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

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  •  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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