Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 18, 2015

Kerry Renews Assault On Syria

The U.S. launched a renewed push for regime change in Syria.

It started with an interview Secretary of State Kerry gave to CBS with a question on Syria. Kerry's answer was (intentionally?) misreported as the U.S. position softening and being ready to negotiate with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But that was not a new position, nor was that the remarkable part of Kerry's answer. Here is what he really said:

[T]he fact that there isn't something visible to the eye every day right now does not mean we haven't upped what we are doing, because we have, and our allies know that. [...] But we're also increasing our efforts in a very significant way, working with the moderate opposition, but doing much more than that also. We're also pursuing a diplomatic track.
[...]
[This] may require that there be increased pressure on [Assad] of various kinds in order to do that. We have made it very clear to people that we are looking at increased steps that can help to bring about that pressure. [...] I'm personally engaged in that effort, and President Obama is extremely seized of the issue and focused on it with the intent to see what we can do to change the dynamic.

Kerry announced that the U.S. will increase the pressure and use more force to pursue its lunatic plan for regime change in Syria. The Syrian government dismissed Kerry's words as meaningless.

These Kerry remarks come after the Syrian Arab Army and its allies failed to close the corridor between the insurgency occupied parts of Aleppo and the Turkish border. Their ill planned offensive in the area of Handradat broke down under a sustained counterattack from insurgency forces, mostly foreign mercenaries from Jabhat al-Nusra allegedly led by Turkish special forces. By supporting the Jihadists Turkey is now the becoming the new Pakistan.

The U.S., allied with various Islamists, has pushed for forced regime change since the earliest days of the conflict in Syria. According to the usually reliable Lebanese paper As-Safir the U.S. was directly responsible for the July 2012 terror attack which killed a high ranking crisis team of the Syrian government in Damascus. The attack was supposed to be the initiator for the regime to fall. In that it failed.

Even after most of the U.S. supported "moderate rebels" failed in recent months and handed the weapons the U.S. provided to al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria Jabhat al-Nusra new weapons seem to reach the battlefield. The U.S. also just provided another $70 million to the 5-star exile government including some $15 million for media activities. This is the money that pays for the anti-Syrian Twitter hordes and for fake anti-Assad videos.

It is in this context of the continuously supported insurgency that Kerry's remark came. Cued by Kerry a renewed media push for international condemnation and legal action against the Syrian government was launched. Yesterday an obviously fake video of "Victims of chemical attacks on Sarmin, Syria March 16, 2015" made the rounds. In it three small, naked kids are provided with "first aid" after what is said to have been a helicopter attack with chlorine gas. Some of the persons running around in played panic carry gas masks, others just surgery masks. The care the children receive is superficial and some of the kids seem to be sedated to emphasize their helplessness.

What is missing are explanations on why the Syrian government would throw ineffective chlorine, which is not a chemical weapon, from helicopters when simple bombs are likely to be more effective. What is also missing are other casualties than three naked kids. What is missing is an explanation for their nakedness when all people around them are clothed. And why, if they were really injured by gas, are people running around and filming instead of giving first aid?

Recently the UN Security Council had adopted a resolution that condemned the use of chlorine in Syria by all parties of the conflict. But chlorine has only been used by the insurgency sides, especially Jabhat al-Nusra which two years ago had captured Syria's sole chlorine factory. The Islamic State has recently also used chlorine as a weapon in improvised roadside bombs in Iraq.

The UN resolution was under Chapter 7 of the UN charter which, in principle, allows for force to be used to enforce it. One wonders why Russia and China agreed to it when it was likely and predictable that the U.S. or one of its allies would initiate a false flag event to abuse this?

But this campaign of UN resolution and fake video of a chlorine attack were not the only elements of Kerry's push for renewing the conflict. Yesterday a U.S. drone was shot down over western Syria. It had been coming from Incirlik airport in Turkey but was obviously flying in Syrian air space. What are U.S. drones doing over Syria?

