Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Exploring a Third Option in Syria ?

From GulfNews

The goal should be not to overthrow Al Assad but build a political system that will provide voice and vote to all Syrians and protect all minorities and sects
I find that opening sentence odd, since all minorities and sects were doing ok in secular Syria. The Christians were not being targeted and displaced until NATO's mercs came to town... There are some questionable assertions in this piece, but, what is compelling is the third way being suggest

Until now, two strategies have been pursued. Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general and Brahimi’s predecessor as special envoy, tried to negotiate a cease-fire and forge a consensus among the great and middle powers. That failed.
A second strategy has been to assist the fragmented opposition (mercs) to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Gulf states and Turkey have provided the weapons. Other governments, including the US, are helping. The opposition is much stronger now than when the uprising began 18 months ago and it can now attack the regime almost everywhere.(This claim is contradicted below)

The opposition is encouraged by international support and some seek foreign intervention to hasten Al Assad’s fall. That is unlikely to happen. The Syrian army remains strong enough to retake areas seized by the rebels (contradicting the claim of the opposition being stronger then ever and able to attack almost everywhere) and it is being bolstered by Iran and supported by Russia. Al Assad retains some support (vague, intentionally so) in the country and the security forces — led by family and his minority Alawite clan (vast majority of Syrian soldiers are Sunni- "The majority of the Syrian military are Sunni,"So that sentence is intentionally misleading )  — have remained a potent force, despite defections.

They are fighting hard because they fear that defeat will mean their annihilation. (speculation, the writer has no idea as to the real reason the Sunni majority military is fighting the terrorists. I would think it is because the NATO merc/terrorists are destroying their homes) Moreover, the regime fears that compromise could be construed as weakness.(?)

Moving on to the third option..

This is the time for a new goal and strategy and Brahimi is the man because it was he who had defined the terms that provided Lebanon an exit from its long civil war. The goal should not be to overthrow Al Assad, however desirable that might be to many. The goal should be to construct a path to a political system that provides voice and vote for all Syrians and institutional checks and balances to protect all minorities and sects.
What would the agreement look like?
At the start of the uprising, the Al Assad government had proposed reforms of election administration, political parties, media and nongovernmental organisations, among others. That is the right agenda, but the reforms were so flawed that no one took them seriously. (But the reforms were so flawed they weren't taken seriously then, but, now that is the right agenda?) Last year, representing the Carter Centre, Hrair Balian and I discussed with the Al Assad government an approach that would modify the reforms to make them credible and convincing to the democratic opposition.
 The time might be ripe to place the weight of the international community behind a third option.
Correct me if I am mistaken, but, does it appear as if the third way is the Assad reforms that took place way back? Are we looking at some sort of stalemate here? Bizarre?
Looking for some rational input here...


  1. Perhaps the NATO pigs have been too cozy with the extremist mercs they have been using to attempt to start their war.
    This talk of electoral reforms etc. may be about appearing to be diplomatic, about appearing to be pursing options other than terrorism with our FSA goons and mercenaries.
    The dirty war will continue.

    I would like to ask you to consider celebrating a sporting event from yesterday.
    This sport story does not feature millionaire baseball players or spoiled hockey brats.

    Canada helped in the illegal coup which deposed democratically elected Honduran President Manuel Zelaya a few years back. Dirty Harper was supported by Liberal and NDP fascists in this coup which greatly 'benefits' Canadian companies exploiting the people and resources of Honduras.

    Yesterday the little oppressed third world nation of poor people thumped Canada 8-1 in world cup soccer qualifying knocking us out of the running. This massive defeat of our coddled nike clad national team was the second worst in our history. There was a good chance we were going to win, and we got destroyed. The Honduran fans seemed much more intense and riled up than usual. Perhaps they know more about how Giladen and Goldcorp hurt them than the average Canadian does.
    In any case, it was a symbolic victory of little people with heart over corporate drones and ignorance.
    Viva Honduras! and thank you Penny for allowing me to go way off topic on this one.

  2. LOL and your welcome

    I recall that Honduran overthrow and Canada's involvement.
    There are likely posts here somewhere on that topic

    Good for the Honduran soccer team!

