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“Creating quagmires” – US policy in Syria

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, September 5th, 2018 - 82 comments
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In June this year I went to a lecture at LSE by Gilles Keppel. professor at the Ecole Superieure in Paris, titled “The Middle East after Isis – what comes next.” He didn’t get near the answer till the question session at the end, one of which I asked, specifically about what was France’s reason for the bombing attack on Syria on May 4th. He didn’t want to go into detail about the supposed (in my opinion false flag) use of chlorine in Gouta, but did say that it was to give a signal that France, the UK and the US intended to stay involved to make sure that the Russians, Turks and Syrians didn’t get to resolve the remaining issues around the terrorist enclave in Idlib.

Further confirmation about what was really intended came in the Washington Post last week, quoting an unnamed official saying:

“Right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want,” says one administration official, explaining the effort to resist an Idlib onslaught.

A good overall assessment of the background is provided in this post by Bernhard at Moonofalabama. He summarises it thus:

The new U.S. aim in Syria is to hinder all potential progress in the reestablishing of government control as well as to obstruct any repair of the damage its war on Syria caused.

The official’s statement clarifies what many than thought was the aim of US policy for many years, in supporting “regime change”, proxy terrorism, colour revolutions  and endless wars throughout the middle East and elsewhere. The overall objective is to enable US corporations to profit from military spending and also ensure in Trump’s words “energy dominance” for the US corporates.

Things are due to come to a head on September 7th in Ankara when Russia, Turkey and Syria are scheduled to meet to discuss the terrorist occupation of Idlib in northwest Syria adjacent to the Turkish border. the various terrorist groups have concentrated there after the Syrian government’s victories over them in the south of the country.

Two weeks ago Sergey Lavrov the Russian foreign minister warned that another false flag chemical weapons excuse was being planned by the terrorists in Idlib. US neocon John Bolton was quick to warn that any such attack would be met with greater force that the May attack. French and UK governments also made the same threat.

The May attack was unusual in many respects. Supposedly to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons capability and supposedly 100% successful, that proved to be nowhere near the real story. With over 60% of cruise missiles launched shot down, with misfires from the French and the British, and with the only verified result the complete destruction of a possibly empty building with others around it untouched, as a warning it lacked a certain something. This may have been because the Russians had warned the various parties that if any missiles targeted Russian personnel or assets they would  be shot down. Russian anti-air capability is widely held to be far in advance of the West, so the Russians were avoided.

This time the Russians have issued their warning before another false flag “chemical” attack, providing the US with specific evidence.

I have to say that the Russian spokesmen I have watched, from Putin on down,  are far more impressive than their western countrparts. This performance from UK Ambassador to the UN Karen Pierce, as reported by Australian blogger Caitlin Johnstone, beggars belief. The Russians can’t be believed because they are Russians.

However the Russians are not that stupid. They have also significantly beefed up their military presence in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean, possibly in anticipation of the next attempt by the US and its allies, UK and France, this time to try to swamp Syrian and Russian air defences.

The situation is extremely serious. Donald Trump has waded in with his own warning, indicating that he is under neocon control. We could be on the brink of the most serious shooting war since Korea, with unintended consequences galore. US defense strategy has shifted officially from the war on terrorism to war between the major powers, specifically identifying Russia, China and Iran as the opponents.

The situation has changed since the US created quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which they are still mired. The Russians have seen them coming, and have issued fair warning. Lets hope this time the US and its few allies pull back instead of doubling down. A great deal is at stake.

82 comments on ““Creating quagmires” – US policy in Syria”

  1. Wayne 1

    You have zero proof that the May bombing was a false flag op. Everything I have read from a wide variety of sources pointed indisputably to the Assad government. Also zero evidence that 60% of cruise missiles were shot down by Syrian air defence. It simply is not that capable. At best it was two or three.
    As for Idlib a negotiated settlement is the only sensible way forward, or else it will be like Aleppo, except worse. That is why the US is warning Syria off. And Trump in these sorts of issues is much more serious that Obama.
    As for Korea, well that war is effectively over. Don’t let your hatred for Trump blind you to that.

    • Bill 1.1

      What May bombing? There is some concrete evidence of a bombing in May?

      Only thing I saw was a lengthy report related to traces of stuff that could have come from any number of sources including every day items. But you’ve read stuff. ffs.

      And Idlib will be like Aleppo, only much worse you say. You mean like Mosul?

      Y’know, given that the Syrian government has negotiated the safe passage of Jihadists from every occupied town and city across Syria, I can’t see them being averse to a negotiation. The question might be whether various foreign Jihadists and odious drop-kicks in Idlib have the option of negotiating their own exit, or whether they really don’t have anywhere to go and so reckon they might as well be done with their miserable existences in some glorious “last stand”… or at the end of some shit stained pants scampering.

    • D'Esterre 1.2

      Wayne: “Everything I have read from a wide variety of sources pointed indisputably to the Assad government.”

      Have you got citations to that effect? I ask, because I’ve seen nothing to confirm that.

      “As for Idlib a negotiated settlement is the only sensible way forward, or else it will be like Aleppo, except worse.”

      I wonder if you’ve been paying attention to what the Syrian government and its allies have been doing, with regard to negotiating safe passage for terrorists from areas which the SAA has retaken. Idlib is where said terrorists are now encamped. I’m guessing that the citizens there would like their province back, thanks.

      Aleppo; as Bill has pointed out, go look at Mosul, what happened there, and what state that city is in now.

      • Ed 1.2.1

        Wayne’s side variety of sources…..

        CNN
        The New York Times
        BBC
        The Guardian….

        • Wayne 1.2.1.1

          Ed

          A roll call of highly reputable news organisations.

          Whereas RT?

          • Muttonbird 1.2.1.1.1

            No use attacking Ed. You said you read a wide range of sources and they all said Assad did it.

            Turns out you read a narrow range of sources and they all said Assad did it.

            You might want to withdraw and apologise to the forum.

    • Ed 1.3

      You are a warmonger for neoliberal capitalism.
      What a disgrace.

    • reason 1.4

      Isis have used gas dozens of times in Iraq and Syria …. not that the dishonest old war dog Wayne mapp would ever tell you that ….

      Actually the greedy racist warmongering mapp sticks his oar in and has been for New zealand getting involved in illegal invasions and wars …. for trade deals and stuff.

      It all shows up his crocidile concern for the little three year old girl killed, along with other children and civilians killed …..

      When one of Waynes wars crashed into their bodies with high explosives and hot chunks of metal.