There is also another push at the U.N. to initiate a "special tribunal" against the Syrian government. It is likely to fail but adds to the current propaganda onslaught.

Instead of concentrating on the real danger in the Middle East, the lunatic Jihadists of the Islamic State and al-Nusra, the U.S. continues its efforts to destroy the Syrian state and is thereby creating more space for the Jihadis to move into.

Posted by b on March 18, 2015 at 8:27 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Notice, too, the BBC's insinuation that the Syrian Government is in cahoots with IS.

Syria claims shooting down of US drone over Latakia

If confirmed it would be the first time Syrian forces have attacked a US aircraft since the start of coalition strikes against Islamic State (IS).

Syria has not been participating in the raids on IS.

So, the suggestion is that Syrian forces are targeting the anti-IS coalition rather than IS.

Not to be outdone, Syrian forces' attacks on IS strongholds "may amount to war crimes" - Amnesty International

The group says that some of the attacks may amount to war crimes.

The Damascus government says it is attacking IS, but Amnesty said government aircraft had targeted areas densely populated with civilians.

And, Ban Ki-moon condemns the targeting of Al Qaeda's Al-Nusra near Golan by Syrian forces

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused the Syrian government of violating a 1974 agreement creating a buffer zone between Syria and Israel.

...

He called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to withdraw troops and equipment and stop airstrikes from the zone.


Priceless.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 18 2015 9:35 utc | 1

Instead of concentrating on the real danger in the Middle East, the lunatic Jihadists of the Islamic State and al-Nusra

Thats no danger for US (or even Israel), its their weapon against insubordinate states.

the U.S. continues its efforts to destroy the Syrian state and is thereby creating more space for the Jihadis to move into.

...and thats US goal. If they cant have the country as a puppet state, Plan B is to destroy it. Sometimes even when US does get a country as a puppet, it still destroys it if its useful (cue Ukraine).

Posted by: Harry | Mar 18 2015 10:12 utc | 2

None of this matters because Bibi! With No Two-State Solution Shekhinah, there will be an uprising across MENA against the US and their military dictatorship puppetry. With 2016 fast approaching, and a US Republican Congress putting forth -8% cuts to health and human services across the board, freeing up war funds, there is no area of MENA that the US won't pour more drones and shock troops into for the 'optics'.
Kerry's foibles? Pha!! We're about to see a tidal wave engulf that little dictator, then roll all around the world, as the global economic system collapses before it.

Posted by: NoReply | Mar 18 2015 11:40 utc | 3

One should step back from his computer for a moment and ponder the position of the US in the middle east since Bush's disastrous intrusion into Iraq. It is wholly consistent, with whatever else one may believe its root causes.

Regime change in Iraq led to a majority Shiite government, ostensibly democratic. Regime change in Syria will lead to a majority Sunni regime, ostensibly democratic.

The results in Iraq were unexpected and caught the US offguard. Yet, they have lived with the results. The common conspiracy theory that the US is undermining the shia by supporting ISIS is fatuous nonsense.

The results in Syria were more expected. The US again pushing for regime change to reflect a democratic consensus. Assad with assistance from Putin and Iran has fought to the death of his country to maintain a status quo that will not hold.

The situation is never so black and white as portrayed in ideological-based social media sites, even the more interesting and thought provoking such as this one.

The postwar middle eastern order is collapsing. In the long run, this is neither a good nor bad development but it is an historical inevitability, regardless of the sources, which are more than one and not 100% rooted in US-fomented conspiracy.

Had Assad stepped aside instead of choosing to blow his own country to smithereens in order to maintain power, and a new government formed around an ostensibly democratic consensus, the chances of ISIS forming in the wreckage of Syria is nil.

The Syrian regime is one of the worst during the postwar era. Hafez al-Assad was a murderous buthcher in defense of his power. The son no less so.

Truly concerned commentators should never lose site of this historical fact. Bug-eyed ostensibly leftist ideologues will never gain credibility or political power going down this one-sided track.

