Syria

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blindpig
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Syria

Post by blindpig » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:06 pm

A continuation of the following threads:

http://www.thebellforum.net/Bell2/www.t ... l?t=136799

&

http://www.thebellforum.net/Bell2/www.t ... l?t=156568

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence
July 11, 2017

By Stephen Gowans

A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown nearby, under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus. The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified.

Image
If the ISO existed in 1865.

Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms. Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates. Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab socialist, government, can be found votaries of the enlightenment values Damascus already embraces. Surely somewhere there exist armed anti-government secular Leftists to rally behind; for it appears that the goal is to find a reason, any reason, no matter how tenuous, to create a nimbus of moral excellence around some group that opposes with arms the government in Damascus; some group that can be made to appear to be non-sectarian, anti-imperialist, socialist, committed to the rights of women and minorities, and pro-Palestinian; in other words, a group just like Syria’s Ba’ath Arab Socialists, except not them.
Stepping forward to fulfill that hope is the PKK, an anarchist guerrilla group demonized as a terrorist organization when operating in Turkey against a US ally, but which goes by the name of the YPG in Syria, where it is the principal component of the lionized “Syrian Democratic Force.” So appealing is the YPG to many Western Leftists that some have gone so far as to volunteer to fight in its units. But is the YPG the great hope it’s believed it to be?

Kurds in Syria

It’s difficult to determine with precision how many Kurds are in Syria, but it’s clear that the ethnic group comprises only a small percentage of the Syrian population (less than 10 percent according to the CIA, and 8.5 percent according to an estimate cited by Nikolaos Van Dam in his book The Struggle for Power in Syria. [1] Estimates of the proportion of the total Kurd population living in Syria vary from two to seven percent based on population figures presented in the CIA World Factbook. Half of the Kurd community lives in Turkey, 28 percent in Iran and 20 percent in Iraq. A declassified 1972 US State Department report estimated that only between four and five percent of the world’s Kurds lived in Syria [2]. While the estimates are rough, it’s clear that Kurds make up a fairly small proportion of the Syrian population and that the number of the group’s members living in Syria as a proportion of the Kurd community as a whole is very small.

Image

The PKK

Kurdish fighters in Syria operate under the name of the YPG, which is “tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a radical guerrilla movement combining [anarchist ideas] with Kurdish nationalism. PKK guerrillas [have] fought the Turkish state from 1978” and the PKK is “classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Turkey and the U.S.” [3]

Cemil Bayik is the top field commander of both the PKK in Turkey and of its Syrian incarnation, the YPG. Bayik “heads the PKK umbrella organization, the KCK, which unites PKK affiliates in different countries. All follow the same leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in prison in Turkey” [4] since 1999, when he was apprehended by Turkish authorities with CIA assistance.

Ocalan “was once a devotee of Marxism-Leninism,” according to Carne Ross, who wrote a profile of the Kurdish nationalist leader in The Financial Times in 2015. But Ocalan “came to believe that, like capitalism, communism perforce relied upon coercion.” Imprisoned on an island in the Sea of Marmara, Ocalan discovered “the masterwork of a New York political thinker named Murray Bookchin.” Bookchin “believed that true democracy could only prosper when decision-making belonged to the local community and was not monopolized by distant and unaccountable elites.” Government was desirable, reasoned Bookchin, but decision-making needed to be decentralized and inclusive. While anarchist, Bookchin preferred to call his approach “communalism”. Ocalan adapted Bookchin’s ideas to Kurd nationalism, branding the new philosophy “democratic confederalism.” [5]

Labor Zionism has similar ideas about a political system based on decentralized communes, but is, at its core, a nationalist movement. Similarly, Ocalan’s views cannot be understood outside the framework of Kurdish nationalism. The PKK may embrace beautiful utopian goals of democratic confederalism but it is, at its heart, an organization dedicated to establishing Kurdish self-rule—and, as it turns out, not only on traditionally Kurdish territory, but on Arab territory, as well, making the parallel with Labour Zionism all the stronger. In both Syria and Iraq, Kurdish fighters have used the campaign against ISIS as an opportunity to extend Kurdistan into traditionally Arab territories in which Kurds have never been in the majority.

The PKK’s goal, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Dagher, “is a confederation of self-rule Kurdish-led enclaves in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey” [6] countries in which Kurdish populations have a presence, though, as we’ve seen, an insignificant one in Syria. In pursuit of this goal “as many as 5,000 Syrian Kurds have died fighting alongside the PKK since the mid-1980s, and nearly all of YPG’s top leaders and battle-hardened fighters are veterans of the decades-long struggle against Turkey.” [7]

In Syria, the PKK’s goal “is to establish a self-ruled region in northern Syria,” [8] an area with a significant Arab population.

When PKK fighters cross the border into Turkey, they become ‘terrorists’, according to the United States and European Union, but when they cross back into Syria they are miraculously transformed into ‘guerrilla” fighters waging a war for democracy as the principal component of the Syrian Democratic Force. The reality is, however, that whether on the Turkish or Syrian side of the border, the PKK uses the same methods, pursues the same goals, and relies largely on the same personnel. The YPG is the PKK.

An Opportunity

Washington has long wanted to oust the Arab nationalists in Syria, regarding them as “a focus of Arab nationalist struggle against an American regional presence and interests,” as Amos Ma’oz once put it. The Arab nationalists, particularly the Ba’ath Arab Socialist party, in power since 1963, represent too many things Washington deplores: socialism, Arab nationalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Zionism. Washington denounced Hafez al-Assad, president of Syria from 1970 to 2000, as an Arab communist, and regards his son, Bashar, who succeeded him as president, as little different. Bashar, the State Department complains, hasn’t allowed the Syrian economy—based on Soviet models, its researchers say—to be integrated into the US-superintended global economy. Plus, Washington harbors grievances about Damascus’s support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian national liberation movement.

US planners decided to eliminate Asia’s Arab nationalists by invading their countries, first Iraq, in 2003, which, like Syria, was led by the Ba’ath Arab Socialists, and then Syria. However, the Pentagon soon discovered that its resources were strained by resistance to its occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that an invasion of Syria was out of the question. As an alternative, Washington immediately initiated a campaign of economic warfare against Syria. That campaign, still in effect 14 years later, would eventually buckle the economy and prevent Damascus from providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country. At the same time, Washington took steps to reignite the long-running holy war that Syria’s Islamists had waged on the secular state, dating to the 1960s and culminating in the bloody takeover of Hama, Syria’s fourth largest city, in 1982. Beginning in 2006, Washington worked with Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood to rekindle the Brother’s jihad against Assad’s secular government. The Brothers had two meetings at the White House, and met frequently with the State Department and National Security Council.

