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The white-Left Part 1: The two meanings of white

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We can only beat ebola if we defeat it in Africa

Many in the US are in a panic about ebola and in their panic they are suggesting that we cut off all flights from the ebola infested parts of Africa as our first line of defense. From a purely pragmatic point of view this is a strategy that simply won't work. Ebola is a disease that kills most humans it comes in contact with and as long as it is uncontrolled in any part of the human population we are all put at risk.

Because Africa is oceans away from America, stopping travellers from West Africa sounds like a feasible solution, and the subtext of this solution is that its spread within Africa is not such a big problem for us as long as we close our borders to it.

This is nothing but an illusion with fatal consequences for the whole of humanity. Africa may be a long way from the United States but it is very close to Europe, and Europe has already seen that it is incapable of stopping the flow of African immigrants to its shores. The European Union paid the Libyan dictator Mummar Qaddafi billions of Euro's to gain his assistance in stopping the flow of Africans through Libya and into Europe, and he used the most draconian methods without success. These were immigrants driven for the most part by fear of civil war and economic deprivation. Does anyone realistically think Africans fleeing ebola can be kept out of Europe? If ebola spreads to Europe, does the U.S. then also cancel at flights from Europe? Economic crisis would follow, making it even more difficult for the people of the world to combat this virus that is a menace to us all. What is true about Europe is no less true about African immigration to the Middle East and Asia. The first humans were Africans, and their migration by the most primitive means to farthest reaches of the planet eons ago is how our species came to dominate it. How can anyone, in this era of rapid transit, think that a deadly disease, spread by human contact, can be contained in West Africa?

It must be defeated there and it must be defeated now! The little island of Cuba has given an example to the world of how we should respond. While President Obama, as in the movie "Outbreak," has sent soldiers, Cuba has sent more than 160 doctors to fight ebola in Africa. The fact that CNN, Fox News & MSNBC don't talk about this shows how willing they still are to play politics with ebola because if every country were to follow Cuba's lead ebola would already be well on it's way to being defeated.

We learned long ago that just letting your neighbour's house burn would not protect yours. We have seen in our modern era that so many problems that face us all have to be tackled on a global level with all of humanity pulling together if we are to survive. This is true of climate change, the scourge of war, and poverty. This is no less true of the disease called ebola. We must have all hands on deck to defeat ebola now in West Africa. Nothing less can save us from a most terrible global catastrophe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is Joe Biden Turkey "roast" is a feast for Assad?

Joe Biden did tell "an Inconvenient Truth" when he told a Harvard crowd, "Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria." That is what Foreign Policy called the Vice President's remarks at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum of Harvard University late last week. He directed his fire particularly at Turkey: 
"The Turks were great friends, and I've a great relationship with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, … the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?" Biden asked, according to a recording of the speech posted on the White House's website. "They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad, except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world."

"President Erdogan told me -- he is an old friend -- said, 'You were right; we let too many people through. Now we are trying to seal the border" with Syria, Biden said.
Calling these remarks "an inconvenient truth" has become something of a banality in the media when reporting on this speech. I've heard it called that on CNN and FoxNews, so Foreign Policy was hardly being creative with this tag line. They all mean to say that Biden's remarks about Turkey rang truth., but as regular readers of this blog already know, I often see things differently, and I think the "inconvenient truth" to be found in these remarks is what it reveals about the Obama Administration’s view of the Assad regime.

By making the Syrian government the victim in his analysis, Biden was saying that the regime of Bashar al Assad was not the biggest problem "we" - he was speaking as an executive representative of the United States - face, in Syria. That may well be the position of the Obama Administration, but it is certainly not the reality that millions of Syrians and all the countries bordering Syria have had to deal with as Assad's brutal crack down on pro-democracy protesters turned into a civil war in which that regime has used the most vicious tactics and committed war crime after war crime as it has attempted to crush any opposition to its forty plus years of dictatorship.

The "inconvenient truth" revealed in Biden's remarks is that such dictatorships and such tactics have never been a problem for the US government and they don't really oppose them now in Syria either.

Missing from Biden's remarks was any mention of Assad's three year air assault on Syrian civilians, his use of long range artillery to decimate Syrian cities and villages, his attacks on hospitals, schools and breadlines, even his use of chemical weapons. This civil war has resulted from Assad's desperate attempts to cling to power and it has killed as many as two hundred thousand Syrians, displaced about 9.5 million, and forced 3 million to flee to neighbouring countries to escape the carnage, sometimes with Assad's forces trying to shoot children in the back as they crossed the border. 1.6 million have become refugees in Turkey and that has placed a tremendous burden on Syria's northern neighbour. Joe Biden doesn't mind about that, and he doesn't mention it in his one-sided condemnation of Turkey. He doesn't care about Assad's slaughter or the people desperate to escape it. He demands that Turkey close its border.

Syrian refugees walk past tents at the Boynuyogun Turkish Red Crescent camp

The flow of Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey began slowly at first. It got its first big push in June 2011 before the Syrian Army siege of Jisr al-Shughour. This town of 41,000 near the Turkish-Syrian border was nearly abandoned by its residents, with many seeking refuge across the border. As Assad's violence against his people increased, what began as a trickle became a torrent. While the Obama Administration may have liked to see that border closed, leaving those refugees to their fate, the Turkish people and the Turkish government took a more humanitarian approach. They welcomed the these refugees, and at great cost and "inconvenience" they did what they could to care for and protect them.

They realized that they may have to make space for millions of uprooted neighbours as the wounds of war were allowed to fester by its NATO allies while Assad was provided almost unlimited military support, and "boots on the ground," from his allies, Russian and Iran, two other forces that were conspicuously absent from Biden's list of countries causing problems in Syria. The Turks also realized that these people could never go home as long as Assad was in power. So they did help to arm and protect the Free Syrian Army and other democratic forces fighting his regime. However they never supported ISIS and other jihadists as Joe Biden and Bashar al-Assad have claimed. Hence Biden's apology.

