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Total number of comments: 11 (since 2013-12-28 00:31:15)

Louis Proyect

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  • Is Daesh/ ISIL a modern Raiding Pirate state?
    • "political concerns about the image of Kurdish or Shiite allies of the US on the ground conquering Sunni Arab populations simply have to be set aside."

      But it is exactly that which led to the growth of Daesh in the first place.

  • American Hypocrisy: Against Muslim Sharia law at home, Calls it "Moderate" in Syria
    • The issue is not so much the use of barrel bombs but where they are used. Dropping them on open air markets is a war crime. When steel fragments are scattered over a 360 degree angle, it tends to kill everybody in sight, including women and children trying to buy food. This is generally the strategy of Assad, to terrorize the population just like the Israelis in Gaza. It is a disgrace that so many "leftists" cheer such bestiality because they feel the need to put a plus where Samantha Power puts a minus.

    • Hospitals being bombed in Syria and you get your knickers twisted over Sharia? Nice Christopher Hitchens imitation, I must say.

  • Syria flying Russia-supplied Drones, Fighter Jets against ISIL/ Daesh
    • Likewise, the US now seems willing to negotiate with al-Assad.


      Actually, there is a de facto united front of Russia, Israel, the USA, and Iran against not only ISIS but any threat to the Assadist dictatorship. By intervening against ISIS, Russia allows the Syrian air force to step up its horrific bombing of rebel controlled areas like Douma, hence increasing the amount of refugees flowing out of Syria. I wonder why someone as astute as Juan Cole has so much trouble seeing this.

  • Russia Ramping up Military Involvement in Syria?
    • "The increased Russian presence is likely intended to deter the US from striking at al-Assad forces, as Washington said it was contemplating in early August. "

      So odd to see such a distinguished scholar articulate an opinions so at odds with the reality. For four years now we have been hearing about Obama's "regime change" intentions in Syria from elements on the left who somehow ignored the reality.

      To start with, there was never any intention by Barack Obama to launch a “humanitarian intervention” in Syria whatever people like Nicholas Kristof or Samantha Power sought. On October 22nd, 2013, the NY Times reported that “from the beginning, Mr. Obama made it clear to his aides that he did not envision an American military intervention, even as public calls mounted that year for a no-fly zone to protect Syrian civilians from bombings.” The article stressed the role of White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, who had frequently clashed with the hawkish Samantha Power. In contrast to Power and others with a more overtly “humanitarian intervention” perspective, McDonough “who had perhaps the closest ties to Mr. Obama, remained skeptical.” The Times added, “He questioned how much it was in America’s interest to tamp down the violence in Syria.”

  • Syria: What if Turkey and Saudi Arabia install al-Qaeda in Damascus?
    • Juan, your post is a little messed up but I can glean from it that the jihadists killed two Christians in Idlib and thus (implicitly) the Baathists have to be supported as a lesser evil, which coincidentally is the position of the Obama administration even though you seem loath to admit it. As it turns out the reality in Idlib is more complex than you seem willing to admit. This is from the 3/31 NY Times:

      Tensions are already evident in Idlib over the treatment of Christians, a bellwether issue. Two activists, who asked not to be identified out of fear for their safety, said that foreign fighters from Nusra had killed two Christians after hearing they worked in a liquor store.

      They said that fighters from Ahrar al-Sham had rebuked the foreigners and set up checkpoints to protect Christians from them.

      Abdullah Mohamad Al-Muhaisini, a Saudi Islamic law jurist traveling with the fighters, used Twitter to construct a complex argument against killing Christians who do not resist.

      Christians appeared to be suffering from both sides, as rescuers said government airstrikes hit Christians’ homes. In video of shaken, crying residents in smoking, damaged homes, a non-veiled woman yelled, “bastard tyrant!”

  • Juan Cole: Syria, Yemen Conflicts only seem to be about Sunni-Shiite from 30,000 Feet
    • Juan, I see you are doubling down on this business about al-Qaeda being influenced by Karl Marx. I have deep respect for you as an expert on the Middle East but I think you are in over your head when it comes to Marxism. You are describing something much more akin to Blanquism. The idea that sabotage was used to "provoke" the workers by inciting police repression is simply wrong. Sabotage has been used by socialists in guerrilla warfare such as in Cuba when pro-Batista sugar mills were burned but it was not and is not a tactic for "sparking" worker resistance. They burned sugar mills in Cuba in order to weaken the social base of a dictatorship and not in order to bring about police repression. The Cuban people did not need lessons on how repressive the capitalist state could be, after all.

  • Iraq: Looming War of Shiite, Kurdish, Extremist-Sunni Militias
    • In Syria, it was Lebanese Hizbullah intervention that allowed the regime to recover Homs from Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.


      Actually, it was months and months of missiles, barrel bombs, artillery, and a blockade of food and medical aid that did the trick. It is rather sad that Juan does not understand this. He should try to see the documentary "Return to Homs".

  • US Arms Shiite Iraqi Gov't to Kill Sunni Rebels, Arms Syrian Sunni Rebels to overthrow Shiite Gov't
    • Reuters, Sept. 10:
      One U.S. government source said it was "unlikely" that any U.S.-supplied arms were on the ground in the hands of Syrian rebels at this time, while not dismissing the possibility that such aid was in the works.


      Meanwhile, even as lethal aid never materialized, non-lethal aid as well was terminated after the warehouse in the north was overrun. Maybe Juan meant to write "Obama admin has admitted promising covert aid to rebels" as in "Obama admin has promised that the economy will be fully recovered".

    • But in the case of Syria, the US is supporting the rebellion against the Baath government of Bashar al-Assad,


      Really? How so? With words? In fact American imperialism has been not provided any weapons to the FSA as the NY Times has reported, let alone the jihadists who might be targeted with drones as the LA Times reported.

  • Top Ten Ways President Obama has Expanded our Rights, in Rev. King's Footsteps

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