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SYRIA

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

#21 Postby Dave B » September 21st, 2012, 9:32 am

Latest post of the previous page:

It is getting worse in Syria and our UK news broadcasts are only telling us half of it. If that.
That's the news for you, today's happenings push last week's, no matter how bad they are, into increasing lower priority. I have not watched BBC News 24 to see whether they repeat the same things every hour or reprise older, but still current, happenings?

A friend watches a Russian world-wide news TV prog (on Freeview I think) and says that he is always surprised as to how wide the coverage is and how objective and unbiased it seems.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#22 Postby jaywhat » September 21st, 2012, 10:51 am

Yes there is Russia Today and I will have a look (if I can get it), but I will be surprised if its view on Syria is totally objective - or is it free of Kremlin control?

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#23 Postby Dave B » September 21st, 2012, 11:25 am

Yes, not easy to find true objectivity - the BBC tries to project it by saying, "We cannot verify these images . . ." but often there is a subtle hint hidden in the choice of (not obviously biased but . . .) words. It is very difficult to take the media hack out of the news editor, hard as they try to reduce the influence of their personal opinions and desires!

Even as the editor of a mere local magazine, with no faith or political affiliations, I cringed over things that I had written years before and what could be read behind the words!! Omissions are as bad as commissions in this context.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#24 Postby jaywhat » October 8th, 2012, 1:53 pm

I have received this link today from a relative in Syria.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.inf ... HA.twitter

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#25 Postby jaywhat » November 7th, 2012, 10:00 am

Her daily emails do not seem to get much better. Got this today (my dots for bits left out):-
Subject line: Life goes on.
Hi Everyone
It's looking like Obama is going to win then - that's the only news on all the channels at 6:00am as I have my breakfast. Must admit I like him.
It's fairly quiet in the morning although the jet is circling overhead and firing missiles at the same area ......third day in a row. There can't be much left there....... The regime army has taken over the roof of ... factory to put snipers on it, and he's not allowed to enter. They told him it would only be for 10 days (which he believes!)...... is still going off to the school in spite of what she sees. last week an old man was shot in front of her as she was waiting at the traffic lights on the way to the kitchen, and yesterday there was a dead body thrown on the rubbish tip next to the school. (..... saw 3 a few days ago.) It seems that the Security Forces dump a few dead bodies where they will be seen just to intimidate ordinary people, although it has the opposite effect. One of the roads on the way to ..... is now known as Corpse Street!
Love to all


...........and I worry about the price of goat's milk!

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#26 Postby animist » February 26th, 2013, 6:09 pm

this war seems to drag on, and since Assad gets arms from outsiders, and can threaten to use his chemical weapons if attacked by other outsiders, it seems that he is unlikely to go soon - and do we anyway want him to be succeeded by Jihadists? Maybe the West should accept that a settlement has to include him, though would this make any difference? Surely an end to war is more important than any particular outcome, given that outcomes give way to other outcomes

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#27 Postby jaywhat » February 27th, 2013, 6:04 am

Yes . When this is all over things will not necessarily be much fun if there is not some sort of civilised cooperation between sects and secularists - but I feel that Assad is beyond redemption (?)

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#28 Postby Dave B » February 27th, 2013, 10:02 am

jaywhat wrote:Yes . When this is all over things will not necessarily be much fun if there is not some sort of civilised cooperation between sects and secularists - but I feel that Assad is beyond redemption (?)
I agree, but this does seem to be an area where the politicians are damned whatever they do (or would have done.)

I think Syria has become a proxy power play between the West and Russia. If the West had been more directly interventionist, in any way, the chances are things would have been even worse if Russia tried to "balance" the situation in their values. I, personally, was for ensuring that the more liberal Syrians had the upper hand from the beginning - not doing so has allowed Islamist forces to gain strength. That has the effect of making Assad's claims that "terrorists" are responsible for certain acts almost certainly true, no Syrian worth his or her salt is going to kill fellow Syrians - Islamist insurgents are not going to be so fussy.

If, when Assad falls, and Islamists take over then, for the moment at least, the West will be the ones in greatest danger. However since Russia also has trouble with its own Muslim states the time will almost certain come that they turn their interests in that direction. It does not seem to matter who gave them aid in the past, fundamentalists only seem to have honour towards fundamentalists of exactly their own type in the final outcome. If then.

