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BREAKING @ 6:22pm pst New shelling reported in Damascus


Look for Assad's warplanes and attack helicopters to start dropping like flies. Reuters is reporting that the FSA is receiving surface-to-air missiles for the first time:

Syrian rebels acquire surface-to-air missiles: report
WASHINGTON | Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:40pm EDT

(Reuters) - Rebels fighting to depose Syrian president Bashar al Assad have for the first time acquired a small supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to a news report that a Western official did not dispute.

NBC News reported Tuesday night that the rebel Free Syrian Army had obtained nearly two dozen of the weapons, which were delivered to them via neighboring Turkey, whose moderate Islamist government has been demanding Assad's departure with increasing vehemence.

Indications are that the U.S. government, which has said it opposes arming the rebels, is not responsible for the delivery of the missiles. More...

BREAKING 3:42pm pst The FSA are currently attacking the headquarters of the Syrian army in Aleppo. The regime has over 80 tanks and many more soldiers stationed here.

There are also reports of a new massacre in Deir ez-Zor, three families slaughtered and rumors that the new defense minister has been killed. If they pan out, look for another BREAKING NEW diary.

More Breaking News 12:53pm pst We have new reports of heavy shelling by Assad forces of Qarah on the south side of Damascus.

This dairy was titled Syria: Why do certain Kossacks appear to support the Assad regime? but then this just came in on tweets and the Al Jazeera Live Blog:

A senior Syrian diplomat in Yerevan has defected to join the ranks of the opposition, an Armenian foreign ministry official said on Tuesday.

The Syrian consul in Armenia, Mohammad Hussam Hafez, "has resigned and, as far as I know, joined the opposition to Assad," the official told AFP, adding that the diplomat had flown to Dubai on Monday.

The Armenian foreign ministry had cited a diplomatic note from the Syrian embassy that said Hafez "has left his post", without providing further details.

Now I know some Kossacks have complained that I overuse BREAKING, but at the time of this posting a Google news search found only two other items about this very fresh and significant news.

4:56pm pst  Protest in Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo tonight

This is for Blue Wind who complained that a video of a protest in Damascus that I posted yesterday only showed about 20 people in it.

Protest in KafrSouse Damascus tonight  6:06pm pst

Follow clayclai on Twitter
There are a handful of people here at the Daily Kos that are as passionate it their criticism of those opposing the Assad regime as I am for them. They agree with the Assad regime's characterization of the opposition as foreign backed armed terrorist gangs led by Islamic extremists bent on expelling or killing all non-believers and establishing an Islamic caliphate. In their view, the truth victims of the Syrian conflict are the Syrian civilians that are caught in the middle of a fight between two warring factions. They are very fond of pointing out that both side have committed human rights abuses so in their eyes both sides are equally bad.

No doubt there were HR abuses in US prison camps during WWII but that didn't make them the equal of Auschwitz.  

They don't acknowledge the mass demonstrations of the Syrian people or the support expressed in them for the Free Syrian Army. They seek at every point to build a wall between the FSA and the people and they see the struggle as being driven much more by sectarianism that a genuine desire for democracy and freedom. They see the Syrians who oppose the Assad regime as the dupes of western imperialism and the GCC.

It is easy to identify who these Kossacks are because they usually show up within minutes of my publishing a new diary on Syria to critique it. They post long passages of pro-Assad propaganda to the comments sections of my diary. They agree up and down the line with the Assad regime's view on the crisis and they will strongly deny that they are pro-Assad.

I disagree. I think they are performing a vital function for the Assad regime by their propaganda activities and it doesn't really matter what their motives are, objectively they are supporting one of the most tyrannical governments that even existed.

However, in recent weeks we have seen a virtual tsunami of defections from the Assad regime. How long before these Kossacks defect? Maybe this excellent report from Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught can help them decide. Also they should look at StephLamy's diary today Syria: Eyes On The Screen, Ears On The Ground. It has a lot of information useful for a facts-based analysis of the Syrian situation.

Government forces withdrew from the town of Al Bab, according to rebel forces, who claim it was the army's last urban base in the region outside of Aleppo city. The people of Al Bab took their captured tank on a victory lap around the town, after the Assad army fled the town and its prized military assets were left behind. The freeing of the army base and the capture of the tank does not mean all the danger is over for the town. There is still danger in the air, as planes and helicopters fly overhead almost every day. Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports from Aleppo Province.

EAWorldView has his report on Syria for Tuesday:

Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Gathering Fight In and Around Aleppo
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 15:05 | Scott Lucas

Uncollected rubbish piles up in Aleppo



1616 GMT: Syria. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has reported that more than 276,000 Syrians have fled the country.

More than 70,000 Syrians sought refuge in Turkey and more than 140,000 have crossed into Jordan. Lebanon hosts more than 31,000 Syrian refugees, Iraq has 11,000, and up to 25,000 are in Algeria.

1613 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of captured members of the al-Berri clan, well-known supporters of the regime in Aleppo --- the men were seized after a battle in the Bab al-Neyrab neighbourhood:

1605 GMT: Syria. A device found in the insurgent takeover of the police station in the Hanano section of Aleppo --- The Guardian explains that it is a basat al-reeh, or “flying carpet”, in which a victim is tied to a flat board with his/her head suspended in the air or with his/her limbs stretched:

1413 GMT: Syria. Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has declared, "Thousands of frightened residents are seeking shelter in schools, mosques, and public buildings."

Fleming continued, "These are people that haven't fled the city as they haven't had the means or feel it is too dangerous to make that journey and we are getting indications that the journey is fraught with armed gangs and road blocks blocking the way."

The UN official said about 7,000 people have taken refuge in university dormitories and many more are camped out in 32 schools, each housing 250-350 people.


1404 GMT: Syria. Claimed 5-minute video of the Free Syrian Army's attack on the Salhin police station in Aleppo (see also 1246 GMT):

An assault on the station in the Hanano district:

1328 GMT: Iraq.Two car bombs in central Baghdad, exploding minutes apart, have killed at least 13 people and wounded 30, police and hospital sources said.

1246 GMT: Syria. Claimed video of the Free Syrian Army in control of the police station of Bab al-Neirab in Aleppo, one of two they reportedly attacked today (see 1236 GMT):

1243 GMT:Syria. Claimed footage of insurgent reinforcements in the Salaheddin section of Aleppo today:

1236 GMT: Syria. Unconfirmed reports are circulating that insurgents have overrun two police stations in Aleppo, killing between 40 and 60 members of the security forces.