  3. As follow on to previous comments (linked) about Sweden. Yet another development, this time targeting US Embassy.

    US embassy in Stockholm, Sweden has been evacuated after a suspicious letter is found

    See Sweden comments

    1. Thanks Anonymous 8:17 :)
      I will have to go back and refresh my memory

  4. Also this on Iraqi shia fighting for Assad.

    Recall during the Iraq war the US and Syrians exchanging fir on the border over the smuggling routes (circa 2008)
    Syria has accused the United States of killing at least eight people in a helicopter raid in the country's east, close to the border with Iraq.

    The government condemned the act as "serious aggression" and summoned the senior US and Iraqi envoys to Damascus to protest against the raid, the Syrian Arab news agency (Sana) reported on Sunday.

    1. The Mahdi army? I haven't heard that name mentioned in a good while.
      What an interesting take?

      What perplexes me is most of the Syrian military is Sunni, would the Shiites fight along side them?
      I would like to think they would, keeping in mind their common cause.

      When Tozz used to be able to come here, sigh...
      He was a Sunni Muslim also. While not a fan of Assad, he admitted Syria was a tough country to govern, he did not support the terrorists and their actions, though he understood many of them were Sunni muslims

      One of the last things he said, was that they did not want those people in Syria and that they, meaning the Syrians, would fight the invaders and kill them.

      So it does make me think that the Arabs will stick together when a common cause is at stake

  5. Here is pravda on Erdogan: Spineless
    From Pravda:
    However, such emotional appeals are a product for domestic consumption. In fact, Erdogan will not dare to launch a full-scale war against Syria, though he has a comparable army. First, Syria has a strongest ally in the religion - Shiite Iran. President Ahmadinejad vowed that an attack on Syria will automatically signify an attack on Iran, with all the consequences. It is unlikely that Ahmadinejad will allow the regime of Bashar Assad to fall - in this case, the Islamic Republic would lose its path to the Middle East and will be surrounded by enemies.

    Second, for obvious reasons, albeit not openly, Syria is supported by Iraq where power is in the hands of the prime minister, Shiite Nouri al-Maliki. Iraq supplies to Syria oil despite the U.S. sanctions, and its airfields, according to the Americans, serve as transit bases for Iranian aircraft that bring arms to Assad. In Iraqi Kurdistan thousands of Syrian Kurds from Peshmerga unit ("going to die") are undergoing military training. This is a formidable force, ready to cross the border at any moment, cross the sparsely populated southern Sunni Syria and come to the defense of Syrian Kurds who support pro-Assad position and fight against the so-called rebels, but in fact, mercenaries Wahhabis. The Turkish authorities clearly see the threat, and recently have been making strikes at such camps, despite warnings from Baghdad.

    This implies the third and most serious problem for Erdogan - the Kurdish one. If he starts a war, he will not be able to keep Turkish Kurdistan in the hands. There is already a large-scale war with the Kurds. This is indicated by the news about the losses in the ranks of the Kurdistan Workers' Party last month - 500. According to Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Turkish Center for Economic and Policy Studies (EDAM), the majority of the Turkish population believes that the government's policy towards Syria is one of a hawk, and many people think that what is happening in Syria is the business of the Syrians and the international community should not interfere.

    1. I know this isn't a popular opinion here, but I think Pravda and the Russian media in general can't be trusted on this issue (although I consider Russian media more honest than Western media in general).

      These preemptive declarations of victory are not only false, but they encourage Syrians and others to sit back and do nothing while their country is being swallowed whole.

      Assad and Syria are not "winning", they are being slowly encircled and killed. There is a propaganda campaign to confuse them while this happens.

      Turkey is already committing acts of war. The war is already on! Turkey is not giving up and going home before a war starts.

      Turkey is sponsoring terrorism and armed rebellion in Syria. The U.S. and NATO attacked Afghanistan accusing it of doing the exact same thing. Turkey is also entering Syria airspace. It is shelling its territory. It has declared the right to enter Syria militarily. It has sent troops and material to the border and is issuing threats. All of these actions constitute current acts of war. Syria is justified in responding with force to defend itself.

      In fact, Syria is the one that has the right to enter Turkey to stop the threat coming from there.

      Erdogan is clearly fully on board for war and has not done anything to show he will give it up. Any reports that he is pulling punches are most likely false propaganda.

      How many times have we heard this story? b at Moon of Alabama has done post after post where he has declared victory for Syria over Turkey yet situation keeps getting worse for Syria. This attack ends in one way--the destruction of Syria and the Syrian state. There is no avoiding war. Anyone telling you otherwise is wrong and most likely engaging in propaganda, imho.