For all its rhetoric to the contrary, the Obama Administration has never viewed the Assad regime as the problem. It used his torture chambers as he partnered with the CIA in the "War on Terror," he allowed Israel to keep Golan without too much fuss, his brutal methods were credited with creating "stability" in the region, and Obama thought he was on the verge of forging a new "peace deal" with Assad when protests against his rule broke out. From the US government perspective, Assad has not been the problem, those who would overthrow him are. This is the "inconvenient truth" hidden in Joe Biden's Harvard comments.

2013 saw more than a million Syrians flee Assad's killing spree to Turkey. Hundreds of thousands more fled to Syrian neigbors Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, tens of thousand to other Arab countries. Bulgaria accepted about ten thousand, while more than a thousand each were taken in by countries as far away as Sweden, Italy, Argentina, and Brazil. Joe Biden wants borders closed to Syrian refugees and in this case, the Obama Administration practises what it preaches, in 2013 only 36 Syrian refugees were accepted by the United States.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Friday, October 3, 2014

Why did Glenn Greenwald moderated this comment off The Intercept?

After I read The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria. by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain in The Intercept Sunday, I tried to post this comment:
It seems to me that Greenwald and Co. are still to a large extent participating in the cover up. While this article makes for a fine catalog of all the statements made by gov’t and media about Khorasan, Greenwald never says who was being bombed it their name. It is al Nusra that the US is calling Khorasan and al Nusra has been in alliance with the FSA and IF and fighting both Assad and ISIS. I don’t think this oversight accidental because if Greenwald is forced to admit that the US has entered the Syrian civil war on the side of Assad he will have to admit that he has been wrong about Syria all along. Khorasan was a fiction created to cover up the real target of US air strikes and Greenwald & Co. continues this cover-up.
They moderate comments at The Intercept and this one was never published.

The Intercept article said:
What happened here is all-too-familiar. The Obama administration needed propagandistic and legal rationale for bombing yet another predominantly Muslim country. While emotions over the ISIS beheading videos were high, they were not enough to sustain a lengthy new war.

So after spending weeks promoting ISIS as Worse Than Al Qaeda™, they unveiled a new, never-before-heard-of group that was Worse Than ISIS™. Overnight, as the first bombs on Syria fell, the endlessly helpful U.S. media mindlessly circulated the script they were given: this new group was composed of “hardened terrorists,” posed an “imminent” threat to the U.S. homeland, was in the “final stages” of plots to take down U.S. civilian aircraft, and could “launch more-coordinated and larger attacks on the West in the style of the 9/11 attacks from 2001.””
Paul Woodward wrote a good critique of the Intercept piece on War in Context, 29 September 2014, Glenn Greenwald’s Khorasan conspiracy theory misses the point. In it he said:
The invention of the Khorasan Group — which is to say, the creation of the name — seems to have been necessitated not by the desire to find a pretext for bombing another Muslim country, but instead the desire to avoid headlines which would identify the target of a cluster of airstrikes by its real name: Jabhat al-Nusra (JN).
The closest The Intercept article came to acknowledging that "Korasan Group" was a US created alias for Jabhat al Nusra came in a quote it used from a September 13 article by the Associated Press:
At the center is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the Nusra Front.
Glenn Greenwald has had very little to say about the conflict in Syria before now and what he has said veers toward conspiracy theory or parrots the popular left view that because Obama has asked Assad to step down and many people have repeated the misleading claim that the US has provided significant material aid to Assad's opposition, that the Syrian revolution is nothing more than a western plot against his rule. For example he has supported Wesley Clark's view that the attempt to overthrow Assad in Syria, which began in 2011 is part of a neo-con five year plan which started in 2001  for "regime change" in seven Middle East and African countries, and he has repeated discredited claims that it was rebels rather than Assad who used sarin against rebel held areas near Damascus. So he might not like it being pointed out that Obama's military intervention, now that it has come, is opposed by the rebels and supported by the regime.

I thought I'd try to post my comment to The Intercept a second time before I published this piece so as to guard against the possibility that a technical glitch was responsible for its failure to be accepted the first time and this is the feedback I received:

I double-checked that all fields were filled in properly and tried again but got back the same error message until I changed both the name and the email address. Only then was it accept for moderation. However I won't hold my breath waiting to see it on their website. [Note on screenshot below: Once the comment is sent to moderation the comment field is cleared.]

Apparently the problem with the comment the second time was the person posting it. Am I now banned from posting to The Intercept?

Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer by trade and has built himself quite a reputation as an advocate of free speech, openness and transparency. If this experience is any indication of how he practises what he preaches with regards to criticism of his views and an example of the way he is willing to censor those criticisms where he is able, I can only hope that he is never in a position to shut down reasoned discussion in larger forums. 

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The role of US Imperialism in Syria and the Left's Dilemma

US President Barack Obama's air war in Syria has been a long time in the making. I wrote about it more than 18 months ago in a blog post titled Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria, 16 March 2013. I reported then:
From the LA Times today we have breaking news that the Obama Administration is presently in the planning stages for direct US armed intervention into the Syrian civil war. The plan will be to intervene on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a series of armed drone strikes against his opposition.
While drone strikes against Islamist militants fighting Assad may be taken in the name of saving US lives in some hypothetical future, they won't save any Syrian lives now or hinder Assad's massive "Death from Above" campaign against Syrian civilians. Actually, since al-Nustra has been most effective in relieving Assad of bases for his air operations and is attempting to implement a "no-fly zone" over Syria, any Obama attack against al-Nusra would certainly be most welcomed by the embattled Assad regime.
Now those strikes have come, the danger to US lives has been declared "imminent," and not just drones are being used, but the whole range of the US air arsenal is being employed. I was banned from blogging at the Daily Kos for talk like that, but as I predicted, these strikes are against Assad's opposition, have not interfered with his own air campaign of bombing hospitals, schools and breadlines, and have been most heartily welcomed by the regime.

