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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:00 am
by seemslikeadream

He Was Overruled by trump

OPCW chief rejects Russia claim of 2nd Salisbury nerve agent

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The head of the global chemical watchdog agency has rejected Russian claims that traces of a second nerve agent were discovered in the English city where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned.

Britain blames Russia for the attack, which it says was carried out by smearing a Soviet-developed nerve agent known as Novichok on a door handle at Sergei Skripal’s house in Salisbury. Moscow denies involvement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that Moscow received confidential information from the laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland, that analyzed samples from the site of the March 4 poisoning in Salisbury.

He said the analysis — done at the request of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons — indicated that samples contained BZ nerve agent and its precursor. He said BZ was part of chemical arsenals of the U.S., Britain and other NATO countries, while the Soviet Union and Russia never developed the agent.

OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu told a meeting Wednesday of the organization’s Executive Council that a BZ precursor known as 3Q, “was contained in the control sample prepared by the OPCW Lab in accordance with the existing quality control procedures.”

He added “it has nothing to do with the samples collected by the OPCW team in Salisbury.”

Britain’s representative to the OPCW, Ambassador Peter Wilson, slammed the Russian foreign minister’s comments as a breach of the treaty outlawing chemical weapons.

“The thing for me that was particularly alarming about Lavrov’s statement is, first of all, the OPCW goes to enormous lengths to make sure that the identity of laboratories is confidential and, second of all, either the Russians are hacking the laboratories or they are making stuff up,” he said. “Either way, that is a violation of the confidentiality of the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

In a summary of its report last week, the OPCW did not name Novichok as the nerve agent used but it confirmed “the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury.”

Wilson told reporters the OPCW “confirmed that they found what we found, and that is a Novichok.”

Wilson told the meeting that London continues to believe evidence points to Russian involvement in the attempted assassination.

‘We believe that only Russia had the technical means, operational experience and motive to target the Skripals,” Wilson said.

Wilson warned the Chemical Weapons Convention was being undermined by a growing use of nerve agents and other poisons, mentioning the 2017 assassination in Malaysia of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother, in addition to the Salisbury attack and the use of poison gas in Syria and Iraq.

“It is being continually violated,” Wilson told reporters.

He said the convention would be strengthened if all nations fully declared any stockpiles they still have. Member states are supposed to declare all their chemical weapons stocks upon joining the OPCW and destroy them.

“Russia clearly has chemical weapons they are not declaring and they need to do that,” Wilson said. ... de0cf9ce7c

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:17 am
by seemslikeadream
Over the weekend Russia warned trump to not add any additional Russian sanctions that were supposed to be announced


Maxim Borodin who was one of the first to break the Wagner Syria story involving Russian mercenaries has died. He fell out the window of his apartment.

Syria reportedly signed a contract with Evgeny Prigozhin, weeks before his mercenaries attacked a U.S.-held oilfield
The Bell06:08, 27 february 2018
According to the newsletter The Bell, the Syrian government signed a deal with several Russian companies to help “liberate, protect, and develop” Syrian oil fields currently occupied by hostiles.

The agreement allegedly involves “Evro Polis,” which is rumored to belong to Evgeny Prigozhin, the man behind Russia’s “troll factory” and the “Wagner” private military company.

Over the past nine months, Western and Russian journalists reported that these parties reached a memorandum in late 2016. The Bell says there’s now a legally binding contract in place. The agreement was reportedly finalized in January 2018, weeks before dozens of mercenaries from the Wagner PMC were allegedly killed when advancing on an oilfield held by U.S. and Kurdish forces in Deir ez-Zor.

What’s the big deal?
The American counterattack on February 7 was a U.S. airstrike against armed Russian citizens. Moscow has been eager to play down the story, initially denying any knowledge about the deaths of Russian citizens. The Foreign Ministry later acknowledged that five Russians may have been killed in the battle and “a few dozen” were injured.

