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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:33 PM

 

Syrian rebels unify, create new 30-member council

Source: AP

BEIRUT — Syrian rebel commanders have elected a new 30-member leadership council and a chief of staff, a senior rebel said Saturday in a major step toward unifying the opposition that is fighting to oust President Bashar Assad.

The Supreme Military Council, which was chosen Friday during a meeting in Turkey, will work with the political leadership that was chosen last month in Qatar.

But the al-Qaida inspired group Jabhat al-Nusra, was excluded, the rebel official said, as the rebels apparently move to sideline the extremists who have proven skilled fighters but raised concerns among Western allies.

The rebel official, a senior member of the main rebel group the Free Syrian Army, said more than 550 rebel commanders and representatives began meeting Wednesday in the Turkish resort of Antalya. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the meeting's outcome.

The fight to oust Assad has long been hobbled by the opposition's inability to forge a united front and command structure. The move was the most serious attempt by the rebels, who are backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, to fix that. If successful, it could be a turning point in the conflict as the rebels close in on the capital Damascus, Assad's seat of power.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/12/08/chemical-weapons-syria-assad/1755377/

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Syrian rebels unify, create new 30-member council (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 OP
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #1
oberliner Dec 2012 #2
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #5
oberliner Dec 2012 #7
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #8
oberliner Dec 2012 #9
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #10
oberliner Dec 2012 #11
John2 Dec 2012 #13
John2 Dec 2012 #14
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #15
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #18
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #19
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #21
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #22
Blunt477 Dec 2012 #3
John2 Dec 2012 #4
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #16
libodem Dec 2012 #6
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #12
reACTIONary Dec 2012 #17
allrevvedup Dec 2012 #20

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:40 PM

1. Did they set up their own bank yet, like the Libyan 'rebels' did?

Western proxies for regime change, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:45 PM

2. What is your take on the situation?

What is your perception of the conflict?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:12 PM

5. It is not a grass roots uprising.

Neither was Libya. Both had outsiders arming and supporting the 'rebels' from the start.

Egypt and Tunisia otoh, were grassroots revolutions. The protesters were never armed nor did they have these 'councils' legitimized by outsiders. Nor did they rush to set up banks when they succeeded to peacefully topple their dictators.

When the first act of a so-called grass roots revolution is to go for the money, and/or the oil, before the battle is even won, we know that this is not what it seems. They did ride on the wave of real revolution and for a while some of us were fooled, but early on, in Libya eg, it was impossible to continue to view that as a grassroots revolution.

Hillary Clinton actually told us 'how we now fight wars' after Libya. Western interests use proxy armies to avoid the antagonism towards NATO invading any more ME or African nations.

I am sure the facts will be revealed over time. I just am not buying the 'grassroots' story, not by a long shot.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:37 PM

7. Thanks for sharing your insights

How do you see this playing out in the end?

Will Assad hang on?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:24 PM

8. Probably he will leave or be murdered as happened with Gadaffi.

I don't believe he can hang on with so much opposition from the outside. This whole effort appears to be 'regime change'. Why I do not know. He does seem to have a lot of support within in Syria and if there were no outside influences, then I would say he would probably survive.

I do not like Assad, don't get me wrong, and it would be wonderful if he was replaced with a much more democratic government. But I don't see that happening. I see him being replaced by some Western friendly entity as was Libya's government. With so many different factions in Syria, that won't satisfy everyone either, it will probably have the opposite effect.

Most likely the unrest that continues in Libya and probably will for a very time, will continue in Syria also.

If western intervention was the solution for all these countries, we would have seen more than 60 years of peace and democracy in the region. So I'm not hopeful for the outcome, regardless of what it is. For the ordinary Syrians, it is just plain tragic, as it was for Libyans and Iraqis.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:25 PM

9. Quite a pessimistic outlook

Let's hope things turn out better.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:25 PM

10. Well, we were right to be pessimistic about Iraq and Libya, so we do have precedent.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 05:30 PM

11. Things could still end up better in those places

The story hasn't been entirely written yet.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:27 AM

13. Well step back,

 

and look at the entire string of events. If, you were a historian, then you would go all the way back to World War II. The U.S. had no involvement in the Middle East, none what so ever. Great Britain once had an Empire in the Middle East which included the former Ottoman Empire. After World War II, enter the U.S. Before World War II, there wasn't such a state called Israel. The only Israel that existed was 4000 years ago. The Arabs invaded that territory a long time ago and the land iccupied now by European Jews, before World War II was known as Palestine.

