Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 28, 2018

Syria Sitrep - Army To Regain Northeastern Territory - Political Isolation Ends

The fallout from U.S. president Trump's decision to retreat from Syria develops as expected.

Trump had announced a rapid draw down of U.S. troops in Syria. Later he spoke of a controlled process that would allow Turkey to take over the U.S. occupied areas in northeast Syria. That plan, probably initiated by National Security Advisor John Bolton, is totally unrealistic. Such an wide ranging occupation, which would be resisted by many powerful forces, is not in Turkey's interest. Nevertheless, the Turkish president Erdogan will use the threat of a Turkish invasion to press for a dismantling of the Kurdish YPG forces which the U.S. trained and equipped.


This morning the Syrian Arab Army (red) announced that it entered Manbij, west of the Euphrates. It established itself on the contact line between the Turkish supported forces (green) and the U.S. supported Kurdish YPG (yellow). The Syrian flag was raised in Manbij city. The move comes after U.S. troops and their Kurdish proxy forces voluntarily retreated from the area. Manbij was threatened by the Turkish military and its Jihadi proxy forces. To prevent a Turkish onslaught, the local armed groups, who collaborated with the U.S. military, invited the Syrian army to take over. This pattern will repeat elsewhere.

A Kurdish delegation is currently in Russia to negotiate a further take over of the U.S. occupied northeastern provinces of Hasaka and Qamishli by Syrian government forces. The Kurds still hope for some autonomy from the Syrian government that allows them to keep their armed forces. But neither Damascus, nor anyone else, will ever agree to that. There will only be one armed force in Syria, the Syrian Arab Army. It is possible though, that some Kurdish units will be integrated within it.

A Turkish delegation is also in Moscow and tomorrow Erdogan will visit there. Russia spoke out against the U.S. plan to let Turkey take Syria's northeast or even parts of it. Erdogan will not get Russian or Iranian support for any such move. Moreover, he will be pressed to leave the other areas of Syria Turkey currently occupies.

U.S. troops are for now expected to continue the occupation near the Euphrates where the fight against remains of the Islamic State is ongoing. They wont stay long. Trump successfully insisted, against the wish of his military, to completely pull out of Syria. The people who argue against the move are, not coincidentally, the same people who furthered the rise of Islamic State. After Secretary of Defense Mattis resigned over the issue further efforts by the military to delay the retreat will likely be futile.


To cover the withdrawal from Syria the U.S. military established two new bases in Iraq. These are also blocking positions designed to prevent over land traffic between the Levant and Iran. It is unlikely that the U.S. will occupy those bases for long. The Iraqi parliament is already moving to again throw out all U.S. forces from its country.

The military moves come along with new political ones which reestablish Syria as a pivotal Arab state.

Yesterday the United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus. Bahrain will follow next. Kuwait will reopen its embassy in January. Oman never closed its embassy in Damascus. Of the Gulf countries only Qatar, allied with Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have jet to announce a revival of their relations with Syria. Before the war on Syria started, the UAE and other gulf countries financed several large investment projects in Syria. These will be revived and help the country's economy back onto its feet. Egypt is expected to follow the move of its Gulf sponsors.

Underlying the UAE move is a strategy of countering Turkey's neo-ottoman ambition. Syria is (again) seen as the bulwark that protects the larger Arabia from Turkish marauders. It signals to Turkey that any attempt to take over more of Syria will be resisted by the Gulf states and possibly even by Egypt's army. Egypt is, together with Russia, mediating between the Kurds and the Syrian government.

The Arab move is also perceived as a counter to Iranian influence in Syria. In this it will fail. Syria was rescued from the all out attack on it by Iran's intervention. It was the Iranian General Soleimani who convinced Russia to commit troops to Syria. It was Iran that spent billions to prop up the Syrian government while the Gulf Arabs spent even more to take it down. Syria will not forget who are its foes and who are its real friends.

Air traffic connections from Damascus to Arab countries are coming back. Last week a direct connection with Tunisia was revived. In January Gulf-Air, the official airline carrier for Bahrain, will again offer flights from Damascus. The Arab League, which in 2012 kicked out Syria, will invite it back in. Syria may well accept the offer, but only in exchange for a large compensation.

An Israeli air attack on Syrian military installations on December 25 largely failed. The Israeli jets fired some 16 stand-off bombs from Lebanese air space. They cowardly hid behind two commercial airliners which were on their way from the Gulf to Europe. This made it impossible for the Syrian air defense to directly attack the Israeli jets. Most of the Israeli projectiles were destroyed by the Syrian short-range air defenses. A Syrian missile was fired against Israel proper. It was a reminder that new rules of engagement, as announced, have been established. Attacks on Syria will be replied to by direct attacks on Israel. The missile shot ended the Israeli attack.

Israel, like others, will learn that any further attacks on Syria are futile and will only lead to effective retaliations. The war on Syria, while not yet over, is drawing down. Syria's political isolation is ending. Those who insist on continuing it will in the end lose out.

Posted by b on December 28, 2018 at 13:53 UTC | Permalink

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The U.S. is mainly concerned now with China, as it should be. The Middle East is so . . . yesterday. (Plus it is obviously a lost cause.)
The U.S. National Defense Strategy in a nutshell:
>China is a strategic competitor
>Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations
>Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.
It was difficult for Obama to implement his pivot to Asia, but Trump is doing it. How ironic.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 29 2018 3:23 utc | 101

Dr. George Prisko @95

"Several commenters above chose to mud sling against Assad, claiming his government did nothing to alleviate the drought of 2008-2011."

I can't actually find any commentator making that claim. Overall, the posts are supportive of Syria and Assad.

I don't disagree with the points you make, but the way you make them glorifies an individual (Assad). Now I do believe Assad was foolish in his interactions with the West and was manipulated, but, also, that he has been the stalwart, level headed leader that Syria needed for the last 8 years. However, you are raising him above other Syrians. His life is no more or less precious than that of any other Syrian.

You disregard the protesters entirely, and do not see how they were used and the movement taken over by other actors.

The Syrian War was not about Assad, it was about Syria. Glorifying Assad, does Assad and Syria no favours.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29 2018 3:28 utc | 102

@ ADKC | Dec 28, 2018 10:28:07 PM | 102
Of course the life of a country's leader is more precious than that of a common citizen. Of course it is.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 29 2018 3:42 utc | 103

Don Bacon @103

No it isn't. The life of a leader, a soldier, a servant, a slave are all equally precious.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29 2018 3:47 utc | 104

piotr @100
please read the wiki entry on hezb rockets/missiles,
including the footnotes
there are some real estimates out there
also read Alastair Crooke, he knows more about HezB than
any other white man

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 29 2018 4:13 utc | 105

Donkeytale @ 68:

I see you're quoting an article by Alice Bonfatti (of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, one of whose alumni is Aung San Suu Kyi) featured at This is the same Al Jumhuriya who likes the so-called Syrian intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh who once admitted in an opinion piece for The New York Times in February 2018 that in early 2013, when he went to live in Douma (East Ghouta) he stayed with a group called The White Helmets.

Yassin al-Haj Saleh, "Living under Assad's Siege"

"... In October and November 2012, the rebels drove out regime forces from Eastern Ghouta. In the beginning of 2013, the regime, supported by Iran and Hezbollah, regained the military initiative and imposed the siege ... I arrived in the Douma district in April 2013 and lived with a civil defense unit that came to be known as the White Helmets. Regime planes bombed the region daily. I saw the bodies of the dead being brought to the civil defense unit every day for registration. One day there were nine bodies. Another day, 26 ... Yet people were still hopeful despite everyday life’s becoming increasingly difficult. On Aug. 21, 2013, the Assad regime attacked Eastern Ghouta with sarin gas and killed more than 1,400 civilians, including 426 children ..."

(Incidentally, Bernhard here has previously reported that the sarin attacks in East Ghouta in August 2013 were carried out by Jabhat al Nusra.)

Don't let me stop you from continuing to quote from and more of their regime-change supporters.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2018 4:51 utc | 106

@97 ADKC

As for Assad, when peace comes, he will only stay in power if he is assiduous in meeting the needs of the Syrian people (they know how to fight and win wars now, so Assad will have little choice).

And you can bet the US, Israel and their allies will make this as difficult as possible in order to keep the pressure on Assad. I agree that the fight in Syria and the region is nowhere near finished. Those commentators who think this troop drawdown means America is weak and defeated and now Syria is going to be left alone to rebuild and develop without covert, or overt, interference are engaging in wishful thinking. The fight continues and it will be a long time before real peace comes to the middle east.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 29 2018 4:59 utc | 107

Donkeytale @ 68:

I've just found out that (where you found Alice Bonfatti's article) was indeed co-founded by Yassin al-Haj Saleh, he who stayed with the White Helmets for a brief period in Douma in 2013.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2018 5:01 utc | 108

I do not think that Israels' fear of Iran are irrational. All the talk by the Mullahs about the destruction of the Jewish state seems serious and believable and not just for domestic consumption. Obviously the destruction of Iran is a bridge too far for the faux Semites on their own unless they just nuke the hell out of them. The same goes for Iran. Their desire is not going to be met anytime soon.

An Iraq tilting towards Iran politically, and Syria with a larger Iranian presence would tend to make the Israelis pretty nervous. Syria and Lebanon with high grade anti aircraft defenses (if that ever happened in Lebanon) like the SS-300's or 400's would really make them lose their marbles. Israel causing the loss of a few passenger jets that they hide behind may make that happen.

Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon knows what will happen if they start launching missiles. Iran is in no position to have an ally blown to pieces in an endless air bombardment.

Maintaining the virulent anti Russia propaganda line is important for them. If Putin was smart, and he is, he would guarantee Israels security once Syria is stabilized in return for something important to Russia, like the EU getting off their backs, if that were even possible. He would have to close out Iran's position in Syria.

The turd is turning and the Arab league is accepting Syria an they may see this mess coming to some conclusion. It would be best for Russia, Israel, Syria, and the Arab League to contain Iran's influence otherwise Israels will keep striking Syria to keep Iran from developing too greatly in the region.

Then again, peace in the region may not be in any of their interests. It certainly is not good for oil prices nor is it good for weapons sales.

