US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

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

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:36 am

Rory » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:28 pm wrote:https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/say-hello-to-the-best-parody-account-on-twitter-775759d56819

’m calling it right now: @AmenaShaladi is the greatest parody account in Twitter history. Begun earlier this month in response to the infuriating Bana Alabed deep state propaganda operation, “Amena Shaladi” is not only consistently hilarious and loyal to its source material, but is also extremely politically relevant in the way it thumbs its nose at something that is sorely in need of relentless ridicule.


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Parisian Bana:

Benoîte Abedoux
‏ @abedoux

Night is close. We have no more cigarettes or cheese. My time is nearly out. Why has the world left us? #parisisburning #MacronPiègeACons #MacronMustGo
16:18 - 7. Dez. 2018 [

https://twitter.com/abedoux/status/1071197210711339008
There sawe I fyrst the derke ymagynyng
Of felony [...]
The pyckpurse and eke the pale drede,
The smyler, with the knyfe under the cloke.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby Rory » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:07 am

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

Postby Rory » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:20 pm

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

Postby conniption » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:12 am

Transcript below -

Mufti Hassoun on Syrian History & Diversity, the War on Syria, Sanctions on the Syrian People

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohaKSEDPudE

Eva K Bartlett
Published on Nov 23, 2018


On October 2, 2018, I met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, a scholar and man of compassion whose words should be heard widely.

Mufti Hassoun spoke of Syria's rich mosaic of cultures and faiths, and of Syria's history of plurality and coexistence, in contrast to the sectarianism emanating from Gulf states, in particular Saudi Arabia.

As it happened, October 2 is the anniversary of the martyrdom of Mufti Hassoun's son, who, as I wrote previously:

"...'had never carried a weapon in his life,' gunned-down after leaving his university.

In a public address at the funeral the next day, Mufti Hassoun, while weeping, forgave the gunmen and called on them to lay down their weapons and re-join Syria. The following day, he received a text message saying the assassins would kill him as they had killed his son.

A year later, when two of the gunmen were caught, the Mufti went to speak with them. Again bestowing his forgiveness and asking only to know why they had murdered Saria, Mufti Hassoun learned that the assassins were simply following orders from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and were paid for their dirty work, one thousand dollars per person. Embodying the forgiveness he preaches, the Mufti asks for their pardon and release."
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/240797-syria...

In this interview, I felt the need to ask Mufti Hassoun to address the lies and distortions about Mufti Hassoun's words which the Zionist platform, MEMRI, was responsible for disseminating years ago—incidentally right after Saria's murder, when Mufti Hassoun warned the West that the terrorism sent to Syria would one day come back to haunt the West.

MEMRI completely mistranslated the Mufti's words; Western corporate media ran with that mistranslation; all are guilty of war propaganda, and of a gross injustice to this man of peace.

Below are articles I've written on Mufti Hassoun:

-The real Syrian moderates: voices of reason
*Excerpt:
“Mufti Hassoun calls his Greek Orthodox counterpart, Bishop Luca al-Khoury, his cousin and brother. “Our grandfathers, 1,400 years ago, were one family. My grandfather embraced Islam and his remained Christian.” He maintains that he, as Grand Mufti, serves the Syrian people, period. “In Syria, there are 23 million Christians, and 23 million Muslims. My title is Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, not the Mufti of a particular denomination.”
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/240797-syria...

-Excerpts from US delegation visit to Syria, February 2015
*Excerpt:
Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, is an approachable man, usually wearing a broad smile or mirthful half-smile. He calls himself the Mufti of all Syrians, not solely of Syria’s Muslims. Having met Sara Flounders previously, Sheikh Hassoun embraces her with a friendly squeeze of both shoulders and big smile. Recognizing me from a visit last year, he welcomes me the same way, beaming widely.
We take our seat and listen as he welcomes us with the standard Arab hospitality of well-wishes and gratitude for our concern and our visit at this time of crisis. Then, he breaks from formality, the mirthful smile present, to tease Ramsey:
“Anyone who reaches his seventies in such good health has a girlfriend in addition to his wife.” Mufti Hassoun laughs louder than all of us, clearly enjoying our collective shock.
He resumes seriousness, speaking of his country, ‘a beautiful garden’.
“Today we are paying a tax due to our having the richest culture in the region. We never expected that terrorists from outside Syria—from our Arab brothers and those west of them, particularly from USA, Turkey and England—would come here to make unrest. The Syrian people did not support the terrorists. They are working to destroy not only Syria but humanity. ”
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2015/03/...

-A journalist's journey to the heart of Syria
https://ahtribune.com/in-depth/1093-l...

-'They want to start a religious war. We want to extinguish it.'
*Excerpt:
“...he'd been granted a prestigious Italian peace prize, by The Ducci Foundation, for his non-sectarian preaching of interfaith peace. But the Mufti never got to Rome. "I was granted a visa for only ten days. They were afraid I'd stay longer. But Europeans are among those killing our people. If all the Syrian people die, it's okay, no problem, just to keep their oil. I reject this 'democracy.' We in Syria are not Sunni or Shia or Allawi nor Muslim nor Christian. We are human beings and must be respected. They want to start a religious war. We are going to extinguish this fire."”
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/eva-b...

[On MEMRI: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php...]


mint press news
(embedded links)

Interview transcript:

Syria’s Grand Mufti Hassoun Discusses Peaceful Coexistence, Love, and an Inclusive, Nonsectarian Syria

“The difference between war in the name of religion and war for money or oil is that with war for oil, when you put your hand on oil wells, the war ends. When you control politics, the war is over. But when it comes to religion, here is the problem: the fight will go on for hundreds of years.” — Syrian Grand Mufti Hassoun

December 07th, 2018

By Eva Bartlett


DAMASCUS, SYRIA — On October 2, 2018, I met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Dr. Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, a scholar and the highest official of Islamic law in Syria, who assumed the position of grand mufti in 2005.

Dr. Hassoun’s (archived) website notes that in addition to his title of grand mufti, his other positions include, “Chairman of the Media Committee of the Higher Consultative Council for the Rapprochement between the Islamic Schools of Thought, Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Essentially meaning that the mufti focuses on interfaith, and inter-sect, dialogue.

His speeches routinely focus on the theme of rapprochement or, more generally, coexistence and love. He takes a firmly anti-sectarian stance, and supports the removal of barriers between sects, in order to achieve national unity.

Yet Dr. Hassoun’s detractors — most often aligned with NATO, Gulf, Turkish, or Israeli interests — accuse him of supporting terrorism. These claims emanate from a mistranslated version of a speech Hassoun gave in 2011 following the assassination of his son Saria just days before. The translation was provided by MEMRI, an organization founded by former Israeli intelligence officials that translates political speeches from Arabic into English.

Dr. Hassoun has long since addressed the accusation, including in a November 2011 interview with Der Spiegel, in which he clarified:

I didn’t threaten to send suicide bombers. I merely described a scenario in which it could easily emerge from the situation, and I warned against what could happen. Sentences were taken out of context and given a different coloring. Besides, the context to which my remark applied was a self-defense situation: a possible NATO attack on Syria.”


As I wrote previously, Dr. Hassoun spoke of the murder of his son Saria, “’…who had never carried a weapon in his life” and was gunned-down as he was leaving his university:

In a public address at the funeral the next day, Mufti Hassoun, while weeping, forgave the gunmen and called on them to lay down their weapons and re-join Syria. The following day, he received a text message saying the assassins would kill him as they had killed his son.

A year later, when two of the gunmen were caught, the Mufti went to speak with them. Again bestowing his forgiveness and asking only to know why they had murdered Saria, Mufti Hassoun learned that the assassins were simply following orders from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and were paid for their dirty work, one thousand dollars per person. Embodying the forgiveness he preaches, the Mufti asks for their pardon and release.”


My conversation with Dr. Hassoun touched on Syria’s rich mosaic of cultures and faiths; Syria’s history of plurality and coexistence; the role of the media in shaping narratives on Syria, and the issue of Western sanctions on Syria, sanctions that specifically hurt the Syrian people — depriving Syrians of access to medicines, cancer treatments, medical equipment, even ambulances.

Mufti Hassoun is described in Western media as one of the most powerful figures in Syria. In my experiences, he is one of the most humble, approachable and compassionate figures, beloved by Syrians of all faiths.



Below is a translated transcript of my interview with Mufti Hassoun.


Eva Bartlett (EB): First of all, I’d like to thank you, Mufti Hassoun for your time today and for meeting with me.

Mufti Hassoun (MH): I would like to thank you because you were able to penetrate through the lies of the media, and come to Syria several times to report an authentic image of what has been happening in Syria.

Because the media, as President Trump put it, can be bought nowadays. The media write what they are told, not the truth.

Whereas you, Eva, you insisted on coming to Syria to see the truth and to report what is happening in Syria, and in Gaza, and in places where the fire of wars is raging.

You refused to lease your mind. You wanted to see the truth, and that is what I wish from all journalists in the world. [I wish] that journalists were never traders of values and principles, whose dignity and values can be bought. So they write what they are told, and report what they are told, not the truth.

The truth will be known to people through history. And God will hold us accountable for it [the truth] if we believe in God. And history will also hold us accountable.

