On celebrity revolutionaries, shallow analysis, and rebels bearing arms

Below is a comment I sent to an interview with Tariq Ali on “Gaza, BDS, ISIS and Iraq” in Links http://links.org.au/node/4009.

Asked whether he agrees with the widely held view (not just Clinton’s) that the rise of ISIS can be attributed to the failure of the US (or anyone else) to help rebels in Syria, Tariq Ali responds:
“Another absurdity. The US did help and arm the Syrian rebels via Turkey.”

I guess when you are a celebrity revolutionary like Ali you don’t actually have to know much, still less try to provide evidence, any sweeping statement will do because you think everyone will just listen to you because you’re Tariq Ali. Unfortunately, for thousands of activists who are very well aware of what has been going on in Syria, Ali’s shallowness is self-evident. The US did not “arm” the rebels as Ali baldly states, and even then “help” via Turkey can only mean one of two things, either (1) the non-lethal aid, ie, tents, radios, night-goggles, ready-meals and so much other useless rubbish, which presumably Ali thinks “helped” them confront Assad’s helicopter gunships, barrel bombs, ballistic missiles, incendiary bombs, chemical weapons etc, or (2) it means the CIA role in making sure an already existing (no thanks to the CIA) arms pipeline via Turkey greatly limited what weapons actually got from the storehouses in Turkey into Syria, in actively vetoing any groups they didn’t like getting anything, and in preventing Manpads (shoulder-fired anti-aircraft guns, the actually useful thing) getting in at all to anyone.

The absolute paucity of the rebels’ weapons right throughout the conflict, in comparison to the regime’s massive use of conventional wmd, is only too obvious to anyone that actually looks. Whatever the FSA and others did get from Saudi Arabia and Qatar (*not* from the US) was never of any kind of quantity, still less quality, to make any difference to the struggle.

Ali simply avoids the fact that if the secular and moderate Islamist forces had better access to proper arms they would have been much better able to fight both the regime and ISIS but also would be able to be a more effective force themselves, holding back the kind of radicalisation and hopelessness that results from extraordinary suffering, which groups like ISIS can prey on, and also preventing so many rebels drifting over to better armed and thus more effective jihadist groups, including at the most extreme end ISIS.

He also avoids the well-known fact, at least to anyone who reads and has an analysis beyond the Ali-style shallow, that it has been only the FSA and its allies that have actually been fighting ISIS for the last year, all across Syria, while the whole time the regime hasn’t touched ISIS and in fact has often actively collaborated with it against the rebels. How could it be that arming the main force fighting ISIS would not have stemmed its rise?

Yet Ali then jumps on to a complete red herring:
“They did not bomb Assad out of existence, as they were unsure of the consequences.”

The question was about whether the popular masses and their armed organisations confronting a fascist regime should have been able to get better arms and Ali responds that the US didn’t bomb Assad out of existence! What a bombastic fool. As if there is any connection between the two. Moreover, as if there was ever even the remotest likelihood or interest in the US in “bombing Assad out of existence”. What a non-sequitir. Even last August, the one moment in the last 4 years when it looks vaguely possible that the US might send a few air strikes after Assad’s chemical genocide in East Ghouta, “bombing Assad out of existence” was not on the table. Then only thing on the table was a few “punishment strikes,” which in any case were mostly more a figment of the “anti-imperialist” left’s imaginations than a serious likelihood.

He continues:
“After all, Clinton, who supported the war on Iraq, should see what happens if you destroy a regime unilaterally. The rise of ISIS in Iraq is because they destroyed all the structures of the old regime. Had they done the same in Syria, we would have had an even worse situation than now, with at least three different wars taking place.”

The guy has completely lost it. The question is about allowing the FSA a few arms to fight itself, he takes that to an imaginary US bombing of Syria, and then a full-scale Iraq-style invasion, which has never even remotely been US strategy – the maximum US strategy for Syria has always been the “Yemeni solution” of rearranging the Baathist state, ensuring the “core” of the regime, especially the “military-security apparatus”, is maintained, in order for it to better crush the revolution (the imperialists usually put this in the language of “fighting terrorists” or “fighting jihadists”, which, by some amazing coincidence, just happens to be the same language as that of “the anti-imperialist left”).

