Syria: Rebellion, Jihad, or Civil War?

Philip Giraldi

Re-elected President Barack Obama’s first foreign policy challenge is likely to be Syria and one has to hope that he will have the wisdom to avoid grasping the nettle. After watching last week’s video of rebels lining up twenty-eight captured soldiers and executing them at close range with machine guns, one might well ask what has been going on in that country. It is the repetition of a familiar pattern for the US, beginning with fundamental failures on the part of Washington and its surrogates to understand the internal dynamics of a foreign land, resulting in bad decisions that have produced even worse results. Since 9/11 the United States has invaded two countries and interfered with a heavy hand in a handful more, with nary a good outcome to be seen. If Washington has a genuine national interest that is at stake in Syria, it would be that the country stay united and stable to keep it from becoming the latest playground for Jihadi warriors. Inevitably perhaps, it appears to be dissolving in chaos and that is precisely what it has become.

The Syrian debacle began as part of the Arab Spring in March 2011 as demonstrations swept the country demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad and a new constitution that would remove the Ba’ath Party from power. The Ba’ath Party was then and is now dominated by Alawites, a sect of Shi’ite Islam. Al-Assad is himself an Alawite but has a British-born wife and is regarded as non-religious. Sunnis, the majority religious group in the country long resentful of Ba’athist Alawite rule, joined minority Kurds in the initial demonstrations, which were violently suppressed by the government.

The political trial of a caring man and the end of justice in America

John Pilger

Dr. Rafil Dhafir. Dhafir Trial Info

It [is] a political show trial of Stalinist dimensions, an anti-Muslim sideshow to the "war on terror".

In 1999, I travelled to Iraq with Denis Halliday who had resigned as assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations rather than enforce a punitive UN embargo on Iraq. Devised and policed by the United States and Britain, the extreme suffering caused by these "sanctions" included, according to Unicef, the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five.

Ten years later, in New York, I met the senior British official responsible for the imposition of sanctions. He is Carne Ross, once known in the UN as "Mr.Iraq". I read to him a statement he made to a parliamentary select committee in 2007 : "The weight of evidence clearly indicates that sanctions caused massive human suffering among ordinary Iraqis, particularly children. We, the US and UK governments, were the primary engineers and offenders of sanctions and were well aware of this evidence at the time but we largely ignored it or blamed it on the Saddam government. [We] effectively denied the entire population a means to live." I said, "That's a shocking admission."

"Yes, I agree," he replied, "I feel very ashamed about it... Before I went to New York, I went to the Foreign Office expecting a briefing on the vast piles of weapons that we still thought Iraq possessed, and the desk officer sort of looked at me slightly sheepishly and said, 'Well actually, we don't think there is anything in Iraq.' "

That was 1997, more than five years before George W. Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq for reasons they knew were fabricated. The bloodshed they caused, according to recent studies, is greater than that of the Rwanda genocide.

Better Stock Up...

Eric Peters

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The countdown just started. The re(s)election of Barack Obama has assured not only economic collapse (equally inevitable had The Wall Street Stooge been selected) but also a guaranteed gun grab in the coming months prior to the collapse.

Mittens was no friend of the 2A – but BHO is openly its enemy. We have the man’s own statements – and we have the man’s own actions, including the actions of his personally selected attorney general. A man publicly and virulently opposed to peaceful American citizens possessing guns – who ran guns to Mexican drugs cartels in the hope these guns would then be used to perform violent crimes – crimes that could then be used as emotional fodder for gun-grabbing demagoguery. That backfired – but now that Obama (and Holder) are secure in their offices, rest assured that “Fast and Furious” was merely a prelude.

Here is what’s coming: The Supreme Court, already densely marbled with authoritarian-minded collectivists such as “wise Latina” Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ruth Ginsberg, will be further tilted collectivist when – not if - the aging “conservatives” who still linger either give up the ghost or just give up and retire. Antonin Scalia is not far from 80. Neither is Anthony Kennedy. They will be over 80 before 2016. Clarence Thomas is no spring chicken, either. One – or several – are going to go during the next four years. Roberts has already proved to be agreeable to whatever the authoritarian state demands. It’s a fait accompli.

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