    2. And of course Assad isn't responsible in any way for his approaching fate?

    3. What is the incarceration rate in Syria? Has Syria used mass incarceration as a tactic to control a racial group, as happened in the U.S. with its war on drugs?

      Are there secret grand juries that target political activists and search their homes for 'anarchist' literature?

      Does Assad claim the right to assassinate his own people without trial, based on protected speech?

      I don't think so. So of course Assad doesn't deserve to be illegally assassinated (and tortured)--he hasn't appeared to commit the same crimes against humanity like his accusers have done. So not only does he appear to be innocent, from the scant proof provided so far, his accusers have bloody hands!

      How many secret and overt wars is Syria engaging in? The U.S. is no longer even accusing Syria of meddling in Lebanon, as far as I can tell, while the number of countries Obama and the U.S. are secretly waging war has gone up from Bush and now is in the hundreds: [the {sorta} new fronts in the secret war on the world]

      The claims of Syria shelling civilians are likely to be untrue as far as I can tell (because many of the videos were faked).

      The U.S. has operated a secret governments for years and Syria too was under "emergency" law for quite a while, and may be under something like that now even though it recently opened up its government.

      Also, is two party rule really any more democratic than one party rule? Do you really believe the Western propaganda about democracy? Romney and Obama are like Pepsi and Coke and who is to say one party rule is any worse? Let's see you back up the facts about why their society oppressive. Let's see some basic facts that justify this assumption!

      Can you imagine if Occupy protesters used violence like the 'rebels' in Syria have? They have shot police officers to death--in the thousands--and the U.S. police barely got any scratches from scuffling with Occupy protesters--yet the U.S. engaged in massive repression in response. It illegally locked up thousands of protesters and didn't even charge them with the misdemeanors they were arrested on. It abused them and used illegal physical force against them.

      Assad and Syria have been amazingly humane in dealing with a criminal military assault against their government. The U.S. would probably not be nearly this humane if it faced even half of this threat.

      Those accusing Assad have the burden of proof.

    4. Say what anonymous "mercenaries Wahhabis"
      Syria is just chock full of mercs on the dole..

      " Iraq supplies to Syria oil despite the U.S. sanctions, and its airfields, according to the Americans, serve as transit bases for Iranian aircraft that bring arms to Assad"

      All of which Iraq denies of course.. I am familiar with those scenarios

      Interesting all the dynamics at play there

    5. WWM: "I know this isn't a popular opinion here, but I think Pravda and the Russian media in general can't be trusted on this issue (although I consider Russian media more honest than Western media in general)"

      Don't worry about popular opinion WWM, all media is open for and should be questioned. Including the Russian media
      So far though, the Russian media has been a bit more honest.

      "Turkey is already committing acts of war. The war is already on! Turkey is not giving up and going home before a war starts"

      Yes, Turkey is committing acts of war, undeniably. But the article is talking about full scale invasion by Turkey of Syria. I am not so sure myself Turkey will go that route alone? The Kurdish problem will surely rear it's head. Right now, the only way I see Turkey invading is with NATO involvement as in right behind them. That means NATO planes and boots from other NATO nations.

      "Turkey is sponsoring terrorism and armed rebellion in Syria"

      That is covert warfare, though. Not overt.
      Even though reality being reality, to the Syrians, it is overt warfare. They are under attack

      "Erdogan is clearly fully on board for war and has not done anything to show he will give it up"

      Definitely, he is softening targets prepping Syria for full scale invasion IMO

      How many times have we heard this story? b at Moon of Alabama has done post after post where he has declared victory for Syria over Turkey yet situation keeps getting worse for Syria. This attack ends in one way--the destruction of Syria and the Syrian state. There is no avoiding war. Anyone telling you otherwise is wrong and most likely engaging in propaganda, imho.

      thanks for sharing your humble opinion :)

      Regarding m of a and the declarations of not exactly victory, but of something, not sure what?
      I recall a couple of those, everyone makes mistakes WWM..
      We got to leave it at that

    6. WWM regarding your comment that ended with the burden of proof being on the Assad accusers

      so many good points.

      Isn't it odd that we are supposed to believe the assad/dictator mantra but the so called freedom loving US has the highest prison population on the planet
      All being used as slave labour??

      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, eh?