So Eva, I have highly respected you since the first day you came. It wasn’t enough for you to listen to what I said and my words. You went on the streets, mixed with the people, went to Aleppo, went to Latakia, visited people in their homes.

You took the words from the supporters and the opposition listened to both parties and wrote the truth, that Syria is oppressed and that Syria has wonderful people. And that in Syria, there is no conflict between the people and the government.

The conflict is between the values and civilization that Syria enjoys [on the one hand], and those who want to drive people backwards [on the other hand] to a version of Islam that is not Islam, and to values that are not values. They want to enslave the people.

Thank you, Eva. I hope you will become a role model for free journalism, and for a noble, impartial, media, to report people’s pain and their hopes. Thanks to you, and to a father and a mother who raised you to become a truth seeker, and not one to follow others.

EB: How can Syria combat the sectarianism that is being thrust upon it by Saudi and Gulf television channels, and by their sheikhs (religious leaders), and by their muftis.

MH: Syria is a civilized country — it embraces all the civilizations of the world because it is the gate to the Orient. So [historically] those who wanted to go to China from Europe passed through Syria. And those who want to go back to Europe pass through Syria. Syria a hundred years ago was far bigger than Syria today. In Syria in 1900, 118 years ago, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria were one country. One bank, one currency, one president, and one nation. There were no religious minorities in it. The reason is that it is the land of Abraham, and Abraham was the forefather of all prophets. He was the forefather of Moses, and of Jesus, and the forefather of Muhammad, may prayers and peace be upon them.

Therefore, Syria embraced those divine messages. So, in one family, you can find a Christian, you can find a Muslim, you can find a secularist, you can find a capitalist and you can find a socialist.

Syria embraced everyone. And it also embraced ethnicities like the Arabs, the Kurds, the Syriacs, the Assyrians, and the Arameans. One could hear many languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chaldean, and Aramaic. One could find people from all over the world. If you went to its churches in Palestine, which was part of Syria at the time, you could find in these churches a Greek monk, a French bishop, an Aramean bishop, a Chaldean, an Arab, all of them in the churches praying together.

And if you went to the Aqsa mosque, you would see the Arabs, the Kurds, others from all ethnicities or regions, such as Egyptians and Libyans, inside the Aqsa Mosque. There were no ‘minorities’ in Syria. Syria is a nation in which all ethnicities are gathered. Therefore, when they [imperialist nations] divided it in 1900 into four countries, they wanted to create conditions for establishing countries on an ethnic, religious, and racist basis, which fight one another.

After the division, we did not fight with Lebanon, nor did we fight with Iraq, nor did we fight with Jordan, nor did we fight with Palestine.

They went to the world and told them that Solomon’s Temple was in Palestine. Come to Solomon’s Temple… I am very surprised by these words, that Solomon’s Temple, or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Aqsa Mosque, or the Kaaba, gather all the people of this religion in this country!

That means every Jew should be in Palestine, every Christian should be in Bethlehem, and every Muslim should be in al-Aqsa. This is untrue! Exalted God is in my heart, and in the heart of that Jew and that Christian. God is in our hearts. He is not in the church, nor in the temple, nor in the Kaaba. Thus began this religious, extremist ideology, by making countries fight one another for hundreds of years, and kill one another in the name of God.

The difference between war in the name of religion and war for money or oil is that with war for oil, when you put your hand on oil wells, the war ends. When you control politics, the war is over. But when it comes to religion, here is the problem: the fight will go on for hundreds of years.

The reason is that wars become “holy.” This is what happened 500 years ago when Europe came to wage war in Syria and in Palestine. If you asked those fighters who came from Norway, Italy, France and Britain, “Why did you come to Syria?” they would say: “We came to save the tomb of the Messiah.” To save the tomb of the Messiah. And we could ask them: “Is Jesus buried in the ground? Jesus is in Heaven. So why are you fighting for a tomb that is empty?”

But the clergies used to fuel these wars to profit from them, and politicians used to work with them, so they could be leaders and kings.

The war in Syria, which has been going on for the last eight years, started for similar reasons. It is a war to divide Syria into ethnicities and sects, and to weaken it.

Like what they did in Lebanon. In Lebanon in 1960, and before 1960, the president was Maronite, and the prime minister was Sunni, and the president of the parliament was Shia, and they did not fight. They were one family.

But, after the Lebanese war, Lebanon was divided into four divisions: There was a Sunni state, a Durzi state, a Shia state, and a Maronite state. It was a big lie. Syria entered into Lebanon, eliminated the borders, and withdrew.

We were surprised by the war on Iraq. From long ago, Iraq has had Sunnis, Shias, Kurds, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs. They are there in Iraq. Iraq is a country that houses nations. They have always integrated and coexisted.

[Paul] Bremer came and established their constitution. That constitution is a sectarian and racist constitution. That constitution states that the president of the republic should be a Kurd, the prime minister should be a Shia, and the president of the parliament should be a Sunni.

Am I electing a bishop for a church or an Imam for a mosque depending on his being a Kurd, a Sunni, or a Shia? I am electing a person to govern the state and serve the people. So when I say that the president of the parliament must be a Shia, and the prime minister be a Sunni… Why Sunni or Shia?

He must be an Iraqi citizen. He must be a Syrian citizen, whether Christian or Muslim.

Today, the president of the parliament in Syria is a Christian. Where is the problem? Eighty years ago, the prime minister was a Christian, Faris Al-Khouri. Where is the problem?

Syria has held on to this humanitarian notion that the children of this country are not minorities. There are tens of Yazidi villages, they are originally Zoroastrian. There are Christians of all sects. There are Sunnis of all doctrines. There are Shias of all doctrines. There are sects from all ethnicities.

They are all a population of 23 million citizens. They have the right to vote. They have the right to occupy any rank in the government, like the Ministry of Defense. One is never asked whether he is a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew, Sunni, Shia, or an Arab, or a Kurd, or an Assyrian. As long as he is a Syrian citizen.

For this reason, the war was started in Syria. Because it is a civil and secular state, but not non-religious. Syria respects religions and acknowledges everyone’s religion, and has a law that protects everyone’s religious and ethnic rights.

The Armenians, who came from Armenia after the wars that were waged there, we didn’t say to any of them: ‘abandon your language.’ There are Armenian schools. There are Syriac schools. Along with Arabic, they study Armenian and Syriac. They did not lose their identity.

All this hatred to Syria is because it did not submit to the European or American division that was imposed on Iraq and Lebanon. France imposed this ethnic and religious division in Lebanon.

Regarding Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait, they do not have the same diversity that exists in Syria. They are states based on clans. Let’s take al-Hijaz, the state of Hijaz. Al-Hijaz, since the time of prophet Muhammad (prayers and peace be upon him) until one hundred years ago, was the home for all Arab tribes, from Najran to Dammam, to Abha, to Khamis Mishait, to Ma’an. All Arab tribes lived there, and all those tribes were Muslims.

When the Saudis came into power, they replaced the name of the country al-Hijaz with the name of the family. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the country was no longer for the nation but for a family.

Syria is a nation, and does not belong to the Assad family. Syria is for the nation, and does not belong to al-Quwatli family. Syria is for the nation, and does not belong to Amin al-Hafiz. (Al-Quwatli and al-Hafiz were presidents of Syria). Syria is a nation.

Saudi Arabia — a part of which was called Hijaz — was a country for all Arab tribes, before a single tribal name was imposed on them.

That is why these countries do not know the meaning of the sectarian and ethnic diversity that we know in Syria. Diversity gives you power, it gives you richness. When there are Kurds, Armenians, Christians, Muslims, Jews and the secular, they all each think in their own way.

So, when they sit together they produce a wealth of ideas and culture. There, they don’t accept a different opinion. For example, I used to go to al-Hijaz to perform Hajj [pilgrimage] with a group of Syrians. I wanted to deliver a speech to them; it’s forbidden: ‘You should not speak. The speaker must be a Saudi.’

Whereas, in Syria, we welcomed the Saudi, the Egyptian, the British, and the American, in our cultural centers and we would listen to them, and listen to their speeches.

I myself received in my mosque, al-Rawda mosque in Aleppo, members of parliament from all over the world. Even one of the Philippines’ presidents visited us. Austria’s minister of foreign affairs visited me in the mosque and listened to the sermon, and we listened to their words.

We have no objection to listening to the other. Whereas, those countries are racist and religious countries. [They] don’t accept other religions, and not only other religions, but also other doctrines.

For example, the Wahhabi doctrine — they don’t accept other doctrines. In Syria, we have a mufti for the Shafie school, a mufti for the Jafari school, a mufti for Hanbali school, and a mufti for the Maliki school. As long as there is a group, it has its own religious doctrine.

There is a patriarch for the Orthodox, a patriarch for the Syriacs, and a patriarch for the Catholics. This is their natural right.

In Saudi Arabia, such a thing is prohibited, unless [the mufti is] a Sunni Salafist. These days, you [Saudi Arabia] receive around 3 or 4 million Muslim pilgrims from all over the world. There are Sunni pilgrims, Shia pilgrims, Sufi pilgrims. As long as he [the pilgrim] is speaking to his group, it is his right. So why do you prevent him [from doing so]?

