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Author Topic: Syria  (Read 48580 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #250 on: July 30, 2015, 04:31:26 PM »



Syria

The U.S. has spent nearly $500 million to train just 60 rebels from the Free Syrian Army to take on Islamic State. Now, just two weeks after they hit the ground in Turkey, the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra has kidnapped one of their leaders. Reuters reports that Nusra fighters captured Nadim al-Hassan, a leader from the "Division 30" group, north of Aleppo.
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ccp
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« Reply #251 on: December 25, 2016, 05:37:14 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443296/aleppo-fall-obama-legacy-american-weakness
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ccp
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« Reply #252 on: April 07, 2017, 01:04:24 PM »

Is one thing , but sarin gas , well that is different  :   rolleyes

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446546/us-airstrikes-syria-bashar-al-assad-donald-trump-intervention-foreign-policy-error
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ya
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« Reply #253 on: April 09, 2017, 11:35:22 AM »

Did Prez Trump do a "Facta Non Verba" on Assad?
So he could control him?
Yes, he did on Assad, N Korea, China...


https://medium.com/incerto/facta-non-verba-how-to-own-your-enemies-ea79a34c9c49

Facta non Verba: How to Own Your Enemies

Dead horse in your bed — Friendship via poisoned cake –Roman Emperors and U.S. presidents –A living enemy is worth ten dead ones

The best enemy is the one you own by putting skin in his game and letting him know the exact rules that come with it. You keep him alive, in the knowledge that he owes this to your benevolence. The notion that an enemy you own is better than a dead one was perfected by the order of the Assassins, so we will do some digging into the work of that secret society.

An offer very hard to refuse

There is this formidable scene in the Godfather when a Hollywood executive wakes up with the bloody severed head of a horse in his bed, his cherished race horse.  He had refused to hire a Sicilian American actor for reasons that appeared iniquitous, as while he knew the latter was the best for the role, he was resentful of the “olive oil voice” that charmed one of his past mistresses and fearful of its powers to seduce future ones. It turned out that the actor, who in real life was (possibly) Frank Sinatra, had friends and friends of friends, that type of thing; he was even the godson of a capo. A visit from the consigliere of the “family” neither succeeded to sway the executive, nor softened his Hollywood abrasiveness –the fellow failed to realize that by flying across the country to make the request, the high ranking mobster was not just providing the type of recommendation letter you mail to the personnel department of a state university. He had made him an offer that he could not refuse (the expression was popularized by that scene in the movie).

It was a threat, and not an empty threat.

As I am writing these lines, people discuss terrorism and terrorist groups while making a severe category mistakes; there are in fact two totally distinct varieties. The first are terrorists that are terrorists for about every person equipped with ability to discern and isn’t a resident of Saudi Arabia or works for a think tank funded by Sheikhs; the second are militia groups largely called terrorists by their enemies, and “resistance” or “freedom fighters” by those who don’t dislike them.

The first includes nonsoldiers who indiscriminately kill civilians for effect and don’t bother with military targets as their aim isn’t to make military gains, just to make a statement, harm some living humans, produce some noise and, for some, a low-error way to go to paradise. Most Sunni Jihadis, of the type to take incommensurable pleasure in blowing up civilians, such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, the “moderate rebels” in Syria sponsored by former U.S. president Obama’s, are in that category. The second group is about strategic political assassination –the Irish Republican Army, most Shiite organizations, Algerian independence fighters against France, French resistance fighters during the German occupation, etc.

For Shiites and similar varieties in the Near and Middle East, the ancestry, methods, and rules originate in the order of the Assassins, itself following the modus of the Judean Sicarii during Roman times. The Sicarii are named after the daggers they used to kill Roman soldiers and, mostly their Judean collaborators, owing to what they perceived was the profanation of the Temple and the land.

I have the misfortune to know a bit about the subject as I am the only one of those “notable” former students listed on the Wikipedia page of the Lycée Franco-Libanais, my elementary and high school, whose notability doesn’t originate for having, like my classmates and childhood friends, having being the victim of a successful or attempted assassination.