1232 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA has ended its blackout on news from Aleppo (see 0615 GMT). The website reports that security forces "vanquished terrorists in Salah Eddin neighborhood...inflicting heavy losses upon them and seizing their weapons". "Authorities" also "pursued an armed group which intimidated the civilians in al-Jameeliya area, killing 11 terrorists, while the authorities killed 6 others in Saadallah al-Jaberi Square", and they "pursued an armed terrorist group which horrified the citizens through shooting fire randomly in al-Mohafaza area".

1028 GMT: Syria. Up to five insurgent commandrs have been killed in fighting --- the Local Coordination Committees report the death of Mohammad Lababidi in Marjeh and Khaled Damook in Tal Refaat, and the BBC's Ian Pannell said three commanders were slain in Aleppo on Monday.

1013 GMT: Syria. More first-hand accounts from Aleppo --- Kim Sengupta of The Independent of London from the Salaheddin neighbourhood:

All the stores in street were shuttered apart from one with a "special offer" on display --- trays of Molotov cocktails. Standing among the bottles, 19-year-old Amir Mohammed Hasif explained how they were made and added: "My three sisters helped make them. They cannot join in the fight, but they want to contribute as much as possible in other ways."

The revolutionaries in Salaheddine came from a number of different battalions, with the Abu-Bakr detachment from the town of Al-Bab among the first volunteers for this extremely dangerous front line. "We are taking only the best ones who offer to come," Abdul Fawzi Hussein said. "We are winning, but Assad is like a wounded snake, he will keep striking. We don't want brave boys to come and then go back to their mothers as martyrs."...

The revolutionaries were not totally united. One base flew the black flag with gold Koranic inscriptions favoured by extreme Islamists and the fighters there polite but suspicious of strangers. "We know about them, but they keep to themselves," Abdul Fawzi Hussein said. "We shall have to deal with them in the future, but for now our focus is on Salaheddine and Aleppo. If we hold Salaheddine, I am sure, Inshallah, if we lose Salaheddine then we shall have difficulty holding on to other areas we have in Aleppo. We must liberate Aleppo."

Erika Solomon of Reuters on the outskirts of the city:

Whenever rebels idle their trucks on the street, residents come up asking for help to get gasoline for their cars. Many beg the fighters to open more bakeries so the breadlines move faster, and spare people an exhausting hours-long wait in the hot sun. But some in line nod approvingly. "They don't let anyone cut in, no one is better than anyone else now. The bakers aren't allowed to hike prices on us," says Umm Khaled, her face wrapped in a conservative black veil. "For the first time in this city, I feel like all of us are equal."

Down the street, a crowd of men gather to watch rebels inspecting a burned out police station they stormed last week. Papers, stray shoes and police caps litter the charred building. One man shakes his head as he watches the scene. "We don't even know these fighters, they don't talk to us much. But people here just accept whoever has power," one man whispered. "I'm not with anyone, I am with the side of truth. Right now, that is only God."

1007 GMT: Yemen. For the second time in three days, tribesmen loyal to former President Saleh and demanding jobs have tried to storm the Ministry of Interior.

Dozens of tribesmen exchanged gunfire with security forces preventing them from entering the Ministry, a source said.

On Sunday, around 100 tribesmen occupied the Ministry, demanding to be enlisted in the police force. They agreed to vacate it on Monday after officials promised to heed their demands.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni official said the governor of oil-producing Maarib Province was mediating with the kidnappers of an Italian Embassy security officer for his release. The officer was seized on Sunday.

1003 GMT: Syria. A snapshot in The Irish Independent of life in Aleppo, from grocer Hassan Farouk, who fled the city with his wife and children:

The first time we were shelled on my street ten days ago, I rushed to the area and found three bodies with their heads blown off ...A few days later a family of six was killed. I tried to pick up the bodies but they were in pieces and I could not complete the task. After that my children begged me to leave.

0852 GMT: Syria. Al Jazeera reporter is injured by shrapnel from a shell as he interviews an insurgent in Aleppo on Monday:

Khashram was taken to Turkey for treatment, where he was reportedly conscious and in stable condition.

0645 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of regime shelling of Homs on Monday:

The destruction in the Jouret al-Shayyah section:

0615 GMT: Syria. Make of this what you will --- State news agency SANA makes no reference on its website this morning to the events inside Aleppo or developments such as the battle for the Anadan checkpoint. Its coverage is limited to this brief item:

Authorities clashed with an armed terrorist group who were riding four SUV cars equipped with machine guns in Dara Ezza and Qabtan al-Jabal axis in Aleppo countryside.

An official source told SANA reporter that the authorities destroyed the four cars, killing the terrorists.

0520 GMT: Syria. A day of uncertainty over the fight in Aleppo, with conflicting claims and little information from the centre of the clashes in neighbourhoods like Salaheddin. The regime asserted that it had retaken that district; insurgents countered that they were still present and, indeed, were in 60% of the city

However, what was certain is that --- despite the use of shells, tanks, and helicopter gunships, President Assad's military has still not taken control throughout Aleppo.

Meanwhile, insurgents could claim a significant victory, attacking a regime base and taking the Anadan checkpoint, only three miles to the northwest. The logistics is as important as the location --- the Free Syrian Army now occupies a path from the Turkish border to Syria's largest city.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
BREAKING: Big Explosion hits #Damascus #Syria
UPDATED: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post
BREAKING: Ground assault on Aleppo begins!
BREAKING: Protests across Syria in spite of Assad regime violence
ALEPPO: Step outside the Matrix and witness the Horror
UPDATED: US fears massacre in #Aleppo, #Syria
BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army
BRAKING: Obama stops Putin from re-arming Assad in Syria
Syria: Foreign meddling increases as crisis builds
BREAKING: Aleppo, Syria bombed with fighter jets
BREAKING: Syria issues a correction, it has no WMD to use
BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Glenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout
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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh Good Lord. (21+ / 0-)
    I disagree. I think they [certain kossaks] are performing a vital function for the Assad regime by their propaganda activities and it doesn't really matter what their motives are, objectively they are supporting one of the most tyrannical governments that even existed.
    Some kossaks disagree with you. Get over it. And, no, I don't typically comment in your diaries but I do read them when I'm around.
    •  I dont (7+ / 0-)

      mostly because I cant get behind someone who writes "Breaking" in every single diary he does!

      •  So true. I love Clay's diaries, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynical Copper

        he hits the BREAKING button like one of those lab rats in a cocaine experiment.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:42:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You want to tell me which of my (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuco35, mookins

        BREAKING NEWS diaries didn't break news at least for the DKos Community if not the world?

        Some of the stuff I reported in yesterday's diary is still headline news [BREAKING: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post ] today and  BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army, I reported 2 hours ahead of AP or anyone else in the English language.

        How about my BREAKING story yesterday. Don't the first reports anywhere on new explosions in Damascus, after the government has just claimed all was quiet again, deserve a BREAKING?

