Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 02, 2013

Syria: Your Moderate Cuddly Homegrown Al-Qaeda

There seems to be a media campaign designed to differentiate between the "really bad Al-Qaeda terrorists" in Syria and the "maybe good moderate Al-Qaeda rebels".

The bad Al-Qaeda is the Saudi financed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) while the good Al-Qaeda are those Salafi jihadist groups other than ISIS that are paid by the Saudi state:

“We want to keep Syria together as a country of freedom and equality,” a leader in an Islamist rebel group opposed to ISIS, called Suqour al-Sham, who gave his name as Abu Bashir, said via Skype. “They want to form an Islamic state that comes together with Iraq.”
Although the group sometimes cooperates in battle, ISIS is separate from the first Qaeda group to emerge in Syria, the Nusra Front, whose leader rejected a proposed merger this year.

Since then, foreign fighters have flocked to ISIS, while the Nusra Front has been more clearly accepted by mainline rebels for keeping its focus on the fight against Mr. Assad.

It is well known that ISIS has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. But Jabhat al-Nusra has also sworn allegiance to Zwahiri. That is of course not mentioned in the above NYT piece. What is the supposed meaning of this differentiation when both groups accept the same leader and the Al-Qaeda organization's ideology and aims?

The Washington Post is on the same day (really by chance?) running a similar toned piece that also emphazises the alleged difference between JaN and ISIS:

Rifts have also emerged between the more radical Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, the original Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate that has since sought to cast itself as the more moderate — and Syrian — of the two. But although an alliance announced last week between Jabhat al-Nusra and more-secular rebel groups was cast by some as an attempt to create a front against the ISIS, an organized effort would need a far greater influx of money, support and enthusiasm from fighters on the ground, most observers say.

In Foreign Policy, part of the Washington Post company, an apologist for the Saudis claims that this is all well and good:

The rise of Salafi-leaning rebel groups offers an opportunity to combat the real extremists -- al Qaeda-linked groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which have recently started wreaking havoc in Syria's north and east by fighting among themselves and against more moderate groups. Syria is no longer witnessing a struggle of moderates versus extremists, but of extremists versus both moderates and religious moderates. While recent developments are a setback for the FSA, they also have marginalized the truly radical factions.

This, again, neglects to mention that the newly united groups, especially in north Syria, include Jabhat al-Nusra. And what please is the difference between "moderates and religious moderates"? The first are those psychopaths who eat their dead enemies lungs and the second are those cuddly homegrown Salafis who hack off any Christian's head?

This campaign is supporting the alleged "uniting" of Saudi paid Salafist bands in the northern Idlib and south of Damascus. The Saudis are said to do this to prevent the bad ISIS Al-Qaeda to gain more power in Syria. It is unlikely that any such risky scheme will ever work:

If Riyadh's aim is to thwart al Qaeda enemies by rallying local Syrian Islamists in the way Washington did with Iraq's Sunni tribal Sahwa, it may be miscalculating, said commentator Hazem Amin. Unlike the Iraqi fighters, he said, Syrian Salafists were increasingly embracing radical views close to al Qaeda.

"Syria is different," Amin wrote in al-Hayat newspaper. "The social fabric is less cohesive ... At its core, the new Syrian Salafism is jihadist in nature. It is moving towards extremism."

And lets not forget that even those Free Syrian Army gangs that are not officially endorsing religious extremism are quite beyond the pale. The Guardian finally reports, two month after it happened, on the massacres these terrorists perpetrated in Alawite villages in the north Latakia province:

Shadi, a 32-year-old officer in a local defence unit that is separate from the Syrian army, was lightly wounded during the government's counter-attack. "When we got into the village of Balouta I saw a baby's head hanging from a tree. There was a woman's body which had been sliced in half from head to toe and each half was hanging from separate apple trees. "
[T]he Guardian has obtained lists, compiled by local activists, with the names of victims from Hambushiya, Balouta, and five other villages. They include 62 people listed as killed, 60 kidnapped and 139 people who are missing. The dead range in age from a toddler of two to a man of 90. The vast majority are women, children and the elderly since most men in the villages were away on duty as part of the volunteer defence forces elsewhere in the region.

There are not many differences between any of the the insurgency groups in Syria. The Syrian insurgency was, from its very beginning, a brutal religiously motivated one that was run out of Sunni mosques and financed with money from the Wahabbi Gulf states. As this insurgency can no longer be sold in "western" media as "peaceful protesters" it is now depicted as somewhat moderate if only compared to the real savages of ISIS Al-Qaeda. But such differentiation makes no sense at all. Hanging baby heads from apple trees is psychopathic no matter what shade of religious extremism is used to justify it.

Posted by b on October 2, 2013 at 13:32 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Religious fundamentalism is a cancer, but hey, when there's money to be made, they're quite useful.

Posted by: ben | Oct 2 2013 14:02 utc | 1


I'm sincerely glad that those outside of the United States are really seeing what it is like to live in the American propagandosphere on a daily basis. No matter what the issue - domestic matters, foreign policy, the economy, it doesn't matter - you are literally confronted with an overwhelming and inescapable narrative that surrounds one at all times and that is echoed by every talking head in some way especially those who engage in the propagandistic technique I've referred to before: the false debate.

Using the "good" Al-Qaeda story as an example, the false debate tactic will soon kick in after this rolling-out phase of the meme concludes and we will be treated with the pundits, analysts and think-tankers all debating not if there truly is a "good" Al-Qaeda - as b so clearly demonstrates there is not above - but how much the Zionist West should aid them, what form the aid should take and when it should be given.

If one deigns to point out as b does above the simplest common sense observation - e.g., a government that issues it's own sovereign non-commodity backed currency can NEVER run out of money - he is treated as "not-serious" as he/she is attempting to discuss outside the parameters of the false debate.

I understand this type of neoliberal propaganda has been going global after having been perfected over decades in the US but there at least appears to be some semblance of sanity left in some of the non-American news outlets. Instead of all of the major news outlets - again as b notes - seemingly "coincidentally" pushing the same story at the exact same time, one can still find some voices of dissent.

Let's hope a critical mass of skepticism/cynicism amongst the populace is beginning to form and the propagandosphere can be deflated.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 2 2013 14:11 utc | 2

Very confusing. Time for another visit by McCain.

Posted by: dh | Oct 2 2013 14:19 utc | 3

Al Jazeera English
As Libya emerges from the shadows of dictatorship, it must decide whether to embrace retribution or reconciliation.

The Road to Tawergha is about war, retribution and the difficult road to reconciliation that Libya must travel if it is to emerge from the shadows of Gaddafi's 42-year reign.

Watch The Road to Tawergha |

how laughable for a dictatorships flags ship media to call Libya a dictatorship: how absurd: Libya hasnt been a dictatorship since King Idris...what you had was the most progessive state in africa

Posted by: brian | Oct 2 2013 14:47 utc | 4

new frontier for the US 'war on terror'

Posted by: brian | Oct 2 2013 14:55 utc | 5

brian @ 4: Thanks for that link on Libian prosperity, the West just couldn't stand a succesful non-capitalist social model. Sets a bad example ya' know.

Posted by: ben | Oct 2 2013 15:06 utc | 6

I think I've already offered a plausible explanation for this in the previous thread. From the US's point of view, the absolutely essential thing is to prevent the public perception that AQ is a US asset from taking hold. They have to reverse that perception, and everything that has happened in the last fortnight - simultaneous attacks by AQ 'affiliates in Kenya, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, and conspicuous differentiation between ISIL and the rest in Syria - has the primary purpose of reversing that perception. I finally arrived at the prediction that Nusra will disaffiliate itself from AQ on the grounds that (a) its 'Jihad' was always purely national, within Syria, not supra-national, as in normal AQ programmatics, (b) Zawahiri had agreed to this reservation when they swore allegiance to him, promising to prevent the assimilation of Nusra to the supra-national programmatics of the ISI in Iraq, and (c) when the confrontation over this finally came, in June of this year, Zawahiri's defense of Nusra's autonomy had failed to persuade ISI/ISIL from muscling in. It remains to be seen whether my prediction is correct. But in any case, I proceed on the assumption that all flavours of AQ are US assets, though not controlled directly from Langley, but rather controlled indirectly via Bandar.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 2 2013 15:08 utc | 7

Bandar could be in a bit of a bind too. What if some of these jihadis are blackmailing him? Support us or SA gets it?

Posted by: dh | Oct 2 2013 15:38 utc | 8

I don't think any of them (even ISIL, which bernhard assumes is not being paid by him) can afford to blackmail him, since they cannot operate without his money. Here I have to confess something between a serious principle of knowledge and a mere simplifying assumption. I assume, or in fact assert, that Bandar is the paymaster of all of them, and hence can very effectively control all of them, or more specifically any of them that disobeys his instructions, by simply stopping its money. Without money, even the most enterprising gang will rapidly run out of ammunition. My justification for assuming this is that it makes analysis easier and prediction occasionally possible, without losing anything important except the possibility of rivalry between two Gulf states in offering large sums of money to Jihadis. We may have seen a significant rivalry between Qatar and the Sauds, in which the Qataris lost when the old Emir was summarily retired by the USA. At the time, we thought we were seeing a significant change of policy regarding the Jihadi campaigns. But in that we were mistaken. Bandar immediately filled the gap with his larger than life antics, such as threatening Putin to his face. And since then, there may have been another rivalry, between Kuwait and the Sauds. This is one possible explanation for the Nusra/ISIL split, that they are fighting out a proxy rivalry for these two Gulf entities. But I prefer my own theory, because my theory has real implications and consequences regarding US policy, and what a razor's edge it walks between encouraging Bandar and the Jihadis to attack anything and everything (including often enough, US troops), and the appalling collapse of US credibility that would follow from real exposure of the collusion.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 2 2013 17:35 utc | 9

@ 9. one of the attractive features of RB's theory is that it could make Bandar's role in the Syria mayhem easier to detect by Russia resulting in "cease and desist, or else" threats. But on the other hand all that I've seen and heard from Bandar led me to believe that he's a smart cookie. And I won't believe that he was reckless enough to threaten Vlad until Vlad confirms it - preferably by bombing Saudi Arabia farther back into the Stone Age than it already is.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2013 18:09 utc | 10

Bandar is nothing but an ape with lots of money. He has failed in everything he put his finger on this war. He is a murderer who is responsible for at least 2 million deaths world wide. I am sure stalin has saved a seat for him in hell.

