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  •  Ron Paul land is... (9+ / 0-)

    complaining that some of the Syrian rebels have pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.

    So... we should just let Assad murder his own citizens?  I'm unclear on how they say they're for "peace", if by "peace" it means allowing a dictator to massacre his citizenry.

    •  Typical ignorance from a typically ignorant (8+ / 0-)


      I'm sure having the US just waltz in there by itself would be a better idea.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 08:59:21 PM PST

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      •  Heh. (4+ / 0-)

        The guy's whining that people like you and me have simply fallen for "statist propaganda".  The word "statist" has become like their 3rd most favorite word to use, behind "freedom" and "liberty".

        •  That's the first I've heard of that term 'statist' (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, BruinKid, renzo capetti

          At least in a contemporary context.

          Maybe I'm just ignorant, too. ;)

          The sad thing is, the shit the Republicans, and by extension, the Paulites spew out for each others self-reinforcing consumption is closer to true propaganda than anything they suspect is being leveled at them by us.

          Not that their ignorance would ever permit them to see that, though.

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
          ~ Jerry Garcia

          by DeadHead on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 09:48:23 PM PST

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      •  "Typical ignorance" ??? Are they wrong? (0+ / 0-)

        The Arab Socialist Baath Party that rules Syria is largely secular. This is the same nationalist, modernizing movement that took hold in Iraq, even with Saddam Hussein turning the country into a brutal dictatorship.

        Religious fanaticism is more of a problem in the Arab world than the Saddams and Assads. Like Afghanistan in the 1970s, Russia has taken sides in Syria against the religious fanatics.

        Syrian politics goes back a hundred years or so to get to how things are structured. The Alawi tribe in Syria are Shiite, though the majority are Sunni. In practice this puts the Alawi at odds with Saudi Arabia and their Salafi allies.

        Also, what happened in Iraq 2003-2009 is a big part of what is happening in Syria today. Sometimes you see the same players.

        Alawite ascendance in Syria was engineered by the French after WW I. Typical of their colonial management theories, the French maintained local tribal differences. They ended up preferring the non-Sunni, "rejectionist" lower-status Alawi -- based in the mountains at the northern end of today's Lebanon -- and provided military training and careers.

        After WW II the Alawi officers supported Baathist efforts and led the nationalist movement that took power in 1970. To majority Sunnis, Hafez al-Assad's coming to power is described as "an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia." It has been a rocky 40 years.

        Today we see thousands of Salafis in Syria committing to al-Q ?????

        How is that a surprise?

        Vowing martyrdom to remove secular, modernizing, Shiite-based "untouchables" from the Syrian presidency ???

        What else?

        Three years ago you could buy a New York Times or Middle East Elle at any Damascus street vendor. You could listen to BBC radio on local FM. After a Sunni fundamentalist Salafi-driven takeover, good luck with that.

        None of the choices here are going to look like Berkeley.

        Salafis in Iraq such as al Zarqawi and al Masri were the monsters who took to bombing Shiite pilgrims in Iraq, killing far more Shiites than Americans all through the post-invasion years. These Salafis would rather murder Shiites than look at them.

        Opposition to Assad and the Alawi/Baathists is a fundamentalist Sunni movement. Anti-human rights. Anti-woman from the Western perspective. Definitely anti-free press.

        (And yes, in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer replicated the French tribalism-based, divide-and-conquer strategy. That blunder was what brought on the massive blood-letting.

        Bremer drove the Sunnis to accept foreign Salafi/Al-Q-in-Iraq. They had no choice. Lebanon at its worst was never the meat grinder that developed out of Bremer's mismanagement of Iraq. When Iraq wound down with Sunnis participating in government, the Salafis by the thousands packed bags and moved north into Syria.)

    •  That pledge is one of the reasons our government.. (1+ / 0-)
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      has thus far allowed the murderous rampage to continue. This, despite the fact that our inaction has been one of the primary causes of the instability that allows space for AQ to thrive.

      "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

      by 2020adam on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 09:46:03 PM PST

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      •  "Al-Q" is the preferred tag of the Salafis. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Zawahiri is getting to be an old man.

        This is religious fanaticism. 100%. Pure. Idealistic to the exclusion of reality-testing.