  6. One more on the SU and Syrian Border - US Forces know the terrain well form the smuggling routes

    1. Yah that was interesting

      "Soldiers on the Syrian side of the border said American soldiers shot dead two cousins, one Iraqi and one Syrian, as they crossed into Iraqi territory about three weeks ago. Since then, they said, two other Syrian civilians have been wounded in separate incidents this month. The Syrians said that American helicopters and planes routinely violate Syrian airspace while patrolling.

      The events described at this Syrian border post are the latest in a series of incidents along the frontier. They include the American attack, on June 18, on a convoy suspected of ferrying loyalists of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader.

      That incident, along a smugglers' route about 30 miles from here, and the others have apparently fueled intense anti-American rage in the villages on the border. Among the signs of that anger is a series of video discs circulating through the villages exhorting viewers to attack the Americans in Iraq.'

      It got me thinking about those smugglers routes being used to bring in weapons and journalists....

    2. Another interesting piece of background was when Petraeus, man of the hour in Washington for the Iraqi surge strategy back in 2007, tried to get the Syrian embargo relaxed & increase co-operation.

      Petraeus lobbied pretty hard from the reports that came out, talking about how good Syrian co-operation was in stabilizing the border but increased co-operation was necessary to get a handle on the fact that over a million refugees had headed over, & they needed more co-operation & aid between the two sides.

      Petraeus appears to have been put down hard, & just run over. It was done quietly without much attention given to it around the place, but this obviously wasn't going to be given even the slightest consideration. Petraeus got the message & moved on.

      Wondered a bit about it myself at the time, but didn't really follow up on it. Then Seymour Hersh's piece came out...
      Anyway, shows how well entrenched in Washington these scenarios get no matter how discredited.

  7. The next logical step for Turkey would be to set Lebanon on fire. it would serve the Israelis who might (?) use the situation as a proximate threat in what Sr defense officials have said is an inevitable war. The drone launch shoot down plays into this narrative. Lebanon remains a gadfly to the offshore resource developments Israel covets. The maritime border remains unresolved and the UN refuses to get involved.

    The Lebanese PM said last week that he will not condone intervention in Syria. That Russia called for an investigation into the weapons shipments coming through Lebanon earlier this year has amounted to nothing. This morning it is reported the Lebanon is deploying its defense forces to the Bekkaa - long standing stronghold of Hezbollah and incidentally drug transit route. Why now? Is this a financial sanction on black market drugs?

    From the article: "As the U.S. government cracks down on the Colombian drug traffic, Lebanon's lush Bekaa Valley has emerged as the largest `killing field' on the globe. Already producing 80 percent of the world's cannabis, its farmers have now planted a record acreage of poppies to cope with the growing demand for the even more profitable heroin. " (circa 1990)

    Might recall that Kassar was central to that trade, allegedly. Like the Russian V. Bout, he was convicted of assisting FARC. Bout appears to be about clearing the Africa networks/routes for AFRICOM. The US allegdly offered him a deal if he spilled on the Russian routes. Why the Kassar take down then? Related to Libya and Lockerbie?

    Other links

    1. ty the Lebanon angle could play out in so many ways
      And the benefits to Israel!!
      Out of this world, what with those gas fields they covet..

      I will go through all those links

  8. Good observation Penny. It's the same damn plan that Assad and Syria agreed to and implemented last year!

    Little good that did them because now even the 'moderate,' 'third way,' groups won't even acknowledge this. No one took it seriously last time? The reason no one took it seriously is because the entire media is controlled and these liberal NGO do-gooder groups are really working for the assassins and killers in the West!

    They only want to tie Syria up in negotiations as their friends continue to weaken the country with attacks.

    It's time for war.

    If Syria is serious about defending itself it will attack Turkey with all its might--sooner rather than later. Like now.

    It's in Syria's interest to go ahead and continue to 'play' dumb for a very short amount of time--pretending that they are relying on Russia or the UN or these 'moderate' NGOs to defend them--or pretending to give peace a chance. By all means pretend to negotiate. Then right when the blue hats are coming in, or right before a negotiation meeting (say next week), do a massive invasion of Turkey. Unload everything on the country. Send all tanks and 100,000 troops into Turkey.

    It's the only way Syria has to defend itself. Otherwise, it will continue to be a slow grind resulting in the sure death of tens of thousands of Syrians and misery for years. By destroying Turkey along with Syria the people of Syria have a fighting chance in say 5 years. Plus, taking the war to Turkish soil will prevent much death and destruction of Syria.

