Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 29, 2015

Under Russian Pressure U.S. Accepts "Unified", "Secular" Syrian State

Putin's realist talk about Syria at the UN, which embarrassed the platitude spouting Obama, led to a change in U.S. policies.

The White House has halted the Pentagon training of the unicorn riding "moderate rebels". That program is toast but the real question is if the "secret" CIA run program, which is vastly more extensive, is also suspended. My hunch is that it is.

On top of that Secretary of State Kerry made a very new statement that amounts to a really significant change in policy:

The United States and Russia agree on "some fundamental principles" for Syria, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, adding that he plans to meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

"There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition," Kerry told MSNBC, adding that differences remained on what the outcome of such a transition would be.

Never before has the U.S. officially expressed a demand that the Syrian state should in future be "secular" as it is now. This is a rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Syrian exile coalition and of the GCC states' proxy fighters in Syria who demand a sectarian state based on Islamic law.

Since Israel lost the 2006 war against Hizbullah the U.S. and Israel plotted to overthrow the Syrian government which they accuse of facilitating Hizbullah's military supplies. The U.S. planned, prepared and financed a "color revolution" scheme and an exile opposition. The failing Iraq war and the emergence of a Shia dominated Iraqi government also led to an alliance between Israel, the U.S. and Sunni dominated Gulf states which planned, organized and financed radical Sunni guerrilla forces to attack Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As Seymour Hersh reported in 2007:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

The "Arab spring" phenomenon allowed to implement the scheme against Syria. Under the disguise of the color-revolution narrative of "peaceful demonstrations" a guerrilla war was launched against the Syrian state. More than ninety policemen and soldiers were killed by the insurgents in the very first month of that "peaceful" revolution.

With sheer endless amounts of Gulf money Syrian soldiers were bribed to defect, unemployed rural youth and foreign mercenaries were hired to bring down the Syrian state. A year after the war on Syria started it was clear that there were no "moderates" fighting against the Syrian government but only radical Islamists. The NYT reported that CIA provided arms were flowing to them. The Defense Intelligence Agency noted in 2012 to the White House:

THE SALAFIST [sic], THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, AND AQI ARE THE MAJOR FORCES DRIVING THE INSURGENCY IN SYRIA. ... AQI SUPPORTED THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION FROM THE BEGINNING, BOTH IDEOLOGICALLY AND THROUGH THE MEDIA ...

Despite that the U.S. rejected peace offers brokered by Russia and the CIA significantly increased weapon provisions and the training of additional jihadis.

The DIA also remarked:

THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME, WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE STRATEGIC DEPTH OF THE SHIA EXPANSION (IRAQ AND IRAN)
...
ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA,....

That the recruiting for and weaponization of the anti-Syrian forces continued after these warnings were issued confirms that the current results, the Islamic State Caliphate and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, is the (more or less) intended outcome. The U.S. did not turn a blind eye to the issue but, as the Defense Intelligence Chief General Flynn said, took a "willful decisions" to facilitate this.

That "willful decision" is also the reason why many people doubt that the U.S. declared "fight against the Islamic State" is serious. The current U.S. attacks on IS target look more like an attempt to regulate its size and behavior than a serious war to defeat or eradicate it. The Saudis have flown 2.5 times more air attacks against Yemen within six month than the U.S. led coalition of 62 countries has flown against the Islamic State within a full year. Long known U.S. plans to reorganize the Middle Eastern borders along presumed sectarian and ethnic lines are regularly peddled by this or that high U.S. official or "expert".

It is obvious that the U.S. organized a sectarian revolt in Syria and in 2012 made the willful decision to further the growth of a sectarian Islamic State. It planned to partition Syria and Iraq and some surrounding countries into new sectarian entities.

That Kerry now says "Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular" and "ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on" is tantamount to admitting Obama's policy so far was always fundamentally wrong. If meant serious and backed by political and military means it is a huge turnaround.

Should this come to fruition it is not only the turn of the corner for Syria. It is the defeat of the failed neoconservative "democracy spreading" and neoliberal "responsibility to protect" infested ideologies in face of the straight realist policies represented by the Russian President Putin.