The outbreak of Islamist violence in March of 2011 was greeted by the PKK as an opportunity. As The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov recounts, “The PKK, once an ally of…Damascus…had long been present among Kurdish communities in northern Syria. When the revolutionary tide reached Syria, the group’s Syrian affiliate quickly seized control of three Kurdish-majority regions along the Turkish frontier. PKK fighters and weapons streamed there from other parts of Kurdistan.”[9] The “Syrian Kurds,” wrote Trofimov’s colleagues, Joe Parkinson and Ayla Albayrak, viewed “the civil war as an opportunity to carve out a self-governing enclave—similar to the one established by their ethnic kin in neighboring Iraq.” [10] That enclave, long backed by the United States and Israel, was seen as a means of weakening the Iraqi state.

Damascus facilitated the PKK take-over by withdrawing its troops from Kurdish-dominated areas. The Middle East specialist Patrick Seale, who wrote that the Kurds had “seized the opportunity” of the chaos engendered by the Islamist uprising “to boost their own political agenda” [11] speculated that the Syrian government’s aims in pulling back from Kurd-majority areas was to redirect “troops for the defence of Damascus and Aleppo;” punish Turkey for its support of Islamist insurgents; and “to conciliate the Kurds, so as to dissuade them from joining the rebels.” [12] The PKK, as it turns out, didn’t join the Islamist insurgents, as Damascus hoped. But they did join a more significant part of the opposition to Arab nationalist Syria: the puppet master itself, the United States.

By 2014, the PKK had “declared three self-rule administrations, or cantons as they call them, in northern Syria: Afreen, in the northwest, near the city of Aleppo; Kobani; and Jazeera in the northeast, which encompasses Ras al-Ain and the city of Qamishli. Their goal [was] to connect all three.” [13] This would mean controlling the intervening spaces occupied by Arabs.

A Deal with Washington

At this point, the PKK decided that its political goals might best be served by striking a deal with Washington.

The State Department had “allowed for the possibility of a form of decentralization in which different groups” — the Kurds, the secular government, and the Islamist insurgents — each received some autonomy within Syria. [14] Notice the implicit assumption in this view that it is within Washington’s purview to grant autonomy within Syria, while the question of whether the country ought to decentralize, properly within the democratic ambit of Syrians themselves, is denied to the people who live and work in Syria. If we are to take seriously Ocalan’s Bookchin-inspired ideas about investing decision-making authority in the people, this anti-democratic abomination can hardly be tolerated.

All the same, the PKK was excited by the US idea of dividing “Syria into zones roughly corresponding to areas now held by the government, the Islamic State, Kurdish militias and other insurgents.” A “federal system” would be established, “not only for Kurdish-majority areas but for all of Syria.” A Kurd federal region would be created “on all the territory now held by the” PKK. The zone would expand to include territory the Kurds hoped “to capture in battle, not only from ISIS but also from other Arab insurgent groups.” [15]

The PKK “pressed U.S. officials” to act on the scheme, pledging to act as a ground force against ISIS in return. [16] The group said it was “eager to join the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in return for recognition and support from Washington and its allies for the Kurdish-dominated self-rule administrations they [had] established in northern Syria.” [17]

The only people pleased with this plan were the PKK, the Israelis and the Americans.

“US support for these Kurdish groups” not only in Syria, but in Iraq, where the Kurds were also exploiting the battle with ISIS to expand their rule into traditionally Arab areas, helped “to both divide Syria and divide Iraq,” wrote The Independent’s veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk. [18] Division redounded to the benefit of the United States and Israel, both of which have an interest in pursuing a divide and rule policy to exercise a joint hegemony over the Arab world. Patrick Seale remarked that the US-Kurd plan for Kurdish rule in northern Syria had been met by “quiet jubilation in Israel, which has long had a semi-clandestine relationship with the Kurds, and welcomes any development which might weaken or dismember Syria.” [19]

For their part, the Turks objected, perceiving that Washington had agreed to give the PKK a state in all of northern Syria. [20] Meanwhile, Damascus opposed the plan, “seeing it as a step toward a permanent division of the nation.” [21]

Modern-day Syria, it should be recalled, is already the product of a division of Greater Syria at the hands of the British and French, who partitioned the country into Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan, and what is now Syria. In March, 1920, the second Syrian General Congress proclaimed “Syria to be completely independent within her ‘natural’ boundaries, including Lebanon and Palestine.” Concurrently “an Arab delegation in Palestine confronted the British military governor with a resolution opposing Zionism and petitioning to become part of an independent Syria.” [22] France sent its Army of the Levant, mainly troops recruited from its Senegalese colony, to quash by force the Levantine Arabs’ efforts to establish self-rule.

Syria, already truncated by British and French imperial machinations after WWI “is too small for a federal state,” opines Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. But Assad quickly adds that his personal view is irrelevant; a question as weighty as whether Syria ought to become a federal or confederal or unitary state, he says, is a matter for Syrians to decide in a constitutional referendum, [23] a refreshingly democratic view in contrast to the Western position that Washington should dictate how Syrians arrange their political (and economic) affairs.

Tip of the US Spear

For Washington, the PKK offers a benefit additional to the Kurdish guerrilla group’s utility in advancing the US goal of weakening Syria by fracturing it, namely, the PKK can be pressed into service as a surrogate for the US Army, obviating the necessity of deploying tens of thousands of US troops to Syria, and thereby allowing the White House and Pentagon to side-step a number of legal, budgetary and public relations quandaries. “The situation underscores a critical challenge the Pentagon faces,” wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Sonne; namely, “backing local forces…instead of putting American troops at the tip of the spear.” [24]

Having pledged support for Kurdish rule of northern Syria in return for the PKK becoming the tip of the US spear, the United States is “providing “small arms, ammunition and machine guns, and possibly some nonlethal assistance, such as light trucks, to the Kurdish forces.” [25]

The arms are “parceled out” in a so called “drop, op, and assess” approach. The shipments are “dropped, an operation [is] performed, and the U.S. [assesses] the success of that mission before providing more arms.” Said a US official, “We will be supplying them only with enough arms and ammo to accomplish each interim objective.” [26]

PKK foot soldiers are backed by “more than 750 U.S. Marines,” Army Rangers, and US, French and German Special Forces, “using helicopters, artillery and airstrikes,” the Western marionette-masters in Syria illegally, in contravention of international law. [27]

Ethnic Cleansing

“Large numbers of Arab residents populate the regions Kurds designate as their own.” [28] The PKK has taken “over a large swath of territory across northern Syria—including predominantly Arab cities and towns.” [29] Raqqa, and surrounding parts of the Euphrates Valley on which the PKK has set its sights, are mainly populated by Arabs, observes The Independent’s veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn—and the Arabs are opposed to Kurdish occupation. [30]

Kurdish forces are not only “retaking” Christian and Muslim Arab towns in Syria, but are doing the same in the Nineveh province of Iraq—areas “which were never Kurdish in the first place. Kurds now regard Qamishleh, and Hassakeh province in Syria as part of ‘Kurdistan’, although they represent a minority in many of these areas.” [31]

The PKK now controls 20,000 square miles of Syrian territory [32], or roughly 17 percent of the country, while Kurds represent less than eight percent of the population.

