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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Banned from the Daily Kos for speaking truth to Obama on Syria

After having written 497 diaries in six years of blogging at the Daily Kos, the liberal Democratic website run by Markos Moulitsas, I have been banned from the site for saying that President Barack Obama opposed the Syrian people's struggle against the Assad regime and was actually using the power and influence of the United States to keep that regime in power. This view, which is gaining much currency in the wider world, was largely panned at the Daily Kos as a "conspiracy theory."

In August, when I published Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria a few hours after Obama first said that the use or movement of chemical weapons by Assad would be a "red-line" and called Obama's comments a green light to Assad's continued slaughter in Syria, that position was called "preposterous" by 58 Kossacks but it was tweeted. liked or shared by hundreds outside of that progressive Democratic community.
50,000 Syrians have been killed since then by cluster bombs, scud missiles, barrel bombs, napalm like incendiaries, and just about everything but chemical weapons. As the Atlantic Council reported yesterday:
The regime of Bashar al-Assad is in full terror mode, pumping everything from mortar shells to Scud missiles into residential neighborhoods, with scant regard for where things land.
While this diary was strongly condemned by many members of the DKos community as "absurd", "stupid" and "GOP thinking", it was widely echoed in the international community among supporters of the Syrian people's struggle.
More howls went up as I reported this in subsequent blogs, including "Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!", "Chemical weapons use reported in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?", "AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria" and "Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!"
One could easily think Obama was a sacred cow by the reaction of these Kossacks. When I published the 17,000 word Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad in collaboration with WikiLeaks, which traced Obama's relations with Assad beginning days after he was elected president and continuing even when non-violent protests started breaking out in Syria, they hit the roof. I believe a secret campaign by a half-dozen "non-interventionists" to get rid of me started in earnest then.

I also pointed to Obama's use of the CIA in Turkey, and his influence with regional actors to make sure the people Assad was bombing had no effective defence against his air force in How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring" and More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy [Note: MANPADS are man portable air defence systems.]

They also hated SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad, calling it "Agenda driven BS." Never mind Kerry's many trips to Damascus and his public expressions of friendship for Assad.

Then, when it was revealed that Obama had vetoed a proposal by his own secretaries of state and defence to arm Assad's opposition and I published Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar Assad Exposed!!!, it was apparently the last straw for the Daily Kos management. My diary the next day, Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?, turned out to be my last at the Daily Kos.

I was given no warnings or notice by DKos management, no official criticism or reason at all. I went to respond to a comment and found out I couldn't post, just delete and my profile said I'm banned.

While no official reason was ever given, below is a list of complaints drawn up by one of my main detractors:
1) diarist continues to push his overdetermined CT narrative re. US policy on Syria. When challenged on the facts, such challenges are either a) ignored, b) avoided by deflecting responsibility for content or c) taken as a platform to slander all those questioning the diarist's narrative as supporters / enablers of al-Assad

2) diarist continues to link to "evidence" within diaries to previous diaries that have accumulated large numbers of HRs [negative or 'hide' ratings - Clay] on the Tip Jar. In other words, the "proof" cited for this diarist's bizarre CT assertions is material already resoundingly deemed by this community to be utter nonsense

3) diarist has more-or-less admitted that posting these bizarre "theories" on dKos has nothing to do with dKos per se, but is simply a means to provide a link for twitterati (poor, deluded fools they may be)

4) diarist has a history of violating community conventions re copyright

5) diarist has a history of offending this community by posting graphic "war-porn" imagery sans trigger-warnings.
This laundry list of of complaints is so completely without foundation that it pains me to respond to them, but briefly I will. Taking them in order:

1) All of my blogs have been carefully documented and backed up with a large number of links to supporting material. You can judge this for yourself. As to the charge of slander, facts are stubborn things, and in spite their denials, some of these people, including the author of this list of complaints, are supporters / enablers of Assad.

On the other hand, I was forced to put up with attacks such as "you are so fucking confused maybe you need to see a doctor or cut down on the booze", "Crap like this diary of Claiborne's", "the diarist's drivel" and "Claiborne is like a pimp prostituting DKos" without a word of rebuke from the Daily Kos management.

2) True enough. In spite of the fact that some members of the Daily Kos community, consider my work "crap", I still believe in it, as do the many sites that have reprinted my Daily Kos material, including the North Star, Shabab Libya, uruknet.info, Libyan Tweetforum, OpEdNews, All4Syria and WL Central.

3) I did say that I thought my main readership was to be found outside of the Daily Kos community.

4) I never received a single complaint of copyright infringement either from a copyright holder or the Daily Kos management, however I was forever being charged with "violating community conventions re copyright" by the same people attacking me as a conspiracy theorist. For example, when I reprinted an article from the Libya Herald in my Women and the Libyan Revolution, one of my Kossack detractors commented "He should have been banned long time ago for all these copyright violations." even though I had received written permission from the editor of Libya Herald, who wrote "Of course you can use it." I knew that already but this waste of my time and the editor's was caused by Kossacks desperate to shut me up by any means necessary.