        2 days ago ABCNEWS in LA broke into regular programing with BREAKING NEWS, another car chase in LA, so clearly definitions of what qualities as breaking news vary  widely. However the fact remains. I have been breaking a lot of news here at the Daily Kos.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:16:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More TRUTH emerging - despite pro-war - dis-info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt

          Brits, no Syrians in Syrian terror gang

          Revelations by a Dutch journalist who was held captive by anti- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad armed groups in the country show the
          ........terrorists are not Syrian people as western governments claim, and
          ........are rather foreign elements.

          ...Oerlemans told Dutch media after their release that some of the 30-to-100-strong Free Syrian Army gang, who arrested him and his colleague while crossing the border from south east Turkey near their camp,
          .....had "Birmingham accents"
          .

          The gang comprised at least six people with British accents including one with a heavy south London speech tone, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

          Reports also said no Syrians were present in the terrorists’ camp where almost 40 percent spoke English while others were from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya.
          http://www.presstv.ir/...
          ---
          Newspaper Uses Photoshop To Make Syria Look Even Worse Somehow

          The Kronen Zeitung is Austria's largest newspaper, with a daily readership of around three million people. Yesterday, those readers were treated to the image on the left of war-torn Aleppo, bombed out and desperate. Except, as one sharp-eyed Redditor points out, that wasn't the scene at all.
          .......It was just another Photoshop job.

          Just to be clear, the family in the photograph is, in fact, in Syria; the original photo (on the right) came from the European Pressphoto Agency.

          But merely fleeing a city ravaged by guns and mortars apparently isn't quite dramatic enough on its own. The editors of the Krone—as it's commonly called—needed this baby to sing.

          Using Photoshop to make actresses and models look unrealistically attractive is bad enough.

          Using it to make a part of the world that has enough problems as it is look even more apocalyptic? .....That's just disgraceful.

          http://gizmodo.com/...

          STOP the NEO-CON push for perpetual war leading to their prize of IRANIAN O-I-L.  Wake up!
          •  Please stop spreading Assad's lies. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mookins, Cynical Copper

            According to the Dutch journalist, they were rescued by the Free Syrian Army, not held captive by them as you say. From the Huffington Post:

            AMSTERDAM — Two Western photojournalists in Syria were held captive for a week by Islamic militants before being rescued by Syrian rebels, one of the men said Friday.

            Jeroen Oerlemans, a prominent Dutch photographer, told Business News Radio of the Netherlands that he is not sure which group held him and John Cantlie of Britain, but said he is sure they were not Syrian.
            ...
            On Friday morning they were told they would be moved to another location when a group of Syrian rebels stormed the tent and put the photographers in trucks.

            Suddenly four soldiers from the Syrian Free Army entered the camp and asked them how long they had been held.

            "They took us with them like a bunch of gangsters," Oerlemans was quoted in a separate interview with NRC Handelsblad. "Shooting in the air we rode out of there."

            From the NY Times we have:
            Finally, on Thursday evening, the two men were in a tent, blindfolded, when they heard a group of men come in. “They were shouting at everyone, saying, ‘How long has this been going on; this is outrageous,’ yelling at the jihadis, and then they told us, ‘You are free.’ Our hearts leapt, of course.”

            Mr. Oerlemans said he assumed that their rescuers were fighters from the Free Syrian Army. They fired into the air during the rescue but more as a show of force to intimidate the jihadists, rather than as part of a firefight, he said.

            Both journalists were escorted back across the border to Turkey.

            And now here you come with PressTV lies, spreading mis-information which is not simply a matter of a difference of opinion:
            Oerlemans told Dutch media after their release that some of the 30-to-100-strong Free Syrian Army gang,
            It is a lie! It is a complete mis-representation of what these men said and it was done to make the FSA look bad and support the Assad regime narrative.

            You are here supporting a mass murderer with lies!

            Please stop it.

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:42:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  LOL, "Russgirl." (4+ / 0-)

            Gang gang gang gang gang gang gang gang gang.  Did you get a memo to make sure you use that word?

            Cripes, could you be a little more obvious?

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:45:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Simple point = WHO knows? Really. (0+ / 0-)

              So stop with the pro-war Neo-Con push led by the same NYT and other "players" to include Clay's perpetual "breaking news" routine here at Kos.

               - per Middle East Expert Juan Cole and others this is a CIVIL WAR.  What do we really know... more photo shop and lies?  Let it play out on it's own.

              No rush - Neo Cons need not apply.  We have enough of their mess still left to clean up, eh?  Haven't we sold enough guns, yet?

              Guns or butter people.

              Infinite love is the only truth, everything else is illusion.

        •  I'd guess (0+ / 0-)

          that you were not the first person to know about all of those things, you are just clearly the person in this community who cares the most about those things.

          You post breaking in every single diary nearly...it's a turn off, it probably detracts from what I assume is your goal to have more folks than less read your stuff.

    •  seriously, not in the top 1M issues in the world (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpecialKinFlag, Bronxist

      If you don't think they have anything interesting to say, skip over them.

    •  I bet this diary will get more views than all the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton

      previous diaries on Syria just because of the title. So let's get in a huff and expend more time and energy on an impassioned and frustrated diarist whose done a lot to keep us informed than on the issue at hand. Yeah, we can't do anything about Syria but we can damn well get that diary title changed!

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:32:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think there are supporters of Assad (12+ / 0-)

    on this site.  I would bet that there are people who are skeptical of the insurgents as well as being down on Assad.

    Saddam and The Ayatollah fought a war once.  There wasn't a good guy.  I think that's what those critiquing the insurgents believe.

    Personally, I think we're in for Lebanon 2.  Syria will be a mess for decades.

    We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

    by nightsweat on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:37:41 AM PDT

  •  Oh noes! (16+ / 0-)

    They're are Assad supporters in our midsts.

    I'm not sure because you don't link to any, but I assume that some people here point to the human rights abuses committed by rebels and and the presence of AQ not to protect Assad but to argue against Western intervention.

    Surely we can debate this without saying others are part of the Assad regime.

    •  If a person is against countries (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      absdoggy, Cynical Copper, chuco35, mookins

      assisting in the overthrow of a hereditary dictatorship, that is tacit support for the dictatorship. These are the same people who were against our support for the rebels in Libya as well. IMO it is more that these individuals are against any and all US military actions of any kind, anywhere in the world. It is more of an anti-US bias than a pro-Assad bias. But in the end, it is the same thing. The only people who have a legitimate claim to criticizing support for the overthrow of repressive, genocidal governments are those people who actually have lived under such dictators. For Americans to argue that the Syrian people don't deserve help in freeing themselves of an endless line of dictators named Assad is hypocritical, to put it mildly.