In their efforts to create a Kurdish region inside Syria, the PKK “has been accused of abuses by Arab civilians across northern Syria, including arbitrary arrests and displacing Arab populations in the name of rolling back Islamic State.” [33] The PKK “has expelled Arabs and ethnic Turkmen from large parts of northern Syria,” reports The Wall Street Journal. [34] The Journal additionally notes that human rights “groups have accused [Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish fighters] of preventing Arabs from returning to liberated areas.” [35]

Neither Syrian nor Democratic

The PKK dominates the Syrian Democratic Forces, a misnomer conferred upon a group of mainly Kurdish fighters by its US patron. The group is not Syrian, since many of its members are non-Syrians who identify as Kurds and who flooded over the border from Turkey to take advantage of the chaos produced by the Islamist insurgency in Syria to carve out an area of Kurdish control. Nor is the group particularly democratic, since it seeks to impose Kurdish rule on Arab populations. Robert Fisk dismisses the “Syrian Democratic Forces” as a “facade-name for large numbers of Kurds and a few Arab fighters.” [36]

The PKK poses as a Syrian Democratic Force, and works with a token force of Syrian Arab fighters, to disguise the reality that the Arab populated areas it controls, and those it has yet to capture, fall under Kurd occupation.

A De Facto (and Illegal) No Fly Zone

In August, 2016, after “Syrian government bombers had been striking Kurdish positions near the city of Hasakah, where the U.S. [had] been backing Kurdish forces” the Pentagon scrambled “jets to protect them. The U.S. jets arrived just as the two Syrian government Su-24 bombers were departing.” This “prompted the U.S.-led coalition to begin patrolling the airspace over Hasakah, and led to another incident…in which two Syrian Su-24 bombers attempted to fly through the area but were met by coalition fighter jets.” [37]

The Pentagon “warned the Syrians to stay away. American F-22 fighter jets drove home the message by patrolling the area.” [38]

The New York Times observed that in using “airpower to safeguard areas of northern Syria where American advisers” direct PKK fighters that the United States had effectively established a no-fly zone over the area, but noted that “the Pentagon has steadfastly refused to” use the term. [39] Still, the reality is that the Pentagon has illegally established a de facto no-fly zone over northern Syria to protect PKK guerillas, the tip of the US spear, who are engaged in a campaign of creating a partition of Syria, including through ethnic cleansing of the Arab population, to the delight of Israel and in accordance with US designs to weaken Arab nationalism in Damascus.

An Astigmatic Analogy

Some find a parallel in the YPG’s alliance with the United States with Lenin accepting German aid to return from exile in Switzerland to Russia following the 1917 March Revolution. The analogy is inapt. Lenin was playing one imperialist power off against another. Syria is hardly an analogue of Imperial Russia, which, one hundred years ago, was locked in a struggle for markets, resources, and spheres of influence with contending empires. In contrast, Syria is and has always been a country partitioned, dominated, exploited and threatened by empires. It has been emancipated from colonialism, and is carrying on a struggle—now against the contrary efforts of the PKK—to resist its recolonization.

The PKK has struck a bargain with the United States to achieve its goal of establishing a Kurdish national state, but at the expense of Syria’s efforts to safeguard its independence from a decades-long US effort to deny it. The partition of Syria along ethno-sectarian lines, desired by the PKK, Washington and Tel Aviv alike, serves both US and Israeli goals of weakening a focus of opposition to the Zionist project and US domination of West Asia.

A more fitting analogy, equates the PKK in Syria to Labor Zionism, the dominant Zionist force in occupied Palestine until the late 1970s. Like Ocalan, early Zionism emphasized decentralized communes. The kibbutzim were utopian communities, whose roots lay in socialism. Like the PKK’s Syrian incarnation, Labor Zionism relied on sponsorship by imperialist powers, securing their patronage by offering to act as the tips of the imperialists’ spears in the Arab world. Zionists employed armed conquest of Arab territory, along with ethnic cleansing and denial of repatriation, to establish an ethnic state, anticipating the PKK’s extension by armed force of the domain of a Kurdish state into Arab majority territory in Syria, as well as Kurd fighters doing the same in Iraq. Anarchists and other leftists may have been inspired by Jewish collective agricultural communities in Palestine, but that hardly made the Zionist project progressive or emancipatory, since its progressive and emancipatory elements were negated by its regressive oppression and dispossession of the indigenous Arab population, and its collusion with Western imperialism against the Arab world.

Conclusion

Representing an ethnic community that comprises less than 10 percent of the Syrian population, the PKK, a Kurdish anarchist guerrilla group which operates in both Turkey and Syria, is using the United States, its Air Force, Marine Corps, Army Rangers and Special Forces troops, as a force multiplier in an effort to impose a partition of Syria in which the numerically insignificant Kurd population controls a significant part of Syria’s territory, including areas inhabited by Arabs in the majority and in which Kurds have never been in the majority. To accomplish its aims, the PKK has not only struck a deal with a despotic regime in Washington which seeks to recolonize the Arab world, but is relying on ethnic cleansing and denial of repatriation of Arabs from regions from which they’ve fled or have been driven to establish Kurdish control of northern Syria, tactics which parallel those used by Zionist forces in 1948 to create a Jewish state in Arab-majority Palestine. Washington and Israel (the latter having long maintained a semi-clandestine relationship with the Kurds) value a confederal system for Syria as a means of weakening Arab nationalist influence in Arab Asia, undermining a pole of opposition to Zionism, colonialism, and the international dictatorship of the United States. Forces which resist dictatorship, including the most odious one of all, that of the United States over much of the world, are the real champions of democracy, a category to which the PKK, as evidenced by its actions in Syria, does not belong.

1. Nikolaos Van Dam, The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Assad and the Ba’ath Party, IB Taurus, 2011, p.1.

2. “The Kurds of Iraq: Renewed Insurgency?”, US Department of State, May 31, 1972, https://2001-2009.state.gove/documents/ ... /70896.pdf

3. Sam Dagher, “Kurds fight Islamic State to claim a piece of Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014.

4. Patrick Cockburn, “War against ISIS: PKK commander tasked with the defence of Syrian Kurds claims ‘we will save Kobani’”, The Independent, November 11, 2014.

5. Carne Ross, “Power to the people: A Syrian experiment in democracy,” Financial Times, October 23, 2015.

6. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

7. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

8. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

9. Yaroslav Trofimov, “The State of the Kurds,” The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2015.

10. Joe Parkinson and Ayla Albayrak, “Syrian Kurds grow more assertive”, The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2013.