The same day Obama killed 50 al Nusra militants and 27 civilians, including at least 6 children and 4 women, Assad continued his own devastating air campaign against those seeking to end his 42 year old dictatorship, and this US intervention was most welcomed by the Assad regime. The New York Times reported:
A Syrian diplomat crowed to a pro-government newspaper that “the U.S. military leadership is now fighting in the same trenches with the Syrian generals, in a war on terrorism inside Syria.” And in New York, the new Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, said in an interview that he had delivered a private message to Mr. Assad on behalf of Washington, reassuring him that the Syrian government was not the target of American-led air strikes.
“Of course coordination exists,” said a pro-government Syrian journalist speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, who had criticized the prospect of the strikes but turned practically jubilant once they began. “How else do you explain the strikes on Nusra?”
Ali Haidar, Assad's minister for national reconciliation, told Reuters on Wednesday:
"As for the raids in Syria, I say that what has happened so far is proceeding in the right direction in terms of informing the Syrian government and by not targeting Syrian military installations and not targeting civilians," he said.

"Notification of the Syrian government happened," he said. "Confirmation that they would not target Syrian military installations, and confirmation they would not target civilians happened."
Targeting civilians is what the Assad regime does best, and having been assured by Obama that US warplanes were not entering Syrian air space to interference with that, Assad has felt free to continue his own campaign of "Death from Above." Reuters reported on Friday
Assad steps up bombing as West strikes militants in Syria

U.S.-led forces hit Islamic State bases in eastern Syria on Friday and a monitoring group said the Syrian army had intensified its bombing campaign in the west. More...
From Syrian Observatory for Human Rights we get a more detailed look at what Assad's air force has been free to do as it shares its air space with the US allies. By the numbers:

Tuesday 23 September 2014 On the day the US strikes started, this is what Assad's air force did:
[1]: Aleppo Province: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas near al Imam al Nawawi mosque in the neighborhood of Tariq al Bab leading to the injury of some people. Two other barrels were dropped onto the neighborhoods of Masaken Hanano and Jabal Badro in the east of Aleppo.

[2]: Idleb Province: Some surface-to-surface missiles struck areas in the city of Khan Sheikhon followed by the dropping of barrel bombs onto the city killing a man, his daughter and a woman while others were injured. Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Saraqeb with no information about casualties.

[3]: Helicopters dropped 5 barrel bombs onto areas in the west of Khan al Shih Camp and 5 barrels onto places in Bet Sayer in the Western Ghouta,  casualties were reported in Bet Sayer.

[4]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on the town of Ma’er Zayta in the southern countryside of Idleb.

[5]: Warplanes carried out a raid on al Dokhaneyyi area and 9 raids on the Wastelands of al Qalamun.

[6]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out 3 raids on areas in the town of Khan al Sobol, 2 raids on the town of Madaya in the southern countryside, a raid on the outskirts of al Hbet town, a raid on the southern outskirts of Ma’arret al Nu’man, a raid on the town of al Rkaya and a raid on the town of Deir Sonbol leading to the killing of 2 children from the same family in Khan al Sobol. They also attacked areas in the town of al Taman’a.

[7]: Daraa Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area in the town of Kafar Nasej.

Wednesday 24 September 2014
[8]: Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in Handarat Camp. Two barrel bombs dropped near the Central Prison of Aleppo. A woman died while other were injured due to air raids launched on the town of Qbasin near the city of al Bab.

Most telling about the unity that has developed between the US air force and Assad's is that in one case the SOHR had to report: "It is unknown till the moment whether the aircrafts that attacked the area are affiliated to the Syrian regime or to the International-Arab Coalition."

[9]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes attacked areas in the village of al Shola with no information about casualties. They also carried out a raid in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor airbase.

[10]: Helicopters dropped 7 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan with no information about casualties.

[11]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Allatamneh.

[12]: Helicopters dropped 4 explosive barrels on al-Zabdani, no reports of losses.

Thursday 25 September 2014
[13]: 8 civilians ( 3 children and a woman ), killed by aerial bombardment on Duma, a man killed by regime's bombardment on Duma, a woman killed by air strikes on Arbin, and a man from al-Abada town.

Apparently, in the first days of US air strikes, Assad didn't entirely trust the US promise that he could carry on with his usual routine. The SOHR reported: "The provinces of Deir Ezzor, al Raqqa, al Hasaka, Homs, Aleppo and Idleb have witnessed a significant reduction in the regime’s aerial bombardment, where the rate of strikes has declined since the beginning of the International- Arab Coalition aerial strikes 2 days ago. There have been only few sorties during the last two days while aerial bombardment stopped completely in some provinces." That changed as his confidence built that the US was not going to interfere with his carnage.

Friday 26 September 2014
[14]: Homs Province: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan causing the death of 7 people while others were injured.

[15]: A man was killed by aerial bombardment on Ein Terma in eastern Ghouta.

[16]: Homs Province: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of al Rastan causing the death of 5 men while 5 others at least were injured.

[17]: Al Qunaytera Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on the town of Swisah in the southern countryside causing material damages to people’s properties. They also attacked areas in the villages and town of the countryside of al Qunaytera.

[18]: Daraa Province: Helicopters dropped several barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Alma causing material damages to people’s properties, while 2 other barrels fell onto the town of Tafas and a barrel onto the town of Bosra al Harir killing a man and a woman in Tafas. Warplanes carried out a raid on Daraa al Balad in the city of Daraa and a raid on the town of Syada.

[19]: Lattakia Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids onto areas on the outskirts of Salma town and other areas in the villages of al Akrad Mountain.

[20]: Rif Dimashq Province: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto the city of al Zabadani yesterday night.

[21]: Helicopters dropped yesterday night 2 barrel bombs onto the city of Ankhel and a barrel onto the town of Otman.

Saturday 27 September 2014
[22]: Hama Province: Warplanes carried out raids onto the towns of Kafar Zayta and Allatamneh with no information about victims.

[23]: Idleb Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on places near the town of Abo al Dohur and a raid on places on the road of al Debsheyyi- Abo al Dohur, amid bombardment on al Debsheyyi area by the regime forces. They also carried out a raid on the northern outskirts of the city of Khan Sheikhon.