In Syria, this is the intellectual freedom they wanted to get rid of with this sectarian war, where they said: ‘This is Alawite, this is Sunni’ … and that the government in Syria is Alawite.

Who says that Alawites are not Syrians, and not Muslims, or not sons of this country? If they had studied only the word ‘Alawite,’ [they would have found] that it means a spiritual Sufi Muslim who loves [Imam] Ali and does not hate others. This is the meaning of the word ‘Alawite.’

And the Druze, they are the Unitarians; [they are] a Muslim nation called the Unitarians, whose forefathers build al-Azhar [mosque].

The Jafari Shias are the followers of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq whose forefather is the Messenger of God [Muhammad].

The Sunnis, their sheikhs were the students of Jafar al-Sadiq. All of them. Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa, were students of Jafar al-Sadiq.

What you see today of religious division is not religious; it is political division hiding under a religious cloak to control people by coercion, not by thoughts, nor by mind, nor by culture. ‘There shall be no compulsion in the religion’ (The Qur’an 2:256).

This is the main difference between us [Syria] and other countries.

EB: My next question dovetails with your response, because I had wanted to note how the Saudi mufti is sectarian, and has called for the churches on the Arabian peninsula to be destroyed, whereas I recall that Reverend Ibrahim Nseir told me that when his church was destroyed by terrorists in Aleppo, the first person to call him was Mufti Hassoun, who said: ‘Don’t worry, Reverend, we will rebuild your church.’ So, there is a stark difference between the ideology and mentality of this Wahhabi, Saudi, mufti, and Mufti Hassoun – who, I believe – is it correct to say you consider yourself Mufti of all Syrians?

MH: First of all, what is happening in Syria, the demolition of churches and mosques … they destroyed both churches and mosques. They are not defending a religion; they are fighting to destroy the Syrian state, and to destroy this humanitarian fabric that is present in Syria.

Therefore, they tried to demolish Tadmur [Palmyra]. Palmyra has nothing to do with Muslims or Christians. They tried to loot Syrian artifacts that go back five thousand, ten thousand years, including the ruins of Afamia and other ruins in Syria. So, they are trying to wipe out history in attempts to build a future. This future that they are trying to create is built on ethnic, sectarian, doctrinal and racist bases, where people kill one another.

And this is what you can see today in Israeli society. Israeli society has extremist and non-extremist components. There are neighbourhoods in al-Quds [Jerusalem] and neighbourhoods in Tel Aviv where one can walk and not feel they are in a civilized country, but a regressive one that goes back a thousand years. Long hair, beards. At 6 p.m. every Friday, no one is seen in the streets. It is prohibited to walk in the streets because God rests on Saturday, therefore people have to rest, too.

Why do you impose your opinion compulsorily on people when God says: ‘There shall be no compulsion in religion’?

The extremist Jew is like the extremist Muslim, whether this Muslim is a Sufi, Salafi or Wahhabi. The extremist is the one who wants to impose their beliefs on others and say, ‘You are all kuffar [disbelievers] except me. I’m the believer.’ Whether they are Christians, Muslims, or Jews, the extremists consider others as ‘kuffar.’

The extremist Jew considers the Israeli prime minister a disbeliever. And the extremist Christian considers Christians who don’t regularly go to church as disbelievers. And the extremist Muslim considers ones who belong to a different Islamic doctrine as disbelievers, not only the ones who belong to a different religion.

The Protestant does not see the Orthodox as a believer, and the Orthodox believes that the Protestant has renounced Christianity.

We consider everyone as believers, and God is the one who will judge me for my faith, because the place of faith is in the heart, not the church, nor the mosque. How many a person goes to the church or the mosque, but with no faith?! And how many a person has faith but has never been to a church or a mosque, and he is reconciled with exalted God?

How many a person has never been to Bethlehem, nor to the Wailing Wall, or to the Kabba, but to God, he is a believer?

Therefore, this extremism in the world is due to the political and economic dominance over the religious sphere. Politicians and economists want to dominate the religious and human sphere to govern people in the name of the divine, to the extent that people will start kissing the hand of the president or king because he is the son [descendent] of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Or because he represents Jesus, or because he represents Israel. People will submissively kiss the hands of this rabbi, that sheikh or mufti, or that priest. They love this.

Whereas for me, I believe that all people of the world, seven billion people, are my brothers. They fall into two groups. Those who believe and walk with me on the same path, these are my healthy brothers [who are in the right]. The other group do not walk with me on the same path, those are my ill brothers [who are in the wrong]. My duty is to offer them medicine and love, not to call them criminals or disbelievers. I have to show them the path. Those who walk beside me and take the medicine, it is their decision. Those who refuse to take the medicine, it is also their decision. It is you who are in pain.

This is what makes me, in Syria, not represent any sect or religion or ethnicity. I am a son of Syria. My forefather, 500 years ago, might have been a Kurd, or my other forefather or foremother a Turk. My forefather might have been from the tribe of Tai, and my mother’s lineage might have descended from the tribe of Thubian, and my other forefather might have been from the tribe of Hashim. This is not important to me today. What matters is how to save Syria.

Fourteen hundred years ago, Syria as a whole was Christian. Before Islam came here, all Syrians from Gaza to Antioch were Christians. [Before that] the Byzantines came to them from Greece; they were pagans 2,000 years ago.

When Jesus came with his message, Syria was divided into two groups: the indigenous Christians, and the pagan invaders. Islam arrived and some Christians, like al-Ghasasinah and other big tribes, remained Christian, and the rest embraced Islam. They were of one big tribe, some of them remained Christian and others became Muslims. They coexisted.

When the Commander of the believers, Othman bin Affan, was martyred, his wife, Naila bint Qerfais, was a Christian from Kufa [Iraq], and her father was a Christian cleric.

In Syria, we have this broad vision of thought, and that is why they are waging war on us. They want our thoughts to be narrow and closed. No. We will keep calling out: ‘Praise be to the Lord of the worlds,’ not the Lord of the Muslims, nor the Lord of Christians, but the Lord of the Worlds. For God is the Lord of us all.

Those who agree, they are welcome. And for those who do not: ‘For you is your religion, and for me is my religion’ (The Qur’an, 109:6). I will not force my religion on you, and you [also] don’t force yours on me. However, I swear I do love you and have mercy for you.

EB: At the beginning [of the interview], you mentioned how the corporate media has lied about Syria. So I’d like to bring up something from a few years ago. And that was that you warned the Western world that if terrorism didn’t stop in Syria, it would spread to Europe and beyond. And some media — I think it was Gulf media — took your words and distorted them, and lied about your message. So, I would just ask you if you could please clarify what it was you said and how they lied, I’m sure you remember which incident I’m referring to.

MH: This question comes on a special day. Today is the anniversary of the martyrdom of [my son] Saria. I said those words five days after the martyrdom of Saria.

A delegation from Lebanon was visiting me. The delegation was named ‘the Caravan of Mary.’ They came to visit me in Aleppo to express their condolences for my son’s martyrdom. They were Lebanese and Syrians, Christians and Muslims. I met them in a mosque called the Omayyad mosque in Aleppo, at the shrine of Zakaria.

On that day, I said: ‘This fire that you are starting in Syria by the extremists. This fire … you have sleeper cells in Europe, these cells send extremists to Syria. Someday, these sleeper cells will be active and burn up in Europe as they did in Syria.’ So they reported that I said: ‘we have sleeper cells that we will send to you.’

How could we send them to you, when they are burning us, and while they came from your countries?!

Some of those so-called opposition members mistranslated my speech to some European governments, and claimed that the Syrian Mufti is threatening that he would send sleeper cells to bomb Europe. When my son Saria was martyred, five days before this speech, I said I had forgiven those who killed my son. How would I accept to send someone to kill your children? How could I accept this?

For three years, corporate media and Syrian opposition members residing over there [in Europe] complained to the United Nations that the mufti of Syria should be held accountable, the mufti of Syria is a terrorist, the mufti of Syria…

It is indeed extremely surprising that Europeans listened to my speech in front of the European Council in 2009. I told them then: ‘I call you my brothers, not Europeans. I told them ‘you are my brothers, and our civilization is one.’ European, Syrian, and Arabic civilizations are one civilization which is neither a Muslim civilization, nor a Christian one. It is produced by humanity.

They entirely forgot this speech, as well as the martyrdom of my son, Saria. They also forgot my forgiveness. Instead, they would say: ‘He threatened us and is forbidden from entering Europe.’

I received several invitations from universities in Britain, France, and the United States to lecture there. The governments refuse to grant me entry. Why? Because they do not want the truth to reach their people.

For me, I disapprove of killing any human being in the universe. Even Israelis, I disapprove of killing them. However, I approve of their return to the countries they originally came from, and the return of Palestinians [to their land and homes]. The Jews, Christians, and Muslims who stay in Palestine are the ones who decide what type of government to have, and also welcome visitors from all over the world to Palestine.

The Jews, the Christians, and the Muslims should have the right to come and pray freely [in Palestine] under the protection of law.