      •  Why do you favor the Chinese authoritarian regime? (7+ / 0-)

        Is the "hereditary" part the clincher for you?

        What if instead of Assad it was some military general?

        You pulled out the old RW argument for supporting the Iraq Debacle.

        •  Is there a popular uprising in China? (4+ / 0-)

          The Iraqis didn't overthrow Saddam; we did.  Unlike Libya and Syria, in which the Libyans and Syrians themselves - the people who were living under those dictatorships - overthrew them, and we played a supporting role comparable to the French Fleet at Yorktown.

          It is a giant, glaring blind spot not to recognize the difference between the US toppling someone else's government, vs. the U.S. backing locals who topple their own government.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:48:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So (5+ / 0-)

            if I don;t support American intervention on the side of a popular uprising I support the regime?

            It is a giant glaring blind spot to equate non support for military intervention into support for a regime.

            •  Thank you for demonstrating my point so well. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              oldliberal, Cynical Copper, mookins

              The entire issue of the local population is completely absent in your comment, despite the fact that it is the entirety of mine.

              As I said, you just completely overlook what everyone should recognize as the core, central point here: the uprising of the local populace themselves against their dictator, and the difference between that and an outside power invading a country and toppling its government themselves.

              The entire subject of the Libyans, of the Syrians - you dismiss with a sneering "So?"  Because, instead, this is ALL ABOUT US, and ALL ABOUT YOU.

              Your attitude here is exactly why the - let's call you "anti-anti-Assad activists" - have been such a massive FAILtrain throughout this episode.  The only thing you know, or care, about Syria is that America sucks.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:19:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you for demonstrating my point so well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chipmo

                You take the issue of supporting or not supporting intervention and then hyperbolically and falsely equate the position as "support" for the regime.

                Your attitude is exactly  why - let's call them the Neocons - have been such a massive FAILtrain throughout every episode.

                The only thing you know, or care, about Syria is that the US should intervene there.

          •  Also too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SpecialKinFlag

            if a regime is a more effective oppressor, they are exempt from your characterizations.  

            After all, they don;t face "popular uprisings."

            Stalin was a saint right?

            •  Hosni Mubarak says you're wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mookins

              He was one of the most effective oppressors on the face of the earth, for decades.  Right up until he wasn't.

              But, yes, the initiative for taking down a dictator has to come from the oppressed population itself.  That is a key element in determining whether hostile action towards that dictator might be appropriate.  I shouldn't need to be explaining this to someone who conceives of himself as anti-imperialist.  It should really be a core understanding of your already.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:23:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is indeed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SpecialKinFlag

                But it is not the only "key element."

                To you it appears to be, though how you gauge what constitute appropriate levels of "popular uprising" is unclear to me.

                To you, it is a simple world, wave the magic US intervention wand and all is fixed.

                It does not work that way in real life, only in Neocon dreams, and apparently, yours.

            •  So what? We can't help everybody. (0+ / 0-)

              I can't help every old woman cross the street. But that doesn't stop me from helping any old woman I can help. This argument that we must be 100% consistent, that consistency is more important that logic or morality or any other consideration is just bunk IMO. We can and should make the world a better place whenever we realistically can.

          •  War on Terra has changed... Orwell had it right. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chipmo

            The government uses propaganda to convince people that, “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”.  

            The dumbed-down public doesn’t even notice that they’ve switches sides, and blindly rallies around Eurasia as its perennial friend and ally.

            The same thing is happening in real life with Al Qaeda.

            Western governments and mainstream media have admitted that Al Qaeda is fighting against the secular Syrian government, and that the West is supporting the Syrian opposition … which is helping Al Qaeda.
            Similarly, the opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was mainly Al Qaeda … and they now appear to be in control of Libya (and are instrumental in fighting in Syria.)

            The U.S. also funds terrorist groups within Iran.

            Of course, Al Qaeda was blamed for 9/11, and the entire decades-long “War on Terror” was premised on rooting out Al Qaeda and related groups.

            So the fact that we now consider Al Qaeda fighters to be allies in any way, shape or form is positively Orwellian.
                                  MUCH MORE AT LINK
            http://www.zerohedge.com/...

        •  Can't help everybody. (0+ / 0-)

          Doesn't mean we shouldn't help people whenever we can. We can't help the Chinese. We can help the Syrians.

      •  Either your with us or against us? n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth, SpecialKinFlag

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:11:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  None of them claim to be Assad supporters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell, Cynical Copper

      of course, but I see little if any daylight between the positions they post here and those published by the Syrian State News Agency.

      My main frustration with these people is that I have no sense of dialogue with them.  No amount of argument will convince them. No matter what material I come up with to prove my point or discredit their SANA reprints, they completely ignore it can continue to post long passages of the same crap in my diaries.

      They always want to talk about Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, or anything but the diary topic. They feel like trolls to me that aren't interested in dialogue just strongly promoting views that objectively support the Syrian government mis-information and are fixed well outside of this forum.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, since you (4+ / 0-)

        refuse to link to any of "these people," I can't really get a handle on what you find so offensive, although my guess is you'll have to include on your pro-Assad list the NY Times, which in the last week has run two front page stories about the presence of AQ and its ilk taking on a widening role in the opposition. You may think such stories overstate the illiberalism of the rebels, and unfairly impugn them, and you may even be right, but that doesn't mean the people writing those stories and making those claims are pro-Assad.

        •  Think about people who cite black crime rates... (0+ / 0-)

          in a diary about Trayvon Martin.

          Would you say, "I guess the FBI are racists, too, because they published these statistics."

          Why would someone respond to a diary about George Zimmerman by citing black crime statistics?

          Why would someone respond to a diary about the Syrian regime shelling Aleppo by calling the opposition Skeery Al Qaeda Mooslems?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:28:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't be obtuse, David (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cynical Copper

          Just look at Clay's last five diaries and you can figure them out without any trouble.  Clay is simply obeying the don't-call-out-specific-Kossacks rule.  They like needling Clay and Clay doesn't have good answers to every question, which frustrates him a lot.  Basically these people are trying to harass him into giving up his diary series.  I'm looking into getting them banned.

          There is a Left conspiracy theory that every military intervention the U.S. does is an imperialist one.  Germany, Japan, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kurdistan, and Libya would beg to differ and several other countries are at best ambiguous cases, but these are always ignored.  The usual game is to pretend that it's all about oil well control and money, when the math of military expenditure vs oil profits (or any other kind) is negative by the billions.  The only rational conclusion is that the U.S. does these interventionisms out of some idealism.  It has been pointed out to the people involved that in fact they're spreading propaganda that serves Russia's petroleum oligarchy and comes from its propaganda outlets and the government associated with it.  They never care, so actual economic oppression and exploitation are not their true motivations.