On February 23, The Washington Post reported that a U.S. intelligence agency intercepted Russian communications showing that Prigozhin had been in contact with top Syrian and Kremlin officials ahead of the Wagner group’s assault on the oilfield in Deir ez-Zor. If Prigozhin discussed the attack with Anton Vaino, Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, it would seem to indicate that Moscow was willing to risk a direct confrontation with the United States military in Syria. ... d-oilfield

These Russians sought to spread distrust among voters and in the election results, and they were bankrolled, according to the Mueller indictment, by a businessman friend of Russian leader Vladimir Putin named Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin.


Paula Chertok

Lukoil's Russian oligarch *Alekperov* had the means & motive to pass Cambridge Analytica data to another Russian oligarch, Prigozhin, who funded the Kremlin propaganda troll operation.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:07 pm
by seemslikeadream

Mohammad Al Attar, Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Yasmine Merei

7 years after the revolution: What is next for Syria?

The 18th of March 2011, marked the first sparkle of the Syrian Revolution against one of the most brutal totalitarian regimes in the region. But very soon the country will enter dark phases of civil and proxy wars. The writer and political dissident Yassin al-Haj Saleh, Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar, and Syrian writer and editor Yasmine Merei, are hosting group of Syrian and European experts and writers to discuss Syria’s complicated present and ambiguous future.
Session 1: 5-7 pm
Moderated by Mohammad Al Attar
Speakers: Thomas Pierret (Belgium), Kristin Helberg (Germany), Yassin al-Haj Saleh (Syria)
With an open Q&A with audience.
Session 2: 7.30-9.30 pm
Moderated by Yasmine Merei
Speakers: Bassma Kodmani (Syria), Nicolas Hénin (France), Mazen Darwish (Syria)
With an open Q&A with audience.
In cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung.

Image: Untitled. Zena El Abdallah
Thomas Pierret is a Senior Researcher at CNRS-IREMAM Aix-en-Provence. He holds a PhD in Political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Louvain. He was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (2011-2017) and a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University and Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. His research concerns issues of authority and ideology in Sunni Islam, as well as the organization and alliance strategies of rebel factions in the Syrian conflict. He is the author of Religion and State in Syria, The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and the co-editor of Ethnographies of Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). His recent publications include "Salafis at war in Syria. Logics of fragmentation and realignment" (in Salafism after the Arab Awakening, Hurst, 2017).
Kristin Helberg, born in 1973, is a journalist and political scientist. She studied in Hamburg and worked for the NDR before moving to Damascus in 2001. For seven years she reported from Syria for German, Austrian and Swiss media. Now she lives in Berlin as author and expert on Syrian and Middle Eastern Affairs. She wrote two books: Brennpunkt Syrien. Einblick in ein verschlossenes Land (Herder 2014) and Verzerrte Sichtweisen – Syrer bei uns. Von Ängsten, Missverständnissen und einem veränderten Land (Herder 2016). Her third book, Der Syrien-Krieg. Lösung eines Weltkonflikts will be published in July 2018.
Yassin al-Haj Saleh, born in Raqqa, Syria, in 1961, was a political prisoner between 1980 and 1996 for being a member in a communist party opposing the Assad regime. He is author of six books: Syria From Under Shades: Insights from Within the Black Box (2009), The Myths of the Successors: a Critique of Contemporary Islam and a Critique of the Critique (2011), Salvation, o Guys: 16 Years in the Syrian Prisons (2012), and Walking on One Leg (2012), Culture as Politics: Intellectuals and their Social Responsibility in the time of Monsters (2016), The Impossible Revolution (2017). He is a founding member of al Jumhuriya group that thinks and writes about Syrian affairs since March 2012: Also, he has been awarded with the Prince Claus Prize in 2012. Currently, he is a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – Institute for Advanced Studies.
Bassma Kodmani is the Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative, and Associate Professor of International Relations at Paris University. She served as senior adviser at the French National Research Council, Senior Research Fellow at CERI-Sciences Po, adviser to the Académie Diplomatique Internationale and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Collège de France. From 1981 to 1998, she established and directed the Middle East Program at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris. She holds a PhD in Political Science from Sciences Po in Paris. She has authored and edited books, reports and articles on conflicts, political and security reforms and religious authorities in the Middle East. Kodmani holds the distinction of Chevalière de la Légion d’Honneur of France.
Nicolas Hénin holds a master in History of international relations from Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, and a master’s degree in journalism from the Practical Institute for Journalism, Paris. He spent most of his life as a freelance reporter, based first in Baghdad (2002-2004), then Amman (2004-2007). He then enlarged his perimeter to Africa and covered all of the MENA region, mostly for Le Point newsmagazine and Arte channel. He covered intensively the “Arab spring” revolutions and went numerous times to Syria. He’s been abducted by ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, and kept hostage for almost a year. He’s the author of several essays, including Jihad Academy.
Mazen Darwish is a Syrian human rights defender and journalist. He obtained his Law degree from Damascus University. He is currently the president of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM), which he established in Damascus in 2004 with his activists’ colleagues. In 2011, Darwish established the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) with his friends, the activists Razan Zeitouneh, Wael Hamada and Nazem Hammadi, in order to pursue the violations of the Syrian regime against demonstrators and peaceful protesters. Since the beginning of his activism, Mazen Darwish has been subjected to numerous arrests and harassment by the Assad regime. His last arrest came in February 16, 2012, where he spent three and-a-half-years of detention. During his detention in 2015, Darwish won the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize and shared the PEN Pinter Prize for the year 2014 with the writer Salman Rushdie.
Mohammad Al Attar is a Syrian playwright and dramaturge. He graduated with a degree in English literature from Damascus University and holds a degree in Theatrical Studies from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus. He also received a Masters in Applied Drama from Goldsmiths, London. His theatrical works like Withdrawal, Online, Look at the street...this is what hope looks like, Could You Please Look into the Camera?, Intimacy, Antigone of Shatila, and While I was waiting have been staged at various international festivals and venues. His piece Aleppo. A portrait of Absence was staged at HKW, Berlin in September 2017, while his most recent play Iphigenie is still running at Volksbühne. Al Attar has written for numerous magazines and newspapers, with a special focus on the Syrian Uprising. Today, he is considered an important chronicler of war-torn Syria.
Yasmine Merei is a Syrian writer and journalist. She is the founder and director of the Women for Common Spaces Initiative in Berlin, specialized in refugee women issues and integration tools. She is also the editor-in-chief of Bawabat Souria, an online magazine which focuses on the Syrian current situation. From 2013 to 2015, she co-founded and moderated The Forum of Knowledge and Freedom of Expression in Gaziantep, Turkey. Through this forum, she discussed the political situation in Syria with a group of speakers from different political, journalistic and academic backgrounds in the first Syrian dialogue experience in exile. From 2013 to 2016, she worked as the managing editor of the women's magazine Saiedet Souria.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:31 am
by seemslikeadream
Olga_Lautman NYC ..