[24]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs onto areas in the town of Otman followed by launching shells on the town by the regime forces.

[25]: Rif Dimashq Province: Warplanes carried out several raids on the Wasteland of the town of Qara.

[26]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids on the vicinity of the airbase of Deir Ezzor.

[27]: Hama Province: Helicopters dropped barrel bombs onto areas in the village of al Masasnah in the northern countryside.

[28]: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area in the city of al Bab in the east of Aleppo, initial information reported the injury of some people.

[29]: Idleb Province: Aircrafts carried out 3 raids on the villages of al Taman’ah, al Hbet and Hafsarjeh as well as a raid on the northern neighborhood of the city of Ma’arret al N’man causing material damages to people’s properties.

[30]: Deir Ezzor Province: Warplanes carried out 2 raids on the Granaries Area on the outskirts of al Husayneyyi as well as 2 raids on areas near the School and the Club in the city of Mo Hasan. They also strafed areas in the village of al Jnayneh.

[31]: Hama Province: Warplanes carried out raids onto the towns of Kafar Zayta and Allatamneh with no information about victims.

[32]: Daraa Province: Warplanes carried out a raid on an area on the town of Aqraba with no information about casualties. Helicopters dropped a barrel bomb onto the northern neighborhood of the city of Nawa, 2 barrels onto areas in the town of Deir al Adas, 2 barrel onto the northern neighborhood of the city of Bosra al Sham and 2 barrels onto the city of Ankel.

[33]: Helicopters dropped 4 barrel bombs onto the city of Darayya and 2 barrels onto the eastern mountain of the city of al Zabadani causing material damages. A woman died of wounds due to the regime’s bombardment on the city of Doma.

Sunday 28 September 2014
[34]: Helicopters dropped 2 barrel bombs yesterday night onto the eastern mountain of al Zabadani city.

This happened before the first US bombs fell on Syria.

This is the daily slaughter that the US Media and the US Left have been ignoring for years.

Assad could be finding it increasingly difficult to get his pilots to bomb their own people. Last month, he executed three military pilots, two of them Alawites, for refusing orders. This may be another reason he welcomes the intervention of US pilots who historically have shown few qualms about bombing foreigners.

The Obama may have intervened in Syria to fight "terrorism" but as we have seen from its assaults in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US has never considered aerial bombardment of civilians terrorism.
ANSWER & Code Pink Protest Syria Bombing at the White House | 9/24/2014
Of course, these weren't the air strikes they were protesting. In more than three years, and two hundred thousand Syrian lives later, they have never seen the need to protest Assad's air strikes. In fact ANSWER Coalition has long been outspoken in its support for the Assad regime, and now Code Pink is standing with them.

With their pro-Qaddafi, pro-Assad, pro-Putin interpretation of anti-imperialism in the 21st century, and their demonization of all those who disagree with them, they have succeeded in reducing the anti-war movement to a shadow if its former self.
Washington, DC March against the Iraq War - 15 September 2007
The Free Syrian Army and other opposition forces that have been under Assad's daily aerial bombardment for years have long pleaded with the NATO powers to provide them with modern air defense weapons so that they could put an end to Assad indiscriminate bombing campaigns. No such weapons have been forth coming. They were also terribly disappointed when Obama reneged on his promise to strike Assad if he used banned chemical weapons to increase his kill rate. Now that Obama has intervened in Syria on the side of the regime, they are speaking out against it.

Zaman al Wasl, founder of the FSA sees in Obama's intervention an attempt to crush the Syrian opposition and Syrian Arab Army defector, Colonel Raid al-Asaad, was downright pessimistic about Obama's "War on Terror" in Syria, telling Zamam al-Wasl the "Syrian revolution will be eliminated under this pretext." He should learn from the Vietnamese experience; that is more easily said than done.  

The fact that Assad's supporters back Obama's intervention while his opposition opposes it, gives you the real skinny. SYRIA:direct said 24 September 2014:
Harakat Hazm, a moderate-leaning rebel coalition that has received aid from the United States, called the strikes an act of “aggression towards national sovereignty” in a press release widely circulated Tuesday on social media websites.

Foreign intervention “will harm the revolution, especially seeing as the international community continues to ignore revolutionary forces' calls for weapons,” the group said, adding that “the only side to benefit... is the Assad regime, without any real strategy to bring about its downfall.”
Even as the pro-government news network Damascus Now cheered on the US air strikes, calling this a historic moment, in which “happiness was etched on the faces of the majority of Syrians, because they found international support towards eradicating a cancer which has been rooted in the diseased Syrian body,” referring to the rebels.

Michael Karadjis writes in his well researched and very informative:
Syrian rebels overwhelmingly condemn
US bombing as an attack on revolution

25 September 2014
In particular, given the grave situation in Aleppo, where the revolutionary forces are being jointly besieged from the south and the north-east by Assad and ISIS, the fact that the first US attacks were on JaN inside Aleppo – where JaN is playing an important role in the epic defense of the rebel-held, working-class, half of that city, alongside the FSA and other Islamist groups – is perhaps the most blatant attack on the revolution possible.
The Assad regime must be very pleased with having acquired for itself a new air force. More...
These developments pose a serious dilemma for the US "anti-imperialist" Left that has long maintained that the Syrian rebels were a "US backed" attempt to overthrow one of the essential partners in the "axis of resistance" to US imperialism.

Is the US Left going the way of the 9/11 Truth movement - increasingly irrelevant to anyone?

For years now it has largely ignored the growing conflict in Syria and when it has spoken out, it has been to oppose what it believed was US support of opposition to the Syrian government and military support for the rebels, but now, after three and a half years of conflict, when that military intervention comes in the familiar form of air strikes, and it is being welcomed by the regime and condemned by its opposition, there can be little doubt which side Obama is on.