          Secondly, there is a Left dogmatism that the neocons are/were 100% wrong, not even accidentally right about the least thing, the actual people in the countries involved being clueless pawns who do not understand or pursue their rational interests.  This is not a serious foreign policy view, it's just hatred of the American neocons and Rightists posing as principled politics.

          Anti-Islamism/Islamophobia is a cultural part of the anti-rebel/anti-democratic Russian propaganda package.   Nobody actually knows what Al Qaeda identification means post-ObL, but it's pretended that it still means suicide bombers directed from afar and an extreme fringe Islamism with no hope of being realized.  There is no indication that either element is true of the units that claim to be Al Qaeda in Syria.

    •  Obviously ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... the only reason they're supporting Bob Casey is because someone must be paying them.

      (Wrong thread? wrong year?)

    •  The diarist keeps lying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl

      and tries to smear any opposing opinion to his pro-war, pro-intervention diaries.  

  •  Never seen 'em, but sounds like trolls to me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diffrntdrummr

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:40:32 AM PDT

  •  Needlessly dickish title... (12+ / 0-)

    For the record, I don't agree with the overdetermined narratives of the kossacks you're calling out. Neither, however, do I subscribe to the view that the agenda-laden propaganda emanating from the opposition is useful for "facts-based analysis."

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:40:52 AM PDT

  •  I hereby apologize to Daily Kos and Clay Claiborne (12+ / 0-)

    for being an antiwar, anti-imperialist, evil dictator lover, just as I was with Saddam and Gaddafi.  
    I've learned my lessons now and realize US imperialist intentions are nothing but for good and democracy around the globe.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:44:05 AM PDT

  •  See the "The Unrav'ling Thread" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa Lockwood, Smoh, jrooth

    You do yourself no service and a big disservice using such an inflammatory title.

    So, I suggest reading the wonderful series on how to promote your own and other people's diaries:

    The Unrav'ling Thread

    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them - Thomas Jefferson 30 July, 1816

    by Roiling Snake Ball on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:50:41 AM PDT

  •  Not the right approach (9+ / 0-)

    to discussing this question imo.

    Make your arguments without demonizing those who may not see it your way.

    FTR, certainly Assad is a cruel dictator, as his father before him. Not sure that this fact resolves the uncertainties of what policy the US should adopt on Syria however.

  •  Hey, what happened with the (0+ / 0-)

    "huge explosions" in Damascus from your diary yesterday? The only other place I saw anything on this was from RT. Did they actually happen?

    The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

    by Anne Elk on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:04:04 AM PDT

    •  You have to draw you own conclusions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cynical Copper

      I reported tweets from half a dozen people who even all heard something at the same time or where part of a giant conspiracy, and also a video tape. There is at least one other video tape and many other reports of this to be found on the web that I didn't report.

      Why haven't others reported it. You have to ask them.

      Why aren't they raising doubts about Assad's health? I mean 2 video tapes, seconds long, with no date and no audio in 12 days and the MSM is like, if SANA says he's okay, then it must be true. Come on!

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:58:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Back to 2003 and the "fifth column", I see. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Assad was our guy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, downsouth, Russgirl, chipmo

    The rebels in Syria are being armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These are not democracies and have no intention of installing democracy in Syria. George Bush sent people to Syria to be tortured when Assad was our ally.
     Here is an excellent article by Robert Fisk.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/...

  •  Remember the claims about genocide in Kosovo (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, InAntalya

    that turned out to be false once the war was over?

    Remember the claims about the Iraqis taking Kuwaiti babies from incubators?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:24:00 AM PDT

  •  Just want to express my appreciation for all the (5+ / 0-)

    work you've done keeping us informed on Syria. Yours is the most comprehensive info on the situation I know of that is readily accessible. There will always be doubters, naysayers, contrary opinions. Especially on teh web. And maybe some don't realize how important an issue this is to you but never mind them for some of us this is important news and your diligence is welcome. Thank you.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:27:02 AM PDT

  •  Assad and Putin propaganda, laundered through... (5+ / 0-)

    left blogostan.  I goes something like this:

    Syrian regime -> Russia Today -> Glenn Greenwald -> Kossacks

    It's been amazing how quickly the talking points coming out of Moscow and Damascus show up here.  It's comparable to how language from Republican Presidential candidates' press releases shows up in the Letters to the Editor section of local newspapers.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:41:18 AM PDT

    •  Somewhere in your flow-chart... (3+ / 0-)

      you should include PressTV, Global Research and Pepe Escobar.

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:55:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I'm going to err, I prefer to err on the side (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl

      of not going to war, or aiding people going to war.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:55:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer to do my best not to err either way. (4+ / 0-)

        I prefer to base my opinion on what to do in particular situations based on the facts of each particular situation.

        As opposed to putting my faith in an eternal, unchanging narrative that functions merely as an excuse to avoid engaging with the specific facts, and doing the hard work of tailoring a conclusion to the specific situation.

        Merely having the "right" ideological narrative about the use of American power is the wrong way to approach the complicated world we live in, whether that narrative is Bill Kristol's or Howard Zinn's.  It's the opposite of the reality-based approach.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:00:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your narrative seems pretty unchanging to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fire bad tree pretty
          •  Opposed Iraq War, supported Libya, opposed Syria. (0+ / 0-)

            Yup, that's me: Mr. Unchanging.

            It's very enlightening to find out what that "seems" to you.

            It doesn't actually say anything about me, being entirely factually incorrect and all, but it sure as hell does shine a light on your own capacity for understanding.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:54:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's your positions (3+ / 0-)

              Not your narrative.

              You seem to not understand what the word means.

              Example: Your narrative is that opposition to US military intervention, unless it is your own "well thought out" position, can only be attributed to "unchanging" anti-Americanism.

              I think your comments are readily available to all of us. Perhaps you should read what you wrote again.

              •  Instead of this semantic dodging around... (0+ / 0-)

                a quiet retreat would have probably been a more dignified response to being so thoroughly refuted.

                And no, I don't attribute all opposition to military intervention I support to "unchanging" anti-Americanism.  There are some legitimately tough calls, and even in cases that aren't tough, there are other dumbass reasons, other than anti-Americanism, that can explain them.  An unreflective pacifism, or instance, or a libertarianish isolationism.

                Now you've gone and falsely attributed yet another belief to me.  Do you think it means anything, in terms of the legitimacy of my argument, that this keeps happening?

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:01:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ha (3+ / 0-)

                  You declare yourself the "refuter," do you? Needless to say, I disagree.

                  For your edification, the comment that began this particular subthread:

                  "It's been amazing how quickly the talking points coming out of Moscow and Damascus show up here.  It's comparable to how language from Republican Presidential candidates' press releases shows up in the Letters to the Editor section of local newspapers."