The territory, that the British received from the former Ottoman Empire, became uncontrollable, when the British tried to relocate Jews into Palestine. Then began the war over land, between the Jews and Palestinians. It became Britain's hell hole. Then enters the U.S. after World War II and their desire to find a home land for Holocaust Jews. This has been the U.S. Holy grail ever since, without any sensitivity for the Arabs in that region. One can see this as a racist Foreign Policy. Who would of thought that from a country that had racism among its own during that time. Our Government is no Angel and never has been. So for any U.S. politician to pretend so is laughable, especially with how Hillary Clinton found it hard to believe Obama could become President in the U.S.

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Response to John2 (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:46 AM

14. And furthermore,

 

the attack on Iraq was a farce. The U.S. and Britain both armed these dictators(Hussein,Assad,Moubarrack,etc.etc.etc.) to check the mob (Arab populations) for their racist policies. They used their religion, to justify it. Islam is one of the oldest religions in the World. People in the West don't understand it. Some of their sects are very draconian, such as Sharia.

And to to show it was a racist farce perpetrated by Tony Blair and George W. Bush, people are now trying to accuse them of War Crimes, after leaking secret files of what really went on in Iraq. It involves General Petraeus also. Petraeus tried to do the same thing in Afghanistan too, which has been alluded to by that President. When the chronicles of History is written about the real truth, I'm afraid it will tarnish the U.S. and Britain. And Mr Petraeus, not General as far as I'm concerned, should be a War criminal. And President Obama is going along with it.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:54 PM

15. The Syrian ruling class is Alawite, the majority population is Sunni...

This is a religio-ethnic civil war created by an unstable and injust internal social condition. I can see no obvious reason for thinking that "regime change" would be in the interest of the West. I can see that the vast majority Sunni populous in the region would consider the brutal Alawite dominance of Syria to be an injustice.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:56 PM

18. Well the same could be said of Bahrain, Uzbekistan and many other countries around

the world. There are always factions that are oppressing other factions, but that is their business to deal with.

As for the interests of the West, the toppling of the Syrian Regime has long been discussed as a strategic necessity to Western interests. See Michael Ledeen, John Bolton et al on why it is on their list of seven countries where regime change is necessary.

It is obvious that arms are pouring into the country from outside and that people, mostly innocent people, are dying.

If we truly cared about dictatorships we would never have supported just about all of them over the past several decades, nor would we be currently supporting Karamov or the Bahraini Royal family. We are selective in our criticisms of dictatorships. Maybe we should just mind our own business and let the people of those countries finally deal with the results of Western interference going back to the old European Empires.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 05:46 PM

19. We are selective in our criticisms of dictatorships (TRUE) Mind our own business (FALSE)

I see no evidence that the United States or our Western allies are to blame for the current situation. As you said, there are factions all over the world - we aren't to blame for them or for the conflicts that arise due to them and that's the case here.

I think we have been doing about the best we can to mind our own business and let the Syrians settle this themselves. However, we have a strong interest in maintaining stability in this region. We have been acting, so far as I can tell, to contain the conflict within Syria and to keep it within the normal rules of war (by warning against WMD). I think that's appropriate.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 07:29 PM

21. Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't think we belong there at all. And

much of the current state of countries in the ME and in Africa is a direct result of centuries of interference by Western Empires. Now we appear to be the latest, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, drone killing people in several other countries etc. etc. And then we wonder 'why do they hate us'.

Leave them alone. They have a lot of work to do to sort out the problems left behind by centuries of Imperial rule but I think they are very capable of doing so just as we had to without any more interference from outside.

To say that the history of Western Imperial nations in Africa and the ME has nothing to do with the state of those countries today, is simply not true.

Read the PNAC plans for the ME. And what right do they have to have any plans for those countries. The very existence of people making plans for other countries in this country, some who have held high office, such as Cheney, is well known to the world. Libya and Syria were on their list.

You can't bring democracy to another country with bombs. I do not see one country that is better off after the West interfered in their affairs.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:48 PM

22. Agree to disagree - Agreed...

None the less, I do have some comments...