They will produce entertaining blog posts, however.

Posted by: chalo | Mar 18 2015 13:05 utc | 4

3;
And they'd all live happily in their garden of roses,eh?
The main problem in the region is Israel,and US.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 18 2015 13:39 utc | 5

And the dream goes on. One only has to look at each country the U.S. has engaged in since the first Gulf war, to see the outcome. As to who caused the chaos, it's a no brainier, will continue along the destruction path. With Netanyahoo still in power, people should be careful where they place their bets.

Posted by: Norman | Mar 18 2015 14:22 utc | 6

@3

murderous butcher... Nice to see some folks can still keep the faith.

But back to reality, here's my question: Turkey supports ISIS, Russia supports Assad, and yet Turkey and Russia are developing closer relations, particularly commercial. So does Russia really support Assad? Can Putin call off Turkey? Does he want to? How important relatively are Turkey and Syria to Russia's regional ambitions?

This blog generally takes a pro-Syrian government, pro-Russian take on many matters (as do I, though with extensive reservations.) How to reconcile this stance with the fact of closer Russian-Turkish relations?

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Mar 18 2015 14:24 utc | 7

You have only to look at what happened to Iraq after the U.S. invaded to realize that it is a disastrous policy to seek the overthrow of another secularizing Baathist dictator.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 18 2015 14:31 utc | 8

testing, testing, 123..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 18 2015 14:39 utc | 9

@Martin Finnucane:

The simple answer is that it is business as usual and the two can make that distinction no matter what the political differences, because it suites them.

In a longer perspective though, Turkey is eager to get into SCO/SCTO but to do that Turkey will have to drop the wahhabi terrorist connection and come to terms with Syria and they eventually will, but for now it´s all about saving Mullah Erdogans face and his neo-ottoman fantasies, it´s really as simple as that.

The reason for the Syrian war was the Qatari pipeline which US/saudi/israel/Turkey wanted trough Syria for the EU market. Syria, Russia or Iran didn´t (they favour an Iranian one) With Turkstream, much of that part of Erdogans objections is eliminated.

Russia would never abandon it´s Syrian partner for a number of reasons, one of which is that the next scene where US/israel/Saudi will send ISIS from their testbed in the region obviously is Russia and China. Syria/Iraq and Iran are despite US/israeli sabotages doing a great job in keeping them at bay and eventually eliminating them. Another is that Russia doesnt betray their allies like the Americans, for it´s Mediterranean fleet, Russia will need Tartus for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: mikhas | Mar 18 2015 15:06 utc | 10

"The U.S. launched a renewed push for regime change in Syria"

For this to be a "renewed push" there would have had to been a stop to the old push- There never was. Therefore this is no renewed push
It's just a continuation of the same push

Posted by: Penny | Mar 18 2015 15:35 utc | 11

@ 3
Had Assad stepped aside instead of choosing to blow his own country to smithereens in order to maintain power, and a new government formed around an ostensibly democratic consensus, the chances of ISIS forming in the wreckage of Syria is nil.

Poppycock.
I guess Camp Bucca is found in Syria and its butchers are choir boys trained by th egood 'ol mercs from the US and UK :(

Syria in the hands of the chosen ones -or puppets of US, France and UK will be a democracy. You don't expect that it would be a kleptocracy like Egypt, Iraq , Afghanistan and even Israel.

Keep drinking the cool aid from the west.

Posted by: Yul | Mar 18 2015 15:48 utc | 12

"One wonders why Russia and China agreed to it when it was likely and predictable that the U.S. or one of its allies would initiate a false flag event to abuse this?"
b.

That's an easy one.
Russia & China drew a few red lines after the destruction of Libya, by "NATO" under a much broader interpretation of R2P than the UN resolution intended. I expect Russia and China to endorse almost every dishonest UN resolution proposed by the US and its puppets, and the reason is simple.