    Where is Assad? I know that Syria is being muzzled but this is ridiculous. Why no diplomatic effort? Why no threats? Are they being totally hidden from us?

    1. Hey WWM:
      I don't think Syria should attack Turkey at this time
      I do think some other nations should cut Turkey off from their energy and am waiting to see if this will happen

    2. Luckily, I'm not advising Syria. I'm simply speculating as to what the people in Syria who make these decisions must be thinking.

      I would hate to be faced with this choice as a Syrian military commander. I hope my community never comes under similar attack. I'm glad I'm not in the military.

      But at some point these coldly rational decisions have to be considered. Cutting off the energy of Turkey may be a war crime and just because Turkey and the West are committing similar war crimes doesn't mean Syria should as well. Bombing the dams may be more justified as it would reclaim water to Iraq and Syria that Turkey has allegedly been illegally hoarding.

      Cutting off gas and electricity is not as bad a war crime as the terrorism being committed by Turkey supported troops in Syria though.

      I don't like this reality either. I just see this ending in war so if you are going to be attacked why not strike out first?

  9. Don't you just love the David v. Goliath imagery accompanying this article in Fox News:

    1. we cannot confirm the validity of this video.....

      But that didn't stop Fox news from presenting it

      Also the way the news is presented as if the Assad government is the only party who must cooperate to make a ceasefire a possibility

      What tripe

      Then Victora the lyin' bitch presents here one sided spin

    2. Here's another dodgy use of an image--this time by the Christian Science Monitor:

      First, the action is described this way:

      The Syrian war continues as airstrikes target opposition-held cities in the northern part of the country. Restrictions against journalists make it difficult to confirm the death tolls, but activists say more than 40 people have been killed.

      But then an image allegedly taken in Homs on October 18th was shown, even though Homs is not in the North of Syira and the action in the article doesn't mention attacks in Homs:

      In this citizen journalism image provided by Lens Young Homsi, which has been authenticated, a general view of destroyed houses which was damaged by Syrian government forces shelling, at Baba Amr neighborhood, in Homs province, Syria.

      AP Photo/Lens Yong Homsi

      Is this a real image of reality? Or an impressionist painting?

      From what I can tell from google, this image was first posted at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on the 18th at the Washington Times, Zaman, and I think Times Online. This doesn't leave them much time to "authenticate" the image.

    3. Hey WWM

      I see what you mean about the image
      the building to the left side is quite sharp.
      Particularly the definition at the edge of the building
      The buildings behind that one seem very fuzzy
      It does strike on as an odd pic

  10. Interesting article on some of the possibilities in a 'thaw' at Asia Times:

    October peace surprise in Syria
    By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

    Some of the reasons behind the re-assessment in some circles seem linked to some points raised at MoA:
    U.S. Minesweeping Failures Make War On Iran Unlikely

    As part of the unforseen consequenses, it looks like the SA-7's from Libya intended for the Syrian FSA have made it to Hamas:
    For first time, Palestinians in Gaza fire missile at IAF helicopter

    As well as the ongoing Libyan debacle, which is getting harder & harder to keep a lid on, with even HRW putting out reports:


    Gareth Porter's latest report about US misrepresentations on the Iran nuclear programme:
    Obama Aides Launch Preemptive Attack on New Iran Plan
    Gareth Porter

    The people behind this is where a lot of the opposition any prospective thaw on Syria from the US side will be coming from.

    A reminder from Land Destroyer:

    Also, very good interview with Alain de Benoist who sounds like someone well worth checking out, on the foundations of Neo-Liberalism at Asia Times:

    1. That interview with Alain de Benoist was very good. Definitely worth reading...
      First time I have ever read anything from him, or even heard that name

    2. Agree like a lucid Hitchens

    3. Good take, Anonymous.
      First I've come across him as well, so I have been doing a little following up. Most of his work has been in French unfortunately, which is obviously part of it, but some of it has been translated.

      He's been associated with the 'New Right' which seems to be a mis-charecterization, likely deliberately, as well as being smeared as a closet fascist.

      Apparently the "most quoted AdB statement of all: ‘Better to wear the helmet of a Red Army soldier than to live on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn'...

      Except he didn't actually write this. This was a mistranslation, very likely deliberate, by 'The Independent' of one of his earlier works, which gets quoted apparently any time someone brings him up at one of 'the serious' venues as a way to dismiss him.