11. Patrick Seale, “Al Assad uses Kurds to fan regional tensions”, Gulf News, August 2, 2012.

12. Seale, August 2, 2012.

13. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

14. David E. Sanger, “Legacy of a secret pact haunts efforts to end war in Syria,” the New York Times, May 16, 2016.

15. Anne Barnard, “Syrian Kurds hope to establish a federal region in country’s north,” The New York Times, March 16, 2016.

16. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

17. Dagher, November 12, 2014.

18. Robert Fisk, “This is the aim of Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia – and it isn’t good for Shia communities,” The Independent, May 18, 2017.

19. Seale, August 2, 2012.

20. Yaroslav Trofimov, “U.S. is caught between ally Turkey and Kurdish partner in Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2017.

21. Anne Barnard, “Syrian Kurds hope to establish a federal region in country’s north,” The New York Times, March 16, 2016.

22. David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, Henry Holt & Company, 2009, p. 437.

23. “President al-Assad to RIA Novosti and Sputnik: Syria is not prepared for federalism,” SANA, March 30, 2016.

24. Paul Sonne, “U.S. seeks Sunni forces to take militant hub,” The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2016.

25. Dion Nissenbaum, Gordon Lubold and Julian E. Barnes, “Trump set to arm Kurds in ISIS fight, angering Turkey,” The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2017.

26. Nissenbaum et al, May 9, 2017.

27. Dion Nissenbaum and Maria Abi-Habib, “Syria’s newest flashpoint is bringing US and Iran face to face,” The Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2017; “Syria condemns presence of French and German special forces in Ain al-Arab and Manbij as overt unjustified aggression on Syria’s sovereignty and independence,” SANA, June 15, 2016; Michael R. Gordon. “U.S. is sending 400 more troops to Syria.” The New York Times. March 9, 2017.

28. Matt Bradley, Ayla Albayrak, and Dana Ballout, “Kurds declare ‘federal region’ in Syria, says official,” The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2016.

29. Maria Abi-Habib and Raja Abdulrahim, “Kurd-led force homes in on ISIS bastion with assent of U.S. and Syria alike,” The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2017.

30. Patrick Cockburn, “Battle for Raqqa: Fighters begin offensive to push Isis out of Old City,” The Independent, July 7, 2017.

31. Robert Fisk, “This is the aim of Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia – and it isn’t good for Shia communities,” The Independent, May 18, 2017.

32. Dion Nissenbaum and Maria Abi-Habib, “U.S. split over plan to take Raqqa from Islamic state,” The Wall Street Journal. March 9, 2017.

33. Raja Abdulrahim, Maria Abi_Habin and Dion J. Nissenbaum, “U.S.-backed forces in Syria launch offensive to seize ISIS stronghold Raqqa,” The Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2016.

34. Margherita Stancati and Alia A. Nabhan, “During Mosul offensive, Kurdish fighters clear Arab village, demolish homes,” The Wall Street Journal, November 14, 2016.

35. Matt Bradley, Ayla Albayrak, and Dana Ballout, “Kurds declare ‘federal region’ in Syria, says official,” The Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2016.

36. Robert Fisk, “The US seems keener to strike at Syria’s Assad than it does to destroy ISIS,” The Independent, June 20, 2017.

37. Paul Sonne and Raja Abdulrahim, “Pentagon warns Assad regime to avoid action near U.S. and allied forces,” The Wall Street Journal, August 19, 2016.

38. Michael R. Gordon and Neil MacFarquhar, “U.S. election cycle offers Kremlin a window of opportunity in Syria,” The New York Times, October 4, 2016.

39. Michael R. Gordon and Neil MacFarquhar, “U.S. election cycle offers Kremlin a window of opportunity in Syria,” The New York Times, October 4, 2016.

https://gowans.wordpress.com/2017/07/11 ... xcellence/
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:56 pm

Exploitation of Bana al-Abed: Parents use child to whitewash terrorists in Aleppo

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.
Published time: 24 Jul, 2017 14:26
Edited time: 24 Jul, 2017 22:47

Image
© Thaer Mohammed / AFP

The exploitation of children in the propaganda war against Syria has become routine. However, the exploitation by the parents themselves is a new low of depravity. Such is the case of Aleppo child, Bana al-Abed, and the exploitation by her parents.
Until and even after the liberation of Aleppo in December 2016, one of the most popular Aleppo Twitter accounts, offering pleas for Western intervention in Syria, was that of then seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, living in eastern Aleppo's al-Muasalat al-Qadima neighborhood of Jouret Awwad, Sha'ar.

As with the exploitation of Omran Daqneesh, the Bana narrative features an endearing child who causes otherwise rationally-thinking people to uncritically-accept transparent war propaganda rhetoric.

The Bana Twitter account began in late September 2016, with calls early on for action against the Syrian president, and Russia, and with a glaring absence of information or mention of the terrorist factions occupying eastern areas of Aleppo. In one notable early tweet, although only a cached version of the tweet exists, the Bana account tweeted:

“Dear world, it's better to start 3rd world war instead of letting Russia & Assad commit #HolocaustAleppo”

On December 13, a ceasefire agreement was reached and an evacuation deal agreed upon which would see the expulsion and transfer of the different terrorist factions and their families from the eastern quarters of Aleppo, with the option to remain in the government-secured city. That day, Bana was among the many seemingly-choreographed “last message” from Aleppo posters, tweeting:

“I am talking to the world now live from east #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die.”

Seuraa
Bana Alabed ✔ @AlabedBana
My name is Bana, I'm 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die. - Bana
04:06 - 13. Deckuuta 2016
44 085 44 085 uudelleentwiittausta 37 464 37 464 tykkäystä
Twitter Ads -tiedot ja yksityisyys
My name is Bana, I'm 7 years old. I am talking to the world now live from East #Aleppo. This is my last moment to either live or die. - Bana

— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) 13. joulukuuta 2016
In spite of the Bana account's fearmongering, the girl and family were safely evacuated to Idlib, as promised and honored by the Syrian government. Bana and family went on from Idlib to Turkey, becoming citizens in mid-May.

Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Seuraa
Bana Alabed ✔ @AlabedBana
I am a Turkey citizen now.
13:14 - 12. Maykuuta 2017
2 213 2 213 uudelleentwiittausta 10 832 10 832 tykkäystä
Twitter Ads -tiedot ja yksityisyys
I am a Turkey citizen now. pic.twitter.com/ov0BMDptSw

— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) 12. toukokuuta 2017
The child's account, which now has 369,000 followers, continues to vilify the Syrian and Russian governments and hobnobs with world leaders and global celebrities. Time magazine lauded Bana as among the most 25 influential people on the internet. On June 30, the Bana account tweeted the announcement of her memoirs, published by Simon & Schuster.

Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Seuraa
Bana Alabed ✔ @AlabedBana
I am happy to announce my book will be published by Simon & schuster. The world must end all the wars now in every part of the world.
12:49 - 12. Aprkuuta 2017
1 987 1 987 uudelleentwiittausta 9 164 9 164 tykkäystä
Twitter Ads -tiedot ja yksityisyys
I am happy to announce my book will be published by Simon & schuster. The world must end all the wars now in every part of the world. pic.twitter.com/OPJ1tpl5MI

— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) 12. huhtikuuta 2017
This is an eight-year-old with a truly unbelievable story. And in fact, this is an eight-year-old who has been exploited by her parents for war propaganda.

After much online criticism regarding the implausibility that a child whose reply to a question about what food she liked was “Save the children of Syria” could be tweeting nuanced, idiomatic, English phrases, often with perfect punctuation, Bana's mother Fatema admitted to penning some of the tweets.

Although in late December Fatema promised that only Bana would be tweeting after that, it defies credibility that a child who could scarcely string together a sentence later tweeted this:

"My letter to @realdonaldtrump: I beg you, can you do something for the children of Syria? If you can, I will be your best friend. Thank you"

Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Näytä kuva Twitterissä
Seuraa
Bana Alabed ✔ @AlabedBana
My letter to @realdonaldtrump: I beg you, can you do something for the children of Syria? If you can, I will be your best friend. Thank you
12:26 - 25. Jankuuta 2017
4 253 4 253 uudelleentwiittausta 9 005 9 005 tykkäystä
Twitter Ads -tiedot ja yksityisyys
My letter to @realdonaldtrump: I beg you, can you do something for the children of Syria? If you can, I will be your best friend. Thank you pic.twitter.com/rWmgDuBf6P

— Bana Alabed (@AlabedBana) 25. tammikuuta 2017
The BBC uncritically published the entire letter, never doubting the veracity of a letter said to be penned by an English-illiterate 7-year-old, a letter which also included near-perfect mastery of idiomatic expressions and more subtle calls for Western intervention.

Critics noting that the Bana Twitter account smacked of war propaganda, also surmised that Bana's father, Ghassan might have ties to, or indeed be a member of, terrorist groups then in eastern Aleppo. One such tweet read:

“Hey @AlabedBana can you ask your dad why he's friends with jihadists from Jabhat Nusra and Ahrar Sham?”

Näytä kuva TwitterissäNäytä kuva TwitterissäNäytä kuva TwitterissäNäytä kuva Twitterissä
Seuraa
Ali @Ali_Kourani
Hey @AlabedBana can you ask your dad why he's friends with jihadists from Jabhat Nusra and Ahrar Sham?
16:14 - 28. Novkuuta 2016
362 362 uudelleentwiittausta 434 434 tykkäystä
Twitter Ads -tiedot ja yksityisyys
Hey @AlabedBana can you ask your dad why he's friends with jihadists from Jabhat Nusra and Ahrar Sham? pic.twitter.com/gAkllzLx45

— Ali (@Ali_Kourani) 28. marraskuuta 2016
Indeed, it turns out there is far more to the Bana story, and her family's criminal activities with terrorists than observers had surmised.

Filming Bana meters from Al-Qaeda headquarters
In June 2017, in Aleppo, I met with Syrian journalist Khaled Iskef to discuss his investigations into the propaganda around Omran Daqneesh. Recently, I spoke with Iskef anew after he published part one and part two of a video series looking into the exploitation of Bana al-Abed, as well as investigating the family itself and their whitewashing of Al-Qaeda and affiliated terrorists in Syria, who they were living next to and indeed undoubtedly cooperating with.

Read more
© AFP / Global Look PressMeet Aylan & Omran: Child victims used for Syrian war propaganda
For his research, Iskef did more than look at the social media accounts of the family. He went to their home, which happened to be just meters around the corner from an al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) headquarters, and less than 400 meters down the street from the main Al-Qaeda headquarters in Aleppo.

Western media portrayed Ghassan al-Abed as the civilian he claimed to be; an “Independent lawyer, Activist against terrorism and ISIS,” reads his Twitter bio. Had the media dug even a little bit deeply, they would have found all of these claims to be false.

The self-professed “investigative” website known as Bellingcat (dubbed on twitter as #Bellingcrap for the disinformation it propagates) in December 2016 falsely asserted:

“...claims that Ghassan Alabed probably works for a Shariah court are totally without basis in evidence.”

Khaled Iskef revealed the contrary. In the al-Abed home, Iskef found a notebook documenting Ghassan's work with terrorists over the years. According to the notebook (and coinciding with photos formerly on his social media pages) Ghassan Al-Abed was a military trainer for the Islamic Sawfa Brigade, and worked in the Shariah Council in the occupied state Eye Hospital, under the control of ISIS for a time until 2014, and al-Nusra for all of the time that al-Abed was there. The Shariah Council which al-Abed worked with passed decisions on imprisonment and assassination of the captured civilians being tried.

Read more
© FacebookDoubts raised over Aleppo girl Bana al-Abed’s Twitter account
According to residents of the district, Iskef reports, Ghassan's father, Mohammed al-Abed, was a known arms dealer and had a weapons maintenance shop in Sha'ar, servicing light to heavy weapons for terrorist factions. The al-Abed weapons shop was opposite a school-turned-headquarters for al-Nusra.

Although Ghassan and family have deleted self-incriminating photos from the various social media accounts, Iskef saved a number from their various accounts. In one, Ghassan sits outside the family gun shop holding a gun, along with four other armed men, including his brothers.

Iskef's on the ground documentation has already received a poor attempt at “debunking” by an author who goes by an Arabic pseudonym, slings the decades-old CIA “conspiracy theorist” accusation meant to discredit, attempts to whitewash the presence of al-Nusra literally around the corner from the al-Abed house and links to a map which even the UN body that produced it states “is a preliminary analysis and has not yet been validated in the field."

The author either does not understand Arabic or perhaps missed the point in Iskef's first video wherein he reads from Ghassan al-Abed's notebook which states that Ghassan was working in the Shariah Council in the Eye Hospital from early 2013, before reports of ISIS being pushed out of Aleppo in 2014.

For those who followed the Bana Twitter account, a constant theme was that she missed going to school. What wasn't mentioned was that terrorists, including al-Nusra, were using schools as headquarters, along with other buildings in the district, amounting to at least twenty headquarters in Bana's area, and over 300 in eastern Aleppo, according to Iskef.

In an interview, investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley explained that Ghassan al-Abed was the Director of the 'Civil Registry of the east Aleppo Council,' “run by Abdul Aziz Maghrabi, who was with the Tawhid Brigades in 2012 when they invaded eastern Aleppo. He then became not only an al-Nusra Front leader but also the originator of the White Helmets organization in east Aleppo.” At the same time.