It gives China and Russia the credibility to participate if/when an immoral intervention begins - and have lots and lots and lots of "accidents" which kill American Hardware, and dumbass Americans.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 18 2015 15:48 utc | 13

Great post, b. It is a sure sign when the latest "bombshell" report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is rushed to the headlines of the Western press that the latest propaganda onslaught against the Syria government has begun. What is glaring in the NYT account I read is that no mention is made of jihadi chlorine attacks recently in Iraq. The obvious has to be avoided. Chlorine is a jihadi weapon.

In his column today Tom Friedman is calling for the U.S. to work with ISIS.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 18 2015 15:56 utc | 14

In analyzing "Pakistan type" of situations I propose term "pet cobras". Extremist armed groups are not puppets, they deeply believe in an ideology and do not hesitate to "bite the hand that feeds them", say, by killing a prime minister that is insufficiently supportive, "traitor to the cause".

The other aspect is that they are supposedly controlled by secret services, but over time, the reverse happens. The "controllers" tend to share the same ideology. In this manner, Ukrainian extremists have a cosy corner in CIA, while secret services of Pakistan and Turkey themselves become extremist organizations. And the parts of our security state that handled pet cobras become untrustworthy for multiple reasons.

All those dark methods like torture and pet cobras share this insidious danger: will policy makers who resort to them remain sane? This is fascinating, deeply addictive stuff. Later we wrack our brains trying to decipher what is the meaning of these policies, a question that presume that there exists some meaning that a sane person may understand.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 18 2015 15:57 utc | 15

chalo at 3, then have some mild entertainment.

Kerry can rest easy! He was in Geneva (Iran nukulear negotiations) and the whole bunch of them were thrown out and forced to move to Montreux because of the motor show. (I guess they didn’t book well enough in advance.) Now (two days ago) they moved to Lausanne. Lausanne has banned drones! In its ‘lower portion.’ Ppl are kinda mad. Drones are too cool. Last time I was up in the hills in N. Laus. it was a sunny cold crisp day I walked down a bit lonely and a drone followed me. Then it did a bye-bye move (sorta spin which for a plane would be a wing-waggle) and went back to its original location - above a football field.

Suddenly, drones have beome a hot topic and pressure is applied..or whatever. Madness.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 18 2015 16:01 utc | 16

I'm beginning to wonder if b is working for a foreign power producing PR that parrots Assad's claims about the insurgents all being terrorist foreigners. Al Nusra is led by Syrians, al Golani, and is and has always been mostly composed of Syrians. The FSA is a Syrian force led by an ex Syrian general as are a number of the other so called moderate groups. Even the Islamic State forces in Syria is mostly composed of Syrians although they do not recognize such Western distinctions and welcome all Sunni Muslims to their cause.

Repeating the undocumented and far-fetched claim about Turkish Special Forces being active in the failed Aleppo campaign just makes the author look foolish.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 18 2015 16:05 utc | 17

@7

'Turkey supports ISIS'

Do, they? Unequivocally. Unreservedly.

Or is another structure within Turkey supporting ISIS? Say for instance, Canada? And it not so secret station that may or may not be in Turkey still?
And then there are the NATO bases? And the NATO affiliates in Turkey's military special forces? - Then there are the NATO backed Kurds passing in and out of Turkey?

#1So, does Turkey support ISIS?
#2 Or does some infrastructure embedded in Turkey support ISIS?
I'm going with #2

Posted by: Penny | Mar 18 2015 16:09 utc | 18

3:

AmeriKa doesn't give a fuck about democracy unless it serves her interests. Regime change is acceptable if it leads to democratic Quislings. If not, they get overthrown again or they get failed states.
Curious to see the next strongmen in Libya and Iraq after the masses' brief flirtation with democratic anarchy and religious nuts rampaging all over the place. Preferable for AmeriKa, not so much the people trying to live there.
I would say the blood-soaked Netanyahu Regime just democratically re-elected, is far more murderous than anything in recent memory. And there's evidence of foreign mercenaries fighting against Assad which rather easily lets him make the claim that he is defending his country against a foreign backed, terrorist invasion. Robert Fisk and others have reported this, as well as amnesty given to Syrians willing to give up fighting for the AmeriKan funded groups.
Please let us know when the democratic winds blow throughout the more oily, family-owned countries like KSA and Bahrain.