      What he actually said, was:
      "To have to wear someday the cap of the Red Army would be an awful perspective [in French: "une perspective affreuse"]. This is not a reason to have the desire to spend the rest of our life living on a diet of hamburgers in Brooklyn's surroundings."
      ... in the time of the Cold War, I wanted to express that I did not have sympathy either for the Soviet system nor for the American system..."

      Here's some of his articles:

      The “West” should be forgotten

      Critique of Liberal Ideology

      Alain de Benoist’s Vivid Memory
      Part 1: A Full Childhood

      The Alain De Benoist Collection

    4. Thinking about this Alain fellow and hoping Gallier is around?


      Is this the Alain you have referenced previously?
      I read the piece yesterday, but, then got thinking today about the person you mention?
      Jog my memory Gallier?
      Much appreciated
      BTW: Editorials all over the place about how right it is the EU got the peace prize???
      Aren't almost all the EU nations also NATO nations?
      And what has NATO done for world peace?
      What has Obama done for world peace?

    5. KenM

      "He's been associated with the 'New Right' which seems to be a mis-charecterization, likely deliberately, as well as being smeared as a closet fascist. '

      smeared as a closet fascist?
      As opposed to the in your face fascists?
      You know like the ones in all the western governments that are servile/colluding to banks and multinationals
      Like real fascists

    6. Oh, apparently my comment yesterday got eaten up by the system again. What I said was that Alain Soral often references the work of Alain de Benoist in a positive way.

    7. Gallier!

      I checked all the comments and yours was definitely not there
      The spam was full of pay day loans crap
      I am sorry and wish I could do something
      Why doesn't blogger eat up all the useless shiite from the troll??
      That would be appropriate :)
      HOw are you enjoying that peace prize ;)
      Are you feeling a bit like Obama?

    8. I think that some of my comments are eaten up here by our internal network. The autentication is always a choire.
      As for the Nobel Price we already made a lot of fun about it.

    9. I can imagine!
      It made me think of Stephen Harper getting that "statesman award"


  11. Little good that did them because now even the 'moderate,' 'third way,' groups won't even acknowledge this. No one took it seriously last time? The reason no one took it seriously is because the entire media is controlled and these liberal NGO do-gooder groups are really working for the assassins and killers in the West!

    The main reason lot's of the liberal group never envisaged that Assad and his government would survive.

    As I have mentioned before all this rush suddenly for "peaceful" resolution is because of Syrian success in annihilating the mercenaries the difficulty in getting replacements, the failure to capture Allepo and being unable to destroy the Citadel. The crowing of post Assad was to be the 67 UNGA.

    It is only 3-4 days for the Winter Solstice, the battle is lost. Watch the weather defeat the main instigators of this catastrophic act against Syria.

    How is your reading of the Thirteenth Tribe Penny?

    1. Hey Hans

      The Thirteenth Tribe is much more interesting then I had thought it would be
      so I am glad for that

      The Khazars are more or less a bunch of converted Turks..
      They seemed to be based in and around the Volga River
      Kind of brutish.
      There is something about some different sect of Judaism, which isn't coming to my head
      hang on.... nope can't find it
      It appears as if the 'eastern followers' were not so enamored of their Khazarian bretheren. Perhaps that explains the hostility displayed by the Khazarian jews against the Semitic jews and Semitic people in general.

      The geography is interesting because much of this Khazarian stuff is taking place in and around the area of much strife
      Turkey, Syria, Egypt Georgia etc
      Not Israel as it exists today though, no mention of that.

      I am about 1/3 of the way through, though using an e reader am about 30% in.

      Just going to start reading: The Decline

      Back to Syria

      "The main reason lot's of the liberal group never envisaged that Assad and his government would survive."

      You know what I agree with that. I was thinking how it was that certain war games which were supposed to take place in the spring were put back to the fall
      The assassination attempt of Assad
      I do agree that the NATO nations did not envision Assad keeping it together for as long as he had
      They miscalculated on two things
      The loyalty of the army
      The resolve of the Syrian people to not have their nation turn into a theocratic state
      You know like the US and Canada are turning into?

    2. Much of what you get from such a book depends on what you bring to it while reading such a tome. I'm talking about critical intellect Penny, who believes that Syrians fighting against Assad are "practically non-existant". Whoops, what a clanger!