                  Nice brush you got there.

                •  Armando doesn't (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe from Lowell

                  do losing gracefully or admitting he's wrong in the first 72 hours.

                    •  Also when I am wrong (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      SpecialKinFlag, chipmo

                      Joe's judgmental contempt for those who distrust the use of US military power is certainly nothing new.

                      I think I am right about that. But you can judge his comments for yourself I am sure.

                      •  He's writing this about an Iraq War opponent... (0+ / 0-)

                        and someone who opposes military intervention in Syria.

                        Yup, I sure do have judgmental contempt for people who distrust the use of US military power.

                        That's me, baby.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:20:05 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Pretty much (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SpecialKinFlag, BradyB, chipmo

                          Joe this is not the first time you have demonstrated contempt for people such as, say, Glenn Greenwald. Indeed, even if you agree with such folks, you have to sprinkle the contempt.

                          I am curious though, why do you oppose intervention in Syria?

                          •  I have contempt for weak minds and dishonesty. (0+ / 0-)

                            I am not one to suffer fools gladly, and I abhor liars and manipulators.  It's really not a question of their beliefs, but their intellectual habits.  Getting back to the topic of the diary, I have no problem with people who oppose military intervention, but I do hold those who repeat the Syrian/Russian propaganda line with such obedient enthusiasm, and there are quite a few people who do that.

                            People need to be a little less gullible about where they get their information, and about who is pushing it.  People who treat Russia Today as an independent, credible source advocating for a viewpoint based on progressivism and anti-imperialism, for instance, are suckers, and they should be called suckers.  They are being played for marks, and they should really stop that.

                            Maybe, at some future time, when there is a better chance of having a fruitful discussion, we'll get into the reasons why I oppose direct military intervention.  Short version: pragmatic considerations relating to the specific situation, informed by a healthy (though not irrefutable!) skepticism regarding the limits of American military power.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:34:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SpecialKinFlag

                            "there are quite a few people who do that."

                            I'm skeptical of your claim.

                            Anyway, you certainly have a high level of self esteem. Me too. Enjoy it.

                          •  I have never advocated NATO intervention in Syria (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cynical Copper

                            The pro-Assad people like to say I have so that they can attack the Syrian revolution and argue Assad's positions on just about every question.

                            The whole question of NATO intervention is a canard by the pro-Assad folks to obscure what is really going on. Nobody else serious thinks there is any chance NATO will intervene, Russia or no Russia.

                            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                            by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:55:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't have an opinion on that (0+ / 0-)

                            But if there is no question of American intervention, we're really just arguing amongst ourselves right? Or are there other international actions (sanctions, etc.) issues in play?

                            I oppose all dictators, Assad included.

                        •  Also your words (0+ / 0-)

                          "Is there a popular uprising in China? (2+ / 0-)
                          The Iraqis didn't overthrow Saddam; we did.  Unlike Libya and Syria, in which the Libyans and Syrians themselves - the people who were living under those dictatorships - overthrew them, and we played a supporting role comparable to the French Fleet at Yorktown.

                          It is a giant, glaring blind spot not to recognize the difference between the US toppling someone else's government, vs. the U.S. backing locals who topple their own government."

                          •  What about them? (0+ / 0-)

                            I stand by those words, and none of them involve calling anyone pro-Assad.

                            What are you even accusing me of anymore?

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:35:22 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am stating that your words (0+ / 0-)

                            were reasonably, if erroneously, construed to speak of support for intervention in Syria.  You wrote:

                            "Unlike Libya and Syria, in which the Libyans and Syrians themselves - the people who were living under those dictatorships - overthrew them, and we played a supporting role comparable to the French Fleet at Yorktown.

                            It is a giant, glaring blind spot not to recognize the difference between the US toppling someone else's government, vs. the U.S. backing locals who topple their own government."

                            My recollection is you supported intervention in Libya. you comparison of the situations, given your previous support, led to my reasonable but erroneous conclusion, that you supported intervention in Syria.

                            As for the equation issue, that is best understood in the context of the response - to wit , my response was to just such an equation. Your taking issue with my statement on China,  was, at best,  off topic.

                    •  Then show us. (0+ / 0-)

                      This would be a really awesome time for you to admit to losing, and to being wrong.

                      For instance, how about my position on military intervention in Syria?  And what my (imagined) position on that policy says about my way of thinking about the world?

                      Is there anything you'd like to say on that topic, by way of demonstrating how willing you are to admit to error?

                      Art is the handmaid of human good.

                      by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:18:59 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I took the wrong inference (0+ / 0-)

                        from your response to my response to the comment that accused people who do not support military intervention in Syria as being pro-Assad.

                        Given that your appeared to contest my point, I assumed, wrongly it turns out, that you agreed with the sentiment expressed, at least in theory.

                        As for your position on Syria, I don't know how you came to hold it. I do find it interesting that you took a discussion regarding whether being anti-US intervention in Syria as being pro-Assad and turned it in to what your personal views are on the subject.

                        I don't hold a position on the issue, but I do object to the equation of anti military intervention with being pro-Assad.

                        You have said precious little on that score.

                        •  Step 1: admit you're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                          Step 2: understand why you were wrong.

                          Step 3: use that understanding to avoid being wrong in the future.

                          You wrote:

                          Given that your appeared to contest my point, I assumed, wrongly it turns out, that you agreed with the sentiment expressed, at least in theory.
                          This would be a good time for Step 2.  I'm hoping to see Step 3 in the future.
                          the equation of anti military intervention with being pro-Assad.

                          You have said precious little on that score.

                          Cripes, now it appears that you can't even manage Step 1.  I've said precious little about whether being against intervention makes one pro-Assad?  You mean, other than the half-dozen comments where I said I was against intervention?

                          Art is the handmaid of human good.

                          by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:27:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I think that I learned that (0+ / 0-)

                            you are willing to derail a discussion. Rather, I relearned it.

                            Should have remembered your style.

                            Your first comment to me was to attempt to take me to task for disagreeing with the equation in question. I assumed your comment was intended to be on topic. Obviously not.

                            Still not sure why you are anti-intervention in Syria.

                          •  You are a projection machine. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'M derailing the discussion?

                            Whatever.

                            You are a projection machine, and I'm done enabling you.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Projection machine (0+ / 0-)

                            Is that like a mirror?

                            You were done 20 minutes ago.

                          •  Troll. (0+ / 0-)

                            You've turned into a troll.