Posted by: farflungstar | Mar 18 2015 16:12 utc | 19

17:

You need to get off the ISIS dick already. I wonder how much you would enjoy skumbags like this rampaging through your home town? More than Iraqis and Syrians, or less?

Posted by: farflungstar | Mar 18 2015 16:20 utc | 20

Netanyahu can only be called democratically re-elected if you ignore the many Palestinians denied the vote.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 18 2015 16:48 utc | 21

In his column today Tom Friedman is calling for the U.S. to work with ISIS.

.. or JSIS as Xymphora begun calling it a couple of months ago.
A timely QED courtesy of Tom's over-enthusiasm for wrecking arab countries (no matter the cost to America).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 18 2015 17:13 utc | 22

@4 or 3 charlo.. i like how you parrot the msm.. you and wow are a good couple of stooges for regime change and support for ''moderate terrorists' and all the rest of the mindset that thinks going in and fucking up another country is all cool... it isn't.. stick to the msm where you can nod your head in agreement as opposed to coming here and saying stupid things like you've done today..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2015 18:40 utc | 23

Could someone here loan a few of these folks a history book. Obviously, they've forgotten the history of US interventionism over the last hundred yrs.

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2015 19:30 utc | 24

For you history challenged folks, here's a good start:

http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2015 19:38 utc | 25

Right on ben,

Along with William Blum's Killing Hope. Check out the Table of Contents for the book at that link. It is an excellent review.

Thanks for that.

Posted by: juannie | Mar 18 2015 19:53 utc | 26

Just in time for renewed the anti-Assad campaign, DC's construction of a cordon sanitaire between Germany and Russia, and the Pentagon's aim to put the squeeze on Eurasia, DC's junior partner in surveillance and censorship -- Google -- is engaging in targeted sanctions against Antiwar.com.

This morning (3/18/15) we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

This page [Abu Ghraib photos] has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their "anti-violence" policy, which prohibits "disturbing material," prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.

To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.

Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?"

Posted by: Ben Zanotto | Mar 18 2015 20:22 utc | 27

"In his column today Tom Friedman is calling for the U.S. to work with ISIS"

The US has been working with ISIS all along- As has Israel.
So, what's he getting at?

Posted by: Penny | Mar 18 2015 20:43 utc | 28

#3 "common conspiracy theory"... yes, it's a conspiracy, and it happens quite commonly. Theory, not so much.

Posted by: colinjames | Mar 18 2015 20:53 utc | 29

@chalo

...Regime change in Syria will lead to a majority Sunni regime, ostensibly democratic...

You mean like Libya? There won't be regime change in Syria. There will be regime elimination and a decade of even more horrific, probably genocidal death and destruction. USNATO and Israel will be fine with that. They may even think it the preferred outcome.

For Alawites, Christians, Azidis, secularists, and Assad personally, this is an existential struggle. That's not the case for many keyboard commandos, USNATO, and FSA "leaders" stationed in London, Paris, and Berlin.