7 thoughts on “On celebrity revolutionaries, shallow analysis, and rebels bearing arms

  1. Hello,

    Since the start of the Syrian crisis neutral individuals like myself couldn’t know which side is protecting the Will of the People because information was contradictory. We couldn’t know which media is reporting truth. Now, after all this time, we have a real proof of people’s choice. We have the democratic answer that can help UN and others to make the right decisions.

    According to the site http://syrianrefugees.eu/, 9,000,000 Syrian refugees have fled their homes up until now, both internally within Syria and externally (August 2014).

    1. This forms a majority of the Syrian population
    2. Those people made the choice of “Security” over “fighting for the Freedom Concept” (They don’t want to fight, they don’t want to support the fighters, they don’t want to offer humanitarian aids to the cause, they don’t care about their property, they preferred the unknown and left)
    3. Therefore those people chose “Security” over “The Freedom Fight” (simply)

    The UN should call on all parties to apply that Will of the People by ending “The Freedom Fight” and returning to “Security”. If leaders of the “Freedom Fight” don’t apply that Will of the People – democratically, physically and literally expressed – it would hint us as to the true intention of the leaders of that fight in regards to democracy and freedom concepts.

    I hope this message gets through as it has been victim of censorship before.

    Regards,
    Al Morce

  2. Hi Al, you seem to be pretty confident in your capacity to represent the views of 9 million Syrian refugees from Assadist genocide. Apparently you know they took refuge out of a “choice” for “security” over “fighting for freedom” and you not only know that ‘they don’t want to fight” but even that “they don’t want to provide humanitarian aid.” Interesting. I would have thought refugees would need to be recipients of humanitarian aid rather than being in any position to supply it.

    In any case, your concept of “choice” doesn’t seem to take into account the natural human tendency to flee being bombed by MiG fighter planes, helicopter gunships, barrel bombs, cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons etc. Strange, isn’t it? People run away from this kind of thing, try to get their children to safety, but observers from the West apparently know that this means they do so out of a “choice” to not stay and fight.

    You are making some assumptions here. For one, you are making the assumption that the rebels have a reasonably decent supply of arms with which to have a fighting chance against the regime. Well, the news is that they don’t, whatever various propagandists might say. So this fact increases the ‘flight” factor over the “fight” factor. But the other assumption is that those forced to flee by a genocidal regime’s massive use of conventional wmd naturally just want those trying to get rid of that regime to give up. How about a division of labour? Some fight, and some take the kids to safety?

    Are you aware that during the Vietnamese struggle against US imperialism and its puppet regime in the South, centred in Saigon, that this Saigon grew in size many times, as refugees from all over the south Vietnamese countryside flooded in to escape having the shit bombed out of them. They did not all choose to stay and fight and be killed along with their kids etc. That doesn’t mean they didn’t continue to support the struggle of their armed brothers and sisters in the National Liberation Front. Quite simply, many did, many didn’t. Just as in Syria.

    Are you aware of this survey of Syrian refugees (http://english.dohainstitute.org/release/c63f7d20-c95a-46a8-8bfd-fcbc78082afe) in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and within Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border that found that 78% of respondents viewed Syria’s June 3 presidential “election” circus to be absolutely illegitimate? I would have thought that if their spirit was so much in the “security” area as you suggest, we would have had a much greater support for an election circus, even if they knew it was a circus, just in order to end it all, as you suggest.

    You also might want to look at this superb piece of journalism by excellent journalist Max Blumenthal, where he talks to Syrian refugees in the massive Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to at least 100,000 people (http://www.thenation.com/article/176158/we-just-wish-hit-put-end-massacres#). He found absolutely overwhelming support for a military strike by the US or anyone against Assad just to put an end to the massacres. Read it and think about your assumptions.

    Finally, when you say “the UN should call on all parties to apply that Will of the People by ending “The Freedom Fight” and returning to “Security”,” you show your own bias. If the need is for a ceasefire, then there are two sides involved. You are assuming that the regime which is responsible the vast bulk of the killing and completely maniacal destruction is the one that wants “peace and security” and it is only the revolution that wants to continue the fight. Perhaps you should consider the idea that the shoe might be on the other foo

  3. Hello mkaradjis,

    Before accusing me of making assumptions, maybe you should take the time to consider a background. In the letter I wrote I was voicing the opinion of a bystander, looking for objective proof to make a decision, exactly like the UN. Because of that, I cannot consider factors such as the emotional dilemma that people went through nor the fight-flight mechanism. It is no doubt that the actual feelings of Syrians are theirs and only they can decide on any future course of action. The West wouldn’t have known peace hadn’t they favored law over revenge and in the same way, any war-peace decision has to stem from rational thinking and not from emotion. This is why I would reassert that the actual fleeing from the “freedom fight” takes precedence over any representation of their feeling toward a regime. It is one think to not like a regime and another to take a nation to an armed struggle.

