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View Diary: Why I Blogged the War - Why I Stopped (116 comments)

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  •  We put Syria into play? (5+ / 0-)

    So the conflict in Syria is manufactured by the US?

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:59:07 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Duh (21+ / 0-)

      Oh, gee, I guess I neglected to blog about that.  

      Look at the funding of the Syrian opposition, and the nationalities, and you'll see the same pattern of Saudi funding and Pakistani/Egyptian fighters that we've used so often elsewhere - for example Libya just before Syria. (And, of course, 9/11 hijackers in USA)  Many of the "insurgents" just shifted from Libya to Syria on orders of their paymasters once we decided Libya had been "won".

      One of the complaints of Christian Syrians forced to flee as refugees was that it was mostly foreigners who were attacking their neighbourhoods and killing them to create the sympathy needed in US and UK press accounts for intervention.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

      by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:07:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amazing, isn't it. (13+ / 0-)

        People don't see the obvious. Like us finding an excuse to have Patriots in Turkey and Jordan. Our media once again doing the bidding of the warmongerers and calling the uprising 'peaceful' while armed groups were killing.

        I couldn't stand to read Western media.

        And Hillary, who did everything in her power to keep things in motion, is now the leading contender for the Presidency.

      •  It's so easy and comforting really (17+ / 0-)

        to see these things in black and white.

        You note earlier that you had not been in the region, yet you were "right about everything". Well, I work in the region, and all I see are shades of grey. Some of my friends in Baghdad are sympathetic to the Assad regime, because they see the rebels as linked to the Sunni insurgency in Iraq which continues to set off bombs in their city. One dear friend is a doctor who fought Saddam as a teenager in the 91 rebellion. He is a devout (Shi'a) Muslim, who has a nuanced view of the US role in Iraq. He doesn't think the US is trying to control Iraq's oil wealth and thinks that the motivations for the war were complex - some good, some bad, but that the actual US policy in Iraq was incompetent. He's not so nuanced on Syria, and shared Glenn Beck on his FB page spouting conspiracy theories about how Obama is a secret Muslim supporting al Qaeda. His perspective on Iraq is different from yours, but on Syria, it's similar: Obama has taken sides and is actually an ally of al Qaeda.

        And then there's a former co-worker of mine in the US, who was born in Syria and strongly protested the US invasion of Iraq. He returned to Syria and joined the opposition. He has turned from an opponent of intervention to someone who is horrified and incredulous that the Obama Administration failed to respond militarily to chemical weapons attacks in the very neighborhood in which he was born. If you ask him whether the US is trying to destabilize Syria as part of a wider effort to maintain control over the Middle East, per your conspiracy theory, he will look at you like you are crazy. He just wishes that the US would give a flying f@ck about Syria. He is closer to the conflict, and he sees the Obama Administration motivated primarily by a desire to avoid another war, and if anything, way too accommodating of the Assad/Iran side of the conflict.

        What we have here is a very complicated conflict resulting not just from US imperialism, but from pre-existing ethnosectarian differences exacerbated by arbitrary borders and a very rough transition from a highly developed but pre-modern Ottoman Empire. Add to that regional competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with the end of the Cold War and gradual decay of Arab Nationalist one-party states, and competition over who gets to control or protect oil, and you get a very messy situation instead. Its easier and more comforting to blame the war on neocolonialism, simplify it to proxy forces trained by the US to take control over oil resources, and feel anguish about discerning the pattern but having no power to influence the outcome. I would suggest that you actually spend time in Iraq, Lebanon or Syria, but there are already too many people there already who were "right on everything" and quite convinced that these conflicts are easily explained by one conspiracy theory or another, or easily resolved once the US gets out.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:25:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that it is safe to say that it is a very (7+ / 0-)

          long list of competing screwed up factors that contributes to the continued instability in the Middle East and Central Asia.

          One or another aspect of the dynamics at play usually comes to the fore when one or another competing faction is dominating.  

          Bush's invasion of Iraq under false premises and with fantastical prognostications about being greeted with flowers is not a conspiracy theory.  It is history - real and factual history.  Bush-Cheney are not men of conscience who set out to free anyone.  They certainly do not hold any high regard for democracy.  They were motivated by power and greed as they and their band of political and military thieves always were.

          I think that it is safe to say that Cheney, et al had designs on Iraq's oil; that the US has contributed greatly to instability in these regions; but these regions have made themselves vulnerable, too in many, many ways.

          ivorybill, I know that you work hard in the region and I applaud you for that.  I am grateful, actually.  But the only thing I really know is this political and cultural environment and that's where my focus is.  I don't think that we are helping the world.  I think that the US is lost and needs to get itself back together before we have any real credibility to tell anyone else what they need to do.  I think that the overwhelming support of the Iraq War in this country was proof positive that our country lacks empathy.  I am not an isolationist, but I do believe that we should try a lot harder to think about the phrase, "first do no harm" before we go off all half cocked and bang up countries killing millions of people in the name of freedom - something we hardly understand anymore here much less in the context of a completely foreign country and culture.

          I would say that we could debate the relative impact of all of the competing issues, and think that that is a more productive conversation.

        •  Amen. (& rAmen ;-) ) nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies
      •  We agreed on Iraq; but u lost me on Syria, Libya & (5+ / 0-)

        and Iran.