Posted by b on September 29, 2015 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink

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@Penelope #99:

interesting days, no? What do you think about the difficulty of clearing Syria of ISIS

I think what's more interesting than how quickly IS gets cleared up is that Russia is openly intervening, and has explained how it is perfectly justified in doing so. Thus, the hysterical "Western" response to the RF's acceding to the will of the Crimean people was to "isolate" Russia, but Russia is now acting more assertively on the world stage than it did before the crisis, what's more, making demonstratively clear how it uses its military power in full accordance with international law, in marked contrast to the US and its airstrip across the ocean.

But this could just be me, since I see all developments in the Middle East in terms of US efforts to damage Russia.

I agree with your previous post about the effect of cutting off IS's supply lines, which Russia will certainly do. It is like cancer: who knows if the tumor will go away, but at least you know that it will stop growing.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 30 2015 22:22 utc | 101

P@95

Your quote doesn't mention Assad as being part of the members of the Syrian government included in the transitional government but reserves a very short term position for him outside of power during the transition. The mutual consent clause means it would be a short non-power position or there wouldn't be any agreement.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 30 2015 23:33 utc | 102

Citizen Drake at 55

I’m having trouble digesting your word salad. All I get clearly is an accusation of lese-majeste. Oh, and that the Brits are involved in it somehow. You don't offer any evidence to counter my concerns about the unlikelihood of the House of Saud being Jews on the down-low.

You’re going balls-to-wall with an unsourced accusation from a site of known and dubious reputation. But I’m the doofus?

Hey, I’ve been accused of much worse by far better. Even lately.

Here’s a nice, brief debunking of the claim (in 2008) by a Harvard professor. Sspeaking of the 2002 Iraqi intelligence report:

The Iraqi document echoes a well-known Turkish conspiracy theory — probably fabricated by one Ayyub Sabri Pasha — which claims that the British sought to weaken the Ottoman empire by creating the Wahhabi movement.... The fact that an Iraqi officer was recapitulating it in 2002 in a “top secret document” indicates how desperate the Iraqi regime was to vilify the Saudis and Wahhabis.

Wikipedia dismisses the work as a forgery; the purported tale of the English spy “Hampher” only appears in Turkish in a multi-volume work by ASP. “A debunking by a Wahhabi author Abul Haarith points out that no evidence of Hempher can be found in computer database searches of libraries and rare books, and that facts and incidents related in the book do not conform to facts known from contemporary sources.”

I believe you allude to the fact that the Brits set up the Jordanian, Iraqi, and Saudi monarchies after the Great War in their mandates as a consolation prize. The UK deceived them into thinking independence would come if they aided the removal of the Turks. This is quite well known.

I'm unclear what (if anything) you're trying to prove by it. That Albion is perfidious? Well there's some late-breaking news. I've got Gaelic blood, so you're preachin' to the choir there.

VictorK at 42

The case against Wahabism is a clear fabrication, and the convoluted assertion of Jewish ancestory for Saud some 400 years looks like an even greater stretch.

Islamic Spain was a noted area of peaceful and fruitful coexistence, at least until the Reconquista got going. But I think you overstate the Jewish role under the Ottomans. Merchant wealth would be no surprise, but Jewish officials would be. Any particulars you might note, a particular vizier or pasha?

I understood that the Turks favored Christian slaves as janissaries and officials; their training began in their youth, with forced conversion. The sect's history is convoluted and beyond my ken; I highlighted their role in the secularist Young Turks, which I'm more familiar with.

ps -- And that someone in the Iraqi parliament is buying it is not proof. While that bit opens the article, I would note that most of it discusses legit criticism as to the conduct of the security forces and organization of the hajj.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 1 2015 0:11 utc | 103

Penelope, Noirette, Demian --

I'm afraid I don't share your optimism about the Syria-Ukraine package deal.

I would agree that increased Russian involvement is likely a good thing (it surprises me a bit they're flying and not Syrians). I don't recall who said it, but I would agree the aim is not so much to defeat ISIS/ISIL outright as to aid the Baathists in securing their positions, politically and militarily.

