Countries that we foresaw democracy taking hold…..and that would be a promise for a peaceful Middle East…..
All the warhawks have been screaming for the US to get more involved in Syria….they want us to become the mentor of the Syrian opposition………McCain especially has wanted us to dive into the fray and support the Assad opposition….this in my opinion is total BS! Why? Just check out this piece and it should answer any questions as to why we have not jumped in with both feet…..
I realize that we have not heard much in a week or so about Syria……all eyes are on Benghazi hearings or the IRS or the AP story…..but while the masses are amused by the shiny bits fed to them by the media there were things happening in Syria….yes that Syria…the one the McCain was blowing the blues about just a month ago….but right now all is quiet on the Syrian front….well at least the front that originates with the war hawks in Congress.
I know I post a lot about Syria in recent months but again I worked in the country years ago, Aleppo to be exact and still have friends there….well to be honest I have lost contact with them in the last year or so and unfortunately I fear the worse for them and their families….after college I went to work for a Spanish newspaper as researcher and that gave me a chance to work and live in many countries in the Middle East…..I gues we could say that I have a vested interests in the happenings…….so like it or not……I will be posting on the area as much as I can especially when there are stories that do not make it into the media for whatever lame reason…..
For over a year so on the Right have been pushing for the US to get more involved with the opposition in Syria……the problem is which opposition group? A tough question because there are many groups in opposition to Assad……
I have cautioned my readers about the haste to help could do more damage than good…..and stories like the one below is why. If the administration had caved to the calls by idiots for the US to get more involved we might have been in support of the group mentioned.
A Syrian rebel has been caught on video apparently cutting a dead soldier’s heart from his body then taking a bite from it. “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,” says the rebel, identified by Human Rights Watch as noted rebel figure Abu Sakkar of Homs. HRW calls the act a war crime, and Syria’s leading opposition coalition has promised a trial, the BBC reports. “The mutilation of the bodies of enemies is a war crime. But the even more serious issue is the very rapid descent into sectarian rhetoric and violence,” an HRW rep tells Reuters. Sakkar is seen telling his followers to “slaughter the Alawites”—Assad’s sect—”and take their hearts out to eat them” in an unedited clip, the HRW spokesman says. The video hasn’t been independently authenticated, reports note. Sakkar has appeared in other videos from the Syrian crisis, including one in which he poses with the corpse of a fighter with Hezbollah, which is supporting Syria’s government, HRW notes. RT News has blurry, though graphic, images from the video.
This is just one of many stories coming out of the region….and the US is wise to mark time until a more definitive opposition can be formed…….human rights should not be abandoned in the desire to oust a leader that we basically created.
McCain and his bunch are nothing but cheerleaders for war and the military-industrial complex…..and we know they almost always get there way….WMDs…..Iraq……any of those ring a bell?
P.S. Check out the links to other stories in days batch of posts…they will help my reader understand better. Check them out if you want to be better informed or ignore them so you can bitch about them latter….your choice!
An interesting opinion piece on Syria…..
In case by some miracle the Syrian conflict is settled….there is NO reason to be optimistic about the chance of a calmer Middle East….
Americans have all the information they need to make an opinion about Syria and what is to be done…..they know that a bunch of rebels are fighting Assad’s troops for control of the country…..they know that there may be al-Qaeda fighting in the countryside……and they know that there are chemical weapons and that they have been used….and now that you have all the facts I can move on……..
The ugly truth is that the average American knows nothing about Syria…….they know what the media wants them to know and nothing more……
To begin with I will explain why I say these things…..first, in my younger days I lived and worked in the Middle East….Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon Syria and the Occupied Territory….I had a job as a researcher for a Spanish newspaper……plus I did my grad work in Middle East Studies among other things…….and even today I read regional newspapers and sites to get a more clear picture of the situations that we are told little of by our crackerjack media……
Now for the grits and the gravy!
First, the most recent accusations…..use of chemical weapons…..
Meanwhile, not all U.S. officials agree with the worrisome intelligence assessments recently relayed by the three officials. “Any effort to secure Syria’s chemical-weapons would be complex, but we have good visibility on Syria’s chemical-weapons stockpiles and are constantly monitoring for any sign of movement,” a White House official told The Daily Beast late Wednesday. “We believe that the stockpiles are secure.” (A spokesman for the director of national intelligence declined to comment for this story Wednesday.
But other U.S. officials said one of the problems in tracking the chemical stocks in Syria once they were loaded onto trucks was finding out where those trucks were headed. One official said U.S. spy satellites in November picked up clear photographic evidence of trucks being loaded at known chemical-weapons storage sites outside Damascus. But this official also said the satellite did not track the movement of the trucks in the country. “You have to remember that satellites are not unmanned aerial vehicles,” this official said. “We saw the trucks being loaded, but we did not see where they went.”
Basically, what that quote is saying is that they have NO idea where the stores are with any certainty……and as reported earlier….the US is not sure they were used or who used them or even where…….it is a political game being played to warrant an armed response….but by whom?