Posted by: chuckvw | Mar 18 2015 20:58 utc | 30

- Yep. "Regime change in Syria". As long as Jabhat-Al-Nusrah recieves US support, the US is still "hell bent" on getting rid of Assad.
- Regime change in Syria also would end russian support for Syria.
- At the same time, Assad is part of the "Syrian Problem". See this link (posted before):
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/former-us-ambassador-obama-s-syria-plan-doomed-1704437140

Interesting analysis regarding the situation in Syria:
http://www.mei.edu/content/at/why-syria%E2%80%99s-assad-must-go-%E2%80%93-now

The last 2 links do confirm my notion that - no matter what - Assad must go.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 18 2015 21:33 utc | 31

WayOutWest is a definite islamist fanboy

just pointing that out

Posted by: WayOutWestheartsTerrorists | Mar 18 2015 22:23 utc | 32

@4
Bashar al-Assad was not a particularly brutal dictator. What he did, however, was to neoliberalize Syria to the extent that in 2009 he became a Wall Street pin-up boy - the Daily Beast called him a "wise, benevolent dictator."
Subsidies to fuel and food were removed and rents skyrocketed. Old people who did not have secure tenure were booted out of their homes. A young English-speaking elite were beginning to take over(Assad's wife had been a merchant banker in the City of London). But for his support for Iran and Hezbollah and the wrong oil pipeline, protests would have been quelled, much as they have in Bahrain.
For those who wish to know more there's an interesting PHD - "Syria‘s New Neoliberal Elite" by Amanda Terc, which can be downloaded.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 18 2015 22:38 utc | 33

@WayOutWestheartsTerrorists #30:

You're certainly right about that. I mentioned that I was perplexed by his pro-ISIS stance, but he never responded. I think he owes us an explanation. I'm virtually certain that he's not a Muslim, so his fondness for ISIS and hatred of Iran is indeed baffling.

Posted by: Demian | Mar 18 2015 22:53 utc | 34

Does anyone have a complete translation of the assafir article? My online translator is quite comical and very unclear on details.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 18 2015 23:43 utc | 35

@24
Thanks for the link to Zoltán Grossman's compilation. Of the 145 interventions listed, I count 32 of the lucky recipients dealt more than 1 ...

  PANAMA,9
  NICARAGUA,8
  IRAQ,7; HONDURAS,7; CHINA,7
  CUBA,6
  IRAN,5
  YUGOSLAVIA,4 ; PHILIPPINES,4 ; LIBYA,4 ; HAITI,4 ; DOMINICAN REPUBLIC,4
  YEMEN,3 ; MEXICO,3 ; LIBERIA,3 ; KOREA,3 ; GUATEMALA,3

and

VIETNAM,2 ; UNITED STATES,2 ; SYRIA,2 ; SOUTH DAKOTA,2 ; SOMALIA,2 ; PUERTO RICO,2 ; LEBANON,2 ; LAOS,2 ; IDAHO,2 ; GERMANY,2 ; EL SALVADOR,2 ; DETROIT,2 ; CHILE,2 ; CAMBODIA,2 ; AFGHANISTAN,2

@26
Thanks for the report. I wrote and asked the eff.org if they were going to report it as well ... they're libertarians but/so 'soft on corporations', although vigilant on 'the state' ... maybe they'll mention it, since a soul-brother - a for-profit blog - has been hit. They do love google ...

Posted by: jfl | Mar 19 2015 0:22 utc | 36

@31

That looks very interesting ... thanks a lot.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 19 2015 0:28 utc | 37

@31.... People who lionize Assad here often forget about his neoliberalism and acquiescence to CIA torture programs. A useful tool for the empire, who as soon as his use ran out, is now a rogue dictator who must be eliminated to free the Syrian people.

Posted by: Almand | Mar 19 2015 1:41 utc | 38

Now I'm rolling on the floor. WoW has actually accused our host of being on the "Kremlin Payroll" or something?

That prima facia evidence that WoW is on someone's payroll, in my opinion. What a clown. I guess since what - you've been wrong on all of your mighty ISIS in Istanbul and fighting Israel predictions, you have to figure out new ways to destroy your credibility?

Here's some favorite quotes by WoW:

It appears that DAASH will inherit a sizeable air force from the failed Shia government in Iraq. I imagine there will be many volunteers to fly these aircraft against Assad's regime and eventually against the Israeli Air Force.