                            Good job.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:57:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  From a nonsupporter of military intervention (0+ / 0-)

                            "Is there a popular uprising in China? (2+ / 0-)
                            The Iraqis didn't overthrow Saddam; we did.  Unlike Libya and Syria, in which the Libyans and Syrians themselves - the people who were living under those dictatorships - overthrew them, and we played a supporting role comparable to the French Fleet at Yorktown.

                            It is a giant, glaring blind spot not to recognize the difference between the US toppling someone else's government, vs. the U.S. backing locals who topple their own government."

                            In retrospect, my error is perfectly understandable. A reasonable interpretation of your comment was that you supported military intervention in Syria.

                            It turns out you do not, but my error is not unreasonable. also too, why do you oppose intervention in Syria?

                          •  As I've said already, we can discuss my opposition (0+ / 0-)

                            at some other time, when you seem more up for it.

                            Because, at this point, the chances of you making an honest effort to have a discussion about a complicated subject with me, instead of just trolling around for an opportunity to shout A-HA! at me in order to get some payback, seem pretty slim.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:39:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No need to discuss it (0+ / 0-)

                            Not important that we exchange views, especially since, as you note, I really don't have views on the complicated subject of Syria.

                            I really don't have much to offer on that point.

                        •  I have never equated people who are (0+ / 0-)

                          "anti-interventionists" with being pro-Assad. But them I have never argued for NATO intervention in Syria. I have presented the demand of the Syrian people, as represented in mass protests, for military intervention and I have laid out the facts as I see them. This is what these select few Kossack object to. They wish that I would write about Bahrain or just go away. They assume any exposition of the plight of the Syrian people is a call for intervention.

                          But there are pro-Assad people, and all of them claim to be anti-interventionists, and they promote pro-Assad misinformation in the guise of "merely" being "anti-intervention" so the distinction becomes a difficult one.

                          Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                          by Clay Claiborne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:10:59 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  so (0+ / 0-)

          what is it that informs your opinion? Do you bring any set of beliefs to a particular situation? Or are you a blank slate that looks upon 'reality' and somehow comes up with conclusions?

  •  Thanks for the work on the diaries and keep (3+ / 0-)

    them coming. Don't worry about the commenters with a suspicious agenda.
    I think you have lots of support here.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:57:31 AM PDT

  •  I am not pro Assad (6+ / 0-)

    but I am against your disengenious writing. Some of us actually check the links you post because we have to - they often say different things than you attribute to them.

    You also report unconfirmed information as breaking and as confirmed.

    You also fling insults at anyone who disagrees with you for whatever reason.

    In other words - it is not about Syria it is about you.

  •  They're not Assad supporters, exactly. (4+ / 0-)

    They're more like people who've decided to be Assad's lawyer.

    Think about a defense attorney assigned to represent a (guilty as hell) mugger.  He's not pro-mugger; he probably despises the guy.

    But he's got this other set of principles that mean a lot to him - the rights of the accused, the duty of an attorney to zealously represent his client in a criminal case - and those values lead him to be completely biased in every statement he makes about the case.  It's not his job to strive to be as fair and honest as possible; it's his job to make the strongest case he can for his client - even when he doesn't actually support his client.

    What we've got here are people who have a passionate commitment to an anti-American-foreign-policy line, and who have decided to take on Assad as a "client" - not for his sake, but because arguing his case for him is useful for the political line they've decided to push.

    The problem is, people talking politics aren't supposed to act like somebody's lawyer.  They're supposed to strive for honesty and objectivity.  Instead, they strive to get people to believe things that may or may not be true or fair, based entirely on how politically useful it would be for the audience to believe those things.

    There is a very strong whiff of Levi Strauss lingering around a lot of so-called-anti-war, so-called-anti-imperialist people on the internet.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:11:06 PM PDT

  •  Dear diarist: (7+ / 0-)

    You changed the title just in time to avoid yet another donut.  You also lost a reader.

    Ciao!


    Time travel opportunity. Must bring your own weapons. Your safety is not guaranteed, I've only done this once before. Call 866.555.1212.

    by IndieGuy on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:52:21 PM PDT

  •  Oh, Christ. (6+ / 0-)

    Maybe - perhaps - there are people here who think Assad is vile, but that American blood doesn't need to be shed in yet another Mideast war. It's not as if anyone there would thank us for the effort, or that we can even afford another conflict with no clear objective or endgame.

    That's not 'pro-Assad', it's Realpolitik.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:53:57 PM PDT

    •  And maybe there are others who do. (0+ / 0-)

      I, myself, oppose direct military intervention into Syria.

      And yet, those beliefs have never once led me to smear the Syrian opposition as Skeery al Qaeda Mooslems, nor as foreign mercenaries, nor claim that the entire uprising is a plot by the CIA.  Oh, btw, all of those claims come directly from the Syrian and Russian propaganda outlets, and all of them find their way into the arguments of a certain segment of Clay's critics.

      I doubt that there are many people at all who are deliberately advancing Assad's propaganda, but I think there is a whole cottage industry devoted to "laundering" that propaganda, making it appear to come from an anti-imperialist, progressive source.  Russia Today is a good example of this.

      And I think there are quite a few people who really are principled anti-imperialists who get taken in by the scam.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:56:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a first person account from inside Syria (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, chipmo

        AND it's not from RT - it's from (gasp) The Guardian

        Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria

        In his latest exclusive dispatch from Deir el-Zour province, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad meets fighters who have left the Free Syrian Army for the discipline and ideology of global jihad.
        ...
        But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba'a, or "strangers", after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden's time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.

        They try to hide their presence. "Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags," said Abu Khuder. "They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?" But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.

        According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. "We meet almost every day," he said. "We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations." Abu Khuder's men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.

        •  Why do you keep pretending that that's in question (0+ / 0-)

          No, shit, Sherlock, that there are al Qaeda members in Syria.  There is not a single person I have eve seen who disputes that.

          Why do you imagine it to be some sort of refutation of anything I've written to point out such an utterly uncontroversial fact?

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 07:25:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This was simply in response to your comments: (0+ / 0-)
            And yet, those beliefs have never once led me to smear the Syrian opposition as Skeery al Qaeda Mooslems
            Oh, btw, all of those claims come directly from the Syrian and Russian propaganda outlets
            •  Then it's nonresponsive. (0+ / 0-)

              Absolutely nothing you quoted indicates that the claims were false.  You're completely missing the point.

              Have you ever seen someone who responds to an article about Trayvon Martin by quoting FBI statistics about black crime rates?  That's you, Claudius.  That's what you're doing.

              And just like you, such people respond to being called out on their actions by insisting that the statistics were true - as if that was the point.

              Why would someone respond to a story about Trayvon Martin by publishing statistics about black crime rates?  For the same reason you respond to stories about the depravities of the Assad regime by writing comments about the Skeery Al Qaeda Mooslems who are among the opposition.

