of a slur on all Muslims) than 'radical Islamist'. 'Head-chopper' seems to work well, too.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 27, 2016 5:32:02 PM | 12
Correction: I meant to say that the term "Radical Islamist" was not originated by the wire services. Their use of it simply made it more widespread and that was quite intentional.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 27, 2016 5:34:59 PM | 13
b.. excellent article.. thank you for all your hard work you put into all this..
well, i agree with elijah magnier and think a peace deal might be possible, however i can see a lot of possibilities here at the end of 2016, and it can really go a few ways, some of which are extremely scary.. only a fool would engage in this kind of crap, but it is what we see from the politicians who are responsible for rubber stamping much of this.. obviously folks here who i consider the prime folks responsible and it definitely ain't russia, syria or iran..
Posted by: james | Dec 27, 2016 6:02:58 PM | 14
Your RT link contains malware. Breitbart also contains extensive malware. Is there a link? 26% of Israelis, those currently in power, are former Soviet emigrants to Israel. You know, Khazars, the ones who overwhelmingly control the USAryan Fourth Estate, and the US Senate has just made it a Federal crime to talk disparagingly about, although in fact, Israel is NOT a Jewish State, that's an attempt by Likudim to cloak their activities, one that is vigorously challenged by both Orthodox Jews and the member states of the UN.
Don't forget Syria has always been a money laundering center, and with Iceland gone for the Russian oligarchs, whether you believe Putin is St Christopher or not, the Russians will fight to keep hold on their financial pipelines, as much as their oil and gas pipelines.
Just another cartel war, wrapped in flags and prophets, like the cartel wars of Israel.
Oops, I did it again! Lol. Israel! Israel! Israel!
Hold on, there's someone at the front door....
[SFX door crashing, scuffling, 'On the floor! On the floor! Shoot the dog! Shoot the dog!]
It's 'a comin'!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 27, 2016 6:05:05 PM | 15
I also have to respectfully whine a bit about your use of the terms "radical Islamists"
What do you think of b's use of the term takfiri? He seems to use it to refer to what other people refer to as "jihadis". "Takfiri" means "apostate", so to me, it makes no sense to single out some Muslims as takfiris, since they are all apostates, given that Islam is best understood as a Christian heresy, as I explained briefly on the current Open Thread.
I am not trying to be provocative, but I honestly don't see any other way of looking at this issue, if one claims to be a Christian. And there was even a piece in the New Yorker IIRC a few years ago on Mormonism which reached the conclusion that the natural way for Christians to look at both Mormonism and Islam is as Christian heresies. So if the New Yorker could publish that, what I'm saying can't really be that outlandish.
Sorry to digress. To repeat the question: how do you respond to b's use of the term "takfiri"? Every time I run across it, I find it a bit jarring.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 6:26:35 PM | 17
With the US being marginalized and outright claimed by one of its major allies as a state sponsor of terrorism and the Russian, Turkey, and Iran alliance formulating the single most telling action of where the high stakes game of musical chairs that is going on right now is how far Russia will go in upgrading Syria's military capabilities.
If, as I suspect, Russia packs up and heads for home once they are certain the Qatari pipeline is dead for good. And the threat of terrorists and mercenaries being trained in Syria and then sent to Russia is sufficiently neutralized, Russia leaves Syria pretty much as is with only minor hardware replacements and minor upgrades we know that Russia has a deal in place with the Israeli regime.
On the other hand, if Russia starts supplying modern tanks, aircraft, and missiles to Syria we will see a complete reshaping of the Middle East. Or even indirectly through Iran.
The Syrian Army is now the single most effective fighting force in the entire Middle East. They have fighting experience that militaries all over the world can only dream of.
The Israeli regime got their asses handed to them by a much poorer equipped Hezbollah and had their regime troops running and crying back across the border in their failed Lebanon invasion. Other than gunning down women and children the Israelis would be utterly destroyed by a Syrian army with equal military hardware.
The laughable performance of the Turkish troops fighting the Kurds in Syria make it clear why Erdogan is now so frantically meeting with Russia and Iran over ensuring Syria is not broken up. A full scale Kurdish revolt in Turkey would have almost certain success if there was a Kurdish state right on his border.
And of course the KSA troops have been getting wiped out by their flipflop neighbors.
It has to be tempting for Putin to look at the Middle East and know that he could effectively kick the sole world superpower out of the region in just a matter of a few years.
He has in his grasp:
* Having a modernized Syria with its unmatched military force as the foundation of Russian power in the Middle East
* Turkey on a leash and contained with the ever Kurd threat ready to be unleashed if they get out of line
* KSA effectively neutralized and even toppled with little effort
* A rising and increasingly dominant Iran as the second Middle East pillar to its Syrian alley
* The US regime's terrorist state Israel completely contained and neutralized with Egypt moving into the Russian sphere.
The only state missing from Putin's complete reshaping of the Middle East is Jordan. But they are such a pathetic joke that I can't imagine they would drop their long time master the US without hesitation once they saw which way the wind was blowing.
Posted by: Stevens | Dec 27, 2016 6:35:35 PM | 18
* A rising and increasingly dominant Iran as the second Middle East pillar to its Syrian alley.
iran's history and culture have always extend to the east and north, almost never to the south and west, even though iran when it was a powerful empire controlled the province of iraq(the area between Baghdad and Basra, it never spread its language culture or religion beyond west of the zagros.
the only thing pulling it westward is the Palestinians, whom iran feels a duty to support, since they are the only real independent muslim state.
if somehow israel/palestine could be sorted out overnight, iran will have little to do with and little reason to be engaged in the Middle east & North Africa. rather they will be tied in closer with the "stans"
Posted by: pA | Dec 27, 2016 7:08:35 PM | 20
Nice analysis. It seems that US hegemony over the Middle East has decreased under Bush and Obama, undermining PNAC even though neocons were at the helm for foreign policy under both administrations.
It seems that while Bush overreached in Iraq, Obama overreached in Syria. And of course the driving force for both invasions/interventions were the Zionists. So it appears the Zionists miscalculated.