Anyway, I think he is butt hurt whrn Putin told him to shut the fuck up. He might try to get revenge by activating his dogs in chechenya to attack Russia during Sochi olympics. I hope he does...I can't wait till russia put a bullet in his fucking head.

Posted by: Shoes | Oct 2 2013 18:31 utc | 11

Bandar has certainly found a way of getting rid of Saudi Arabia's criminals and disaffected youth.

Posted by: dh | Oct 2 2013 18:43 utc | 12

I read the NYT story mentioned at the top of the post and was encouraged that at least some column inches are being devoted to the methods of operation of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. B's point is well taken about the artificial distinction being created between Good Cop Qaeda (Nusra Front) and Bad Cop Qaeda (ISIS). A big flaw of the reporting in the prestige press is 1) the lack of linkage between the daily terror bombings in Iraq and the spread of jihadis in Syria, and 2) how the Saudis and Qataris fund and provision the whole mess.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Oct 2 2013 18:55 utc | 13

@ dh

Bandar has certainly found a way of getting rid of Saudi Arabia's criminals and disaffected youth.

Yep. Ship them off to fight in the GCC's crusade. Of course when all those criminals and disaffected youth return home from the Syria war, they will have military training and been radicalised. Those Saudi's aren't the most strategic of thinkers.

Apparently oil money can buy weapons and militias... but not common sense.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Oct 2 2013 19:09 utc | 14

sooner or later ROW will have to confront frontally the core of the disease that has gone viral in the whole world,Wahabism,because this un-muslim sect threatens the stability of the whole world .That is what make all of GCC a danger for human health everywhere but strange enough not in the so called "Israel"with which it shares a unique vision of "exceptionalism"that will not be gratified till it has not the whole world in its thralls .The parallel and similarity of both is troubling to say the least.Historically speaking they are bound to be violently dismissed..we are I think fast approaching this moment.

Posted by: Nobody | Oct 2 2013 19:11 utc | 15

@ 8 & 9
The Saudi entity, like the caduceus staff of Hermes, has, from its very inception in the mid-18th century (1744), consisted of two serpents: the House of Saud and the House of the Shaykh (aal as-Saud & aal ash-Shaykh). The former belongs to its eponymous founder, Mohammad ebn as-Saud, and the latter to the founder of the Wahhabi cult, Mohammad enb Abdol-Wahhab. The former was a military leader who rose to power in the Ottoman backwater of Najd by killing his fellow Moslems, and the latter provided the "religious" justification for such killing in exchange for protection and for a share of the loot to spread the new (cultic) faith. This nasty combination was fostered if not engendered by the British, as a way to get at Ottoman Turkey through its soft under-belly.

The Wahhabi cultists have been blackmailing the political serpent's head ever since for more and more petro-dollars, with the understanding that they would export their filth (to places like the madrases in Pakistan, all over the African continent, and in American and European mosques), and will use terror any aother means they deem fit, but that they would leave the Kingdom to the House of Saud, for them to drink and gamble and sodomize little boys and rape little girls to their heart's content. A particularly puritanical strain of the aal-ash-Shaykh House who was not content with the modus vivendi took over the sacred mosque for a few days in 1979, only to be electrocuted out when the French special forces flooded the place and set high-voltage wires to the accumulated body of water.

The only thing that has changed, it seems, is that the debauched philanderers now realize that they can unleash their cultist vermin on the rest of the Realm of Islam with impunity, having been given this green light by Uncle Weasel.

Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Oct 2 2013 19:24 utc | 16

@ #13: When the old Emir of Qatar was summarily retired, at the end of June, that is to say immediately after the demarche between Nusra, ISIL and Zawahiri, we thought that was a signal that Qatar had been funding ISIL, which had now plainly run out of control, and that now Qatar would stop funding ISIL, and ISIL would fade away. But the opposite has happened. If the Jihadis in general are better-funded (and hence better-armed) than the FSA, it appears that ISIL is better-funded and better-armed than Nusra and all the other Jihadis, which is why it is still holding out in the little town of Azaz, after being besieged there by Nusra and the rest for several weeks. Remember that ISIL and ISI, that is to say, al-Qaeda in Iraq, are one and the same organisation. In fact, ISI in Iraq just issued a claim of responsibility for the entire bombing rampage in Iraq over the weekend, including the Baghdad bombing which killed over 50 people (presumably all Shi'ites), and it issued this claim under the name ISIL, thereby stressing that it is the same entity as the one in Syria. Zawahiri in June vainly told it to stop trying to compete with Nusra in Syria, an instruction which it ignored. Bombing hell out of "the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad" is exactly what the US wants it to do, but the US does not want to be seen as directly commanding the gradual genocide of Iraq's Shi'ites, or those of Pakistan for that matter, which is where the Gulf Sheikhs come in handy. So from this I infer that the forcible retirement of the old Emir of Qatar has had no effect, because Bandar is paying all of them.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 2 2013 19:27 utc | 17

Maybe some people missed this line from the Guardian report

'The officers' accounts cannot be independently verified'

Posted by: Calig | Oct 2 2013 20:29 utc | 18

Aloha barflies...! VIPS wrote another letter, this time to Kerry and Lavrov...

Time for Proof on Syrian CW Attack

We therefore call upon Russia and the United States to release all the intelligence and corroborative information related to the 21 August chemical attack so that the international community can make a judgment regarding what is actually known and not known.

We the undersigned — former intelligence, military and federal law enforcement officers who have collectively dedicated, cumulatively, hundreds of years to making the American people more secure — hereby register our dismay at the continued withholding of this vital evidence.

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 2 2013 21:48 utc | 19

Today, from the odious Odeirno... US to 'wait and see' on use of force in Syria - army chief of staff

Asked if the U.S. military might still have a role to play in the Syria crisis, General Ray Odierno told Reuters in a telephone interview: "We will have to wait and see. I think a lot of it depends on how well the agreement goes." {...}

Odierno said the United States was encouraged by the deal with Russia.

"We are hopeful that this will help us to identify and rid Syria of chemical weapons. We think it is important internationally that this occurs ...

"If it doesn't, if something goes wrong, then I think we will have to reconsider whether we use force in Syria or not," he said, speaking from Germany where he was attending the Conference of European Armies.

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 2 2013 21:58 utc | 20

Pepe's on fire again... Netanyahu’s UN speech: Sounds like a sociopath?

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 2 2013 22:07 utc | 21

Namaste, b...! Here's proof positive that the AIPAC/Neo/Ziocons still rule the roost in Congress... Despite thaw, Congress moves new Iran sanctions along

Posted by: CTuttle | Oct 2 2013 22:31 utc | 22

The Syrian insurgency was, from its very beginning, a brutal religiously motivated one that was run out of Sunni mosques and financed with money from the Wahabbi Gulf states.
One should not exaggerate. There was a

Posted by: alexno | Oct 2 2013 23:13 utc | 23

One should not exaggerate. There was a native revolt. Over which the Islamists imposed.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 2 2013 23:15 utc | 24

The stare down of the West/Israel by the Resistance and Russia is proving to be a true watershed moment, even at so soon after the event as we now see ourselves. Combined with the NSA exposures, we are - in my opinion - truly entering a new era in world politics.

1. The myth of the "Syrian Rebels" is now forever shattered, and it is impossible to view them through the old western media lens. They are now seen by the whole world for the fractured, ineffective, fanatics they are.

2. Israel is now on the defensive. The world's attention is surely swinging away from the idea of Iranian nuclear weapons and Syrian chemical weapons to Israel's nuclear bombs. It is only a matter of time before this focus becomes a full look into all of Israel's crimes and occupations.

3. The United States is on the defensive around the world, and in full meltdown mode at home. The myth of US power has been shattered. The US will not be able to expand its wars, and will have to begin winding them down. I expect to see a full retreat from Afghanistan just like we saw in Iraq.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 3 2013 0:01 utc | 25

Anybody catch the latest installment of Boardwalk Empire? In once scene Meyer Lansky relates how his pop was pushed around back the old country by anti-semites, but that wouldn't be happening to him. He was going to stand his ground, by God! Not long afterwards you see him bludgeoning an anti-semitic mobster about the head.

Compare that to this excerpt from Netanyahu's UN speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, one cold day in the late 19th century, my grandfather Nathan and his younger brother Judah were standing in a railway station in the heart of Europe. They were seen by a group of anti-Semitic hoodlums who ran towards them waving clubs, screaming "Death to the Jews."

My grandfather shouted to his younger brother to flee and save himself, and he then stood alone against the raging mob to slow it down. They beat him senseless, they left him for dead, and before he passed out, covered in his own blood, he said to himself "What a disgrace, what a disgrace. The descendants of the Macabees lie in the mud powerless to defend themselves."

Are Hollywood screenwriters writing Bibi's speeches?