WTH? Syria hands Russia 2 US missiles that did not detonate during the Syria strike

Image ... 6982233089

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:33 pm
by Elvis
^^^^ good christ, can you imagine if one goes off while in Russian custody? I hope no one back in Washington has the button.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:57 pm
by Sounder ... ey/240736/

This is why AD and his type do not like Max Blumenthal More at link.

The Syria Campaign’s initial approach

The October 2016 dinner invite was delivered to Waters by a representative for the Corniche Group, an international holding company belonging to the family of the London-based Saudi billionaire Hani Farsi. Farsi was seeking Waters’ presence at a fundraising dinner he had organized on behalf of The Syria Campaign.

The Syria Campaign is a well-funded public relations front established to promote The White Helmets as a group of heroic rescuers who require the protection of Western militaries. Through series of petitions and public demonstrations, The Syria Campaign has unsuccessfully pushed for a No Fly Zone in Syria that would have likely resulted in the kind of Western military intervention that toppled Libyan President Moammar Qaddafi and destabilized Libya.

The slick PR firm has also resorted to astroturfed public stunts like a pro-White Helmets flash mob and orchestral performance at New York City’s Grand Central Station where participants were paid up to $600 each.

These emailed solicitations from White Helmets representatives and activists were provided by Waters to the Grayzone Project, and are published in full at the bottom of this article. The documents demonstrate how the organization’s well-funded public relations apparatus has targeted celebrities as the key to the hearts and minds of the broader Western public.

Unlike many other A-listers, however, Waters took time to research the White Helmets and investigate its ulterior agenda.