Posted by: dltravers | Dec 29 2018 6:05 utc | 109

@ dltravers | Dec 29, 2018 1:05:51 AM | 109

'I do not think that Israels' fear of Iran are irrational. All the talk by the Mullahs about the destruction of the Jewish state seems serious and believable and not just for domestic consumption. .....'

Agreed the fear of Iran is rational, albeit in a very wicked way! It's a front to justify actions that pursue quite a different agenda. To my understanding Iran has the largest Jewish diaspora in the entire MENA region and these people seem to be doing just fine there.
What's your definition of the destruction of the Jewish State? By military force or by peaceful transition to a one-state solution with equal rights for all citizens?

I'm tired of this nonsensical claim Iran, with or without nuclear weapons in its possession, does pose an existential threat to Israel. This is pure propaganda and all parties involved are fully aware of this.
1. The Theocrats in Teheran may be a nasty bunch but they are neither stupid nor suicidal,
2. There's long established weapons principles - warhead designs and payloads - with most serious WMD potential available to any state actor with a functioning chemical industry or nuclear power plants on its territory - for example think nano chemistry + radioisotopes or nano chemistry + 2,3,7,8-TCDD, see Seveso disaster (look it up if you're not familiar with). I won't be tempted to give more details so please don't ask but one thing is absolutely certain: the Israelis, Americans, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Iranians ..... do know about this.

If Iran ever had any intention to attack and destroy Israel they could had done so decades ago, that is having rendered Palestine uninhabitable for centuries. Of course, to the cost of its own utter destruction which leads us back to 1..

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 29 2018 8:42 utc | 110

This article reports on the Israeli December 25th bombing attack-

An Israeli air attack on Syrian military installations on December 25 largely failed. The Israeli jets fired some 16 stand-off bombs from Lebanese air space. They cowardly hid behind two commercial airliners which were on their way from the Gulf to Europe. This made it impossible for the Syrian air defense to directly attack the Israeli jets.

This is a perfect example of the vicious, sick, criminal, conniving mentality of the Israeli military: they try to lure the Syrians into firing a missile at them which would instead hit a commercial jetliner killing hundreds of innocent civilians (on Christmas day no less!). Israel truly is a black stain upon the Middle East–and humanity for that matter, when it attempts to kill hundreds of innocent people in air stunts like this for cynical political gain. What total, complete assholes. You have to bear in mind that the Israelis were sitting around, thinking up this type of foul, evil war criminal shit to then execute. Little wonder their country is surrounded by giant concrete walls and electric fences with machine gun nests. When you've got that much blood on your hands, and that much bad karma coming your way. Israel: easily the worst of the worst. "God's chosen people!?" more like "Satan's shithole". Fits a lot better.

Posted by: Deschutes | Dec 29 2018 10:24 utc | 111

TG ref Demographics
This is pure nonsense to anyone familiar with Syria and you dont support your arguments with any evidence. No such campaign for 6kids was ever seen there. Contraception was available and Syria had and still has good physicians and hospitals.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 29 2018 10:38 utc | 112

Go spit your hasbara elsewhere
" All the talk by the Mullahs about the destruction of the Jewish state seems serious"
and how is that supposed to happen on a territory where Palestinians and Jews are stuck in the same ridiculously small piece of land? mini-smart bombs?
The mullah's propaganda is just what it is, propaganda aimed at no-brainers like you, but in that case, local ones.
On the contrary, when Israeli ultra-right jews speak of throwing the Palestinians to the sea, or depict them as cockroaches, we actually see that a bit of killing and bombings don't harm their polls and that they have managed to let religion creep to the core of the army (with rabbis accompanying the troops for galvanizing them)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 29 2018 10:44 utc | 113

Re AriusArmenian | Dec 28, 2018 12:04:53 PM | 26

I d/n believe the people in any nation can be blamed for the wars created by those in power and control. Rebellion and blame should not be against the actors who animate governments, but instead against the private owners of the media and the corrupt, well hidden corruption in the intelligence services. All people trapped in government controlled spaces are misled by the war + intelligence + politicians who control in complicit cooperative ways with the designers and perpetrators of the fake news and privately made up propaganda which euphemistically passes for a public media because it plays on the public infrastructure. furthermore the children of dissenters are usually picked for draft so the price of freedom is high.
Nearly every monopoly powered wall street corporation supports the privately owned media by its tax deductible advertising expenses. Its kind of like making you pay to dig your own grave.
Essentially the cost of making up propaganda and passing if off as news is passed on to the customers who buy the monopoly priced products advertisers sell to their customers. The advertisers go along with it, because their leaderships are part of the scam. The people of the nations live in information bubbles. To stop the wars it is necessary to pop the bubbles because life in a bubble is a reduced worldview. That is one of the things I fault the alt media for, they have failed to report on the cause of these wars, instead they report on the reasons so and so did such and such..

Posted by: snake | Dec 29 2018 10:57 utc | 114

Deschutes | Dec 29, 2018 5:24:53 AM | 111
Israel: easily the worst of the worst. "God's chosen people!?" more like "Satan's shithole". Fits a lot better.

Yes, indeed. Well said.
The US relationship with Israel is costing it dearly in the world at large.
Israel is the evil one, our mothers warned us about...

Posted by: V | Dec 29 2018 11:49 utc | 115

ADKC | Dec 28, 2018 10:28:07 PM | 102

Re causes of drought, see for example: 'Climate-Related Drought Didn't Cause Syrian War, Study Finds'

Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 29 2018 12:12 utc | 116

Thanks to Jackrabbit in debunking the ( most probably coordinated )efforts by

Posted by: JTMcPhee | Dec 28, 2018 10:04:46 AM | 3

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 28, 2018 11:03:30 AM | 12

in whitwashing US presence in Syria, now that the US has been expelled from there, bringing in again the old initial claims on an incipient "civil war" there based on supposed repression of protest by the legitimately elected Syrian government on civil turmoil caused by climate change issues, when everybody who has followed this conflict knows that thie was a proxy-war fuelled by foreign actors headed by the US so as to occupy and exploite the oil and water resources of Syria on behalf of Israel and Western corporations and disrupt competitor oil pipelines to European markets and as well the crossroads of Middle Eastern pass of Chinese New Silk Road.

This was done by taking advantage of some, may be, legitimate, but well known to date orchestrated protests to unleash a military conflict into the country by an army of terrorists composed by freshly released dangerous criminals from Arab jails along with extremists of all procedences, from Chechenia to the Uighur lands in remote China, added with all kind of European brainwashed mercenaries coming out the wide web of Wahabbi mosques built in the previous years throughout Europe with Saudi funds.

To recur now to climate change as a reason for the whole destruction of Syria and the provocation of the worst wave of refugees since WWII, when the US under this administration´s rule has withdrown from every agreement on measures against climate change, when the US kept occupied mainly oil and water rich zones in Syria, not to mention that, in any case, the alleged solution ( US fuelled and leaded proxy-terrorist war on Syria ) resulted in a far worst outcome, is, not only an insult for every supporter of Syria and its allies out there, but to the whole readership of this blog.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 12:57 utc | 117

As war today has many branches, another aspect of war whom almost nobody´s has paid attention to...not even, so Christian, Trumpist Pat Lang and his minions....
What about this?
Could this be done on behalf of Israel too?
Most probably....and could well be related to Kushner´s Middle East "peace deal"....

Non linear war on Christmas

Christmas Grinch at the White House

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 13:14 utc | 118

As Trump landed in Iraq in a "surprise visit" without agreement with Iraqi authorities, on an onslaught of occupation power chutzpah, I wonder whether he did the same landing on a Germany base so as to assert the US condition of occupant power in Germany/Europe...

Exgeneral calls Trump's surprise visit to Iraq "inappropriate" and "embarrassing"

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 13:33 utc | 119

Trump´s ordered withdrawal has nothing to do with any peaceful aim....

Trump’s Troop Pullout Not Peace, More Imperialist Reconfiguration

Meanwhile, people has shared photos proving that US troops remain in Manbij....

I was wondering whether what was agreed by the US and Turkey was a trap/ambush for the Syrians, or for the Russians....Also, notice that the Israeli attack on Christmas Day was clearly coordinated with the US, and highly likely the Israelis received intelligence on targets from the US....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 13:43 utc | 120

A very interesting articles which casts light on how the Syrian War was orchestrated:

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29 2018 13:50 utc | 121


About Centcom Qatar, they seems to have competent anti missiles ready.

As for Saudi arabia/Houti, that is a point in case indeed, however I am not sure how the anti missile system situation is in south Saudi arabia, majority of missiles shot seems to have been intercepted.

Other than that I agree with you that US will probably use alot of economic warfare first and foremost, also trying to create chaos within the ethnic groups in Iran.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 29 2018 14:06 utc | 122

Could have any relation the re-newed terrorist attack on Egyptian tourist places with the current realignement of the Arab League arouns Syria ans the promise of Egypt Army to oppose any Turkish take over of Syrian lands after US supposed withdrawal?

I think so....this is authomatically put at work by the actors of always, as happens with "colour revolutions" which, apparently, get out of nothing and without any kind of organization/leadership...under the most astonishing alibi ( when there are plenty of other much more pressing claims out there for which to revolt, like debt slavery.... ) "climate change", or, "increase on fuel tax"

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 14:13 utc | 123

Here developments for the Putin-globalist oligarchy diplomacy files: (non-military answer passenger airliner human shields barbarianism, perhaps?)

"The Bank of Russia has revoked licenses of five out on nine foreign exchange dealers operating in the country – Alpari Forex, Forex Club, Fix Trade, Trustforex, and Teletrade Group. The decision comes into force on January 27. All the companies are subsidiaries of foreign firms that use aggressive advertising to lure Russian clients and focus on moving their money offshore, according to the regulator."

"Moscow has ditched the idea of launching a joint structure with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) but will continue to cooperate with major oil producers, according to the Russian energy ministry."

