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Member since: Fri Sep 20, 2013, 05:55 PM
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The pundits were wrong about Assad and the Islamic State. As usual, they're not willing to admit it

By Max Abrahms and John Glaser

The Islamic State is a shadow of its former self. In 2014, the extremist group seemed to make substantial inroads in achieving its stated goal of a caliphate. It boasted tens of thousands of fighters and territorial control over an area roughly the size of South Korea. By almost every metric, Islamic State has collapsed in its Syria stronghold, as well as in Iraq. As a former foreign fighter recently admitted, “It’s over: there is no more Daesh left,” using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

The rollback of Islamic State must come as a shock to the chorus of journalists and analysts who spent years insisting that such progress would never happen without toppling the regime of Bashar Assad — which is, of course, still standing. A cavalcade of opinion makers long averred that Islamic State would thrive in Syria so long as Assad ruled because the Syrian Arab Army was part of the same disease.

John Bolton, former United Nations ambassador under George W. Bush, insisted in the New York Times that “defeating the Islamic State” is “neither feasible nor desirable” if Assad remains in power. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham asserted that “defeating Islamic State also requires defeating Bashar Assad.” Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution prescribed a policy of “building a new Syrian opposition army capable of defeating both President Bashar al-Assad and the more militant Islamists.” Similarly, Max Boot, a contributing writer to this newspaper, argued that vanquishing Islamic State was futile unless the U.S. also moved to depose the “Alawite regime in Damascus.” Like other regime-change salesmen, he pitched a no-fly zone across the country to facilitate airstrikes against the Assad government, while boosting aid to the so-called moderate rebels.

Prominent Syria analysts also claimed that Assad supported, even sponsored Islamic State. CNN’s Michael Weiss pushed the line that Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin would not fight Islamic State and that Syria and Russia were the group’s “unacknowledged air force.” His co-author, Hassan Hassan, contended that the Syrian regime must go because “Assad has never fought [Islamic State] before.”

For a while, everywhere one looked, the media was peddling the same narrative. The Daily Beast described Islamic State fighters as “Assad’s henchmen.” The New York Times promoted the idea that “Assad’s forces” have been “aiding” Islamic State by “not only avoiding” the group “but actively seeking to bolster their position.” Time parroted the pro-regime-change line that “Bashar Assad won't fight” Islamic State.

But these popular arguments were, to put it mildly, empirically challenged.


The notion that Assad “won’t fight” Islamic State was always wrong. The notion that “defeating Islamic State also requires defeating Bashar Assad” was, likewise, always wrong. By now it should be obvious that the Syrian Arab Army has played a role in degrading Islamic State in Syria — not alone, of course, but with Russian and Iranian partners, not to mention the impressive U.S.-led coalition. In marked contrast to pundit expectations, the group’s demise was inversely related to Assad’s power. Islamic State’s fortunes decreased as his influence in the country increased.

Equally contrary to analyst predictions, the group imploded right after external support for the “moderate” rebels dried up. The weakening of the rebels was a major setback for Islamic State because Assad could finally focus his firepower on the group. Fewer weapon shipments into the theater, moreover, meant fewer arms fell into the hands of Salafi jihadists.

Continue reading at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-abrahms-glaser-isis-assad-20171210-story,amp.html

Fantastic article that I could bold just about every single word in it. The only problem I have with the article is that it failed to make a connection and/or comparison with the disaster that is Libya and also the fact that it believes that the US led coalition ever fought ISIS in Syria. ISIS grew its territory while the US were dominating the skies in Syria and this only reversed once the Russians joined the fight. They took Raqqa, most of eastern Syria while the US sponsored mercenaries were busy distracting the Syrian Arab army(SAA). They only "fought" ISIS in Syria even if you can call it that when it dawned on them that the Syrian army were going to defeat ISIS so they decided to just swapped the oil rich region from ISIS to their new merc force aka Syrian democratic forces. And did I mention the fact that that US coalition let the Raqqa ISIS contingent escape into the desert? yea those guys whose goals were the same as ISIS were fighting ISIS in Syria :rollseyes:

The sad part is that 99% of the so called anti war and otherwise progressive politicians in the democratic party supported the stupid notion of "Assad must go". Even Bernie freaking Sanders mouthed this insane neocon line.

Libya "Chose" Freedom, Now It Has Slavery

NOVEMBER 27, 2017
Libya “Chose” Freedom, Now It Has Slavery

NATO’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 has justifiably earned its place in history as an indictment of Western foreign policy and a military alliance which since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been deployed as the sword of this foreign policy. The destruction of Libya will forever be an indelible stain on the reputations of those countries and leaders responsible.

But now, with the revelation that people are being sold as slaves in Libya (yes, you read that right. In 2017 the slave trade is alive and kicking Libya), the cataclysmic disaster to befall the country has been compounded to the point where it is hard to conceive of it ever being able to recover – and certainly not anywhere near its former status as a high development country, as the UN labelled Libya 2010 a year prior to the ‘revolution’.

Back in 2011 it was simply inconceivable that the UK, the US and France would ignore the lessons of Iraq, just nine years previously in 2003. Yet ignore them they did, highlighting their rapacious obsession with maintaining hegemony over a region that sits atop an ocean of oil, despite the human cost and legacy of disaster and chaos which this particular obsession has wrought.

When former UK Prime Minister David Cameron descended on Benghazi in eastern Libya in the summer of 2011, basking in the glory of the country’s victorious ‘revolution’ in the company of his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, he did so imbued with the belief he had succeeded in establishing his legacy as a leader on the global stage. Like Blair before him, he’d won his war and now was intent on partaking of its political and geopolitical spoils.