“I was quite suspicious after I was invited to that [White Helmets] dinner,” Waters told the Grayzone Project. “And now my worst suspicions have been confirmed.”

Over the past two years, The Syria Campaign has secured endorsements of the White Helmets’ work from actors including George Clooney, Aziz Ansari, Ben Affleck, and pop stars like Coldplay and Justin Timberlake. The Syria Campaign also helped orchestrate the production of an Oscar-winning Netflix documentary about the White Helmets in 2017. In the email to Waters, a Corniche Group staffer urged the singer to watch that film and provided him with a link to its trailer.

“I would encourage the celebrities who’ve signed to endorse the White Helmets to stop supporting them because we know what they are,” Waters told the Grayzone Project. “I don’t blame them for having bought into it. On the face of it, it felt plausible that the White Helmets were just good people doing good things. But now we know they’re trying to encourage the West to drops bombs and missiles illegally in Syria.”

Waters said he had concluded that The Syria Campaign was “a malign organization funded by people who hope to gain from the ouster of Bashar Assad because once he’s gone, it will be open season for the stealing of the assets of a failed state.”

The Syria Campaign’s top funder, Asfari, was described by the UK Independent as one of the “super-rich” Syrian exiles poised to oversee the rebuilding of the country if Assad were removed, and to presumably reap lucrative contracts in the process.

In its invite to Waters, The Syria Campaign presented him with links to articles that read like press releases for the White Helmets: one from Time Magazine and another by The Guardian urging the Nobel Prize committee to honor the organization with its highest award. The Syrian Campaign appeared to be taking credit for generating both pieces.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:53 am
by American Dream


Posted on 19/04/2018 by Ed Sutton


“I hate this word. I have come to really hate this word. Because it is killing me.”

Assad, a 23-year-old from Syria, speaks for the overwhelming majority of refugees in Greece. Sometimes we are not careful in our choice of words. But if we to listen to the words of thousands of refugees stuck in Greece, then we need to recognize that the endless waiting endured by the refugees demands to be described accurately: it is a cruel form of torture.

There are many casualties. Our friend from Morocco, for example, who lived with us for four months, has been driven crazy. He stripped off all his clothes and ran round the central square in Samos town waving his arms like a bird. He is now in a psychiatric hospital. Then there are our friends from Syria who went back to Turkey in utter frustration at the delays and waiting—over fourteen months—on Samos, only to find themselves in a worse position. Their close and loving relationship has fractured under the pressure. Their current plight is dire.

We have a Somalian friend who fled from a violent relationship in Turkey, leaving behind her four-year-old son. That was two years ago. She told the authorities her story and how important it was to get her son from the father, who does not now want him. Her son is now six and still in Turkey. Our friend does not even have a date for an asylum interview. Whenever she asks, she is told, “No news. You must wait.”

Ahmad’s long-standing partner could not cope with waiting in Athens, and after sixteen months set off on his own to find a way into northern Europe. He is now stuck in the central Balkans, alone and depressed. Ahmad, on the other hand, similarly depressed by not being with his love, waits—only to find out last week that his asylum interview will be in June 2019, and this is being fast-tracked so he should count himself lucky!

Your life, in many respects, stops. You lose control over key areas of your life. You can’t plan. One friend from Syria managed to secure a scholarship, worth $30,000 a year for three years, to study in the USA. He has lost it to the wait and no decision. A few, like Ahmad, have a date fixed, but the majority don’t even have an appointment. So they wait. There is no warning when a decision on asylum or detention on the island will be reached. There is a continual uncertainty. You hope, you despair, you go from moment to moment. Maybe tomorrow…

Many turn in on themselves. You quickly get to know those who get decisions, and hear how long they have been here. You wonder why some get quick decisions and you have not. Is there a problem? Have I done something wrong? It is an environment that generates gossip and innuendo. Waiting in the dark like this corrodes well-being. It is cruel.

And there is no light on the horizon. Hoped-for destination countries such as Germany are deliberately slowing down their refugee policies including family re-unification and relocation. There is no mystery as to motive. The waiting has become an embedded aspect of Europe’s deterrence approach. There may be little evidence to show it actually deters arrivals, but there is growing evidence that it does encourage refugees to give up their European dream and return to their countries, especially when a small financial inducement is included.

