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View Diary: Obama & Syria: Lies and deception now institutionalized (126 comments)

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  •  Oh great. Just what we need. More bullshit./ (5+ / 0-)

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:24:48 AM PDT

    •  Why is it bullshit? You think your MSM sources (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, snoopydawg, Brecht, Lepanto

      are better than Hersh?

      "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:28:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark Lippman

        An article that starts with a pile of CT to begin with pretty much removes any credibility from the rest.

        MSM has its flaws, but at this point, I wouldn't believe Hersch if he said the sun rises in the east.

        •  They bash Dems but lack a constructive alternative (0+ / 0-)

          and they expect a big welcome.

          Clueless.

          When asked for the better plan to replace the one we have now, they attack. They got nothing.

          People who complain so bitterly about what is, need to have a credible substitute. When all they have is their bitter complaints, and attacks on people with questions, they lose the benefit of the doubt.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 11:32:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How about Hersch's The Redirection (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          It appears he was remarkably astute back then.

          The Redirection
          Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
          by Seymour M. Hersh March 5, 2007

          In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

          •  Actually not really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill

            This particular piece is long on vague generalities and short on specifics.  Having lived in the Middle East, I'd say that it glosses over some significant issues. In any event he sure got the notion of a rampant Iran and Syrian regime dead wrong. Interestingly Egypt barely figures here

            So no, I wouldn't say astute.

            •  He was correct about Syria and the Saudis (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              and Iraq. Don't forget that this was written in 2005.

              The Redirection

              Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of its new policy. “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”
              ...
              Last November, Cheney flew to Saudi Arabia for a surprise meeting with King Abdullah and Bandar. The Times reported that the King warned Cheney that Saudi Arabia would back its fellow-Sunnis in Iraq if the United States were to withdraw. A European intelligence official told me that the meeting also focussed on more general Saudi fears about “the rise of the Shiites.” In response, “The Saudis are starting to use their leverage—money.”
              ...
              Nasr went on, “The Saudis have considerable financial means, and have deep relations with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis”—Sunni extremists who view Shiites as apostates. “The last time Iran was a threat, the Saudis were able to mobilize the worst kinds of Islamic radicals. Once you get them out of the box, you can’t put them back.”

              The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.
              ...
              This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”
              ...

          •  In fact (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit

            Recent events show how oversimplified his analysis is. In fact to me it reads a lot like the Bush administration's stupidly simplistic view.  We have nothing like a Sunni Shiite divide in the Middle East. It is way more complex that that.  Looks a Syria.   We have a secular Sunni (Alawite) regime allied with a fundamentalist Shiite regime in Iran and religious Shiite militia that is primarily anti Israeli (Hezbollah). They are poised by a combination is Sunni extremists fundamentalists and secular militias.  The Sunni fundamentalists affiliated with Al Qaeda (eg ISIS) is at odds with the Sunni fundamentalist Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia except for the elements supported by Saudi Arabia.  The Syrian Christians are aligned largely with the secular Sunni regime of Assad (and their fundamentalist Shiite allies in Iran and Hezbollah) in Syria, while Christian groups are mostly oppose to that group in Lebanon for domestic political reasons

            Long story short, it is an oversimplified narrative that basically wants to portray everything in such a way as to show that the US is wrong.  The actual facts are pretty much irrelevant.  Indeed it is precisely this kind of piece that holds no water that leads me to think of Hersch as more of a propagandist than a reporter

            •  The Assade regime is NOT Sunni. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              Assad is Alawite - a branch of Shia Islam. In fact, hardline Sunnis go so far as to consider Alawites to be kuffār.

              Syria’s Alawis and Shi‘ism

              In their mountainous corner of Syria, the Alawis claim to represent the furthest extension of Twelver Shi’ism. The Alawis number perhaps a million persons—about 12 percent of Syria’s population—and are concentrated in the northwestern region around Latakia and Tartus. This religious minority has provided Syria’s rulers for nearly two decades. Syrian President Hafiz al-Asad, in power since 1970, as well as Syria’s leading military and security chiefs, are of Alawi origin.
              ...
              This domination has bred deep resentment among many of Syria’s Sunni Muslims, who constitute 70 percent of the country’s population.
              ...
              Some embittered Sunnis reformulated their loyalties in explicitly Muslim terms and now maintain that the creed of the Alawis falls completely outside the confines of Islam. For them, the rule of an Alawi is the rule of a disbeliever, and it was this conviction that they carried with them in their futile insurrection of February 1982.
              ...
              The Impact of Iran’s Revolution

              In June 1977, Ali Shariati was laid to rest in Damascus, near the mausoleum of Zaynab. Regarded as something of an Iranian Fanon, Shariati offered a radical reinterpretation of Shi’ism, winning a devoted following and the scrutiny of SAVAK. When he died suddenly in London, his admirers charged foul play and arranged to have him buried in Damascus. The choice of Damascus as a place where Shariati’s mourners might safely congregate was not accidental. After 1973, the Syrian authorities provided haven and support for numerous Iranians who were active in the religious opposition to the regime of the Shah. Musa al-Sadr, who officiated at Shariati’s funeral, had much to do with encouraging these ties, since he openly collaborated with the Iranian religious opposition.

              •  Ah yes (0+ / 0-)

                A mistake on my part because I copied Hersch's statements on this very issue ( this astute article of yours says this and I let him talk me out of what I already knew.   With Hersch you always have to double check)

                Long story short though the idea of some monolithic clash is ridiculously oversimplified. Consider for example the tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia.  The fact that Hersch got this fact wrong just deepens my point that Hersch is not to be believed

                •  Where did you get that idea from? (0+ / 0-)

                  From your comments it is obvious you didn't even read Hersch's article.

                  A mistake on my part because I copied Hersch's statements on this very issue ( this astute article of yours says this and I let him talk me out of what I already knew.   With Hersch you always have to double check)
                  Hersch said Syria's Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect and this is a cause for concern. Can it be any clearer?
                  Long story short though the idea of some monolithic clash is ridiculously oversimplified.
                  Hersch has stated that it was very complicated
                  The Redirection:

                  Martin Indyk, a senior State Department official in the Clinton Administration who also served as Ambassador to Israel, said that “the Middle East is heading into a serious Sunni-Shiite Cold War.” Indyk, who is the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, added that, in his opinion, it was not clear whether the White House was fully aware of the strategic implications of its new policy. “The White House is not just doubling the bet in Iraq,” he said. “It’s doubling the bet across the region. This could get very complicated. Everything is upside down.”

                  Consider for example the tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia.  The fact that Hersch got this fact wrong just deepens my point that Hersch is not to be believed
                  What are you talking about here? There have always been tensions between Al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia from the Gulf War right up to today. The Saudis used them as a tool in foreign conflicts such as Afghanistan. The takfiri jihadist Al Qaeda will come back to bite them, just as it did to the US in 9/11 and Iraq.

                  You really need to read the article. Your statements are completely wrong.

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