Offering arms to the opposition, the rebels……but who are the rebels? And what good would arming these fighters do for the future of Syria?
We have heard all the lip service that McCain and his cronies have given to the necessity of arming the rebels…..and the Obama boyz are listening……
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Pentagon press conference Thursday that the US is “rethinking” policy on directly arming the so-called rebels in Syria.
Appearing with British Defense Minister Philip Hammond, Hagel became the first Obama administration official to acknowledge that Washington is considering a qualitative escalation of its proxy war in Syria.
“Arming the rebels; that’s an option,” Hagel said. Asked directly whether the administration was considering such a step, he replied: “Yes.”
Hammond echoed Hagel’s position, stating that Britain has “not thus far provided any arms to the rebels, but we have never said it’s something we will not do.” He added that London was concerned with “legality,” and was presently subject to a European Union ban on supplying arms to any side in Syria.
There’s no surprise that providing arms to the weaker side in the conflict was always going to prolong it. This is what opponents of the idea have been saying for years. Prolonging the conflict until the opposition could prevail has been the goal of interventionist proposals from the start, since their object has always been escalation and eventual regime change rather than mitigating and limiting the effects of the conflict. What advocates for arming the Syrian opposition never explain is how prolonging the conflict would not create even more instability and displace even more people, and they don’t do this because they cannot. Arming the opposition has always been just the first step in dragging the U.S. into the conflict, since it was never very likely to be sufficient on its own to topple the regime. Direct intervention would be the next step that hawks would demand when arming the rebels isn’t “working” quickly enough. In the the event that an air campaign also fails to “work,” there would inevitably be calls for an invasion in order to preserve our “credibility.” If the administration doesn’t want to take these later steps, it should refuse to take the first one.
Ask the question again…..the most important question….which rebel group gets our support?
Now the problem is if the US and its allies send all the weapons and such to the rebels what could be the eventual outcome? A free Syria? Before that is answered something else to consider…..
Rebel groups battling a common enemy – the regime of President Bashar al-Assad – are frequently confronting each other, with ideological rifts emerging in the highly fragmented opposition as Syria’s civil war grinds on in its third year.
Growing incidents like these of intra-rebel skirmishes – some of them fatal – highlight an intense contest for power in rebel-controlled areas, with many like Ahmed bracing for what they fear will be another war in post-Assad Syria.
Last month, Abdullah, another Liwa al-Tawhid rebel, was killed while driving to the brigade headquarters. He was shot in the neck. His brother Diaa accuses FSA’s Sawt al-Haq Brigade of having orchestrated the killing over a petty personal dispute.
Clashes erupted last month between the moderate-leaning Faruq Brigade and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Tal Abiyad, on the border with Turkey, in a sign of festering tensions over ideology, with up to four people reportedly killed.
It was one of the bloodiest skirmishes highlighting the ideological divide.
“The al-Nusra group and its allies have an agenda that other opposition groups don’t share – creating an Islamic emirate and fighting the global jihad, which makes conflict all but inevitable,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Personally, I do not believe that there is any good way for the US to intervene in Syria…..why? Because there is NO good options open to the US and it would not change a thing…….doubts?
(Newser) – To hear White House critics like John McCain tell it, the US can’t intervene in Syria fast enough. The atrocities, he says, “are on a scale that we have not seen in a long, long time.” Has he forgotten about Iraq so quickly? wonders Fareed Zakaria at Time. Even worse atrocities occurred there during the US occupation. Recall that in Iraq, a minority regime held power. The same holds true in Syria: It’s mostly Sunni, but Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Shiite subsect Alawites. It’s foolish to underestimate how much this complicates things—you can see it in Lebanon’s modern history, too.
A minority group in power will cling to it desperately, fearful of what will happen if the majority takes control. US intervention will “intensify” the war and make Assad even more desperate, writes Zakaria. “If the objective is actually to reduce the atrocities and minimize potential instability, the key will be a political settlement that gives each side an assurance that it has a place in the new Syria,” he writes. That never happened in Iraq, and the result is today’s chaos. A political pact is Syria’s only hope. Otherwise, “US assistance to the rebels or even direct military intervention won’t change much.” We’ll be in the middle of another long civil war. Click for his full column.
We can pretend that we know the “rest of the story” but we have NO clue…….the government and media are working in concert with each other to keep as little info available through the cable news outlets….this is in an attempt to control the flow of info as needed…..Americans will NOT get all the information they need to decide whether intervention is necessary until it is too late……
Does that sound at all familiar?
Addendum: Over the weekend Israel has taken it upon themselves to launch an airstrike within Syria…..now how could this effect the US and the debate that is going on?
For those of you that are new to my blog…..I lived and worked for a time in the Middle East and I can tell you that the news we get here in the US is not always the most accurate….so I spend time reading papers from the area so that I may have a better grasp on the situations that arise……and I pass them on so that you too can be better informed…..