But, this banning and this war that’s ongoing in the world, it’s all a political, economic and racist war, wearing the cloak of religion to claim: ‘We are Muslims. We are Christians. We are Jews.’

No, you are not Muslims, nor Jews, nor Christians when you kill humans. You are God’s enemies.

God says in the Psalms of David: ‘Man is my creation, man is the creation of God. Cursed is he who destroys God’s creation.’

Cursed is the one who manufactures weapons of mass destruction. Cursed is the one who plants landmines in the roads to kill people. Cursed is the one who manufactures nuclear weapons. Cursed is the one who manufactures hydrogen weapons [bombs]. Cursed is the one who launches long-range missiles at people, to kill people. Cursed are the ones who manufacture such weapons and use them to kill people, even if they are in the mosque, church, or synagogue.

God has not put us is this universe to kill one another. All prophets — Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Noah — they are all our prophets. Who did they kill? They did not kill anyone, but rather, they invited people to life, they encouraged the culture of life. So, those who kill nowadays in their names [in the names of the prophets] …

The massacre of Deir Yassin in Palestine, the displacement of 4 million Palestinians, the demolition of 3,000 Palestinian villages. By God, Moses is innocent in all of this. Moses was not sent to kill people, because he was oppressed by the Pharaoh.

Our master, Jesus, peace be upon him … when we look at those wars, the Crusades — I prefer to say ‘foreign’ wars, not Crusades … In the name of Jesus’ grave, more than 75,000 Palestinians were killed inside the Aqsa mosque, killed by the British and French armies that came to Palestine to liberate the tomb of Jesus.

Jesus came to promote life. When he touched the dead, he resurrected them. So, you kill in the name of Jesus, while Jesus would give life to the dead. So how false you are! This has nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus said: ‘God is love.’

Those who do not love are not Christians, neither are those who want [accept] other people to starve. Today, Europe consumes all types of food, while in Africa there are children dying of famine[ in Gaza there are children dying of illness; and the Rohingya, the Muslims who were forcibly displaced from Myanmar, are dying of hunger and illness. Are we truly Christians or Muslims when we see these scenes? No. No, not at all.

Therefore, we have to reconsider what is being said in the media, because the media … I can pay it [pay the media] now to make me the Gandhi of the world, and to make me the Trustworthy Joseph, and to make me the messenger of love. I can buy the media. But I do not want to lie, nor do I want them [the media] to lie; this is what I am.

There are some who buy the media to make the mufti of Syria look like a ‘terrorist,’ although I have never shown anything but love to seven billion human beings — they are my brothers and sisters from the same ancestors. My soul is, as their souls, from Heaven, and my body is, as their bodies, from clay.

EB: I want to convey my condolences to you for the anniversary of his your son’s martyrdom.

MH: This is Saria, with me and with my father [the Mufti showed me images on a cell phone of his deceased son]. They have sent me these messages through Facebook today, as it is the anniversary of Saria’s martyrdom.

EB: Thank you very much, Mufti Hassoun.

MH: You are welcome. Thank you. Thank you. I hope you convey this message to the whole world. We love the people of the world. In Syria, we do not hate anyone. Yes, we hate the oppression of the aggressors, and if the aggressor refrains from their aggression, we will love them, too.

We hate the wrong deed, not the person. Jesus, peace be upon him, said to the ones who were stoning a woman because she was an adultress, he said: ‘Who is without sin amongst you that can cast a stone at her.’

We are all sinners, but our duty is to guide people to repentance, not to sin. We have to promote life among human beings.

Please, convey our regards to the nations of the world; we love them, and we want peace.

Tell the ones who are manufacturing weapons in the world that it is enough! Come, let’s cooperate to build a humane world free of wars and weapons of mass destruction, where all of us cooperate with one another.

Oil does not belong to one family. Oil should be for everyone.

Humanity shares three things:

Water: we should never prevent anyone in the world from accessing water.

Food: we should never let a nation suffer from hunger.

Energy: fuel energy, solar energy, nuclear energy—which we use as cure, not for killing. Energy should not be monopolized.

I wrote to many countries around the world … I have two charitable hospitals: the Omar Bin Abdul Aziz Hospital, and the Shifaa Hospital, in Aleppo. I requested equipment for breast cancer treatment.

They responded that such equipment is banned for Syria, because of the boycott [sanctions].

What sin has Syria committed to be boycotted [sanctioned] on a humanitarian level? What sin have these people committed?

Today, when I want to travel from here to any country in the world, four countries surround us, including Turkey. Syrian airlines are not allowed to fly over them. Why? You are preventing Syrian citizens [from traveling], not the Syrian government. You are torturing the people, you are harming the people.

Now, it is forbidden to deliver oil to Syria. It is forbidden to deliver medicine to Syria. It is forbidden to deliver medical equipment to Syria. It is forbidden to deliver ambulances to Syria. Why? These are meant for the people. You claim that you disagree with the government, so why do you oppress the people?

Therefore, the ones who died in the Mediterranean Sea [refugees], in the boats, their blood is on the hands of the European politicians and the Arab politicians. Saudi Arabia and those [with Saudi Arabia] in the Arab coalition. And those who are bombarding Yemen today, will be accountable before God.

Yemen has never attacked any country, and Syria never attacked any country. Today, Syria and Yemen have been destroyed in order to humiliate their people and control their countries. But God has granted us victory, and will grant it to Yemen. Indeed, he will grant victory to all the oppressed in the world.

Thank you, and my regards to you and to everyone watching this interview. We speak truthfully and with sincerity. So, please come to us in Syria, with our dear sister, to witness the truth.
_______

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Visit her personal blog, In Gaza, and support her work on Patreon.
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:06 pm

What the fuck is this?

So far, as in the Afrin atrocity, Turkish forces have attacked Kurdish enclaves not directly supported by the U.S.

Now they want to go into the areas in which the U.S. directly supported the Kurds, serving as their air force in defeating ISIS (which we are supposed to pretend was not backed by Turkey and directly/indirectly armed by everyone for years). In the map above, the area with the ten U.S. bases.

How does this work out with the Idlib territory to the west of Rojava - surrounded by Turkish checkpoints, but Syria supposedly still promises to attack?

www.theguardian.com

Turkey primed to start offensive against US-backed Kurds in Syria

Martin Chulov

President Erdoğan’s planned attack on militias he sees as terrorists risks row with Trump

[photo] President Erdoğan announcing a military operation to drive out US-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. Photograph: AP

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said that Turkey will launch a military operation against the Kurds in northern Syria within days, in a decision that could signal a shift in Turkish-US relations and have far-reaching consequences for Syria’s future.

Long frustrated by US support for Kurdish militias that Turkey views as terrorists, Erdoğan has threatened to push deeper into north-eastern Syria since sending Turkish forces into the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in February.

The president said during a televised speech in Ankara on Wednesday that the operation was imminent. “We will begin our operation to free the east of the Euphrates [river] from the separatist organisation within a few days,” he told MPs. “Our target is not the American soldiers – it is the terror organisations that are active in the region.”

Erdoğan also expressed disappointment that US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria had not left the town of Manbij, as agreed in a US-Turkish deal brokered this year. “The Americans are not being honest; they are still not removing terrorists [from Manbij],” he said. “Therefore, we will do it.”

Ankara has repeatedly said that Turkey will do what is necessary to protect its security, but has not yet attempted to cross the river, on the eastern bank of which 2,000 US troops are stationed. On Wednesday, a Pentagon spokesman said that any such move would be “unacceptable”.

“Unilateral military action into north-east Syria by any party, particularly as US personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern. We would find any such actions unacceptable,” said Cmdr Sean Robertson.

The Kurdish YPG military was the target of February’s Operation Olive Branch: the border town of Afrin was emptied of Kurds and Arab proxy forces installed as custodians.

Rojava, the area east of the river, has remained more problematic for Turkish leaders, who have prioritised curbing Kurdish ambitions ahead of all other elements in the Syrian war, including the international campaign against Islamic State.

The YPG and its backers, the militant PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, are entrenched in Rojava and have been prominent partners in the US-led fight against Isis, managing to confine the militants to pockets of the frontier with Iraq.

With Isis ousted from much of the north-east, the US’s Syria policy has switched focus to other concerns, primarily preventing Iran from capitalising on any power vacuum in a strategically vital corner of the region.

Paramount for Turkey is countering any claims by the Kurds for autonomy and stopping any momentum stemming from their successful campaign against Isis, which it fears may amplify the Kurdish insurgency inside its own borders.

Washington and Ankara have been at odds throughout the US partnership with the Kurds, and Erdoğan has repeatedly threatened to send his forces to confront its Nato ally.

Ties have been further strained by Donald Trump’s firm backing of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Turkey accuses of ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The US president has been exploring ways to placate his Turkish counterpart, and Erdoğan’s claim on Wednesday that US forces in Rojava are not seen as hostile suggests an accommodation may have been reached.

Last month, the US Department of State put bounties on the heads of three senior PKK leaders, despite partnering with the group in Syria. The move was seen as a gesture to Turkey, which has long viewed the organisation as a terrorist group.

Erdoğan called on the US on Wednesday not to allow deep disagreements over their Syria policy to impede future cooperation between the two countries.