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 3 2013 0:56 utc | 26

An interesting article in a recent AlAkhbar about the role of Beirut fixers in the coverage of Syria by western parachute journalists.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Oct 3 2013 1:50 utc | 27

An interesting recent article in AlAkhbar on the role of Beirut fixers in the coverage of Syria by Western parachute journalists. The motives and alliances of fixers can contribute significantly to the sources the journalist hears and the spin on the story. Sometimes, as in the NYT piece, a fixer's input is acknowledged ("an employee of The New York Times from Beirut"), but not always.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Oct 3 2013 2:04 utc | 28

Interesting that in not one of these articles is the Muslim Brotherhood discussed at all (although Qatar is mentioned in passing in one of them). It's as though, once Qatar stopped its major interference (and the "nonviolent" MB resistance in Egypt fell), the MB had no more role in the Syrian insurgency. At the same time, the most extreme jihadist groups are being depicted in some media as having been formerly supported by Qatar, when they have been funded by Saudis. The MB has much older roots in Syria and much deeper animus against the Assads than the Wahabist groups and yet we're no longer hearing about them? Have most of their leadership or their elders been killed off by this point in the conflict? Or are these part of the generic "moderate Islamists" that the MSM now talks about?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Oct 3 2013 2:23 utc | 29

@ ruralito

Anybody catch the latest installment of Boardwalk Empire?

Yep, though NetanYahoo reminds me more of Arnold Rothstein, who keeps playing Poker after the game is lost :D

On a related note, just reading news that Irans commander for Cyber-Warfare has been assassinated.

Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, north-west of the capital, Tehran. Ahmadi was last seen leaving his home for work on Saturday. He was later found with two bullets in the heart, according to Alborz, a website linked to the Revolutionary Guard Corps. “I could see two bullet wounds on his body and the extent of his injuries indicated that he had been assassinated from a close range with a pistol,” an eyewitness told the website.

The commander of the local police said that two people on a motorbike had been involved in the assassination.

Using motorbikes is part of the MO of the Iranian Scientists who have been killed as well. In most cases the Nuclear scientists were killed driving to work and having a motorbike drive up to the car and connect a magnetic bomb onto it. I remember one was killed walking to his parked car and a motorbike parked next to it exploded.

Obviously like those cases Israel is the likely culprit. Timing is noticeable as well coming just after the Rohani-Obama phonecall. Israel wants to anger Iran into striking back in the hopes any retaliation against Israelis would destroy peace talks.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Oct 3 2013 3:03 utc | 30

legalising theft?
Fatwa of Ulema of Damascus: "It is legal to confiscate goods belonging to Christians, Alawites and Druze in order to buy weapons" link

arbitrary laws by criminal sunni leaders

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2013 7:07 utc | 31

One should not exaggerate. There was a native revolt. Over which the Islamists imposed.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 2, 2013 7:15:16 PM | 23

no there was no 'native revolt' what there was:

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2013 7:09 utc | 32

Human Rights Watch is a propaganda agency for the US government

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2013 7:17 utc | 33

@alexno | 23

"One should not exaggerate. There was a native revolt. Over which the Islamists imposed."

Any reason you prefer Western propaganda line? It goes against everything we know about this "revolt."

It was a long-planned (preconceived 20 years ago, and 10 years spend for preparation) foreign backed, financed and armed "revolt" with a lot of foreigners among "peaceful protesters." Even Al Qaeda admitted they were preparing for it and participated from the day one.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 3 2013 7:39 utc | 34

32) What you describe would not be possible if a large part of people were not alienated by their governement.

"Over which the Islamists imposed" is the interesting part. And presumably the failure.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 3 2013 8:09 utc | 35

31) It is no reason to rejoice, Brian. Independent human rights advocacy is badly needed. Basically, the US has destroyed the fight for Human Rights my manipulating it for political ends for years to come.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 3 2013 8:12 utc | 36

@ Rusty Pipes, #27: It's true the Qataris were associated with the MB, as opposed to 'more extreme Jihadi groups'. But MB covers an enormous spectrum. People can be MB while belonging to other groups. Perhaps MB was merely the vehicle through which Qatar operated, rather than denoting a specific group of 'militants'.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 8:51 utc | 37

@ Rusty Pipes, #27: Also, the western media don't want to have to characterise any MBs as either peaceful or 'militant's at the moment, because they are keeping a quiet, non-committal score of how many MB demonstrations the Egyptian military junta suppresses, and how many MBs it shoots in the process, and how many MB leaders it imprisons, so that if necessary one day they can start a campaign against the junta for killing 'innocent civilians' and jailing 'democratic politicians'.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 8:58 utc | 38

re 32

Any reason you prefer Western propaganda line?

Why should I prefer a propaganda line? I was describing an actual situation as I experienced it.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 3 2013 9:02 utc | 39

re 32 again

Actually I don't much appreciate arsehole remarks like that. As opposed to many of the rest of you, I actually have to work to save Syrians. It takes up quite a bit of my time. OK it's a special case, my students, but I still have to help them to remain alive and safe until the war is over. or at least to do what I can.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 3 2013 9:20 utc | 40

Our research into the Latakia massacres here. See also the talk page.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 3 2013 9:35 utc | 41

Posted by: somebody | Oct 3, 2013 4:12:37 AM | 34

the 'human rights' farce has been exposed for what it is: a means for imperalism to attack independent sovereign states
HR is a fraud

Posted by: brian | Oct 3 2013 9:38 utc | 42


You were there?

Posted by: Ozawa | Oct 3 2013 9:50 utc | 43

Petri, can you clarify this?

... Mihraç Ural aka Ali al-Kayyali, the man I dubbed in May “the ethnic cleanser of Banias,” who was also suspected of masterminding the twin Turkish bombings in Reyhanli ...

The reason I ask is that you seem to be talking about Nusra throughout your page, but a day or two ago, ISIL claimed they were responsible for the Reyhanli car bombs, and I am intent on drawing distinctions between ISIL and Nusra, or if distinctions are impossible, then identifying joint actions between them.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 10:41 utc | 44

I've followed the links to your source, here, and it appears this man al-Kayyali is supposedly a shabiha leader with a long past in leftism and PKK activities. I think your source is probably just fabricating connections or misconstruing them to support his own pro-rebel position, actually. The idea that this fellow al-Kayyali organised the Reyhanli car bombs on behalf of Syrian intelligence is a pretty obvious fabrication. The reason al-Kayyali appears in your story is this: the author, who as I have said is a pro-rebel propagandist, is trying to justify a particular push into Alawi villages by rebel forces, and his justification is that among those captured are these notorious and malignant pro-regime terrorists, al-Kayyali and a certain Alawi Sheikh, Badreddin Ghazal. So, again, I would brand all this as almost certainly propaganda fabrication.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 10:52 utc | 45

@ Posted by: alexno | Oct 3, 2013 5:20:48 AM | 38

How dare you disturb other peoples' agendas by intruding reality and the lives and experiences and suffering of actual Syrians. I suppose the next thing you'll be doing is having the temerity to suggest that Syrians are not only real people but that the failure to consider them to be so by many western ideologues intent on furthering their own agendas contributes to the very real oppression they're currently experiencing.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Oct 3 2013 11:21 utc | 46

@alexno | 37

"I was describing an actual situation as I experienced it."

What exactly was this experience? Are you Syrian? Probably not. Were you at Syria with those tiny demonstrations in 2011? Probably not. Did you see how "peaceful protesters" were killing policemen? (More police died than "demonstrators" during first days). Probably not.

As I remember, you really dislike Syrian government, you live in (probably) anti-Syria country, and repeat what West media is saying while not providing any evidence to support it... Do I need to go on?

Also based on what you claim it was "native revolt"? It would presume little to no external influence, which is obviously false. Also islamists didnt hijacked anything, they were there from the very start armed to the teeth, including foreign jihadists. Even Western Jane's recent report claimed ~90% of terrorists are islamists, or NYT article that there are no moderate rebels to speak of. They are just finally admitting the fact Syria was saying from the very start. Sure there were (and still are) a fraction of non-islamist Syrian "rebels", but they always were nothing more than a facade for external powers agenda, and never were main fighting force or even majority.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 3 2013 12:24 utc | 47

yeah, there was no drought in Syria and no domestic unrest, nope, none, didn't happen. it was 100% zusa, always and forever.

how about we simply acknowledge there is no simple narrative that explains what has been happening in Syria, and that there are too many moving parts for those of us who are NOT Syrians to track. thanks for the comments, alexno.

Posted by: lizard | Oct 3 2013 12:55 utc | 48

@Rowan Berkeley #42

Accusing Mihraç Ural for the Baniyas massacre and for the Al-Bayda massacre is as baseless as accusing him for the Reyhanli bombings.

The reason I ask is that you seem to be talking about Nusra throughout your page, but a day or two ago, ISIL claimed they were responsible for the Reyhanli car bombs.

Evidently the al-Qaeda cell responsible for the bombing is now part of ISIL. It is difficult to know what name they would have used at the time of the bombing in the beginning of May. The rift between the al-Qaida wings is very recent. The Islamic State in Iraq only came out by its new name (ISIL) in April. With the current fighting and tension many cells have switched from al-Nusra to ISIL. I do not know if there is much traffic in the other direction. To be on the safe side, maybe we should just call all these actors al-Qaeda!

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 3 2013 13:16 utc | 49

Ok, that makes sense again, thanks. Your pages are so dense, it's easy to take something right out of context and misunderstand it. I had to go back and follow the links before I understood that Mihraç Ural (al-Kayyali) was a prisoner, not a raider. If indeed it is true that the raiders captured him there.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 13:40 utc | 50

The rationale for the GWOT has become incoherent now that American media is breaking-down Al Qaeda into "extremist" and "moderate" terrorist factions. Even more confusing, US military and intelligence agencies refer to domestic non-violent protesters as "low level terrorists". What is a poor, over-propagandized American to make of this?

Posted by: Gareth | Oct 3 2013 14:48 utc | 51

I've always been aware of the danger inherent in the fact that 'terror' is a subjective state, not an objective quantity. That means that 'terror' is in the eye of the beholder. We already have a situation where certain sorts of discourse, quite subjectively, are referred to as 'intellectual terrorism', which could mean absolutely anything anybody wants it to mean. Again, 'anti-Semitism' nowadays is sometimes defined as anything that makes Jews feel uncomfortable. It's all subjective, which means that it is infinitely malleable. According to the real power relations, it can be exaggerated or played down at will.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 3 2013 15:22 utc | 52

40) It is not a farce when you depend on your human rights being respected. For example when taking part in "low level terrorism"

Thanks, Gareth, 49, for this information. It is a joke indeed. The first quote I found when googling the expression is from 2009.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 3 2013 15:23 utc | 53

"how about we simply acknowledge there is no simple narrative that explains what has been happening in Syria, and that there are too many moving parts for those of us who are NOT Syrians to track."