Not good for DC, not a gamechanger. They're clearly dragging their heals, if they are moving at all, towards a rapproachment. Today of Singapore (a convenient Bing result) noted that U.S. brushes off Russian request to avoid Syrian airspace.

"If Russia’s recent actions, and those now ongoing, reflect a genuine commitment to defeat that organization, then we are prepared to welcome those efforts and to find a way to... multiply the military pressure on ISIL and affiliated groups....

"We must not and will not be confused in our fight against ISIL with support for Assad," Kerry said. "ISIL itself cannot be defeated as long as Bashar al-Assad remains president of Syria."

Meanwhile, the Guardian has Ash Carter and other DC honchos rubbishing the Russian efforts -- hitting the "moderates" opposed to Assad (what, all four or five of them!?), not ISIL, "doomed to failure," and so damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead for US airstrikes.

In the Ukraine, the sitaation is bleaker. The summer build-up (or refurbishing) of UAF did not produce the fall offensive (while Putin was away at the UN) that some in Novorossiya feared. Kiev took action that it said was to implement the Minsk-2 agreements (on local autonomy and government) but actually failed to meet its requirements.

New Cold War has an early report from this summer on Kiev's non-compliance.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said his government would never talk to the current representatives in Donbas. “We will communicate only with the legitimate representatives of this region, we want to hold legitimate elections there.”

Yatsenyuk provocatively said his government would talk to leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics “only when they are behind bars”. He added, “By the way, we have got enough empty prison cells.”

And they reported in September that things have proceeded as the Novorossiyans projected.

This week, the Verkhovna Rada approved amendments in a first reading to the Ukrainian Constitution regarding decentralization.

The DPR and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) say the amendments do not comply with requirements of the February 12 Package of Measures on implementation of the Minsk Agreements, as the document points to the necessity to coordinate with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions the constitutional reform regarding decentralization.

The earlier piece quotes Poroshenko on who he sees as legitimate. Speaking in May, he said "We will hold a dialogue with Donbass, but with the other Donbass, a Ukrainian one...." Politer than the PM, but the effect is the same.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 1 2015 1:55 utc | 104

@rufus magister #104:

I don't think there are any surprises in what you report, or any reason to be less "optimistic" than one already was. So long as the people's republics exist – and they are not going away – Ukraine is not a viable state. Russia has adapted to the nature of the present Ukrainian regime, and so long as Ukraine remains the basket case that it is, I think it will be at least as much of a problem for the EU as it is for Russia.

Of course the US/NATO and the Western media are going to dismiss what Russia is doing in Syria. But I don't see how one can deny that Russia is better positioned to use air power in Syria than the US is, given that only one of the two are there with the wishes of the Syrian government. This blocks the US from having a free hand in Syria, the way it did in Libya. If the Syrian government could survive four years of having an insurgency backed by the US and its regional allies, it can certainly survive now that the RF is openly supporting it militarily. And unlike the South Vietnamese regime that the US propped up, the Syrian government is popular with its people.

I think it's safe to say that the US efforts both in the Ukraine and in Syria have stalled. And Russia's latest moves have caught the US off balance, because Russia has now positioned itself as the main force battling Islamist terrorism, something Bush and Obama had used to justify their wars.

At least this is how Russian observers seem to be interpreting the present situation. Russia knows that it is in this for the long haul. No one is looking for any quick, decisive victories. And so far I see no signs of Russia overreaching.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 1 2015 2:46 utc | 105

Demian at 105 --

And what's DC's preferred solution to a stall -- Surge!

I would expect there to be a Croatian-style lull and build-up, and then Banderastan will try again at some point. When that fails, perhaps they'll talk. The release of the MH-17 report might clarify the intent. The republics aren't going away, but the junta isn't accepting that just yet, either.

Washington is in a much tougher spot in Syria. The allies needed to work the Ukraine are all loyal lieutenants. Any number of players in Syria have their own agendas, so what DC wants may not be what it gets.

That the Russians are on much, much firmer ground with international law doesn't really matter to NATO. We enabled the chaos, and then affect to say attempts to suppress it at its source are "unhelpful."