A year ago they took to the streets, wrote their congresspeople and made as much noise as they could to oppose air strikes threaten against the Assad government for killing more than 1400 Syrians with sarin. Really they were demanding that Obama do what he intended to do all along, which was nothing. They spread 9/11 like conspiracy theories, but this time about how the government didn't do it. And when Qbama sent the matter to congress for a vote he knew he was going to lose, they hailed it as a great victory and a testimony to their growing strength.

18 months ago when I was blogging at the Daily Kos and saying that in spite of his fine words, Obama supported the Assad regime and was working to undermine the Syrian revolutionaries, that he was playing "good cop" to Putin's "bad cop", I was roundly criticized. Now it must be becoming increasingly obvious, even to them, that by opposing the Syrian insurgency, the "anti-imperialists" have been supporting the imperialist game all along.

Like I've been saying for a couple of years now:
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
How Obama helps Assad: US tried to start war between FSA & al Nusra Front
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Obama's Real Syria Policy: Endless War
The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
The Courtship Continues: Obama's New Gift to Assad
How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Mass Murder Put on Hold
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?
Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria
PS: The Lockheed Martin F-22 saw its first combat flights this week over Syria. It is a very expensive aircraft, costing $178 million each, but that pales in comparison to the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at $337 million a piece. The electronics design magazine ECN writes "according to one estimate, the money spent on the program could buy every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,00 mansion."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What if FDR had declared war against both Hitler & Stalin

That would have made no sense, which is to say that it would have only made sense if President Roosevelt wanted to see the allies lose World War II. While many parallels have been drawn and could be drawn between these two ruthless dictators, the wise leader knows that you have to pick your battles carefully and it would have been suicidal to attack Russia at the very moment they were the main force opposing Germany, no matter how similar the two leaders might have been in the abstract.

And yet this is precisely what President Barack Obama has done by attacking both the Islamic State and Jabhat al Nusra in Syria. While both groups have very similar al Qaeda outlooks, they have played very different roles in the struggle in Syria. ISIS has an Iraqi leadership and has built its ranks largely by recruiting foreign jihadists. It also has avoided combat with the Assad regime just as the regime has forgone attacks against ISIS, even while the terrorist group claimed growing expanses of Syria for itself.

Al Nusra Front has Syrian leadership and mainly Syrian fighters. It also has a pretty decent record of working with the more democratic forces in the Syrian rebellion and it has actually been fighting the Assad regime. Most importantly with regards to the current campaign against ISIS, al Nusra has been one of the main forces fighting ISIS in Syria.

When the Obama administration announced that it had attacked the "little known" Khorasan group as well as ISIS in Syria, it was really talking about al Nusra, or a section of it. The reason those of us that have been following events in Syria for years never heard of this "Khorasan group" before now is that the name was entirely the creation of the "Obama group", just as the term "Viet Cong" was never what the National Liberation Front fighters in Vietnam called themselves. It was the creation of a US army psyops officer in 1958 which was immediately picked up by all the media. The new name "Khorasan group" is a thin veil to cover what they are really doing just as their story about an "imminent attack" on the US by these fighters around Idlib and Aleppo is a thin story to cover Obama's attack on ISIS's opposition in Syria.

The Pentagon was so proud to show how precisely they could use smart bombs to take out an antenna array on top of an ISIS command and control building without harming the building itself - or the expensive radio equipment and ISIS commanders inside. Such a strategic attack would have made sense, knocking out ISIS communications, if it was part of an immediate ground assault, otherwise it means very little because antenna arrays can quickly be replaced, and at very little cost.

The Obama administration was also so kind as to give the Assad regime a "heads-up" as to the coming attack. ISIS also had plenty of time to fortify and reposition itself in preparation for the US air campaign. In fact the only forces caught by surprise were those that have been fighting both the Assad regime and ISIS.

Like I've been saying for a couple of years now:
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
How Obama helps Assad: US tried to start war between FSA & al Nusra Front
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Obama's Real Syria Policy: Endless War
The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
The Courtship Continues: Obama's New Gift to Assad
How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Mass Murder Put on Hold
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?
Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Obama's air strikes in Syria - a first look

What follows is information that has come my way in the few hours since the United States and its five Arab allies - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirate, Bahrain and Qatar began air operations in Syria. Most of this information is "unvetted" so I'm not vouching for it, but since it goes further and is almost certainly more accurate than the dribble being put out by CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC and their instant experts, I thought I'd share it with you.

From Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office correspondent in ‪‎Hasakah‬ we have this early report:
American‬ missiles hit ISIS military camp

Revolutionary Forces of Syria
Media Office correspondent in Hasakah confirmed that the international coalition used American Tomahawk missiles to bombard ISIS military camp of al-Bahra al-Khatoniyah located to the east of al-Houl near the Syrian-Iraqi boarders. The missile attack was followed by Sukhoi air strikes and vacuum missiles attacks. Our correspondent added that the camp was severely destroyed and no civilian casualties were reported in the area.

EAWorldView has always produced very creditable reports about events in Syria, this is their first report, check them for frequent updates:
Syria Daily: US Airstrikes & Missiles Hit Islamic State

By Scott Lucas September 23, 2014 11:17
UPDATE 1145 GMT: General Martin Dempsey, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has hailed airstrikes as a success: “We wanted to make sure that ISIL knew they have no safe haven, and we certainly achieved that.”

Dempsey played up the claimed involvement of Arab states — Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar — in the operations as proof of a coalition effort:
Once we had one of them on board, the others followed quickly thereafter. We now have a kind of credible campaign against [the Islamic State] that includes a coalition of partners.

UPDATE 1115 GMT: The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned the US airstrikes:
Attempts to pursue own geopolitical goals through violating the sovereignty of other states only escalates tensions and aggravates the situation even further. Moscow has repeatedly warned that those who initiated one-sided military scenarios bear full international legal responsibility for the consequences.

Moscow has repeatedly warned that those who initiated one-sided military scenarios bear full international legal responsibility for the consequences.

UPDATE 0730 GMT: Unconfirmed claims are circulating that the US airstrikes have also hit a headquarters of the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo Province, causing casualties.

