Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 10, 2012

Why Does "The West" Support Beheaders?

Terrorists of the Khaled Ibn al-Walid brigade in Syria are teaching children how to behead men.


The video is here and, yes, that head and others do come off in it.

Some of the perpetrators are said to have been in Saudi prisons for capital crimes. Instead of being beheaded themselves they were let go to behead Syrians.

Why is "the west" supporting these people?

Posted by b on December 10, 2012 at 7:04 UTC | Permalink


Off topic, but I wanted to mention this McClatchy story on the Syria-chemical weapons furor if you've not yet seen it.

With concern over the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stockpile reaching a fever pitch this week, international experts are cautioning against alarmism, saying there’s no confirmation that the Syrians are mixing weapons components or loading them into delivery systems, as some U.S. news organizations have reported.

Posted by: Weldon Berger | Dec 10 2012 7:25 utc | 1

no confirmation that the Syrians are mixing weapons components or loading them into delivery systems, as some U.S. news organizations have reported.

and beheadings. there's only so much ones psyche can take. i feel like checking out. someone needs toend this madness.

**appy hannukah.

Posted by: annie | Dec 10 2012 7:31 utc | 2

1) it is not off topic, it is related, as
- WMD are claimed to be a danger because the Syrian government might use them, or, alternatively, because the rebels might use them (both variations by government spokespeople, forgetting to explaing why "the West" supports rebels whose ownership of chemical weapons might pose a danger)
- a human catastrophe seems to be manufactured (no food, no health care, no electricity, starving children)
- massive reporting on al Queida related groups - b.'s video being the most graphic - heightening the shock of a beheading by involving children

the goal being to get the unwilling Western public to support intervention in Syria "out of necessity to prevent grave danger and humanitarian desaster"

there is a push for the US military to reengage in Iraq - plus Syria, plus Jordan

though only press tv and Voice of Russia report that it is already the case - it would be an embarrassement for the Maliki government

According to Caslen, "A unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence," the newspaper said.

It reported that the US administration is trying to help Iraqi security forces to defend the country from any possible spillover of Syrian violence to Iraq, as well as preventing Iraq from being pushed closer to Iran by the threat of the Syrian crisis.

However, Ali al-Mussawi, an advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, denied such reports, saying that such US military deployment will need an approval by the parliament.

"These reports are completely untrue because Iraq has a parliamentary political system, in which such things can not occur without official legislative and governmental approvals," Mussawi said, adding that "Such things can not be done in secret without announcement."

Iraqi officials frequently expressed their concern that the ongoing Syria conflict could spill over into the neighboring countries, particularly Iraq, which already suffers from sporadic waves of violence by insurgent groups.

So yes, basically "the West" is back at the old game of switching from "supporting terrorists" to "fighting terrorists" keeping local governments dependent on their military.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 10 2012 7:53 utc | 3

I'm not of a particularly sensitive disposition, but I'd rather not see these sorts of images on this site. Wouldn't a link to said atrocities suffice? I find it thoroughly depressing.

A perpetual darkness has descended on Syria.

I hope the monster the West and its proxies have unleashed on the country comes back to rip their faces off. Erdogan first.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 10 2012 9:41 utc | 4

Confirming my hunch that the immediate fall of Assad is - unlike the propaganda says - very unlikely to happen anytime soon: Assad's strategy shift keeps rebels at gates of Damascus
Government forces may have retreated but it seems their tactic is to strengthen the areas that they believe they can hold

Posted by: b | Dec 10 2012 11:10 utc | 5

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 10, 2012 4:41:31 AM | 4

no...a perpetual darkness has descended on the western world.....

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 13:08 utc | 6

Posted by: b | Dec 10, 2012 6:10:01 AM | 5
i wish people would stop calling them...'rebels'....they are terrorists and mostly not syrian

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 13:10 utc | 7

yes indeed: 'Re the Royal fax# 112, on 19/4/1433 Hijri the one mentioning the prisoners in the Saudi prisons that are sentenced to death by sword we wanna inform you that after contacting those proved guilty of drug smuggling, murder & rape from the following nationalities: 105 Yemeni, 21 Palestinian, 212 Saudi, 96 Sudanese, 254 Syrian, 82 Jordanian, 68 Somali, 32 Afghani, 194 Egyptian, 203 Pakistani, 23 Iraqi & 44 from Kuwait.