What caused the miscalculation? Was it racism? The same kind of racism that made the Nazis think they could defeat the Russians, because Nazis are Aryans whereas Russians, being Slavs, are Untermenschen?
Anyway you look at it, there does seem to have been a geostrategic defeat for both Zion and the Empire.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 7:13:18 PM | 21
sorry about that last link. Dailymail didn't add any details and just threw a bunch of the old story in to fill space. It could get interesting if Erdogan "embarasses" the US with his proof.
But that's a good point that Erdogan does not like the possibility of MANPADs getting into the hands of the Kurds. Until now, it's been the Russians who've protested this crazy idea to add more weapons to the mix.
Posted by: Curtis | Dec 27, 2016 7:13:19 PM | 22
b - excellent analysis.
We can also think about who caused "radical islamists" to take hold of the Muslim psyche. Who nurtured then at very beginning and who continues to support them in everything from weapons to economical support to the primary sponsors (Saudi,GCC) of the metastatic form of this extreme ideology. Sorry, I have to disagree with your view that Iranian Shias are not radical, i think they very clearly are. But not in a way profitable to the West, so they are tarred (give a dog a bad name and kill it??) while the real scum is fed, trained, incited and paid by the same actors (fukus primarily)
The current propaganda in the West is trying to sell (its populations and those its client states) the story that Isis and nusra (aq actually) rose up from the desert like mediaval armies. Unfortunately, in the present day and age you need a little bit more than horses and swords. You need tanks, guns, artillary guns, bullets - lot of them, shells, vehicles of all sorts, recon, satellite images, money and most importantly training and the capability to transport tens of thousands of men while numerous satellites and electronic systems keep track. Not an easy thing to do, in fact it is a herculean task - one that could only be undertaken by a state actor, or maybe it needs a coalition even.
The dichotomy of supporting the cancer in Muslim society will come back to haunt the West. It's only a matter of time! Pakistan was the first western client state to get the cancer while Turkey is the next one. At the same time, the secularly oriented Muslim despots, be it Gaddafi or Saddam, have been decimated (also tried in Egypt and trying in Syria). Using the spectre of Islamic radicalism the West has also succeeded in scaring their populations to vastly increase the size of their security state. It has been a win-win partnership of the radical islamists with the western governing class.. till now. But, the chicken will come home to roost one day
Posted by: Ancient Archer | Dec 27, 2016 7:15:03 PM | 23
Islam is an attempt to return to a Saner monotheist World: One God under the Rule of the Caliph. Peace with Slavery. Worship the Black Rock Epoch of the Petrocene. Lida.
Xtians are 'deluded followers of their False Christ', the Hebrews say, just like Hindus are deluded followers of their Blue Monkey Gods. The Xtian polytheist Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and Mother Mary, are just variants on Hindu's Krishna, Kali, Vishnu and Lord Hanuman. Both crazed religions populated by virulantly racist, classist, misogynist peoples.
Xtianity is an abomination of 'Virgin Mothers', 'Blood for Wine' and 'Catechism Crusades'. Rolling Rock is a brand of beer, not Son-of-God's mystical exit strategy. 'Death to Christians and Jews' is understandable: look where all the wars and depredations originate from! No more 'Promised Land' and 'White Man's Burden' shyte!
Use the eyes God gave you. There are miracles every day, but it'll be a true miracle if your Monkey Boy Ieosus saves US and EU from a New Trump Apocalypse that he's called for. You're gonna see every evil of Xtians under Trump, talking in tongues and fondling snakes, every Ba'al and Moloch depravity of golden calves and child pederasty, under a $TRILLION Pentangle Church of Satan, whose only product is human blood and bone and gristle.
25 Days! Hagee is warming up his pulpit! It's 'a comin'! It's 'a comin'! It's 'a comin'!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 27, 2016 7:15:18 PM | 24
It turns out that Obama is as shallow and empty-headed as Dubya Bush. They just do as Kissinger ordered them to do. MANPADS all around.
Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 27, 2016 8:02:53 PM | 25
Adalbrand@17 - I think that b often uses the term takfiri intentionally to make a point - a bit of sarcasm, if you will. Even if I'm wrong in my interpretation, I don't find it offensive or a thinly-veiled slur on an entire religion.
'Islamist' and 'Islamism' are different. Whenever I see the word, I think of neocons - they love it because it has a very negative connotation of Islam to them. Here's how neocon mouthpiece WINEP attempts to differentiate the faith from the 'hateful' political ideology: Muslims vs. Islamists. If 'Islamist' ever had an entirely neutral (neither good nor bad) meaning, it certainly doesn't any more.
How about if I wrote a similar article on the difference between Christianity and what I decided was the dangerous 'Christianist' political ideology? Wouldn't you be a little miffed that I co-opted the name of your faith for a convenient (but negative) label? How about if I wrote a piece about the difference between Judiasm and the horrible 'Jewist' political ideology? They would probably throw me in jail.
I contend that many Muslims must feel the same way when they see the word "Islamist" - providing they even know the narrow meaning of it as an evil political ideology. I'll further contend that most people (Muslim or not) read "Radicalized Islamist" as "Radicalized Muslim", believing it refers to the faith, not a political ideology.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 27, 2016 8:30:09 PM | 26
Crazy world! Look at this picture:
Bibi is CRYING! Look at his red eyes! Kerry is giving him that Mommy Gonna Give You a Big Hug look! Poor baby is just so upset USArya is not his private little puppet state, that he can fly into without invitation and lecture Congress, then get a 1-hour mandatory standing ovation, longer than for any sitting president in US history, and now the UN said he was a bad boy. A bad, bad boy, Bibi! You're a bad boy!
So Kerry is set to lecture USAryans tomorrow about the US Senate Anti-Semitism Law. We can no longer protest the takeover of Palestine and Ukraine and USArya by Tel Aviv. That tells you all about your 'Freedom and Democracy', homey's. Remember Kerry and the Republican Congress looted $50 B from USAryans' SS and MC Trust Fund in July 2015, in order to 'backstop the verticals' on the private IMF loans made to the Israeli Junta Coup in Kiev, who then promptly defaulted with the lucre, knowing that USAryans 'had their backs'!