Ah, I really love this line of propaganda/hasbara: the situation is just too complex for outsiders to wrap their minds around so why don't we leave it to the "experts"/"serious people" and the natives - gee, never heard an Israeli use that line of reasoning before, huh? - and quit trying to highlight the very real agendas of the powerful actors behind world events.

Hey, with that line of reasoning I guess you should just tell b to shut down his site, right? He's not Syrian so what the hell does he think he's doing, right?

Rubbish. Garbage. Propaganda. Nonsense.

This is the same reasoning that all of these fake HR groups use to promulgate their propaganda lines that hide the very real influence of the Zionist West in - yes - nearly every single event that's been taking place over the last few decades in the ME and elsewhere. I suppose you've never heard the well-worn line "never let a crisis go to waste", huh? Pathetic.

Let's think about the poor Georgians, Ukrainians, Kosovars, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Iranians, on and on and on and on without thinking about WHY the are suffering in the first place and how they are being used as pawns. It's probably just a complex confluence of coincidences once again, right? Embarrassing.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 3 2013 16:25 utc | 54

lol brown moses now apparently have contact with kurdish forces saying that the videos of terrorists firing chemical rockets are fake! lol who is this propaganda guy?

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 3 2013 17:37 utc | 55

I wish some well-informed reader on would investigate and enlighten us about the purported Israeli-US missile test on September 3rd. The missile launches in the Eastern Mediterranean were very mysterious and suspect; especially since Israel was involved. Was some kind of false-flag conspiracy brewing, which was nipped in the bud by the prompt Russian reaction to it taking place? The incident should have attracted much greater media attention, and it adds to the mystery that Western news outlet have so far ignored its significance.
The fact is that the any intention to test missiles - that is what the Israelis and Americans are claiming – should have been declared several days before the event as a warning to the shipping in the area.
Were Israelis trying to sink an American warship and have Syrians blame for it to jumpstart a really big war?

Posted by: Danny Markus | Oct 3 2013 19:25 utc | 56

Fractioning is a classical zionist modus operandi.

And there is one of my two points of critique against president Putin (the other one being Sochi, an expensive, quite useless undertaking that creates plenty occasions to blackmail and threaten Russia): His tolerance.

Of course, Putin wants to avoid bloodshed and war and this generally is laudable. There is, however, only one way to counter zionism: The readiness and capability to swiftly and decisively go against it with the necessary kind and amount of force required, no matter how brutal it gets. *Anything* else will be abused to spawn new fractions, storylines and fairy tales.

I occasionally mention that zusa can survive and even play a second class regional power role. The reason is simple: zamericans are so de-cultivated, stupidized and generally insignificant that, once the zionist cancer controlling and abusing zamericans is terminated they will pose no danger.

That, however, is not true when dealing with zionists. *Any an every* mercy show to them will very soon turn against the generous. Not having the slightest desire to bend down and join the ligue of mass murderers the idea of physically annihilating israel might look attractive but is no option (unless, of course, in the case of self defence (-> samson option)).
A viable and acceptable solution would
- limit israel to the borders of 1949
- cancel the fraudulent status of "state" and set forth for eternity the illegal and temporary status of the entity "israel"
- accordingly take away and interdict any weapons other than hand carried defense weapons from israel and to guarantee their security internationally for cases where israel were there is clear proof of an unfounded and unprovoced attack on israel.
- to force the relocation to israel of everyone worldwide known to have supported israel in any not insignificant way or worse, having acted on their behalf.
- to severely limit the freedom to travel (outside of israel) and to grant exceptions only for evidently constructive and benevolent purposes and to surveil and control those individuals at all times.
- to take away any and all posessions held by israeli (or relocated there) persons outside of israel and to hand those over to Palestine so as to support the creation of their state and to compensate for their suffering.
- israelis (or subjects relocated there) shall be punished by either medieval or sharia law and punishment, whichever is more grave, and in any case with body punishment for any crime or offense comitted outside israel with leaving israel without permission being an offense too.

Furthermore, to achieve peace it will be necessary to
- dethrown and relocate to israel the despots of the "gulf-states", particularly zaudi arabia and qatar and to divide their personal wealth between the people and their victims.
- put an ultimatum to *all* terrorists; either they hand over their weapons within 12 hours or they will be fair game to any and everyone and so will be those members of their family who support them.
- legally enforce "peoples banks" in every region and to interdict (and severely punish) any kind of gambling like "banking" operations.
- value the well being of *everyone* higher than the well being of the rich.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 3 2013 20:26 utc | 57

Danny Markus @56:

Al Manar reported that two American missiles launched from Spain were intercepted by a Russian anti-missile system. The Al Manar report contended that the Russian interception halted the launch of an American military operation on Syria.

I don't know how much credence can be given to this article, because there are factual errors (Zarif was serving as the Iranian foreign minister at the time; Russia had withdrawn all military personnel from Syria at the time). However, the official story seems implausible.

An article in RIA Novosti reports that the missiles were detected by Russian radar, and subsequently fell into the Mediterranean. The article does not specifically state that the missiles were intercepted.

Posted by: Harper Langston | Oct 3 2013 21:17 utc | 58


Thanks for the link:

"The claim that armed opposition to the government has begun only recently is a complete lie. The killings of soldiers, police and civilians, often in the most brutal circumstances, have been going on virtually since the beginning.' -- Professor Jeremy Salt, October 2011 (Ankara)

There is no doubt that there was popular agitation in Syria in early 2011, after the events in Egypt and Tunisia. There were anti-government and pro-government demonstrations, and a genuine political reform debate. However the serious violence that erupted in March 2011 has been systematically misreported, in line with yet another US-NATO 'regime change' agenda.

In early 2011, there was "popular agitation," "demonstrations" and "debate" in Syria before violence erupted in mid-March. While some of that agitation had been seeded by State Department color revolution NGOs and nurtured by the American Ambassador's contacts with Syrian dissident groups, the early nonviolent protests were fairly small. Within a few months, most of the nonviolent protesters stayed home after the demonstrations were taken over by militants and most of the political activists found accommodations from the Assad administration through involvement in opposition party politics.

Even the media is finally abandoning the rhetoric of "nonviolent activists forced to take up arms." They have been substituting the rhetoric of a "popular Syrian revolt." In the early stages of the insurgence, there were still some facts on which to pin this narrative. The MB had a long-nurtured grievance against the Assads, especially in Homs. The SAA was suffering major losses of casualties and desertions. Some rural parts of Syria not only opposed Assad's governance, but welcomed the takeover of their region as "liberation."

But even the "popular Syrian revolt" narrative is wearing thin. The SAA has altered some of its tactics to deal more effectively with guerrilla warfare and to make militias more effective and accountable -- not only losing fewer troops to death and desertion, but offering amnesty programs to deserters. Even some of the civilians who had welcomed the presence of the insurgents have not found their application of sharia liberating. Further, the presence and influence of non-Syrian fighters and agendas are becoming increasingly harder to deny or minimize.

So, now we are being sold a Syrian insurgency with "less rat in it." We are hearing less about secular FSA rebels and more about moderate Salafist insurgents (who care more about liberating Syria than about taking part in worldwide jihad).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Oct 3 2013 21:26 utc | 59


lsrael piss in vestris caput

Posted by: des | Oct 3 2013 21:53 utc | 60


Thanks for that example of the rethoric and intellectual capabilities of israelis and their friends.

Let me help you a little. To piss is "meiere", "caput" is nominative and therefore the incorrect case and addressing a single person, "vestris" is incorrect, too (which you used incorrectly anyway). I leave it to you to complete your lousy insult attempt to form a correct phrase, now that you've got considerable help.

Ceterum censeo israel israeliique delenda esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 3 2013 22:18 utc | 61

JSorrentine @ 54, I made that comment not just to support alexno, a commenter I'm familiar with after 5 years of reading b's blog, but to watch the knee-jerk reaction from the antagonistic element that always threatens to make these comment threads not-very-illuminating.

I continue to value b's insight, and generally agree with his interpretation of events. I also value much of the commentary, but there's a reason many of the old regulars lurk and don't engage, one of them being the oversimplified pack-creatures that froth zusa and try to bully others who deviate from their chosen narrative.

anyways, cheers!

Posted by: lizard | Oct 3 2013 22:30 utc | 62

You are quite right. It is important to recognise the sea change which has occurred, of which the House of Commons vote and the climb down from a US attack were indications.
The recent Guardian report, of a massacre of which it must have been aware when it happened, is another indication that the political situation has changed.
This report from the WSWS is useful.

AToL had this today too.
It might be of interest to some. Mr Pragma's views on it would be useful

Posted by: bevin | Oct 3 2013 22:34 utc | 63

#62 - right on Lizard!

Posted by: j montana | Oct 3 2013 23:12 utc | 64

AToL had this today too.
It might be of interest to some. Mr Pragma's views on it would be useful

I had read the Sinaisky article and think it's worthwhile to keep in mind what he explains.

I personally consider Meyssan's approach as more relevant, mainly for two reasons

- The situation wasn't as dire as Sinaisky describes it. One example for that is the fact that between the sea and Damascus is Libanon, an official non-party (and possible covert ops area) and israel is also pretty close. Which comes down to the zamerican cruise missiles not at being completely at the mercy of Syrian jamming. Furthermore the deviation isn't to be computed over the whole distance (like 1000 km) but rather over the distance since the last good GPS signal (which as explained above might actually very short leading to not much precision being lost).
Also, looking from a technical perspective I don't *know* for sure but would very strongly assume that the cruise missile (on board) navigation electronics would apply some kind of reasonability check; that way, if a new GPS signal says "you are off route by 20°" (which is a lot) that "information" would wuite probably be ignored (while one that told the cruise missile to be off course by a reasonable amount as compared to INS data would quite probably be considered valid).
All in all I think that the Syrians might quite well influence the cruise missiles somewhat but not very much. Furthermore it's not enough to just make a cruise missile not hit its target; when tricking it into taking another course it would be desirable it be a sensible one - which isn't that easy in a large city area. In the end it might be more desirable to let the cruise missile hit its target rather than to hit, say, densely populated areas.

