Saturday, 11 October 2014

U.S. is complicit as it blames Turkey for the catastrophe in Kobane"The United States expects these same moderate rebels to become its foot soldiers in the war against the more extreme Islamic State. Yet it refuses to target the Assad regime, which the moderates see as their chief enemy — and which is doing everything it can to wipe them out while the United States calls for patience and restraint.
This lies at the heart of President Obama’s disagreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is urging the United States to create ano-fly zone over northern Syria. Such a move would not interfere with the campaign against the Islamic State, but it would give moderate rebels some respite from attacks and some territory in which to regroup. In other words, it would serve the interests of what Mr. Obama in the past has claimed as U.S. objectives: helping the moderates and unseating Mr. Assad. That may be why Secretary of State John F. Kerry said the proposal was “worth looking at very, very closely.”
But the White House seems as uninterested as ever in truly helping the moderates. Easier just to blame the Turks."

Ron Paul - Obama Has Started Illegal And Immoral Wars

"I don't know why Israel couldn't have got together with other regional people to deal with Saddam Hussein". 
Out to lunch on several levels.

Assad regime ‘freely’ kills Syrians in several cities

'A Free Syrian Army member told Daily Sabah, "The coalition suffers from the lack of cooperation on the ground. Their officials also voiced this deficiency. We are saying that we can help you against ISIS since the group turns its weapons on us on every occasion. However, we also demand help against the regime that has killed hundreds of thousands of people in this country since the war started." He added, "Our people do not believe in the sincerity of this coalition and cannot understand how ISIS became the main target while the regime was destroying the country." '

Voices from Syria
"I feel compelled to talk about the strength of one young woman in particular. She is well connected, both politically and socially, inside and outside the Assad regime. Her status easily affords her the chance to live comfortably in Damascus, free of the horrors associated with the revolution. Instead, she has chosen to live a remarkably dangerous and clandestine existence. She has used her resources and connections to brave regime blockades in order to bring in urgently needed food and medical supplies to desperate people. She has evacuated people from regime-controlled areas when their safety was at extreme risk. I was particularly disturbed by one story she shared. The Assad regime systematically uses rape and torture to spread fear and attempt to deter revolutionaries. One of these regime units decided to “make an example” of two brothers for their seditious behavior. They brutally raped their young sister in front of them and their mother. As if the horror of the rape wasn’t enough, the brothers felt compelled to try to murder their sister rather than bear the shame of her rape. The mother intervened, took her shattered little girl from their village, and gave her away to neighbors. They secretly moved her between towns until my friend was able to pick her up. Because of my friend, she was able to get medical care and is now safe, with a loving family."
Turkish army tanks keep watch from their side of the border over the Isis-besieged Syrian town of Kobani.

US says Turkey will train moderate Syrian rebels but presses for details

Hopefully they are not going to wait months before doing anything like the American plan for training Syrian rebels.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Video: An exodus of refugees waits out Assad and Islamic State

"Many residents of Darakshakran left their homes well before Islamic State’s current onslaught, fleeing instead the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its response to an uprising that began with non-violent street demonstrations in 2011. Since then, more than 200,000 Syrians have died as Assad’s attempts to crush protests against him escalated into all-out war.
Some Syrians in Darakshakran believe Assad allows Islamic State to flourish in order to discredit the revolution against him. They want to go home, but say this won’t be possible until both Assad’s regime and Islamic State are defeated."

Syria doesn’t matter to the United States

A man watches smoke rise from the Tal Kurdi region (background), west of Adra, as he stands on the roof of his house in besieged rebel bastion of Douma, northeast of the capital Damascus, on October 8, 2014 (AFP Photo/Abd Doumany)

 Michael Weiss has a detailed understanding of what's going on in Syria. The whole thing is worth reading.

 'Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have said that they’re all-too-willing to participate in the current military campaign and even deploy ground troops to Syria — provided that the coalition’s remit is expanded to target the regime and establish no-fly and safe zones. The White House has countered that these are just excuses and that the US-fronted air war in northern Syria constitutes a de facto no-fly zone, a claim belied by the increase of Syrian Air Force bombardments in Aleppo and Idlib since coalition airstrikes commenced. The Pentagon has dismissed Turkey’s conditions for joining up as not worthy of consideration. Secretary of State John Kerry, evidently the last man to receive or read his boss’s memoranda on foreign policy, has said that Turkey’s proposals should be “examin[ed]… very, very closely.” Never mind that those proposals were first advanced in 2012 and just as blithely ignored then.