The Assassins

Sanjar became in 1118 the sultan of the Seljuk Turkish Empire of Asia minor (that is, modern day Turkey), Iran, and parts of Afghanistan. Soon after his accession, he woke up one day with a dagger next to his bed, firmly planted in the ground. In one version of the legend, a letter informed him that the dagger thrusted in hard ground was preferable to the alternative, being plunged in his soft breast. It was a characteristic message of the Hashishins, a.k.a. Assassins, making him aware of the need to leave them alone, say send them birthday gifts, or hire their actors for his next movie. Sultan Sanjar had previously snubbed their peace negotiators; so they moved to phase two of a demonstrably well planned out process. They convinced him that his life was in their hands and that, crucially, he didn’t have to worry if he did the right thing –they had proven to him that they were both in control and reliable. Indeed Sanjar and the Assassins had a happy life ever-after.

You will note that no explicit verbal threat was issued. Verbal threats reveal nothing other than weakness and unreliability. Remember, once again, no verbal threats.

The Assassins were a 11th-14th C. sect related to Shiite Islam and was (and still is through its reincarnations) violently anti-Sunni. They were often associated with the Knight Templars as they fought frequently on the side of the crusaders –and if they seem to share some of the values of the Templars, in sparing the innocent and the weak, it is more likely because the former group transmitted some of their values to the latter. The chivalric code of honor has, for second clause: I shall respect and defend the weak, the sick, and the needy.

The Assassins supposedly send the same message to Saladin, informing him that the cake he was about to eat was poisoned… by them.

The ethical system of the Assassins is that political assassination help prevent war; threat of the dagger-by-your-bed variety are even better for bloodless control[1]. They supposedly aimed at sparing civilians and people who were not directly targeted. The methods focusing on precision meant to reduce what is now called civilian “collateral damage”.

Assassination as Marketing

Those readers who may have tried to get rid of pebbles in their shoes (that is, someone you bothers you and doesn’t get the hint) might know that “contracts” on ordinary citizens (that is, to trigger their funeral) are relatively easy to perform and inexpensive to buy. There is a relatively active underground market for these contracts. In general, you need to pay a bit more to “make it look like an accident”. However skilled historians and observers of martial history would recommend the exact opposite: in politics, you should have to pay more to make it look intentional.

In fact, what Captain Weisenborn, Pasquale Cirillo, and I discovered, when we tried doing a systematic study of violence (debunking a confabulatory thesis by the science writer Steven Pinker), was that war numbers have been historically inflated… by both sides. Both the Mongols and their panicky victims had an incentive to exaggerate, which acted as a deterrent. Mongols weren’t interested in killing everybody; they just wanted submission, which came cheaply though terror. Further, having spent some time perusing the genetic imprints of invaded populations, it is clear that if the warriors coming from the Eastern steppes left a cultural imprint, they certainly left their genes at home. Gene transfer between areas by happens by group migrations, inclement climate, unaccommodating soil rather than war.

More connected to recent events, I discovered that the Hama “massacre” of Syrian Jihadis by Assad senior was at least an order of magnitude lower than what was reported; the rest came from inflation –numbers swelling over time from 2,000 to close to 40,000 without significant information. Simply, Assad wanted, at the time, to intimidate and his enemies, the Islamist and their journalist sympathizers, former U.S. president Obama’s wanted to aggrandize the event.

Assassination as Democracy

Now, political life; if the democratic system doesn’t fully deliver governance –it patently doesn’t, owing to cronyisms and the Hillary Montanto-Malmaison style of covert legal corruption; if the system doesn’t fully deliver governance, we have known forever what does: an increased turnover at the top. Count Munster’s epigrammatic description of the Russian Constitution explains it: “Absolutism tempered by assassination”.

While today’s politicians have no skin in the game and do not have to worry so long as they play the game, thanks the increased life expectancy of modern times, they stay longer and longer on the job. France’s pseudo-socialist Francois Mitterrand reigned for fourteen years, longer than many French Kings; thanks to technology he had more power over the population than most French Kings. Even a United States President, the modern kind of Emperor (unlike Napoleon and the Tsars, Roman emperors before Diocletian were not absolutists) tends to last at least four years on the throne, while Rome had five emperors in a single year and four in another. The mechanism worked: consider that all the bad Emperors Caligula, Caracalla, Elagabalus, Nero ended their career either murdered by the Pretorian guard or, in the case of Nero, suicide in anticipation. In the first four hundred years of empire, only 20, that is less than a third, of emperors died a natural death, assuming these deaths were truly natural.