        Yes, the main funders of Syrian rebels are Saudi Arabia and Qatar (their governments and private individuals -- much of the latter and some of the former going to extremist/Al Qaeda linked groups). US funding (of different rebel groups) came later, is relatively smaller, not highly lethal, and has been scaled back. Saudi and Qatar are ostensibly US allies, but we disagree on many issues, and they are not US puppets. They have their own agenda and their own reasons for funding extremists in Libya, Egypt, and Syria, and this is not some n-dimensional US strategy. Saudi Arabia is livid about the US opening with Iran, even allying with Israel against Iran. Kerry is now urging rebel groups to attend peace talk meetings with the Assad regime (which is the only realistic alternative to an extremist takeover, with no guarantee of success). Rebel extremist attacks on Syrian Christians (and others) played against those who wanted a US military strike on the Assad regime (because such a strike favored rebels).

        In Libya, are you suggesting that the US deliberately funded extremist groups such as those who attacked our consulate and killed Amb. Chris Stevens? That would break credulity.

        The Obama Admin was poised to attack Syria after the chemical weapons attacks. Obama punted the decision to Congress in part because 80% of the US public opposed it -- which in turn was in partly a reaction to a (belated) learning from the dismal experience in Iraq, and the exposure of Bush's lies (WMD, yellowcake, aluminum tubes, mobile weapons trucks, etc. etc. etc.). That delay with Syria provided an opening for Putin, Rouhani, Kerry, Assad, etc. to cobble together a face-saving "out".

        Regarding Iran, despite the efforts to scuttle diplomacy by AIPAC and Senators Schumer, Menendez, Kirk, Booker (that b@$t@rd), Gillibrand, and others with a large (and Persiaphobic) Jewish constituency, Obama and Kerry are pushing ahead with negotiations, in the biggest breakthrough in US-Iran relations since the 1970s.

        Obama failed to make as much progress as I'd like on several issues, but things have changed in the past five years and it's been far better than a (*shudder*) McCain-Palin or Romney-Ryan presidency.

    •  Well, our Beneficent, Democracy-loving friends, (12+ / 0-)

      the Saudis helped. You know, the guys who fund terrorism around the world on a scale unmatched by anyone else; the guys who have 27 pages in the Congressional 9/11 report which the American people aren't allowed to see? But Congressmen who have done so, say the American people would be furious if we did?

      BTW, see the latest from the head of the UN Mission to Syria. About how the missiles used in the attack that we were about to use as a pretext for war have a two mile range, and the Assad didn't control territory that close, but rebels did.

      McClatchy reports:

      A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

      Separately, international weapons experts are puzzling over why the rocket in question – an improvised 330mm to 350mm rocket equipped with a large receptacle on its nose to hold chemicals – reportedly did not appear in the Syrian government’s declaration of its arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and apparently was not uncovered by OPCW inspectors who believe they’ve destroyed Syria’s ability to deliver a chemical attack.

      The carousel is the carousel. The ponies each look different, but the ride keeps going to the same place.


      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:49:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Safari Club, etc. (19+ / 0-)

        When black ops were outlawed during the Carter administration, Bush '41 (then CIA director), Kissenger, Goss, Gates, etc. allegedly struck a deal with the Saudis, Pakistanis, Egyptians and Iranians that they would procure terrorism and assassinations to order in exchange for military/foreign development funding.  The arrangements were based on the success of the earlier Safari Club.  That's why so many ties between Middle East "allies" and events in Central and South America in the 1980s.  Prince Turki actually confirmed this in a public speech after he was no longer Saudi ambassador to the USA.  Prince Bandar bragged to Bob Woodward about his role in Argentina and Chile.

        One reason the USA was so ticked off at the Shah's overthrow was his centrality to the deal as Iranian oil flows hid a lot of black money for black ops and the American Embassy in Iran held a lot of records.  Michael Ledeen was the overlord of these operations, and then redeployed to Italy (very dirty history - Strategy of Tension), before his rehabilitation to the National Security Council and Defense Department under Bush '43.

        There's nothing so permanent as a temporary arrangement.

        "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" - Abraham Lincoln

        by LondonYank on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:33:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  'Safari Club' is new to me, and I thought I knew (5+ / 0-)

          a lot of 'Dark History.' Dude, come back to DKos. Even if you write essays on your current interests, people would still read.

          Just last night I found the words to describe to myself the case: the Saudis, the Gulf States, are not the US's friends, but the friends of that crowd you just mentioned.

          I'll never forget a photo of VP Cheney: he did a one-day run to Bahrain, I think it was. One of the Gulf States. Fly in, hang for 4 hours, fly home. There's Cheney, going home, with a HUGE suitcase. What, he planned to stay a week, and just brought that along before a change of plans?

          Couldn't help but recall Adnan Koshogi and the special, and stuffed, suitcase he gave to Nixon.


          Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

          by Jim P on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:08:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting book, recently recommended (4+ / 0-)

          on The Family Bush, Family of Secrets. Lots of it on Poppy and the Company. It was worse than most imagined.

          Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

          by Mnemosyne on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 06:02:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  News item recently: "Barbara Bush Doesn't want Jeb (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LondonYank, Mnemosyne, NonnyO

            to run for President."

            Now, is there any among us who know what a "Kremlin Watcher" was, and why people would read the Soviet News to find hints on just what was going on in the Soviet elite?


            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:03:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  your comment makes me imagine (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NonnyO, LondonYank, Jim P

              Babs in full chest-full-of-medals regalia, standing at attention on the Kremlin wall -- next to, oh, someone like Bukarin or Malenkov -- surveying the troops passing in review.

              Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

              by Mnemosyne on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:17:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But is Malenkov now two places to the LEFT of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LondonYank

                the leader, instead of one to the right? People used to write whole papers on the implications of that.

                In regards to how power operates in the US today we're sort of in the same position. And I'd bet that Jeb Bush will be the Republican candidate. Wouldn't that be perfect: Jeb or Hill, them's your choices?


                Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

                by Jim P on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:18:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

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