So I suppose I would in a sense agree, the prospects are unchanged, they remain pretty poor.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 1 2015 4:26 utc | 106

Lone Wolf @ 40, Great rant!

oui @ 2, Thanks for the map. Very helpful.

Wayoutwest @ 102, you're going to make yourself sick if you don't stop twisting away from the truth like that. You should see a doctor before you lose all contact w reality.
" the transitional governing body would exercise full executive powers. It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.." If the transitional body could include members of the present govt, then it could include Assad, because he is a member of the present govt.
Your insistence, Wayoutwest, upon distorting your own conceptual faculty is something which harms you.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 1 2015 5:43 utc | 107

P@107

Please explain, if you can, why Russia and China vetoed this resolution when it came before the Security Council. You're the one twisting in the wind assuming something not in evidence except in your 'could include Assad' altered universe.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 1 2015 6:18 utc | 108

I discovered the UN webpage leading to links of all the nations' speeches given over the course of the UN's 70th anniversary, and to those of China, Russia, and Iran specifically.

China
Russia
Iran

The above are all to the English translations of the speeches, those of other countries and in other languages are at the same overall location.

@73 Penelope

Pity so many otherwise seemingly intelligent people label man-made climate change a hoax.

Perhaps Putin's vision foresees the one nanosecond lifetime of the US secret economic diktats (TPP TTIP) once their contents have been made public ... in any forum ... of perhaps his vision even includes reforming the WTO. The man does not think small.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 1 2015 10:29 utc | 109

@jfl #109:

Perhaps Putin's vision foresees

Let's not personalize this too much. I don't know about previous times (Napoleon, Hitler, …), but today it's misleading to see one leader as somehow determining what a nation does and how it behaves. Yes, Putin is indesputably the first great world leader since the end of World War II. But he does not run Russia, or even just its foreign policy, all by himself.

As a first attempt, perhaps it would be useful to demarcate three layers of national leadership, in decreasing order of being at the center of national control:

  1. The chief executive and his advisers ("inner circle")
  2. The corridors of power at one remove
    1. The top level of the government bureaucracy, including the military, intelligence services, and treasury and central bank
    2. The legislature (including opposition political parties)
  3. Influential non-state groups (think tanks, prominent academics, interest groups (oligarchs, business lobbies, religious groups (the Orthodox Church, the Christian Right))
This scheme can be applied to both the US and Russia. It needs to be modified to apply to European countries since, as those are colonies of the US, the US influences their behavior at all three levels.

Finally, both the US and Russia are modern democracies, which means that neither is democratic in the popular sense of the term, but that the states of both most take popular opinion into account.

This scheme explains why Russia does what it does and the US does what it does. It is not "Putin decided to do this" and "Obama decided to do that."

Posted by: Demian | Oct 1 2015 12:30 utc | 110

Even though it's perfectly true that no leader IS his or her country, your exercise in equating the USA with Russia doesn't begin to explain why Russia behaves like a nation of Human Beings and the USA behaves like a nation of "Israelis."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1 2015 15:29 utc | 111

jfl@109

The GW deniers are a handy political diversion but even the powerful forces who acknowledge GW and its causes have no plans that will stop or more importantly reverse its effects. The best that can be expected from them is a slowing of the growth of carbon emissions with corporate greenwashing and profit driving any remedies.

Putin's Russia and their expansion into the Artic for more oil means they also are headed towards increasing their contribution to GW not reducing it so any talk on the subject is just PR, economics comes first, the planet last.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 1 2015 16:14 utc | 112

H@111

Making a statement like this so soon after Russia started indiscriminate and cowardly bombing of Sunni Arabs in Syria seems a bit hypocritical. The Russians are mimicking US tactics along with their Church calling this use of Hellfire 'Holy Battle' it is anything but humane.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 1 2015 16:29 utc | 113

"Should this come to fruition it is not only the turn of the corner for Syria. It is the defeat of the failed neoconservative "democracy spreading" and neoliberal "responsibility to protect" infested ideologies in face of the straight realist policies represented by the Russian President Putin."