Now World Bank loans are rebuilding E Ukraine roads and bridges to a military load capacity, and NATO is moving into position, even as Modi is selling off all of India's 24k gold jewelry to Bank of London, traded away from its citizens for unredeemable fiat script 'gold bonds', then melted into bullion bars, in trade for sacks and sacks of pound sterling, in plain view money-laundering the future of 1.3 billion humans into penury and starvation, so the Israeli Junta Coup in London can buy up all the prime India farmland for Bayer-Monsanto.
It's 'a comin'! 24 more days, then the iron claw of Yahweh escapes the velvet glove!
Ba'al and Moloch! Speaking in tongues!! Golden calves!!! Snakes and pizza!!!!
It's 'a comin'!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 27, 2016 8:31:38 PM | 27
Your "cancer in Muslim society" was a peaceable ally of the West, even with the stab in the back of Israel, and the Shah, until Cheney-Rumsfeld Wehrmacht of Oilvil got Saddam fighting Khomeini, then got Saddam fighting the Kuwaiti princes (who were massively horizontal drilling under the Iraqi border, don't let anyone shyte you on that bit). And still things returned to a stasis!! Then Bush the Lesser comes onto the scene, again with the Cheney-Rumsfeld Wehrmacht of Oilvil, and now the Sandbox is a shyte-storm, 1,000,000s of innocents slaughtered.
Your 'cancer in Muslim society' resides in The Pentagon, 2 N Rotary Rd, Arlington, VA 22202, and they've got a +$100B budget increase and a Get Back to the Sandbox card from Trump, (although every news story of his boast about restarting the draft has already been carefully purged until it's 'go-time'.)
It's 'a comin'!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 27, 2016 8:47:37 PM | 28
Thanks for your reply. Of course I understood that b's use of the word is ironic. If that use doesn't bother you, I guess it won't bother me from now on. (I am a social creature.)
As for the rest of your remarks, I will not argue with your liberal views at this point. ;-)
As for the expression "radicalized Muslim" or "radical Islam", even I don't like that.
I will just note that as late as the spring of 2015, I was tolerant of and liberal on Islam. I even made a few passes at trying to understand it, reading books like Reza Aslan's No god but God. (From what I've been able to learn, Aslan is an Iranian who converted to Sunni Islam, which I guess must be pretty unusual. I have not been able to learn why he did that.)
What made me give up on Islam was the San Bernadino attack followed by the Turkish downing of the Russian jet bombing jihadists in Syria. I noticed a pattern. As Trump said in response to the recent attack on the Berlin Christmas market, Muslims have a tendency to kill Christians.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 9:05:05 PM | 29
@17 demian/adalbrand, 'I am not trying to be provocative ...'
you're a liar on top of all else.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 27, 2016 9:17:21 PM | 30
You're tolerant of Islam, but you're not tolerant of my religion, Christianity. That is what the West has come down to.
Because when I write about Islam, all I do is write about it from a Christian point of view. It's like Christians aren't even allowed to be Christians any more if that offends Muslims.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 9:41:09 PM | 31
@26 / 12 paveway @17 Adalbrand..
sorry paveway, but i missed your comments when i first posted, but would like to comment on these term 'radical islamist' and your impression of it, as well as adalbrands question on the use of the term 'takfiri'..
language is definitely used to manipulate.. i think this 'radical islamist' term is probably intentional and not a good term for anyone seeking objectivity here. i think takfiri is a much better term, at least the way it is described here at wikipedia..
it seems to me the intolerant, fanatical group of zealots - isis, wahabbists and other head-chopper cultists like to refer to other islamists as takfiri... however, they're (isis/wahabbists/head-chopper cultists) the takfiri for having nothing to do with islam.. either the takfiri intolerance of others beliefs and ideology is one that needs to be cut off at the head, lol... i would lump them all in using the term takfiri, even if that's what isis/wahabbi nutjobs are calling others.. upon closer inspection, i think that's the best term to use for this hybrid intolerant bunch..
this is the same group that saudi arabia, qatar, and (although they don't publicly say so) - usa/uk/israel/turkey and smaller western puppets have been backing too.. the west better come to terms with this sickness fast, as it is being exported and will cause much greater pain.. if on the other hand the west's plan is for greater murder and suffering for profit, they are on the right path..
@18 stevens.. i don't know that i agree with your analysis.. i think the syrian army has some experience that is of great value, but i think they are over stretched and have been beaten down quite a bit too.. mainly they are overstretched, but they have benefited greatly from russian expertise..
@19 curtis.. as both you and stevens point out, the flip flop out of turkey earlier today on the us support for isis presents some serious entertainment value and some serious consequences if erdogan has something to share.. why, it was only around a year ago and russia was highlighting the isis oil truck conveys going back into turkey.. that never got any traction in the western msm - why would this little outbreak by erdogan get any? unless he can come up with something really earth shattering, it will get buried under the carpet in the west like everything else does.. the one who controls the printing press /msm - control the story line.. that ain't erdogan unfortunately, nor is it russia.. at least with russia - they are dealing with reality on the ground, msm be damned - having to adjust as they go.. erdogan - not the same!
Posted by: james | Dec 27, 2016 9:43:40 PM | 32
This is all very Byzantine. U.S. operatives have the disadvantage of having no coherent overall policy to work with. As in Iraq there are half a dozen policies being carried out at the same time by rival groups within the National Security State. Whatever is happening in that area is even worse than it appears to be.
Turkey too, despite Erdogan's crackdown on rival factions, has a confused policy.
There is one factor often not talked about and that's the old fashioned problem of corruption--in the Syria war that's a big part of the situation. The Russians are and have been effective because their degree of corruption is less than all the other forces--so, in my view, their victory is inevitable.