Posted by: slit | Dec 29 2018 14:14 utc | 124

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28, 2018 10:28:07 PM | 102

You must be blind, or have not read the first 50 comments on this thread... So far this seems to me a coordinated effort, to which you now join in your "blindness", posted under a Syrian sit-rep by an, otherwise, pro-Syrian site....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 14:22 utc | 125

Interesting table for the fertility rates in 2009
The places where you find extremists (Daraa and Raqqa) are those which had a high fertility rate, nothing new here. In the case of Deir el Zor it is because of the Beduin population.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 29 2018 14:44 utc | 126

Mina @113

Wow, must have struck a nerve there. I have no love for what is happening to the Palestinians nor do I have any love to see nukes being thrown around. Israel is what it is and it is not going nowhere without a massive nuclear war that will take everyone down. They have all the political power in the West and the Palestinians have nothing. Not even the regions leaders back the Palestinians. If they did they would have cut off oil to the west for decades. This crap could have been dealt with long ago.

What has Iran done for the Palestinians lately? Or ever for that matter? Do they care about some Palestinian dying to further their goals? I doubt that very much.

Many Palestinians died in the regions attempt to stop Israel. There was no thought of collateral damage. There are generations of Palestinians being born in refugee camps outside their homeland not accepted by their regions leaders. I know quite a few that have made lives for themselves in the West and still hang on to their families and properties back home.

It is a disgrace that is not ending ever. And yes, the Mullahs would destroy Israel if they could but that will never happen.

Posted by: dltravers | Dec 29 2018 15:10 utc | 127

Jen - First, I don't believe following one and only one line of reasoning to be intellectually valid, especially in an overtly propagandised media world.

I also see nothing wrong with a Syrian who was actually on the ground at the beginning from providing their viewpoint. In some ways I would say this person may have more credibility than others who have followed many years after the fact. Of course, those who instigated and participated in the early struggle were attempting to overthrow a neoliberal regime.

That is the entire point of the article to which I linked. Not sure why this bothers you.

There is also the context of the point I was making in that one comment, that the valid origins of the rebellion have long since been lost or ignored and forgotten by those who rely on one single strain of propaganda to support their position.

I know I tend towards hyprbole in reaction too often. ADKC has helped pull me from the brink this time and I appreciate him (her) taking the time to do so.

The give and take among many posters can only improve when we all make efforts to sincerity.

Wouldn't you agree that this space only grows in credibility and shared intelligence when multiple viewpoints are honestly considered?

To simply discredit anyone's journalism or commentary simply because of its source is intellectually dishonest, imho.

No one side or ideology has a lock on wisdom, imho. To think otherwise is a form of religious belief.

And yes, I recognise and feel in my self the religious need to belieb in something.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 29 2018 15:23 utc | 128

I'm also of the opinion Trump did not rashly come to the conclusion to pull the troops from Manbij. For one thing, Trump is smart enough to make such an intelligent decision on his own, especially as it goes against the advice of his neocon military and FP advisors. And of course as of today they have not retreated anyway, so the entire affair seems well-orchestrated between Russia, Turkey, Israel and the US at least Trump. Probably Putin, Erdogan and Netanyahoo counseled him.

I believe the relative calm regarding this potentially volatile situation among these leaders points to the fact of their coordination.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 29 2018 15:29 utc | 129

"Trump ISN'T smart enough". Lol

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 29 2018 15:30 utc | 130

@99 "...The West/NATO/Europhiles have only themselves to blame, for it is they who alienated--not lost--Turkey."

Well yes but why not mention the Seljuk Empire, the defeat of the Byzantines at Battle of Manzikert in 1071 (when William the Conqueror was just getting settled in the UK) and Ottoman expansion throughout the Middle East and Balkans ending at the gates of Vienna?

Posted by: dh | Dec 29 2018 15:32 utc | 131

Sasha @125

"Strategic Culture" can't just be dismissed as a pro-Syrian site (it is much wider in scope). Eric Zuesse, the writer of the article, is a well regarded author/writer. His work to undercover the secret state even warranted an entry in WikiSpooks, so his work has credibility.

The West/US, KSA, etc. poured arms and jihadis into Syria. The article that you object to is interesting (and plausible) because it describes how this was arranged. I don't understand your objection. Do you not believe that outside forces interfered in Syria and tried to engineer regime change? Or do you disagree that is was co-ordinated as described in the article? Or is your post nothing more than an ad hominem attack?

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29 2018 15:39 utc | 132

@131 And of course the fact that Turkey sided with Germany in 1914. That probably made for some ill feeling in Russia and Europe....though the Turks did redeem themselves somewhat in WW2 towards the end when they saw which way things were going.

Posted by: dh | Dec 29 2018 15:42 utc | 133

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29, 2018 10:39:03 AM | 132

I was not referring to the "Strategic Culture" at all ( a site I am precisely referring to in another of my coments here, thus no way I could deem them unreliable...), and you know it, but to this site, as having a tone usually "pro-Syrian" and the obvious intend by some commenters here, noticed by Dr. George Oprisko, Jackrabbit and me myself, to now bring in the case of "climate change" as cause of the, in the beginning of the conflict allegedly and clearly debunked over these years, "civil war" in Syria, a fact that you deny in the very precise comment I was pointing out to ( do not make a fool of yourself by denying also to read which of your comments I was adressing...indicated by me with the number in the order of comments....)

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 15:55 utc | 134

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29, 2018 10:39:03 AM | 132

I mantain a clear line in all my comments about Syria ( and, for that matter, everything else....).
It´s you who obviously contradict yourself, when at 102 comment of yours denying there are people here trying to return to the initially promoted alleged cause of Assad opression on protesters as a casue of this supposed ·"civil war" in Syria, which everybody and its dogs, knows already it was not, and then trying that you mantain a line on an organized foreign plot, which is the case of the proxy terrorist-war on Syria I am supporting thorugh all my comments here today and ever.

Thus it´s you who must clarify yourself,not me, since I find it impossible to mantain the two arguments....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 16:11 utc | 135

those who (instigated and*) participated in the early struggle were attempting to overthrow a neoliberal regime.

Instigators though were mostly external interests keen on bringing Syria into the fold of Global imperialism, I would not place them in the same sentence as natural Syrians with legitimate grievances. Still, might well be that what was the latter's purpose. Apparently they were not sufficiently advised against the consequence of war therein. In any case they shared a refugeed life with the rest of the Syrians, supporters and non supporters alike, as soon as they realised what was in store for them via the ISIS dreamt caliphate.

the valid origins of the (rebellion*) have long since been lost or ignored and forgotten

Quite true, but by everyone that made its choice between having social, econocomic, cultural and political conquest in lieu of state breakdown, misery, death and war, i'm certainwe can find them in followers of any strain of propaganda.

The origins of grievance become secondary and can only logically become primary after the state reestabilishes itself. The hope of the true instigators of the conflict was to install a client state, fortunately for the Syrian people the nighmare is farther in the horizon.

After they endured what they did along the people of Libia, Ukraine, Iraq, just next to them, and others they will be more alert to the Imperial Modus Operandi of bringing destruction wherever they set foot.

It is you, fellow donkeytale, which apparently haven't made the choice as posed to these people. Either because you willfuly ignored there was one to make or because you find yourself unable to get priorities straight.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Dec 29 2018 16:36 utc | 136

@135 sasha... on this thread adkc and donkeytale have gone from accusing each other of trolling to creating a new bromance... what does that say about the consistency of their comments or position??

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 16:42 utc | 137

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29, 2018 10:39:03 AM | 132

"Strategic Culture" can't just be dismissed as a pro-Syrian site (it is much wider in scope)

Of course, I never said it had one line or the other, I do not even rely on all its authors. I find some too Trumpists for my taste, but then others like Wayne Masden I find them always right, and, por example, Alistair Crooke, I find him very knowledgeable....Eric Zuesse, I find him right in that article you point at, but, if I do not recall bad, he supported Trump as if there was no tomorrow during the 2016 election campaign...

Do you not believe that outside forces interfered in Syria and tried to engineer regime change?

No, what I believe is that foreign forces not only interferred, but illegaly under any international law or Un mandate occupied parts of Syria and plotted to oust the legitimate government of Syria by organizing, trainning, and funding a terrorist army of proxy mercenaries, as I made clear in my comment at 107.

Or do you disagree that is was co-ordinated as described in the article?

I remit you again to my comment at 107 to get an idea on what I agree or disagree. I find what has happened in Syria since 2011 a coordinated effort by 70 plus countries, all over the West and Middle East, to overthrown the legitimate government in Syria, out of spurious interests, which have nothing to do with "spreading democracy and freedom" for the Syrians ( the same way it had nothing to do for the Iraqis and Libians previously...) since, in the first place, the whole destruction of the country, its infrastructure and intends of destruction of its culture ( of which still remains as a monument Raqqa and the previous destruction of Palmira and Aleppo Old City... )has nothing to do with improving the lives of Syrians, who, in the first place, were pulled out from their country in the hundreds of thousands, by the ongoing destruction by US bombs and savagery of the head-choppers´army so well trained, and then protected, armed and taken care by the US, into its occupied zone, as well as by Israel...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 16:44 utc | 138

Reposting my previous comment, as I have noticed I made a mess with the blockquote tag which could lead to confuse who is saying what...Thus, you can delete my comment at 138.

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29, 2018 10:39:03 AM | 132

"Strategic Culture" can't just be dismissed as a pro-Syrian site (it is much wider in scope)

Of course, I never said it had one line or the other, I do not even rely on all its authors. I find some too Trumpists for my taste, but then others like Wayne Masden I find them always right, and, por example, Alistair Crooke, I find him very knowledgeable....Eric Zuesse, I find him right in that article you point at, but, if I do not recall bad, he supported Trump as if there was no tomorrow during the 2016 election campaign...

Do you not believe that outside forces interfered in Syria and tried to engineer regime change?

No, what I believe is that foreign forces not only interferred, but illegaly under any international law or Un mandate occupied parts of Syria and plotted to oust the legitimate government of Syria by organizing, trainning, and funding a terrorist army of proxy mercenaries, as I made clear in my comment at 107.

Or do you disagree that is was co-ordinated as described in the article?