We have agreed to spare them from death, give their families & parents monthly salaries, who will be banned from leaving Saudi Arabia in exchange of training the prisoners & preparing them for Jihad in Syria'

of 1300 prisoners freed and sent on jihad by an enemy state, over 80% are non-syrian....there is no syrian uprising.Its like the felons in a mexican prison being set loose in the US

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 13:18 utc | 8

"Why is "the west" supporting these people?"

Because that is how the west operates and has operated for centuries. It's a reflection on what runs the west. They always tend to use the most criminal and immoral elements to reinforce their domination (or gain domination) over a region.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 17:40 utc | 9

Ukrainian journalist life threatened in Syria

"Syrian militants are threatening to execute journalist Ankhar Kochneva. They are demanding 50 million U.S. dollars for her life. The ultimatum that was signed by the field commanders of the paramilitary wing of the opposition Free Syrian Army expires on December 13th.

Militants say that Ankhar Kochneva is a “Ukrainian spy”. Kochneva, a Ukrainian citizen, lived in Russia for the past 10 years. In January this year she went to Syria to work there as a journalist and translator. Ankhar Kochneva is the author of many interesting and exciting reports for Russian media outlets.

The Voice of Russia “contacted” her when it was necessary to comment on the situation in the hot spots in Syria, including Homs. Whenever a call from Moscow came, Ankhar Kochneva was always at a combat post.

Her reports were always different from the picture presented by the Al Jazeera TV Channel and other media that supported the fight of the irreconcilable opposition against the Syrian authorities. Most likely, it was exactly her objective opinion about the developments in Syria that pushed all those who are standing up for militants to kidnap Ankhar which occurred on October 7th."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 18:04 utc | 10

Why does "The West" support beheaders?

It doesn't. The West has completely lost control of Syria, if it ever had any control. There are futile attempts to get arms to the "right people."

The "right people" were originally FSA which was tied to the SNC, but that changed recently to the MB which is tied to the new National Coalition and Military Council.

The facts on the ground are quite different, however. Al-Nusrah, Sunni Islamist warriors principally from the recent Iraq war, supported financially by Saudi fat-cats, is the principal anti-government force. Forget FSA, forget MB, al-Nusrah is the primary force for the frontal assaults and the suicide attacks.

Israel normally runs U.S. Middle East policy, but while Islamic fundies on Israel's doorstep are a nightmare, one much worse that Assad's rule, both the US and Israel have lost control.

SecState Clinton was supposed to fly to Marrakesh to meet with the 70-natio "Friends of Syria," announce formal U.S. recognition of the new Coalition as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people" and classify the al-Nusrah warriors as a terrorist organization -- but Clinton's trip has been delayed "because she has a stomach virus."

I'd have a "stomach virus" too if I were about to classify the people leading my crusade as terrorists.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 19:35 utc | 11

"It doesn't."

Yes it does. Beheading was a common practice by their "Nicaraguan" contras. They are doing it in Mexico right now.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 19:44 utc | 12

But there is hope in the darkest hour. There is a man with an obvious solution to the Syria problem, one that he was instrumental in instigating a solution in another conflict.

Yes, it's a No-Fly Zone being pushed by -- Bernard-Henri Lévy. He's baa-aack.

What can possibly be done? I’ve said this, now, over and over again—and I’ve also said it in private to French and American leaders who have wanted to listen. The main problem is that of airplanes. Naturally, it’s not just about airplanes. In Damascus, for example, there are tanks that are bombarding the orchards of Daraya and firing on the houses in Mouadamiya al-Cham. And that’s not even mentioning the stockpiles of WMDs that the West, rightly or wrongly, suspects the regime of wanting to use—the very thought of which is obviously terrifying. But let’s start with the airplanes. Let’s start by making sure that aircraft can no longer fly over Aleppo, Homs, Maaret al-Numan, or along the border at Ras al-Ain.

Never mind that Syria is much different than Libya.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 19:45 utc | 13

@вот так 12
I guess you missed it -- this thread is about Syria not Nicaragua and Mexico. Do you have anything from Indonesia or Mali? Forget that too.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 19:49 utc | 14

The civility and humanism of "the west" is mostly a myth consciously perpetrated to hide the reality. And that reality is a long history of chronic, unspeakable barbarism, of which grotesque terror tactics, such as beheading victims, is very a intentionally common, institutionalised practice.