It's quite amazing how adept the leaders of the Islamic State have been in orchestrating, first the West and now the Regimes it plans to conquer ... So far every major move the IS has made has seemed calculated and brilliant in its outcome, what is their next move?

The fact that Israel once attacked Syrian forces is not proof of a policy of support for the rebels it is just an incident that has already been explained

The Islamic State and al-Nusra are and always will be sworn enemies of Israel and the US.

The propaganda trying to conflate the Islamic State and now al-Nusra with Israel is coming from Iran who are trying desperately to deflect attention away from their share of the responsibility for these conflicts.

The Islamic Stare ... are and have been mostly self-funded for some time.

Hezbollah's ... internal security system has been shown to be incompetent and now internal trust is destroyed.

Lebanon has suffered greatly because of the existence of this proxy militia [Hezbollah] especially because of the July War.


I mean... wow: So far every major move the IS has made has seemed calculated and brilliant in its outcome, what is their next move?

Who writes your stuff, that's what I want to know?

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 19 2015 2:53 utc | 39

Man, all the sudden on the day with a US drone shot down, "chemical attacks" by Assad, and talk of the US increasing their belligerence, MoA is full of anti-Assad posters.

I guess I can blame Assad for his bout of neo-liberalism and the CIA complicity - though certainly not as much as I can blame the USA for pushing those polices down the throats of every Middle Eastern country as part of the twofer "Global War On Terror / Economic Liberalization With-Us-or-Against-Us" Special the USA was foisting on the globe as part of its post-Cold War destruction of remaining socialist regimes (otherwise known as the Global War on Terror). That's the real problem. Not what Assad did 10 years ago. Policies all, quite clearly, completely reversed forever after this episode.

It seems to be the estimation of tens of million of people, Shia and Sunni and Christian, in Syria that Assad has done the right thing for his country. He could have easily fled and left his country to the fate of Libya, but he's stayed to stand against the US, Israel, and the Gulf Monarchies, not to mention Syria's old slavemasters France and Turkey.

To come here and try to play that off with some see-through "lefty" talking points, Almand, is pretty cheap.

There is no crime that anyone can come here and accuse "Assad" of - not Almand, not WorldOfWasteOfTime, not Chalo - that anyone can accuse the United States of 100-fold.

Stop even trying.To say you're people who've chosen the low road is too good for you. You're snakes, slithering in some deep ditch which runs along side the lowest of low roads as it cuts through the valley of darkness.

You might win - i don't know, I guess anything is possible - but you'll never be able to say you were right.

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 19 2015 3:13 utc | 40

"He could have easily fled and left his country to the fate of Libya"

Let's correct that - a fate which, knowing the jihadist penchant for sectarian butchery - would be far, far worse than Libya, and most probably worse that what is occurring now. What's more, Syria's fall would have left the Palestinians in an even more hopeless position, as well as probably made Hezbollah's existence impossible.

Not to mention ceeding the entire Arab world to the despicable Saudis, which I don't see these sudden champions of human rights breathing a word about...

Posted by: guest77 | Mar 19 2015 3:22 utc | 41

@ guest77 So refusing to lavish praise on a dictator makes me a gutter crawling snake in your estimation.

I don't share your Manichean view of the world with the Satanic American Hordes facing down against Syria, Russia and the IRI. Is it some horrible slander to be honest about the Syrian government? Every country in the Axis of Resistance has its own problems with their institutions, human rights, economic development. Is acknowledging these problems an insidious propaganda push for the US Empire? I never said Assad ought to be replaced, I never denigrated his contribution to fighting ISIS. I simply stated a series of opinions.

And do you disagree that the US used Assad like they used so many others before deciding he was enemy #1 on the hitlist, like Saddam, like Noriega?

Anyway, at the end of the day it's simply my opinion. So I don't share the high estimation of a lot of the politicians that people on this board do. Who cares?

Posted by: Almand | Mar 19 2015 3:47 utc | 42

Sorry I'm late but it took a while to dig out of my air raid shelter after the mass attack from b's Barrel Bombers. I should thank Guest for the Best Of WOW recap.