Jabhat al-Nusra split with the Islamic State in spring 2013 over a dispute about leadership of the jihadist movement in Syria. The faction fights alongside the main Syrian insurgent blocs, but it is still on the US list of terrorist organizations.

However, the US Central Command indicated that its target is the Khorasan Group, a small faction identified as an enemy last week by the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

Central Command announced, “The United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned Al Qa’eda veterans — sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group — who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations.”

The Command said it carried out eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo, including training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building, and command and control facilities.

US intelligence said Khorasan is led by Muhsin al Fadhli, a Kuwaiti whom it claims was Al Qa’eda’s “senior representative” in Iran. The Americans say al-Fadhli arrived in Syria in April 2013 and began working with Jabhat al-Nusra, but subsequently split from the organization.

The US also claims that Khorasan also includes Abd Al-Rahman Muhammad al-Juhni, a Saudi national designated by the Treasury as “part of a group of senior Al Qa’eda members in Syria formed to conduct external operations against Western targets”.
Peter Clifford closely follows the military situation in Syria and his reports have always proven to be accurate in the past. This is his first report:

For the very 1st time, US forces, backed by Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), attacked Islamic State targets in Syria last night, around 8.30pm Eastern Time in the US, 1.30am (Tuesday) GMT.

The attack started with the launch of Tomahawk missiles from the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke positioned in the Red Sea, followed by F-18 aircraft flying off the USS George H. W. Bush in the Persian Gulf.

B-1 bombers, F-16s, F-18s and Predator drones where also used in the assault, some of them flown by Arab nations, though the full details are not yet available.

The first wave of attacks lasted 90 minutes with other attacks over the course of several hours. Confirmation of the attacks has come from sources in the Islamic State main base in Syria at Raqqah and several amateur mobile phone videos appeared on the web including this one:

The Pentagon is denying that there were any civilian causalities, and the media isn't reporting them, but of course there were:

But as I have learned by being a close observer of this conflict from the beginning, few things are what they seem at first glance and people who I have come to trust are raising serious questions about who is really behind some of these attacks:

The surprise was that the first attacks were not against ISIS but against Khorasan, a group I'd never heard about before Obama targeted them, which has been described as formerly with al Nusra Front. Many questions remain about this group and this strike. This tweet raises one of them:
Some have questioned how "imminent" this threat could have been if the operatives were still in Syria, while others have pointed out that the Pentagon has a very flexible definition of "imminent":
an "imminent" threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons will take place in the immediate future.
While al Nusra shares many of the same jihadist views of ISIS, it is a largely Syrian group and has been actively fighting ISIS. If this group that Obama struck is or was associated with al Nusra, we can only hope that it doesn't prove counter productive:

The Independent has an informative article about Khorasan:
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis

Discussions of the terror plot were almost always discreet. So when the towers burned that September day, many al-Qaeda operatives didn’t know of their group’s involvement. Only Osama bin Laden and several top commanders knew the truth.

Now, more than 13 years later, one of those commanders is back and perhaps more dangerous than ever. On Sept. 11, 2001, Muhsin al-Fadhli had been barely more than a boy, aged 19. But today the steely-eyed 33-year-old operative is in Syria, leading a group of clandestine al-Qaeda operatives called “Khorasan,” which some American officials said may be more dangerous in some respects than the Islamic State.

Khorasan hasn’t arrived to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. It’s not interested laying claim to great swaths of land and resources, as is the Islamic State. Rather, American officials told the Associated Press, its members have come from Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan to exploit the flood of Western jihadists who now have skin in the fight — and possess very valuable passports. According to the AP, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri dispatched this deputy to recruit those Western fighters, who have a better chance of escaping scrutiny at airports and could place bombs onto planes. More...
Meanwhile, Bashar al-Assad's air war against Syrian civilians continues. Obama doesn't interfere with them, and Assad doesn't try to stop the US air strikes:

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vijay Prashad's Syrian contradictions

Vijay Prashad's latest defense of Bashar al-Assad, Obama’s Syrian dilemma, is a bundle of contradictions . The only thing that holds it together is his covert support for Assad.

Vijay says near the very beginning of his piece:
In Syria, IS faces three adversaries: Kurdish fighters, the Syrian government and an assortment of the Syrian opposition.
This is a laugh, after all that has been written on this score, Vijay still counts Assad as a force fighting ISIS in Syria. Sure there have been a few outbreaks but on balance, Assad has been much more friend than foe to ISIS.

The sad news this week is that ISIS has succeeded in taking 60 villages away from the badly out-gunned Syrian Kurdish forces and sending another 60,000 of Assad's citizens fleeing across the border to Turkey. The Kurds don't have an air force, but Assad does, well supplied by Putin. So why was Assad's air force MIA, while ISIS took another slice out of Syria? Were they too busy bombing Syrians demanding democracy in Aleppo and Idlib? Vijay takes the position that Obama should team up with Assad to battle ISIS in Syria, rather than those who are really fighting ISIS. In fact, near the end of his piece Vijay seems to contradicted himself when he excuses Assad's failure to take the fight to ISIS with:
Mr. Assad will not throw his troops at the IS unless he has an assurance that the rebellion against him is over.
So if Assad has yet to throw his troops at the IS [i.e. ISIS], while the Free Syrian Army certainly has, in what sense is he an adversary of IS, to be named ahead of those that have actually been fighting it? This statement is also an admission that both Vijay and Assad know that IS is not a part of the rebellion against him!

Vijay goes on to confuse rhetoric with reality when he speaks of:
Mr. Obama’s commitment to the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Based on what does he make this claim? Is it like Obama's "commitment" to a living wage, affordable healthcare, and clean energy? If Obama has been so "committed to the overthrow of Assad," why is this morning's CNN headline "US plans to arm Syrian rebels", sometime in the future, 3.5 years into the conflict? Vijay seems to recognize this problem near the end of his piece when he says:
Mr. Obama’s gesture appears resolute, but empty...
Another woeful contradiction. Then he revives an old slander to attack Assad's real opposition:
It is little wonder then that on December 11, 2013, his fighters (along with the al-Nusra) conducted a massacre of Alawites, Christians, Ismailis and Druze in Adra (north-east of Damascus).
This one really ticks me off, especially since Vijay affects, excuse me, has a detailed knowledge of the players in this fight. Assad propaganda seems to never die, in the words of his supporters, no matter how completely if has been exposed, in this case even by me: Fake Adra massacre photos expose bloody hands on Left. There have been other good take-downs of this Assad propaganda including The Massacre in Syria That Wasn’t by the Interpreter Magazine, so Vijad really has no excuse for playing dumb and raising it here again, but as we have seen, time and time again with "anti-imperialist" and pro-Assad propaganda, a good lie never dies.