5) The charge of "war porn" was made by Kossacks that wanted the suffering of the Syria people banished from the pages of the Daily Kos, as it now virtually is. Since I was banned almost ten thousand Syrian lives ago, the Daily Kos community of hundreds of bloggers has produced a total of 4 blogs on Syria, two of them by the Kossack that authored the above list of complaints in the two days following my banning, one opposing the arming of Assad's opposition, and none mentioning the killing of Syria's by their government. Though the slaugther continues in Syria, Kossack's will no longer be troubled by it when reading the Daily Kos.

Beyond the fact that these people would just as soon not hear about the slaughter ongoing in Syria is the reality that my thesis that the United States, under Obama's leadership, is actually working against the liberation struggle of the Syrian people and favors the continuation of the Assad regime in some form or other, far from being a "conspiracy theory" is revealing itself more everyday and being accept by more close observers of the struggle. That is why I was finally banned after I published the new revelations of Obama's veto of his own advisor's plans to support that struggle and the news of Obama's betrayal of Assad's opposition.

Consider some of the news of the last week:

The Miami Herald said that Obama's support for the Syria opposition to the murderous Assad regime amounted to "Biscuits and Band-Aids to combat Bashar Assad’s Scuds."

Kerry’s ‘big’ offer on Syria falls short
5 March 2013
Those two words sum up the farcical “new” policy toward Syria that Secretary of State John Kerry announced at a Rome meeting with Syrian opposition leaders.

In what was ballyhooed as a major breakthrough, the United States will, for the first time, provide aid to the armed Syrian opposition. So what are we giving to help Syrian rebels confront the missiles and bombs that have killed tens of thousands of civilians? Not desperately needed antitank or antiaircraft weapons, but medical aid and MREs, those ready-to-eat-meals used as field rations for American soldiers.

Biscuits and Band-Aids to combat Bashar Assad’s Scuds.

The Rome meeting was supposed to be a high point of Kerry’s first overseas tour, aimed at enhancing the credibility of moderate Syrian opposition leaders. Instead it had the opposite effect, undercutting their credibility and raising the question of whether Washington really wants Assad gone. More...
While the Christian Science Monitor asks:
Will limited US aid to Syria rebels hasten the end of war, or prolong it?

By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / February 28, 2013
Henry Kissinger allegedly said of the Iran-Iraq war that raged so bloodily in the 1980s that "it's too bad they both can't lose."

Though that's far from the US position on the Syrian civil war, the tepid support the US has promised for elements of the Syrian opposition in the past couple of days bring Mr. Kissinger's comments to mind. The half-hearted backing will likely lead to an opposition that is harder to defeat, but still lacking the strength to win the war.
But that appears to be what the US is hoping for by making the rebels stronger, but not too strong. Secretary of State John Kerry said today in Rome the US would supply "non-lethal" aid – food, medicine, and possibly things like communications equipment – directly to the Free Syrian Army and a further $60 million to the political wing of the uprising.

Earlier in the week, there were rumors that the US was considering providing military training to rebel units, but those failed to materialize today.
Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, leader of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC), complained at a joint press conference with Kerry of an "international decision to prevent arming Syrian rebels with quality arms" and said, "Plenty of people focus more on the length of a fighter's beard than on the scope of the regime's massacres."
It appears for now that the Obama team, with Kerry in the lead, is hoping to shift the balance of military power and fear in Syria sufficiently that Assad is convinced to make concessions and that some of his backers abandon him. While Iran, locked in its own nuclear standoff with the US and with few friends in the region beyond Assad's Syria, is unlikely to call off its support, Russia has also been a steadfast supporter of Assad, but has far less to lose if he goes down.
Will this war and its truly horrific casualty rate continue to grind on, making all Syrians inevitable losers? Or is the cautious approach of the US, and the Saudis, enough to nudge all this to a faster conclusion? Time will tell – but it has been more than two years so far of false dawns.
Mark Twain famously said "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rimes." The film Lawrence of Arabia was probably my earliest introduction to something like the history of Syria, so consider how the request for arms for Syrian rebels was handled by the West at that time, according to the movie:
Lawrence: small arms, not enough.
General Allenby: Right.
Lawrence: Money. It'll have to be sovereigns. They don't like paper.
Instructors for the Lewis guns.
General Allenby: Right.
Lawrence: More money.
General Allenby: How much more?
Lawrence: I need five, now. A lot more later.
General Allenby: Dryden?
Dryden [French rep]: It can be done, sir.
Lawrence: A couple of armored cars.
General Allenby: Right.
Lawrence: Field artillery.
General Allenby: Right. I'll give you every blessed thing I can because I know you'll use it. Congratulations.