      Consider Wayne Mapps behavior and that of a boy racer driving around the suburbs at 140kms in the wet on three bald tyers ….. the difference in the inevitable crash is the boy racer was most likely to kill himself …. Wayne Mapp was never in danger when helped drive the events …. that ended up killing multiple children.

      He has exposed his own psychopathy towards children here at The Standard….. responding to a post I’d made about the 500,000 kids killed in the sanctions of mass destruction that Iraq was under until they got invaded……

      …. He ignored the dead children and jumped on the pro-war bandwagon ….over a throwaway remark I’d made at the end of my post.

      Mapp you see, is all for the war against Syria … and bugger the dead or wounded children.

  2. SPC 2

    The problems for the Turks

    1. if it grants the surviving rebels (it would not want too many) in Idlib refuge in Turkey, would Syria declare them a terrorist group if Turkey does not disarm them?
    2. once Idlib falls its little regime in Afrin will come into question – if Syria asked the UNSC to condemn the Turkish occupation there and call for a withdrawl, who would veto it?

    American options

    1. lament the loss of civilian life in Idlib (but not that of al Qaeda in Syria).
    2. support the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Afrin
    3. support regional autonomy for Syrian Kurds and their command of any gun in this province (disarming any others, such as Arab Syrians who who have refuge there ).

    • Bill 2.1

      In relation to your last point – the peoples of Rojava include Arabs. It’s not a “Kurdish Project”. Another point about Rojava is that it does not threaten the geographical integrity of the Syrian state.

      There is a meeting of Iran, Russia and Turkey in a few days time in Tehran.

      Meanwhile, I can’t help but notice the reports in western media that come from supposed “civilian journalists” (read: terrorists, white helmets and Jihadists) has all but dried up.

      Perhaps that will kick back in, although with the White Helmets having been evacuated, I dare say the media networks/infrastructure that had been built to channel “news” back to western outlets may no longer exist.

      • SPC 2.1.1

        My point being the autonomous region would have one (official) command of the gun, and any refugees from other areas would have to be unarmed (including Turkish Kurds).

      • mauī 2.1.2

        Yes there has been a real lack of emotionally manipulating propaganda videos in the news lately involving upset small children or heroic badged rescue workers.

        I’m sure if you hate Assad (like let’s face it, most westerners do because they are told to) this is because he has got his oppressive grip back on the country and has banned any respectable news agency from reporting… like CNN or ABC.. *cough.. cough**.

        Yes maybe just a coincidence that as the terrorists ebb away so does the western troll farm 🙂

    • Ad 2.2

      The US will withdraw to Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia to protect from any further decrease in its sphere of influence. Withdrawal is not a choice.

      I see US withdrawing its base from Qatar in short order since Qatar is gearing up for proper partnership with Iran. That is where is military and intelligence assets are based.

      • Stuart Munro 2.2.1

        If they do, the smaller states are likely to flip. Locally the big game of influence is between Saudi and Iran. Any significant change in presence will be reflected around the region.

      • corodale 2.2.2

        Yes, the Central Bank partnership between Turkey and Qatar backs your statement. The US bases there are too vulnerable.

  3. Ad 3

    I am more hopeful about the start of peace in Syria. Russia, Iran, and Turkey are in for a decade of working closely with the Assad dynasty to re-form government after this collapse of most civil institutions. Nationbuilding on this scale will also be a measure of the statecraft maturity of Russia, Iran and Turkey to work around NATO, around UN sanctions against Russia, Iran, and around the terrorist cesspools within Saudi Arabia. It’s the best time to do that, and they can all see it. Turkey is rapidly breaking and forming new alliances.

    But the prize of influence for Russia and Iran is Saudi Arabia. Syria is a start, not a finish. The Saud family are vulnerable now that the 5% float of Aramco has been abandoned. Their absolutism has usually depended on oil rents and the lower taxation from low oil prices. Russia has a good chance of working with Syria and Iran to make Saudi Arabia slightly more neutral vis a vis US, and more amenable to broader development partners. After Syria, it’s also the country most at play.

    • Bill 3.1

      Chinese money will flood into Syria. (There sure as shit won’t be any US or European contracts being handed out – or so I would think)

      Also, China has established a futures market in Shanghai trading in the yuan. Apparently, this may have been done to circumvent US sanctions on Iran and its oil.

      Juan Cole’s piece on it.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Dollars as a hard currency are more flexible and could be used to buy or sell anything from anyone.

        The US$ hasn’t been a ‘hard’ currency since Nixon dropped the Gold Standard and floated it. A floating currency is, by definition, a ‘soft’ currency.

        There have been a lot of conspiracy theories that the US government will go to war to prevent erosion of the dollar as the world reserve currency, especially against any moves to buy oil in a currency other than dollars. It has been alleged that this consideration was one reason for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

        If/when the US$ is no longer the Reserve Currency the rest of the world will have very little reason to buy US$ as the US produces very little – it is no longer the production engine of the world as it was after WWII. This is what terrifies the US as when that happens the US will no longer be able to import so much of the worlds resources. Their entire economy will collapse and their Living Standard, which is already dropping, will collapse and that is likely to produce an actual revolution. I wouldn’t be surprised to see secession by many states.

      • Ad 3.1.2

        I can’t see a motive for playing Chinese comprador from Russia or Turkey.

        Russia, Turkey and Iran have already invested so much in closing Syria as a “sale” into their realm of influence. They will install their own commercial players into this.

        • Bill 3.1.2.1

          Not so much a “motive”, more an acknowledged lack of capacity is where I’m coming from.

        • corodale 3.1.2.2

          China will be welcomed in financially, certainly in Palestine, to show the strength of the BRICS Plus as the new status quo. Logically, the Indians will be invited into Yemen. The German regime is scrambling to get an international banking exchange that includes Iran, functioning on Euros, before November, negotiating to keep the new paradigm multi-polar.

    • SPC 3.2

      Turkey sure is forming, then breaking and forming new alliances – having backed an overthrow of the Damascus regime, but when witnessing Russia having the greater resolve to be present on the ground than the Americans managing a retreat.

      It has been using the refugee tap to manage the EU, but now it needs to work with Syria to enable the refugees in the camps in Turkey to return home.

      A big issue will be development of the Qatar/Iran gas field and pipelines and how Iran meets its energy needs (will it resort to nuclear power plants).

      • Ad 3.2.1

        QatarGas looks like a diplomatic force all by itself – sure more effective with Iran than anyone else.

