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View Diary: The Syria Deal: Winners and Losers (142 comments)

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  •  Only Losers (0+ / 0-)

    From Obama to the notion that Americans care about democracy in the ME.

    First of all, NOTHING has been done.

    And "nothing" is the likely outcome of this whole farce.  Other than helping maintain the status quo.  Syrian regime forces will not give up all their WMD, and they will not stop slaughtering people who want freedom and democracy.

    It makes Obama look feckless and weak.

    And attempting to spin this as "good" for Obama and Americans, is a bad joke.  It is to pretend that Syrians don't really want or deserve to live as free people, in a safe, civilized democratic society.

    It is abandoning the people of Syria to their fate of terror and death under the Assad regime.

    It allows Arabs all over the Middle East to see that the US doesn't really care about supporting democracy for non-Westerners (especially after Egypt).

    And it ensures that chemical weapons (among many other awful means) WILL be used again by despotic regimes around world to enslave people, because it will be clear once and for all that Americans don't give a shit about anybody but themselves.

    •  The Syrian people took to the streets because they (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, tmay, JesseCW, wu ming, KenBee

      wanted food and employment. Millions had been living on a few pieces of bread and sweet tea for several years. Just like all the other Arab Spring countries, the root causes of the uprisings was a combination of socioeconomic inequity, government corruption and massive unemployment from a youth bulge.

      The Qataris and Saudis took advantage of the situation to escalate the conflict in a bid to topple Assad.

      Earth Is Parched Where Syrian Farms Thrived
      Published: October 13, 2010

       The four-year drought in Syria has pushed two million to three million people into extreme poverty, according to a survey completed here this month by the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter. Herders in the country’s northeast have lost 85 percent of their livestock, and at least 1.3 million people have been affected, he reported.

      An estimated 50,000 more families have migrated from rural areas this year, on top of the hundreds of thousands of people who fled in earlier years, Mr. De Schutter said. Syria, with a fast-growing population, has already strained to accommodate more than a million Iraqi refugees in the years since the 2003 invasion.

      •  Don't forget climate change (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, Eric Nelson

        important re: the hunger.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 12:43:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It started in Daraa (0+ / 0-)

        ...where Assad's men killed young boys for painting anti-regime graffiti and dumped their tortured bodies on their families doorsteps.

        The idea this is foreign inspired is Assad propaganda.  Sadly, the anti-intervention crowd here is lapping it up.

        "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

        by FDRDemocrat on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 01:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There was a tit-for-tat escalation of violence (0+ / 0-)

          in Daraa. It was only after a number of police had been killed that the Syrian army became involved. The governor of the area was fired for using excessive force.

          Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests
          Continued protests in Syria claim lives of seven police and four protesters, and result in burning a courthouse and Baath Party HQ in Daraa.

          Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday.

          The clashes came amidst growing political tension in the Muslim nation, whose Presidents and many senior officials have always come from Syria's influential Shia Alawite minority, when twenty students were arrested for spray-painting anti-government graffiti on a wall.

          Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that arms had indeed been provided to groups within Syria, and they had stored them in the al-Omari mosque in Daraa.
          Saudi admits that "Syrian Revolution" was armed from the start - Aired on BBC Arabic in April 2012 (SUBBED)

          On 23.March.2011, the Syrian National TV broadcast a video-report about seized weapons in "Al-Omari" mosque in the city of Daraa, just a few days after the beginning of the unrest.
          At that time, the entire world accused the Syrian government of fabricating the report. However after more than one year, here they are admitting that the terrorists of Daraa stored weapons in "Al-Omari" mosque. BBC held an interview with "Anwar Al-Eshki", a Saudi Ex-Military (Major General) and now president of "Center for Strategic studies" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He reveals information about the first days in the Syrian crisis, and he even confirms his connections with the leader of the so-called "Free Syrian Army".

          Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage

          As for me, late in €”before, in May, I had a problem with the channel when I €”you know, we were on the borders with Syria and there were a lot of armed men, militants, tens of guns, and they were with weapons and just moving along the border from Lebanon to Syria.