I don't know if it is a defeat. Maybe a retreat. Neocons never give up. They should have been crushed after the whole world turned on their Iraq war, but they only retreated for a little while. I think Kerry is serious. I don't know about others.

Remember that time Kerry went to Sochi and then smacked down Poroshenko? Then Nuland overrode him and Obama sided with her. And Kerry disappeared from the scene for awhile. However, Kerry also led an investigation of the BCCI in the 1990s. The Joint Chiefs seem to be on his side. There was a recent change in the Joint Chiefs recently. Gen Dempsey retired. I don't know anything about the new guys. Maybe a lot depends on how many allies Kerry has. He's a vet himself and he's been around a long time.

Posted by: gemini33 | Oct 1 2015 21:59 utc | 114

Way-Off-West will hit his Zen Moment of bullshit, or bust.

He scorns the Russians, never mentioning the United States, the maestro of cowardly bombings, the main purveyor of violence, busy for decades on almost every continent.

Johnson, Nixon, Kissinger, Contra King Reagan, Bush(s)&Cheney, Clinton(s) cum Thunderdome Obama, --most of the planet flips the bad finger at you!

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 1 2015 22:24 utc | 115

C@115

You do comprehend that the 'US' in my #113 stands for the United States.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 1 2015 22:49 utc | 116

WoW@115

The Russians haven't been spreading Hellfire liberally over the Muslim world. It wasn't Russia that started the fire in Syria, and fanned the flames for years. The Russians oppose the destruction of secular Syria, which the US government would like to bring about. The hint of equivalence you made is obscene, as long as Russians are the invited guests of the legitimate government of Syria, and fight as allies, against the attack on Syrian society and territory.

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 1 2015 23:26 utc | 117

C@117

The Russians 'haven't been' raining hellfire liberally on the Muslim world but they 'are now' raining Hellfire conservatively on Syrian Sunni Muslims. To the people on the receiving end of this bombing it probably looks much like the Shock and Awe we brought the Iraqis.

Secularism is a Western ideology imposed on the Muslim world just as the nation-state concept was imposed and neither are a good fit so we attempt to continue forcing our enlightened ways down their throats or we kill them if they resist.

I'm not sure you can find a legal and certainly not an ethical justification for Russia assisting the minority dictator Assad in killing his own countrymen even if they are in revolt.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 2 2015 2:38 utc | 118

WoW@118

The benefits of a secular society are appreciated by Syrians, who have enjoyed the tolerance of different religious confessions; they have respected one another's faith. To say this long standing tradition has been imposed is simply incorrect. And absurdly off base is the belief, as you claim, that Assad is a "minority dictator" since he was elected by a majority. He is not a dictator. That is Washington's propaganda.

What will a Syrian Christian or Shia be able to do with the kind of religious persecution that would be on offer, in the event that these zealots take control of Syria? Many of those falling into their hands would be put to death, simply for who they are. Their treatment of civilians coming into their control is already an indictment against them.

Russia has both a legal and an ethical justification, contrary to what you say: legal, because they have been asked for military assistance by the legitimate government of Syria; and also ethical reasons, because the enemy they are fighting has proved, over time, that they intend to follow no ethical system or show any mercy to those they would vanquish in this war.

Posted by: Copeland | Oct 2 2015 3:53 utc | 119

WoW@115
...
The hint of equivalence you made is obscene...
...
Posted by: Copeland | Oct 1, 2015 7:26:56 PM | 117

...to put it mildly.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2015 5:13 utc | 120

gemini33 at 114 --

"Maybe a retreat. Neocons never give up." Well said. I cited Sochi myself earlier as a cautionary tale about talk vs. action in Washington.

HW, Wayout at 111, 112

Aren't we all human beings? Cut us, do we not bleed? People are People.

As a red-blooded American, I take exception to the notion that we need any tutelage dealing out violence and cruelty.

We're a people that gave you "the Trail of Tears." We fought our bloodiest war amongst ourselves over the right to own other people.