The Greek frontier islands such as Samos have become prison islands for the refugees. Most are here for months, and many for over a year. And it goes on. All of the mayors on these islands are unhappy, and resist becoming places of indefinite detention, consistently refusing the central government’s demands that they develop their facilities. Maybe these mayors will succeed, but the outline of the intended policy becomes ever clearer. Refugees are increasingly going to be kept in Greece even if not on the islands. The EU and its constituent members, albeit unevenly, are all moving in this direction. Hold the refugees in Greece: here and no further except for a tiny number.

But in these fields of grief there are many miracles that often go unnoticed. Despite the wait, the overwhelming majority of the refugees continue to endure and do not collapse in the face of such cruelty. They surely suffer, but they also resist. Friendship networks play a huge role in keeping people sane. We have spent hours in friends’ rooms drinking tea and talking and talking. Shisha helps too and if you have a good pipe you will never be short of friends. Laughing, playing and talking together, with children, family and friends is critical. And, not least, these friends can be a source of walking companions. When you have no money you tend to walk a lot. When your accommodation is uncomfortable you walk even more! Many of our friends talk about walking as a way of relaxation. Certainly it can help you sleep and nothing is better at eating away the hours than sleep. And for those fleeing war there is the relief to walk without fear.

The most cursory glance at the many survival strategies operating could not ignore the role of the ubiquitous smart phones. These devices are of massive value not only for keeping in contact with distant friends and families and your home country but also for passing the time, watching movies, playing games, flirting, and choosing images for your profile picture—these seem to change regularly and often reflect the person’s current mood.

All the refugees we know have no money other than the small monthly allowance they receive from UNHCR. For single people in the camp this is around 90 euros a month; slightly higher for families. If housed outside the camp, which is the case for many in Athens, then the sum is 150 euros a month. From this you are expected to feed yourself. In Greece, you always know when you are in an area with a lot of refugees because of the presence of money exchange offices, especially Western Union and MoneyGram. These companies make money off of refugees. But without the remittances sent by (usually hard-pressed) relatives and friends, many would be utterly destitute and hungry.

Their poverty means that their survival strategies are without significant costs, hence the walking, visiting friends, and sleeping. On Samos, there is also the fishing, and in the summer, swimming. The weather plays a big part, and the winter months are much harder to endure if the weather is bad. The desperate poverty of some push them towards much more ambiguous and often hazardous behaviors including petty crime and what has come to be called ‘survival sex’ involving both boys/men and girls/women. That there are so many Greeks willing to take advantage of these vulnerabilities says much about Greek society, but that is another story.

The survival strategies are many and varied, and stretch across a wide range of activities. Many pass up and down this range depending on their circumstances and mood. Forged out of necessity and a long way from what might be considered normal everyday activities, the majority of refugees avoid both the psychiatric ward and the hell of drug and alcohol addictions. They are never unscathed but neither are they defeated.

These miracles can never be taken for granted. As the wait gets ever longer, as they never get any information about their own applications nor about the context generally, the stress levels will inevitably build. Refugees see the hundreds of people who work in the Samos camp and the long line of their vehicles stretching along the lane which leads to the gate. Quite understandably, they ask, What are all they doing? Why, with so many people, are we watching months turn into years? No answers. Never any answer other than: Wait.

It takes no sharp intelligence to predict that we are going to see increases in suicides, self-harm, anger, frustration. Many feel that the big question now is not if the camps will blow up but when. Still, we have learned never to underestimate the capacities and intelligence of the refugees. And we also know that the violence of the state should not be underestimated. As the camps simmer, the authorities and frontline agencies continue to dig in. We have a lot more police in Samos town now, with more gear, buses, and paramilitary-style vehicles. The agencies in the camp have now put fences around their offices, with guarded gates. Employees of the notorious GS4 “security” company now stand guard at these gates. Without an appointment you won’t get in. All these smaller compounds are already within the fenced and guarded camp! It is a prison, with prison design and prison regulations. But it is refugees who live here, not criminals. And what frightens some of us now is that the endless feeding of negative stereotypes about refugees is creating the kind of hostile atmosphere which would tolerate violent repression if the camps did ever truly explode. The many children in the camp will not offer any protection should this happen.