    I am also not making any assumptions about weapons. Depending on the Locus of control, leaders of the “freedom fight”, or the people jointly and collectively, took a decision at a given point in time to start the “freedom fight”, or for other side’s opinion, to respond to an oppression fight which resulted in a “freedom fight”. No matter how we call it, it is undeniable today that someone started an armed struggle against the government. It is those very same people, or leaders, that have to be asked about their assumptions that resulted in drifting away from the – probably hated yet “secure” – status-quo. Did those “freedom fight” initiators assume that the West, or Jesus Christ, will come to assistance with unconditional supplies of weapon? Did the “freedom fight” initiators assume that the “freedom fight” has a duration that is acceptable by the vast majority of the population? Did the “freedom fight” initiators assume that the cost in blood is bearable on this small nation, saddle of civilization ? Did the “freedom fight” initiators share ideas about GOALS and TIMELINE ? Before starting an armed struggle, one has to secure alliances and has to secure means to get to an aim. That aim has to be clear and has to be agreed upon if not voted upon. In the age of the Internet one cannot say there was no way to obtain a good estimation of the public opinion before smuggling arms into a sovereign country, no matter who smuggled them and how they smuggle them and what ideological aspiration they had. Additionally those means have to compliant with “freedom” itself or else they lose any credit in any claim about freedom. Losing half a million lives to remove a regime than to reinstate a new regime that is worse than the previous one cannot be justified. You accuse me of bias, I answer by saying, tell me bias against what? Against the loss of lives? In that case everyone should be biased. I haven’t heard an voices loudly criticizing their own side, no matter what the side is. So you tell me, how do you justify silence over loss? You believe no one should be accountable for their decisions?

    I’d have to agree with you that efforts could be divided between armed struggle and ideological struggle when a fight for freedom is in place. Yet you contradict yourself. Didn’t you say that the flight-fight mechanism dictated their fleeing and it wasn’t ever, ever, a question of choice?
    I am also not trying to review the performance of the government in Syria nor the fairness of any elections. In the West where I live, very few are the people who actively participate in politics. In the end, they don’t care much about the electoral process let alone changing it. Yet, most of the population enjoys the sense of security. Without security, any third party, like ISIS, can change a peaceful negotiation into resumption of war. Without security, you have nothing. Syrians had security. They had a problem with the government and with democracy, yes. Yet, they didn’t use any such democracy before going out to the “freedom fight”. In the age of the Internet, no one can claim there wasn’t any means to ask the PEOPLE about their WILL. The argument that the Internet wasn’t safe could be valid, yet this doesn’t justify the complete ABSENCE of such an effort, before going to war. People who take you to war against your will, are not fighting for freedom. Or, if they are, they aren’t qualified to do it.

    Finally, dear friend, my suggestion to return immediately to security does not imply that I am assuming anything about WILL of the government. Yet, any peaceful bystander would say that killing will bring more killing. If you read my words carefully you would agree with me that the cost of this ware exceeds by far what people expected, whether they’ve been warned about it or not. It is not an option to continue fighting without at least asking the leaders of the “freedom fight” where they are going? How many more lives they expect? What is their final goal? How long would it take? How many more Syrian kids will have a compromised education? How much it would take to build a sense of nation again, now that people have been divided into 4 nations/concentrations? My guess is, the leaders don’t have a clue. Do you want to follow a leader with no clue?
    It is one thing to seek “freedom”, it’s another to follow a “freedom flag”.

    I long for your reply,
    Al

  4. Dear Al, sorry, your entire first paragraph was simple confusion. I have no idea what it meant.

    In paragraph 2, you discuss those “people jointly and collectively (who) took a decision at a given point in time to start the “freedom fight”, who “started an armed struggle against the government.”
    You ask “Did those “freedom fight” initiators assume that the West, or Jesus Christ, will come to assistance with unconditional supplies of weapons?”