I can understand, from previous experience, the danger of injecting modern weaponry, or even the funds to buy such because there is a danger that "the wrong people" might end up in charge of them. Its Hobson's choice written in the lives of, basically, innocent people, who deserve a better deal, and I wish there was a valid solution but cannot think of one.

How could we have done better? What can we do better now? We have not given either Iraq or Afghanistan any cast iron guarantee of a better future, even if that is partly because of the nature of the people in those countries themselves.
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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#29 Postby jaywhat » April 28th, 2013, 6:54 am

I get daily emails from my sister who lives in Syria. A typical example came this morning. Thought I would share it.

Hi Everyone
Internet is back! It seems the main cable had been damaged near Idlib which is a real hot spot, The Red Crescent finally got there to fix it.
We're all well here and it's relatively quiet, near me that is. I've not been on the net yet to check other areas.
Yes, the mosque has been severely damaged, including the toppling of the minaret. Sad, but then when i think about the 70,000 lives lost, thousands imprisoned and tortured, thousands missing, whole families wiped out, whole streets destroyed, millions displaced, millions without work, so what's a mosque!

What a joke about Obama and his red line of chemical use. More than a month ago 35 died in the hospital near here, including one of the doctors treating them. Gheisa's daughter was working there at the time! Also Abdul's cousin saw dozens of dead soldiers at the military hospital!

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#30 Postby animist » April 28th, 2013, 8:42 am

jaywhat wrote:I get daily emails from my sister who lives in Syria. A typical example came this morning. Thought I would share it.

Hi Everyone
Internet is back! It seems the main cable had been damaged near Idlib which is a real hot spot, The Red Crescent finally got there to fix it.
We're all well here and it's relatively quiet, near me that is. I've not been on the net yet to check other areas.
Yes, the mosque has been severely damaged, including the toppling of the minaret. Sad, but then when i think about the 70,000 lives lost, thousands imprisoned and tortured, thousands missing, whole families wiped out, whole streets destroyed, millions displaced, millions without work, so what's a mosque!

What a joke about Obama and his red line of chemical use. More than a month ago 35 died in the hospital near here, including one of the doctors treating them. Gheisa's daughter was working there at the time! Also Abdul's cousin saw dozens of dead soldiers at the military hospital!

I wonder, does your sister mean that it is basically irrelevant whether death comes via explosions or gases?

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#31 Postby jaywhat » April 28th, 2013, 9:10 am

I would think she believes (as I do) that the 'red line' that the west is watching to see if Syria crosses is already crossed.
I would say that the mass death and destruction of the civilians of your own country is something the civilised world should be doing something about.

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Alan H
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Re: SYRIA

#32 Postby Alan H » April 28th, 2013, 10:36 am

I wonder if this is politics at play. There are many countries where unacceptable violence occurs, ye the 'west' does nothing - and, given recent history, the reasons for not intervening heavy-handedly are obvious. The public are generally happy with this as a balance is struck between preventing the violence and not interfering in other states.

However, I wonder if they are simply setting a line: they may well feel that the use of chemical weapons (with all the connotations those two words bring) is a line that, once crossed, public opinion will move. Is it the simply excuse they are waiting for? Look at Sadam Hussain: the fact he was a tyrant wasn't anywhere near enough for most - maybe chemical weapons provides the 'excuse' that most will accept.

Of course, what's been said so far could just be part of the slow build up: we have some unconfirmed evidence...next week, it may be more reports, still unconfirmed...you can see where it's heading.
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Tetenterre
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Re: SYRIA

#33 Postby Tetenterre » April 28th, 2013, 10:45 am

I've always been a little perplexed by the distinction of "chemical weapons" -- will continue this in the Science and Pseudoscience forum, since it's a bit of a diversion from this thread.
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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#34 Postby Dave B » April 28th, 2013, 11:12 am

I wonder if this is politics at play.
I would say that politics are certainly "at play" here, Alan!

I would say that the whole thing is a mixture of humanitarianism, commercialism and politics in ascending order of importance in the minds of the leaders. Trouble is politics is such a wide ranging beast, has unending consequences as one decision leads the the need for another.

Do we flood the place with weapons knowing that there is a chance that forces who are anti-West may get hold of them? If the red line is drawn do we put the lives of our servicemen under yet more risk, after Iraq and Afghanistan - what will the voters think of that? If we do not help them further, with weapons etc., will they look upon the West with a jaundiced eye?

Though I think that politicians are protective of their power, within the law mostly, I have to admit that I would not like to have to make the decision about what to do in Syria. At the moment we are allowing Assad to win the war of words, we are in danger of allowing him to win the whole thing.

What would happen then? More killings as the revenge factor moves in followed by an insurgency of the fundamentalists who are waiting, mostly in Jordan it seems, determined to get rid of Assad their way. Whatever happens the people will probably continue to suffer. Even if we do step in in a meaningful way and the "rebels" win it only means the fundamentalists will still carry out their promises. I think Syria will become another Iraq with sectarian violence daily.

As a commentator on the radio said, the battle that has raged between the Islamic sects for 1300 years may now be coming to a head. I sometimes wonder if they hate one-another more than they hate the West.
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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#35 Postby animist » June 2nd, 2013, 6:10 pm

this post is mainly just to keep the topic alive. I increasingly feel that an Assad victory, if it is swift, might be the best outcome: only because all outcomes are bad, but this might be the least so, and this is because I have a hunch that the regime is getting the upper hand, with the help of Hizbollah and Iran and Russia. I don't actually care which side wins and feel that the conflict is increasingly sectarian - the only good outcome is one quickly arrived at in order to curtail the killing. Of course, a "lucky" attempt on Assad's life would transform the situation, as I suppose would a determined policy by the outside powers to rein in his power, but - another hunch - this seems unlikely

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#36 Postby Dave B » June 2nd, 2013, 8:26 pm

I have to agree with you, animist, the prolongation of the civil war will not help.

But it is going to be on hell of a mess whoever wins. I fear a sectarian/ethnic bloodbath and hundreds of thousands more refugees flooding Turkey and Jordan.

We cannot afford to arm the rebels with heavy stuff if that will mean pro-AQ factions getting hold of it and a few more assault rifles are going to make no difference. Russia is playing a very hard hand here and we can't do much about it. A re-legitimised Assad regime, re-equipped by Russia and supporting Hezbollah, will make a future all out war in that area even more likely I think.
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Fia
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Re: SYRIA

#37 Postby Fia » June 2nd, 2013, 9:35 pm

My heart breaks for the thousands of civilians and their families. Yes, it boils down to sectarianism. In the end, to have an achievable future, they'll have to sit round a table, talk, and come to a compromise. How I wish there was some way they could do that before so many lives are lost...

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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#38 Postby jaywhat » June 3rd, 2013, 6:25 am

I still get a daily email from my sister in Aleppo and like most of you I do not know what to say (and find it hard to say anything) except that Assad has to go before there is any hope of progress towards peace.

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animist
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Re: SYRIA

#39 Postby animist » June 6th, 2013, 6:25 am

jaywhat wrote: Assad has to go before there is any hope of progress towards peace.
or, Assad possibly has to win before there is hope for some sort of peace

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Dave B
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Re: SYRIA

#40 Postby Dave B » June 6th, 2013, 9:56 am

animist wrote:
jaywhat wrote: Assad has to go before there is any hope of progress towards peace.
or, Assad possibly has to win before there is hope for some sort of peace
That thought entered my mind as well.

But "peace" seems to be a rather relative quality in that part of the world. If the Sunnis of Syria thought they had a rough life before the civil war they will almost certainly experience a new degree of roughness if Assad wins. Then again, should he loose it would almost certainly be the Shiites and the Alaouites who will feel the rough edge of the feelings of the Sunnis.

No matter what the more "civilised" politicians and statesmen say the people will take out their vengeance on the "other side" in their own way, as they are doing in almost every other Muslim nation where overall control has been lost.

Then, of course, our politicians are not forgetting what it means to us as "The West". A victory for Assad is a victory for Russia, having taken a stance that supports Assad they will be assured of their presence in the Eastern Med. They will probably also have a degree of control of Syria's oil reserves - not that they need them since they have more reserves than most other countries, but it gives them another angle of control over the influence of The West. China will not do badly either.

So The West has basically lost this round in global terms, we have put ourselves in the situation of being buggered if we do or don't aid the rebels. If we do we also aid the Islamist factions, if we don't we lose a potential ally.

I know that this sounds as though I am not factoring in the suffering of the people but there is their future, and ours, to consider as well. What happens in the big picture happens more intensively to them. Historically it is a smallish blip (probably, hopefully) but small blips kill people as well.

If the war spreads and becomes a global Shiite versus Sunni matter then we come closer to WW3 than we ever were since Cuba I think.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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jaywhat
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Re: SYRIA

#41 Postby jaywhat » June 6th, 2013, 4:37 pm

If Assad wins, Syria loses.


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