Posted by: Banger | Dec 27, 2016 9:49:36 PM | 33
"Your RT link contains malware. Breitbart also contains extensive malware. Is there a link? 26% of Israelis, those currently in power, are former Soviet emigrants to Israel. You know, Khazars, "
Being possibly a part Khazar, I am miffed at this constant anti-Khazar harangues from certain quarters here. Russian hacking of Democratic party is but a conjecture from bias actors, but Khazar responsibility for the malware at RT and Breitbart is a sure thing. BTW, I read an article about the analysis of Ashkenazi Y chromosomes, and from the smallish sample, about 10% of them can be traced to Altai, folks like Tuvans and Khakass, hence Khazars in a narrow sense, Turkic speaking nomads of Mongolian race arriving from East-Central Asia/Southern Siberia, and 10-15% from Caucasus region that was ruled by Khazars and where there were some rather ancient Jewish groups. My late father was definitely Armenoidal in his looks, I mean, Armenians were asking him if he were Armenian. So even though 70-75% of Ashkenazi Y's are traced to Mediterranean, I could descent from southern Caucasians (mind you, Armenians and Georgians do not look like, say, Chechens from northern Caucasus).
In any case, from what I remember about ancestral occupations, I recall a dairy farm, making suspenders, coating metal parts with paint, travel agency, a lot of stuff but no one produced "web malware".
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 27, 2016 9:50:49 PM | 34
@31, demian/adalbrand, 'all I do is write about it from a Christian point of view'
from the demian/adalbrand point of view. you're an unbeliever, remember? christianity is just another arrow in your quiver. strife is your pursuit.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 27, 2016 9:54:42 PM | 35
'radical islamist' is just 'palestinian terrorist' updated. i agree with james in that it seems takfiri is just a derogatory epithet thrown by one group of salafist - fundamentalist - muslims at another. a case of projecting one's own most 'secret' defects on 'the enemy. it's not the kind of word ordinary people have a use for. neo-cons', zionists', wahabists' stock in trade.
a mercenary terrorist is a mercenary terrorist, whether s/he holds out the alibi of usraelian judeao/xtian excptionalism, or some similar twisted misanthropic interpretation of buddhism, islam, or shinto. terrorism is the twisted body, the alibi is just the clothes.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 27, 2016 10:08:04 PM | 36
thanks jfl.. one of the most despicable terms that came out recently in this 'make war on syria' experiment has been the term 'moderate'... that has to be the biggest lie and con job that goes right to the heart of what a load of bullshit the west has attempted to lay on the ordinary person.. it is right up their with 'democracy' and 'freedom'.. 'moderate'.. this is why i am always saying 'moderate head-chopper' in the same sentence to define this group the west holds up in support of all it's hokum..
meanwhile dec 23rd obama that great nobel peace price bullshit artist has authorized manpads for these 'moderates'.. i thought bush 2 was bad, but obama is as bad, if not much worse for the deception of his nice talk that tries to hide the thick bullshit he stands for..
Posted by: james | Dec 27, 2016 10:27:37 PM | 37
strife is your pursuit.
Why is this so hard for you to understand? It is the Muslims who cause the strife. Their religion is a meta-religion, being all about how Christianity and Judaism are false religions.
Why couldn't Muhammad just found a new religion from scratch and leave Jesus out of his religion?
That was a rhetorical question. Here is why:
Mina #136 in the Open Thread:
the Koran is close to important Christian trends of the 4th-6th c. check that
Islam grew out of a Christian heresy. This whole idea of treating it as a separate religion is racist, as far as I can tell. It is as if white people have one kind of Christianity and brown people have another kind, but because the races are different the religions have to be considered completely independent, too. (Although Muhammad was the last prophet according to Islam, Jesus is more special than Muhammad according to Islam, because although Muhammad died just like anyone else, Jesus did not, according to the Quran. Thus Islam is a derivative religion.)
Mormonism is a Christian heresy too, and Mormons have their own new holy text just like the Muslims have their Quran, but because Mormons are white I guess, they're considered Christians now by most people.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 10:50:30 PM | 38
Who gives a shit what the fuckers are called?
Takfiri in common language seems to be a term for the religious nutters that take it upon themselves to declare other muslims apostates. The average foot slogger/cannon fodder jihadist seems to fight for religious reasons rather than mercenary. Can't enjoy the fruits of your labour if you blow yourself up.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 27, 2016 10:52:09 PM | 39
Thank you so much for that piece by Thierry Meyssan. I did not realize that diplomacy was playing such a critical role. This was the most revealing bit for me:
The liberation of East Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army was only possible because the foreign participants accepted to cease supporting the jihadists.
Since I am a hasbara troll however, I must deny the involvement of Israel in the Russian ambassador's assassination. (Seriously, Meyssan often goes out on a limb, and I don't really think that Israel had a motive. Israel must surely be aware that terrorist attacks are not going to make Russia change its foreign policy, and while Israel can be vindictive, I do not think it will act vindictively towards powers it respects, and it appears to respect Russia.)
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 11:15:09 PM | 40
Thanks b, nice read.
This tread has become a debate about semantics. For all the "Religionists" out there, get over it. Please, just make up your own, the ancients did.
Posted by: ben | Dec 27, 2016 11:32:28 PM | 41
@17 demian/adalbrand, 'I am not trying to be provocative ...' It is like a tweety bird that is not trying to be tweety, it is merely its nature.
chipnik | Dec 27, 2016 7:15:18 PM | 24
"Islam is an attempt to return to a Saner monotheist World: One God under the Rule of the Caliph. Peace with Slavery. Worship the Black Rock Epoch of the Petrocene. Lida." Oi, that is really trying to be provocative. I would merely remark delicately that the whole monotheism experiment seems to be a mistake. Having a single authority on Good and Evil seems tempting, but in actuality it leads to logical paradoxes that are resolved with sophistry. OTOH gripes that a religion did not abolish slavery 1200 years before such a concept was implemented somewhere are a-historical. If religions are creatures of a particular time and place, then their content reflects that, for better and worse, and if not, they are ephemeral (not enough believers, apparently, introduction of the doctrine not proceeded by a solid market research).