Residents of Kurdish towns east of the Euphrates have been bracing themselves for a Turkish attack after several months of shelling and cross-border fire that has killed several civilians.

We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

To Justice my maker from on high did incline:
I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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

Postby conniption » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:01 pm

MoA

December 19, 2018

Report: U.S. To Leave Syria Immediately - Updated

Updated below
---

The Wall Street Journal just reported that U.S. troops prepare to leave northeast Syria:

...

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/12/r ... ately.html
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:13 pm

Maybe trump will pardon Manafort today, just to complete the Syria-Deripaska trifecta




Kurds?

I guess their out of luck


Oh and the pentagon doesn’t know what’s going on

Oh and trump says ISIS is defeated

Turkey has pushed for U.S. withdrawl .....trump says yes sir

General Yellowkerk Flynn unregistered/resistered convicted felon kidnapping caper agent of Turkey


US approves US$3.5b Patriot missile sale to Turkey?
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:38 am

In Syria retreat, Trump rebuffs top advisers and blindsides U.S. commanders
Steve Holland, Jonathan Landay
6 MIN READ
By Steve Holland and Jonathan Landay


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump overrode his top national security aides, blindsided U.S. ground commanders, and stunned lawmakers and allies with his order for U.S. troops to leave Syria, a decision that upends American policy in the Middle East.

The result, said current and former officials and people briefed on the decision, will empower Russia and Iran and leave unfinished the goal of erasing the risk that Islamic State, or ISIS, which has lost all but a sliver territory, could rebuild.


Trump was moving toward his dramatic decision in recent weeks even as top aides tried to talk him out of it, determined to fulfill a campaign promise of limiting U.S. involvement militarily abroad, two senior officials said.

The move, which carries echoes of Trump’s repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate change accord, is in keeping with his America First philosophy and the pledge he made to end U.S. military involvement.

A former senior Trump administration official said the president’s decision basically was made two years ago, and that Trump finally stared down what he considered unpersuasive advice to stay in.

A Coalition convoy of U.S. led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stops to test fire their M2 machine guns and MK19 grenade launcher in the Middle Euphrates River Valley in the Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, November 22, 2018. Picture taken November 22, 2018. Courtesy Matthew Crane/U.S. Army/Handout via REUTERS
“The president won. His inclination was always not to be there,” said the former official who is close to the White House, saying a variety of senior advisers had all argued against pulling out.

In meetings with top advisers, Trump would ask: “What are we doing there? I know we’re there to fight ISIS, but we did it. Now what?” said the former official.

Trump understood, but rejected, arguments by senior advisers that U.S. troops were not on the front lines, numbered only 2,000 and markedly strengthened anti-Islamic State local forces, saying he wanted to get out once Raqqa and other ISIS strongholds fell.


QUALMS IN THE PENTAGON

A U.S. defense official said Trump’s decision was widely seen in the Pentagon as benefiting Russia as well as Iran, both of which have used their support for the Syrian government to bolster their regional influence. Iran also has improved its ability to ship arms to Lebanese Hezbollah for use against Israel.

Asked who gained from the withdrawal, the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, replied: “Geopolitically Russia, regionally Iran.”

Another U.S. defense official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S military commanders had expressed concerns with the administration about what a rapid withdrawal would mean for U.S.-backed local forces fighting Islamic State.

The official said the plan to withdraw had caught the commanders by surprise.

Slideshow (3 Images)
Trump “destroyed ISIS safe haven in Syria & will lose the peace by withdrawing,” tweeted retired Army Vice Chief of Staff Jack Keane, who has been seen as a possible successor to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. “ISIS will re-emerge, Iran a greater threat, will own all of Syria, Israel more in danger.”

Like other experts, Keane, who is also a Fox News analyst, said that by pulling out, Trump will surrender Washington’s ability to play a major role in framing a settlement of the Syrian civil war.

Charles Lister, an expert with the Middle East Institute thinktank, agreed. “It completely takes apart America’s broader strategy in Syria,” he said, “but perhaps more importantly, the centerpiece of the Trump administration policy, which is containing Iran.

“Syria is the jewel in the crown of Iran’s regional strategy,” he said.


Russia further fortifies islands claimed by Japan
The Trump administration dismissed that argument.

“These troops that we had in Syria were never there to counter Iran. They were always there to destroy the territorial caliphate of ISIS,” said a senior administration official. “And so I think the president was perfectly justified when he judged that mission was at an end.”

FRUSTRATION AMONG REPUBLICANS, ALLIES

Lawmakers from both parties complained that they were not briefed in advance of the decision. Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters that GOP senators expressed their frustration “in spades” during a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.


French officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were scrambling to find out exactly what the announcement meant and how it will affect their participation in U.S.-led coalition operations against Islamic State.

“If this turns out to be as bad as it sounds, then it’s a serious problem for us and the British because operationally the coalition doesn’t work without the U.S.,” said one French diplomat.

Syria’s civil war, which began in 2011, has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced around half the country’s pre-war 22 million population and defied all efforts at diplomatic resolution.

The pull-out may be an especially bitter pill for Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria, who was the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad when former President Barack Obama decided to withdraw U.S. forces, undercutting his leverage.

As recently as in September, Jeffrey told reporters, “We are not in a hurry to pull out.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... ium=Social
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:00 am

Cheney’s got a pipeline he wants to go through Syria


“I need to get my boss something he’ll really like,” thought trump.


Hypothetically, if you were simultaneously the President and compromised by Russia, what more would you have done today to please the Kremlin?

I guess it's easier for you to withdraw US troops out of Syria than hauling your useless fat ass to a combat zone to see them, huh trump? And god knows it sure makes your Russian handlers happy.



HOLD UP! I thought ISIS was defeated?


Image

How did ISIS regenerate overnight?!


“We have defeated Isis in Syria,” Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency.”


Donald J. Trump

Verified account

@realDonaldTrump
Follow Follow @realDonaldTrump
More
....Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!
4:16 AM - 20 Dec 2018


so a**hole what is it????

ISIS has been defeated? then why the f*ck would Russia Iran and Syria have to fight them?????



Yesterday, as the press has recognized you said ISIS as defeated. Today, you say US allies must fight on alone.


The only reason trump is withdrawing our troops is because Putin told him to remove our troops. Take a good hard look at yourself and ask, whose side are you on? America’s? Or Russia’s? Because this is treason.



The President of the United States is tweeting quotes from Fox News at 12:04 in the morning.

It's hard to sleep when you're under 85,000 investigations and constipated.


Oh yeah ......that’s 8:04 AM Moscow time. Has to connect with his base.

Image

Image


trump's announcement of US troop withdrawal from Syria also raises the question of what will happen to captured FF in YPG's detention camps. YPG might just release them, as they have threatened before, if European countries don't take them back.




Image


“All Americans should be concerned that this hasty announcement was made on the day after sentencing in criminal proceedings began against the President’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted that he was a registered foreign agent for a country with clear interests in the Syrian conflict.”
- Pelosi



btw I know george bush created ISIS

and the Kurds are going to be slaughtered




In Defense of Emmet Sullivan: Van Grack Suggested Mueller Did Review Whether Flynn’s Behavior Amounted to Treason



LEEDEN TO THE RESCUE!

Image

Michael Ledeen bravely intervenes to spare his pal Eli Lake from the shame of having published the worst Flynn sentencing take.



To be fair, Ledeen is an expert on weird conspiracies with sordid foreign governments so he is an expert on crimes like Flynn's.


The Real Story of the Flynn Hearing
wsj opinion ^ | 12/19/2018 | Michael Leeden
Posted on 12/19/2018, 10:22:21 PM by bitt

The dramatic Tuesday hearing for former national security adviser Mike Flynn didn’t produce a sentence. Instead, Judge Emmet Sullivan gave Mr. Flynn a delay to reconsider his options. I was in the courtroom, and my reading of Judge Sullivan’s treatment of Mr. Flynn (with whom I co-wrote a 2016 book) was rather different from what most reporters have said and written.

Judge Sullivan repeatedly invited Mr. Flynn to reconsider his guilty plea on a charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Judge Sullivan stressed that he had not presided over earlier proceedings in the case and that he was prepared to have Mr. Flynn change his plea or even ask for a dismissal of charges. At times, the judge seemed to implore Mr. Flynn to reopen the deal he made with special counsel Robert Mueller, implying that there was reason to believe his guilty plea had been wrongfully arranged.

Mr. Flynn wasn’t interested. Over and over he told Judge Sullivan that he was comfortable with his confession, did not wish to have it reconsidered, and wanted the judge to pronounce sentence. But Judge Sullivan continued unsuccessfully to invite a change in Mr. Flynn’s plea.

The discussion then shifted to whether the sentence should include jail time—which prosecutors had recommended against. Mr. Flynn’s lawyers stressed that he had fully cooperated with Mr. Mueller, and—as the special counsel’s written statements have reiterated—he remained cooperative. That could include testifying against Mr. Flynn’s former business associates in a case from Virginia involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

........
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-real-s ... direct=amp




WHY IT MATTERED (AND STILL MATTERS) THAT FLYNN CONTINUED TO HIDE HIS TRUE RELATIONSHIP WITH TURKEY

December 20, 2018/1 Comment/in 2016 Presidential Election, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel


The guy who managed the first steps of the process that led to Trump announcing a withdrawal of troops from Syria yesterday was hiding secret ties to both Russia and Turkey when that process started. That’s one of the reasons why it matters that Mike Flynn lied about his relationship with Turkey for so long. It means that both Russia and Turkey have always known Flynn and Trump were vulnerable because they were hiding lies about their ties with those countries.

In this post, I noted that while the work Flynn did as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey reportedly ended not long after election day (though WSJ reported that he and his spawn met with representatives of Turkey in mid-December to speak further about Fethullah Gulen), that relationship with Turkey would remain unregistered — that is, Flynn would continue to lie about the true nature of it — all the way through his guilty plea on December 1, 2017.

That’s important because, as I described in a post on what the redactions in the published version of the 302 (“302” is what the FBI calls their interview reports) memorializing Flynn’s January 24, 2017 interview with the FBI hide, he explained away the conversations by claiming that he and Sergei Kislyak discussed the Trump Administration’s plans on working with Russia and Turkey.

The redactions in Flynn’s 302 included two passages on Flynn’s December 29, 2016 phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak. In the first, Flynn offered up that he and Kislyak had discussed two things: a phone call with Vladimir Putin that would take place on January 28, and whether the US would send an observer to Syrian peace talks Turkey and Russia were holding in Kazakhstan the next month.

Image

Later in Flynn’s FBI interview, as Agents were quoting bits of the transcript back to Flynn, he again denied he and Kislyak had discussed expulsions of Russia’s diplomats. He appears to have, again, claimed they talked about sending representatives to Astana.

Image

For some reason, the government considers the specific description Flynn used with the FBI to remain too sensitive to publicly release, either because they don’t want co-conspirators to know precisely what Flynn said, and/or they don’t want the Russians and Turks to know.

The claim that those Kislyak phone calls discussed a later call with Putin and the Astana conference is the same one the Transition would offer to the WaPo the day after David Ignatius made clear that the FBI had recordings of the call. Mueller’s reply to Flynn’s sentencing memo describes that Flynn asked a subordinate to feed this information to the WaPo.

The defendant asked a subordinate member of the Presidential Transition Team to contact the Post on the morning of January 13 and convey false information about the defendant’s communications with the Russian ambassador. The “UPDATE” included at the end of the Post story later reported that two members of the Presidential Transition Team stated that the defendant “didn’t cover” sanctions in his conversation with the Russian ambassador.


As Mueller laid out, after Flynn told this cover story about his calls publicly, he continued to double down on it, such that by the time the FBI came to his office on January 24, he had to stick to that story.

Over the next two weeks, the defendant repeated the same false statements to multiple members of the Presidential Transition Team, including Vice President-Elect Michael Pence, incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Those officials then repeated the defendant’s false statements on national television. See, e.g., Face the Nation transcript January 15, 2017: Pence, Manchin, Gingrich, CBS NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017) (Vice President Pence recounting that defendant told him he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador); Meet The Press 01/15/17, NBC NEWS (Jan. 15, 2017) (Priebus recounting that he had talked to the defendant and “[t]he subject matter of Case 1:17-cr-00232-EGS Document 56 Filed 12/14/18 Page 2 of 7 -3- sanctions or the actions taken by the Obama [sic] did not come up in the conversation [with the Russian ambassador.]”); White House Briefing by Sean Spicer – Full Transcript, Jan. 23, 2017, CBS NEWS (Jan. 24, 2017) (Spicer recounting that he had spoken with the defendant the day before, who again stated that he (the defendant) had not spoken to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions). Thus, by the time of the FBI interview, the defendant was committed to his false story.


Flynn’s lies to cover the discussion about sanctions and expulsions were not entirely invented; he’s a better liar than that. The Transition really was struggling over its decision of whether to join in a Syrian peace plan that would follow Russia (and Turkey’s lead) rather than the path the Obama Administration had pursued in the previous year. As he noted to the FBI, the Trump Administration had only decided not to send a senior delegation to Astana earlier that week. It was announced on January 21.

These lies compromised Flynn in two ways. As Sally Yates noted when she described the problem with Flynn’s lies to Don McGahn two days after his interview, because Flynn was saying something publicly that Russia knew to be false, Russia could hold that over him (and the Administration).

But by staking his lies on the Astana conference — and the Trump Administration’s willingness to join a Syrian effort that deviated from existing US policy — Flynn also raised the stakes of his past paid relationship with Turkey. It became far more damaging that Flynn had still been on the Turkish government payroll through the early transition, when Trump directed him to conduct early outreach on Syria. So even while DOJ was repeatedly telling Flynn he had to come clean on his Turkish lobbying ties, he lied about that, thereby hiding that the early days of Trump Administration outreach had been conducted by a guy still working for Turkey.

Since that time, both Flynn and Trump were stuck, because they had told lies to the US government that Russia and Turkey knew were lies.

Indeed, Trump may have started telling his own lies right away. Three days after Flynn’s FBI interview, in a conversation with Jim Comey after he had already learned of Sally Yates’ conversation with Don McGahn telling him of DOJ’s concerns about the FBI interview, Trump offered what was probably a bullshit cover story about Flynn’s communications with Russia, possibly bullshit invented to hide what Trump knew about ongoing discussions with Russia. [Here’s version of this story fed to the NYT.]

He then want on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment and illustrated with a story from that day in which the President apparently discovered during his toast to Teresa May that [Vladimir Putin] had called four days ago. Apparently, as the President was toasting PM May, he was explaining that she ad been the first to call him after his inauguration and Flynn interrupted to say that [Putin] had called (first, apparently). It was then that the President learned of [Putin’s] call and he confronted Flynn about it (not clear whether that was in the moment of after the lunch with PM May). Flynn said the return call was scheduled for Saturday, which prompted a heated reply from the President that six days was not an appropriate period of time to return a call from the [president] of a country like [Russia].


Since his first days as President, Trump (and Mike Flynn, until he pled guilty) has been trying to hide the true substance of the relationship he had with both Russia and Turkey.

As it happens, it appears that Turkey was the country that ultimately exploited that leverage. While Trump did little more than greet Putin at the G20 in Argentina as more details of his negotiations with Russia over a Trump Tower have become clear, he did meet with Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And he spoke with Erdogan by phone yesterday before he unexpectedly announced that American troops were withdrawing from Syria.

In the wake of yesterday’s decision, Nancy Pelosi (who as a Gang of Eight member, may know non-public information about all this) tied Trump’s announcement to the Flynn sentencing hearing and his work for Turkey; she suggested Trump had made the decision to serve his own personal or political objectives.

It is premature for the President to declare a sweeping victory against ISIS when, just a few weeks ago, our military led more than 250 coalition-conducted airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. All Americans should be concerned that this hasty announcement was made on the day after sentencing in criminal proceedings began against the President’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who admitted that he was a registered foreign agent for a country with clear interests in the Syrian conflict.

[snip]

“When we take the gavel, our Democratic Majority will uphold the Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibilities to ensure that the President’s decisions advance our national security interests, not his personal or political objectives.


I don’t know whether Pelosi is correct (and I actually hope that we do get out of Syria, though perhaps congressional oversight can force Trump to do this in a way that doesn’t result in genocide for our longtime Kurdish allies).

But I know that when Trump ordered a guy who was still on Turkey’s payroll to initiate the negotiations that resulted in yesterday’s announcement, then tried to sustain lies those negotiations, he effectively ceded a lot of control over how negotiations would proceed to the countries that shared his and Flynn’s secrets.

And, of course, Trump’s Treasury Department also announced yesterday that it was reversing sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s company (though not Deripaska himself).

TIMELINE
November 8, 2016: “Flynn’s” Fethullah Gulen op-ed

November 18: Elijah Cummings writes Mike Pence with concerns about conflicts in Flynn’s lobbying business

November 30: NSD contacts Flynn about registering under FARA

December 1: Flynn ends contract with Inovo

Mid-December: Reported meeting at 21 Club in NYC to discuss rendering Fethullah Gulen

December 29: Flynn discusses attending Syrian peace talks hosted by Turkey and Russia with Sergei Kislyak

January 10: Flynn asks Susan Rice to hold off on assault on Raqqa

January 11, 2017: Flynn tells DOJ he’ll “probably” be registering under FARA

January 12: David Ignatius column makes it clear FBI had intercepted Sergei Kislyak conversation discussing peace process

January 13: Based in part on White House cover story for Flynn-Kislyak call, WaPo reports discussions about participation in Astana conference

After inauguration: Flynn tells Trump Administration he will definitely register

January 21: State Department announces US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, not Flynn, will attend Russian-Turkish peace talks

January 23: Astana conference starts

January 24: Flynn interviews with FBI, and explains away the December 29 call, in part, by saying they discussed an observer to Astana

January 27: Trump tells Comey he questions Flynn’s judgment because he took six days to return a call to Vladimir Putin (he references a Putin call, the first call of congratulations from a foreign leader, but it’s not clear whether it came on January 22, 23, or 24)

January 28: Conference call with Vladimir Putin allegedly discussed on December 29

March 7: Flynn submits FARA filing that still hides true relationship with government of Turkey

December 1: Flynn pleads guilty, in part, to lying in that FARA filing

December 18, 2018: Flynn sentencing hearing

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/12/20/w ... th-turkey/



Russia Thinks Trump’s Syria Pullout Is Too Good to Be True

Moscow’s state-controlled media treat Trump as delusional. Putin, with condescending charity, says maybe he helped a little to defeat ISIS, but doubts the U.S. will ever get out.

12.20.18 10:35 AM ET
U.S. President Donald Trump stunned the world Wednesday by announcing the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, declaring that the so-called Islamic State has been defeated. Planning for the “full” and “rapid” pullout already is under way, according to a U.S. defense official and an administration official quoted by CNN.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told state television Channel One that “a milestone” that might evolve from this decision is “a real prospect for a political solution.” But many Russian government officials, state media hosts and experts reacted to the news with cynical disbelief. It seemed too good to be true.

“Of course I support him [Trump] leaving,” said Semyon Bagdasarov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, appearing on the Russian state TV show “The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev.” Bagdasarov opined that the U.S. withdrawal would mean that massive oil reserves in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province would fall under Russian control. “I hope we’ll get it and not the Turks. Praise God, we thank him!”

Bagdasarov described the ultimate outcome of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria as “a total dream come true.” The host, Vladimir Soloviev, chimed in and predicted a massive picnic – “It will be a real celebration, in the best traditions!”

That said, the Russians are reluctant to take any of Trump’s announcements too seriously. Bagdasarov described Trump’s Syria declaration as “part of the delirium that is constantly coming over him.” Bagdasarov added, “He is an interesting guy, this is like a fiction novel. I feel bad for his poor defense minister, he’s struggling to keep up.”

Russian state media roundly mocked President Trump for his claimed defeat of ISIS in Syria.

The host of the Russian state TV program “60 Minutes” Evgeny Popov said: “Trump boldly and unceremoniously lied” about beating ISIS. “He didn’t defeat them – the Russian military did.” As for Trump’s promise of a complete withdrawal, Popov said: “I don’t believe it, we’ll see about that.”

During his show, "The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev," the host sarcastically remarked, “They suddenly noticed that they had defeated ISIS. Yesterday they hadn’t, but today they did.”

Soloviev added: “Trump woke up this morning, looked up – and ISIS is gone. Yesterday it was there, but today it’s gone.”

Semyon Bagdasarov pointed out that Trump seems to be unaware of the ongoing fight against ISIS that continues in real time. As for Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, Bagdasarov says: “Forget about it... They aren’t going anywhere.”

Aleksei Kondratyev, a member of the Russian Upper House and the deputy chairman of the committee on defense and security, concurred with that assessment, stating: “Today, Trump simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed... They will do no such thing. They’ve been leaving Afghanistan for the last 20 years.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual press conference on Thursday took a softer sort of noblesse oblige approach towards Trump, agreeing that meaningful changes have been achieved in Syria with respect to ISIS. “Donald is correct about this, I agree with him.”

On the other hand, Putin sounded skeptical about the U.S. pulling. “As far as withdrawal is concerned, I don’t know what that’s all about. The U.S. is present in Afghanistan for what – 17 years? – and talk about withdrawing their forces every year. So far, they’re still present there. For now, we don’t see any signs of the American withdrawal, but I allow for such a possibility... Let’s not forget that their presence is illegitimate.”

While the prevailing opinion in Russia is that Trump’s announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be wonderful, but remains unlikely, the U.S. President claimed via his Twitter feed that “Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says.”

Perhaps Donald Trump is finally ready to accuse Russian state media and President Vladimir Putin of peddling fake news, but that too remains unlikely.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-th ... itter_page
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:10 pm

So predictable. I didn't get here before the latest SLAD-flood, or I'd have correctly predicted the following:

tl;dr for SLAD (and #Russiagate cultists in general) : It's bad because Trump did it and it only happened because Putin wanted it.

Which, by the way, would have been equally true if Trump had announced an escalation. If he had ordered the dispatch of another 2,000 troops to Syria, it would have also been bad because Trump did it, and it would have also been something that Putin wanted. If Putin condemned it, it would have been just to cover-up for his bro, Trump.

Also, it's bad, like everything is bad every day, because whatever Trump is doing, it is ONLY ever meant to distract from the ONLY story that ever, ever matters, which is whatever the latest developments are regarding Mueller and RussiaRussiaRussia, as determined by MSNBC. There are no other possible explanations.

Also, as usual, anything Trump's circle and cabinet say or do is bad, and they are very evil people, with one exception: When they clash with something Trump did. In that case, "Mad Dog" and even Bolton are always right. Heroic, even. Adults in the room!

Coming soon...

tl;dr for AD: No comment. Long copy-paste from anarcho-faker outlet briefly stating that all interventions by imperialists are bad, but of course implying that Russian interventions are the worst and that the greatest crime ever committed by the Western left is to oppose U.S. imperialism without making a much bigger issue of Russian imperialism. 15,000 words follow, insinuating that this particular move is meant to help Assad (key words: barrel bomb, gas attack, barrel bomb, gas attack, Bellingcat, barrel bomb, etc.), as we will see in the following look back on 70-130 years of constructed associations between insufficiently pure leftists and obscure European theorists. Anyone not seeing this pattern is a sad deluded conspiracy theorist, by the way, probably controlled by Alexander Dugin.

May as well:

Short version for JR: Damn, we are fairly down another rabbit hole.

In general, all moves to withdraw U.S. forces from everywhere abroad are good in the long term, but in context this looks very bad for the only group closest to the good guys in Syria, the Kurds in Rojava. But first, will it even happen, or will it be another one of these things Trump forgets and the military ignores, and then six months later a couple of U.S. troops die in Syria and the majority of the public is like, huh?, before going on to the next distraction.

Looks like some advance arrangement has been made with Moscow and Ankara, but looks can be deceiving. It also looks like it could be a spontaneous, individual boss move for TV and Twitter only.

This will reveal itself fairly quickly, we will see whether Ankara invades more territory and how Damascus responds if it does. Either the SDA can come to an arrangement with Damascus or they will be fucked from both sides if Damascus is coordinating with Ankara already.

Meanwhile, the reaction from the high-level Democrats, Republicans, corporate media, and the White House-based #Resistance of Mad-Dog, Bolton et al. is as predictable as it is disgusting. I'm sure fast approval of another $69 billion in MIC spending will quell it, however.

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

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:52 pm

So two days in to the GREAT MOURNING AND EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF THE BEAUTIFUL HERO MATTIS OH GOD HE WAS SUCH A GOOD GUY THE WHOLE WORLD LOVED HIM,

Here is what may have happened, though as a whole it's speculative:

- Erdogan (very bad guy) push on Saudi (even worse) through Khashoggi revelations. (check)

- American corporate media "discover" ongoing U.S. participation in Saudi-led genocide in Yemen. Yemen actually becomes a bigger issue than Syria! (check)

- Second push on Sanders-Murphy-Lee withdrawal resolution achieves historic success. (check)

- Saudi Prince runs wailing to Brother Kush. (likely)

- Trump talks to Erdogan in effort to get a backroom deal among the regional bonesaw-men, erm, sorry, our precious "allies." (suggested by call)

- Erdogan promises to wait a little before starting new invasion and massacre of Kurds. (supposedly, from reports about call)

- Withdrawal order (reasonable presumption from above), incidentally prompting Gen. Mad Dog's departure.

"Withdrawal" for whatever it's worth, since these things don't always happen just by order of the Twitter Thumbs alone. And the bomb-o-rama force is always ready to fly and drop some fire and fury. (Points well made on yesterday's DN! by Phyllis Bennis and the Syrian scholar, forget his name but a welcome new voice.)

Next move is potentially SDF and Assad's.

Does the latter seek a deal with SDF, or with Istanbul? Has a deal to split SDF territory with Erdogan already been made?

SDF would have to act really fast to ally with Damascus and get a declaration from Assad that the borders are inviolable before the Turkish invasion.

History has screwed no one more than the Kurdish people.

Finally, of course, there is Russia. Everyone's friend (in this mix). Whose friend are they really? Istanbul or Damascus? Are they coordinating the grand deal? (If Putin really wanted to make the U.S. corporate media-neocon-Clintonian axis drop dead from apoplexy, he should call a Russia-Iran-Syria-Turkey conference to end the Syria war. But this is my imagination, not going to happen.)

Did that Putin-MbS fist bump mean anything, or am I chasing the latest shiny thing? Was that more about the Paris-Katowice burn-the-planet axis? Have I missed some other recent rapprochement with the Saudis? After all, Putin sponsored that alternate "tolerant Islam" conference last year. I dunno!

Another possible factor: Sacrificing Kurds to gain Turkish tolerance of U.S. moves against Iran.

(Not that the Beloved Mattis would have had any problem with that part, look up reports on Qatar, Mattis, Tillerson on theintercept.com)

Remember, Mattis out means Bolton and Pompeo ascendant.