For example, never mind that the Free Syrian Army is still a potent force in the struggle for democracy in spite of the lack of any real support from Obama and the NATO countries or the horrific attacks they have suffered from a regime that has enjoyed almost unlimited military support from its Russian and Iranian allies, and over looking the fact the regime let many of the jihadists that found their way to ISIS out of his jails, Syrian security officers have been seen in the leadership of ISIS or that Assad buys its oil, Vijay is prepared to blame the democratic forces for the rise of ISIS because they have had the gall to demand an end to the fascist regime:
The rebels remain obdurate that Mr. Assad must go, even if this means delivery of Syria to the Islamic State.
This line, that the only choice for Syria is ISIS or Assad, is straight out of Assad's play book and more than anything exposes which side Vijay is on.

The rebellion is not finished by a long shot:

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How a 24hr truce to pick up bodies became a non-aggression pact between ISIS & Syrian rebels

Today Democracy for America sent this out in an email:
Recent reports have claimed some of the so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels that would receive money and weapons under this plan have agreed to a "non-aggression pact" with ISIS. It's possible that, despite the president's best intentions, weapons sent to Syrian rebels could find their way into the hands of ISIS -- and be used to target Americans.
By most reliable accounts, one group, Sons of Golan, associated with the Free Syrian Army, that had been waging a heroic and hard fought campaign to rid an area near Damascus of ISIS agreed to a 24 hour truce so that both sides could remove their dead from the battlefield and bury them, after which the battle between the two forces resumed. This led to widespread reports in the western anti-war movement that the Free Syrian Army generally had concluded, in words design to invoke memories of the opportunistic agreement made between Hitler and Stalin, a "non-aggression pact" with the extreme jihadist group ISIS in Syria.

Based on a single unverified source, this story is being spread like wildfire by groups that hitherto have shown little concern for the 200,000 Syrians that have died in the last three years as a result of dictator Bashar al-Assad's vicious attempts to cling to power. For example VoteVets included this language in petition opposing the Syrian people's struggle against the Assad regime:
VoteVets cannot support sending arms to Syrian rebels that many reports continue to suggest are still fighting alongside some of the same groups we fought against in Iraq, and are even reportedly entering into truces with ISIS.
And Just Foreign Policy said in their Congress call-in campaign:
Congress is expected to vote soon on a controversial proposal to arm and train Syrian rebels. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition. With recent reports that some so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels this proposal seeks to arm have signed non-aggression pacts with ISIS, as in the past, now is not the time to rush into a policy whose consequences remain so unknown.
The Putin mouthpiece RT ran with this headline:
ISIS and moderate Syrian rebels strike truce…

The militants of Islamic State have reportedly struck a deal with moderate Syrian rebels not to fight each other and focus on toppling the government. Some reports say the deal was brokered by the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda branch in Syria.
While the openly right-wing WND put it this way:
'Moderate' Syrian rebels sign truce with ISIS

While the Obama administration works to coordinate aid to the Syrian rebels, moderate and Islamic Syrian rebels reportedly just signed a first-of-its-kind non-aggression pact with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, according to a monitoring group.
None of these reports noted that the FSA and other forces allied to defeat the Assad regime have been the only groups fighting ISIS in Syria for the past year. They didn't mention that at all.

All of these stories have one source, a 12 September Agence France-Presse report:
Syria rebels, IS in 'non-aggression' pact near Damascus

Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal was agreed between IS and moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital.

Under the deal, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime."
The Daily Beast got the real story, and reported that these false reports:
are easily disproved by evidence that ISIS and the moderate rebels are still fighting each other in that region, according to rebel commanders on the ground and activists supporting the Syrian opposition.

“The only report we have received on anything resembling a ceasefire was that ISIS and Sons of Golan, an FSA brigade outside Damascus, halted fighting for 24 hours to collect bodies before hostilities resumed. However, this report also confirms that there is substantial fighting between the two groups that is leading to fatalities,” said Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, director of government relations for the Syrian American Council, a Washington NGO that works with the Syrian opposition and the FSA. “It is fantastical to think that rebels outside Damascus would expend lives and resources to rout ISIS from the Damascus suburbs; besiege the group for over a month; wait until two days after Obama announces he will aid the rebels to fights ISIS; and then sign a deal with ISIS (the first ever) while the group was besieged in its last holdout.”

The Syrian American Council collected public statements from several of the rebel commanders on the ground near Hajar al-Aswad, the town where the supposed ceasefire was reported to take place. All of the rebel leaders on the ground issued statements to deny the report, according to the group.

“The threat of ISIS is omnipresent across Northern Idlib and is a threat to the Syrian people, the region, and the international community at large,” said Jamal Maarouf, the head of the FSA-linked Syrian Revolutionaries’ Front, in a statement. “SRF remains committed to combating the terrorist threat of ISIS wherever it may be found in order to liberate the Syrian people from all threats, whether foreign or domestic.”
It's no secret that Putin's Russia has long supported Assad's bloody campaign to stay in power. They have supported it with bombs and bullets so it should surprise no one that RT also supports it by spreading the vilest lies against his opposition. Likewise extreme right-wing and fascist forces from around the globe have supported it in a similar manner, so we know where WND is coming from. But why are these so-called "progressive" and "anti-imperialist" groups so ready to spread the same pro-Assad propaganda against the forces fighting for democracy in Syria without the slightest attempts at fact checking?