I remit you again to my comment at 107 to get an idea on what I agree or disagree. I find what has happened in Syria since 2011 a coordinated effort by 70 plus countries, all over the West and Middle East, to overthrown the legitimate government in Syria, out of spurious interests, which have nothing to do with "spreading democracy and freedom" for the Syrians ( the same way it had nothing to do for the Iraqis and Libians previously...) since, in the first place, the whole destruction of the country, its infrastructure and intends of destruction of its culture ( of which still remains as a monument Raqqa and the previous destruction of Palmira and Aleppo Old City... )has nothing to do with improving the lives of Syrians, who, in the first place, were pulled out from their country in the hundreds of thousands, by the ongoing destruction by US bombs and savagery of the head-choppers´army so well trained, and then protected, armed and taken care by the US, into its occupied zone, as well as by Israel...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 16:51 utc | 139


ADKC is not anti-Assad or anti-Syria in his remarks.

His @102 correction of Dr. George Oprisko @95 is not unreasonable. AFAICT the "claim" that Assad "did nothing" was IMPLIED not stated. And we could easily engage in a long debate about how central Assad was to the effort to takeover Syria. There are arguments to be made on each side of that issue. Judging from ADKC commentary, I think it's likely that he simply doesn't want to play into the demonization of Assad.

The BS that Assad did nothing" about a drought has been refuted/debunked many times at MoA. TG @4 takes a new tack with his outlandish claims that overpopulation was the root cause of the drought.

Also, I'm not the only one that corrected the lies about a "drought". Laguerre and Jen did as well and maybe others. And some have also addressed the overpopulation BS also.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 16:57 utc | 140

@Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2018 11:42:06 AM | 137

Well, I have not read the whole thread, yet, thus I have not noticed what you are talking about, but the clearly intents on missleading my line of argument, and this way trying to award me a line of oppinion I have not, so as to discredit me in a forum which almost always mantain mainly a pro-Syrian line( I mean pro-legitimate Syrian government, of course ), I find it quite trolling, indeed....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 17:03 utc | 141

"...Israel is what it is and it is not going nowhere without a massive nuclear war that will take everyone down..."

This is a very pessimistic analysis, which essentially reflects the propaganda of the fascists who currently dominate Israel. It is they who hold that any challenge to their racist and fascistic rejection of democracy is an 'existential challenge.'
It is nothing of the kind. Israel's demise, in its current form, requires not a nuclear war but a political uprising in Israel by a population which is either disenfranchised or subject to the dictatorship of a fascist/ capitalist oligarchy.
What Iran calls for is what all decent people, including most Jews, want- a Palestine to which refugees, the victims of ethnic cleansing, are welcome to return and in which basic civil and political rights are secured for all, by an equitable distribution of property.
The problem is that Israel's status as an Apartheid State secures it great support in the United States and other Settler colonies where racial discrimination and the political exclusion of the poor are always popular among the ruling classes. So, of course, is the principle that land stolen from indigenous peoples is sanctified as private property. British Columbians feel the same way.
South Africa got the idea of segregation from the USA, and Israel had imported it before Apartheid become policy in South Africa. In fact South Africa's Nationalists were more likely to have been influenced by the Zionists than vice versa.
Israel's present course cannot continue. It is unlikely that, in its current form and under its current name, it will last another decade. And no nuclear weapons will ever be deployed to prevent this, most desirable, consummation from taking place.
So cheer up dltravers.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 29 2018 17:16 utc | 142

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29, 2018 11:57:04 AM | 140

Of course, may be there were others who could keep the same line here, but I had only read about 50 comments when I noticed some making one point, and some making the other... Well thought, one would say this could be a good tecnic to make a certain point, already debunked and forgotten, relevant again it is bringing in now, again, the climate change issue as a cause of an already debunked case of "civil war" in Syria, when the US have made clear time ago that they were there to disrupt the Syrian-Russian pipeline on behalf of the Qatari, obstruct the land connections and supply routes for the "Axis of Resistance" of Shia Crescent in the Middle East, and, in passing, steal the oil and water of Syria, while at the same time destroy the ancient roots of the Syrian culture on "real" Islam and Christian heritage, to the benefit of the Zionst state of Israel, Wahabbi Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood leaded and fuelled by Turkey and Qatar....

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 17:17 utc | 143

Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2018 11:42:06 AM | 137

I think "bromance" is too strong.

@83, ADKC writes to donkeytale:

Your analysis comes perilously close to blaming Assad and the Syrian Government for the war and chaos and suggests that perpetual war is a condition that suits Assad and the Syrian Government. All these actions that you project onto the Syrian Government are how the Empire acts, and you effectively absolve the Empire of these crimes.

Can you now show some criticism of the actions of the West in Syria? I doubt you will really be able to bring yourself to do this.

And ADKC is proven right as the criticism that donkeytale musters for the West @90 is very weak indeed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 17:20 utc | 144

@ 141 sasha.. i tend to agree with jr @140 as well.. the exception is i agreed with @95 george oprisko which @102 adkc wanted to challenge.. i think if one reads @95 george oprisko's comments, it is clear what he is saying, but isolating his first statement , but he did challenge @68 initially... maybe he skipped over the other comments...

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 17:22 utc | 145

@144 jr... maybe... lets not nitpick on a fun term, lol... i was exaggerating to get across a point!

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 17:23 utc | 146

Sasha @143

Thanks for that. I understand and agree.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 17:24 utc | 147

james @146


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 17:24 utc | 148

fwiw, i am reposting georges commen..

"Several commenters above chose to mud sling against Assad, claiming his government did nothing to alleviate the drought of

Forgotten is the fact that Syria went from net oil exporter to net oil importer during that period, with concomitant deterioration in her foreign reserves.

Forgotten is the fact that Assad, shortly before got the job after his brother died, that his brother was trained to be president, not him, and in his niavete, Bashr turned to the IMF for economic advice.

Forgotten is the IMF advice to run a net surplus, ignore the pleas of the dispossessed farmers, and ride out the public rebellion.

Forgotten are the many efforts of the Syrian Government to reconcile with the protesters, beginning in 2011, and the role both the IMF and CIA played in destabilizing Syria and in fomenting the war.

So, before you throw all blame at Bashr, it was turkey who violated water sharing agreements with both Syria and Iraq, which devastated both countries farmers. It was the CIA who raided Gahdaffi's armouries for weapons to ship to Syria to equip the jihadis. It was KSA/GCC who recruited the Jihadis.

And.... it was Iran, and hezbollah, who convinced Bashr to hold on... and gave him sustenance in his hour of need...

And... It was Iran who convinced Putin, that without Russian help the christians of the levant would be exterminated, and with them the roots of Orthodoxy worldwide...

And.... It was the metropole of all the Russias, Vladimir, who joined Iran in entreating Putin to act....

So, go ahead spread your filth......


Posted by: Dr. George Oprisko | Dec 28, 2018 9:34:30 PM | 95"

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 17:25 utc | 149

comment at pat langs that makes sense to me..

James Thomas • 12 hours ago

In my humble opinion, Erodogan is working hand in glove with Russia. I think the prize for Turkey is to be the major energy corridor into Europe, and Russia and its allies are the only countries that can make that happen. Pipelines from Saudi Arabia have to go through either Iraq or Syria and both are now firmly in Russia's orbit. Russia is looking for a more reliable transit corridor than Ukraine, and Turkey fits the bill.

This will give Turkey considerable geopolitical power, significant transit fees, more secure access to energy supplies, and (unless I am mistaken) a pole position for industries such as petrochemicals and oil refining."

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 17:32 utc | 150

Vasco @ 136

Good points but you aren't quite connecting a few dots. For one, Syria was, is and will always be a client state of somebody, regardless who succeeds the Assad Family Dynasty.

It is very unclear to this day who were the instigators and who were the malicious actors. You offer no evidence, only assertions of commonly agreed upon (at least at MoA and other "pro-syrian" blogs) rhetoric for which there truly is no proof, only more rhetoric and assertion, iow the argument is not verifiable.

In plain English we call this "bullshit" and we all produce regular loads of it.

IMH bullshit O, Assad created and executed the wider war against "Terror" at the outset to avoid addressing the legitimate concerns of a vast segment of the Syrian people. He then lost control of his very own war before being rescued by Hezbollah and Russia. He is now and forever a poodle pretending to the throne but as a brilliant survivor for sure.

The result was an humanitarian tragedy of immense proportions. That much is fact. Were other oustide interests including the US adnd Israel involved? D'uh. Does this mean Assad has no culpability in this tragedy? Of course he does, imho the majourity of the blame.

ADKC is correct. Let's see to what extent Assad redeems himself going forward. Maybe a BRI will seep in to rebuild the country and the zen influence of Chinese multinational Corporations will spread across the regions and sectarian division to create a great Syrian renaissance with Assad dispensing warmth, wisdom and justice throughout the holy land.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 29 2018 18:28 utc | 151

Sasha @134

My apologies. I mistakenly assumed that you responded to my most recent comment. I can see that my mistake has added to the confusion which is not at all helpful.

I can see that you have made a number of posts, I will look at and respond later.

Again, I apologise and assure you that my error was not intention.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29 2018 18:30 utc | 152

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29, 2018 11:57:04 AM | 140

ADKC is not anti-Assad or anti-Syria in his remarks.

I do not get with that impression, after reading two or three of his confussing comments, especially those directed at me, who, I declare, in case it was not enough clear already, I firmly support Assad in his defense of Syrian sovereignity, integrity and unity.

For what I have read in this thread so far, one would say that whith such "pro-Assad" commenters, who needs really the anti-Assad out there....

Anyway, I am going off now...Happy New Year!

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 29 2018 18:37 utc | 153

Personally, I'm against all war, but I firmly believe in self-defense and that includes dealing with a hostile border threat. Of course, if a country illegally occupies stolen land, as in the lunatic zio-state, it is the threat to be dealt with. IMO all the factors that contributed to the war in Syria were cooked up in the kitchens of Israel, KSA, USA and Turkey seasoned the mix. When foreign actors instigate civil war in a sovereign nation that is an ACT OF WAR. Therefore, in a just world, those four cooks should answer to the UNSC. However, because the UNSC is AZ EMPIRE-compromised international rule of law is a JOKE! What if a Commission were set up by Russia to investigate how black ops from foreign sources were successful in destroying a sovereign nation? This might force the parties into a hands off position, and once the findings of conspiracy to instigate are confirmed, demand accountability for the massive damages inflicted by the conspirators including for initially aiding and abetting ISIS to inflict more harm and chaos.