One goddamn big bombing somewhere can snap the media back to hailing flag and leader, as we have seen.

PS - Can't believe anyone buys into the "anti-war" Trump trope, including smart guys like Bacevich today on DN!

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

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:56 pm

Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald

The most bizarre aspect of Rachel @Maddow's deep anger over troop withdrawal from Syria is that she wrote an entire book in 2012 denouncing illegal US Endless War without congressional approval - exactly what Syria is. I interviewed her about it here: https://www.salon.com/2012/04/04/interv ... el_maddow/


Heh, he even blurbed her 2012 book:

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

Postby BenDhyan » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:59 pm

If this happened in late November, it seems to me the plan was and is to replace the US forces with Arab forces...


Saudi Arabia, UAE send troops to support Kurds in Syria

November 22, 2018

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sent military forces to areas controlled by the Kurdish YPG group in north-east Syria, Turkey’s Yenisafak newspaper reported.

The paper said the forces will be stationed with US-led coalition troops and will support its tasks with huge military enforcements as well as heavy and light weapons.

Quoting the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the newspaper reported that a convoy of troops belonging to an Arab Gulf state recently arrived in the contact area between the Kurdish PKK/YPG and Daesh in the Deir Ez-Zor countryside.

This comes at a time when Ankara is preparing to launch an expanded military operation with the Free Syrian Army against the Kurdish PKK group in the northeast of Syria.

Saudi and Emirati military advisers have in recent months met with officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered by Turkey as terrorist organisations, at the US base in north-east Syria.

There are fears of Arab-Turkish confrontations that will be the first of their kind on Syrian soil.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181122-saudi-arabia-uae-send-troops-to-support-kurds-in-syria/

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

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:21 am


Bolton’s Hawkish Syria Plan Backfired, Pushing Trump to Get Out

The national security adviser expanded U.S. goals in Syria to challenge Iran. But Trump wasn’t on board, senior officials say, and Turkey took an opportunity to push the U.S. out.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/boltons-h ... to-get-out



Noam Chomsky says US should stay in Syria to protect the Kurds


The famous philosopher, linguist, thinker, political activist, historian, and author, Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Guardian/Graeme Roberston)
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US should stay in northern Syria to deter attacks against Syrian Kurds, well-known American linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky said in an interview with the Intercept last week.

“The other crucial question is the status of the Kurdish areas — Rojava. In my opinion, it makes sense for the United States to maintain a presence which would deter an attack on the Kurdish areas,” he said.

Chomsky noted that the Kurds have “succeeded in sustaining a functioning society with many decent elements” in Syria’s north.

“The idea that they should be subjected to an attack by their bitter enemies the Turks, or by the murderous Assad regime, I think is anything should be done to try to prevent that.”

Chomsky, described as the father of modern linguistics, is one of the most important thinkers of this century and shares some sympathy for the Kurds.

He backed a petition in 2016 condemning military operations in Kurdish cities and called for peace talks between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

For instance, in an interview with Kurdistan 24 last year, he said Kurdistan’s independence referendum was legitimate.

In October 2017, the US was silent and did not intervene to stop the Iraqi assault on Kirkuk – the Iraqi government’s response to the Sep. 25, 2017, referendum – leading to Kurdish anger at Washington’s inaction.

According to Chomsky, the US “pursues objectives determined by power considerations, and they lead to different positions with regard to the Kurds or others at different times.”

He reminded that in the 1970s, “there was a time when the United States supported Kurds against Saddam Hussein.”

“Shortly after, a deal was made in which [the US] sacrificed the Kurds to Saddam Hussein,” Chomsky told the Intercept, “That led to Henry Kissinger’s famous comment that we shouldn’t confuse foreign policy with missionary activity.”

Moreover, he described the Clinton administration’s support for Turkey against the Kurds in the 1990s as “enormously destructive.”

“Clinton was pouring arms into Turkey for the purpose of carrying out massive, murderous, destructive attacks against the Kurdish population of Turkey in the Southeast,” Chomsky said.

“That does not change the fact that now the United States could, with a relatively small presence, deter attacks against the Kurds in Syria, which could destroy the one part of Syria that is actually functioning at a decent fashion,” he concluded.

“We don’t expect consistency in humanitarian terms from a great power because those are not the guiding principles.”

Amb. James Jeffrey, newly appointed as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Representative for Syria Engagement, said in September that the US would maintain troops in eastern Syria until key political objectives are achieved.

“We’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year,” Jeffrey told journalists.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/13cf ... 53a3261d8b
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Re: US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

Postby American Dream » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:52 pm

Trump leaves Syria: On ‘regime change’ and other tall stories

by Michael Karadjis

Image
The face(s) of counterrevolution


The bankruptcy of “anti-imperialism”

It is somewhat surreal to watch countless “anti-imperialists” denounce Trump’s “betrayal” of the Kurds to Turkey (they tend to not be so loud about the betrayal to Assad), while other “anti-imperialists” applaud Trump’s move as a step towards something they call a “peace process”. How to explain such dissonance?

Throughout the last 8 years, the Manichean version of “anti-imperialism” spouted by an alt-left and far-right convergence has given support to a reactionary genocidal tyrant destroying his entire country to squash a popular uprising on the false altar of opposing “US-backed regime change” and the like.

The fact that there was never any US “regime-change” operation was irrelevant, as were most facts; while the Kurdish-led SDF has received over 4 years of US air power at their service, which has killed thousands of civilians, while the Syrian rebels never received any such support (indeed, they have often enough been bombed by US warplanes); while the SDF was blessed with the support of thousands of US troops (who are now being withdrawn), there was never a single US troop in support of the rebels; while there are a dozen or so US bases in SDF-controlled Rojava there are none in any rebel-controlled zone; while the US ensured key Kurdish centres such as Kobane did not fall, no rebel-held centre, whether overrun by Assad or even by ISIS, ever received such defence. Yet for most “anti-imperialists”, the rebels were still the “US proxies” while the SDF were brave “anti-imperialist” fighters. It is difficult to explain how it was possible to reverse reality in such a total way; part of it was perhaps the YPG’s connection to the PKK in Turkey, given its ancient anti-imperialist history from another era, among other psychological motivations.

What to say then when the US withdraws? Praise the end of “imperialist intervention”? Or protest the betrayal of the Kurds, meaning, perhaps, the dreaded “US intervention” should continue? How ironic that it is often (of course, not always) the same people attempting to say both things. But while there are many confused anti-Assad people stuck in this quandary, in too many cases, this “anti-imperialism” involved those who wanted to be “anti-imperialist” as long as it meant scabbing on the Syrian people’s uprising and supporting the most tyrannical oligarchic dictatorship of the 21st century; every tiny hint of US support to the rebels was denounced as evidence of “regime change”. Yet once it became clear that the US saw its key ally in Syria as the SDF, many went silent; four years of massive US bombing of ISIS (and also of Nusra and sometimes even the rebels), killing anywhere between 4800 and 13,500 civilians, has largely been met with embarrassed silence by the “anti-war” movement around the world, while the abstract trope of “opposing US intervention” is still kept in the cupboard in case it needs to be occasionally dusted off, to protest the odd one-off US strike on some empty Assad airbase, that kills nobody at all, when Assad indulges in chemical warfare.

In recent weeks and months, US air-borne terror has been increasing. In mid-December, US airstrikes hit a mosque in Syria, killing 17 people. The response? Deafening silence.


https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2018/12 ... l-stories/









American Dream » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:17 pm wrote:
Image

Four ‘heroes’ of today’s global ‘alt-right’ – Assad, Netanyahu, Trump and Putin – have emerged triumphant over the corpse of the Syrian revolution.

Much commentary proclaims that all global and regional powers are responsible for the catastrophe, backing “different sides” to pursue their “rival interests.” All these powers are indeed responsible, but the direct and massive Russian and Iranian intervention on the side of the regime contrasts sharply with the indirect role of the United States, the pretence of friendship to the anti-Assad opposition by neighbouring Arab regimes, and the cynical connivance of Israel, in bringing about the same goal. “Rivalry” and “different sides” had remarkably little to do with it.

The end game shows that inter-imperialist cooperation, rather than the much heralded “inter-imperialist rivalry,” was the major dimension of the foreign intervention in Syria. While it is understandable for beleaguered and outgunned revolutionary forces to take advantage of whatever tactical differences existed among the global and regional powers, there was never any real doubt that they were all ultimately on the same side, that of counterrevolution.

Conventional “geopolitics” emphasises rivalry between imperialist and sub-imperialist powers as the driving force of world politics. This leads to the conclusion that the US was “weak” or “hesitant” for allegedly “giving in” to Russia or “letting Assad off lightly” over his genocide. Repeated ad-nauseum for seven years, this entirely misses the point.

Inter-imperialist rivalry is a major factor in world politics, but confronted with revolution – like the region-wide Arab Spring – states that otherwise hate each other quite easily join forces against their common enemy – the revolutionary populace.


Syria Endgame: Crushing Daraa, the Russia-Israel deal & the Geopolitics of Counterrevolution, by Michael Karadjis



https://mkaradjis.wordpress.com/2018/08 ... evolution/
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