[1] It appears that what we read about the Assassins can be smear by their enemies (including the apocryphal accounts according to which their name comes from consumption of Hashish, Cannabis in Arabic, as they would get into a trance before their assassination).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 07:58:37 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #254 on: April 28, 2017, 04:00:47 PM »

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/SYRIA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-28-13-49-00

NK makes sense to me.  This stuff doesn't unless if had to do with ISIS?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #255 on: May 16, 2017, 10:24:37 AM »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/world/middleeast/syria-assad-prison-crematory.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

Syrian Crematory Is Hiding Mass Killings of Prisoners, U.S. Says
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #256 on: May 18, 2017, 07:20:07 PM »

U.S. Strikes Advancing Syrian-Led Troops
Military action taken to protect U.S.-backed rebels
By Maria Abi-Habib
May 18, 2017 2:44 p.m. ET
3 COMMENTS

WASHINGTON—The U.S.-led military coalition in Syria launched airstrikes on Syrian regime forces as they approached U.S.-backed rebels in al-Tanf, on the border with Jordan, according to two U.S. officials.

The U.S. strikes hit advancing regime forces at 4 p.m. local time to head off their advance on al-Tanf, where U.S. special operations forces operate along with Maghaweer al Thawra, an elite Syrian rebel force.

“The coalition struck regime elements in vicinity of Tanf after the regime failed to respond to warning to stop [the] advance,” said one U.S. official briefed of the incident. “There have been worries recently that this would happen as regime and regime-affiliated forces get closer to Tanf.”

Over the past week, U.S. officials have expressed concern that Syria’s government and its allies were preparing to launch a military offensive at al-Tanf, officials said.

It was unclear what elements of the Damascus-aligned forces the coalition airstrikes hit. They Syrian government is supported by Russian forces, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Iraqi Shiite militias and Iran.

The incident at al-Tanf brings the U.S. and the Syrian regime and its allies closer to full-on military conflict when the U.S. and Russia are discussing ways to de-escalate and find ways to avoid striking each other in Syria’s volatile mix of regional and international forces fighting on various fronts.

The U.S. in April struck a Syrian air base with dozens of cruise missiles in response to the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, in the first such U.S. operation. The strike on Wednesday apparently was the first to target Syrian military personnel.
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ccp
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« Reply #257 on: May 19, 2017, 06:53:50 PM »

ok  we wipe out Assad .  then what?

didn't we go through this in somaila, iraq, lybia etc?

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G M
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« Reply #258 on: May 19, 2017, 07:49:44 PM »



http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17920536/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/pelosi-shrugs-bushs-criticism-meets-assad/#.WR-R6WjyvIU
 
Pelosi shrugs off Bush’s criticism, meets Assad
Democrat raises issues of Mideast peace, Iraq with Syrian president

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Wednesday.
 
updated 4/4/2007 9:28:36 AM ET
Print Font:
DAMASCUS, Syria — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday for talks criticized by the White House as undermining American efforts to isolate the hard-line Arab country.
Pelosi said Assad assured her of his willingness to engage in peace talks with Israel, and that she and other members of her congressional delegation raised their concern about militants crossing from Syria into Iraq, as well the Israeli soldiers kidnapped by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas.
The Californian Democrat spoke to reporters shortly after talks with Assad at the end of a two-day visit to Syria.
She said the delegation gave the Syrian leader a message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert whose essence was that Israel was ready to hold peace talks with Syria.
She did not say more about the message, but Israel has previously made such talks conditional on Syria’s cutting off its support for hard-line Palestinian groups and Hezbollah.
“We were very pleased with the assurances we received from the president that he was ready to resume the peace process. He’s ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi and accompanying members of Congress began their day by holding separate talks with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa and then met Assad, who hosted them for lunch after their talks.