It is of critical importance that the human beings currently detained on the islands and on the Greek mainland not be forgotten. If they are forgotten and pushed into the background as a regrettable footnote, so the darkness will deepen—which in turn will open the doors for greater violence and cruelty. The refugees here confront power far greater than themselves. Until and unless there is a massive public outcry at these cruelties, the nightmare will continue.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:16 am
by Sounder
Maybe people should have thought harder before they allied with Western money interests to start a revolution.

The money interests and tag along followers are responsible for creating the refugees.

They call Assad names to deny their own responsibility for suffering created, magnitudes greater than before the 'revolution'.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:30 am
by American Dream
This Australian perspective is... sad...

On the Left’s Erasure of Syrians

Mohammed Sulaiman

The Center (otherwise mysteriously known as the Establishment) is as equally driven by its own interests in condoning the airstrikes. Only half-wits will be under the illusion that the strikes are sincerely motivated by the well-being of Syrians. Here, one will find themselves agreeing with the conventional discourse of the Left as one points out the West’s long history of either militarily intervening (or invading and occupying) when it should not have intervened (Iraq), and not intervening (or intervening too late) when it should have done so (Bosnia, Rwanda, and Syria).

Moreover, the current world order is, militarily, politically, and legally, dominated by a handful of powerful, mostly Western, states, and therefore the position, influence, and interests of these powerful states are well protected through their permanent presence in the region through other forms of non-military intervention.

However, this is not to suggest that “Western intervention” in Syria is driven by dominating and stealing their material resources or because it wants to reshape the region so that it can establish a firm foothold against the axis of resistance or protect Israel. If this were the case, it would have intervened much earlier and on a scale much larger than just a limited number of airstrikes conducted in less than one hour.

This view belongs to narrow-minded ideologues constantly seeking to understand and describe the world through a preconceived set of ideas and narratives and is, due to a combination of limited intellect and stinking white privilege, incapable of making sense of the complexity and contradictions of the world.

The response of the Left is the biggest joke of all. Here, Western intervention is opposed and rightly so. But sadly, it is not opposed because the Left cares any more about Syrian lives than the Right or the Center do. Of course not. If that were the case, they would have been equally vocal against Russian imperialism in Syria and would have rallied in opposition to Russian occupation and bombing of Syrians.

If the Left cared about Syrians, it would have condemned the presence of Iranian military and Hezbollah militants fighting Syrians in Syria in order to protect and prop up their ally even if the price for this is burning the whole country and its people. The Left, just like the Right and the Center, is not driven by concern for the lives of Arabs and Muslims (and, to a large extent, this is also the case in its opposition to Zionism and support for Palestinians).

Instead, the Left’s sanctimonious opposition to Western intervention is motivated by its self-centered and characteristically Eurocentric discourse. That is, the Left is also driven by its own concerns rather than concern for the invisible other. To clarify, most of the Left’s opposition to Western intervention is because their discourse and practice is founded upon their opposition to their own regimes irrespective of whether this means support for the oppressed other (as in the case of Palestinians) or if it will mean abandoning them, if not actively facilitating their own extermination (as in the case of Syrians).

Thus, for the Left, it does not matter if Syrians live or die. This is not the issue. What matters is whether those Syrians are being killed by the West (or its allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel) or not. If they are, then this must be opposed. If they are not, and if it is their own fascist dictators, Iranian mullahs, or Russians that are doing the killing, then that is fine–as far as we are not the ones actually killing them. Therefore, the supremacy of the Right finds an equally potent expression in the discourse of the Left, its self-centeredness, and absolute non-concern for the non-Western other who does not emerge in their discourse except as an object instrumentalized to construct their own identity.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:35 am
by JackRiddler
Yet another piece decrying a theoretical general construct of "The Left" never specified as actual people or groups or through actual statements. (There are real-life Tankies, but none mentioned or cited.) A bunch of prejudices about a strawman are given. Who says "The Left" or antiwar people don't care about Syrians when so many of them call for an end to the war on all sides? I can more easily say this author doesn't care about the Kurds being massacred right now (and completely ignored in this discourse) by the bogus "ex" jihadis of the "Free Syrian Army" under Turkish command. Another 200,000 refugees! What has he got to say about that?