        2022 Football Cup is going to be a lovely stage for all of these new alliances to do interpretive dance. Or Stage Challenge. Maybe it’s Rapper’s Delight.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Lets hope this time the US and its few allies pull back instead of doubling down.

    Western capitalism needs the resources of the rest of the world to keep going and so the Western powers will double down on their attempts to steal those resources.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    ” the Russians have issued their warning before another false flag “chemical” attack”

    If the Russians actually had such secret information they would not release it because it would compromise their sources or capabilities. Inventing it for PR follows an opposite approach – by disseminating the lie as widely as possible they manufacture consent for their use of chemical weapons.

    If you swallow Lavrov and MoonofAlhambra uncritically you get to cheer when the Russians gas civilians. Yippee!

    • D'Esterre 5.1

      Stuart Munro: “If the Russians actually had such secret information they would not release it because it would compromise their sources or capabilities. Inventing it for PR follows an opposite approach – by disseminating the lie as widely as possible they manufacture consent for their use of chemical weapons.”

      You have evidence for this? Absent evidence, it looks like more speculation, based on something like, “This is what the US/terrorists would do; ergo, it’s what the Russians are doing.”

      “…MoonofAlhambra…”

      Heh! Freudian slip over the spelling there.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.1

        I have as much evidence as the Russians do D’Esterre – None whatsoever.

        You have not seen nor received details of this “false flag attack” – but you are quite prepared to take it on trust.

        The Syrian populace just get to take it – Russian or US or local bombs – all the same when you’re under them.

        Wasn’t a slip of course.

    • Bill 5.2

      If the Russians had any such secret information, then no-one would know because “secret”. But what would the point be of such information being kept secret? (I’m coming up blank.)

      If, on the other hand, they suspect such a thing, then given the history of very dodgy bullshit from “the west” in response to awfully convenient and, on the face of it, terribly stupid chemical attacks that have never yet stood up to full scrutiny…

      And if it is now a case that “western actors” know that Russia knows, but don’t quite know the extent of what Russia knows, then that’s a deterrent that may bear fruit.

      Didn’t Russia “call it” on the Douma “incident” that led to air strikes? And isn’t it the case that no evidence of a chemical attack has been produced in spite of on the ground inspections and however many material samples and blood samples?

      But covering whatever permutations off and settling it. Duplicitous bastards as all Russians may be genetically disposed to be, “our” great and good….well, they’re great and good, innit?

      • Stuart Munro 5.2.1

        “awfully convenient and, on the face of it, terribly stupid chemical attacks”

        Bellicose foreign policy is rarely characterized by its intelligence – whether it be US or Russian in origin.

        The false flag claim has become Russia’s go to instrument for avoiding critique – it’s not particularly clever, but it doesn’t suffer from the kinds of inconvenient debunking that more detailed claims like the MH17 fictions are subject to.

        “No-one would be stupid enough to do x” has historically proven not to be a particularly solid basis on which to rest any claim.

        As for ‘our’ great and good – the habit of not murdering journalists has made our great and good slightly less inclined to normalize mischief than the kleptocrats of Putin’s dystopia. The Nixon impeachment for example could never happen to Putin – the abuse of security powers has been normalized under his regime.

        Russian duplicity is cultural. The espiocracy that descended from the Okhrana is an institutional, not a genetic legacy. It is nevertheless very real, and journalists and dissenters in Russia risk their lives exposing the glib lies you so cheerfully recycle.

        • Bill 5.2.1.1

          Bellicose foreign policy is rarely…

          So, shit. Correct me I’m wrong, but the suggestion here is that the Syrian government (the alleged users of chemical weapons) was following some stupid bellicose foreign policy….within the internationally recognised borders of Syria!?

          That’s got to be a first.

          Murdered journalists – uh-huh. Been to Mexico of late? What about Malta?

          Any time you want to point to any “glib lies” I “cheerfully recycle” about Russia that dissenters and journalists within Russia would be killed for exposing, well…I’m all ears.

  6. McFlock 6

    I’ll try to avoid getting into the team Russia vs team West argument.

    What I will say is that most foreign policy objectives of most states (but especially the US) are essentially multi-sectoral compromises. You get enough different sectors buying in (defense lobbyists see sales, energy wonks see supply chain consolidation, terrorphobes see their enemies defeated, Great Game players see expanding spheres of influence, etc etc etc) and war is inevitable.

    Quagmires directly involving the participating nation are almost always plan B. The objective with the most support is quick victory and loot the territory. Quagmires for the state making the decision have arms industry support, but most other people are simply taking consolation prizes in their areas, if that (strong finance wonks hate quagmires, but love quick victories).

    “Wearing down the russians” is just another consolation prize aimed at Great Game players in order to justify the sunk costs already paid.

    The yanks have failed again because they can’t empire for shit.

    • D'Esterre 6.1

      McFlock: “The yanks have failed again because they can’t empire for shit.”

      Yup. Nailed it.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        But, but,,,McDonalds!

        • Ed 6.1.1.1

          Amazon.
          Google.
          Uber.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            ISTR most of them are Irish or Dutch 😉

            Brands are cool. People to this day are called variants of “Alexander” all across Europe and central Asia.

            But he couldn’t empire for shit, either.

            China’s looking pretty long term, though. Huge land purchases and 00s of km of good roads in Africa long before leasing their first dual-use facility.

  7. Jenny 7

    A good overall assessment of the background is provided in this post by Bernhard at Moonofalabama. He summarises it thus:

    “The new U.S. aim in Syria is to hinder all potential progress in the reestablishing of government control as well as to obstruct any repair of the damage its war on Syria caused.”

    Mike Smith

    Hi Mike, according to Lois Proyect at ‘The Unrepentant Marxist’, you shouldn’t rely too much on what whacko Assadist websites have to say.

    Lois Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

    It’s very rare nowadays to find Jew-baiting on nominally leftwing forums but that’s exactly what I ran into during a brief time commenting at Moon of Alabama, an “anti-imperialist” website that like Global Research and Voltairenet can be relied upon to defend the Syrian dictatorship to the hilt…..

