From the Agonist archives of this past year:
Post away with faves from anywhere…
From the Agonist archives of this past year:
Post away with faves from anywhere…
James Joyce began Finnegans Wake with this passage:
“riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s from swerve of shore to bend of bay bring us back by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howrth Castle and Environs.”
Those sturdy enough to navigate the hallucinogenic, recursive, rhythmic prose to the very last page (or clever enough to proceed there right away) discover that the opening sentence is a continuation of the last sentence in the novel: “A way a lone a long a last a long the ” … “riverun” etc. It’s all a loop, where Finn constantly begins again.
We see a multilayered, recursive cycle of beginning again from the point at which we’ve just ended in the cycles of the tragic assault on Syria and its people.
On December 7, 2013, the Islamic Front, a Saudi Arabian rebel concoction, attacked a major weapons depot “belonging to the mainstream Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).” The depot was just on the Syrian side of the Syria-Turkey border. “The Observatory [for Human Rights],” a FSA- sympathizing news source used by the Western media, “said the arms [in the depot] had been brought across the border from Turkey” (Daily Star, Dec 7). Read More
The only plausible scenario that fits the evidence is an attack by opposition forces. Following is a description of the main findings, with each one linked to the evidence that backs it. Who Attacked Ghouta blog, Nov 1
The New York Time article casting doubt on the blame Syria interpretation of the chemical weapons attack is a remarkable event. The mainstream media is carrying what should be carried – questions that speak truth (or the quest for truth) to power.
Before the New York Times article, well before it, we had the blog, Who Attacked Ghouta. On November 1, this open source collaborative gathered enough evidence to reach a conclusion that the attack did not come from the Syrian government. The New York Times article is based on a study by MIT Professor Theodore A. Postol and Tesla Labs analyst Richard Lloyd is significant. Who Attacked Ghouta incorporated their preliminary comments in its analysis and conclusions. Read More
Reuters just broke an exclusive indicating that the U.S. and NATO powers expect Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to continue as president. Portions of the exclusive are quoted below with comment in italics.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition sources said.
Note: Western backed Free Syrian Army rebels had demanded that Assad step down prior to any negotiations. That didn’t happen. In addition, it is important to ask this: Why would Assad step down when his Army and Hezbollah are winning battles throughout the country?
The message, delivered to senior members of the Syrian National Coalition at a meeting of the anti-Assad Friends of Syria alliance in London last week, was prompted by rise of al Qaeda and other militant groups, and their takeover of a border crossing and arms depots near Turkey belonging to the moderate Free Syrian Army, the sources told Reuters. Read More
Reporting from inside Aleppo makes the case for a government offensive, soon.
Shortly after the Syrian government victory at Qusayr, Operation Northern Storm was announced. In conjunction with Hezbollah fighters, the Syrian Arab Army would attack the rebel-controlled section of Syria’s largest city within days of a June 10, 2012 tip from a Syrian official.
The attack never materialized. The Syrian army approach was more methodical. Regions, towns, and highways were secured approaching Aleppo that laid the foundation for current efforts.
The victory at Qusayr marked a major turning point in the Syrian conflict. After that, the larger city of Homs fell. The Syrian government began winning battles on a consistent basis. Most recently, the battles have taken place around Aleppo. Victories to the north and south of the city have opened up supply routes and provided near by facilities for Syria’s air force.
Reporting from Aleppo, resident and activist Edward Dark (pseudonym) predicts a looming battle for Aleppo based on recent changes in the military situation in and around the city. Dark’s article in Al-Monitor on November 24 makes the case for a decisive battle: Aleppo braces for major regime offensive, Edward Dark, Al-Monitor.
The recent gains by the Syrian Arab Army near Aleppo positioned the government for a major attack. It appears the attack has commenced. Syrian troops, Hezbollah fighters, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard are openly discussed as part of the battle.
It is worth watching U.S. reaction to the presence of foreign troops on the Syrian side. If it’s muted and there’s no threat of a Western intervention, we can reasonably assume that the defeat of the jihadist dominated rebels is sanctioned by higher authorities, namely the United States and Russia. If Aleppo comes under government control, there is little left for the rebels to do other than counterattack. If they do so and fail, it should be all over except the rebuilding of the war torn country, care for the injured, and the mourning. (Image: SANA)
Lebanon’s Daily Star headlined the event: Boosted by foreign Shiite militia, Assad’s forces advance on Aleppo
“This is all wrong, it’s not obligatory [to fight the Syrian government]. These are feuding factions and one should not go there. I do not advise one to go there.” Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia
After weeks of agitation for increased attacks on the Syrian government and its president, Bashir al-Assad, the Saudis signaled a 180 degree change in policy, based on the mufti’s statement. Fighting with the Syrian rebels is no longer a sacred cause, it is something to be avoided, according to the Kingdom’s most important Muslim cleric.