As a sub-point I'd like to mention that air defense is not always immobile. In fact, particularly the kind of AD systems used against cruise missiles (which is *not* S-300) like e.g. Pantsir are even quite typically mobile. So, avoiding them to be hit might be better achieved by simply moving them out of the way, deploying decoys, keeping them on the move, etc, etc. (rather than jamming GPS and having a cruise missile who knows where).

- war operations are by far less rigid and final than one usually thinks. It is helpful to remember that in the end war operations can almost always be looked at as an extension of diplomacy (and therefore in the case of zusa of financial and economic goals, too).
If the relevant question was really the one Sinaisky asks then the zamericans would quite simply have used another tactic; maybe they wouldn't have stopped hollande but rather have given green light. Later on zusa could have explained that obviously they had thought way to well of the french capabilities (after, in fact, having the french loose their blood and a considerable part of their jets attacking Syria). Short, Sinaisky's view would hardly keep zusa away from doing their thing; they'd merely do it differently. One should also keep in mind that the first strike is a forte of zusas mil; it's only later when they get into trouble.

So, one has to ask "Which factor increased the price of a zamerican attack, no matter how it'd be done, so immensely that they recognized the gain/cost ratio so severely stacked against themselves to stay out of it completely?"

No doubt, the answer to that question can not possibly be found in anything Syria could do against zusa cruise missiles; the answer to that question was way heftier and on a considerably higher level.

While Meyssan (if I read him correctly) thinks that answer is to be found in the Russian flotilla spread out like a wall along the Syrian cost, I myself think that Meyssan gives a very smart answer to a detail question ("How is it implemented") but the real answer is strikingly simple: Putin made it clear that he wasn't merely talking; he made zusa understand that whatever they started there would be something they would go all the way to the bitter end and that Russia would be in it, physically and militarily.

I concur with Sinaisky that some mil int played a role in that. But I assume that int to have been something that showed zusa unmistakably that e.g. they were to loose some important ship within minutes after firing the first missile. Another example could be to show zusa some sig int suggesting that Syria would have some Iskander systems protected by other Russian equipment which would come down to tel aviv and some major israeli mil base destroyed shorty after the first zusa crusi missile hit Syria.

Whatever the details are (and probably we'll never know) I'm certain that Russia, more precisely, Russias decision to take on zusa if they misbehaved, was the factor to so brutally increase risk and cost for zusa to make them drop their plans.

Ceterum senseo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 3 2013 23:20 utc | 65

@Rusty: "So, now we are being sold a Syrian insurgency with 'less rat in it.'"

Very, very well put.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 4 2013 0:17 utc | 66

A disgusting display of simple murder in Iran today. Of course we await word from the Iranians as to the culprits, but is there any doubt that this is the desperate work of Netanyahu and his thugs? This cowardly act is more proof that the Israelis are losing the fight to prevent Iran's achievement in not just the nuclear and military fields, but also the diplomatic and political.

The Iranian's should start to bring crimes like this to the United Nations. A public trial for Israel is long, long overdue. After the political and moral win in Syria, the Iranian's should make full use of their having captured the moral high ground and bring the Israel's to task for their cowardly acts such as these.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 4 2013 0:47 utc | 67

Thanks b, for keeping up with the Syria deconstruction-campaign, I myself has become thoroughly numb months ago.

Posted by: Alexander | Oct 4 2013 12:59 utc | 68

@guest77 | 67

"The Iranian's should start to bring crimes like this to the United Nations. A public trial for Israel is long, long overdue."

Iran does bring these assassinations to UN's attention (scientists, etc), with zero reaction from UN. The most Iran can expect is PR condemnation, but no real action taken.

Israel will neither confirm nor deny, and Iran doesnt have a solid proof, caught murderers confessions apparently is not enough for UN.

Even if Iran could prove beyond shadow of any doubt Israel is involved, still nothing would happen. Lets remember how US with missiles destroyed Iran's Airbus with 290 civilians on board. International Court was dragging its feet as much as possible, till 8 years later Iran gave up on "international justice and law" since it doesnt exist, and accepted whatever pennies US payed. US obviously never apologized or even admitted responsibility, even though it was a 110% proven crime by any law standards.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 4 2013 14:25 utc | 69

Information that may help in understanding good takfiri/bad takfiri, i hope 3 paragraphs isn't too much to paste here:

Journalist Hassan Hassan published an important article “The Army of Islam Is Winning in Syria” arguing that the Islamic Army led by Zahran Alloush is probably now stronger than Hassan Abboud’s Ahrar al-Sham. This is hard to tell, but it is worth quoting him at length.
“But today, Salafi-leaning insurgents are the single most dominant force in rebel-held areas. Liwa al-Islam, which is the central player in the Army of Islam, now dwarfs both the FSA and radical militias such as Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, which long played a prominent role in the region. These groups had coordinated with each other through a Damascus military council, but Ahrar al-Sham pulled out of the council shortly after the merger, issuing an angry statement that criticized “the hegemony of certain factions and the exclusion of [other] effective ones.”…
“Saudi Arabia appears to be central to the merger of rebel groups around Damascus. Liwa al-Islam chief Zahran Alloush is backed by Riyadh, while both Ahrar al-Sham, which is supported by Qatar, and Jabhat al-Nusra have been excluded from the new grouping. Although Liwa al-Islam had been part of the Saudi-backed FSA, the spokesman of the new grouping told an Arabic television channel that the Army of Islam is not part of the FSA. This is likely because the FSA has lost the trust of many rebel groups, and adopting a religious language will be more effective in countering the appeal of radical groups — which is what happened after the announcement of the merger, as various Islamists and moderate groups welcomed the move.”

- See more at:

Posted by: Crest | Oct 4 2013 18:15 utc | 70


So, what you're saying is that taking into consideration and discussing the Zionist-backed power structure of the West and how it effects events in the ME and elsewhere is not illuminating and that you would like this blog to be as pro-Zionist as all of the other blogs you lurk at, is that it?

Not only that, but that you admit to carefully lurking at this blog - and presumably others - and deigning to interject only to derail conversations/threads that are in your estimation too anti-Zionist for your taste as you consider commentators who speak to the effects of Zionism as being "over-simplified" which is quite frankly fairly amazing in that Zionism and its ill effects as a topic on most blogs has only been a fairly recent phenomenon - the last few years or so - and anyone who mentioned the Z-word up to that point would have likely been called an anti-Semite and banned. Hmmm, a person who monitors online threads and purposefully posts to disrupt? What's the word for that? Nevermind.

Lastly, if you are sincere - I'll give you the benefit of the doubt - then I suggest that you lurk at more blogs and inform yourself of how the very tactic that you are employing - i.e., the issue's too complex, it should be left to the natives, Zionism is only/maybe one small factor, etc - are indeed the very same techniques used by professional hasbarists and fake HR groups to muddy the waters so that they can further hide their true agendas from the unsuspecting public. As an American citizen, we have been near daily told that we're just all too stupid to figure things out, that we should let the likes of the neocons and their think tanks do all the heavy lifting for us, that people like Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, Juan Cole, Rachel Maddow, HRWatch, Amnesty, et al, are the ones to listen to if we to "learn" anything, the I/P conflict is just SOOOOO difficult for the layperson to understand blah blah blah and at the end of the decades of blathering by said fools guess which topic has just never been spoken to?

If you guess Zionism/Israel, give yourself 10 more lurking points.

So maybe you feel that it "oversimplifies" the conversation but to many people here pointing out the once-hidden influences of Zionism in world events and foreign policy is a long overdue breath of fresh air and one which can't be highlighted enough as 1) it's directly led to the deaths of millions of people over the last decade or so and 2) it threatens to directly lead to the deaths of millions more if it is not stamped out.

Thanks! Have a nice day!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 4 2013 19:19 utc | 71

@Crest #62: By a funny coincidence a chorus of little birds from the Diplomatic Corps (probably a euphemism for the FSB) have just told Interfax that it was Liwa al-Islam who carried out the Ghouta CW attack under Saudi direction (not Nusra, then):

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 4 2013 19:55 utc | 72

@ 71

You're fairly new here, aren't you? Well, lizard is not - he's a veteran bar-fly

you misstated his comment about lurking... he said lurking "now" because, etc., not usually or generally lurking.

Your post is ridiculous - you walk into a forum and presume to know everything about a veteran poster, attack based on assumptions -

Suggest you be a little more thoughtful with your assessments.

Posted by: crone | Oct 4 2013 20:16 utc | 73

Just to answer the people above, who asked whether I was in Syria. That was not what I said. I am an academic in France, who has a dozen Syrian students. They have to be preserved in life, that is, I advise them not to finish their doctorates and to remain in France. Those who have finished their doctorates, and returned to Syria, I have to recover. The point is to retain a cadre of experts who will be available when the war is over.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 4 2013 21:14 utc | 74

@ 73

thank you, crone.

@ 71

whoa buddy, take some deep breaths. b's tireless work with MoA has been and still is accentuated by the conversations his work sparks. but sparks very easily turn to flames, and the nature of what b covers makes the comment terrain rife with riff-raff and browbeaters, like yourself.

it's too bad so much of the energy spent in the comments here is focused on the provenance of and/or validity of atrocities, and the geopolitical implications. there really is a humanitarian crisis in the whole region (whole globe, really) and bringing that up shouldn't become fodder for the anti-zionist mudslingers.

I think the cynical use of r2p should get its share of blame for the inability of the humanitarian situation to be examined without geopolitical distortion.

