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SYRIA

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#161 Post by jaywhat » October 22nd, 2013, 6:23 am

Latest post of the previous page:

From my sister in Syria:-

The Syrian Coalition has published an open letter from the people of Muadhamiya directed to the people of the world. The letter hopes to turn the attention of humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations, onto the constant suffering the people face living in Muadamiyah.

The letter reads: “Dear brothers and sisters, our friends, we have managed today to find enough power to run a computer and connect to the internet. We are writing from steadfast Muadamiyah, the city of olives, the mother of all martyrs; the city of death.

We are suffering the worst kinds of oppression at the hands of the venomous Assad Shabiha, sectarian Hezbollah militias, Iraqi mercenaries, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

We have been under siege for over a year. Forces of the criminal tyrant Assad, who has lost all legitimacy a long time ago, have been trying to enter the city every day. We appeal to your sense of humanity not to forget us.

The humanitarian situation is tragic.

We, the people of Muadamiyah, live in deplorable condition. We implore you to deliver our message to the whole world. We are a people who desire to live free, with honor and dignity. We have made enormous sacrifices to defend our families and fight for our rights. We love life, and all we want is to create a better future for our children. Please publish this letter in all languages so that the whole world may hear our cries.

For nearly one year, the city of Muadamiyah has been under siege with no access to food, electricity, medicine, communications, and fuel. We have been hit by rockets, artillery shells, napalm, white phosphorous, and chemical weapons. Hundreds of Muadamiyah’s men, women and children have died, and thousands have been injured. We can only pray for the wounded, as we do not have access to medicine, nor to the means to provide medical care. All we have are a few bullets to repel those who want to slaughter our families with knives and burn our children alive.

Save us from death. Save us from the hell of Assad’s killing machine.

Nearly 90% of neighborhoods in Muadamiyah are nearly entirely destroyed. Around 11,780 people are surviving on leaves of trees and other inedible plants. Only three doctors operate our only field hospital. Nearly 1800 people are wounded but have no access to medical care. Today, the lack of proper medical equipment puts the lives of 20 individuals, who need blood transfusions, at grave peril.

The Syrian Coalition calls on the United Nations and the world’s humanitarian relief agencies to act immediately and call for the establishment of humanitarian corridors so that the lives of thousands of civilians in besieged Muadamiyah can be saved. The Coalition also urges the international community not to allow the Assad regime to manipulate and deceive as it has always done. The Assad regime must not be allowed to evade punishment for crimes against the Syrian people. (Source: Syrian Coalition)

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Re: SYRIA

#162 Post by Gottard » October 22nd, 2013, 9:09 am

Jaywhat, tell your sister that the people of Syria have my (and I assume all our) comprehension. I am writing from the south of Europe where boat-people come ashore in droves, some of them come from Syria.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#163 Post by jaywhat » October 22nd, 2013, 10:10 am

Yes, Gottard, I do not know how people manage and there seems to be no end to it.

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Re: SYRIA

#164 Post by animist » October 22nd, 2013, 7:16 pm

the regime is guilty of the most appalling crimes committed to perpetuate its rule, but the opposition is in a way even worse - it cannot even unite into an organisation which is capable of trying to produce an alternative. For that reason, I pray (speaking loosely, of course) for an early government victory

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#165 Post by Dave B » October 22nd, 2013, 7:30 pm

animist wrote:the regime is guilty of the most appalling crimes committed to perpetuate its rule, but the opposition is in a way even worse - it cannot even unite into an organisation which is capable of trying to produce an alternative. For that reason, I pray (speaking loosely, of course) for an early government victory
That is the line I tend to take as well, animist.

A government victory might expose Assad to even closer international view and, hopefully, with the fog of war thinned a bit remove some of the excuses he has offered to keep inspectors out. The presence of an increasing numbers of Islamists in Syria also goes against the opposition unfortunately, both in terms of the insurgents attacking the locals and in the fears of the international community.

How to stop Assad creating a bloodbath of retribution is my biggest concern should he win.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: SYRIA

#166 Post by jaywhat » October 23rd, 2013, 7:02 am

I have to say that I feel the exact opposite of Dave B and animist.
In my opinion and that of the people I know in Syria, Assad must go.
This is also what William Hague said at yesterday's meeting in London.

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Re: SYRIA

#167 Post by animist » October 23rd, 2013, 9:45 am

Panto's latest silly thread is basically about the Spanish Civil War, a subject in which I am not an expert but have always been very interested. It made me ponder a few parallels with Syria. The villains, whom we will say are Franco and Assad, had overwhelming military power buttressed by solid foreign allies, and one can substitute Russia and Iran now for Germany and Italy (one obvious difference is that Franco was officially a rebel rather than the existing ruler, but that is not too important). The crucial thing is that in both cases the opposition to the tyrant was fragmented, with the Spanish lefties fighting themselves sometimes - plus, as I say, the lack of solid foreign support for what turned out to be the losing side. So in retrospect, a Franco victory was virtually inevitable, and a more rapid victory would have saved some lives

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#168 Post by Dave B » October 23rd, 2013, 10:27 am

jaywhat wrote:I have to say that I feel the exact opposite of Dave B and animist.
In my opinion and that of the people I know in Syria, Assad must go.
This is also what William Hague said at yesterday's meeting in London.
I agree that Assad should certainly have no part in the future of Syria but the reality is that there is probably very little chance that, with the Russians backing him, he will simply walk out of power.

Options:
1) Let it carry on as it is.
2) Assad wins.
3) The opposition win (over Assad and the insurgents) without heavy intervention or weapons from any source.
4) The Islamists pour all their efforts into Syria and they win.
5) The Arab nations band together and invade.
6) The Arab nations and/or the West pour in enough heavy weapons that the opposition win.

Possibly analyses:
1) This is the worst case, Assad can blame the Islamists for many of the crimes he commits, the "fog of war" hides much.
2) Assad will be more vulnerable to international view and opinion, he needs more than just Russia for support.
3) I fear there is little chance of this.
4) The worst outcome for all, moderate Syrians included.
5) Not a lot of chance, they mostly have their own problems with Islamists and fundamentalists or they fear trouble with their financial interests.
6) Not going to happen so long as there is any danger of Al Q or affiliates getting hold of the weapons.

I have not bothered about "official" foreign boots in Syria, that will only happen if the worst (internationally) happens - outright regional war.

I put no real value in what politicians say in this sort of situation.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: SYRIA

#169 Post by jaywhat » February 12th, 2014, 10:11 am

Wrote this based on sister's messages.

Coffee at Colette’s


We went to Colette’s for coffee and stayed for lunch
She was looking well and we had a few laughs
I got the recipe for butter nut squash soup
And got all her advice stashed in my head

The sun came out next day and there are daffs
Breaking out on my balcony
Had a lovely message from Saafi and photos
Of my new and only granddaughter

Saw Sarah’s boys at the fair on Facebook
And I see Jac’s been birdwatching again
But not on the Somerset Levels this time
My skirt is tight from all Abdul’s chocolate

The power came on early so I did ironing
And boiled vegetables ready for lunch
Bombs stopped falling but it was chaos all night
Eighty six people killed in Aleppo yesterday.

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Alan H
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Re: SYRIA

#170 Post by Alan H » February 20th, 2014, 3:59 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#171 Post by jaywhat » February 21st, 2014, 9:54 am

Thanks Alan, it brought tears to my eyes.

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Re: SYRIA

#172 Post by jaywhat » April 6th, 2014, 10:03 am

Article in today's Independent about the refugees in the Kurdish region of Iraq - the two and a half million Syrian refugees.
There are five and a half million children in Syria and neighbouring countries so badly affected by war.
This is a link to the article by Khaled Hosseini ( the author of ‘The Kite Runner’). He was from Afghanistan but could not go back there.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 41145.html


At the end of the article Ronida (Syrian refugee,teacher and poet) is quoted:-

My people
there will be a day
when white doves fly over Syria…


there is another link with a moving video -
http://www.worldcompassion.tv/i-am-syria/?src=gaw

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#173 Post by animist » June 14th, 2014, 8:31 pm

ISTM that "the wheel has turned full circle" is an overused metaphor, as often the particular wheel has turned about 180 degrees. But on Iraq, the news that ISIS (not the delectable Egyptian goddess but a bunch of Sunni extremists) has taken the city of Mosul in northern Iraq and is threatening Baghdad really does merit use of this image. It seems like only yesterday that we were being invited to engage in military action to topple a Sunni tyrant (Saddam Hussein), but it was a bit over 11 years ago in fact; anyway, we are back with the same message, and this time the issue is to bomb not a secular dictator but a branch of Islamic extremism whose growth can be linked partly to the stupidity of the Amero-Brit (is it not time that our language reflected the realities of power and we stopped using the term "Anglo-American"?) invasion of Iraq in 2003.

I am posting this here because the ISIS gains in Iraq seem to be a result of this group's increasing importance in the parallel war of Sunnis against Shia in Syria. As, hopefully, most people know, the boundaries of many Middle East countries like Iraq and Syria originate from the decisions of European imperialist powers Britain and France after World War 1, and are - or were - basically lines in the sand, although no doubt (according to the Financial Times's expert Roula Khalaf) these borders do now mean something to the region's inhabitants; they clearly do not mean much to ISIS itself, since its name indicates that its aim is to control the whole of what used to be called The Fertile Crescent.

I trust that neither Obama nor Cameron repeat the mistakes of their predecessors and engage in a struggle which they do not fully understand and which has nothing much to do with our Western notions of liberalism. The Middle East has shown itself not to be a place which nurtures Springs of Freedom but a cesspool of competing fanaticisms, and the West should stay away.

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Re: SYRIA

#174 Post by Dave B » June 14th, 2014, 10:24 pm

Yup, the area was split by the Sykes/Picot Agreement, as usual with no regard at all to existing ethnic, tribal, clan or religious considerations. Much of Africa has suffered from exactly the same imperialist attitude.

I am no expert but I do feel that very, very few of the western politicians and generals have any valid picture of the Muslim frame of mind. No change there then . . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: SYRIA

#175 Post by Nick » June 15th, 2014, 8:35 pm

Crikey Moses, what are we to do? I jus' dunno. My only vague thought is that we should try to keep western ideas available, through the World Service, of course, but also through exports of western goods. Human nature seems to adopt fanaticism when someone "moves the cheese", but few civilisations seem to want to go backwards economically. Blair was on the Andrew Marr show, justifying his past actions. I can see his POV, but I think we would have been better not to invade, though we might have used strategic strikes against the nastier groups.. Not sure how that is more acceptable than their strategic strikes though.... Hmmm....

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Re: SYRIA

#176 Post by Gottard » June 16th, 2014, 8:23 am

Nick wrote:Crikey Moses, what are we to do? I jus' dunno. My only vague thought is that we should try to keep western ideas available, through the World Service, of course, but also through exports of western goods. Human nature seems to adopt fanaticism when someone "moves the cheese", but few civilisations seem to want to go backwards economically. Blair was on the Andrew Marr show, justifying his past actions. I can see his POV, but I think we would have been better not to invade, though we might have used strategic strikes against the nastier groups.. Not sure how that is more acceptable than their strategic strikes though.... Hmmm....
British-American "special relations" bear a cost, I assume!
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Re: SYRIA

#177 Post by animist » June 16th, 2014, 11:23 am

Nick wrote:Crikey Moses, what are we to do? I jus' dunno. My only vague thought is that we should try to keep western ideas available, through the World Service, of course, but also through exports of western goods. Human nature seems to adopt fanaticism when someone "moves the cheese", but few civilisations seem to want to go backwards economically. Blair was on the Andrew Marr show, justifying his past actions. I can see his POV, but I think we would have been better not to invade, though we might have used strategic strikes against the nastier groups.. Not sure how that is more acceptable than their strategic strikes though.... Hmmm....
Tony Blair - I can barely mention the name without wanting to vomit - is a demon sent to us to show the falsity of religion and human vanity :laughter:. He was, like Lucifer, once beautiful, but is rapidly uglifying into his true infernal image - more laughter

I don't think we should "do" anything beyond always be there with genuine humanitarian relief. I don't think that Baghdad will fall, since the Iranians would prevent this if the Iraqis cannot, but there must surely be a probability that these recent events signal the tripartite division of Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurd regions which was its original status before we wonderful Brits tried nation-building in the 1920s

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Re: SYRIA

#178 Post by Dave B » June 16th, 2014, 11:53 am

animist wrote:
Nick wrote:Crikey Moses, what are we to do? I jus' dunno. My only vague thought is that we should try to keep western ideas available, through the World Service, of course, but also through exports of western goods. Human nature seems to adopt fanaticism when someone "moves the cheese", but few civilisations seem to want to go backwards economically. Blair was on the Andrew Marr show, justifying his past actions. I can see his POV, but I think we would have been better not to invade, though we might have used strategic strikes against the nastier groups.. Not sure how that is more acceptable than their strategic strikes though.... Hmmm....
Tony Blair - I can barely mention the name without wanting to vomit - is a demon sent to us to show the falsity of religion and human vanity :laughter:. He was, like Lucifer, once beautiful, but is rapidly uglifying into his true infernal image - more laughter

I don't think we should "do" anything beyond always be there with genuine humanitarian relief. I don't think that Baghdad will fall, since the Iranians would prevent this if the Iraqis cannot, but there must surely be a probability that these recent events signal the tripartite division of Iraq into Sunni, Shia and Kurd regions which was its original status before we wonderful Brits tried nation-building in the 1920s
I admit that the splitting on ethnic/sectarian grounds is one solution, possibly the only one at the moment. But the problem will be who gets the oil. At the moment I believe the Kurds are at the top there but I can't see the Sunni slice voting for that. Also, have not checked the geography, but are the Kurds dependant on the rest of Iraq to transport and export their oil? Unless they can do a deal with the Turks for a pipe line, um, doubt it at the moment . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Re: SYRIA

#179 Post by animist » June 18th, 2014, 1:52 pm

Dave B wrote: I admit that the splitting on ethnic/sectarian grounds is one solution, possibly the only one at the moment. But the problem will be who gets the oil. At the moment I believe the Kurds are at the top there but I can't see the Sunni slice voting for that. Also, have not checked the geography, but are the Kurds dependant on the rest of Iraq to transport and export their oil? Unless they can do a deal with the Turks for a pipe line, um, doubt it at the moment . . .
I did not exactly mean that an ethnic split was a "solution", more an outcome which seems more likely at present than ever. The oil is mainly with the Kurds and in the south, so the Sunnis in the middle would not be happy with partition - god knows what Isis actually want, since they are not going to capture the whole country. Yes, the Kurds have a new pipeline through Turkey.

Going back to the Syrian theme, all this mayhem in Iraq must be joy to Assad. Only a few months ago he was threatened with military action by the West, now it is his enemies who are the baddies!

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Re: SYRIA

#180 Post by Dave B » June 18th, 2014, 5:36 pm

animist wrote:Going back to the Syrian theme, all this mayhem in Iraq must be joy to Assad. Only a few months ago he was threatened with military action by the West, now it is his enemies who are the baddies!
Probably a mixed blessing:

ISIS/ISAL seem to spend as much time fighting other anti-Assad groups which is good for Assad. They also seem to want a caliphate that involves Lebanon, Syria and Iraq - or at least the Sunni part. Not so good for Assad if they can gain adherents and arms from all those areas. Not so good for Iraq either if it comes to that.

If they make too much trouble for the Shi'ite part of Iraq that will almost certainly bring in the Iranians, if they do not come in anyway.

What part will the Saudi's play I wonder. They seem to be, overtly, commercially minded - working "under the counter" to spread the Wahhabi doctrine. Saudi is against Al Q. because Al Q. are even too fundamentalist and anti-West than they are. ISIS/ISAL were chucked out of the Al Q. alliance because they were too fundamentalist even for them we are told!

If ISIS/ISAL are that bad it probably will not bother them not to have oil in central Iraq - might get in the way of their medieval mind-set not to have to bother with the commercial/engineering side of it. :wink:

The times are too interesting for my liking . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: SYRIA

#181 Post by Dave B » August 12th, 2014, 1:13 pm

Should have kept the paper, nothing online, but the Metro today had a picture of a grinning jehdist in Syria holding up two severed heads of Syrian soldiers. It seems the previous day's paper had a picture of a nine year old boy also holding up a severed head, that was Twittered or Yuotubed with the title, "That's my boy!". Luckily the heads in both pictures were blacked out.

So, once again the barbarians Islam prove their depravity. I agree with Ifty that Islam could be interpreted to say that this is truly barbaric but it also seems to offer the opposite interpretation as well if one is selective. Thus it is basically Islam that is at fault here, as much as those who do the interpreting.
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