 Erdogan’s approach to Kobani is almost as cretinous as Obama’s approach to all of Syria. Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that three dozen Turkish tanks were stationed in a circle on a hill just overlooking Kobani, “apparently ready for action but still not deployed – further [fueling] Kurdish suspicions, which on Tuesday boiled over into angry protests in Istanbul and other cities and left one man dead.” '

 Syria FSA 2

Free Syrian Army Rebels Join Forces With Kurds To Fight ISIS In Kobane
IB Times can be full of shit, the linked report about Assad forces in Kobane is nothing more than a claim from an ISIS video.
"Turkish analysts say Erdogan will intervene in Syria only if the U.S. gives more support to the opposition to Assad, so it can take out the regime.
And for now, that leaves the Free Syrian Army battalions in Kobane -- except possibly for a small contingent of Assad government troops -- as the only ground troops that can help Kurdish militia fighters fend off ISIS."

Thursday, 9 October 2014

As a Syrian Refugee, I Think Destroying ISIS Means Destroying Assad


 Eiad Hererra:
 "Syria was intolerable long before ISIS existed. It was so intolerable that brainwashed Syrian schoolchildren like me -- Christians, Muslims, and all other faiths -- have grown up to free their minds and sacrifice their lives by the thousands for a free Syria. The international community ignored our cries.

 Now that the Islamic State is in the picture, the world is paying attention to Syria again. As the world fights the radical presence of ISIS, they must keep in mind that Assad and the Islamic State are two sides of the same coin. They are both brutal, bloodthirsty murderers. If we destroy ISIS now, another ISIS will quickly emerge. I believe that the only way to destroy ISIS is to destroy Assad too."
In Iraq, America went all in and ended up with a failed state. In Syria, America took a hands off approach and ended up with the Islamic State. For all our sakes, the USA will have to evolve an approach to the Middle East that walks a middle line between those of a reckless cowboy and a timid coward.

Dear Adam; a Letter from a Syrian to an American Friend
"If it is America’s intention to see Assad deposed, then it won’t have to supply a single bullet to make it happen; there are more than enough of its allies in the region willing to give the Syrian rebels the American-made equipment they need to fight the war as soon as American permission is forthcoming.
But but but. I can already hear the many reasons and excuses on why Obama should tread cautiously. What if American arms ended up in the hands of the bad guys? Well, Nazi Germany captured huge stocks of American weapons from the USSR in WW2. In fact, the British left quite a lot of their equipment at Dunkirk. It’s not like there has never been a precedent.
Unless Obama is contemplating handing out tactical nukes to the Syrian opposition, nothing that falls in the hands of Da’esh can tilt the balance of power more than the recent capture by that group of division after division of American made Iraqi army equipment."

This is not an article on IS: the origins of violence in Iraq and Syria"In neighbouring Syria, the Syrian Network for Human Rights reports that pro-Assad forces have killed over 120,000 people out of the estimated 140,000 who died in the on-going conflict; 23 percent of the victims are women and children. 
IS is blatantly evil and violent, of course. But other forms of violence that are more destructive and “lethal” hide under a thick cover of political propaganda.
An academic study published in the United States reveals that over half a million people have died from war-related causes in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. Despite that, the invasion and occupation of Iraq have been decorated as technologically-advanced and highly-precise insurgencies. All the death and violence that followed the invasion are framed as an outcome of long-inherited sectarian strife.
There is a form of violence that does not inflict direct damage, but rather consent to a damage being inflicted. For instance, it seemed impossible to establish a no-fly zone over Syria to spare the millions of innocents more arbitrary bombardment and collective punishment by the brutal Assad regime. Yet, it seemed so easy to bomb Syria when IS took over while implicitly coordinating with the Assad regime that has killed and threatens to kill tens of thousands more than IS.
These forms of violence that are done using modern tools and communicated to the public through representatives of power are normalised and legitimised. These forms of violence, and the history behind them, are perpetually covered by a power-knitted fabric of security and interest. They are framed as benevolent, as part of a greater moral argument against the exclusive source of evil that is occasionally reproduced; from the Communists to the Islamists."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Stop Making Sense

 Malcolm Fraser: "Now the strategy in Syria is to train and arm the good rebels who have not been effective, who have had no unified command, and build them into a force that can beat Isis – and then presumably turn around and beat Assad. Surely this is a nonsense."

Image result for john mccain and lindsey graham

To Defeat Islamic State, Remove Assad

Syrians are already asking why we’re bombing ISIS but not stopping Assad’s attacks on them. Good question.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Abu Hakam, who did not want his face identified for fear of retribution.

The man who turned his back on the Islamic State

'It was in the battle for the village of Shuheil that Abu Hakam realised the FSA could not hold IS forces back any longer and that the Assad regime was rejoicing in their defeat.
He says soldiers loyal to Assad were taunting them: ''Our brothers in IS are coming to kill you".'

Monday, 6 October 2014

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobane

Isis is turning us all into its recruiting sergeants