Regarding Assad: If Assad were to be removed from power, the vultures STILL circling Syria would swoop in the very next day and shred and eviscerate. Iran however was the party that acted in the nick of time to organize a coalition and it deserves credit; as in full membership in BRICS. Putin take note.

The error in judgment Assad made was to ever trust the U.S. on anything and especially during Bush I and II years. Even during the Clinton Presidency. You never, ever collaborate directly or indirectly with the AZ Empire! You collaborate with trusted allies for purposes of security and terrorism. After this, I'm sure he learned that lesson well. From the moment Syria agreed to the enlargement and modernization of Tartus in 2008-2009, Russia should have entered into a comprehensive agreement with Syria to share intelligence and whatever necessary that would have derailed the actors plotting against it. Unfortunately, Medvedev was President at the time. The Russian government should have seen this coming BEFORE 2012.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2018 19:11 utc | 154

Donkeytale @ 128:

"... I also see nothing wrong with a Syrian who was actually on the ground at the beginning from providing their viewpoint. In some ways I would say this person may have more credibility than others who have followed many years after the fact. Of course, those who instigated and participated in the early struggle were attempting to overthrow a neoliberal regime ..."

If this paragraph is a reference to Yassin al-Haj Saleh, then MoA readers need to be aware that from April 2013 to mid-summer in 2013, Saleh was staying with the White Helmets in Douma, East Ghouta. He moved out of Douma (held by the FSA and its allies since November 2012) and was in Raqqa some time in August 2013. By late November 2013, he was in Turkey and has been living there since.

Some time in August 2013, ISIS took control of East Ghouta from the Free Syria Army and its allies; and in November 2013, ISIS was in control of Raqqa, which had also been under "rebel" control.

So how on earth was Saleh able to travel to Douma, then to Raqqa, during those periods in 2013 when those areas are under the control of the FSA and its allies - unless we invoke Occam's Razor and assume he was embedded with the FSA or one of its allied forces?

And, Donkeytale, have you been reading any of MoA's posts on the White Helmets? Perhaps I ought to remind you of a couple - here they are at these links:

By the way, I also discovered who funds Saleh's Al Jumhuriya project, where you found Bonfatti's article: it is funded by the European Endowment Democracy, whose Board Chairman of its governors is Elmar Brok, of Angela Merkel's party Christian Democratic Union, and by the Asfari Foundation, one of whose trustees, Ayman Asfari, is a Syrian-British oil billionaire who sits on the advisory boards of Chatham House and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2018 20:04 utc | 155

For one, Syria was, is and will always be a client state of somebody

Exacly the reason I suspected there hardly was a point in advancing much further any argument... For you it is just the End of History. Myself on the other hand am a firm believer on historic change, and that goes above historians' heads, no offense intended. It is their confession, the world changes no matter the interpretation of events.

As if more evidence was required, or as if you could only find it via anti-war sources you have both the DoD and DoS confessing their intentions and US Congress funding the effort. Judicial Watch can be a good starter. But lets leave that dead horse aside.

Can you submit to the principled stance, that of non-interference by one state in another's domestic affairs? Apparently you do, otherwise you would not be demanding evidence. Look and you shall find.

Bulshit over.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Dec 29 2018 20:08 utc | 156

DLTravers @ 109, Hmpf @ 110:

I would suggest that it is because Iran now has the largest community of Jewish people in the Middle East - after the Iraqi Jewish community went extinct in the years after the US-led invasion in 2003, and this after a 2,500-year residence in the territory that makes up Iraq - that Israel views Iran as a rival to its influence and an existential threat to its existence.

If Iran is able to demonstrate that Jewish people can live peacefully with non-Jewish people - and a mostly Muslim people at that, with small Christian and Zoroastrian minorities, living under a Shi'a Muslim theocracy, no less - then Israel cannot justify its punitive actions past and preset against the Palestinians or its creation of a de facto apartheid state in which Hebrew is the only official language, and cannot claim to be the only safe country in the world for Jewish people to live in.

Incidentally in Europe, the country with the largest population of Jewish people happens to be France. For years in the early 21st century, the French Jewish community resisted calls from the Israeli government to migrate to Israel, in spite of cash incentives offered. And look at what has been happening in France over the past several years.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 29 2018 20:17 utc | 157

You're comment is an affront to all who have been killed and injured by the foreign-sponsored illegal proxy army that attempted to conquer Syria. We know that:

> there was a conspiracy against Syria before 2011;

> the conspiracy included using Jihadis as a proxy army;

> CIA supplied Syrian extremists via a 'rat line' from Libya;

> USA/Obama's "train and equip" policy benefited extremists despite the "moderate rebels" propaganda;

> USA/Obama allowed ISIS to grow and to engage in a substantial oil trade;

> ISIS oil and foreign extremists were allowed to transit through NATO Turkey;

> US arms like anti-tank weapons were given to Jihadis from Saudi stockpiles (I am unaware of any US objection to that);

> the White Helmets are paid by Western governments and connected to extremists; we know that members of their group participated in the beheading of a child and false flag attacks;

> that US could've finished off ISIS but choose to occupy Syrian territory instead;

> Syrian reconstruction is being held up/denied by butt-hurt 'Assad must go!' Coalition countries;

> And more.

Once again you try to make a false equivalence: YOUR bullshit has no relation to what others on this site write or know about.

Take your trolling bullshit elsewhere donkey.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 20:29 utc | 158

Syria. Wiki leaks cable from Feb. 2010.

Meeting between US (various) and Syrian Intel. Chief, Mamlouk, sent personally by Assad. All discuss possible ‘collaboration’ on anti-(jihadist) terrorist measures. Mamlouk claims great knowledge of them, says they, Syria, can manipulate, etc. — No firm agreements transpire in part because Syria’s demands in exchange - lifting sanctions, travel bans, etc. - are refused with circumlocutions.

The accusation against Syria/Assad, (see for ex. donkey tale), is that jihadists / radical Muslims were encouraged or recruited - to fight the US in Iraq, to prevent the US from entering Syria, post 2003 and >. That is the general drift..

The release of ‘jihadists’ from Sednaya Prison in 2011 had the aim, it is said, of escalation of the ‘rebellion’, ‘protest’ or ‘uprising’, by rendering it more violent, and legitimising the Gvmt. claim that ‘djihadists’ were attacking the Syrian Gvmt / people. As opposed to internal protest, opposition.

The ideological struggle was presented as being between religious extremists using ‘terrorism’ vs. secular, open-minded, tolerant citizens, liking their Gvmt. and leader, etc. This last formulation should make one quite suspicious, it is too simplistic.

The no. of prisoners released from Sednaya (May 2011 - or around there, dates imprecise..already a bad sign..) varies between 260 to 1,500. The reason is not known in the sense of not offically communicated or described in any way. Who exactly they were etc. is unclear. No good lists (afaik) exist. Some were petty thieves / protestors / due to be released / whatever.

Idk. That is what you get with proxy forces. Who controls them (in whole or part, how much money is exchanged, etc.) is up for grabs…One cannot make sense of it all without intimate knowledge from the ground.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 29 2018 23:03 utc | 159

109 bad cop
110 good cop
Different versions of hasbara crap. Iran's leaders like Syria's Assad, like Hezbollah are exactly what the times we live in require. In other words, they're badass and necessary to counter the lunatic zio-state and the asswipes Zionists use for proxy dirty work acronym'd GCC (minus Iraq) that together subjugate through corruption and chaos the people of the entire region. Iran, Hezbollah and Assad are the axis of ME law and order, the showdown to the AZ Empire Chaos machinations in the ME, and they have proven spines of steel, unlike the cowards in Tel Aviv and Riyadh that cower behind the Empire's arsenal. This axis of order are exactly where they need to be to face down Zionist domination and don't you forget it!

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2018 23:17 utc | 160

Protest ≠ rebellion.

I think you will find very few Syrians who wanted a civil war. I have not met or spoken with any, that's for sure. You had protests (people demanding their government do something about the weather, basically), and then you had CIA death squads shooting up BOTH protesters and security personnel to trigger conflict, then you had tens of thousands of mercenaries flooding the country and wrecking the place. I never saw anything that looked even remotely like a popular uprising, much less a leftist revolution. ALL of the initial violence was textbook US empire regime change procedure. If anything, Assad's biggest mistake was in not putting the military on a war footing soon enough and not crushing the CIA death squads right away.

Put it this way, when you see the protests in France, or the OWS protests in the US a few years back, do you imagine those people are one step away from bringing in heavy weapons and killing everyone in the nearest police station? Of course not! Protesters are usually looking for reasonable changes, not all out war.

It needs repeating: protest ≠ rebellion.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 29 2018 23:45 utc | 161

Qatar and Turkey were responsible for fueling the Arab Spring and taking it to Syria, and Saud and UAE are responsible for putting it out everywhere and ALL these players together with Israel that exploited these rivalries and had operatives already embedded in Syria and its trained U.S. elephant that sent in its own operatives in; ALL used Syria as the battleground unleashing armies of jihadists and funneling funds and weapons and provisions to keep the conflict alive.

So it started as an Arab Spring sponsored by Qatar and Turkey then was exploited by the Saudis, UAE, Israel and the U.S. to force a coup, regime change and possible fragmentation with Israel keeping the Golan Heights, and the Saudis annexing the geater part and Kurds getting their Kurdistan. Maybe I'm missing something, but that's how I see it.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 30 2018 0:22 utc | 162

Sasha @153

I objected to Dr George Prisko's comment because it alleges that some commentator had said something that, I far as I can see, was not said. This is a negative way of giving an unfounded accusation an airing. I just wanted to kill that unfounded idea.

But, mainly, I objected to the glorification of Assad in his post; it felt too much like a cult of personality. The important thing is Syria, and if Assad is the best person to lead Syria (which, at this time he is), then Assad should lead Syria. Of course, who leads Syria is entirely a matter for the Syrian people and nothing to do with external (foreign) forces.