RE: "centuries of interference": Of course the interference of Western Imperial nations over centuries has had much to do with the creation of the current state of the ME. I don't think I said otherwise and I certainly did not mean otherwise. What I meant was that the PROXIMATE cause of the current Syrian conflict is the minority dictatorship of the Alawite over the majority Sunni population - an internal, structural cause - and not a plot or conspiracy on the part of the United States / CIA / Evil Western Imperialists to deliberately create conflict and instability. Which is what I believe has been suggested or implied in some of the posts I've seen on DU.

RE "Leave them alone": Stability and (hopefully) adoption of modern, western ideals of governance in the middle east is in our material self interest. ME oil is essential to the industrialized world; volatility and conflict in this region has, is and will cause us much harm. There isn't really any alternative to intervening given what is at stake.

That said, in this case our intervention has been aimed at keeping the conflict contained within Syria and with preventing it from becoming a true humanitarian disaster through the introduction of chemical weapons. This IS intervention, but it is as little as we can afford to do while letting them "work out" their problems.

RE "You can't bring democracy to another country with bombs": That's more or less true. Japan after WWII might be discussed as a counter-example. However, I don't think bringing democracy to Syria happens to be our objective. Who said that is was? I think it would be in our interest if the majority Sunnis were to establish a government that was legitimate in the eyes of the majority populace. This would, in a very small way, be a step towards democracy. But it wouldn't be anything like democracy as we know it, and it wouldn't be OUR bombs that brought it about.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:54 PM

3. Who Exactly Are These Rebels?

 

We Should Know Before The Job Is Done!!!

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Response to Blunt477 (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:54 PM

4. People

 

trying to get control of Syria. I don't agree with the U.S. Policy at all. I betcha none of these groups are a monolithic group and have culture ties. So they want to divide the country into five regions with their own war lords now? Then they will probably have a U.S. sponsored Constitution, which probably no group will agree to. And they already have a problem now by excluding the groups they labeled as extremists after the battles. So they think those excluded will just go away peacefully? I think the U.S. is full of it. The old Conquer and Divide Theory with the West is still alive.

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Response to Blunt477 (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:56 PM

16. They are basically the Sunni majority who are feed up with...

...the brutal rule of the minority Alawite regime. This is a religio-ethic civil war.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 04:13 PM

6. I hope that means keeping

The country safe for democracy. I hope it leads to a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, Not, some oligarchy installed by Shell Oil and Halliburton, puppet dictatorship, bullshit. That whole region is so unstable. So many refugees. God help them. How do they get help? Doctor's Without Borders? Who helps the people?

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Response to libodem (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 09:51 PM

12. Democracy, you have to be kidding

This new group is composed of mostly Brotherhood thugs, same ones trying to take over Egypt.

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Response to libodem (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 02:04 PM

17. The rebels are basically the Sunni majority (not "brotherhood thugs") who...

...are fed up with the brutal Alawite minority regime. It is a religio-ethnic civil war. In a very broad sense, ending the despotic rule of an ethnic minority is a progression towards democracy, but it is very unlikely to result in anything that you and I would recognize as a democracy.

At best, we can expect a more stable regime that at least has a stronger legitimacy in the eyes of the majority population.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 06:20 PM

20. Smash-and-snatch vulture capitalism writ large.

 

The polite term is "soft power." Look at Libya, Egypt, and (sorry Sabrina) Tunisia: highly functioning economies, with generous social safety nets and relatively high standards of living, driven after their glorious people-powered revolutions to pauperism and endless domestic feuding. Same with the color revolutions in former Soviet states: basket cases now all of them. Meanwhile Shell, Exxon, Halliburton and the bankers make out like bandits both ways, first on the military operations, then on the "liberated" assets. Old story, and let's not forget Afghanistan and Iraq.

So let's have a look at the freshly appointed leader of the Syrian "opposition" coalition, Sheikh Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib:


Sheikh Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib is a moderate religious figure who was for a time the Imam of the Omeyyades mosque in Damascus.


Surprise, he also works for Anglo-Dutch Shell. Or maybe not so surprising:


Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib in a suit, but without a tie.

In reality, there is absolutely no evidence that Sheikh Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib ever studied international relations and diplomacy, but he does have training as an engineer in geophysics. He worked for six years for the al-Furat Petroleum Company (1985-91), a joint-venture between the national company and other foreign enterprises, including the Anglo-Dutch Shell, with whom he has maintained contact.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article176707.html


plus ça change. . .


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