Posted by: lizard | Oct 4 2013 22:50 utc | 75

Mother Agnes Discusses Evidence of Chemical Attack Videos Fabrication with al-Jadeed TV

ORIENTAL REVIEW on BBC's offensive article about Mother Agnes-Mariam earlier this week:
'He fails to present any substance of the report and hesitates to publish a single revealing video still image supporting Mother Agnes’ claims. Instead he relies on questionable assessment by Peter Bouckaert from Human Rights Watch: “She is not a professional video forensic analyst”.'

HRW vs a real humanitarian: Mother Agnes.

Posted by: brian | Oct 4 2013 22:56 utc | 76

"anti-zionist mudslingers"?

Sorry, but about the only justified accusation against "anti-zionist mudslingers" would be that they don't sling rocks or, even better, explosives.

zionists kill innocent people, they even intentionally and malevolently kill school kids. Nothing, absolutely nothing done against that detestable, mass murdering low-life scum could possibly constitute more grounds for accusation than a babies hickup.

Ceterum censeo isael delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 5 2013 0:35 utc | 77

that there is a domestic component among the Syrian rebels is quite obvious;

how could Aleppo be overrun? how can rebels move from one place to another without local support? how can they retain a third of Syrian territory? just look at the identifications of the dead at syrianperspective blog;

the idea I have is quite simple: local protests, activation of foreign plans through mysterious killings of policemen and demonstrators, overreaction of the police, radicalization and extension of the protests, foreign jihadis come in armed, organized, trained and funded, and hijack the protests, and now for most of the Syrian rebels, however regretful for the turn of events, is too late or too difficult to return home or even more change sides

I'm all for Assad against imperialistic intervention, but I also hope he will learn from past mistakes and build a better a more inclusive Syria; it's obvious a good part of the population was alienated from the regime

Posted by: claudio | Oct 5 2013 1:00 utc | 78

Interesting article at AlAkhbar:

Interestingly, most of those who defected from al-Nusra joined ISIS because they see the latter as a bigger organization than the former, which they believe is nothing more than a militia.Now, it seems that members of the Brigades are in turn split between those who favor ISIS, and those who favor al-Nusra, such as Ziad al-Arefi and Mohammad al-Dawkhi, also according to the same sources.

Though both al-Nusra and ISIS follow the same Salafi jihadi ideology, their followers are torn over which side to be loyal to. Interestingly, most of those who defected from al-Nusra joined ISIS because they see the latter as a bigger organization than the former, which they believe is nothing more than a militia.

Furthermore, in the Salafi jihadi ideology, a field commander has a lower rank than the so-called Emir of an organization – al-Nusra doesn’t have an Emir currently, only a field commander. This is not to mention that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Emir of ISIS, allegedly has Qureshi lineage [a descendant of the tribes of Mecca who were contemporaries of the Prophet Mohammad], giving him precedence and seniority.

It is also worth noting that ISIS is financially superior to al-Nusra. For instance, ISIS controls oil wells in both Iraq and Syria, including in the Raqqa governorate, and is also engaged in fierce battles in the countryside of Deir al-Zour, home to a large number of oil fields.

All this means that ISIS can meet the needs of the jihadis who join its ranks. In addition to supplying its fighters with cutting-edge weaponry, ISIS sometimes also pays for accommodation for the families of combatants, whether in Lebanon, Turkey, or elsewhere.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Oct 5 2013 1:11 utc | 79

important qualifier: without foreign intervention, Assad would have won easily (like Gaddafi would have)

Posted by: claudio | Oct 5 2013 1:11 utc | 80

@73 @75

I'm sorry but I guess I just don't know how an Internet blog works. I was under the mistaken assumption that one could engage in debate with a poster over what they said and that it wasn't necessary to have a full dossier on the poster and a history of every single post the person has written especially if they don't post much. My mistake. Is this a Usenet group? Why doesn't b password protect his site then?

Secondly, lizard admitted that HE was being provocative - he stated that in his post when he said he likes to bait anti-Zionists - I don't need you to parse his words for me to understand what he was saying, thank you.

Thirdly, so I guess a person who points to the obvious fact that much of the ME/global crises over the last 20 years+ have at their heart a malevolent philosophy - i.e., Zionism which forms the basis of Western neoconservativism and which pre-dates the utilization of R2P by well over two decades - which has been the catalyst for said suffering is "brow-beating".

That instead of looking for similar causes/reasons/catalysts for crises around the world, we should - like the fake rights orgs, the UN, the MSM, hasbarists and other assorted liars/fools - just view - at least for the public - each incident singularly, pick our noses and gaze in wonder at how the same exact types of situations just keep happening especially as they involve the same geopolitical actors.

This line of deflective Zionist reasoning was perhaps most glaringly on display when the whole GWOT had started just after the false flags in 2001 and the American war criminals couldn't even bring themselves to mention Israel as a basis for the supposed hatred of Muslims for the West even when the chimerical OBL himself stated as such. They just hated us for our freedoms, right? The situation is complex. Please don't pay attention to the Zionist war plans that were drawn up and signed by said criminals in the previous decade. It probably all happened because OBL once had an American girlfriend who dumped him or something.

So, rest assured, from now on I'm going to not look for the Zionist war criminals who've been documented as being behind the invasions/destabilizations of a plethora of predominantly Muslim countries in the recent past and instead I'll look for changes in the weather, inflation, mad-cow disease any line of reasoning that doesn't implicate Zionists and which detracts from the MSM's mission to keep the people of the world non-distracted, honestly appraised of geopolitical realities and focused on the inexplicable and terrible complexities that seemingly just happen at random around them all the time.

Hey, I hear there's gonna be a drought in Iran sometime in the next decade or so.


Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 5 2013 2:17 utc | 81

I seem to remember noticing patronising remarks from "crone" about "veteran bar-flies" before. This is elitism, "crone". It's rather contemptible. I should learn not to do it.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 5 2013 3:47 utc | 82

@JS @RB - it's not elitism, it's simply that your witch-hunt for crypto-Zionists at MoA is getting tiring and insulting and most of all is unproductive in understanding a reality where Israel is not the only, and often not even the major actor

Posted by: claudio | Oct 5 2013 9:17 utc | 83

Thanks 'Crone' and 'Claudio', I've been coming here for years and very rarely comment. I come here for well-reasoned analysis and commentary even (particularly!) when it's analysis and commentary with which I disagree. Perhaps I should say I used to come here for the well-reasoned analysis and commentary because now - particularly if the topic deals with the Middle-East, I have to scroll through endless grandstanding tripe from a tiny group of commenters who are absolutely determined to hijack the place and turn it into some sort of echo chamber. The low information to tripe ratio and the consequent amount of time wasted scrolling past ream after ream of masturbatory and repetitious prose is such that I rarely bother to come here now, there are only twenty-four hours in the day and life's too short.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Oct 5 2013 10:51 utc | 84

Rowan, why don't you go and reread the accusations hurled at me. for those who have been around this forum for awhile, they know how ridiculous those accusations are. I chose to comment because I'm sick of the crap that makes these threads onerous to sift through, as Dubhaltach points out, and particularly I didn't appreciate how alexno got jumped.

people who froth over Israel's apparent omnipotence to control ME events are like the conspiracy theorists who use the Illuminati as their default explanation for every bad thing that happens. saying that doesn't negate the fact that Israel is an unhinged apartheid nation doing everything it can to fuck shit up, but don't give those sociopaths running Israel more credit than they deserve.

Posted by: lizard | Oct 5 2013 13:06 utc | 85

I found a nice example of zio-paranoia yesterday:

Israeli agents operating in “many” Arab countries, especially Egypt
MEMO, Oct 3 2013

The former director of Israeli military intelligence, General Amos Yadlin, has revealed that its operatives have penetrated a number of Arab countries, notably Egypt. Yadlin also named Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, Libya, Palestine and Syria as places where Israeli agents are active. Speaking to Israel’s Channel Seven, he claimed that the Military Intelligence Division has established networks for collecting information in Tunisia, Libya and Morocco which are able to have a positive or negative influence on the political, economic and social scenes in the countries. The retired General did not give details of the exact nature of such networks but he did say that Israeli agents are most active in Egypt where they have been established since 1979. Yadlin is the current head of the Institute of National Security Studies at the University of Tel Aviv and still has strong links with the security and political authorities in the Zionist state. He confirmed that Israeli agents are working deep within Egyptian governmental institutions. He said that the Military Intelligence Division’s work against the “enemy” has succeeded in escalating unrest and sectarian and social tensions wherever they are operating, especially in Egypt.

That's good, isn't it. You can just imagine Gen Yadlin telling the TV audience: "That's what we do, escalate unrest and sectarian and social tensions, deep within Egyptian governmental institutions. And by golly, it's fun, too."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Oct 5 2013 15:11 utc | 86

Again, shall we all take a brief traipse down memory lane? To the not so distant past of yesteryear when any and every mention of Israel and Zionist influence within the halls of the most powerful Western nations was verboten on nearly every site/blog, when mere mention of the obvious influence of Israel/Zionists on the determination of foreign policy would likely get a person banned and/or called an anti-semite?

So now that the veil of secrecy has finally been lifted and it appears that people are 1) more free to speak to said obvious Israel/Zionist influence on sites/blogs and 2) thus waking up to the reality of the situation in which they have been systematically played for fools for decades, now we have the emergence of the "counter-revolution". Now, it appears that discussions of Zionism - after having been forbidden for years if not decades - are passe, that we don't need to bother anymore, that no one wants to hear it, that it's not intelligent, that it's browbeating, that it's fantastical, that it's low information, it's conspiratorial and on and on and on.

By my estimate, it sure seems - for example - that Al-Qaeda (like Israel/Zionists) has played a large role in the events of the ME in the recent past as well. Where are all of the people telling us to stop talking about AQ, that it's passe, low-information, unintelligent, conspiratorial that we've already discussed it to death?