          At that time, you know, everyone was talking about the revolution in Syria, that it's peaceful revolution, it's not using arms. But, you know, what we saw, it was really interesting and kind of €”if it was any other channel, this should be a breaking news, it should be a big story. But, actually, Al Jazeera, let me say, the policy and the channel itself, maybe the journalists inside, you know, they went back to, maybe, the owners, and then it was kind of €”it's not allowed, and I was asked to go back to Beirut, and those footage weren't ever aired on Al Jazeera.
          JAY: So what—before we go further into your own story, let's back up one step. What exactly did you see in terms of arms going into Syria? Who do you think (or were you able to tell?) was supplying the arms?

          HASHEM: Actually, I can't identify who's really supplying the arms, but actually we saw armed men just crossing the river, the great northern river, which is the only, you know, natural barrier between Lebanon and Syria. They were just crossing that barrier and going into Syria, and then clashing with the Syrian Army. That was in May. And even something similar happened in April, but it wasn't on camera. But in May it was on camera and we had the footage, and, you know, no one wanted to have them on air.
          HASHEM: Actually, you know, it was clear the protests started peacefully, but it seems that quickly it went into militarizing. Some external factors or factions wanted the resolution to be militarized and they wanted to face al-Assad's crackdown with weapons. And maybe this was bad for the revolution. Maybe if this revolution stayed peaceful it might have achieved a lot.

          But what happened is that €”you know, I'm not sourcing or quoting; I just saw with my eyes, and it was in the beginning of the revolution, it was just, like, one month and a half from the revolution. And things were €”you know, I was seeing a lot of weapons, people with RPGs, people with Kalashnikovs, you know, just crossing from the borders. And they were not one or two; they were a big number; they were just dominating the whole village that we were on the borders with. So, you know, the militarization of the revolution started early, and it may be those who were trying, maybe, to push and to you know, they want al-Assad to fall as soon as possible. Those wanted to say that al-Assad is facing the peaceful crackdown with weapons, while the others on the revolution side are kind of peaceful people, are not holding weapons.

          •  Agents provocateurs (0+ / 0-)

            The Assad regime was eager from the start to:

            a) ensure peaceful protests "escalated" as soon as possible so that the regime can do what it always does, killing people; they used undercover agents and plants to ensure this.  

            b) inflame sectarian tensions to ensure that Syria's minorities feared change; this became a self-fulfilling prophecy when jihadis flooded in once the revolt

            I am sure there were also some guns, no doubt.  The eastern part of Syrian had been a staging area for many groups fighting the US in Iraq.  Smuggling is also rife.  The tribes cross the border, which basically divides them like a line in the sand.  Assad looked the other way so long as these guns were pointed at his enemies.

            But the beginning of the revolt was intended to mimic the "Arab Spring" revolts in other countries like Egypt, which had not been armed revolts.  Manaf Tlas and others who have since defected from Assad's inner circle describe how in the early days they pleaded with Bashar to take a non-violent approach, to listen.  But partly because he is somewhat a captive of his father's Baath machinery (Bashar was not supposed to be the next boss, the elder son Basil was but he was killed in a car wreck) and partly because of his own inclinations, the crackdown began immediately, old Hafez style.

            "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

            by FDRDemocrat on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 08:05:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That makes absolutely no sense at all. (0+ / 0-)

              BTW, do you think that the Saudis and Qataris are arming the rebels because they want to bring democracy to Syria? When do you think they decided to start arming them?

              •  That's how dictatorships work (0+ / 0-)

                Heck, we had the same thing lite-style back in the 1960's.  FBI and police in places like Chicago would infiltrate protesters movements and their undercover agents would propose violent actions so the authorities would have a reason to act.

                As far as the Saudis and Qataris, no I do not think they have good intentions.  But does that mean we condemn the revolutionaries for their sponsors?

                In 1936-1939, that was the US right wing anti-intervention argument for not aiding the Spanish Republic against Franco.  We cannot aid them because they have Communists in their ranks and are helped by the Soviet Union.  You can probably use that sort of argument for anything.  You could go back in time and oppose the American Revolution because it was aided by the absolute French Monarchy.

                In the end, it boils down to making excuses...

                "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

                by FDRDemocrat on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 08:45:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It's best to read comments ... (0+ / 0-)

          before replying to them.

        •  not either-or, but both-and (0+ / 0-)

          there were peaceful protests that were radicalized by brutal govt repression and torture.

          there were also military cells tied to the saudis and qataris, as well as al qaeda cells moving in from western iraq.

          it is more complicated than either one story.

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