The mufti is not some closet liberal in the Saudi hierarchy. He’s the top religious official in the Kingdom. His statements are used to interpret legal and religious policies. The King of Saudi Arabia, who asked him to speak on the Syrian conflict, appoints him.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan (aka Bandar Bush) has been recruiting Saudis and Sunnis from around the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to fight with the so-called rebel cause in Syria. This has been a nightmare for the Syrian people. These are ruthless, religiously inspired jihadists who show no mercy once they’ve taken over a village, town, or city. Read More
Thirteen “good rebel” groups have defected to the Al Qaeda dominated fighters in the attack on Syria. If this proves out, it is, according to Syria Comment, a very “big deal.” It’s more than that, it is a devastating game changer.
These are leading groups in northern Syria, in and around Aleppo, the next target for the Assad regime’s effort to secure the nation. The alliance pulls the rug from under the Obama – Kerry argument that we can arm the rebels while excluding the “bad” dlements. In the north, they should all be considered “bad” (unless one is a fan of Al Qaeda).
Rebels disown opposition backed by West in Syria.
Erika Solomon BEIRUT for heraldscotland
THOUSANDS of Syrian rebels have broken with the Western-backed coalition to form a new Islamist force that may pressure President Bashar al Assad but also undermine the West’s hopes of putting its friends in his place. Read More
The UN high commissioner for human rights has called for an investigation into allegations that Syrian rebels executed dozens of government soldiers captured after a battle near Aleppo.
Navi Pillay said that images of the killings in Khan al-Assal in July were deeply shocking, and highlighted yet again the need to ensure those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law on all sides are made to account for their crimes. Guardian 8/3
Crazier than her!
“I believe without a shadow of a doubt this is one of the most insane policies that borders on madness – the United States to give funding, training and arms most likely to al Qaida in Syria doesn’t make any sense. This is absolute madness.” Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, McClatchy, July 24
We’re shocked, shocked to find that the Americans are spying on us! the European allies say.
Two weeks ago, whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) spied on European allies as part of the worldwide program that listens in to every possible form of electronic communication.
SpiegelOnline broke the story. The reaction was shock and dismay. The Guardian reported that a key trade pact was in danger due to this affront to the presumed allies. Germany was a special target. From the article:
“Germany’s justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, called for an explanation from the US authorities: ‘If the media reports are true, it is reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war. It is beyond imagination that our friends in the US view Europeans as the enemy.'” Guardian, June 30
I hate to break it to you, Madame Justice Minister, but it’s worse than the U.S. viewing its allies as enemies. Rather, the U.S. views the nations of Europe as vassal states. When it appeared that Snowden might be on President Evo Morales’ jet going from Moscow to Bolivia, someone in Washington just picked up a phone and dialed in a restricted airspace command to Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France.
Every once and a while, the war mongers get their comeuppance. In this case, the message was delivered by a Russian leader. Vladamir Putin just couldn’t resist warning about the perils of supporting cannibals to British PM David Cameron. Putin’s reference is described below along with a justification of the beastly act by the Free Syrian Army (rebel) soldier who ate the heart of a soldier in the regular Syrian Army. The droll, macabre, sharp sarcasm betrays what must be a huge contempt that Putin holds for Cameron, Hollande, and Obama. I have no doubt that he thinks they’re idiots. (Video of cannibalism placed tastefully below the fold.)
“Arming Syria’s rebels will put guns in the hands of extremists who ‘eat the organs’ of their enemies, Vladimir Putin warned David Cameron last night.
A chronicle of the spectacular incompetence of those who purport to lead us
The invasion of Syria – Preplanned?
I don’t know but some interesting evidence surfaced this week that supports a serious look. Roland Dumas, French Foreign Minister under Mitterrand, made some disturbing statements on French television. He said that the British were preparing an invasion of Syria two years before the start of the conflict in 2011. In the video below, Dumas describes his meetings with the British.
This is a much-delayed sequel to the famous first hand report by Wesley Clark about his conversations in the Pentagon just after 9/11. Clark was informed of a plan “to take out seven countries in five years.” One of those countries was Syria.
Syrian troops along with their Hezbollah allies are in control of the key city of al-Qusayr. The battle began three weeks ago with initial victories by the Syrian government in and around the city of 30,000. Rebel fighters sought reinforcements with some predicting a protracted battle. The reinforcements came, “hundreds of rebel reinforcements professing close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood,” but the effort was to no avail. The professional Syrian Army with its best troops and the urban warfare specialists, Hezbollah, prevailed just hours ago.
This is a summary of the latest news out of Syria regarding the battle for Qusayr, the key border town where fighting pitted the Syrian Army and Hezbollah against Syrian rebels, including their foreign fighters. The summary includes speculation on the implications for the future of the Syrian conflict due to the victory of the Syrian Army.
The Syrian Army met with initial success after initiating the battle for Qusayr. Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon played a key role in the effort. The final victory came when “elite” Syrian troops finished much of the rebel resistance. Syrian troops also captured the road to another key city, Homs. The Syrian Army plans to advance on Syria’s commercial center, Aleppo, currently controlled by rebels. (Image)
The victory cuts off one of two main routes for rebel supplies, the Lebanese – Qusayr connection. This leaves the Turkish border crossing north of Aleppo as the remaining hub for rebel weapons and personnel transfers.