Cameron told the crowd, “Your city was an inspiration to the world, as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom.”

Pondering the former UK prime minister’s fatuous boast, I am reminded of a conversation I had recently with the driver of a cab taking me home to my apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland. During our exchange he informed me that he was originally from Libya, before going on to reveal that he was forced to flee the country after his family were massacred by Cameron’s freedom-loving revolutionaries in 2011. In Libya, prior to the ‘revolution’ and NATO’s air campaign, he’d been a petroleum engineer with a PhD. Now he was working ten hours a day driving a cab in Scotland in the middle of winter.

The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues for whom the world with all its complexities is reduced to a giant chessboard upon which countries such as Libya have long been mere pieces to be moved around and changed at their pleasure and in their interests – interests which are inimical to the people of the countries they deem ripe for regime change.

The word extremist is perhaps overused in our lexicon, but it is entirely appropriate when describing the pro-war neocon lobby that exerts inordinate influence on Western foreign policy. We are talking a class of rich, privileged and expensively educated men and women who are bent on purifying the world in the name of democracy. The end result has been a litany of countries destabilized and turned upside down with the lives of their citizens completely upended in the process.

War and regime change without end remains their credo, driving them ever onwards as they lurch from one disaster to the other, intent, per Beckett, on failing once, trying again, and failing better.

In 2011 the Libyan people fell victim to the West’s crude attempt to hijack the momentum of the Arab Spring at the very point at which it came to the end of its reach. The speed of its spread and mass support in Tunisia and Egypt, where it succeeded in toppling two pro-Western dictators in the shape of Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, caught Washington and its allies by surprise.

Continue reading at https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/27/libya-chose-freedom-now-it-has-slavery/

Seeing as this is a trending topic with many of my Nigerian friends with more and more horrifying pics and videos being posted on whatsapp message boards day after day(facebook is scrubbing those information seeing as they probably doing to prevent another Russia propaganda campaign :rollseyes: ). Just wanted to remind lots of the people who supported the intervention in Libya and still support it today about the glorious achievement they made in that country.

Another thing is this, according to Rachel Maddow, the post Gaddafi govt paid the US and NATO back for the cost of the 6 month of bombardment of the country. Essentially, it did not cost the country a penny for what they did.

US: Russia, Syria Should Face War Crimes Probe

In the video recorded on Oct 7, John Kerry is seen talking about a hospital that was hit last night where 20 people were killed and a 100 more were injured. I am one of those people who has followed the war in Syria very closely and I have no idea which hospital or bombing this man is talking about. I did a custom google search from Oct. 5 to Oct 7 and got not hits, I also went on liveleak, Al Jazeera, msf.org etc etc and there have been no news stories that matched the incident he is describing or any hospital bombing for that matter on the 5th or 6th of October.

I don't want to call him a liar or anything but does anyone here know which story this man is talking about?

Please, do not hit the alert button if this post makes you mad or if you do not have an answer to my question. There is no name calling contained in this post, also the video is from an AP coverage of a John Kerry press conference so it cannot be flagged as kooky source. I am being very careful with my posts cos I am afraid that the alerters will come for me again just like they have tried to removed my last 4 posts on this site.

Thanks in advance.

US and EU Sanctions Are Devastating Syrian Civilians

They have resulted in a worsened humanitarian crisis and the empowerment of Assad, yet show no signs of being lifted soon, says journalist Rania Khalek

US attack on Syrian troops not an accident, definitely intentional – Assad to AP

Published on Sep 22, 2016
Syrian President Bashar Assad says that US airstrikes which killed 62 Syrian government troops were 'intentional' and they lasted for an hour. He added that the US 'does not have the will' to join Russia in fighting terrorists in Syria.

US Attack on Syrian Army Helps ISIS Gain Ground

New York Times Misidentifies Aleppo Twice in Story About Gary Johnson’s Aleppo Gaffe

Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson went on MSNBC's Morning Joe today and admitted in response to a question about Aleppo, Syria, that he had no idea what "Aleppo" was. This was a pretty big mistake for someone who is likely to get millions of votes in the upcoming presidential election, so the New York Times wrote a story about it. Except that its story misidentified Aleppo.


ISIS's de facto capital is Raqqa, not Aleppo. Whoops! But the paper realized its mistake pretty quickly and changed the story. From an archive site:

Here's the problem: Aleppo is not an ISIS stronghold, either. It's a divided city that doesn't have much of an ISIS presence and is the site of heavy ongoing fighting between the Syrian government and other rebels. So the Times had to change its story again.

Ruling: Finally correct.

Meanwhile, a gentleman named Christopher Hill who was the U.S.'s ambassador to Iraq under Obama also made the Raqqa/Aleppo mistake while ostensibly having a laugh at Johnson's expense.


The funny thing about this whole hit job is that Aleppo would be much better place if the neocons now funding Wahhabi mercenaries to fight in Syria did not know what Aleppo is. But sadly for Aleppo they know what it is and have pumped in enough money, weapons and fighters to keep the war going for almost 6 years now. Now aren't we all glad that they know what Aleppo is?

Also, its not that he did not know what Aleppo is, its just that with the weird way he pronounced the city threw him off that he needed a moment to think about it.

Photojournalist behind ‘Aleppo boy’ image posed with child executioners

Please stop censoring my videos about Syria. You can't keep deeming every video that is pro Syria as Kooky and hateful. Thanks
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