Those Who Deny The Crimes Of The Past: American Racist Atrocity Denial 101, 1776-2004

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 19:54 utc | 15

"I guess you missed it -- this thread is about Syria not Nicaragua and Mexico. Do you have anything from Indonesia or Mali? Forget that too."

Anything goes with you people.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 19:58 utc | 16

@вот так 16 -- Anything goes with you people.

Who are "you people?"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 20:16 utc | 17

@вот так 15 -- The civility and humanism of "the west" is mostly a myth consciously perpetrated. . . blah blah blah. . .

Why not come down off your soapbox and discuss Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 20:18 utc | 18

troll -- One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 20:20 utc | 19

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10, 2012 3:20:20 PM | 19

with that defn, anyone can be a troll! it depends on the board

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 20:32 utc | 20

Why does "The West" support beheaders?

It doesn't. The West has completely lost control of Syria, if it ever had any control. There are futile attempts to get arms to the "right people."

Wrong, it enables the beheaders. In a sane world, the Saudi Arabian and Qatari monarchies would pay for this in some way. With the US and NATO resolved to protect them, the Saudi Arabian and Qatari monarchies can arm and fund the beheaders with impunity from a Syrian response.

Posted by: blowback | Dec 10 2012 20:33 utc | 21

'Why does "The West" support beheaders?

It doesn't. The West has completely lost control of Syria, if it ever had any control. There are futile attempts to get arms to the "right people."'

this last is doubtful...The US regime is happy to see chaos,and will look theother way as their SOBs do the dirty work.

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 20:35 utc | 22

Nah, nah the West DOES support the beheaders and has from the start of the Syrian "revolution" - they'v armed and trained them and made it easy for them to enter Syria to murder people. I would never believe otherwise.

It's so naked that with the al-Nusra Front blows up Syrians the US doesn't even condemn it. Obama is a pig.

Posted by: revenire | Dec 10 2012 20:44 utc | 23

I don't understand, Don. The US west certainly has a horrific record and is clearly allied with the Saudi Qatar elements in both Syria and elsewhere... has been for a long time. Your previous thread quarrel with BOT aside... I think he/she made an salient point even by mentioning Nicaragua and Mex. (I mean there are sooo many horrific examples - Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Honduras, Congo, Somalia - it's impossible to list them all... and that 'we' should not be so quick to dismiss it. Beheading is who we "US/ west" are and what we do.

Hell... the fact US allies with the Saudi's at all says so much. I appreciate your and others grasp for detail more than I can say... but don't miss the big picture.

And in reply to 4... I appreciate b documenting these atrocities. It's probably important that people screen cap, document, save. These images have a way of disappearing from the net. And that is much worse than not seeing them at all.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Dec 10 2012 20:45 utc | 24

what do these three have in common? KSA FSA USA?

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 20:48 utc | 25

from As Safir via al Monitor

From Beirut, a group of French intelligence staff have headed to northern Syria. French intelligence agencies have expanded their presence in the Lebanese capital since the eruption of the Syrian conflict under the pretext of reinforcing the security of the French UNIFIL contingent.

Special-forces teams affiliated with the French agencies are involved in the operation. Their task is to present a clearer picture of the political composition of militant groups in northern Syria and the nature of their relationship to al-Qaeda.

The decision was made after the United States announced its intention to include the Al-Nusra Front in the list of terrorist organizations. The French decision to enter, for the first time, deep into Syrian territory — namely Aleppo and Idlib — indicates that Paris is determined to put more pressure on the European Union to lift the arms embargo on Syria.

Until now, the arms embargo has prevented Paris from providing advanced weapons to the FSA.
Clearly, the Al-Nusra Front will not be the last to be added to the list of terrorist organizations. Other jihadist Syrian factions will likely join the list when Western security agencies complete their task and draw a map of the jihadists in the area.
The latest attempt to lift the ban on arms provisions to Syria was met with a German veto. However, the reduction of the duration of the imposed arms embargo from one year to three months will enable France, the US and Britain to complete the screening process of moderate members of the FSA, jihadist groups or al-Qaeda affiliates, whose presence greatly disrupted any arming of the Syrian opposition by Washington.

According to Western security sources, American intelligence agents have entered Syrian territory, but their teams are working in areas near the border with Turkey and have not entered deep into Syrian territory out of fear of a collision with the Al-Nusra Front.
The Al-Nusra Front has a strong presence in rural Idlib, Banash and the neighborhoods of Aleppo, constitutes approximately 10% of the opposition fighting force and is the best armed, disciplined and organized among the forces that are fighting the Syrian regime.
The rush by the French, American and British agencies to explore the nature of the fighting forces on the ground is an indication that the European arms ban may be the last of its kind, and that the upcoming attempt by France in February to lift the ban will succeed.

This will happen after the intelligence agencies present today in Syrian territory obtain lists of the groups that can be entrusted with the delivery of quality weapons, the aim of which is to change the balance of power against the Syrian army and perhaps pave the way for a settlement on a better basis in the interest of the Syrian armed opposition.
The opposition is not progressing quickly enough on the Daraa and the Damascus countryside fronts, is retreating in Homs and is at a standstill in rural Aleppo.

The entry of these new exploratory missions by international intelligence agencies coincided with a push to unify the Syrian military councils and isolate the jihadist groups.

A meeting was held two days ago [Dec. 5] and is ongoing in Antalya, Turkey, between British, American, French, Qatari, Emirati, Saudi and Turkish officers. The meeting aims to find staff to lead the battles in the Syrian governorates, and divide them into four fronts instead of five, as had been proposed in similar meetings held in Amman and Riyadh last month.

Reuters quoted a meeting participant as saying that the goal is to succeed this time in electing a chief of staff, and that the opposition reached an agreement on the plan presented by Western sides regarding the distribution of staff, the leadership and the method of coordination between the civil and military councils.

However, there is still disagreement on who is to hold these positions.
After the Westerners introduced their intelligence agencies and special forces to Syria and evaluated the situation, they requested that the Syrian opposition be cleansed of jihadist elements before supporting its arming. But if it acquiesces to Western demands, the armed Syrian opposition risks losing its best combat units, which are mostly Salafists, jihadists or inspired by al-Qaeda.

Most FSA units are not coordinating their operations because many of their officers do not participate in combat operations and because their units have too many civilians who lack military experience. This partly explains the heavy FSA losses in the Damascus countryside.
The new Western measures became necessary because the West has waited months for the Syrian National Council (SNC), the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and the Syrian Revolutionary Military Councils to place the rebel’s military structure under civilian control and rein in the jihadist elements. But that effort failed.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the SNC had failed and called for the formation of the National Coalition, which will not get very far because of internal differences.

A prominent member in both the SNC and the National Coalition has complained that the Qataris and Saudis are not helping the SNC in its task of unifying the military forces, which the Qataris and Saudis are themselves demanding.

He said that the SNC has failed to unite the military councils and that the National Coalition will also fail because the countries that are supplying the opposition with arms and money are negotiating directly with the leaders of the armed factions and bypassing the finance committees of both the SNC and the National Coalition.

The factions’ leaders control vast areas that do not take orders from the political leadership within the SNC or the National Coalition. The unification process is complicated by the fact that the Saudis have formed officer committees that directly contact the fighters and give them money and weapons, in a race with the Qataris, who control both the SNC and the National Coalition.

An opposition source said that the Saudis have given about $45 million to the armed opposition and that Saudi weapons no longer pass through Turkey but through other neighboring countries.

After the Cairo meetings, a senior commander in the Syrian opposition complained that the Qataris have appointed 50 members to the National Coalition and now dominate the foreign-based Syrian opposition. But he admitted that without Qatari support, the political and armed opposition would not have been able to make progress.

He noted that the Qataris are flexible and have been able to respond to the Syrian opposition’s requests and needs far better than the Saudis.

The commander said that the National Coalition and the SNC are facing a major financial crisis despite the support they are getting. He mocked the support by some European countries and said that the amounts they are offering no longer cover the meetings that the SNC and the National Coalition are routinely holding in Doha, Istanbul and Cairo.

Brahimi, Lavrov and Clinton

The Syrian summit in Antalya coincided with a meeting in Dublin where UN and Arab special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and foreign ministers Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton met for 40 minutes. That trilateral meeting was preceded by Brahimi meeting with Lavrov and Clinton separately.

After the meeting, Brahimi tried to lower expectations “because we have not reached important decisions. We agreed that the situation is dire and that we should continue to work together to find creative ways of controlling the problem. And we hope that we can solve it.

“We also discussed how we can pull Syria from the brink — as I hope we can — and to start a peace process on the basis of the Geneva Accord,” he was quoted as saying.

A senior US official told the Associated Press that the meeting focused on how to help the political transition in “practical ways.” He pointed out that Lavrov and Clinton support Brahimi’s efforts and that they have agreed to hold a meeting next week that will be chaired by Brahimi and include US and Russian officials to discuss future steps.

The Syrian event in Antalya also coincided with the intensifying psychological war and pressure against the Syrian regime, which was warned against using chemical weapons against its own people. The French security source said that the American and French warnings were issued after a report falsely claimed that Syria’s chemical-warfare units are on the move.

During Brahimi’s meetings with the Russians and Americans, it was remarkable that Clinton wondered: “When will the Syrian regime decide to participate in the transition process?”

Clinton, who will soon leave her post, seems to be adopting the Russian interpretation of the Geneva Accord, whereby a political solution requires the participation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the political process. And Clinton did specify a date by which Assad would have to leave his post. This is exactly what the Russians want as they discuss the “Brahimi solution” with the Americans.

To support the Syrian position, which opposes Turkey deploying Patriot missile batteries on the border with Syria, the Russians seem to have decided to supply Syria with Iskander A-18 strategic missiles. There missiles carry a 400-kilogram explosive payload, have a range of 400 kilometers and can penetrate the new Turkish missile shield.

In response to Turkey and NATO deploying Patriot missiles, a French diplomatic source said that yesterday [Dec. 6] that two Russian ships from the Black Sea fleet arrived at Tartous port carrying a shipment of these missiles. That report could not be corroborated by another source.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 10 2012 20:49 utc | 26

Reuters to the rescue: comes to the saudis aid:

Saudis loathe to foster a new generation of holy terrors, while doing just that

Posted by: brian | Dec 10 2012 20:51 utc | 27

BTW "вот так" is in Cyrillic, in the Latin alphabet it is vot tak. It's a common Russian expression. I noticed several comment writers may not have known it is in Cyrillic and thought I should clear that up.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 22:00 utc | 28

@28, like this, not bot at all.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 10 2012 22:24 utc | 29

Syria: EU Nobel Winners, Dodgy Deals, Clinton and Osama bin Laden’s Ally

"Marking abandonment of the last shred of pretense of observing the rule of law, the Nobel Peace Prize winning European Union Foreign Ministers are to meet with the leader of the Syrian insurgency in Brussels on Monday 10th December, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.

Mouas al-Khatib, now heading the self-styled Syrian National Coalition: “will attend at least part of the meeting a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief “, confirmed today.

Mouas al-Khatib was implacably opposed to the Iraq invasion, regarding Western presence to be sacrilegious. Osama bin Laden held the same view. He is widely stated as having aligned himself to Osama bin Laden at the time."

A former ally of Bin Laden as head of the Israeli-American proxy front being used to cover their war criminal attack on Syria. Al Qaida was invented by Israel-America in Afghanistan in the 80's and ever since has been their cut-out for the more heinous Israeli-American policy pursuits.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 22:25 utc | 30

video taken down by You tube.

Posted by: Susan | Dec 10 2012 22:41 utc | 31

@ Eureka Springs 24

Given that "The US west certainly has a horrific record" there is no evidence that the US is aligned with al-Nusrah, the leading anti-government force in Syria, as I explained in my #11. Al-Nusrah is a creature of the Iraq war, supported by Saudis (not the government, but individuals, according to reports). It is recognized even in the US press (NYTimes, etc) that al-Nusrah is beyond the pale.

Syria is a complicated, multi-faceted affair. Those that want to make it a simple black-and-white two-sided affair are making a mistake. My enemy's enemy is not necessarily my friend. In this case, al-Nusrah the enemy of Syria is not the friend of the US -- in fact it is a worse enemy than Syria. That's what I tried to explain in my #11.

I understand that opinions may differ, but any counter-argument should be about the Syria situation and not some other country because every situation is different -- the black-and-white argument again. Generalized arguments about the West being terrible are weak and meaningless, unless one just wants to vent.

If this is merely a vent-against-the-West thread then I'll keep out. Promise.

So I think any intelligent conversation, which I welcome, should not deal with -- "Nicaragua and Mex. (I mean there are sooo many horrific examples" -- but with Syria. It's complex, it's vital, and I think it's very interesting for its complexity and vitality. I'm trying to learn all I can about it, and I welcome learning about more that I may have overlooked.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 22:58 utc | 32

@ somebody 26
This is hopeful, more so b/c I can't escape the (possibly misplaced) optimism that Clinton doesn't want to leave office with this issue unresolved, given that she probably wants to run for prez again, among other considerations. from the link:

Clinton, who will soon leave her post, seems to be adopting the Russian interpretation of the Geneva Accord, whereby a political solution requires the participation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the political process. And Clinton did specify a date by which Assad would have to leave his post. This is exactly what the Russians want as they discuss the “Brahimi solution” with the Americans.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 23:05 utc | 33

Today's State press briefing was not without humor as they discussed a UN/US/Russia meeting in Geneva.

QUESTION: Let’s – I only have one thing and it’s very brief. I just want to know if there’s anything you can tell us about Bill Burns’ – Deputy Secretary Burns’ meeting yesterday and – was it yesterday or Saturday? Oh, whatever. Over the weekend in Geneva with the Russians on Syria.
MS. NULAND: Let’s just go to Syria then. We did put out a few lines on the meeting between UN Special Envoy Brahimi, Deputy Secretary Bill Burns, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov, hereafter known as the “triple B” meeting. Just to say that, as the Secretary made clear after her meeting with Mr. Brahimi and Foreign Minister Lavrov last week in Dublin, we are committed to helping Special Envoy Brahimi see what he can do to support and advance a Syrian-led political transition process.
So the two deputies met with Mr. Brahimi yesterday to hear his ideas and to declare our support for the process. I would say that that was a preliminary meeting. We expect there’ll be more such meetings as Mr. Brahimi fleshes out his plan. I don’t have any particular details to announce at this point, but we expect that he will be making efforts to work towards the kind of transition outlined in Geneva, particularly the democratic principles undergirding it.
QUESTION: Well, was there any kind agreement reached on at least an outline? Or did the B’s just bumble?
MS. NULAND: The B’s had a chance to hear some preliminary ideas from Mr. Brahimi, but I think we’re going to have to keep talking.

It's not much, if they're serious.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 10 2012 23:47 utc | 34


"video taken down by You tube."

Freedom of the press - Israeli-American style.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 10 2012 23:53 utc | 35

Oh, whats the problem? We support Israel, which clusterbombs civilians in between bouts of incinerating them in white phosphorous.

And, heck, gee golly, if we can leash prisoners and shove chemical light sticks up their asses, why can't these precious little Syrian youngster engage in a few good 'ol beheadings???

Good gawd, b, don't be so friggin' uptight. Doncha know there's a war against terror going on? We gotta behead 'em there so they don't come and behead us here. So, if we can save a little money and train 'em to behead each other, that all the less beheadin' we'll have to do. Come on, man, admit it. Its pure genius, ain't it?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 11 2012 0:00 utc | 36

Lauren Wolfe, the director of Women Under Siege, is at it again at The Atlantic Zionist site.

from The Atlantic
Are Women Being Targeted in Syria?
The exhaustive attempt to track and catalogue war crimes by the Assad regime

Really scary.

Then: "We can't conclude from Syria Tracker's data whether the 9 percent of female deaths represents the proportion of women killed in the overall conflict or just the proportion of those reported to Syria Tracker."

No war crimes by the Assad regime except in the headline.
So much for the exhaustive attempt.
It was only an exhaustive attempt at propaganda.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 11 2012 2:40 utc | 37

What is the definition of madness? Cause this CNN story sounds like a great candidate:

The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN

When it comes to really shit ideas, this takes the double gold medal in the World Superbowl Olympics. Firstly the news that the American and European plan for securing Assad's WMD's involves outsourcing the job to the Free Syrian Army is batshit crazy. It's up there with giving nuclear codes to Charlie Manson. I really want to know who signed off on this.

Of course then you have the second part of the shit sandwich which is that the US and Europe didn't even think to have the CIA or European intelligence in this plan and just passed it off to private "defence contrators" (my guess is Blackwater now changed to Xe which is now based in Dubai).

*How I imagine the conversation went: "Sure the FSA are a bunch of Jihadist beheading psychopaths with links to Al Qaeda and located a 1 hour drive from Europe but lets train them how to handle Sarin and VX Nerve Gas. What could go wrong?".

The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials. The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American.

I for one think they are all American on the basis that no country with a functioning education system would be stupid enough to sign off on this plan.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 11 2012 2:57 utc | 38

CS Monitor, Dec 10
US designates Syria's Jabhat al-Nusra front a 'terrorist' group

The US State Department designated the Jabhat al-Nusra militia fighting Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria a foreign terrorist organization today.

The speed with which the US government moved to designate a fairly new group that has never attacked US interests and is engaged in fighting a regime that successive administrations have demonized is evidence of the strange bedfellows and overlapping agendas that make the Syrian civil war so explosive.

The State Department says Jabhat al-Nusra (or the "Nusra Front") is essentially a wing of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the jihadi group that flourished in Anbar Province after the US invaded to topple the Baathist regime of secular dictator Saddam Hussein. During the Iraq war, Sunni Arab tribesmen living along the Euphrates in eastern Syria flocked to fight with the friends and relatives in the towns along the Euphrates river in Anbar Province.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 11 2012 3:45 utc | 39

@вот так 12

It doesn't. You want ketchup when you eat the words "Yes it does"?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 11 2012 3:51 utc | 40

from my #11

SecState Clinton was supposed to fly to Marrakesh to meet with the 70-natio "Friends of Syria," announce formal U.S. recognition of the new Coalition as "the legitimate representative" of the Syrian people" and classify the al-Nusrah warriors as a terrorist organization -- but Clinton's trip has been delayed "because she has a stomach virus."

I'd have a "stomach virus" too if I were about to classify the people leading my crusade as terrorists.

It looks like the "stomach virus" is permanent.
CSMonitor, Dec 10
Hillary Clinton's Middle East trip canceled due to ill health
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled her trip to Morocco this week for a meeting on the future of Syria's opposition because of a stomach virus, the State Department said on Monday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 11 2012 4:44 utc | 41

HeraldSun, Dec 11
Clinton cans Morocco trip due to illness

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns would travel in her place to Marrakesh for a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. At the talks, the United States may announce plans to recognise the new Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people, as the group struggles to present itself as a legitimate alternative to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Struggle is right. The new leader of Syria's opposition has a history of statements that are anti-Semitic, outrageous, and sometimes downright bizarre. The new rebel coalition was hailed as the first truly representative opposition body -- and its new leader, Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, was widely praised as the perfect figure to represent the opposition to the world. But in one of his own articles, he writes that one of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's positive legacies was "terrifying the Jews." One of his articles describes Shiite using the slur rawafid, or "rejectionists"; he even goes further, criticizing Shiites' ability to "establish lies and follow them." Such language, needless to say, will hardly reassure the country's Alawite community, a Shiite offshoot to which Assad belongs.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 11 2012 5:02 utc | 42


"What is the definition of madness?"

That development is a very good one. Further proof the worst atrocities committed by these terrorists are planned in advance by Tel Aviv and New York.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 11 2012 5:55 utc | 43

Here's a decent link . It's a report from Homs, made by Tim Marshall at Sky News. Spend a couple of minutes watching the video too if you're interested, especially from 1.57 .It's an eye opener.

It's difficult to get a real impression of what it's like in Syria at the moment, given that much "reporting" is based on making assumptions based on rebel propaganda - hence reports that the Syrian Government is on the verge of collapse because fighting is taking place around Damascus (it's been happening for months).

So, it's useful when we see reports on the ground and are given first hand accounts.

"When we went to the Bab Amr area, the building formerly used as the Free Syrian Army headquarters had a large poster of President Bashar al Assad on its front"

You wont read this in reports based on what the rebels feed the BBC etc. No wonder the EU and US are set to directly arm to the opposition. Seems like an act of desperation to me, along with accusing the Government of preparing chemical weapons.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 11 2012 11:17 utc | 44

From Hürriyet
It looks as if Al Assad's fall will take a while

The Syrian briefing was given by Edward Djerejian, who served as the U.S. ambassador in Damascus until a short while ago. He is a diplomat who has spoken to Bashar al-Assad numerous times and written special reports to Washington.

He believes it would not be easy to topple al-Assad. “He sits on such an ossified state structure, handed over to him from his father, the interests are so much intertwined with each other that [al-Assad] will not collapse so easily. … He will not stay in power forever, but his fall will take a long time,” he said.

If there are those in Ankara who think differently, they better take note of these words.

Everybody agrees that Washington does not want to be engaged in a military intervention. There are two reasons for this stance:

The United States burned its fingers in Iraq and Afghanistan; it wants to get away from those places. Even though Syria is small, it does not want another military initiative. Neither the public nor U.S. President Barack Obama has such an intention.

Another reason is that Syria has an army that should not be underestimated. For years, this army has been equipped by Russians against Israel. It was said that this army would make any intervening party suffer.

Whoever will enter the war should think twice and be prepared for losses.

Well, what will happen? Who will say “stop” to this course of events?

Everybody is expecting the opposition to bring al-Assad to heel. The opposition forces, though, are disintegrated, and they have few weapons. As you can understand, the situation is not very bright.

Well, will the international public just watch? Djerejian has these estimations:

“As the civil war spreads and as the number of casualties increases even more, then it would be a must to act. We will wait until that time. Because, there is still the fear whether radical Islam would replace him after al-Assad leaves. It is feared that separation of Syria will inflict more bloodshed to the region. This situation makes al-Assad’s job easier.”

Well, in this case, how is Turkey perceived? I have come across the same reply at every time. “Hopefully [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan does not make a rash move and initiate a military intervention.”

I, in turn, tried to explain insistently that Turkey would not fall into that trap.

I guess I was able to convince at least half of the hall.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 11 2012 11:44 utc | 45

here">">here is an alternative link to the video. It's on an anti-opposition site by can confirm that it is the original with only added text overlays.

@Don Bacon

Why does "The West" support beheaders?

It doesn't. The West has completely lost control of Syria, if it ever had any control.

That is about the most laughable statement I have seen here for a while. The "west" started the whole affair and has supported it from the very beginning with all possible means except direct military intervention. Go back and read Hersh's 2007 article "The Redirection"

It would cost Obama three phonecalls to Turkey, Qatar and the Saudis to shut this war on Syria down immediately. Without external support the insurgency would soon die down.

Posted by: b | Dec 11 2012 16:48 utc | 46

"That is about the most laughable statement I have seen here for a while"

Well I'm glad someone got around to pointing that out to the man. He wasn't in any mood to listen to вот так's valid rejection of his viewpoint. A rejection with a past example of such behaviour. (Apparently using valid examples of similar or identical behaviour in the past, to make your point, is now "Off-Topic" for some weird reason)

Every where the US has ever tried to use 3rd party paramilitaries proxy forces to control, South America for example, it has followed the exact same script - it ALWAYS includes basic terror techniques such as mutilations and be-headings - ALWAYS.

But generally such atrocities were little-reported on, or were reported as just "unconfirmed reports/rumours" - but now we can actually see them happening, via the Net.

So it's appearance in Syria is simply a part of the well-worn script. None of this is new in the world of what is very euphemistically and quite inaccurately called "Counter-Insurgency" or COIN.
The only difference now , compared the past, is that when Nicaragua and other SA disasters were in progress we didn't have YouTube to distribute videos of these by-the-US-playbook Terrorist atrocities

What is hard to understand about that?

It's essentially the "School of the Americas" on it's Middle Eastern Tour.

Posted by: ONS | Dec 11 2012 19:49 utc | 47

Posted by: b | Dec 11, 2012 11:48:07 AM | 46


Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2012 20:28 utc | 48

See the 13 seconds of video in Homs City from time 1:57 to 2:10 in the Sky News video linked to by Pat Bateman #44 above. It says most of Homs City is normal and peaceful and is not in rebellion.

It is consistent with what I'm hearing from diverse other sources who are trying to report the reality around the country, and aren't trying to sell blood-and-guts stories to casual newspaper readers.

Why does "The West" support beheaders? Strictly speaking it doesn't. The West supports opposition to the government. The question properly put is Why does "The West" support a rebellion against this government? My short answer is the West is a deeply ignorant bigot.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Dec 11 2012 22:24 utc | 49

The west does support beheaders, though officially they don't support beheadings.

Posted by: Alexander | Dec 12 2012 10:54 utc | 50

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