This week barring any major happenings I will focus on international issues……
A lot has happened in the past month….a lot for the media to fixate on….sadly the doings in Syria have fallen by the wayside of coverage……..and possibly NO one really cares anymore, especially the twats in Washington….but there are things happening that cannot be good in the long run……
(Newser) – The head of Jabhat al-Nusra, a jihadist group at the forefront of Syria’s civil war, has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda honcho Ayman al-Zawahiri. What that means isn’t exactly crystal clear at this point. While Al-Qaeda in Iraq says the groups have merged under the snappy title of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, al-Nusra chief Abu Mohammed al-Jawalani denies his group will be ordering new letterhead just yet, the BBC reports. “The banner of the Front will remain unchanged despite our pride in the banner of the State and those who carried it and sacrificed and shed their blood for it,” he said in an audio message, the AP reports.
Al-Nusra is among the most effective of the rebel groups fighting the Syrian government. It has committed more than 40 successful bombing attacks and has been on the frontline of clashes against Assad forces, adds the Daily Beast. The alliance is not a surprise (Obama labeled it a terrorist organization last year), but it is concerning, says CNN. Al-Nusra’s success on the battlefield and reputation for distributing free bread makes it popular with everyday Syrians. With a powerful army in Syria, al-Qaeda would gain a strong strategic position in the Middle East, and a safe haven for long-term scheming.
Back in January I predicted that the Syrian civil war would spill over into neighboring countries…there have been some minor excursions across into Turkey and Lebanon……the the situation could only get worse with this news…….and since the rumor of chemicals being used is also a reason this could be a prelim to a wider participation of the US…….
I have written in the past that if there is ever a settlement in the Middle East it will be short lived because the next big crisis will be the water situation……and so it goes……
A new year has begun and the death and destruction continues in Syria….there are reports after reports about the goings on in the country….most are passed on as truth but seldom verified……like this turn….
Two days after a mysterious explosion at a Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon, the Kuwaiti website Al Jarida is reporting that Israel bombed the site because Syria had transferred missiles there that were capable of being equipped with chemical warheads. The missiles had been moved into Lebanon from Syria in the last several months and were being held inside warehouses owned by farmers in the area.
The report also claimed that Hezbollah has many additional warehouses across Lebanon that are used for the same purpose. In October another weapons storage facility in the town of Baalbek was destroyed after an explosion. The AFP said that four Syrians were killed in the blast.
And then there was this report……
The chemical warfare threat looming over Syria’s civil war and its neighbors has taken an epic turn with the announcement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday, Dec. 22, that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.”
He added that Russia, “which has military advisers training Syria’s military, has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal.”
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report: The Russian foreign minister’s statement was a message to Washington that the transfer of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction to one or two protected sites was under Russian control. This had removed the danger of them falling into the hands of the al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra ,which had come ominously close Friday, Dec. 21, when the Islamists spearheaded a Syrian rebel assault for the capture of the al-Safira military complex and Bashar Assad’s chemical and biological stores.
Lavrov did not go into detail about how this arsenal was removed and to which locations. But his reference to “Russian military advisers training Syria’s military” clearly indicated that Russian forces were directly involved in removing the WMD out of the reach of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists.
His assertion that they were “under control” indicated that Russia was also involved in safeguarding them.
This type of speculation is a daily occurrence where Syria is concerned……..and then there are reports like this….the whole chemical weapon thing is a way to swing public reaction in one direction or another…….
Having seen its star wane in Iraq, al Qaeda has staged a comeback in neighbouring Syria, posing a dilemma for the opposition fighting to remove President Bashar al-Assad and making the West balk at military backing for the revolt.
The rise of al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, which the United States designated a terrorist organisation last week, could usher in a long and deadly confrontation with the West, and perhaps Israel.
Inside Syria, the group is exploiting a widening sectarian rift to recruit Sunnis who saw themselves as disenfranchised by Assad’s Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam that dominates Syria’s power and security structures.
Al-Nusra appears to have gained popularity in a country that has turned more religious as the uprising, mainly among Sunni Muslims, has been met with increasing force by authorities.
There are horror stories coming out of Syria daily…….depends where you stand on the issue…..and even religious implications…….
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that the rebels issued an ultimatum to the towns of Mahrada and Sqailbiyeh in the province of Hama.
A video released by rebels showed Rashid Abul-Fidaa, the Hama commander of the Ansar Brigade, calling on residents to “evict Assad’s gangs” or be attacked. He was referring to President Bashar Assad’s forces in the area.
Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population, say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people.
They are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Islamic groups.
And there is the rub….the story that few want to think about and definitely want to report……No matter the outcome when the “war” is finished….there will be massive retaliations….Shi’a vs Sunni…….Muslim vs Christian….Druze vs whoever they hate……after the shooting the killing is far from over…..
we can cheer for the winners but nothing will stop the inevitable retaliations……..the Syrian incident is FAR from over!