              And in both cases, the propagandist who knows exactly what he's doing responds exactly the same way: "Who me?  But my information is true!"

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 08:29:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My comments were DIRECTLY responsive to your (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SpecialKinFlag

                remarks:

                smear the Syrian opposition as Skeery al Qaeda Mooslems
                From the comments made by rebels in the links I gave, they do not consider it a "smear" to fight with Al Qaeda "Mooslems". It now appears to more of an honor to fight with an experienced and disciplined militia. If the rebels want to link up with the Al Qaeda types, then that is their choice. They will have to live with the consequences once Assad is gone. So will the countries that are backing the various militias.
                Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria
                ...
                "The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have acknowledged.
                ...
                "They were committed," said Osama. "They obeyed their leader and never argued. In the FSA, if you have 10 people they usually split and form three groups." The jihadis, by contrast, used their time "in useful things, even the chores are divided equally".

                Osama joined the group. "He [the Saudi] is a very good man, he spends his days teaching us. You ask him anything and he will answer you with verses from the Qur'an, you want to read the Qur'an you can read. You want to study bomb-making he will teach you."

                In the pre-revolutionary days when the regime was strong it would take a year to recruit someone to the secret cause of jihad. "Now, thanks to God, we are working in the open and many people are joining in," said Osama.

      •  'For the first time in this city, I feel like all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chipmo

        of us are equal'.

        http://www.irishtimes.com/...

        While some residents welcome the rebels, others seem wary of the ragtag fighters who have seized parts of the city, writes ERIKA SOLOMON in Aleppo
        ...
        Despite that, Jumaa is excited to see rebels on the streets of Syria’s second city. “My spirits are high. Seeing them from my doorstep makes me feel the regime is finally falling.”

        Crouched on the next stoop, his neighbour sees it differently. “All we have now is chaos,” Amr grumbles.

        Some of the men object angrily. “But they are fighting to free us from oppression,” one says.

        Amr shakes his head. “I’m still oppressed, stuck between two sides making me choose. I just want to live my life.”
        ...
        Rebel fighters, most of whom have come into the city from the countryside, are bewildered by the mixed reception.
        ...
        Papers, stray shoes and police caps litter the charred building. One man shakes his head as he watches the scene. “We don’t even know these fighters, they don’t talk to us much. But people here just accept whoever has power,” one man whispers. “I’m not with anyone, I am with the side of truth. Right now, that is only God.”

        •  And? (0+ / 0-)

          Are you just posting your favorite Off Topic bits to derail the thread, or what?

          You do that a lot.  "Hey, I have a burning desire to put up this story.  Let's see if I can get a twofer, and shut down a point of argument I don't want people to see."

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 07:26:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You seem to need several sources from your (0+ / 0-)

            'approved' news outlets.

            None of what I posted is off topic to this diary if you read the whole thing and not just the heading.

            and shut down a point of argument I don't want people to see
            Your point of argument in this very thread was that Al Qaeda, being a major force in the Syrian opposition, was just propaganda from Russian sources. As you can see, it is not propaganda. These sources started reporting Al Qaeda's strong presence months ago. They were also first to report that the CIA was involved with supplying arms to the rebels. They may not have 'bought' the weapons but they had a say in who was to receive them.

            Claiborne's diaries would be much better if they gave a balanced view of what is going on in Syria, especially amongst the opposition. His diaries are so one-sided they are effectively just propaganda pieces and do not help to clarify the situation.

            Once Assad is gone, it looks like there will be considerable strife between the different rebel factions.

            •  Was the Bush WMD scam not propaganda? (0+ / 0-)

              I haven't written anything about wanting sources.

              I haven't actually questioned the accuracy of your information at all - I've noted that it is utterly uncontroversial and universally acknowledged.  Somehow, you managed to interpret that as me questioning the data and demanding more sources.

              You don't seem to have a very good understanding of what propaganda is.  You seem to think that the selective publication of useful information isn't propaganda - and yet, that is precisely what the Bush administration did with the WMD intelligence.  Like you, they took those slivers of relevant information they found useful for their ends, trumpeted them to the ends of the earth, while making sure to suppress the much greater volume of information that weakened their case.

              But by your definition, they weren't dishonest and didn't engage in propaganda.  In actuality, what they did was utilize "white" propaganda, as opposed to "grey" or "black."  It doesn't make their effort, or yours, any less propagandistic.

              Claiborne's diaries would be much better if they gave a balanced view of what is going on in Syria
              You are the last person on the face of the earth who gets to make this argument.  BTW, did you notice what you didn't do when you denounced Clay?  You didn't point out any information he provided that was false.  Would you still like to argue that this means it can't be propaganda?

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 08:37:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Claiborne already covers the opposition (0+ / 0-)

                I just add news articles (mostly w/o comment) to show the other side when possible. I rarely refute his reports.

                BTW, neither Claiborne, nor you nor I will have the slightest effect on the outcome of the conflict.

                interpret that as me questioning the data
                Is there any other interpretation of the following?
                Oh, btw, all of those claims come directly from the Syrian and Russian propaganda outlets
                You seem to think that the selective publication of useful information isn't propaganda
                Here's what I said:
                "His diaries are so one-sided they are effectively just propaganda pieces and do not help to clarify the situation."

                When you have the "propaganda" from both sides to compare, it is easier to get at the truth.

  •  What a pathetic diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russgirl, Claudius Bombarnac, chipmo

    Truly sad.  Accusing other Kossacks of being pro-Assad because they simply disagree with your views.   Let me repeat for the 100th time.  I despise all dictators including Assad of course.   I just dont think the jihadist gangs and the pro-Saudi rebels are any better.     The same movie was played in Libya and the outcome is not any better than Gaddafi.   It is as bad with gangs committing war crimes and torture, as Amnesty International has pointed out.

  •  There are atrocities from both sides (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, chipmo

    WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

    Syria - Aleppo: mass-execution of POWs by the FSA

    Now the FSA show they real face - not the face of freedom,democracy or respecting international laws

    http://www.liveleak.com/...

    •  Rebels execute regime loyalists in Aleppo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chipmo
      http://www.nowlebanon.com/...

      Members of the rebel Free Syrian Army executed regime loyalists in the embattled northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, according to amateur video posted on YouTube by activists.

      The video showed members of the Al-Berri tribe being led into a square filled with armed men, chanting: "The FSA forever!"

      The face of one of the captives was covered in blood, and he had been stripped almost naked, as rebels gathered around him and stood him against a wall.

      Other captives were lined up next to him, as rebels chanted: "God is greatest."

      They opened a torrent of fire on their captives, identified as members of a tribe that entered the fighting on Tuesday in Aleppo on the side of the regime.

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