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:46 am
by American Dream
I don't personally know enough about the Left in Australia to have a truly informed opinion on the politics there.

Certainly the critiques strike a chord with some of the attitudes towards Syria I see in North America.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:03 am
by Sounder
Pro tip, (and a hat tip to C2W?)

If you support factions that get big money backing, you are probably not a 'revolutionary'.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:24 am
by bks
This is the baseline for discussing "what to do" in Syria: recognizing what has been done by the US/NATO/KSA already, what is still being done by them, what the imperial goals are related to what has been done, and (therefore) understanding that anything "to be done" that does not materially oppose these goals is rightly construed as supporting them. There is an obligation therefore to support of the sovereign nation of Syria, or else be rightly found complicit in your "neutrality" with what the US/NATO/KSA has done and is doing in Syria. Anything else that is done is, in effect, supportive of imperial invaders. You may think it sucks that those of the real terms of the conflict, but those are the terms.

The (Largely Unrecognized) US Occupation of Syria

The United States has invaded Syria with a significant military force, is occupying nearly one-third of its territory, has announced plans for an indefinite occupation, and is plundering the country’s petroleum resources. Washington has no authorization under international or even US law to invade and occupy Syria, much less attack Syrian forces, which it has done repeatedly. Nor has it a legal warrant to create new administrative and governance structures in the country to replace the Syrian government, a project it is undertaking through a parallel invasion of US diplomatic personnel. These actions—criminal, plunderous, and an assault on democracy at an international level—amount to a retrograde project of recolonization by an empire bent on extending its supremacy to all the Arab and Muslim worlds, including the few remaining outposts of resistance to foreign tyranny. Moreover, US actions represent an escalation of Washington’s long war on Syria, previously carried out through proxies, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, into a full-scale conventional war with direct US military involvement. Yet, despite the enormity of the project, and the escalation of the war, the US occupation of Syria has largely flown under the radar of public awareness. . . ... -of-syria/

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:02 pm
by Sounder
Mohammed Sulaiman wrote...
However, this is not to suggest that “Western intervention” in Syria is driven by dominating and stealing their material resources or because it wants to reshape the region so that it can establish a firm foothold against the axis of resistance or protect Israel. If this were the case, it would have intervened much earlier and on a scale much larger than just a limited number of airstrikes conducted in less than one hour.

(gotta love 'howevers')
This if/then statement doesn't work because it whitewashes the millions of dollars and weapons sent continually and on a long term basis to the terrorists.

Thanks bks, what you wrote is so succinct and straight up. Excellent quote choice also. I would like to, but do not think we will hear any arguments against it.

You may think it sucks that those of the real terms of the conflict, but those are the terms.

On second thought, I'm confident that AD can pull something from the c/p catalogue that deals with just this kind of wrong think.

Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:19 pm
by bks
Sounder » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:02 am wrote:Mohammed Sulaiman wrote...
However, this is not to suggest that “Western intervention” in Syria is driven by dominating and stealing their material resources or because it wants to reshape the region so that it can establish a firm foothold against the axis of resistance or protect Israel. If this were the case, it would have intervened much earlier and on a scale much larger than just a limited number of airstrikes conducted in less than one hour.

(gotta love 'howevers')
This if/then statement doesn't work because it whitewashes the millions of dollars and weapons sent continually and on a long term basis to the terrorists.

Thanks bks, what you wrote is so succinct and straight up. Excellent quote choice also. I would like to, but do not think we will hear any arguments against it.

You may think it sucks that those of the real terms of the conflict, but those are the terms.

On second thought, I'm confident that AD can pull something from the c/p catalogue that deals with just this kind of wrong think.

I'd like to see the argument against it. And I'd like to see in that argument a call for the invasion of the US that should have begun 200 years ago on behalf of the 13%+ percent of the population that has suffered historic, brutal forms of oppression that continue to this day in the form of the "criminal justice system" and other institutions, an oppession which remains a moral imperative to intervene against.