The east Aleppo Council was receiving payments from the UK government, via “organizations like Adam Smith International and Integrity Consulting,” Beeley said. “Payments directly, effectively, to Nusra Front, to distribute among the extremist factions in east Aleppo.”

A short walk down the lane and around the corner from the al-Abed home, Iskef entered one a former al-Nusra headquarters, somehow not included in the Bana account tweets. The lower level of the building comprised an improvised prison and was littered with terrorist banners, food aid packaging from countries hostile to Syria, and a notebook listing the names and weapons of al-Nusra fighters in that area.

In his second video report, Iskef shows a photo which Bellingcat also shared in their December report. What Bellingcat didn't bother to research was that in the picture Bana stood within meters of the most important al-Qaeda headquarters in Aleppo.

The building behind Bana, Iskef reports, was a school, also turned-terrorist headquarters. Immediately across from where Bana stood were three further terrorist headquarters, of Ansar al-Sham, the Muhajireen Brigade, and al-Nusra.

Read more
FILE PHOTO © Khalil AshawiExploitation of children in propaganda war against Syria continues
The photo shared by Bellingcat was taken from a video in which Bana delivered an emotional message: “I'm sad, it's so bad.” Iskef remarked. “She stood here and delivered the message...without showing the military headquarters surrounding her.”

The former main headquarters of al-Nusra for Aleppo and countryside was just a camera swivel (and some meters) away.

When he entered the building some months prior, Iskef reports that he found letters from Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (head of ISIS) and Abu Mohammad al-Julani (head of the Nusra Front), dated May 22, 2013.

Discussing with Iskef the improbability of the Bana family, as 'civilians' filming next to such an Al-Qaeda headquarters, he told me: “When I asked civilians whether anyone could take photos/videos there—because it was a (Nusra) military area—all said, no it's impossible, you couldn't take any photos/videos near an Al-Qaeda location. So how did they (Bana's handlers) take a video around meters away?”

The logical conclusion, thus, is that the family of Bana had permission from, ties to, Al-Qaeda, and filming directly next to their headquarters was not only not an issue, but a part of the war propaganda the account was initiated for.

In an October 2016 Danish TV 2 channel interview with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, the journalist raised the issue of Bana, asking “Do you trust her as an eyewitness?”

President Assad replied: “You cannot build your political position or stand, let’s say, according to a video promoted by the terrorists or their supporters. It’s a game now, a game of propaganda, it’s a game of media....Our mission as a government is to deal with the reality. You have terrorists in Syria, they are supported by foreign powers and foreign countries, and we have to defend our country.”

As it turned out, Assad was correct: narratives like that of the Bana al-Abed account are sad games of propaganda. The losers are the victims themselves like Bana, and the Syrian people being abused, and killed, by Western-backed war propaganda.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/397339-bana- ... o-twitter/
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:25 pm

TQILA – OSINT INVESTIGATION

An LGBT unit named TQILA was announced by the IRPGF fighting in Syria.
Image

http://www.newsweek.com/first-lgbt-unit ... ion-641148

Based on our 30 year old knowledge of the PKK, in particular Hamburg & London Kurdish Communities, we felt it was suspicious and performed an OSINT investigation using Maltego, the industry standard tool.



We ran the analysis twice, once using standard transforms and once with enhanced Social Mediaintegration we are evaluating currently.

Image

Who is Heval Rojhilat?

All we had to go on was the name of the spokesman, Heval Rojhilat, Our investigation uncovered 5 email addresses strongly connected with that name.

Two of which turned out to be very interesting.

The first is dhgerstman@hotmail.com

The second is hesrete@hotmail.com



A very queer bunch of Anarchists altogether.

David Gerstman dhgerstman@hotmail.com Image

http://www.thetower.org/author/david-gerstman/ works for the Israel Project and is a life long spook type.

Before he got into the Hasbara business he spent 28 years as a computer scientist at Army Research Lab.

ARL is up to all kinds of spooky shit but is particularly notorious for running Aberdeen Proving Ground / Edgewood Arsenal, site of the Army’s mind control experiments.

The Israel Project, is a major Hasbara mill that was started with AOL money.

Founder was Lennert Leader, AOL’s CFO during IPO and merger.

The Cheney Connection



The same AOL who appointed Dick Cheney’s Lesbian daughter, Mary as vice president for consumer advocacy while he was VP of the USA.

Disclaimer : I used to work as a contractor for AOL. I helped set up AOL Europe. Image

His Boss is Allan Myer. http://www.theisraelproject.org/board#allan

Allan Myer is now Chairman of The Israel Project & is a former speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan Image

A lineage stretching back to the American War



Allan’s military career goes back to the 82nd Airborne in Vietnam, where they ran death squads out of Da Nang.

Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)

MACV-SOG was a highly classified, multi-service United States special operations unit which conducted covert unconventional warfare operations prior to and during the Vietnam War.

Image

The unit would eventually consist primarily of personnel from the United States Army Special Forces, the United States Navy SEALs, the United States Air Force, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and elements of the United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_ ... ions_Group

Image

Image

The Lobbyists – Who are Mercury?

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin hesrete@hotmail.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanie_Herseth_Sandlin

is the husband of

Max Sandlin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Sandlin

Max Sandlin is currently a Partner in and Co-Chairman of Mercury, a “high-stakes public strategy firm”

Their client list is very interesting. http://www.mercuryllc.com/about/

They represent among others the State of Qatar & our old friends the Ford Foundation.



They are DC lobbyists and former congressional representatives for South Dakota and Texas respectively.

Our conclusions point to strong US / Israeli deep state involvement utilising the offices of Mercury and the Israel Project



Any journalist wishing to pick up on this story should contact us here

A bigger Story?

Obviously, this intel including suspicions of possible Danish Special forces involvement raises huge questions about America’s Anarchist heroes.

Who controls the IRPGF?

Image

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/fe ... te-w466069

https://iresecure.com/blog/2017/07/29/t ... stigation/
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:37 pm

Army General Command: Israeli warplanes target one of the Syrian military positions near Massyaf, killing two army personnel


7 September، 2017

Damascus, SANA-General Command of the Army and Armed Forces affirmed that the Israeli warplanes fired several rockets from the Lebanese airspace at 02:42 a.m. on Thursday targeting one of the Syrian military positions near Massyaf in Hama countryside , killing two army personnel and causing material damage to the site.

“This aggression comes in a desperate attempt to raise the collapsed morale of the ISIS terrorists after the sweeping victories achieved by the Syrian Arab Army against terrorism at more than one front, and it affirms the direct support provided by the Israeli entity to the ISIS and other terrorist organizations,” the Army Command said in a statement.

The Command warned against the dangerous repercussions of such hostile acts on the security and stability of the region, reiterating determination to eliminate terrorism and uproot it from all the Syrian territories whatever the type of support provided to these terrorist groups is.