Pelosi’s visit to Syria was the latest challenge to the White House by congressional Democrats, who are taking a more assertive role in influencing policy in the Middle East and the Iraq war.
Bush voices criticism
Bush has said Pelosi’s trip signals that the Assad government is part of the international mainstream when it is not. The United States says Syria allows Iraqi Sunni insurgents to operate from its territory, backs the Hezbollah and Hamas militant groups and is trying to destabilize the Lebanese government. Syria denies the allegations.
“A lot of people have gone to see President Assad ... and yet we haven’t seen action. He hasn’t responded,” he told reporters soon after she arrived in Damascus on Tuesday. “Sending delegations doesn’t work. It’s simply been counterproductive.”
Pelosi did not comment on Bush’s remarks but went for a stroll in the Old City district of Damascus, where she mingled with Syrians in a market.
Wearing a flowered head scarf and a black abaya robe, Pelosi visited the 8th-century Omayyad Mosque. She made the sign of the cross in front of an elaborate tomb which is said to contain the head of John the Baptist. About 10 percent of Syria’s 18 million people are Christian.
At the nearby outdoor Bazouriyeh market, Syrians crowded around, offering her dried figs and nuts and chatting with her. She bought some coconut sweets and looked at jewelry and carpets.
On Tuesday night, Pelosi met Syrian human rights activists, businessmen and religious leaders at the U.S. ambassador’s residence.
‘Better late than never’
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem was quoted Wednesday as saying that Pelosi and other members of Congress were “welcome” in Syria.
“Better late than never,” he told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba in an interview. He said the visits were taking place because Americans and Europeans had realized that their policy of trying to isolate Syria had failed.
However, the Syrian ambassador to Washington, Imad Moustapha, was quoted as saying Syria was “wary of the sudden U.S. openness” and would respond cautiously.
“Syria will not hurriedly offer concessions when it refused to offer them under much greater pressure from the United States in the past,” he said in an interview with the Al-Baath newspaper, the mouthpiece of the ruling party.
“Syria will take a step forward every time the Americans take one,” he added.

Toward U.S. engagement with Syria?
Democrats have argued that the United States should engage its top rivals in the Mideast — Iran and Syria — to make headway in easing crises in Iraq, Lebanon and the Israeli-Arab peace process. Last year, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended talks with the two countries.
Bush rejected the recommendations. But in February, the United States joined a gathering of regional diplomats in Baghdad that included Iran and Syria for talks on Iraq.
Visiting neighboring Lebanon on Monday, Pelosi noted that Republican lawmakers had met Assad on Sunday without comment from the Bush administration.
She said she hoped to rebuild lost confidence between Washington and Damascus.
‘No illusions’
“We have no illusions but we have great hope,” said Pelosi, who met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier Tuesday.
Relations between the United States and Syria reached a low point in early 2005 when Washington withdrew its ambassador to Damascus to protest the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Many Lebanese blamed Syria — which had troops in Lebanon at the time — for the assassination. Damascus denied involvement.
Washington has since succeeded in largely isolating Damascus, with its European and Arab allies shunning Assad. The last high-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria was then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage in January 2005.
The isolation, however, has begun to crumble in recent months, with visits by U.S. lawmakers and some European officials.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #259 on: May 19, 2017, 11:04:22 PM »

"ok  we wipe out Assad .  then what?"

Among the arguments for this:

1) We break up the Russian Iranian axis from the Indian Ocean to the Baltic Sea, perhaps even denying the Russian naval base on the Syrian coast

2) We establish credibility in the Sunni world as a strong horse.  Note the assemblage the Saudi have pulled together for Trump's visit.

3) Arguably this enables pressure on Iran viz both its nuke program and its ICBM program.
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ccp
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« Reply #260 on: May 20, 2017, 08:41:00 AM »

"Among the arguments for this:
1) We break up the Russian Iranian axis from the Indian Ocean to the Baltic Sea, perhaps even denying the Russian naval base on the Syrian coast
2) We establish credibility in the Sunni world as a strong horse.  Note the assemblage the Saudi have pulled together for Trump's visit.
3) Arguably this enables pressure on Iran viz both its nuke program and its ICBM program."

Sounds good, but ......

When has any intervention in the Middle East ever gone according to plan?  How do you know we create a vacuum that allows Iran to move in even more strongly then before?
We are going to start another , forever occupation of predominantly Americans and a few token "international" forces who will ceaselessly be training the few but the brave who want American style democracy to fight against the rest?




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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #261 on: May 20, 2017, 10:51:48 AM »

Fair points all-- OTOH what happens if we leave the Middle East to the Russian-Iranian Axis?
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G M
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« Reply #262 on: May 20, 2017, 10:54:25 AM »

Fair points all-- OTOH what happens if we leave the Middle East to the Russian-Iranian Axis?

Let it burn. The latest Sunni-Shia war can kick off and we can watch.
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