Assad has made mistakes but he is not the monster that he is portrayed to be in the West. However, a government based on a dynasty is inherently weak and vulnerable and I hope that Syria will develop a more robust political system that governs for the interests of it's people and with the involvement of all its people; but that's up to the Syrian people to decide and will need to wait until' the war is actually over.

Finally, I believe that the original protesters had genuine grievances but the protest was quickly taken over by external forces intent on the destruction of Syria. A western plot to overthrow Assad was clearly in place prior to 2011 but I see that the West used the protestors and as such they are victims as well.

From the very early days of the protest weapons were available and used. As I understand it killings were far higher amongst the Syrian Army and security police in the first year of the conflict than amongst the civilian population. It is obvious that these killings (of Syrian Army and security police) were from external/malign forces intent on provoking a backlash and escalation of the conflict.

Assad showed humanity in implementing the reconciliation process which allows former rebels to reconcile with the Syrian Government and many (former protestors/rebels) now fight for the Syrian Government. Before 2011 Assad had been led, by the West & IMF, down a path which led to oppression of ordinary Syrians; I think that now he is very much aware of this and won't be overly concerned with courting western interests in the future. Assad has been a good leader for Syrian during the war and will hopefully be an even better leader when peace comes.

In many ways I regret having responded to Dr George Pisko's post as it is just raised issues that lack relevancy at this point in time.

You may feel that the above is insufficiently pro-Assad but I consider myself pro-Syria rather than pro-Assad. Hopefully, that's enough for you.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 30 2018 0:27 utc | 163

donkeytale @151

I don't understand why you just discount and ignore all the evidence that points to western involvement in causing the Syrian War. You just keep rotating back to the same position.

Assad's main mistake was the courting of Western interests which led to Assad implementing policies that had a detrimental effect on ordinary Syrians.

There was clearly a plan in place before 2011 for regime change in Syria.

Weapons and jihadis were moved into Syria to start a war and keep it going.

Any peace plan was wrecked by the West/US; the rebels were constantly encouraged and enabled.

All that stuff about evil Assad in the western media is clearly just propaganda.

Yet you just ignore all the implications of the above and rotate back to it's all Assad's fault.

I do agree that some people seem to glorify Assad and that Assad has made some mistakes but he is not the cause of the Syrian war.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 30 2018 0:48 utc | 164

Grieved @99--

Thanks for your elaboration. If you didn't echo my points, they'd likely go ignored. In 1978 when Carter adopted Neoliberalism, Imperialism was turned onto the Imperialist nations as that is the nature of cannibalistic capitalism and its practitioners attempted to form their own sovereignty separate from all nations--The Globalists. A distinction made early about Trump was the unabashed Nationalism he wore on his sleeve. He wanted to drain the swamp--when you do that, all its critters die! I interpret that--now after two years of close observation--as wanting to end the Outlaw US Empire. Could he have come out and been 100% honest about that during the election campaign--Hell No! He was obtuse about what he meant by The Swamp for good reason.

Clearly, I'm a minority of one as most believe that nothing will ever stop the Outlaw US Empire short of nuclear war. As I wrote on the next thread, Trump has started that process. The only real way to stop what he's doing is to JFK him. Hopefully, The Globalists are fat and sated enough already.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 30 2018 2:08 utc | 165

@157 jen... thanks for your posts! i always enjoy reading them...

@162 circe... i agree with you!!

@ 163 ADKC... i generally like your posts, but regret you engaging with donkey.. i see it like jackrabbit - donkey is a troll and mostly offers steamed over bullshit to moa.. whatever... i can't understand how you read Dr George Prisko as praising assad in any way... and, if you read the thread you would see the comments that he was referring to, instead of isolating his first comment and taking it out of context, (which i how i read you) addressed a chunk of the bullshit expressed upstream to his comment @95... this glorifying assad is a pile of shit, thanks the donkey as well.. oh well.. - continue on!

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2018 2:29 utc | 166


Wow! You agree with me? 🤗

I just want to clarify something: Qatar and Turkey were fuelling Arab Spring in support of MBrotherhood, while the Saudis and UAE (and Israel in Egypt) were trying to crush it and succeeded in a big way in Egypt and also crushed protests in Bahrain by sending 1000 Saudi military and tanks into Bahrain. However, in Syria they used the inception of it there to foment civil war and stage a coup and regime change. That's what I meant.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 30 2018 3:04 utc | 167

circe, lol.. i thought i would surprise you... lots of times i probably agree with you, although i wish you would use a number and a name to do yourself a favour.. as typically posts that get held in moderation change the numbers later on..

i think the ongoing feud with the sunnis hinges on the distinctions you are making... ksa/uae are into the wahabbi nut job parade... turkey, qatar and egypt - mbrotherhood... they are different ideologies.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2018 3:10 utc | 168

Good leadership in a diverse country seems to be an art only for the gifted rather than a trade that can be learned by anyone. commanding enough respect to be able to be able to mediate between factions, knowing when to use enticements and when to use threats ect ect. In Yemen, Selah termed it "dancing on the heads of snakes". Syria is an incredibly diverse country in culture, religion, tribal affiliations ect. Assad has been the leader that Syria has enabled the diverse groups of people that make up Syria to withstand the the combined attack of FUCKUS, Israel, the Arabs and Turks along with their proxy headchoppers.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 30 2018 3:43 utc | 169

I am interested in how an undercurrent seems to be developing here to denigrate the importance of leadership in the various nations that have been heavily involved in Syria, just when matters do seem to be resolving favorably for the Syrian people, after much suffering in that country these many years.

One post here drew attention to statements as far back as 2011 that seem to go along with this theme as far as President Assad of Syria is concerned, and indeed we seem to have many in our ranks who decry the 'glorification' of the man - who has glorified him? Let the Syrian people decide.

Circe feels he was mistaken in trusting the US, but indeed, that is not a failing of Assad, but of US non-leadership. I can well imagine that even Putin will again trust the US should it prove a trustable entity. That is the practical way nations deal with one another in the best of circumstances, knowing each nation (if its leadership is legitimate) works in its own interests. It's how Putin has dealt with Erdogan, how he deals even with Netanyahu.

Some also state that Erdogan 'has to give up his dream of a caliphate.' I am wondering, does he really have such a dream? Wouldn't he rather just have his own borders protected under relationships with his neighbors that are diplomatic and civil? I think Empire is really only a sickness of western powers at present - those that are blatantly controlled by oligarchs, ignoring the manifest wishes of their people. Or maybe, were. (Oh joy if the latter be underway!)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 30 2018 3:46 utc | 170

Great thread, b. It's really stirred up the trolls. Talk about Panic Stations! I can't recall ever seeing them quite this desperate to rewrite History. Has Troll Central told them it's better to shoot yourself in the foot than not to shoot at all? Even the MSM TV News trolls are making stuff up without consulting each other...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 30 2018 4:05 utc | 171

@170 juliania... this crap started with donkeytales posts @65 and 78... same stupid shit from this dude..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2018 4:21 utc | 172

@ james
Not just this thread or Assad. The naysayers on Russia, China and Syria have come on hard and strong lately. By that, I don't mean people that simply have reservations on one party or all, but those that are adamant that those opposing the US are just as bad as the US and have the same intentions.
I was going to stay out of it for a bit but ended up putting in my bit on China.
I think it's as per Hoarsewhisper "Great thread, b. It's really stirred up the trolls. Talk about Panic Stations!"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 30 2018 4:55 utc | 173

I don't know why I posted this on the Open Thread....sigh

Below is a link for Xinhuanet about the latest regarding Syria

Russian, Turkish military to coordinate in Syria after U.S. pullout: Russian FM

The take away quote
Russian and Turkish military will continue to coordinate their steps to eradicate terrorism in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

He made the remarks at a press conference here following talks attended by his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of both countries.

The parties agreed to continue work in strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, Lavrov said.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2018 5:10 utc | 174

@173 peter au... i guess it is as hoarsewhisperer says... that is how it looks! your comments on china were helpful... i try to be mostly neutral on all of these topics, but it is tricky sometimes.. i mostly would like to see an end to war and this class system where there is so much for syria - let syria figure out what syria needs to, without international meddling, or worse - countries trying to overthrow a system and put in place something else - while murdering, maiming and relocating or forcing people out - which is what the west did here with syria... this kind of crap needs to stop..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2018 5:33 utc | 175

James @163

I think I would have interpreted Dr. George Prisko's comments differently if it he indicated which posts he was referring to. As his comment appeared in the thread it seemed a defence against non-existent criticism. However, I think I have been fair towards Assad and I do believe that a political systems built around personality or dynasty are doomed to fail. Should Assad be assassinated or just die of natural causes then this would probably be devastating for Syria and the whole political system and resistance to the Empire could collapse but really it should make no difference to Syria and it's struggle. It's bizarre to think that Syria efforts could be reduced to nothing, if, on the cusp of victory, Assad is assassinated; what if, for this very reason, it suits the Empire to build up personality cults in their target countries?

Donkeytale can be very annoying and he seems to serve western interests but I don't think that's his intention. He believes that Assad is a brutal dictator (when it would be more accurate to view Assad as just a middle-class, optician, typical western sympathesising/sensibility/value kind of person that lived a comfortable life in London, that found himself in charge of a country that was attacked by the Empire, who was in over his head, but who has grown during the war to take on a leadership role he could never have imagined). Despite this, donkeytale doesn't believe that what the West is doing to Syria is right. However, he's definitely committed to his message and, regretfully, it seems he will always rotate back to it no matter what. He does have a point about building everything up around an individual, but grossly overstates this to the point of caricature.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 30 2018 10:38 utc | 176

Sasha @135

Your position is too absolutist. The idea that many of the original protesters were Syrian and had genuine grievances does not mean that they were not manipulated and used by external forces.

The fact that the Syrian protesters/rebels have been defeated (as they have in many places) doesn't mean their grievances have gone away (although, I am sure many of their grievances will no longer relevant) and can be disregarded. In my view Assad also knows this and this is part of the reconciliation process. For Syria to survive and prosper a dialectical outcome is required; this means a political system for all the people of Syria and involving all the people of Syria; not a system built around a personality or dynasty).