UPDATE 19 September 2014: When Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate on Wednesday he added a new dimension to this particular controversy because he made the claim that it was a propaganda ploy of the Islamic State. He said this about the story of a non-aggression pact between ISIS (or ISIL as he calls it) and the Free Syrian Army: "Let me say to you, that's---disinformation fundamentally put out by ISIL." Not reading Arabic I have seen this disinformation spread most widely by whose in the "anti-imperialist" Left. I don't know the basis of Kerry's statement and have to say I don't have much faith in his intelligence no matter how you mean it, but upon reflection, I have to agree with him.

Here is my reasoning: Its not hard to understand why a section of the FSA would agree to a 24hr truce to remove the dead from the battlefield. Such breaks in the fighting to evacuate the dead and wounded are quite common in the annals of warfare, even between the most bitter of opponents, if only in the name of simple decency. They happened in the American Civil War and after the truce the two sides returned to killing each other. But ISIS is not known for its decency. If this is indeed the first such truce that they have agreed to, which is what most of these "anti-imperialist" reports claim, then the real question it why did ISIS agree to it at this juncture?

The logical answer is that they agreed to it precisely so that their propaganda allies could use it as the grain-of-truth in a dis-information campaign that claimed, as the women in the pink blouse did on CNN this morning, that "hundreds of FSA units have entered into a non-aggression pact with ISIS" at the very moment when the United States is considering whether to support the FSA with training and arms in a serious way for the first time. So I think Kerry has a point.

ISIS is very sophisticated in it propaganda, as is the Assad Regime. The highlight of the ISIS video released today is a North American sounding jihadist executing members of Assad's army. Now that they have gotten the attention of the American people, they are making a great show of opposing Assad, just as Assad appears, for the first time, to be opposing ISIS. Of course, in the past, Assad has been much quicker to shoot his own soldiers, as punishment for attempting to defect, than he has to bomb ISIS headquarters in Ragga or ISIS camps anywhere. Had he done so, they never could have had the safehaven that has allowed them to conquer so much territory in Syria and Iraq, just as ISIS has waged war against the FSA and not Assad, who purchases their oil. As I have reported earlier, ISIS prisons have been found to be filled with FSA soldiers while defecting Syrian soldiers so foolish as to flee to ISIS have been turned over to Assad, most likely to be shot. Now it is convenient to boaster claims that ISIS is the main force fighting Assad and visa versa with these displays. Those who have been following this conflict for the past three and a half years are not fooled but those that have just waken up to it may be.

So ISIS allowed a truce in one area, near Damascus, with one FSA unit, and with the help of its friends and allies, have scored another propaganda victory. These "anti-imperialists" only oppose western imperialism and follow the logic of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." This has long made them supporters of Putin and Assad. Now they seem quite willing to add ISIS to that club and spread ISIS misinformation for the purpose of discrediting the forces that have remained in the struggle, in spite of three and a half years of pounding by Assad and over a year of fighting ISIS, as either non-existent or having concluded a "non-aggression pact" with ISIS.

I regret to inform you that to this roll call of dishonour we can also add Syrian Arab Republic, Counterpunch, The Tea Party.org, The AntiMedia.org, Infowars.com, BreitBart, David Icke, Fire Dog Lake, Anti-War.com, Global Research, Truthdig, The Right Scoop, Uprooted Palestinian, The Ron Paul Institute, Dennis Kucinich, Information Clearinghouse, Hebrew Nation Radio, War in Iraq, Red State, The Nation, Veteran's Today, Counter Currents.org, Moon of Alabama, and Huffington Post. All together in support of ISIS propaganda. What a wonderful example of "left-right convergence" this makes!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Obama still seeking $500 million to arm Syrian rebels!

After US president Barack Obama's initial request on 26 June, 2014 for funding to arm those fighting the fascist regime of Bashar al-Assad, the media was full of stories like this:
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $500 million to train and arm vetted members of the Syrian opposition, as the U.S. grapples for a way to stem a civil war that has also fueled the al-Qaida inspired insurgency in neighboring Iraq.
Many on the so-called anti-imperialist "Left" found this request somewhat embarrassing because they had been saying for years that Obama has always been the principal force funding and training Assad's opposition. So without offering something like a shred of evidence of previous funding, they simply claimed it and made reports like these.

From Anti-War.com we got:
Having thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the various “moderate” Syrian rebel factions, the US has very little to show for it...Still, President Obama sees no reason to try something new, and is doubling down with a request to Congress for another $500 million for Syrian rebel funding, aiming at both training and equipment for the factions.
And from Democracy Now we got:
President Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to train and arm Syrian rebels. If approved, it would mark the most direct U.S. military role in the conflict to date, following more covert forms of support for the rebels.
If by "more covert forms of support," they mean radios and MRE (meals ready to eat), I will concede the point, if they mean military support of the type that Obama started requesting then and is still requesting today, then they have a steep hill of proof to climb.

At the time it was also being reported that 160,000 people had been killed in the Syrian conflict. Now after almost three months, 40,000 more Syrian lives and the prominent be-headings of three westerners, Obama is still campaigning for that $500 million to arm those now fighting both Assad and ISIS in Syria.

This is the long and short of Obama's celebrated support for those fighting for democracy in Syria. For more than three years now he has been all bark and no bite in the fight for freedom in Syria.

Like I've been saying:
How Obama has supported Assad's gas murder always
Obama's Real Syria Policy: Endless War
The Courtship Continues: Obama stopped French strike on Assad
The Courtship Continues: Obama's New Gift to Assad
How Obama Helped Assad Kill with Poison Gas in Syria
Win-Win for Assad as Obama Response to CW Mass Murder Put on Hold
Obama Denied Gas Masks to Assad's Victims
Obama's Dilemma and Assad's Opportunity
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad Exposed!
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring
More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy
Obama: Did the CIA betray Assad's opposition in Syria?
Obama planning drone strikes against Assad's opposition in Syria
How Obama helps Assad: US tried to start war between FSA & al Nusra Front

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria