Syria, Where Next?


  1. Despite having everything threw at them from NATO and its lackeys, the SAA, along with its allies has successfully prevented Syria being reduced to another LIbya. The yanks proxy terror death squads have had their asses kicked and barring a ludicrous 'chemical attack' being blamed on Assad(again), we will see the death squads receive their just desserts very soon. God speed.

  2. Wolfe Tone

    The West did not lift a finger to help the democratic uprising in Syria just as they betrayed the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Extremists filled the vacuum and so the Syrian and Spanish Revolutions were doomed; crushed with the assistance of tyrannical great powers.

    Exactly what sort of "just desserts" (I remember a British Army commander use the same language to describe the murder of Daniel Rooney by the MRF in Belfast in September 1972) do you want to see meted out to these "death squads"? Disappearance into the gulag photographed by "Caesar" where 13,000 souls and counting were tortured and murdered? The Shahiba militia to completed their ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Alawite areas. The tender mercies of Franco, Pol Pot and the Sri Lankan regime's massacre of 40,000 Tamils? Oh, and I forget, the plight of another Muslim community - the Royhinga?

  3. Wolfe Tone

    Have you ever actually met or spoken to any Syrian refugees if only to satisfy your confirmation bias?

    Peter Tatchell speaks for me almost entirely in that piece. My only possible point of departure is that the red line on chemical weapons use should have been enforced after the Gouta sarin gas atrocity in August 2013; it didn't happen and the rest is Russian history.

    Hearing former Ambassador Ford claiming that snipers soon took over from peaceful demonstrators in Deraa and other places reminds me of the excuses given by Commander of Third Para after Bloody Sunday. His narrative was like Unionists saying that Civil Rights demonstrators in Derry and elsewhere were quickly replaced by IRA snipers. Lies, lies, lies. And that is what you do constantly about Syria. An ideal role model for Joseph

  4. Wolfe Tone

    You might like the views of this American establishment figure as you do with Brit establishment figure ex-Ambassador figure Robert Ford.

    I wonder of Israel was to declare its intention to finish off "death squads" in Gaza with the help of certain Western powers what your reaction would be. A rhetorical question, I guess.

  5. Whatever you're political beliefs Syria has been a humanitarian disaster, same with Iraq, Lybia and Yemen and that should be front and centre the next time we talk about intervention.

  6. Only a complete lunatic would imply the Syrian people are delighted their country has been levelled and their fellow country people murdered by western jihadists and western special forces in order to dethrone a secular govt. Only a complete lunatic or NATO apologist would imply the Syrian people wished this outcome. But if the cap fits.

  7. It has been Assad and his Russian allies that have been responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in Syria. I can quote chapter and verse from human rights organisations reports to back this claim up but I do not expect the Wolfe Tones of this world who seem to have an identity tied up with belief in conspiracist theories around the Syrian conflict.

    There were no NATO backed jihadist forces in Syria. In fact there were no NATO forces in Syria. Assad released jihadis from prison at the start of the conflict in order to create a secularist v jihadi narrative in order to justify the smashing of a democratic uprising by a sectarian, dynastic national security regime with its roots in 1930s European fascism (the founder of Baa;thism Michel Aflak was influenced by fascism and Assad's junior partner in government the Syrian National Social Party has a Swastika emblem which Christopher Hitchens bravely tore down from a wall in Beirut).

    David Higgins

    When Idlib has been levelled and when Assad takes his revenge on his defeated foes in the manner of Franco you might reflect on the consequences of non-intervention to uphold basic humanitarian law and to punish use of chemical weapons.

    Ta ra.

  8. Only a complete lunatic or NATO terror apologist would deem themselves more knowledgable than a former Brit ambassador to Syria. Only a complete lunatic or NATO apologist would allege NATO doesn't intefere in sovereign countries and is a peace keeping force.
    If only saddam had not given his WMD's to Al Qaeda who in turn gave them to Assad who in turn released all the Al Qaeda/ISIS/al nusra prisoners so he could use the WMD's on them so that he could have the excuse of destroying his country and people? -I'd rather wear a tin foil hat than wear protective head gear!

    God speed the SAA,Russia and Hezbollah finish off these head chopping, rapist, cowardly western sponsored vermin.

  9. Barry,
    Interventionism has never resulted in less deaths. How can you have perpetrators of war crimes punishing war crimes?

  10. David

    Interventionism saved countless lives in Kosovo in 1999, Sierra Leone in 2000, Kurdish Northern Iraq in 1991 and in the East Timor independence process 1999-2001. Were these interventions seriously war crimes? Was Vietnam's liberation of Cambodia from Pol Pot (admittedly for reasons of national self-interest) in 1979 and India's intervention in Bangladesh in 1971(same reasons) similarly war crimes.

    Wolfe Tone

    I take it you were delighted by the eviction of ISIS from Mosul and Raqqa by the US and Brit led coalition in support of the Kurdish peshmerga. Trouble is a lot of civilians died in collateral damage. Will you be comfortable with the death of thousands of civilians who will die, not as collateral damage, but as deliberate targets in the schools, hospitals and other non-combatant areas in Idlib?

    Oh the irony of an Irish "Republican" taking the word of a scion of the British establishment as gospel.

    The last sentence of your rant reminds me of Paisley, Willie McCrea and Gregory Campbell. God speed indeed that you were never in a Brit security agency. Otherwise West Belfast and the Bogside would be two huge car parks.

  11. David,

    justice in this world is rarely administered by the just. As the Czech proverb holds the big thieves hang the little ones. But what should be the fate of people like Assad, Bagosora, Netanyahu, Kissinger? They are all serious war criminals. The ethical case is probably as you describe it but the realpolitik one is that if the unjust don't try the unjust there is a race to some nihilistic bottom. It seems much the same in national law as it is in international law. We can't really convince ourselves that the judiciary jailing the gangsters are not implicated in egregious systemic irregularities, to put it mildly. It sticks in the craw to see supporters of Netanyahu and Kissinger try Assad or Bagosora but not as much as it would were they not to be tried at all. The idea that the Nazis were tried by a system untarnished by serious war crimes is risible. But was it better that they not be tried at all?

    Barry, interventionism can work - and could have worked in Rwanda and was not used because the US and UN decided to cover up genocide by refusing to call it by its name - but its application has been very selective and governed by self interest. I don't oppose intervention per se. feeling that there should have been military intervention a long time ago to protect the people of Gaza from Israeli war crimes. But in this world some people are more equal than others.

  12. As i said......only a lunatic would.........

  13. Wolfe Tone

    Is your "lunatic" comment a reference to my supposed state of mental health by any chance?

    I do remember your "keep him away from children" insinuation against me; just remember that this weblog is governed by the laws of slander.

    Btw, before launching on your conspiracy theory rants on Syria do some basic fact checking. There are NO NATO forces in Syria

    Ta ra.

  14. Barry,
    For every example you give I could counter with examples of the opposite. What would be the point though? To me it's obvious uprisings that are non indigenous lead to an occupied state with the inevitable consequences. war crimes should be defined by the action not the intention. A.M you could argue that justice is an abstract notion. For the benefit of argument let's say justice is indistinguishable from reality, if the only people guilty of war crimes are the enemies of the empire then any short term gains are eroded by long term manipulation of the law. That's not to say we shouldn't rejoice in tyrants getting their just deserts, but if it only applies to the defeated then it justifies the thing it opposes.

  15. Barry,

    where we see a slanderous or libellous comment as distinct from plain name calling or the normal rough and tumble that goes with the internet debate turf, we intervene. Wolfe Tone's lunatic comment is hardly slanderous, any more than the political discourse that regards Trump as a maniac is. You have raised objections on a number of occasions to criticisms of your comments and it seems to me you want to have your critics removed.

    There may be a case for protecting those with the conviction to openly stand over their ideas from those who shelter behind the use of a moniker and we have considered it and continue to do so.

    In these debates you tend to come out well in front not because of quality of your argument, much of which I find inconsistent and tendentious, but because you stand over your ideas and the often ad hominin manner in which you are critiqued. Where you cede ground is kicking up a fuss about ineffectual criticism. So what if WT thinks you are a lunatic? Lots of people with your views, his and mine are considered lunatics by those who oppose them. A moniker labelling a nameplate a lunatic or anything else carries very little weight because the nameplate does not need a shield from behind which to promote ideas. In those exchanges it is never the serve that secures the point but the return that loses it.

  16. "No NATO forces in Syria"...? Complete lunacy. Enough said.

  17. David,

    we either oppose war crimes or we don't. And as you suggest exclusively blaming war crimes on opponents of the empire sullies the concept.

    My problem with not going for trials in the ICC or the Hague against people like Bagosora on the grounds that Kissinger or Netanyahu are not tried there is that it means the victims of the war crimes committed by Bagosora get nothing and all the war criminals go free rather than many of them.

    Should Assad only be tried if Netanyahu is also? Ideally both should be tried but I would rather see Assad tried than not. Then we can use the trial to illustrate the inconsistency and skewed nature of international justice, limited and reformist as that may be.

    Nothing is easy or straightforward in these matters.

  18. AM,
    It's hard to argue with your point. Some justice is better than none. I don't mean disrespect to victims of Assad, Russia when i point out the US etc is just as guilty. The contradictions are irritating but then it's the nature of the beast. The one thing i will question is the "we either oppose war crimes or we don't" comment. If by we you mean western society then that we oppose war crimes is debatable. Sure we convicted the Nazis and Serbs etc but on the other hand Turkey, Saudi Arabia etc get off scot free. If it was as simple as we either oppose it or we don't that wouldn't be the case. You do point out that it isn't straight forward but if something as brutal as war crimes can't be based on evidence and justice alone without politics then do the perspective bodies have the moral or legal right?