Isn't that a curious development? A topic - i.e., Israel/Zionism - highly relevant to the ME situation and which has only begun to be just barely spoken to by the MSM and which still is not spoken to by ANY Western person in any position of power is being deemed boring, unintelligent etc etc but a topic - i.e., Al-Qaeda - that has been beaten to death by same actors and which has been exposed to be largely a creation of the media/TPTB, is still considered legitimate and worthwhile? Interesting, indeed.

Gee, if I didn't know better I'd say that one topic is being treated differently than all the others, wouldn't you?

So, the next time someone posts about AQ, can I stamp my feet and complain that these posters are wasting everyone's time with their search for crypto-AQ members/influence even though crypto- is exactly the suffix that should be used when speaking about AQ?

Or should I just let their concentration of interest be displayed along with everyone else's? Yes, one can disagree with a point a person is making but should one say that a person doesn't even have the right to state it? That's where this is heading if we're going to be honest about what people are saying here.

Lastly, I would really like to believe that people are sincerely upset by the inclusion of discussions of Zionism here, that again - somehow - said discussions could constitute an echo chamber when we are talking about one website - albeit a valuable one - against the backdrop of a coordinated and ubiquitous Zionist propaganda machine that has been running unimpeded at full blast for decades in the West and which includes the entire MSM and most major political websites. Forgoing any accusations (honestly.) I do have a hard time believing in people - b/c I've seen this hasbara tactic successfully used before at other sites - who say that 1) they are long time readers but 2) just can't take the Zionist stuff anymore b/c it makes the site seem "less serious" and 3) wouldn't the site owner/moderator do something about it. Sure enough, I have seen numerous sites have comply and debate along the parameters of yesteryear as mentioned above take hold once again. Oh joy. Mission accomplished?

b can do whatever he like with his site and he's doing a fine job of it at that but I would be highly suspicious when certain topics - or is it just "topic" singular - are hinted at as being onerous, unintelligent, conspiratorial, cheapening the site, and every other accusation under the sun.

Well, pardon me for onanistically "frothing" over everyone. I have to go now.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 5 2013 15:40 utc | 87

@69 "Iran does bring these assassinations to UN's attention (scientists, etc), with zero reaction from UN. The most Iran can expect is PR condemnation, but no real action taken."

I accept this, but I'm not looking for real action.

I think now is a perfect time for PR condemnation. Anything to get Israel's crimes into the spotlight. There is no need for "action" by the UN, Iran can take care of themselves. What they do need is a chance to get Israel's crimes into the citizen of the US consciousness. This is one way, is all I'm suggesting.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 5 2013 15:52 utc | 88

Seem to hit a nerve.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Oct 5 2013 16:06 utc | 89


"The low information to tripe ratio and the consequent amount of time wasted scrolling past ream after ream of masturbatory and repetitious prose is such that I rarely bother to come here now, there are only twenty-four hours in the day and life's too short."

Not short enough to NOT come back and check if someone addressed your post though, huh? BTW, onanistic is a bit more classy than masturbatory, don't you think?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 5 2013 16:15 utc | 90

What I find remarkable is the trashy way in which these people behave. They've plainly studied the hasbarite manual with great attention because they follow its tactic of smear, bombast, deliberate false accusations, and copious red herrings, to the letter.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Oct 5 2013 16:26 utc | 91

Pity really, this used to be a good site with a lot of good information contributed by commenters. Now it's been overrun by escapees from chat roulette.



Posted by: Dubhaltach | Oct 5 2013 16:28 utc | 92

@JSorrentine | 81

"So, rest assured, from now on I'm going to not look for the Zionist war criminals who've been documented as being behind the invasions/destabilizations of a plethora of predominantly Muslim countries in the recent past and instead I'll look for changes in the weather, inflation, mad-cow disease any line of reasoning that doesn't implicate Zionists and which detracts from the MSM's mission to keep the people of the world non-distracted, honestly appraised of geopolitical realities and focused on the inexplicable and terrible complexities that seemingly just happen at random around them all the time."

Precisely, shills try to divert attention from the real issue at hand to facts which have minor relevance. Major powers are using the exact same tactic in Syria as they used many times before, and even themselves admitted they are doing it with all the facts confirming it, and yet some pop up "its about the drought, you silly! :)

Granted, geopolitics do have many aspects, but there are always major players and cornerstone reasons.

For example in Syria's case, its a fact some Assad's reforms failed and left some citizens unhappy, plus some other issues which were far from satisfactory in Syria, and thats what West, Israel and their shills are focusing on, to divert attention from the real facts:

* Despite all the issues in Syria, there was no real unrest to speak of, majority of Syrians supported Assad, and those who didnt managed to gather only tiny demonstrations. In the country of 22 mln. most demonstrations were in hundreds only, few in thousands, and only one reached 20-30k. Turkey just saw way bigger demonstrations, countries in the West face much bigger demonstrations all the time, should we call those "major regime change revolutions"?

* On the other hand, we know for a fact US and Israel planned to install a puppet regime in Syria for over 20 years now (not even counting many coups before against different Syria's leaderships).

* We know for a fact West did it many time before around the World, and on top of that they themselves admitted they are doing the same to Syria.

Major geopolitical reasons off the top of my head:

1) To install a client regime and to cut off ties to Iran and Hezbollah, thus weakening their power and influence.
2) To cancel major energy deal (oil, gas, electricity) between Iran-Iraq-Syria. PGGC want to supply all of it themselves to the region and EU.
3) To occupy even more territory of Syria and if weakened Hezbolah is defeated, in Lebanon too.
4) West, Israel, Turkey, etc. would be less constrained on their major ambitions.
5) "Road to Tehran goes through Damascus." With fallen Syria, major terror powers would switch full attention to Iran. If sanctions doesnt make it surrender and if West is too weak to attack, fanatic jihadis will do the job as in Libya before and now in Syria. Its cheap strategy, with no consequences, and their enemy is destroyed and either becomes a puppet (Plan A), or a failed state (Plan B).
6) Syria has oil and discovered gas reserves, all of it would be "in the right hands."
7) Western companies and bankers would absorb Syria as they do everywhere else.

And when to all those facts above we get rebuttal in the line of: "it was a native revolution" or "its because of drought" and similar nonsense, I can just smile at their reasoning.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 5 2013 16:40 utc | 93

this is what started the brawl:

There was a native revolt. Over which the Islamists imposed.
Posted by: alexno | Oct 2, 2013 7:15:16 PM | 24
a) seems perfectly reasonable to me
b) even if it weren't true, there nothing crypto-Zionist in this
c) sounds much more Zionist this pretense that nothing relevant happens in the ME that Israel doesn't want

but to go beyond the brawl, the point is that this assessment by alexno (which I elaborated upon in #78 and #80) helps explain events in Syria, for example the takeover of Aleppo

rebutting it as "hasbara propaganda" is an attempt to stifle debate

@JS #87

the not so distant past of yesteryear when any and every mention of Israel and Zionist influence within the halls of the most powerful Western nations was verboten on nearly every site/blog
sorry to inform you, we've never had this problem at MoA, maybe you should offer your services elsewhere

Gee, if I didn't know better I'd say that one topic is being treated differently than all the others, wouldn't you?
you are trying to collapse every thread to the same topic

@harry #92 - understanding the various actors' schemes is one thing (and your list is only a very rough approximation, it doesn't even mention the GCC states activism in Libya and Syria, besides the existence of different factions and viewpoints in most countries); understanding the dynamics of events is another: details where the people on the ground come into the picture, and often matter more than any imperialistic plan; and you can't simply attribute people's actions to outside inputs

Posted by: claudio | Oct 5 2013 18:00 utc | 94

Dubhaltach et al.

I hope your need to hit on JSorrentine and others is fully satisfied (Kindly take not or remember, btw. that I'm not a native english speaker. So what I have to say will often be clumsily put and most of anyones linguistic finesse will be simply lost on me).

There is sth. that seems to go unnoticed too often. I was/is the *very purpose* of crypto-zionists to not be recognizable as zionists yet act for zionist interests. Accordingly, one should have a very high level of tolerance toward people suspecting crypto-zionism.
Furthermore, it's well known, that deception is the preferred choice of zionists acting covertly. They even mention it proudly in some logos.
Last but not least, it's well known that zionists (and their parasitically remote controlled servants) are in the habit of not only "keeping their eyes open" but to also willfully cause irritation and chaos and, if they feel the need, to increasingly openly attacking whomever they happen to perceive as enemy.

I agree with you that people wary of crypto-zionists can become unnerving - but so can be people suspecting a cobra in their garden; and naturally they will not easily let got or look away. If one were to accuse, the target should be the snake, not the worried father, right?

I myself am rather generous and easy going because I have developed quite reliable methods of recognizing crypto-zionists (and to not get bitten and, if needed, to hit the snakes head). I'm patient, however, with others who are more worried than myself. After all, there *are* crypto-zionists and pinning a cobras head creates more security than simply keeping an eye on it.
Actually, I'm often even amused by crypto-zionists as, frankly, most of them are at the corporal level at best. I guess they have experienced sergeants and well educated captains, too but those seem to be very, very rare; so, usually one meets those "(want to) look like a cobra, spread like a cobra but bite like a rat" wannabe-ninjas and is terribly bored.

I suggest, we just go on with our discussions and keep away from personal accusations and "polite blackmailing" ;)

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 5 2013 18:12 utc | 95

@Mr. Pragma - I'm sorry I have to disagree:

I was/is the *very purpose* of crypto-Zionists to not be recognizable as Zionists yet act for Zionist interests. Accordingly, one should have a very high level of tolerance toward people suspecting crypto-zionism.
indistinguishable from paranoia; one should have a very high level of tolerance toward people contributing reasonable views and criticisms, period; and a very low level of tolerance for the silly syllogisms exhibited by crypto-Zionists hunters, which always hold as major premises that Zionist rule the world and that everybody knows this

Last but not least, it's well known that zionists ... also willfully cause irritation and chaos and ... increasingly openly attacking whomever they happen to perceive as enemy.
well, it was JSorrentine that assaulted alexno for a perfectly reasonable and non polemical assertion (see my #94) ...