And as soon as Lawrence had left.

Dryden: Are you really going to give them artillery, sir?
Brighton [Jr. Brit officer]: I was wondering that, sir. Might be deuce difficult to get it back again.
[Or as Reuters put it this week: "Western concerns that any weapons supplied to rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad could end up being turned against Western interests."
Dryden: Give them artillery and you've made them independent.
Allenby: Then I can't give them artillery, can I?
Dryden: For you to say, sir.
Allenby: No, it's not. I've got orders to obey, thank God! Not like that poor devil - he's riding the whirlwind.
Dryden: Let's hope we're not.
So in a hundred years, the imperialist policy towards Arabs revolting against totalitarian regimes has migrated from "No artillery for you!" to "No MANPADS for you!" only because battlefield technology has advanced.

Well, at least they did get some armoured cars, just like the Brits are doing now!
U.K. Gives Syrian Rebels Armoured Cars Amid Refugee Flood

British strategy with regards to the Arab revolt in which Lawrence played a part was to support the Arabs only to the extend that they were able to hang on and weaken the Turks, but not allow them the promised freedom of an independent Arab state. At the end of the movie Lawrence learns the truth when he finds Allenby and Dryden implementing the Sykes–Picot Agreement. This secret agreement between France and the UK, with the assent of Russia, was forged in 1916 while they were publicly still promising the Arabs freedom. Instead, after the war was won, the imperialists took over.

The British got Iraq and Jordan, Russia got Istanbul and France got Syria and Lebanon. French troops occupied Syria in 1920 and overthrew the short-lived independent Kingdom of Syria under King Faisai. It would take yet another world war for Syria to gain any real independence in 1946.

While it was a French mandate. the French implemented the usual imperialist policy of divide and rule. They favored the Alawite minority and put them in charge, thus forging the sectarian divisions that plague Syria today.

Now, even the well known journalist Robert Fisk is subscribing to my "conspiracy theory:"

I've been been told by an Arab source, whom I trust completely, a Syrian Arab source, that at a recent meeting with a Syrian delegation, British Prime Minister Cameron said that he'd raised the issue of Syria with Obama in Washington and Obama's reply was "I didn't get re-elected to intervene in Syria. Don't bring this up again."

Now I can't vouch for this quotation but I suspect its correct because my Syrian source is good, and that does suggest, doesn't it, that we aren't going to see any serious military assistance to the opposition from the West, but whether we can see that coming from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, that's a different question.
I have a feeling that we in the West are going to betray the Syrians. I smell a bit of Yalta, you know, where Churchill insisted that Poland must be free after the war but accepted that Stalin would run it.
Well, you see, its interesting. You bring several things together. The Israelis have only condemned Bashar al-Assad regime once in two years of bloodshed. So the Israeli's actually, deep down, I think would like to keep Bashar.

Given the fact that we know there is this extraordinary groups of Islamists moving into Syria to fight the regime, the West is asking itself "Do we want the Islamists in Damascus or maybe some form of the old regime again?" In other words, betray the opposition and say, well, if we can't keep Bashar, maybe some kind of secular government like Bashar, or maybe even Baathists, up to a point. I suspect this is how the brains are clicking on, if they exist, in the foreign office. in the foreign ministry in Paris and the State Department in Washington.
As the excerpt from Lawrence of Arabia illustrates, the game of pretending to support a people's liberation movement while in reality, working to undermine it, is as old as imperialism. This is the game that the West is playing now with the Syrian people.

President Obama has been playing "good cop" to Russian President Putin's "bad cop." Both imperialist powers have had cordial relations with the Assad regime in the past. Russia has many ties with that regime while the US has made torture in the name of fighting terrorism a joint enterprise with its special rendition program. Both fear a truly free and democratic Syria even more than they fear an Islamic state in Syria, as in Iran or Saudi Arabia. They may struggle over which imperialist camp dominates Syria, but both want to see Syria dominated by something like the Assad regime, neither wants to see a free Syria.

While the Assad regime, its Russian backers, and many in the US Left have sought to steal the Syria people's thunder by framing their struggle against this murderous family dictatorship as a terrorist conspiracy hatched by NATO, in their two year struggle to overthrow that regime, the Syrian people have come realize that the so-called "Friends of Syria" are anything but. They don't support their fight for freedom and justice in Syria and have no plans to halt the slaughter of thousand more from the air or the total destruction of some of the oldest cities on Earth.

The Daily Kos may have effectively banished the suffering of the Syrian people from its pages by banning me, but calling my thesis that Obama is much more a friend of Assad than his opposition a "conspiracy theory" will do little to stem the developing consensus among most honest observers that what I have been saying for for many months now is, in fact, the case.

By banning me from the Daily Kos they have shamed themselves, not me.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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