R.J/H.Zain

http://sana.sy/en/?p=113322

need to update this thread more often
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:45 pm

Syrian Army plans to cross Euphrates to end American expansion
By Leith Fadel - 07/09/20170

Image

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is planning to cross the Euphrates in the Deir Ezzor Governorate after liberating several areas along the western bank of this vast river.

Syrian Army reinforcements were seen, Thursday, transporting several boats to the Deir Ezzor Governorate for what is expected to be the government’s first attempt during this war to cross the Euphrates and push into these eastern territories.

Crossing the Euphrates River will provide the Syrian Army many advantages, including the ability to cutoff the Islamic State’s (ISIL) main supply line and obstructing the U.S.’ expansion into the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

For the Syrian Army, allowing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to capture this part of the Deir Ezzor Governorate would be disastrous because it would give the Americans control of the most important border-crossing into Iraq.

The Syrian Army’s High Command views the liberation of the Deir Ezzor border-city of Albukamal as an imperative military endeavor that cannot be dictated by the U.S. Coalition and their allies.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/sy ... expansion/
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:14 pm

US evacuates 22 Daesh commanders from Dayr al-Zawr: Report
Thu Sep 7, 2017 6:10PM

Image
A US helicopter flies near the Syrian town of al-Malikiyah on April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Reports coming out of Syria suggest that US aircraft have evacuated 22 Daesh field commanders in Dayr al-Zawr as government forces are advancing against the Takfiri militants in the eastern city.

A military and diplomatic source told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Thursday that the terrorists were taken to “safer regions” in the face of “successful actions by Syrian government troops in the eastern part of Syria in late August.”

The first evacuation operation took place on August 26, during which a "US Air Force helicopter" took two Daesh commanders of "European origin" with members of their families out of Dayr al-Zawr, the unidentified source said.

In a second such operation on August 28, US helicopters transferred 20 Daesh field commanders and militants close to them from the Syrian city, he added.

”Militants who lost their commanders due to the Americans, usually tend to cease organized actions, leave their positions, join other [Daesh terrorist] units or one by one flee,” the source pointed out.

The US-led coalition, which has been bombarding what it calls Daesh positions inside Syria, has rejected the report as “false.”

The US has long been accused of colluding with Daesh to provide safe passage and logistical support to members of the Takfiri group in conflict zones.

Last month, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported two US airlifts of Daesh elements in Dayr al-Zawr.


PressTV-'US airlifts Syria terrorists for 2nd time in a week'
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the airlift was conducted in the town of al-Tabani, on the western outskirts of Dayr al-Zawr, on Saturday.
Earlier this week, the Syrian government forces broke the three-year-long Daesh siege on Dayr al-Zawr, the provincial capital of the oil-rich province of the same name.

Daesh has recently retreated from much of the territory under its control amid sweeping advances by Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters in the battlefield.

http://presstv.com/Detail/2017/09/07/53 ... -Dayr-Zawr
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:20 pm

How The Intercept Smears Syria By Mistranslating An Assad Speech

There have long been attempts in the anti-Syrian media to claim alignment of the socialist and anti-sectarian Syrian government with western fascist and religious supremacist elements. The latest in this propaganda genre is the just published Intercept piece Why White Nationalists Love Bashar al-Assad.

The Intercept is a rather dubious news outlet founded by Pierre Omidyar, a major owner of the auctioning site eBay and its PayPal banking division. It most recent remarkable moment was its betrayal of a NSA whistle-blower who fatuously had trusted The Intercept to act professionally:

The Intercept published a leaked five page NSA analysis about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Its reporting outed the leaker of the NSA documents. That person, R.L. Winner, has now been arrested and is likely to be jailed for years if not for the rest of her life.
As we noted back in June when the above incident happened:

The Intercept pieces are usually heavily editorialized and tend to have a mainstream "liberal" to libertarian slant. Some are highly partisan anti-Syrian/pro-regime change propaganda. [...] Some of its later prominent hires (Ken Silverstein, Matt Taibbi) soon left and alleged that the place was run in a chaotic atmosphere and with improper and highly politicized editing.
The new Intercept piece published yesterday insinuates that the Syrian government under President Bashar Assad is liked by white supremacists because it somehow is itself fascist. Here is how the outlet announced the piece:


full tweet

The screed, written by one Mariam Elba, has a rather crude thesis. Its core is solely based on a false translation of a speech Bashar Assad held on August 20:

It shouldn’t be surprising that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become an idol among white nationalists in the United States.
...
Assad’s authoritarianism uses the same buzzwords as the far-right to describe the society he’s trying to build in his own country — a pure, monolithic society of devotees to his own power.
...
As the chaos of Charlottesville and its aftermath was unfolding, Assad addressed a group of diplomats in Damascus about the ongoing war in Syria. “We lost many of our youth and infrastructure,” he said, “but we gained a healthier and more homogenous society.”
Whereas white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity, for Assad it means a society free of any kind of political dissent, excluding any Syrian living outside the territory his regime controls. Anyone who does not fit Assad’s specific definition of what it means to be Syrian is up for execution.

The assertions in that last quoted paragraph are obviously baloney.

1. It is not the aim of "white nationalists aim to create a healthy and homogeneous society through racial purity". Those people want "their kind" to rule absolutely while all "other" people are to be their slaves. They are (sectarian) racists. The society the white supremacists want would neither be "healthy" nor "homogeneous".

2. The Syrian government has not excluded anyone. Indeed the Syrian government continued to pay its employees, like teachers, even when those sided with and worked under its enemies. Where possible it continued to supply all its citizens in enemy held areas. The Syrian government did not and does not execute anyone for merely having or voicing an opinion. It even reconciles with ten-thousands of "rebels" who once fought against it. None of these get executed.

The assertions made by the Intercept writer are unfounded. Moreover they are based on a false translation. Assad never called for a "more homogeneous society" as it is interpreted in the piece. See these remarks by knowledgeable Syrians and Arabic speakers made shortly after Assad's speech and before that Intercept screed was written:

EHSANI2‏ @EHSANI22 - 7:05 PM - 21 Aug 2017
1-Of the 53-minute important speech by #Assad yesterday nothing seemed more important for Opp than a single word he uttered - "Homogeneous"

2-Many in Opp pounced are presumably pointing to this as confirmation that Assad is equating a more homogenous society as being less Sunni

3-Reading transcript of his speech in more detail rather than pouncing on a word though seems to give a different interpretation.
...
10-What #Assad presumably meant is that when the whole society agrees on one identity that is less sectarian, it becomes more "homogenous"

11-Homogenous as opposed to co-existence is a more durable state that can allow society to survive future wars and struggles.

Moreover - the speech was held in Arabic. Assad never said "homogenous" as it is understood in the English language:

Sophia‏ @les_politiques - 1:48 AM - 22 Aug 2017
1/ 'Homogenous' is a poor translation for 'moutajaness'.