        Salafi fighters want to be martyrs -- to be free to move anywhere in the realms of Paradise. To return to the Ka'aba at the Hadj. The al-Q tag gets them there.

        There is no significant "organization" per se. It's ad hoc.

        •  Making our government's use of "their" presence... (1+ / 0-)
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          as a justification for stunted action that much sillier. The Base seeks to spread its ideology and tactics, not necessarily its own operational reach. We, of course, do a fantastic job of aiding that spread by playing into their violent prophecies.

          "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

          by 2020adam on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:48:56 PM PST

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          •  Arguably we founded Hezbollah in 1985. (1+ / 0-)
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            It was unintentional. It's not like we funded both al-Q and the Hezzies. But our actions in 1983/1984 created unique conditions where otherwise there was no was that this Shiite organization would and we surely funded Binladen so he was able to found al-Q.

            Hezbollah is the strongest continuing element of the Reagan Legacy. If St. Ronnie hadn't mis-, mal-, and non-managed his move into Lebanon in 1983/1984, there would be no Hezbollah.

            To begin with, Lebanese Muslims are mostly Sunni, not Shiite. The smallish Alawi tribe are Shiite and there are small pockets of other Shiite groups, but no one would have thought in 1949-1982 that a Shiite-led organization would become the dominant independent militia.

            Ariel Sharon's invasion of the Fatah area in southern Lebanon unsettled the balances among the existing militias. Then Reagan had naval guns open up on the hills above Beirut in 1983/1984. All in all Reagan's barrages killed 5,000 civilians.

            You've seen the "Collateral Murder" video -- call that the Manning Legacy -- so all you have to do is put St. Ronnie in the helicopter pilot's seat and you've got Lebanon in a nut shell.

            Sunni organizations were unable to respond. Their Saudi connections counted for nothing. Shiite organizations -- helped by Iran -- were able first to bomb the U.S. embassy on April 18th 1983. 63 dead. Then the (undefended) U.S. Marine and the French barracks on October 23rd 1983. 241 dead.

            Revenge was taken. All in all, 392 were killed with 4 truck bombs. Lebanese Muslims and Druze, all in all, would have been happier to see 5,000 killed. Better 392 than nothing.

            Come 1984, Reagan surrendered. Turned tail and ran away. Killing civilians with 5"/127mm and 16" 2700-pound artillery shells ended. Finally.

            Iran and the people who founded Hezbollah claim the credit. They and especially their martyrs had earned it.

            "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country" was never truer.

            Reagan and his people ??? They put the blame for the Marine barracks bombing on a mid-level Marine officer. Not the Commanding Officer. A convenient PR victim because he had been paralyzed neck-down in the October 23rd blast.

            Grenada was invaded. Made a good headline. Removal of a benign colonic polyp was headlined as "Cancer !"

            No civilian was fired. No one who ignored the April 18th bombing was court martialed. Promotions for failure, yes indeed. Dept. of Defense ignored what Dept. of State did after the April attack to protect their Middle East embassies.

            Reagan acted like Bush in Iraq. (Or vice versa?) No quality control. No punishments for bad management.

            Of course Bush went further. He handed out a Medal of Freedom to his psychopath Bremer. All Bremer had done was create at least 4 anti-American-militia Hezbollah-equivalents in Iraq and set off a terrible meat grinder civil war.

            Remember "The Commander in Chief Test" ??? Is your favorite presidential candidate suitable material for the presidency?

            Well, on the evidence both Reagan and Bush were failures. And thanks for Hezbollah, St. Ronnie. They couldn't have done it without you.

    •  Is it really "Al-Qaeda" in organization (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruinKid, jan4insight, bontemps2012

      and structure, or just one of many groups that's hijacked the name?

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 09:58:04 PM PST

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    •  We have got to start to come to terms (4+ / 0-)

      that if we release a nation from the grip of a brutal dictator and help them work toward self-determination, it's self-determination not US-determination and we might end up not liking what they determine.

      If you can't say anything nice about the GOP, please post here more often.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:22:18 PM PST

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    •  "We" should let Assad murder his own citizens? (0+ / 0-)

      Itching for another war, are "we"?

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:30:07 AM PST

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