    ……Meanwhile, when I posted a comment there on December 17th calling attention to a Tea Party delegation visiting Lebanon at the behest of Mother Agnes, it was removed unceremoniously. One wonders how secure these “anti-imperialists” are in their politics when a single message out of 80 that goes against the grain cannot be tolerated……

    …..Just to make sure that people understand where I am coming from, I don’t use the term anti-Semitism since that has become so inextricably linked with mass movements of the 1930s that presented a mortal threat to Jews. The only people today in that kind of danger are Muslims, especially those whose rights are being abrogated in the name of fighting “jihadists”. This, to be sure, is one of the primary goals of Moon of Alabama—to demonize Muslims after the fashion of Christopher Hitchens, Michael Ignatieff and Paul Berman. Using the same inflamed rhetoric about “Wahhabists” and “Salafists”, the regulars at Moon of Alabama would have been invited to the Bush White House back in 2003 if the sole criterion were Islamophobia. For example, Gerhard is capable of saying things like “Why is the U.S. so much interested in creating a Sharia law state in Syria?” This moron is apparently more perturbed about Sharia law than he ever was about MIG’s firing rockets into tenement buildings in Homs or Aleppo.

    Fortunately for me I don’t have to rely on just what I read on the internet. Having been in Syria and seeing this fascist style regime close up.

    • reason 7.1

      You weren’t in the ‘Real Rebel’ held areas Jenny …. forced marriage or death to the infidel for you otherwise ….

      Jenny regarding Syria … volume / output wise … is more of a warmongering tub thumper than Wayne mapp…. and that’s saying something .

      She’s used every bit of propaganda the pro war mob have churned out …. If you’ve had a Lobotomy or otherwise have a cauterized memory …. then some of what she ways could be credible.

      … for those who have not had lobotomies The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t _ what’s left

      Otherwise most of the war bot non-sense she writes is contradicted by pedigree journalists,reporters and other impartial observers.

      I think Jenny considers most Syrians Assadists …. which means she has as much concern for them as that old crocodile wayne mapp ….kill em and their kids …

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TACfQT3Th3k – short 3.24second truth clip.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        reason
        6 September 2018 at 7:50 am
        You weren’t in the ‘Real Rebel’ held areas Jenny …. forced marriage or death to the infidel for you otherwise ….

        Though I might not have been in the ‘Real Rebel’ held areas, Anita McNaught was. Sending in video reports from rebel held Al Bab. Al Bab allegedly, according to the US, is under Isis control.

        When she was in Al Bab to cover the regime’s bombing of the town. McNaught never suffered forced marriage, or death, or even had to cover her hair.

        Al Bab has the distinction of being bombed, not just by the regime, but by the war planes of America and Russia as well.

        What that these three powers have in common is the fear that the Arab people of the region will overthrow the various foreign backed tyrannies and autocracies that oppress them.

        • Jenny 7.1.1.1

          Related posts:

          Al Bab bombed by Russia and the US, as well as the Regime.

          U.S. airstrike in Syria may have killed 50 civilians
          Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee – McClatchy Foreign Staff, January 11, 2015

          ….The civilians were being held in a makeshift jail in the town of Al Bab, close to the Turkish border, when the aircraft struck on the evening of Dec. 28, the witnesses said. The building, called the Al Saraya, a government center, was leveled in the airstrike. It was days before civil defense workers could dig out the victims’ bodies.

          The U.S. Central Command, which had not previously announced the airstrike, confirmed the attack Saturday in response to repeated McClatchy inquiries. “Coalition aircraft did strike and destroy an ISIL headquarters building in Al Bab on Dec. 28,” Col. Patrick S. Ryder said in an email.

          He said a review of the airstrike showed no evidence of civilian casualties but offered to examine any additional information, “since we take all allegations seriously.” ISIL is an alternative name for the Islamic State.

          Turkish war planes also pile in, teaming up with the Russian air force to conduct aerial mass murder in Al Bab

          Russian and Turkish jets ‘bomb ISIL’ in Syria’s Al Bab
          Russia’s defence ministry says its fighter jets teamed up with Turkish warplanes to hit ISIL in northern Syria’s Al Bab.
          Al Jazeera – January 19, 2017

          Russian and Turkish jets have carried out joint air raids against ISIL fighters in the town of Al Bab in northern Syria, according to Russia’s military.

          Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior defence ministry official, said on Wednesday that nine Russian and eight Turkish fighter jets had together struck targets in the town, located northeast of Aleppo.

          “Today the Russian and Turkish air forces are conducting their first joint air operation to strike [ISIL] in the suburbs of Al Bab,” Rudskoi said.

          Russia inviting Trump administration officials to Syria talks
          “The assessment of the initial results … showed the strikes were highly effective.”

          …….Separately, US-led coalition jets also struck ISIL positions in Al Bab on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to coalition spokesman Colonel John Dorrian.

          “These strikes were the result of continued cooperation with Turkey, and we saw a window of opportunity where it was in our mutual interests to get those targets destroyed,” Dorrian said.

          Russia bombs Syria
          America bombs Syria
          Syria bombs Syria
          Israel bombs Syria
          Turkey bombs Syria

          What these forces all have in common is an interest in preserving imperial and autocratic control and subjugation of the Syrian people.

        • reason 7.1.1.2

          Your a bad joke Jenny …… why do you dismiss and cover up the medieval beliefs and actions of the most effective ‘rebels’ / fighters in Syria ???

          ” According to Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil, herself a Yazidi from Sinjar, an estimated 6,383 Yazidis – mostly women and children – were enslaved and transported to Isis prisons, military training camps, and the homes of fighters across eastern Syria and western Iraq, where they were raped, beaten, sold, and locked away.”

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/25/slaves-of-isis-the-long-walk-of-the-yazidi-women

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rape-and-forced-conversion-how-one-woman-survived_us_5a1f325be4b02edd56c6d64d

          Your also a dishonest hypocrite Jenny …. using the Ad Hom ‘ Assadist ‘ like some NATO bot ….

          to quote yourself at yourself …. “Rather than debate the facts, Assadist is the sort of ad hominem abusive language that the NATO apologists on this site typically resort to, when you provide them with evidence counter to their sick support for Islamo-fascism.”

          Jenny wants continual war for Syria …. those she calls ‘Assadist’ generally want peace for their country and region….

      • Jenny 7.1.2

        reason 7.1
        6 September 2018 at 7:50 am
        You weren’t in the ‘Real Rebel’ held areas Jenny …. forced marriage or death to the infidel for you otherwise ….

        Reason, what your ignorant comment references, and feeds into, is Islamophobia and racism, as some sort of justification for mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

        Jenny regarding Syria … volume / output wise … is more of a warmongering tub thumper than Wayne mapp…. and that’s saying something .

        She’s used every bit of propaganda the pro war mob have churned out …. If you’ve had a Lobotomy or otherwise have a cauterized memory …. then some of what she ways could be credible.

        Rather than debate the facts, the above is typical of the sort of ad hominem abusive language that the Assadist apologists on this site typically resort to, when you provide them with evidence counter to their sick support for fascism.

        To him and all the other Syria Holocaust Deniers including including Mike Smith

        I will again ask the question that every single one of you, have resolutely and, steadfastly, ignored and refused to answer:

        Who did this?

        And is it not evidence of genocide?

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/feb/04/drone-footage-homs-syria-utter-devastation-video

        • reason 7.1.2.1

          Homs ?? ….

          ” Christians to Beirut Alawites to the grave” … that Homs Jenny …. yes your ‘rebels’ were involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing …. shame about the evil mess you seem to have had a small hand in creating ….

          This good article debunks most of the pro war clap trap that Jenny posts …. It comes with over 60 references from a multitude of sources ,…. https://gowans.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

          For instance ….. her ‘conspiracy’ accusations …

          Debunked and exposed ….. “That the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood played a key role in the uprising that erupted three months later was confirmed in 2012 by the US Defense Intelligence Agency. A leaked report from the agency said that the insurgency was sectarian and led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the forerunner of Islamic State. The report went on to say that the insurgents were supported by the West, Arab Gulf oil monarchies and Turkey. The analysis correctly predicted the establishment of a “Salafist principality,” an Islamic state, in Eastern Syria, noting that this was desired by the insurgency’s foreign backers, who wanted to see the secular Arab nationalists isolated and cut-off from Iran. [29]

          “The analysis correctly predicted the establishment of a “Salafist principality,” an Islamic state, in Eastern Syria, noting that this was desired by the insurgency’s foreign backers, ”

          Click to access Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf

    • Ed 8.1

      I read Patrick Cockburn, John Pilger and Eva Bartlett.

      The latter writes.

      “Idlib, when liberated, will be the new Daraa, where formerly terrorized schoolchildren are back at school; the new east Ghouta, where formerly terrorized civilians are no longer executed in the streets; the new… east Aleppo, Madaya, al-Waer…..”

      And Cockburn is an authority on the war.

      “This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong.

      It is too dangerous for journalists to operate in rebel-held areas of Aleppo and Mosul. But there is a tremendous hunger for news from the Middle East, so the temptation is for the media give credence to information they get second hand who could in practice only operate if they belong to or are in sympathy with the dominant jihadi opposition groups.“

      https://t.co/3VnaggVIpm?amp=1

    • Muttonbird 8.2

      Hi Jenny.

      I know you are very committed to this subject. Looks like you have had personal experience there, and you’ve always been very consistent in voicing support for everyday citizens in Syria and beyond against dictatorial authority, or against foreign interference in the region.

      But our resident foreign policy expert, Wayne, has just defined what he considers credible news sources and Human Rights Watch is certainly not among them.

      This isn’t an attack on you because as I said you are very consistent on this and have an admirable focus on regular people as is the way with good socially conscious people.

      It’s more a concern about the impossibility of truth over the last seven years of civil war in Syria. Look at the very first post on this thread by our foreign policy expert. He flat out says Mike Smith’s piece is a lie and reports by conservative US and European media is the real truth. I’d actually say the Wayne’s sources don’t have a great record in this region but that’s just me.

      I feel the truth in Syria is so opaque. It’s an information black hole. No-one can even begin to agree on who did the crude chlorine attacks in May, or the previous year near Damascus. And how many $1.5M cruise missiles were shot down in the western strikes? Somewhere between 3 and 50, apparently.

      The lack of credible information coming from the region is both alarming and depressing because despot behaviour by American, British, Syrian, Turkish, Kurdish, IS caliphate, Russian, Saudi, Israeli, Iranian, and local Syrian gangs is unchecked and they are all in a position to do massive harm under the cover of limited truthful reporting.

      We are permanently in the dark and it is very scary.

      • Jenny 8.2.1

        Kia ora Muttonbird.

        Thank you for your supportive comments.

        I have tried to write a longer reply to your thoughtful post, which I thought it deserved, but it has been blocked.

        Please accept my apologies.

        P.S. I have kept a copy, and as has become my habit when my comments are blocked, I will email it to the authors. In the hope that they will let it through.

      • Jenny 8.2.2

        Morena Muttonbird

        As my full reply to you was blocked, I will try and post short extracts from it, hoping that they will get through.

        This is the first:
        Sorting truth from fiction

        I have often been criticised for my use of cliches, but two came to mind when comparing the two competing Left narratives on Syria.

        ‘What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’

        And it’s opposite

        ‘Occam’s razor’

        Both these cliche’s, the first apocryphal, the second academic, speak to a way of logically sorting truth from absurdity, in lieu of any personal experience, or factual knowledge, of the claims being made.

        The unlikely and complex and changing narrative of the pro Assad lobby gives a clue. ‘Gas attack didn’t happen’. ‘Gas attack did happen, but was committed by the opposition against their own side to discredit the regime’. ‘The Arab Spring wasn’t real, or signifcant’ ‘The Arab Spring was real, but it was a work of the CIA.’ 

        Other clues are the censorious and abusive nature of the pro-Assad lobby. That, and their callous indifference to genocide and torture. Not to mention the Western Fascist company they keep.

        I accept that it is difficult and even “scary” finding yourself unable to determine the truth. This is understandable, when all you have to go on is the blizzard of conflicting narratives and fire hose of propaganda on the internet. In my case, I have been fortunate in that I have got to know conditions on the ground in Syria just before the revolt broke out. (If I hadn’t, I could just as easily found myself in the ‘scary’ situation that you find yourself in.)

        To be continued……

        (hopefully).

        • reason 8.2.2.1

          Gas attacks …. Why do you think it is not common knowledge ….. that Isis has used chemical weapons at least 52 times in Syria and Iraq ….. Jenny ?….

          as a quick google search shows …

          “ISIS Used Chemical Arms at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq …

          https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeas… Proxy Highlight

          21 Nov 2016 … “The coalition is concerned about ISIL’s use of chemical weapons,”

          It seems your ‘rebels’ get up to a lot of gassing……. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iraqi-unit-with-us-australian-advisers-hit-by-isis-mustard-agent/

          The usa was involved in the largest previous use of Sarin gas …. when they helped use it against the Iranians in the Iraq iran war ….. it turned a battle and possibly stopped the Iranians from winning the war.

          Later when Saddam / Iraq gassed the Kurds …. Britain and others accused Iran of doing it .,…., despite knowing full well they were also victims, and did not commit the crime.

          Gas now seems the only possible way for the rebels to stave of defeat …. crossing that handy red line which would enable the usa to fully invade .

          Their proxy fighters have failed.

          Wou be Zldn’t it

      • Jenny 8.2.3

        Continued……

        I accept that it is difficult and even “scary” finding yourself unable to determine the truth. This is understandable, when all you have to go on is the blizzard of conflicting narratives and fire hose of propaganda on the internet. In my case, I have been fortunate in that I have got to know conditions on the ground in Syria just before the revolt broke out. (If I hadn’t, I could just as easily found myself in the ‘scary’ situation that you find yourself in.)

        But just for the moment; going only by what can be found on the internet, I recently came upon this contribution by a reviewer of documentaries on Syria, who, like many here, has no first hand knowledge or experience of Syria. Other than what he sees in the documentaries he reviews.

        What I liked about his contribution is that he lays out the two narratives of the internet debate objectively side by side…..

        Truth, Lies and Alt-Facts: The Syrian Civil War
        Who is telling the story of the Syrian Civil War and why? What are their agendas?

        Daniel Glassman – November 8, 2017

        First, beginning with what the author calls:
        …THE MAINSTREAM version of events”

        You might be surprised to find out that the story of the Syrian Civil War to date is hotly contested ground. Not the war: the story.

        Here’s the conventional take. In early 2011, when the Arab Spring had yet to take hold in Syria, some teenage boys in the southern town of Daraa scrawled anti-Assad graffiti on a wall. The regime responded by arresting and torturing them. The people protested, demanding the removal of the local governor. The Assad regime, seeing what was happening to their counterparts in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, decided not to risk leniency and responded with a heavy hand, violently crushing the protests. The funerals of dead protesters then turned into bigger protests. Soon, masses across the country were calling for the ouster of Assad, which he met with bombings and notorious chemical attacks like the one in April 2013 in Ghouta, which killed 1400 civilians.

        Seeing these abuses, Syrian soldiers began defecting in order to defend the protesters from Assad, starting local militias under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army. Assad characterized the resistance as foreign-funded jihadism. The West, based on those warnings and its experiences in the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan, refused to fund or militarily aid rebel groups. The Free Syrian Army splintered and, into the void it left, came ISIS.

        Originally a branch of al-Qaeda, ISIS gained the loyalty of three groups: Iraqi ex-Ba’athists alienated and angered by the new regime, extremists formerly imprisoned by Assad and released after the outbreak of revolution to undermine the rebels’ image, and foreign fighters—largely aimless youth wooed by ISIS’ action movie-style propaganda videos—from Africa, Central Asia, Europe and North America.
        ISIS quickly took over large swathes of northern Syria, establishing a capital in Raqqa. When they were driven out of parts of the region, they stormed over the border into Iraq, where they took over Mosul and massacred its Yazidi religious minority. The Kurds came to the rescue, driving ISIS out of Iraq’s north while the Iraqi army fought back from its outposts near Baghdad. Back to Syria went ISIS—and there it remains, in a sinister semblance of a truce with Assad and his Russian backers as they focus on driving out the other remaining rebel forces and establish regime control again.

        Meanwhile, Syrian refugees have been pouring over the borders into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and from Turkey across the Mediterranean to Greece and into Europe. This has set off a wave of xenophobic nationalist hysteria that paints refugees as criminals and terrorists, fuelling the rise of far-right politicians like Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage.

        THAT’S THE MAINSTREAM version of events.

        Against it is a massive alternative-news ecosystem of investigative journalists, bloggers, academics and conspiracy theorists, which casts doubt on every assertion I just made……

        To be continued…..

      • Jenny 8.2.4

        Continued….

        …….Meanwhile, Syrian refugees have been pouring over the borders into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and from Turkey across the Mediterranean to Greece and into Europe. This has set off a wave of xenophobic nationalist hysteria that paints refugees as criminals and terrorists, fuelling the rise of far-right politicians like Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage.

        THAT’S THE MAINSTREAM version of events.

        Against it is a massive alternative-news ecosystem of investigative journalists, bloggers, academics and conspiracy theorists, which casts doubt on every assertion I just made……

        For them, the story goes something more like this: the 2011 protests, as initially reported by mainstream media like Time Magazine and the New York Times, were small, and social media attempts to incite a “Day of Rage” fizzled. This indicates, to them, that Syrians en masse did not desire the ouster of Assad. The rebellion that emerged is thus characterized not as the popular expression of a desire for freedom but as the work of violent jihadists only—ISIS, al-Nusra, and so on. It was the latter, according to these people, who were in fact responsible for the 2013 Ghouta chemical attack, and the 2017 Khan Shaykhun one as well—false flags, both, meant to draw the West into the war.

        This isn’t a fringe account of events. It surfaces in respectable outlets across the political spectrum — The Intercept, Alternet, Jacobin, The American Conservative and, in one very high-profile and controversial instance, the London Review of Books (LRB), to name just a few — and has deep roots in the bowels of the internet: places like Naked Capitalism, The Centre for Research on Globalization, and the dread RT, among others. If some among the latter group, which can look like mid-’00s blogs or tabloids and indulge in a fair bit of yellow journalistic style, presumptuous jargon and the references and responses endemic to an insular blogosphere, can seem easy enough to dismiss, others give pause. Academics from respected institutions, American ex-intelligence agents, newspaper columnists and celebrated journalists like Seymour Hersh, Patrick Cockburn and Robert Parry are among its numbers. At its root is the dearth of verifiable information coming out of Syria. Western journalists who brave it are embedded in regime-held areas, while citizen journalism by Syrians tends to be poor in terms of quality and, at a time when even video evidence is easily faked, easy to dismiss.

        It was Hersh whose 2013 LRB story article, Whose sarin? set the alt-news ecosystem alight. There, he claimed that the Ghouta attacks were not carried out by the Assad regime, but by the Syrian opposition—probably the al-Nusra Front. His article cited anonymous sources in American intelligence, where Hersh’s have long been considered second to none. That anonymity did not raise red flags among alt-news people, but it did mean that no mainstream news outlets in the U.S. would agree to publish his account. Bolstering it, though, was Jeffrey Goldberg’s 2016 Atlantic article The Obama Doctrine. Buried in Goldberg’s discussion of Obama’s reasons for his infamous flip-flop on his “red line” regarding chemical attacks in Syria is that, at the decisive moment, Obama was told by his director of national intelligence, James Clapper, that there was a lack of concrete proof that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad was responsible for the Ghouta attack. It wasn’t a “slam dunk.” Evidently, there was enough doubt in the ex-president’s mind to renege on his red line.
        For these commentators, whose perspectives are formed more than anything by the memory of the Iraq War and the media’s complicity in the lies around the weapons of mass destruction casus belli, whatever looks like American intervention is called out as crypto-“regime change.” Deriving from that, anything that officials and the mainstream media blame on the Assad regime is subjected to extreme scrutiny and skepticism and ultimately blamed on jihadists like ISIS or al-Nusra. This makes them, at a certain level, Assad apologists: much is made of Syria’s pre-Arab Spring stability and civility; report upon report of torture, political repression and other human rights abuses are summarily dismissed. Concomitantly, the rebels are framed unequivocally as foreign-funded Sunni jihadist terrorists. The reasoning: if they are understood to be secular, democratic liberals—as the mainstream narrative goes—then that leaves room to argue that the West should be on their side. Intervention is a non-starter; everything else follows from that premise.

        For these commentators, whose perspectives are formed more than anything by the memory of the Iraq War and the media’s complicity in the lies around the weapons of mass destruction casus belli, whatever looks like American intervention is called out as crypto-“regime change.” Deriving from that, anything that officials and the mainstream media blame on the Assad regime is subjected to extreme scrutiny and skepticism and ultimately blamed on jihadists like ISIS or al-Nusra. This makes them, at a certain level, Assad apologists: much is made of Syria’s pre-Arab Spring stability and civility; report upon report of torture, political repression and other human rights abuses are summarily dismissed. Concomitantly, the rebels are framed unequivocally as foreign-funded Sunni jihadist terrorists. The reasoning: if they are understood to be secular, democratic liberals—as the mainstream narrative goes—then that leaves room to argue that the West should be on their side. Intervention is a non-starter; everything else follows from that premise.

        Here’s an example of the uncomfortable places the logic will take them. A particular object of alt-news ire is the group of volunteer first responders the White Helmets. The subjects of two documentaries—the saccharine, propagandistic Oscar-winning short The White Helmets and the somewhat-better-though-still-flawed Last Men in Aleppo — the White Helmets have drawn nothing but praise in the mainstream West, with the British newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph running editorials endorsing the group for the Nobel Peace Prize. In places like Alternet, The Centre for Research on Globalization, 21st Century Wire, Moon of Alabama and Activist Post, by contrast, a different conventional logic prevails. There, it is common to see the White Helmets referred to as a terrorist group, linked variously with ISIS, al-Qaeda or al-Nusra, possibly even being the propaganda organ of one of those groups. As recently as May 2017, Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal could write an article on Alternet entitled, “Yet Another Video Shows U.S.-Funded White Helmets Assisting Public Executions in Rebel-Held Syria: The shocking regime change scandal mainstream media refuses to touch.”…….

        I could go on; but Lynn Prentice objects strongly to dumping large tranches of text onto his site. (I hope that Lynn can forgive me in this instance). I have only gone on as long as I have, to attempt to give some justice or present balance to both sides of the argument. But I think you get the idea.
        If you really want to go deeper into the writer’s interminable and even more long winded pro Assadist argument, go to the embedded link at the top, in the headline.

    • reason 8.3

      17 – 20 mins the lies of war and Jennys myths exposed.

      • Jenny 8.3.1

        Adding insult to injury.

        A book review

        Dereliction of duty? The Left and the Syrian Civil War
        By Evan Sandlin

        “IF EVER a country deserved rape it’s Afghanistan,” said the late left-wing journalist Alexander Cockburn in January 1980, just before the start of major Soviet operations in Afghanistan……

        …..Despite the carnage, a number of Western leftists applauded Soviet actions, characterizing the new government as good-hearted reformers, dedicated to “deep-seated social reform.” The invasion was supported by members of the “old left,” such as the Communist Party USA, as well as by influential figures in the “new left,” like Angela Davis, Daniel Lazare, and Fred Halliday.

        Recent gyrations about the Syrian Civil War have a similar moral vacuum. For many on the left, the Assad regime is a longstanding bastion of socialism, secularism, modernization, and anti-imperialism. In a sea of US-backed client states in the Middle East and Persian Gulf, Syria appeared resilient in the face of US power, even as the end of the Cold War decimated left-wing movements around the globe. But the enduring myth of the Assad family’s left-wing orientation is convincingly deconstructed by Syrian authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami in Burning Country, their account of the origins of the Syrian Civil War.

        The authors recount a long list of the late Hafez al-Assad’s dubious accomplishments, which should ostensibly unsettle left-wing readers: betrayal of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, acceptance of aid from Gulf monarchies, joining the US coalition in the 1991 Gulf War, working “to preserve the Islamic identity of the country,” and economic liberalization. Bashar al-Assad’s socialist credentials are even less convincing. The younger Assad participated in the US “War on Terror,” cut subsidies for food and fuel, aggressively liberalized banking and trade, and opened the country to US and European oil drilling. Far from being a bastion of socialism, Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami characterize Assad’s Syria as a “fascist” and “corporatist” state.

        The authors downplay the effect of US sanctions (they mention them only in passing) and do not credit Hafez al-Assad for some of his more successful modernization efforts. However, it is difficult to see how one could maintain a view of Assad’s Syria as friendly to left-wing causes, let alone basic liberal notions of universal human rights. The only way in which such a view could be supported is if one adopts an outdated “Eastern bloc is good, Western bloc is bad” framework for analyzing international politics…….

        Remarkably, though, Blumenthal does not extend such courtesy to the Syrian rebels or even Syrian first responders. Instead, he criticizes their politics extensively while saying virtually nothing about the brutality of the much more powerful (and much more deadly) Assad regime……

        ……Another prominent thread in left-wing Assadist apologetics is Orientalism and Islamophobia. The view that the natives are backward and need redemption was also a staple of left-wing commentary in defense of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979……

        ……Besides its Cold War frame and Islamophobia, the left’s Syria position has another aggravating factor: not listening to actual Syrians.

        Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami assemble grim accounts of the early revolution in Burning Country. Police ripped out children’s fingernails, sit-ins were dispersed with live fire, hospitals were occupied by soldiers who detained or shot the wounded. All of this occurred before the opposition had fired a single shot…..