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 30 2018 12:22 utc | 177

@ Circe | Dec 29, 2018 6:17:13 PM | 160

Wow, accused of being a hasbara troll, a first to me.
Maybe, you just misread my post thus drawing the wrong conclusions.

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 30 2018 12:23 utc | 178

Jackrabbit @140

Thanks. Now I see.

I never pay attention to posts about overpopulation (or IQ) because they are always about gaining acceptance for genocide. I saw these posts as not really about Syria but just promotion of Malthusian Theory. Without doubt discussions concerning overpopulation and IQ levels are generally the most mind-numbing, boring, fake-science rubbish inflicted on humanity.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 30 2018 12:35 utc | 179

Noirette @ 159

The ideological struggle was presented as being between religious extremists using ‘terrorism’ vs. secular, open-minded, tolerant citizens, liking their Gvmt. and leader, etc. This last formulation should make one quite suspicious, it is too simplistic.

The no. of prisoners released from Sednaya (May 2011 - or around there, dates imprecise..already a bad sign..) varies between 260 to 1,500. The reason is not known in the sense of not offically communicated or described in any way. Who exactly they were etc. is unclear. No good lists (afaik) exist. Some were petty thieves / protestors / due to be released / whatever.

Idk. That is what you get with proxy forces. Who controls them (in whole or part, how much money is exchanged, etc.) is up for grabs…One cannot make sense of it all without intimate knowledge from the ground.

I believe I made a similar point elsewhere, of course the truth of the matter has long since been buried under mountains of propaganda but my recollection is quite clear that Syria immediately inserted terrorism into the equation and used this as a pretense to begin bombing the offending cities into rubble (as a war against terror). Either these entire neighborhoods or cities had turned instantly into armed terrorist camps or Assad was willing to accept the massive destruction, injury, death and displacement of millions of his subjects as collateral damage in order to ferret out the "terrorists" who had invaded these cities so quickly.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 30 2018 13:26 utc | 180

Gruff @ 161

Thanks for the correction. I agree with you and used poor wording. Tbh, I'm not entirely convinced there ever was a rebellion or a Civil War as it's often described but rather a sectarian war instigated by Assad under the pretext of battling "terrorism" and waged against certain cities and neighborhoods thought to be sympathetic to the protest movement (probably due to known demographic composition}

Where I would disagree of course is the view that CIA death squads somehow were the ones firing on protestors in the earliest stages. I assume then they would also be the ones who arrested and draged protestors off to Syrian (not CIA) jails to torture and mainm them, killing an adolescent child in one instance I recall? This seems to be wholly a construction of propaganda to me. Maybe I'm wrong. I recognise the CIA had been trying for decades to overthrow the Assad Family Dynasty and the role of the US in fomenting the Arab Springs in all ME countries is undeniable. It is also not the all-encompassing reason for the upheavel across the ME.

Your assertion that the protest in Daraa was about global warming is a bit wide of the mark, a halftruth sort of pathetic excuse for all that followed.

What about Assad's neoliberal "market reforms" which enriched the 1% at the expense the rest? What about decades of corrupt rule by a minourity sect? None of this causes legitimate grievance in your mind? Thus, you back the 1% worldwide or only in non-western countries?

Is Assad also totally absolved from the subsequent destruction of his country, then, in your opinion?

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 30 2018 14:10 utc | 181

ADKC @ 164

Not discounting or ignoring, maybe proper contexting is a better term? I could also say same about everyone who now gives Assad a free pass...are you discounting and ignoring his actions, and his father's before him as a cause? I know that you are not pro-Assad in fact and I'm not anti-Assad under the circumstances that have played out. As we discussed, I accept he needs to stay in charge after the years of turmoil, but I'm also not excusing his role in creating and sustaining the turmoil. It is clear to me he did not exactly follow a reform programme.

Maybe he now will. Finally. Let's watch and see.

Of course, the CIA and US spend decades trying to oust Assad and his father both. The US bears great responsibility for all that happened in Syria, although imho Assad treated the protest movement with a very heavy hand (of course not a surprise given the family history of repression)
and he also bears great responsibility along with the US for the destruction of his own country and people.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 30 2018 14:18 utc | 182

The war in Syria was one against foreign terrorists (CIA death squads) from the very first shots fired. Assad was very slow to acknowledge this reality and mistakenly (and imprudently) assumed that the western mass media was correct in blaming the Syrian security forces. From the perspective of the Syrian military Assad was siding with the terrorists. This demoralized the military and contributed to desertions (CIA bribes of officers - standard US regime change playbook - did the rest).

The amount of concessions the Syrian government needs to make to disgruntled portions of the population is vastly overstated for two reasons:

1) There is no point to making concessions to Chechen, Saudi, Afghan, Uighur, Bosnian, Colombian, Filipino, British, and Detroit mercenary terrorists fighting in Syria. They just need to be killed or otherwise removed from the country. Maybe Assad can pretend that they are refugees and send them to Canada and Miami like Castro did with the gangsters and CIA death squads in Cuba.

2) Disgruntled Syrians did not want war in the first place and will be happy if things can go back to how they were before the fighting started. Sadly, many may now be gun shy and afraid to voice grievances because they mistakenly assume that their complaints are what caused things to degenerate into a brawl and they don't want another war. "All I did was complain about my government relief being late and everything went to sh!t! One little bit of whining and suddenly there were crazy head choppers everywhere! I'd better bite my tongue next time I feel like raising a stink."

The grievances the population had before the war were not ones that they would be willing to fight over in the first place, and now after years of war are even less likely to rise to that level. In any case, it seems that the priority of the population and government of Syria is to rebuild the country to be better than it was before the war anyway. If you think some soft-spoken eye doctor who would have been perfectly happy quietly raising his kids in London while treating Londoners' cataracts has suddenly decided he wants to greedily pocket any cash the country in his care raises for reconstruction, then you have been consuming too much imperial infotainment propaganda.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 30 2018 14:43 utc | 183

Gruff - I think you are addressing me @ 183 although not exactly responding to my post @181.

So you believe Assad needed to destroy his country in order to save it? I believe he did it to save himself and his elites at the expense of the country. He is not blameless as you imply.

Or all those bombing campaigns in Aleppo, Homs, et al, also resulted from the CIA death squads, I guess based in Iraq and firing crossborder or US jets sneaking in undetected by air?

Any actual evidence of this? Besides the mountains of Syrian and Russian propaganda?

TBH, I'm actually passed all that anyway and agree now the nation needs peacetime rebuilding. Perfect opportunity for a BRI, imho. Maybe instead of all his happy talk about reform back in 2011 Assad will now reform the Syrian goverment once and for all under the protection of Russia, Turkey and Iran (unless Israel convinces Putin to ixnay Iranway out of the equation).

Sadly, the 20th Century composition of modern states in the sectarian and religiously polarised Middle East seems to preclude much chance for long term peace and prosperity. It is worth noting the nationa building was the handiwork of European nations in the first place so in a sense the immigration crisis represents the EU's original sin coming home to roost. Karma. The US shouldn't be involved at all but of course with NATO we created our own brood of wildassed poodles to clean up after. Unfortunately, US "cleaning methods" also suck bigtime. I agree with you there.

But the one-sided blame take is simply not believable to me.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 30 2018 15:17 utc | 184

donkeytale@181 said "...killing an adolescent child in one instance I recall?"

Sadly, you are recalling imperial jingoism manufactured from whole cloth, like Kuwaiti incubator babies and "rape rooms" and military atrocities in Libya.

In any case, you are referring to Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb. The injuries he received are consistent with shock doctrine torture conducted by CIA death squads from el Salvador to Indonesia and everywhere in between. The only evidence he was killed in the custody of the Syrian government comes from an unnamed "activist". In other words, your "evidence" for this supposed atrocity by Assad was seeded by someone employed in the empire's regime change operation and then endlessly echoed by the imperial corporate mass media to give it authenticity.

CIA death squads fired on protesters in Kiev. CIA death squads fired on protesters in Benghazi. CIA death squads fired on protesters in Nicaragua. CIA death squads were supposed to fire on protesters in Hong Kong, but the death squads somehow disappeared before they could pull the trigger on the riots there. Word is that the Chinese cracked the CIA communications, tracked down the CIA's attack dogs, and then quietly euthanized them. Had Syria been able to do the same there would never have been a war.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 30 2018 15:27 utc | 185

@165 karlof1

I think we all have to get used to the fact that the bulk of the readers of this thread are not commenting. Most of your comments come in well formed, with solid material and usually trying to expand the knowledge base of the matter at hand. There's actually not a lot for people to need to respond to, but I'm quite sure your comments get read, and probably send many people off to read the link.

It's rare that I have anything to add to one of your comments, but this time it sparked a theme I'm studying at this time, and I knew I could run it by you without controversy, although I didn't expect an answer.

Controversy in fact seems to be the signature of this thread, and as others have noted, of a lot of threads lately. The enemy wishes us to have a scattered mind, and fragmented discussion. Once again, counting through the whole thread, we see that disruptive commenters who get replied to or named are actually in this way given license to keep on with more comments. It's a sad way to legitimize what should be treated as outcast. In the end, trolls talk to trolls and legitimize each other.

Personally, I like a quiet life, and a peaceful thread where the consensus builds and agreement and collaboration are the marks of the discussion. There are those who are paid to disrupt the consensus at any cost. And there are also those who are not paid and who are simply trying to join in but who like noise, or who react to noise with more noise. Wisdom will not arise in a turbulent arena, and turbulence and strife are always the goal of those who divide in order to rule.

So there is a war on. And every reader and every commenter here has a part to play, by deciding whether to add noise to a discussion that is trying to get at the truth and even find wisdom, or to be part of the quietly forming consensus - which is the only thing that stands a chance of defeating the enemy, as we see every time that yellow vests or surprise electoral events or popular movements come "out of the blue", unannounced, quietly.

So karlof1, be glad that people don't pick your comments apart. Be glad that your comments sit relatively unchallenged. Be assured that the readers who also love peace have been reading them, gratefully.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 30 2018 15:40 utc | 186

Quoth dt@184: "Besides the mountains of Syrian and Russian propaganda?"

Oh, you are one of those kinds of trolls. You reveal yourself.

But I will give you one chance to come clean, because I am like that.

Select list of sources of imperial propaganda in the West:

Washington Post
New York Times
The Comedy Channel

This, of course, skips the obvious CIA fronts like VOA, RFE/RL,, etc.

Now it is your turn. List your sources of "...the mountains of Syrian and Russian propaganda" that somehow outweigh and overpower all of that. Reply with something pathetic and silly like "RT" and I will know beyond doubt that you are astroturf.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 30 2018 15:52 utc | 187

Grieved @186

Your reflective and genuine commentary is highly deserving of acknowledgment. I believe it also mirrors the sentiments of many who are drawn to MoA as a place of intelligent refuge. And yes, Karlof1's thoughts are read and digested with as much enjoyment as those of our host b and select others on this forum. I imagine there are others like myself who may eschew the 'noise' and although reticent and much less visible, still feel every bit as engaged as you. I like the expression and the image conjured in a 'quietly forming consensus'...

Posted by: metni | Dec 30 2018 16:45 utc | 188

@178 Hmpf

You and sidekick use the same stereotypes when it comes to Iran's leadership. That's a giveaway. I suppose Hezbollah's a terrorist group according to you two?
You know, if you had a shithole, lunatic country with an arsenal of nukes pointed at you, that sends operatives into your sovereign state to depose a democratically-elected leader and install a tyrant monarch instead, and to give support to terrorist groups to instigate chaos, and to kill scientists, and fuel civil unrest, you'd be glad for the layer at the top that vets loyalty and ensures collaborators with the AZ Empire don't get close to power. If you had that Zionist lunatic speck of desert shet invading your country every second decade, as in Lebanon wars, you'd organize the strongest, bravest militia in the ME. I'm not Iranian or Lebanese but I am squarely in the anti-Zionist camp. Zionism is the spawn of Nazism and is a scourge on the security of the planet.

So spare me your b.s. stereotypes. It's clear dltravers is an Iranophobe using fake concern for Palestinians while he spouts garbage like Israel and Russia getting together to contain Iran's influence. I won't even dignify shet like that, but you did. His is total hasbara claptrap and you enabled with some of your own good cop version.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 30 2018 18:51 utc | 189

@176 adkc...okay, thanks... however if you'd read the thread you would know which posts george was referring to.. this thread has been completely riddled with dt's bullshit... as to assad - if dt spent any time going into the true source of the war in syria, i would cut him some slack, but he is as you mentioned in your first post to him - carrying water for the same powers that brought the war in iraq and libya... his comments are a combo of diversion and willful ignorance on important details in the public domain regarding syria.. this thread is a direct byproduct of his ongoing bullshit..

@189 circe... i see it much like hmpf - a thoughtful poster who doesn't deserve your attack on them here.. it's offensive..

Posted by: james | Dec 30 2018 19:26 utc | 190

@ Circe | Dec 30, 2018 1:51:00 PM | 189

'You and sidekick use the same stereotypes when it comes to Iran's leadership. That's a giveaway. I suppose Hezbollah's a terrorist group according to you two? ...... '

Honestly, you assume too much and understand way too little! You're hatred blinds you and makes you resort to ad hominem attacks.
What does a person's dislike (well grounded at that) of a theocratic government has to do with said government's policy in regards to a specific geopolitical issue? Please explain.
No doubt, Iran's policy toward the Syrian situation is rational and responsible.

You're allegation in regards to my take on Hezbollah: How dare you!

'You know, if you had a shithole, lunatic country with an arsenal of nukes pointed at you .... .'

See, you didn't understand my post in the least. So, once more only for you:
Iran does not need nuclear detonation devices as a deterrent!
A state actor like Iran with a decent chemical industry and/or nuclear power plants is capable of producing most devastating devices (warheads) within 1-2 weeks, maybe even only days, with well established know-how, that come very close to or even exceed the long lasting effects of nuclear warheads, only that they are not going off with a giant 'boom' when triggered. This is chemistry and physics. Iran does have that knowledge. How do I know? Simply because every chemist or physicist proficient in the field does have it.
And that is exactly why this entire nuclear deal with Iran is a complete head fake. From the get go it's been designed to keeping Iran down, not to prevent Iran from acquiring WMDs.

@ b . Delete this post if you feel this is going to far. I'm done with this anyway.

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 30 2018 20:35 utc | 191

Hmpf 191
Not too many chemists commenting here. Your posts on the subject are always good reading. Circe is an object best ignored

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 30 2018 20:48 utc | 192


Oh, so you're defending Trump's move to tear up the Iran deal? Figures. I suppose you defend the sanctions too? What is it Trump has done you won't defend? Never mind. I was right about your 110. He's making Israel great again and that suits you fine.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 30 2018 21:12 utc | 193

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 29, 2018 1:30:13 PM | 152

I accept your apologies, and take the opportunity to apologize too, since it seems that I missinterpreted you, the same way, it seems, you missinterpreted me.

As you explain in more detail your position with respect to Syria and Assad, I do not find that our views are so opposed after all ( I am a communist, monsieur, only not of the kind integrist or inflexible...). My views on Syria are influenced by my visit to the country almost a decade bfore the conflict started, when I met a Syria which impressed me by its humanity and fraternity towards foreigners, the access to education and health, and what seemed to be a flourishing country, no doubt, which knew how to combine its ancient culture with a straight path to development. I witnessed all this falling apart by the joint action of a coalition of countries only moved by unsatiable greed and plain evilness, and, as Syria is a bit of a motherland for all of us, since it is the craddle of civilization, I always knew that my place was along the Syrian people and its leadership at that time.

Overall I agree in that leadership in a country must not be built on personality cult, nor power or leadership must be inherited within dinasties, but, at this point in time, and with respect to Syria, where the war is far from over yet, I do not find any utility in underminig now, "precisely now", the oustanding role Assad has developed during all these years of war, by recalling his, obvious, errors during pre-war Syria.
He could well have gone into exile and live the peaceful and great life, but, instead, he chose to remain in Syria and lead the fight, and that could not be but out of love for his country, which he managed to keep unite and in its integrity, thanks to patriot and courageous Syrian army and people and his allies.

I have no doubt that the rich heir ophtalomogist who lived a Westernized life in London, as well as the bank employeee who used to wear haute couture, have changed a lot through this war, but, nevertheless, I do not think people can change so much in adulthood, thus I believe that everything was there, inside them, from the beginning...This war, and the change it has implied, could well be what the Middle East needs to, once for all, liberate itself from the remnants of Western imperialism and start bulding its future which could not be but brilliant, taking into account the culture and wisdom acumulated through thousands of years....

To illustrate, I left you all, a lecture Mrs. Assad gave some years ago, just before the war, at Paris Diplomatic Academy....and a picture that says it illustrate the past and the present, but as a proof that all was there...inside....

Syria's First Lady Asma al-Assad speech at the Paris Diplomatic Academy in 2010

President Assad & First Lady at a local church in the town of Sawda in Tartous

Happy New Year to all!

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 30 2018 21:45 utc | 194


I left a comment in response to yours apologizing too and accepting your apologies, plus besides making my points about Assad and Syria a bit more expanded, but gone lost into the ether, even after being posted twice. I am seeing other comments posted at the same time around are appearing however.... My comment had included two links... No idea what has happened, but, anyway, I think posting twice a comment, which required locating the links again the second time, is enough ( at least for me and the time I have available for this activity...) A pity....

Happy New Year to all the people of good will!

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 30 2018 22:13 utc | 195

Circe Hmpf

Arguing over Obama's Iran deal makes no sense to me because in my view it was just a delaying tactic. It was necessary because Syrian regime change was taking longer than expected.

My understanding is based on the fact that: 1) UN sanctions were removed but US sanctions remained; 2) The US-Israeli mantra that "the road to Tehran runs through Damascus" (Syrian support for Hezbollah had to be dealt with first).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 30 2018 23:17 utc | 196

@ Jackrabbit | Dec 30, 2018 6:17:24 PM | 195

I wasn't arguing the Iran deal, which in my book was according to international law illegal and unjustified anyways, what I was trying to do was to show why:
1. the reasoning given by the 5+1 countries to the populace for sanctioning Iran was utterly false and deceiving on a technical basis.
2. why Iran never had to really worry about acquiring nuclear weapons to achieve 'balance of power' because it always had more or less instant access to kind of equivalent capabilities. This, btw, pretty much seems to be the real motive behind the newly acquired fear in the 'West' of Iran's ballistic missiles capabilities.
3. Iran has to be regarded as a rational player interested in stability and peace in the region, regardless of one's take on the sectarian nature of the Iranian government. After all Iran never attacked/attempted to attack another country in recent history.

Never gave it much thought, you're probably quite accurate with your take on the chain of events.

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 31 2018 0:21 utc | 197

Jackrabbit @195

I never really thought of it that way, but it's probably the case. However, if you think further, isn't any deal or treaty really just a delaying tactic, a postponement to allow both sides to manoeuvre for future advantage. Therefore, a deal/treaty is valuable for the temporary respite it provides no matter it's flaws.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 31 2018 0:33 utc | 198

if one reads what is coming out of the usa in particular, thru the daily press briefings and etc. etc., it is very clear the usa wants to vilify iran 24/7..the fact the usa backed out of the agreement is another fine example of the inability of the usa to abide by any agreement, unless it serves their purposes 24/7.. is the most recent example... never does the usa question israels human rights violations,the many murdered by israel, and etc. etc. it is always about how bad iran is.. and one can't look at anything with regard to this topic without acknowledging the role played by both the usa and iran with regard to syria... i realize it is always painted as usa the good and iran the bad, but some of us here have a diametrically opposite point of view on it.. bottom line is the usa is the one country not to be trusted..

Posted by: james | Dec 31 2018 0:49 utc | 199

ADKC: isn't any deal or treaty really just a delaying tactic

No. Not when it's ratified.

I should've added that it was never ratified by Congress.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 31 2018 1:23 utc | 200

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