The same applies to gripes that American Founding Fathers did not abolish slavery, even though they bestowed blessings like Free Press and The Right to Bear Arms. I recall explaining a Saudi student that in hot weather American female students cannot avoid dressing as they do (typically, a combination of a T-shirt and skimpy gym shorts) because The Right To Bare Arms cannot be abridged. However, that tidbit of Liberty is one of Unenumerated Rights which are debatable, so I was a bit misleading.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 27, 2016 11:42:43 PM | 42
For all the "Religionists" out there, get over it. Please, just make up your own, the ancients did.
It doesn't work that way. There are things called history and tradition. Religion would not be of much relevance to general political discussion if the West were not under assault by an alien and highly aggressive religion. The only way the West can defend itself from that is by returning to its own religious roots. Some European cities are becoming like Bengazi.
And this isn't even a fringe view anymore, because (1) this is what most Russians believe, and Russia is now influential on the world stage, as we saw from the rage at it by the US Democratic establishment during the election and its aftermath; (2) it appears that one of the things that turned American voters off the Democratic party was its Islamophilia.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 11:45:01 PM | 43
@ Adalbrand | Dec 27, 2016 11:45:01 PM | 44
Religion would not be of much relevance to general political discussion if the West were not under assault by an alien and highly aggressive religion. The only way the West can defend itself from that is by returning to its own religious roots. Some European cities are becoming like Bengazi.
Returning to its western 'religious' roots ? Like the dubious 'Glory' of the First_Crusade perhaps ? or the Albigensian Crusade & massacre of Beziers against those awful heretic Cathars - of 'kill em all, let God sort em out!' fame ? or the various charming Inquisitions ? hm ?
IMHO, you are, quite literally, full of it. Can easily imagine you rabidly frothing & foaming at the mouth as you typed that shit.
Perhaps you should give serious consideration to starting your own blog and go 'stuff' it with all these contrived posts ... hm ?
Posted by: Outraged | Dec 28, 2016 12:26:38 AM | 45
Religion and arguments about religion only mask stupidity.
"I suspect the FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) is snuffing sauce with his/her/its noodley appendages."
The reason atheists are atheists is because all religions are bunk!
Posted by: rg the lg | Dec 28, 2016 12:49:59 AM | 46
@rg the lg #47:
The reason atheists are atheists is because all religions are bunk!
That's a very provincial viewpoint. Unlike the French and Scottish Enlightenments, the German Enlightenment did not reject Christianity, and to the best of my knowledge, this is a German blog.
Demian is now known as Adalbrand
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 28, 2016 2:34:52 AM | 47
@43 There is no anachronism about pointing out that the U.S. was set up as a classic Roman style slave republic. The development of Capitalism in England had already reached the point at which English judges ruled slavery illegal, and there was the beginning of anti slavery agitation. Had the independence movement failed slavery would have been abolished much sooner. The right to bear arms was.needs to keep slaves down.
Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Dec 28, 2016 4:16:23 AM | 48
Rogue 1 is pretty good, but it gives too much space to religion, i would say
Posted by: Mina | Dec 28, 2016 5:00:26 AM | 49
Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Dec 28, 2016 4:16:23 AM | 49
Or the natives, or wild bears, or be able to hunt ....
France has had a similar law since the revolution permitting all people not just some nobility to hunt.
Europeans took part in the slave trade but their merchant and early industrial economy was not based on slavery.
Posted by: somebody | Dec 28, 2016 5:44:45 AM | 50
B, I would like to know if you got any information about those repeatedly destroyed hospitals in Aleppo? As I´m in the mood of asking You stuff, do you know anything about Palmyra?
Posted by: Ana_Q | Dec 28, 2016 5:55:14 AM | 51
After all the verbal bombast and bollocks, what shall be taken away is:
Zionists are only Takfiri Jews. Seems correct.
Now to take a shower and get this semantic crud off me. Please practice your religions in their dedicated houses of worship, and keep the public places free of that litter. Thanks in advance.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 28, 2016 6:14:18 AM | 52
Can somebody investigate this group called civil march on Aleppo (http://civilmarch.org). They sound shady to me like the White Helmets. And they need to be exposed.
Posted by: ron demarco | Dec 28, 2016 6:53:10 AM | 53
RD @ 54
Operation MOCKINGBIRD v2017 has a social media flood of concern troll websites advocating condemnation of dictator Assad's wicked Syrian regime. Here is a clever one dumped on my FB feed this morning:
Anarchists Weep for Aleppo
Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Dec 28, 2016 7:10:14 AM | 54
The period used to be longer: the Electoral College had to convene and elect the next President, and the process of counting the votes and travelling to the site of the Electoral Congress was very time-consuming.
Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 28, 2016 8:18:37 AM | 55
Excellent analysis, b
As others have mentioned, Erdogan is frantic. The childish and reactionary blocking of all social media, and subsequent denials and the conflating of DAESH with PKK (again) is laughable. People see through it now - at last!
I would like to add though, that this time around the Yeni Safak (AKP stenographer) headlines claiming that PKK and DAESH are fighting together against Turkey and the accusations, although true, that the West supports DAESH are the last and clumsy attempts to influence who will and won't be 'at the table'.
The biggest question for Putin and a real test of his credentials is going to be the Kurdish question. Both Iran and Turkey are going to look unfavourably at any statehood anywhere. So, there will need to be an other political soplution on the table. The Kurds are not going to just down arms and admit defeat. And they are not going to allow another decpetion such as Sevres.
i personally do not think that this is the time for Kurdish states. it is the time for country unity else we continue to see utter subjugation to regimes such as the Barzani one. Nonetheless, political voice and influence is a must, or the Kurdish question will never be solved.
Lastly, I laugh along with those who are at last seeing how utterly decapitated the Turkish army has become. It's sad that the country should come to this, but ... deserved.
Posted by: AtaBrit | Dec 28, 2016 8:22:53 AM | 56
Russian military video of the recovery of weapons, including closeups of the US/NATO weapons
ron demarco @54
The civilmarch.org domain was created on 27 Nov 2016. The domain owner information is not protected. It is registered to a 'Thomas Alboth' of Berlin. Their concern for Aleppo is remarkably recent. What happened around 27 November? The start of the takedown of the Aleppo cauldron?