2/ 'Tajannouss' means existence of similarities. But existence of similarities (resemblances) doesn't logically imply homogeneity. (Pic of lexicon entry)

3/ 'Jeness' (category) is subdivided into 'espèces' (kinds). (Arabic-French translation by Kazimirski.)

4 /It is clear that the similarities #Assad mentioned are attitudes toward sectarianism in Syrian society...

5/ In the sense that the war has purged sectarianism from Syrian society therefore making it coalesce as one category against sectarianism.

While the white supremacists in the U.S. and elsewhere want a society where one race (and its dominant religion) rules supreme, the Syrian president called for the opposite. A society that is non-racist and non-sectarian. The homogeneous aspect of that envisioned society is its common rejection of racism and sectarianism. Assad essentially called for "e pluribus unum", the opposite of what white supremacists want to achieve.

The radical (willful?) misinterpretation of Assad's speech in the Intercept is in line with other propagandist claptrap in U.S. media. It is highly opinionated nonsense based on the factually false translation and interpretation of a speech, which expressed the opposite of what the Intercept author asserts.

The publishing of the piece confirms again that the Intercept is in not the leftish-progressive outlet that some had expected it to be.

Posted by b on September 9, 2017 at 08:13 AM | Permalink

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/ho ... peech.html
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Re: Syria

Post by kidoftheblackhole » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:23 pm

Saw this at the time and it was obvious crap. However, the expose is not wrong in that the Neo-nazis are trying to claim a type of kinship with Assad or at least it is imputed that they are (how convenient..)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wor ... n-america/

Don't ya love it when a plan comes together? Almost as if anti-Assad forces scripted it that way..

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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:58 pm

Some have suggested that the Nazis do it just to piss off the liberals but I don't see how that works.Dumb as they are I don't see how they can make the connection and would like to see more evidence that this is a 'thing' and not just clumsy propaganda.

As has been widely observed every time the SAA & Co. make significant advances various shit stories get recycled, like the latest 'sarin' bs, HRW spews whole-cloth lies and now this silliness. I suspect it's just that murderous little bastard's peculiar broken mind that has made the association and people just picked it up and ran with it for their varied purposes.
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Re: Syria

Post by blindpig » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:17 pm

Syria Summary - A New Clash Looms in Syria's East

When the Islamic State siege on Deir Ezzor was broken by the Syrian Arab Army we asked:

Will the SAA cross the Euphrates at Deir Ezzor to retake the valuable oilfields east of it? Or will it stay south of the river and leave those oil fields to the Kurdish U.S. proxies in the north?
To cross the river is clearly desirable but also potentially contentious.

Since then several convoys of military bridging equipment have been seen on the road to Deir Ezzor. It is now obvious that the SAA will bridge the river (all regular bridges have been destroyed by U.S. bombing) and send significant forces across. New questions now are: When, where and with what aim?

As soon as the government intent became clear the U.S. pushed its local proxy forces to immediately snatch the ISIS held oilfields. In less than two days they deployed over 30 kilometers deep into the ISIS held areas north of the Euphrates. It is obvious that such progress could not have been made if ISIS had defended itself. I find it likely that a deal has been made between those two sides.

The U.S. diplomat tasked with the job, Brett McGurk, recently met with local tribal dignitaries of the area. Pictures of the meeting were published. Several people pointed out that the very same dignitaries were earlier pictured swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.


Image

Just like during the "Anbar Awaking" in its war on Iraq the U.S. is bribing the local radicals to temporarily change over to its side. This will help the U.S. to claim that it defeated ISIS. But as soon as the payments stop the very same forces will revert back to their old game.

Originally the U.S. had planned to let ISIS take Deir Ezzor. It had twice attacked Syrian government forces in the area killing more than a hundred of them. This had allowed ISIS to capture large chunks of the government enclave and to disable the airport which was need for resupplies:


Image

After Russian support for the SAA changed the balance of power, and after the election of Donald Trump, those plans had to change. Syria and its allies created facts on the ground and it is now again in control of the area it had lost to ISIS. It will also liberate the rest of the city.

Here is current map of the east-Syrian Euphrates area. .

Image
Map by Weekend Warrior - bigger

The SAA (red) has liberated parts of the city and the airport. The road from Damascus to Deir Ezzor is completely under SAA control. The population, which had nearly starved under the ISIS siege, is receiving fresh food, other necessary goods and medical attention.

The hatched areas of the map show possible next aims for the U.S. proxy campaign (yellow) and the Syrian government forces (red) in their fight against ISIS (grey) and against each other.

Critical oil fields are north and east of Mayadin. The Omar oil field in the east is the biggest one in all Syria. The U.S. wants these under its control to finance its Kurdish and Arab proxies in north-east Syria. The Syrian government needs the oil to rebuild the country. Should the U.S. supported forces try to annex the area we will likely see a direct conflict between them and the Syrian government forces. Would the U.S. and Russia join that fight?

Areas in the north-west and south-west of Syria have been relatively quiet. In recent weeks no relevant change of positions took place. In the south-east around the Syria, Jordan, Iraq border triangle the Syrian government retook several border points. The move comes after an agreement between Russia, the U.S. and Jordan conceded the area back to Syrian government control. The "rebels" in the area were CIA financed but are now out of income. They were ordered by their masters to move to Jordan but several groups refused to do that. The Syrian army and air force will take care of them.

Image

The Syrian government again pointed out that U.S. (and Turkish) forces on its ground are uninvited and that their presence is illegal. The Russian foreign minster made the same point in a press conference today. Yesterday the Turkish president said "we mustn’t allow foreign powers intervene in Syria to serve their own interests." (His palace seems to lack mirrors.) These are clear signals to the U.S. that its presence and that of a U.S. proxy forces in Syria will not be condoned.

President Trump had clearly said that his only interest in Syria is to get rid of ISIS:

"As far as Syria is concerned, we have very little to do with Syria other than killing ISIS,"
But Trump is now under the influence (or control?) of the U.S. military. The Pentagon and those forces influencing it might have their own plans. The war is mostly decided. The Syrian government will prevail. But the war is not yet over. Undesirable surprises may still come from the U.S. or other interested sides.



Adding: Several recent rumors about incidents in Syria were and are obvious fakes. Please be careful distributing wild claims when these have not been verified by a multitude of sources. The truth is: NO deconfliction line exists east of Deir Ezzor. The SAA did NOT shoot down an Israeli jet over Lebanon. NO U.S. General said that the Syrian army would be bombed if it tried to cross the Euphrates. NO attack on a SAA convoy by the U.S. airforce happened today.

Posted by b on September 11, 2017 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/sy ... -east.html

This analysis ain't bad until it comes to taking Trump or Lavrov at their word. This has been a constant with MoA and I wonder what they're up to.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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