Our bombing of Cambodia during our "secret war" there destroyed that state and society, leading to the regime of the Khmer Rouge. When the Vietnamese finally rousted them, we pissed and moaned. This was after enabling the Indonesians to decimate communists and other opponents when Suharto pushed Sukarno aside. But before imposing Pinochet and unleashing death squads and contras upon Latin America.

He dreams of the days before the Americans came....

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 2 2015 5:47 utc | 121

Aren't we all human beings? Cut us, do we not bleed? People are People.
Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 2, 2015 1:47:35 AM | 121

Not all of them.
Did you forget that "Israelis" refer to Humans as Goyim?
Did also you forget that the "Indispensible Nation" & "Israel" both treat Humans as slightly cheaper than expendable?
When has "Israel" or USA ever treated "Israelis" the way both treat Goyim?
This is an argument you can't win, Rufus. I can quote Legions of "Israeli" 'leaders', 'scholars', 'philosophers', and 'historians'. So could you if you took the trouble to look for them. They're not hard to find.
Start with the first "Israeli" Prime minister and work your way (back and/or forth) from there.
Wear some galoshes. There's a lot of blood and bullshit.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2 2015 12:51 utc | 122

Depeche mode?

Jeez, could it get much geigher?

Posted by: Myles | Oct 2 2015 13:25 utc | 123

They're not hard to find.Start with the first "Israeli" Prime minister and work your way (back and/or forth) from there.Wear some galoshes. There's a lot of blood and bullshit.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 2, 2015 8:51:52 AM | 122

But Hoarsey, doing that would destroy the deliberatley disingenuious fiction, of "good leftwing ZioNazis vs Bad rightwing ZioNazis" that the disgustingly racist liar has been struggling so hard to maintain

Posted by: Myles | Oct 2 2015 13:29 utc | 124

in re 120-122

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For... with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.." (Matt. 7:1-2, KJV)

Once more we see that Jews are thought to have no rights that "anti-zionists" need respect.

"You can't win that argument." Well, that would depend on the argument I'm making.

I'm not arguing that the Israeli state is run by nice people doing nice thing. As per the Enlightenment, I am arguing that there are inalienable, universal human rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created eqaul and endowed..." with inherent rigths, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines" being in their number.

And what right do you have to take them? You look to be slidding down the slipperly slope from villification through de-humanization to extermination. If they are not human, well, they must be "sub-human" or "vermin," right? You are already prosecutor, shefiff, judge, and jury; when do you become executioner?

Let us apply your thinking more widely. Surely that the Koran mandates underclass status for non-believers is the same attitude you profess to find in all Jews. What rights might our ISIL/al-Qaeda executioners and rapists have forfeited? Wouldn't that really be a matter for a just and competent judicial process to decide?

We could trade bloodthirsty quotes all day, Likudnik for Hamas, Stern Gang for PLO (back in the day), American Christian Zionist (a brand of fundamentalism) for Iranian mullah. To what end? As Gandhi is said to have said -- An eye for an eye will leave us all blind.

Could we get any more gay and cheeful? Why, yes, of course! So you just sit back and Relax you big Macho Man. Chill out with a movie or take a nice drive. Wouldn't that TRB number make a nice country trucker song, with a little pedal steel?

You know, whatever gets you through the night.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 3 2015 14:11 utc | 125

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 3, 2015 10:11:01 AM | 125

Spare me the bathos ... (Matt. 7:1-2, KJV). The Bible and the Ten Condiments were written by Very Blokey Property, Slave and Wife Owners - to scare the serfs.

...and the twisted twaddle (Once more we see that Jews are thought to have no rights that "anti-zionists" need respect);

...and the creative misquoting ("You can't win that argument.")
I know what argument you were making but if you want to pretend that you weren't making any particular argument, you've now made an equally dishonest one...

"I'm not arguing that the Israeli state is run by nice people doing nice thing. As per the Enlightenment, I am arguing that there are inalienable, universal human rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created eqaul and endowed..." with inherent rigths, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines" being in their number."

That's precisely what you are doing, Rufus. Do you read this junk before you post it? Or is your spin making you dizzy?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 4 2015 6:56 utc | 126

Straight from the horse, it is. Feeling your oats, I see.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 4 2015 7:09 utc | 127

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