They may be honest but mislead people. There are some knowedgeable people around who have totally swallowed the Anglo-Zionist line on Syria. Richard Silverstein is a fine example. He produces some really good reports about the corruption within Israel and the nefarious deeds of the IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet. Then there is this recent piece on Syria. It is difficult to know where to start unwinding this BS.
Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 28, 2016 8:24:14 AM | 57
Now I'm pissed. Really pissed, it seems all day today various weirdos have been going hammer & tong about which asinine spooky sky pilot superstition rules over all the other asinine spooky sky pilot superstitions.
The subject is dreary and rude because sure as eggs are eggs, xtian entitlement to force their bullshit on others always surfaces, and really what that is, is so close to the amerikan exceptionalism, currently the root of the world's problems, that observing someone spout that specious claptrap in here is as r'giap would have it akin to watching someone vomit on the carpet of your favourite home away from home.
But that wasn't enough, not content with offensively attempting to force his/her long disproven superstition down the throats of all the other guest addlebrain or whatever that derp is calling himself this week went on to drop a typically xtian piece of racism like a dog squeezing out a slimy stinking turd, right in front of us - to wit:
"Religion would not be of much relevance to general political discussion if the West were not under assault by an alien and highly aggressive religion" WTF!?
The bloke has been hanging around MoA like a spare prick at a wedding and it seems he's has understood absolutely nothing?
Much less that the resurgence of islam throughout the Mid East is a natural reaction to centuries, nay millennia, of asshole whitefellas spouting their hypocrisies while helping themselves to everything that isn't nailed down, while installing puppet tyrants in a transparent attempt to pretend that the murder, rape, theft and mayhem the ME has been forced to endure since at least the crusades kicked off, is the fault of the locals, not the greedy whitefellas who strategised, enabled then commissioned these crimes.
The people of the ME have been sold the dummy on both capitalism & socialism as the way forward, but in most instances either philosophy was just a thin veneer placed over the top of foreign actions to conceal the theft rape & murder that was necessary to ensure maximum transfer of wealth out of the ME.
The english carefully selected the al-saud tribe because they had an outrageously brutal and oppressive version of Islam, a version which all the other mobs in the ME refused to have a bar of; because it was antithetical to a peaceful existence. What the people of the ME saw as an indefensible heresy of islam, the english saw as a cheap way of getting the oil out. The el_sauds were sociopathically cruel and domineering but compared to all of the clans of the arabian peninsular, there really wasn't that many of them. Much cheaper to put a smallish group of sociopathic assholes who will butcher and oppress everyone else in charge, and pay them off, than be forced to give every darkie between Aleppo and Aden a slice of the pie.
That was St.John Philby's plan and it worked.
True it left tens of millions of Arabian people without a brass razoo while the USuk greedies coined it like there was no tomorrow, but you get that.
Except the Arabian people have had enough of this bullshit and they want to stop the robbery, murder, rape & pillaging yesterday, cause they know that the greedies will do everything they can to delay & deny as long as possible so that by the time all the people of the peninsular overcome every obstacle thrown in their path it won't matter, the oil will have gone.
People who spout ignorant racist statements about the fight by the people of the peninsular, statements such as "Religion would not be of much relevance to general political discussion if the West were not under assault by an alien and highly aggressive religion" do provide one truth - namely that the person saying this evil propaganda is an eager follower, incapable of thinking for themselves, they grab whatever easily digested self rihgteous bullshit comes to hand.
It should be no surprise at all that the drongo fully subscribes to the delusional drivel the greedies foisted upon the more weak minded of the whitefellas who settled europe and amerika, as the lies about Islam are a natural extension of the standard xtian lie.
Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 28, 2016 9:24:41 AM | 58
I am puzzled by your changing memes. You said you are Russian, but Russia is a multicultural country, even Buddhist in its far southeastern regions. These comments are sounding very intolerant. That is not a Christian perspective, not even a Lutheran one, which you have said is your faith.
It is one thing to demonstrate how your faith or non-faith (whichever one you adhere to) is better than another by example, and by teaching from within it how it sees the world and what has caused you to choose to be in that faith or non-faith. It is far another thing to demean a faith or non-faith to which you do not belong.
Posted by: juliania | Dec 28, 2016 9:38:21 AM | 59
You can't fix stupid.
But you can channel it and use it via religion.
This is the view of oligarchic sociopaths everywhere.
Wake the fuck up.
Technological advancements of the last 40 years have created the means - for the first time in history - to change how society is managed. We are all connected and can manage ourselves without oligarchs and religious nuts that manipulate for their own benefit.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28, 2016 9:42:31 AM | 60
Russia is moving in Libya. If it does succeed to get influence there, it will move on to Egypt, and to Algeria and Tunisia that France is loosing.
Turkey will be happy to collaborate with Russia as it needs oil and more clients for its industries. These underdeveloped countries are a bonanza.
Posted by: virgile | Dec 28, 2016 10:08:24 AM | 61
Please stop feeding the troll desperately pushing here the "Clash of the civilizations" agenda.
Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 28, 2016 11:27:07 AM | 62
I am puzzled by your changing memes. You said you are Russian, but Russia is a multicultural country, even Buddhist in its far southeastern regions. These comments are sounding very intolerant. That is not a Christian perspective, not even a Lutheran one, which you have said is your faith.
I believe that I stated here that for historical reasons, Russia is the only Western society in which multiculturalism works. So Russians have found a way to let Muslims live among them so that the society flourishes, but it will never be possible for Western Europeans to do so.
You know Russian Orthodoxy much better than I do. Russian Orthodoxy is tolerant of Islam, and I find that very puzzling. I suppose that its toleration of Islam comes from the same way of thinking that has always allowed the Russian church to defer to the state.
I think I understand Lutheranism pretty well, and from a Lutheran point of view, tolerance of Islam is not an option. From a Christian point of view, when a person decides to be a Muslim, he defiantly rejects God. No greater hypocrisy, vindictiveness, and arrogance is imaginable.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (Jn 14:6 NRSV)
What could be more clear? Muslims reject the Son, thinking that they can get to the Father without the Son. But it doesn't work that way, according to Christianity. Thus, Muslims defiantly choose death over life. Why, as a person who wants to be kind to people, do you approve of that?