I suggest, we just go on with our discussions and keep away from personal accusations and "polite blackmailing" ;)
agree with that; but it seems it's becoming a tactic, this of disrupting a thread with personal accusations taken from thin air, then backing away;

Posted by: claudio | Oct 5 2013 19:29 utc | 96


Exactly, for a more domestic analogy - but probably understandable to those residing in the EU and neoliberal elsewheres - saying that the droughts etc. are significant factors in Syria and elsewhere compared to the influence of the Zionist West is like saying that it really was the "elevated" wage/pension levels of common citizens and not the profligacy, greed and illegalities of the world's major financial institutions to the tune of trillions of dollars that caused the global meltdown in 2007/8 and which continues to mire everyone in economic depression. Sure, one could try very hard to make such a case about wage levels and pensions, etc - and the TPTB do so incessantly and - unfortunately, too successfully in the US - but the fact the matter is that the TPTB consciously want people to concentrate all of their anger and frustration on the situation for the reasons THEY supply. See, it's not the obscenely rich who f*cked everyone over and stole their money, it was really that guy on welfare over there! The issue is complex. Blame him, fricking loser. It's amazing that people can't see that.

In b's post covering the history of the Syrian conflict:

By 2011 three years of drought, caused by global warming and Turkey's upstream dams and irrigation projects, had weakened the Syrian economy. Large parts of the poor rural population lost their means of living and moved into the cities. They provided the fertile ground needed to launch an uprising against the Syrian state.

The U.S. part in the plan was to provide the media and "global opinion" cover for the insurgency.

And the Zionist West's involvement goes on from there. The drought could have been an earthquake, it could have been the misery caused by economic sanctions (cf. Iran), it could have been some poor unfortunate US college kids getting "murdered" by wouldn't have mattered, "something" would have eventually happened to breed the "fertile ground" needed. I and others would only argue that if you mention the US you must also mean Israel as the two governments have been identical for more than 20 years. Maybe this is changing but in science you don't throw out a model over one errant data point i.e. the West failure - so far - to bomb Syria. It's still too early to say that Israel and the US do NOT act like a single entity.


"you are trying to collapse every thread to the same topic"

So, if I had been a German of good-conscience and who wasn't taken in by the propaganda of the Nazis during WWII how should I have properly responded to someone who tried to tell me that it WASN'T German aggression that was the cause of all these humanitarian crises the world over?

That it really was a drought in Austria or maybe it was student unrest in Czechoslovakia, runaway inflation in Poland that really had been the catalysts for German "intervention" in those states? That the "dictatorial" leaders of those countries just had to go for the betterment of mankind? That the situation was "complex". That it wasn't German aggression, it was just a confluence of chance occurrences over and over and over again.

Should I laugh in their face? Scream in their face? Tell me, claudio, how is what we are seeing is NOT the same topic?

When someone tries to tell me that the systematic invasion and destabilization of Muslim countries as clearly spelled out in numerous Zionist plans from preceding decades is really NOT taking place, that what I'm seeing is something other than what I see, how should I politely respond especially when it is MY country this time doing the murdering and looting?

Should I try and remind them, HELLO!, all these minor "events" may be less significant factors for said geopolitical realities but I think I sense a larger trend here? Y'know a trend that has been telegraphed and admitted to by the people in power?

Or rather should I ponder what the Nazis would have been able to accomplish if they just had been able to study the masterful propagandists of past aggressive empires and - maybe? ya think? - formulate ways in which to wage aggressive war without everyone thinking that it was aggressive war?

But never mind all that because that's all just wild speculation .

There's no way a major power could engage in illegal aggressive war over a longer period of time than all of WWII without SOMEONE figuring it out, right? There's no way people would be fooled would they?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 5 2013 19:30 utc | 97


Oh, I wasn't taking sides and even less was my post about supporting attacks against other users here.

But see yourself:

indistinguishable from paranoia; one should have a very high level of tolerance toward people contributing reasonable views and criticisms, period; and a very low level of tolerance for the silly syllogisms exhibited by crypto-Zionists hunters

Or, to point it our more clearly:

indistinguishable from paranoia; one should ... tolerance toward ... reasonable views and criticisms... very low level of tolerance for the silly syllogisms ... crypto-Zionists hunters

Probably you didn't notice it and had no bad intentions but:
- you tag certain users here with "paranoia" (failing to explain and to reason that "conclusion")
- you tag as "reasonable views and criticisms" what other users say (again with no further reasoning)
- you tag as "silly syllogisms" what "crypto-Zionists hunters" bring forward

That, Pardon me, doesn't strike me as an unbiased view. Worse though is the paranoia tag because it basically comes down to saying that as long as crypto-zionists don't put an israeli flag on their work (which crypto-whatever by definition doesn't do) any and every accusation against them is "paranoid" and hence inacceptable.

I'm with you in that we should refrain from personal attacks and that we should fight (if we feel we have to do that) as gentlemen and with sound arguments.

I'm not with you, however, concerning your strongly biased view on "crypto-zionist hunters". As long as they offer (not insane) reasoning and indications they should be free to unmask the crypto-zionists (who again are, of course, free to offer arguments against that themselves).

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Oct 5 2013 19:46 utc | 98

I don't see the point of condemning people as Zionists or crypto-Zionists on MoA. There are very few hasbarists who come here. I suppose because they will be immediately ridiculed. I should think that the hasbara web-sites have deleted MoA from the list of sites where a presence is to be maintained. That's a reason of congratulation to b, for his administration of the site.

Posted by: alexno | Oct 5 2013 20:11 utc | 99


BTW, Italy is increasingly part of the Zionist/US plan for domination so you might want to take heed.

From the article from 4 days ago:

At bases in Naples, Aviano, Sicily, Pisa, and Vicenza, among others, the military has spent more than $2 billion on construction alone since the end of the Cold War -- and that figure doesn’t include billions more on classified construction projects and everyday operating and personnel costs. While the number of troops in Germany has fallen from 250,000 when the Soviet Union collapsed to about 50,000 today, the roughly 13,000 U.S. troops (plus 16,000 family members) stationed in Italy match the numbers at the height of the Cold War. That, in turn, means that the percentage of U.S. forces in Europe based in Italy has tripled since 1991 from around 5% to more than 15%.

Last month, I had a chance to visit the newest U.S. base in Italy, a three-month-old garrison in Vicenza, near Venice. Home to a rapid reaction intervention force, the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), and the Army’s component of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the base extends for a mile, north to south, dwarfing everything else in the small city. In fact, at over 145 acres, the base is almost exactly the size of Washington’s National Mall or the equivalent of around 110 American football fields. The price tag for the base and related construction in a city that already hosted at least six installations: upwards of $600 million since fiscal year 2007.

Beginning with the transfer of F-16s from Spain in 1992, the Air Force turned it into a major staging area for every significant wartime operation since the first Gulf War. In the process, it has spent at least $610 million on more than 300 construction projects (Washington convinced NATO to provide more than half these funds, and Italy ceded 210 acres of land for free.) Beyond these “Aviano 2000” projects, the Air Force has spent an additional $115 million on construction since fiscal year 2004.

Not to be outdone, the Navy laid out more than $300 million beginning in 1996 to construct a major new operations base at the Naples airport. Nearby, it has a 30-year lease on an estimated $400 million “support site” that looks like a big-box shopping mall surrounded by expansive, well-manicured lawns. (The base is located in the Neapolitan mafia’s heartland and was built by a company that has been linked to the Camorra.) In 2005, the Navy moved its European headquarters from London to Naples as it shifted its attention from the North Atlantic to Africa, the Middle East, and the Black Sea. With the creation of AFRICOM, whose main headquarters remain in Germany, Naples is now home to a combined U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa. Tellingly, its website prominently displays the time in Naples, Djibouti, Liberia, and Bulgaria.

Meanwhile, Sicily has become increasingly significant in the Global War on Terror era, as the Pentagon has been turning it into a major node of U.S. military operations for Africa, which is less than 100 miles away across the Mediterranean. Since fiscal year 2001, the Pentagon has spent more on construction at the Sigonella Naval Air Station -- almost $300 million -- than at any Italian base other than Vicenza. Now the second busiest naval air station in Europe, Sigonella was first used to launch Global Hawk surveillance drones in 2002. In 2008, U.S. and Italian officials signed a secret agreement formally permitting the basing of drones there. Since then, the Pentagon has put out at least $31 million to build a Global Hawk maintenance and operations complex. The drones provide the foundation for NATO’s $1.7 billion Alliance Ground Surveillance system, which gives NATO surveillance capabilities as far as 10,000 miles from Sigonella.

Beginning in 2003, “Joint Task Force Aztec Silence” has used P-3 surveillance planes based at Sigonella to monitor insurgent groups in North and West Africa. And since 2011, AFRICOM has deployed a task force of around 180 marines and two aircraft to the base to provide counterterrorism training to African military personnel in Botswana, Liberia, Djibouti, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Tunisia, and Senegal.

Sigonella also hosts one of three Global Broadcast Service satellite communications facilities and will soon be home to a NATO Joint Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance deployment base and a data analysis and training center. In June, a U.S. Senate subcommittee recommended moving special operations forces and CV-22 Ospreys from Britain to Sicily, since “Sigonella has become a key launch pad for missions related to Libya, and given the ongoing turmoil in that nation as well as the emergence of terrorist training activities in northern Africa.” In nearby Niscemi, the Navy hopes to build an ultra high frequency satellite communications installation, despite growing opposition from Sicilians and other Italians concerned about the effects of the station and its electromagnetic radiation on humans and a surrounding nature reserve.

So, yeah, the Zionist US is probably ramping up it's presence in Italy because you just never know that sort of "humanitarian crises" might occur, huh?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Oct 5 2013 20:14 utc | 100

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