        ……The Assadist apologetics of the left are not directly responsible for the suffering in Syria, but it stifles potential activism that could make changes on the margins, and above all, it adds insult to what is likely a multigenerational injury.*

        * (My emphasis), J

        • corodale 8.3.1.1

          Ok, so if Assad wasn’t a positive example of socialism, then where do we find a positive example of socialism? Are there any such examples? Sounds a bit boring to say Scandinavia. With neighbours like Israel and Babylon…

          Only better idea than BRICS Plus might be to bring back Alexander the Great and forge his birth cert to say he’s a Chinese Jew. Can you remind us what your idea was for a better govt/leader? UN/NATO BAU? Maybe, but the odds on the Russian/Iranian/Turkey solution are also pretty good.

  8. Morrissey 9

    our resident foreign policy expert, Wayne

    ???!!!?!?!?!?

    That was a joke, right?

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      It was sarcastic, or tongue-in-cheek, or what you will but the fact remains Wayne represents the very highest level of defence and foreign policy experience on this board and indeed any other board in this country.

      Wayne though represents the conservative establishment and defends the idea of global hegemony by the West and also the means by which that is achieved.

      He disguises this blatant resource and wealth grab in the Middle East by Western governments and corporates with terms like ‘Arab Spring’, and ‘promotion of democracy’ in a supposedly benighted Arab world.

      Very simply, I think the West should admit they have always been after power over Middle East resources rather than peace for Middle East people. And then they should just get the fuck out.

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Only if everyone else should do it too. Otherwise, why just the West?

        • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1

          Who else are we talking about here?

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            Russia.
            China.
            Hell, even Iran/Israel/Saudi are doing the same shit on the regional level.

            • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I must have missed where Russia and China and Iran have used shock and awe fuel bombs and sent hundreds of thousands of troops and tens of thousands of cluster bombs and cruise missiles in the name of regime change while funding head-chopper groups and roving scumbag gangs with limitless artillery. All this HALF WAY AROUND THE FUCKING WORLD WHERE THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER!

              • McFlock

                So did you miss the bit where Russia sent it’s aircraft carrier, ground troops, bombers, and fired missiles from the caspian to support Assad? Or China sending its own troops?

                Or is it more the quantity you are fixated with – like, you’d be cool if the West (or do you just mean the yanks) merely dipped the tip in rather than sending thousands of troops?

                • Muttonbird

                  I had to look that up but China apparently has sent troops to Syria to confront Chinese mercenary rebels embedded in ISIS groups and presumably training with these terrorist types resident now in smaller and smaller enclaves.

                  To China I say go hard. If the Ugyr group has to tie itself to head-chopping scumbags to train then they need to be wiped out, pronto.

                  After all the West has turned a blind eye to Tiananmen Square and the rest of their questionable human rights in order to tap into their economy and get filthy rich of poor worker conditions there.

                • Bill

                  If the Syrian government had invited the US military presence to the country in line with international law, like they did Russia…

                  • McFlock

                    … it would be ok for the yanks to be blowing up hospitals?

                    • Morrissey

                      Your facetious question implies that “the yanks” do not blow up hospitals. You know perfectly well that “the yanks” do blow up hospitals, and that they fully fund, and rhetorically excuse, the Saudi and Israeli exponents of hospital assault.

                      Another major crime with very serious persisting effects is the Marine assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November 2004.

                      Women and children were permitted to escape if they could. After several weeks of bombing, the attack opened with a carefully planned war crime: Invasion of the Fallujah General Hospital, where patients and staff were ordered to the floor, their hands tied. Soon the bonds were loosened; the compound was secure.

                      The official justification was that the hospital was reporting civilian casualties, and therefore was considered a propaganda weapon.

                      Much of the city was left in “smoking ruins,” the press reported while the Marines sought out insurgents in their “warrens.” The invaders barred entry to the Red Crescent relief organization. Absent an official inquiry, the scale of the crimes is unknown.

                      https://chomsky.info/20120606/

                    • Bill

                      It’s not alright for anyone to blow up or bomb hospitals, and it’s not alright for anyone to falsely claim someone is blowing up hospitals, and it’s not alright for anyone to compromise the neutrality of the Red Cross and other such like orgs.

                      It’s also not alright for a government to deploy troops to a foreign country in contravention of international law that it claims to (otherwise) respect.

                      And while we’re here.

                      It’s also not alright to impose sanctions on peoples, or for governments to seek regime change in countries just because those other countries aren’t “suitably” aligned politically.

                    • McFlock

                      @mozza

                      Your facetious question implies that “the yanks” do not blow up hospitals

                      No, it doesn’t.

                      @bill
                      When we’re talking about a dictator’s dominion over a geographic area arbitrarily defined by french and English diplomats, appealing to international law is a bit rich.

                      And dictators often request assistance when their subjects resist them.

            • reason 9.1.1.1.1.2

              The Russians saved Syria from the fate of Libya ….. are you pretending the Libya state destruction is ok McFlock ??

              If so go and stand by that bloodhound Wayne mapp

              … or go to ‘liberated’ Libya

              • McFlock

                Oh bullshit. The russians saved Assad.

                • reason

                  Yeah yeah …. and NATO saved Libya from Qaddafi

                  To quote David Cameron ” they threw off a dictator …”

                  Statistics or the living standards for Libya have now disappeared off the internet / UN …

                  …such has been the destruction and decline of Libya …. just like Iraq.

                  NATO had the same medicine in store for Syria …..

                  The Caliphate to destroy a nation state…..

                  Proudly sponsored by NATO and Arab friends ….

                  https://www.bitchute.com/video/hUaWa8L9YPXL/

                  • McFlock

                    Obviously it’s morally superior to support a dictator in years of warfare than it is to support the people fighting him. Everyone should stay in except the yanks. That’ll make a massive difference /sarc

  9. sumsuch 10

    They asked for democracy. We should have taken them at their word and imposed the UN control needed. Likewise the other Arab Spring countries. How appalling to consider idealism relevant.

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  • PGF grant for Ventnor memorial
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  • 75th anniversary of V.E Day
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    3 weeks ago

  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
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    5 hours ago
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    14 hours ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
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    16 hours ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
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    21 hours ago
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    22 hours ago
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    1 day ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
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    2 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
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    3 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
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  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
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    4 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
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    5 days ago
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    5 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
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  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
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    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
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    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
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    6 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
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    6 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
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    6 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
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    7 days ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
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    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
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    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
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    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tailored help supports new type of job seeker – report
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    2 weeks ago
  • A modern approach to night classes
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    2 weeks ago