I am afraid that your view on this problem is more determined by your American liberal upbringing than by your Christian faith. Thus, when you say you are a Christian, you are being a hypocrite, as far as I can tell. A Christian cannot be tolerant of Islam without compromising his or her faith. Russians are able to be tolerant of Islam without being hypocrites because of the unique and peculiar relationship between the Russian Orthodox church and the Russian state.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 28, 2016 12:10:27 PM | 63
Enrico Malatesta @55
That's a good one. These "revolutionaries" have changed names (they were formerly known as the "Four Star Anarchist Organization"), write in both English and Spanish though they only mention US locations and apparently no interest in Latino matters (I guess they only use Spanish to appear more heroic, you know, like Chavez, Che, the FARC, all this sort of street cred-building things). They don't require any donations, don't explain where they get their funding, and display the same run-of-the-mill "people before profit" concerns as any other "social justice" organization in the USA, namely feminism, queer liberation, black liberation and anti-racism (It seems they have forgotten Climate Change, but then I didn't look very hard), and seem to have no strategy other then tweeting #Trump is hate. I have been looking for the name everyone expects at this point (Soros) but it seems that unfortunately, they've learned to hide such affiliations.
Debsisdead @ 59
Great comment, thank you. These takfiris/Salafists/Wahhabi indeed are rejected by Muslims worldwide as a demented sect of murderers and crooks. Conflating them with Islam, Sunni or other, is like conflating Scientologists with Christians on the grounds Scientology calls itself a "church". It is only propaganda aimed at demonizing Islam in the eyes of Westerners, so the pillaging and plunder carries on unabated while at home, left and right bicker over whether Muslims are "an existential threat" or not. It would be funny if it was not so dangerous to real people in Muslim countries.
Posted by: Lea | Dec 28, 2016 12:13:24 PM | 64
@ 45 outraged / @58 debsisdead / @62 propeace..i agree with you all.. adalbrand is a one tricky pony with blinders on..
Posted by: james | Dec 28, 2016 12:38:08 PM | 65
adalbrand is a one tricky pony with blinders on..
No, I think I'm just good at hermeneutics because I have a multicultural upbringing.
And as a Protestant, I can say that I have a better grasp of how Christians should relate to Islam than the Roman church does. Rome sides with juliania.
But seriously, when I write about these things, I just think about what Paul and Luther would think, as opposed to what is the current orthodoxy in the politically correct camp.
And I honestly don't think I have blinders on, because when I write about religious matters, I consider them from the point of view of a believer and a nonbeliever. So what I am doing here is not professing faith, but simply trying to present good interpretation.
Posted by: Adalbrand | Dec 28, 2016 1:05:09 PM | 66
@adalbrand.. it is about people relating to people before it is any of this other later classifications.. folks who identify so strongly with their religion lose sight of this basic fact. i think on some level you have to realize framing everything in narrow religious terms is counterproductive and sometimes intentionally manipulative..
Posted by: james | Dec 28, 2016 1:12:25 PM | 67
Yes, Bibi has totally lost it. Not surprising considering he’s been spoiled rotten by his incessant suckling at the teat of America. As with any spoiled brat the go to response is to throw a temper tantrum. And what a tantrum it is. A diplomatic ‘tour de farce‘. Textbooks on tantrum diplomacy will be analyzing this spectacle of statesmanship for generations.
Consider the following acts of deft (daft) diplomacy:
- Threatens to hand over “rather hard” evidence to Trump that Obama was behind the UN resolution ( or in brat language: I’m gonna tell my mommy on you)
- A Christmas Day summons of all 14 ambassadors of UN security council members in order to “personally reprimand” them. (as any child knows - there’s no point in throwing a tantrum if nobody’s listening.)
- recalled ambassadors from Senegal and from New Zealand.
- halted all Israeli assistance to Senegal
- ordered the Israeli foreign ministry to “re-evaluate all of our ties to the UN within a month”.
- cancelling official meetings– including snubbing British PM May and even telling Ukrainian PM Groysman to stay home.
- told New Zealand’s foreign minister that support for the UN resolution would be viewed as a “declaration of war”.
- issues a not so thinly veiled threat: “But those who work against us will lose – because there will be a diplomatic and economic price for their actions against Israel.”
One can only imagine the reaction in diplomatic circles, watching this megalomaniac in action.
Perhaps next he will get even with the U.S. by threatening to refuse to take the $38 billion and recalling all the Israeli-firsters. This would, at the very least, create a multitude of job openings in the ’corridors of power’ as both the Senate and Congress would be down to skelton crews. Sigh -One can only wish.
Posted by: pantaraxia | Dec 28, 2016 1:13:18 PM | 68
IIRC, the first reference I saw during the Arab Spring to the Salafist Militants as Takfiris was in Al-Akhbar covering a speech by Nasrallah. Nasrallah's use was very specific to mean intolerant Muslims who think that anyone not part of their sect can be killed as a heretic or unbeliever. (So, in the Emo Phillips joke, the Takfiri would be Phillips who yelled "Die heretic," pushing the suicidal man off the bridge, both of whom are different sects of Baptists). "Takfiri" is commonly used among Lebanese and Syrians to refer to the insurgents; when I have seen it in MSM, it usually misrepresents the Syrian conflict as Shia/Sunni, claiming that Shias want to exterminate heretical Sunnis.
Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 28, 2016 1:14:44 PM | 69
Juliania @ 59:
I would suggest you not give the time of day to any more literalist Christian crap from Adalbrand or whatever he decides to call himself. If he cannot bring himself to find out and understand why Russian Orthodox Christianity and Islam have been able to co-exist since the late 18th century at the very least, without insinuating that this co-existence was forced on both Christian and Muslim communities by an oppressive state, then he and his literalist "Christian" views are best left behind in the dust.
This troll insists that literal acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God is the only way to eternal life and anyone who does not swallow that narrow interpretation is condemned to everlasting death. Adalbrand's insistence excludes compassion, tolerance and understanding. How is his narrow interpretation of Christian belief and faith any different from what ISIS takfiris are enjoined by their Saudi / Qatari-funded recruiters and manipulators to believe about Islam?