    3. Hey Troll
      still waiting for you to provide evidence of all your claims...

      Still with the adhominems? Tedious

    4. With such large anti-Assad demonstrations throughout Syria you would have to be completely stupid to believe non of these people would be taking part in the armed rebellion against Assad's Regime.

      "From the first day of the revolution, the regime has tried to convince the world that foreign elements on the ground are driving the uprising. This claim is easily rebutted by the masses that have come to the streets in protest – from the trigger demonstrations in March 2011 in Deraa, to half-million protestors in Assi Square, Hama last July, to tens of thousands protesting in Mezze, Damascus in February 2012, to the countless numbers who came out in Syria’s second largest city Aleppo (Halab) in June of this year.

      The pace and creativity of civil resistance has also accelerated despite barbaric repercussions. From merchant strikes, to protests, to street theater, each of the past Fridays (day of protest) have seen hundreds of documented flashpoints – for instance, there were an astounding 745 flashpoints on the recent “Friday of Revolutionaries and Merchants” on June 8.

      While the militarized element of the revolution (known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA)) has been the center of recent media attention, they exist and thrive due to support from local populace. Practically all males in Syria have to serve in the armed forces and ever increasingly these conscripts are defecting and finding their role in support of the revolution. This is why the regime has spent tremendous energy to categorize them as ‘foreign terrorists’ and ‘armed gangs’
      With that said, the revolution is still grounded in popular civil resistance and the ability of the people to go out every day, in every town, village and city around the country and despite all propaganda, to do what only last year was deemed unthinkable: Publicly reject the Assad regime and ensure that the family mafia that has been in power for over 40 years can no longer rule."

      Even Iran admits to popular support for Syrian Uprising.
      "Iran opened a hastily convened conference on Syria yesterday with the remarkable admission that the Syrian opposition has "popular support", yet warning an abrupt end to president Bashar Al Assad's rule would have catastrophic consequences for the country."

    5. LOL, large anti-assad demos
      Hardee har har
      Do you think I don't have in numberable posts here on all the pro-Assad rallies all over Syria

      "Iran opened a hastily convened conference on Syria yesterday with the remarkable admission that the Syrian opposition has "popular support", yet warning an abrupt end to president Bashar Al Assad's rule would have catastrophic consequences for the country."

      Could you provide the entire, in context, quote?

      Was the reference to popular support regarding NATO nations?
      Western world leaders?
      Puppy dogs?

      And someones opinion, with nary a link to anything to substantiate it?

      A spin doctor yet? Very nice.

      Still nothing substantiates your claims.....
      I'll keep waiting

  12. How many officers and soldiers do you think have defected from Assad's Army and joined the FSA? Are their numbers so insignificant in your mind to make you believe that Syrians fighting against Assad are "practically non-existant". If former Syrian Army personnel defect and join the SFA, you can bet that a lot of ordinary Syrians will be joining up as well, making your clanger of a claim utterly ridiculous. Your take on everything concerning Syria is predicated upon your weakness for conspiracy theories and an appetite for Assad's propaganda.

    "The Voice of Russia Radio Company has managed to reach the commander of the Free Syrian Army Riad al-Asaad and get an exclusive interview about the course of military operations."

    "Hardee har har" "Practically non-existant" indeed!. LOL.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Troll, just for you.

      The arabnews claims morale is dented. That's a nice spin job
      Let's you and I read further....

      But “you don’t have the kind of scale of defections that would make an impact,” said Aram Nerguizian, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

      “Any army which has been fighting in various parts of a country for over a year has obviously maintained a certain degree of cohesion,” said Smyth, founder of defense consulting firm R3IConsulting.

      But the absence of mass army defections shows there are “still a sufficient number of Sunni Arabs throwing their lot in with the regime.”

      “A division is made up of many battalions. Why hasn’t one battalion defected and just gone over to the other side?” asks White.

      “The U.S. and Turkey are waiting for this, hoping for this, wondering why it’s taken so long.”

      This is despite billions of dollars reportedly pledged by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to encourage high-level defections, according to a Gulf-based diplomat.

      NATO GCC can't even buy the defectors en masse

      Like I said "Practically non-existent" troll
      Like your pointless comments are going to be from now on
      You make no real contribution to any discussion
      The only thing your good at is name calling and ad hominems
      But nothing else
      Good Bye Otago, New Zealand