My earlier comment was simply a response to the misinformation b included in his post nothing more. I don't have to "support" the Islamic State to want accurate information on them and on the conflict in general.

There are honest ways to attack US foreign policies but parroting SANA propaganda and misinformation is not how you influence informed people.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 19 2015 4:21 utc | 43

PS

Publicly supporting the Islamic State is or will soon be a federal crime so please just return to calling me names so the lurking NSA stooges don't get the wrong idea.

I do think that because the West has blocked and destroyed any peaceful way for the people of the ME to determine their own destiny that the IS and Jihad is the only remaining path to unite the ME and confront the Hegemon with strength and the resolve to defeat the Beast.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 19 2015 4:33 utc | 44

The Tweaker @30

If you are a supporter of Iran you too support Islamists. The Islamic Republic is an Islamist state ruled by Sharia Law. They also persecute and kill apostates, check out their treatment of the Baha'i.

This is not to say that Iran isn't a great country and people but they have a theocracy, although a Shia version, that rules with an iron fist. This is an internal issue to be handled by the Iranian people but where I have issues with them is with their external policies and intrigues.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 19 2015 5:04 utc | 45

Lockearn@31.

What he did, however, was to neoliberalize Syria

Exactly. At Syria Comment blog, there were flaming battles over that only a few years ago. I haven't been back to the blog for several years, but I remember all the libertarians on the blog arguing with the socialists.

Also, the 2012 bomb that was supposed to kill Assad, didn't, but I was assured immediately after that it had by someone with highest security clearance, a diplomat, that Assad was dead, who was terribly disappointed when Assad showed up in the Mosque two days latter.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 19 2015 10:33 utc | 46

It has become commonly accepted that Russia stopped ‘direct’ or so invasion of Syria, saved Assad’s bacon, by getting Assad to give up chemical weapons (getting rid of them, putting them under International Control, see one link from the Guradian that outlines all that, took place right after the supposed Ghouta attack) as convinced to do so by Putin.

This has always sounded like a fairy-tale to me, a face-saving move, a fake attack leading to withdrawal for other, not fake in themselves, but unstated and hidden reasons.

There MUST have been other threats, other cards played. Note, the chem weapons meme is simply manipulated in any direction to provide a weak explanation, rationale, sop to the public or to scare them.

What were they? Anybody any thoughts? In the sense of, is Kerry just blowing more smoke, and once again, oh lo and behold, the chem. attack card is played with more trivial fakery, but now on a minuscule scale… Has whatever the threat was, diminished?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/12/bashar-al-assad-syria-chemical-weapons

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 19 2015 16:26 utc | 47

"The whole thing was theatre from the Empire's side, staged in order to make Putin look like he was protecting a new Hitler."

Who was the audience? If that was indeed the plan then that show was a flop. If I remember correctly Putin came out looking downright heroic for saying Nyet! and successfully standing up to The Empire.

Posted by: Ben Zanotto | Mar 19 2015 23:34 utc | 48

@51

There was a whole series of events that led up to the Russian brokered resolution including the British Parliament voting down supporting the bombing and strong anti-bombing sentiment in the US. Kerry's slip, intentional or not, offered a way out while saving face and at the same time gaining major concessions from Assad. Russia looked good but only because of the circumstances that led to the agreement and their deft diplomacy.

There was never a planned invasion only a limited bombing campaign.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 19 2015 23:50 utc | 49

Recall the BBC's 2013 "napalm bomb" and the many questions left unanswered
http://bit.ly/1qA9qAA http://bit.ly/1urAXYX

Posted by: cerumol | Mar 20 2015 0:19 utc | 50

S@56

You might be correct except the US would probably start their attack with a massive Cruise Missile strike to remove the Syrian defenses from the equation then the aircraft can operate without such a threat.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20 2015 2:07 utc | 51

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