    No.

    “Did the “freedom fight” initiators assume that the “freedom fight” has a duration that is acceptable by the vast majority of the population? Did the “freedom fight” initiators assume that the cost in blood is bearable on this small nation, saddle of civilization?”

    Given that the massive violence was initiated by the regime, not the peaceful protestors, you probably need to ask the regime, not those forced to take up arms to defend themselves from massive regime violence.

    “Did the “freedom fight” initiators share ideas about GOALS and TIMELINE? Before starting an armed struggle, one has to secure alliances and has to secure means to get to an aim. That aim has to be clear and has to be agreed upon if not voted upon.”

    I assume in asking these questions you have actually studied the onset of the Syrian revolution? The 8 months of peaceful protest during which, every time, demonstrators were shot in the chest, or carted away for medieval torture in regime dungeons? Children returned murdered, tortured and mutilated to their parents?

    And how popular councils, and all kinds of collective revolutionary bodies formed all over the country, that coted on slogans and aims and actions? That indeed, despite the unbearable repression, in many parts, people still struggle to meet, vote on slogans for Friday demonstrations, carry out surprise civil actions etc?

    That goals and aims are written up by these councils, by the Local Coordination Committees (LCCs), and by the external-based leaderships (Syrian Opposition Coalition, and before that, Syrian National Council), with the usual range of democratic aims that most uprisings against tyrannies have, but in Syria’s case also including specific aims relating to protection of and equality for minorities, support for Palestine and regaining the Golan, secularism etc.

    Of course, this is a revolutionary uprising in conditions of extraordinary state violence, and so how much all of this process works smoothly is another matter. But let’s not have any illusions about such processes in any other revolution either. But you seem to think it could have been done better:

    “In the age of the Internet one cannot say there was no way to obtain a good estimation of the public opinion before smuggling arms into a sovereign country, no matter who smuggled them and how they smuggle them and what ideological aspiration they had.”

    Sorry Al, you are talking a mass of utter confusion. First, have you ever visited or spent substantial time in a third world country? In Syria, 16% of the population have access to the Internet. But the Syrian revolution is overwhelmingly class-based – more so than all the other Arab Spring uprisings (except perhaps Bahrain) – the mass of poor peasants and urban poor slum dwellers in new shanty-towns around major cities, as well as most people in depressed rural cities – ie all those who are the revolution – largely don’t have Internet. So your famous Internet democracy under a fascist torture state would be a vote by the middle and upper classes – most of who form the base of the regime.

    The mass of poor d not enter political action trying to overthrow a regime of their class enemies because middle class people in the better end of town vote for them to be allowed. As in all of history, revolutionary uprisings are a result of a social process.

    As for what they should have done before deciding to start “smuggling arms into a sovereign country,” again you are simply confused. After 8 months of slaughter of peaceful protest, two developments began, and began to coalesce. First, large numbers of troops of the Syrian army began defecting, in public shows, and bringing their arms over to protect the people instead of killing them. Second, the peaceful protestors began to arm themselves in self-defense. Both entirely organic processes.

    Only after this war, which began in this entirely organic way, a normal social process, and as a natural reaction to defend yourself from state violence, did arms begin coming into the country from abroad. Frankly, given the enormous quantity and quality of the killing machinery of the regime, the small arms, and small numbers of them, that have been “smuggled” into a “sovereign” state have been rather pitiful; for the most part the FSA and its allies rely on arms captured from the regime, from defectors, from buying on the black market or making them in their back yards. But in my view, the people themselves are sovereign and no regime that destroys its whole country to stay in power is legitimate, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m in favour of the FSA getting as many arms “smuggled” in as it can, though it would be foolish to expect that to happen.

    “Additionally those means have to compliant with “freedom” itself or else they lose any credit in any claim about freedom. Losing half a million lives to remove a regime than to reinstate a new regime that is worse than the previous one cannot be justified.”

    Yes. So what is your point? If you have some specific criticism or specific knowledge about the opposition which suggest it is trying to establish a dictatorship “worse than the last one” then you should put it on the table. Just talking in code could be considered a slander.

    “You accuse me of bias, I answer by saying, tell me bias against what? Against the loss of lives? In that case everyone should be biased.”

    Yes, that is kind of the point in opposing a genocidal regime that has conducted a largely one-sided slaughter over the last three years, much like the Zionist regime and the way it regularly slaughters Gaza. Do you engage in this same kind of liberal preaching against “violence from both sides” in that case too?

    “I haven’t heard any voices loudly criticizing their own side, no matter what the side is. So you tell me, how do you justify silence over loss? You believe no one should be accountable for their decisions?”

    I certainly agree that all sides need to be self-critical. The point is, critical regarding what? I can think of tons of criticisms of the side I support overall, and if you look through my articles you’ll find some. But your criticism seems to be the very fact that it is engaged in fighting the regime at all, and this criticism seems to stem from a misunderstanding as if they had a choice. Why are you so sure no self-criticism goes on? You seem to simply mean they should give up.

    “I’d have to agree with you that efforts could be divided between armed struggle and ideological struggle when a fight for freedom is in place. Yet you contradict yourself. Didn’t you say that the flight-fight mechanism dictated their fleeing and it wasn’t ever, ever, a question of choice?”

    Al, if you want a discussion, then please don’t change the terms of the debate, OK? These words “ever, ever” are yours, not mine. I clearly did not say that. On the contrary, when I made the Saigon analogy, I very clearly said that some of those fleeing for safety still supported the NLF while others didn’t, and then I said “just like in Syria.” It was YOU, not I, who began this discussion by asserting that you knew what 9 million refugees’ views on the conflict were. I challenged that, but I did not put forward an opposing absolute.

    “I am also not trying to review the performance of the government in Syria nor the fairness of any elections. In the West where I live, very few are the people who actively participate in politics. In the end, they don’t care much about the electoral process let alone changing it. Yet, most of the population enjoys the sense of security.”

    I’m not sure where you’re going with this. I am deeply critical of the election process in my country, Australia, I am deeply critical of bourgeois democracy, for me it is not real democracy, yet it is simply absurd to compare that situation to a totalitarian dictatorship (including when it throws a fake “election” circus and then the Ministry of Truth gives out some concocted figures for “votes.”) If you don’t get that, I’ll need to send you a reading list.

    As for “security,” do you really think it is ‘security” when your kids are taken away by the cops and not returned, or returned tortured to death, for the crime of writing some signs on a wall? You are aware that this was how the uprising (ie, still the peaceful uprising for many months after this) began in March 2011, I assume? Maybe consider the idea that those people knew better than you whether they were “secure” or not and that is precisely why they rose.

    “Syrians had security.”

    No, they didn’t.

    “They had a problem with the government and with democracy, yes.”

    “A problem with democracy.” Yeh, like the Germans had with Hitler. Bit of a problem with democracy. Geez, imagine getting upset about that.

    “Yet, they didn’t use any such democracy before going out to the “freedom fight”.”

    Of course they did. Eight months of it. Or do you consider even peaceful protest to be something you shouldn’t engage in unless you have a vote of the whole country?

    “In the age of the Internet, no one can claim there wasn’t any means to ask the PEOPLE about their WILL. The argument that the Internet wasn’t safe could be valid, yet this doesn’t justify the complete ABSENCE of such an effort, before going to war.”

    All dealt with above already.

    “People who take you to war against your will, are not fighting for freedom.”

    Who are these “people” and who is this “your”? What if they are the same? What iof people took themselves into a “war” (revolution)?

    “Finally, dear friend, my suggestion to return immediately to security does not imply that I am assuming anything about WILL of the government. Yet, any peaceful bystander would say that killing will bring more killing. If you read my words carefully you would agree with me that the cost of this war exceeds by far what people expected, whether they’ve been warned about it or not. It is not an option to continue fighting without at least asking the leaders of the “freedom fight” where they are going?” Etc.

    Al, if your point is simply that the sides have reached stalemate, indeed long ago, and no matter that the war is the fault of the regime, that there is simply no military solution, and therefore if some kind of ceasefire could be hammered out, even if conditions are far from perfect, then it would be better than continued fighting, then I’m in agreement, in fact I have made that point over and over.
    But the issue is, how do you do that? And kin what terms? You seem to think that, because it was the ‘decision” of the revolution to take up arms against a previously “secure” situation, that all they have to do is announce they are laying down their arms. That is what you are saying, right?
    And so they lay down their arms and then the regime moves in and slaughters, jails, tortures, wipes out everything in its path, then that is also OK? Or do you assume the regime will say, oh, OK, that’s nice, we’ll stop killing too? Get real. The reason there can be no ceasefire at this stage is because the regime feels under so little pressure, precisely due to the lack of quality arms in the hands of the opposition to really pressure the regime into some kind of decent compromise with some reform and some guarantees for the opposition. That si why my support for a ceasefire differs from the pacifist support for one – in my view, some good arms would actually be necessary to move the goalposts enough to force the regime to compromise.

    You know that a deal was worked out in Homs, don’t you? About 6 months ago? Homs was the city that Assad completely levelled, turned into Hiroshima. Finally, the rebels did give in. A ceasefire, involving total Assadist victory, was signed by the rebels as they saw, understandably, that nothing more could be gained. They were promised safe passage out. Some 700 have just disappeared.

  5. A lot of your arguments make sense if we assume western media depicts RealIty, always.
    Yet, proof is what we seek.

    The first paragraph is very most important, as I was trying to explain where I am coming from, and what constitutes a valid assumption. I reiterate: I am not living in Syria. As all “westerners” we should not be carried away by emotions nor should we assume that one version has superiority over another version. The quest for truth is the main reason why we are arguing. Bystanders like me, we are looking for proof that one version is better than the other. The first version is about a revolution and the second version is about armed terrorists taking the country to chaos. So far, fighters in the “freedom fight” has failed to provide proof that all the stories we hear in western media, essentially pro-revolutionary-theory are based in reality as opposed to being just rumours. Because in 2011 the regime warned about terrorists and because there is consensus today that their predictions are based in reality, I can’t help but seek proof. Both versions seem to have support. Proof is lacking. Even when the Americans claimed to have proof about a chemical attack, they favored “secrecy” over “sharing evidence”, a crime in most legal systems when it comes to individuals hiding evidence.

    In the proof-seeking mindset, when you say that the regime fired on protesters, it’s true that we heard that in the media. But this is the same media that told us that weapons of mass destruction were threatening the world from Iraq. Why should we believe that? Additionally pro-regime media said that the firing came in response of terrorists carrying guns.

    You say: “If you have some specific criticism or specific knowledge about the opposition which suggest it is trying to establish a dictatorship…”. The proof is that when allies of IsRael are the ones supporting revolution, and when IsRael is your occupier, if you side with them, you’re a traitor. Review laws from any country. Most Syrians are not traitors. Most Syrians don’t want to side with IsRael. If revolutionary weapon sources came from Palestine, Russia, China … it’s a whole different story. You can’t ally yourself with your enemy and call yourself revolutionary. Forcing treason on the majority IS dictatorship.

    You say: “regime that has conducted a largely one-sided slaughter over the last three years”. I have to give you the benefit of the doubt, but again, like I said in paragraph 1, I’m a bystander. The crimes of the regime are your version of the story. There are two versions. How can you PROVE to a bystander, like myself, that the revolutionary-version is the Real and credible one, especially when the revolutionary-allies are allies of IsRael, your occupier ? Strong-allies of IsRael is a better statement. Let’s just leave IsRael aside for the rest of the argumentation.

    You say: “You seem to simply mean they should give up”. What I am trying to tell you is that, if you don’t ask defenders of “the freedom fight” about the COST (Namely human cost), they will keep going forward until all Syrian population is dead. There is “FREEDOM”, and it’s only a concept. And there is “FREEDOM AT ANY COST”. No one, would tell you we want “FREEDOM AT ANY COST”. Wars should have Objectives (not concepts for a goal) and Plans (how to achieve the objective). A war with no goal can very well be likened to terrorism.

    You say: “If you don’t get that, I’ll need to send you a reading list.” As I said, I am not trying to evaluate the performance of the Government. In my “first paragraph”, I gave the Syrians ownership of that. To me it’s clear that I am asserting a point: The cost of this war far exceeds the expectations, and if we are to ignore that, what difference between us and a dictator killing his people?

    Leaders of the “freedom fight” are saying Assad is such a dictator and they are saying he’s an assassin and they said he’s exterminating them with chemicals and still, they NEVER considered stopping – for good. What do you say of someone who takes you on a plane ride without having a license to fly the plane? Or worse, that person already explicitly tells you that the plane WILL CRASH ?

    You say: “do you really think it is ‘security””. As you know, security is a relative concept. Security they had is by far better than security they have today. Let alone the “HOPE for a better future” that I see now as lost since kids have lost three years of their lives, they still have to rebuild, they still have to dream about social harmony, they still have to dream about focus and success and competitiveness.

    You say: “Yeah, like the Germans had with Hitler…”. Again, to you these might be facts. We have seen the media lying before (WMD). Media is not proof. I am a bystander and this discussion is especially about seeking proof as opposed to a statement made by “western regimes over friendly media”.

    You say: “What if people took themselves into a “war” (revolution)?”. If that was the case, I will be a supporter of their will (Although I am not confident that revolutions can ever create sustainable progress since the chasm they create takes a century to repair). But you seem to forget our initial letter: Majority of people have fled their homes. It’s not those people who started the revolution. You can’t fight and flee both at the same time.

    In that sense, those who are fighting are the ones entertaining this situation of chaos. Their intentions might be heroic, maybe. It is possible that their pain was so unbearable to the point they decided to fight. But that doesn’t make them a majority. If a minority is suffering, it doesn’t mean it is democratic for everyone else to be dragged to war. It could be understandable, but never democratic.

    Sure, when African Americans decided to fight, they didn’t form a majority, but pain became unbearable. Most of the rest of the population though, had witnessed directly (not through media), discrimination on African Americans. I’ve been in Syria, and most people there, including in far areas, could hold a smile for the time a tourist was with them. Do you think African Americans could ever bear to smile? Even today, they can’t smile like white people.
    You say: “But the issue is, how do you do that? And in what terms? You seem to think that, because it was the ‘decision” of the revolution to take up arms against a previously “secure” situation, that all they have to do is announce they are laying down their arms. That is what you are saying, right?”. Actually that’s not what I am suggesting here. I am suggesting that parties should take ownership of their mistakes as opposed to blaming the other party. Opposition has to admit that, for the least, it has as much responsibility in the killings as the regime. The argument is this: “They said he’s a dictator, and they fought against him”. If you take your son to the zoo, then you put him in a lion’s cage, don’t blame the lion for being a lion. Hadn’t they said since 2011 that he’s a dictator and killer ?

    You say: “Or do you assume the regime will say, oh, OK, that’s nice, we’ll stop killing too? Get real.”. I agree with you, the situation is not easy. If the government labels them as traitors, it is surprising they’d be left alone. But negotiation can achieve miracles, look at Europe. Yet, every second is more civilian casualties. Stopping the war shouldn’t be a tough decision to make. Putting down the weapons is harder to achieve. We don’t have to mix the two decisions. Look at neighboring countries. Even South America has lived with Government and Rebels side-by-side. Balance can be reached without extermination.

    Al

  6. “A lot of your arguments make sense if we assume western media depicts Reality, always.
    Yet, proof is what we seek … reality as oppose to being just rumours.”

    How tiresome. I’ve said my bit, I recommend you go and do some reading. I don’t get my information from “the western media.” Actually, you probably do. The entire “left” discourse about the Syrian revolution being all about “jihadists” etc is simply imperialist media propaganda, just that “the ;left” doesn’t recognise it. How ironic that “the left” has crapped on for years about “imperialist-backed jihadists undermining the progressive Assad regime,” pure nuts, but then you see that in fact everything turned out just as we other leftists had predicted: the US never supported the Syrian opposition, never bombed Assad even when the crossed their chemical ‘red line” – indeed the entire “war threat” last August was just theatre that only “the left” believed – and then now, it is precisely the jihadists that the US is bombing, and just at the same time Assad also remembers to bomb ISIS as well.

    So why would the US and western media be wanting to make “propaganda” against Assad? I have no idea. That’s why they’re not. On the contrary, we hardly hear half the story of the reality in Syria. We mainly hear about the jihadist threat. But you believe what you want. Come back when you’ve done some reading, thanks.

  7. Al Morce:

    I can’t believe I’ve actually read your comments right to the end. Al, you are an idiot and should take up some innocuous hobby, rather than ‘seeking truth’ about something you clearly haven’t got the foggiest clue about. You are hopelessly out of your debt here. Trying to explain what is actually going on in Syria/ME to you would be a bit like trying to explain quantum physics to someone who doesn’t know how to spell ‘algebra’.

    Don’t take it personal, ‘Al’… but please go away.

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