Posted by: Jen | Dec 28, 2016 2:53:06 PM | 70
little correction on numbers:
if I read the document correctly (in last part), the total UN tally of people evacuated/internally displaced from East Aleppo, from Nov 24 - Dec 23 is:
- 53,773 in govt held areas
- 26,070 evacuated into rebel area
... so roughly 80k in all, which is even closer to the estimate 40k - 60k which critical observers have, for good reasons, come to assume. As against, to be repeated: 250k - 300k official UN estimate during siege.
@Adalbrand and others:
Takfiri as I understand the term refers to Muslims who make takfir on other Muslims = declare them apostates. So it's quite an adequate designation.
---> on hospitals:
al-Quds hospital, several times destroyed in MSM, was in fact only a field clinic for Nusra. Vanessa Beeley just had a video clip on this and said it was still functioning. (Look on her Twitter, from today or yesterday.)
By contrast, the National Hospital or Eye Clinic, reconquered end of November, was discovered to be a rebel headquarter, huge ammunition depots etc. Which makes it a perfectly legitimate military target ...
----> Civil March on Aleppo
here is a good piece on the background by Barbara McKenzie:
Posted by: Qoppa | Dec 28, 2016 3:04:58 PM | 71
@ pantaraxia | Dec 28, 2016 1:13:18 PM | 68
A diplomatic ‘tour de farce‘. Textbooks on tantrum diplomacy will be analyzing this spectacle of statesmanship for generations.
One can only imagine the reaction in diplomatic circles, watching this megalomaniac in action.
Note how the MSM faithfully, breathlessly steno-graphs his and his regimes every utterance on this ... without context, nor seeking any comment/response from, well, ... the rest of the world ...
Posted by: Outraged | Dec 28, 2016 4:57:56 PM | 72
@68 pantaraxia, @72 Outraged
the msm is talking to itself. no one else is listening.
aren't bibi, recep, and the donald quite a bit alike?
@42 piotr, 'It is like a tweety bird that is not trying to be tweety, it is merely its nature.'
its 'nature'. i read a book about The Cultural Cold War not so long ago. most of the ink given to the cia's exploits during that period was spilt on their vile, murderous 'adventures' in the physical world, but Frances Stonor Saunders delves into their exploits of, among others, a White Russian 'composer' turned to their ends. I wonder if this bird might not have hatched from that cuckoo's nest, or from one in the same tree?
Posted by: jfl | Dec 28, 2016 6:24:12 PM | 73
I wrote Demian off over a year ago, when he recommended, as a Russian(!) the CIA-scripted (literally produced by ex-CIA agent Joel Weisberg), subversive, intensely Russophobic TV Show, "The Americans".
Now he seems to have fallen into mouthbreathing Islamophobe circles as well. He seems to have a pathological, almost perseverating need to defer to some sort of pre-packaged dogma. It almost rings false, when observed over time.
Either way I agree that we should stop feeding, sorry for this post.
Posted by: sejomoje | Dec 28, 2016 7:05:50 PM | 74
Yes, I was wondering how the US executive branch had suddenly grown half-a-pair, but imo it's simple re-positioning of the chickenhawks reverting to zionist purity while the shot-up B-17 of the progressives limps back to Dover. It's back to the 80's, from where I sit. As the demos lost their base, the repubs seem to be coalescing under Trump. US Politics went so far off-script they're relapsing to the good old days where everyone knew where they stood. The Russophobe thing looks like a gift to the MIC. Expecting the honeymoon with Putin to be over soon as Trump proxies for oil interests and the arabian oil saga opens act III.
In other news, helluva move poisoning Damascus water. Any deals for moderates near Damascus probably toast.
Posted by: stumpy | Dec 28, 2016 7:45:13 PM | 75
@75 stumpy, 'In other news, helluva move poisoning Damascus water'
never forget that all of this is the work of the Noble Peace Prize Laureate / serial aggressor and war criminal Barack Hussein Obama, 44th president of the United States of America, unrepentant slayer of hundreds of thousands ... USAID From The American People
Posted by: jfl | Dec 28, 2016 7:59:58 PM | 76
Perhaps the Syrian border with Israel may soon be safe/secured, the occupied Golan Heights recovered ? ... after all, if Israel goes to war with New Zealand, and effectively the rest of the world combined, that's certainly much more than even a two front war ...
Criticism of Israeli settlements means War ?!
Posted by: Outraged | Dec 28, 2016 10:05:03 PM | 77
-Turkey has another problem. The turkish lira has taken a beating. The currency went down against both the Euro and the US Dollar since the US presidential elections in early november of 2016.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 2, 2017 10:46:19 AM | 79
@81 willy2.. no, i don't agree with the line you are drawing their..
yes - many syrians fled syria, thanks turkey and their friends decision on regime change in syria.. these syrians are innocent victims in all of this, as are the nightclub victims from jan 1st 2017... the fact is turkey has been an open door to all the jihadi friends from various points, wanting to descend on syria via turkey which was intent on making war on syria... you can't blame the syrian refugees for the nightclub incident or the fact turkey is much more unstable now, then it was when erdogan decided to go down the path of syrian regime change..
your openly line is bullshit..
Posted by: james | Jan 2, 2017 11:47:50 AM | 82
@james: I only slightly disagree.
- I don't blame the refugees for fleeing from Syria into Turkey. But the turks - like in so many other countries - look upon the refugees as an economic threat.
- The refugees & jihadis (I include here the US & UK involvement as well) of all stripes did "destabilize" Turkey.
Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 2, 2017 12:58:59 PM | 83
@83 willy.. you are lumping refugees and jihadis together... you have essentially blamed the refugees for the nightclub attack.. that to my way of thinking is bullshit.. you may as well lump the western leaders including erdogan in with the jihadis, as they all were in the same boat of wanting regime change in syria... blame the western leaders and jihadis for the nightclub attack.. leave the refugees out of it.. they are the victims in all of this regime change bullshit.
Posted by: james | Jan 2, 2017 2:14:20 PM | 84