Third comment “Peace Action” did publish on Syria.

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Comment to Peace Action’s article by Jon Rainwater “Choosing the Path of Peace in Syria Part Three: The Perils of Another American Quagmire” https://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/choosing-the-path-of-peace-in-syria-part-three-the-perils-of-another-american-quagmire/#comment-75223

[start comment]

Article describes the US right wing obsession about ISIS, and the folly of sending US troops into Syria and Iraq to fight them. Seems fair comment to me. The author welcomes not supporting the armed Syrian Opposition (formed of many mostly cooperating groups!). Seems very wrong to me. Then he states Assad’s complete military victory will lead to Sunni radicalization. Obviously this is not an option either. So the author finishes with the statement “without a political solution, there is no path, for the foreseeable future at least, to sustainable peace in Syria”. It is obvious that a political solution is needed, but there is no way to convince Assad that he needs to take part in a meaningful political process. The Syrian Opposition have been saying for a long time now that it is very obvious that only the threat of a military defeat and meaningful consequences for war crimes, will lead the Assad clique to the negotiating table to engage with working on a political solution.

I must conclude that so far no path to peace has been described by these articles. Seems like a lot of feel good “progressive” talk, but no real solution. Tell this to the activists now waiting in Eastern Aleppo. Waiting now for death by bomb, bullet or if unlucky by torture and starvation. They must be glad you care. Perhaps you or they can convert their executioners to pacifism, any ideas on a speed course? The 4th part will smear the opposition and heap doubt on supporting them. Syria then will have been dealt with, by 4 well researched articles no less and we can breathe a sigh of relief.

[end comment]

 

 

Excellent summary of West progressives’ betrayal of Syrians

 

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[By: Mark Boothroyd, Facebook Post, 29th November 2016 …. Last Updated by Lara Keller 6/6/17]

Excellent summary of West progressives’ betrayal of Syrians

[start post]

The crushing of Aleppo was designed and implemented by the governments in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow, and permitted to occur by the governments in Washington, Berlin, London and Paris, but it was also aided and abetted by what passes for the Left and progressive forces globally.

How could Putin and Assad be reducing a city of 250,000 to rubble, without a hint of public opposition, if not for the lies, slander, misinformation, distortion and outright racism heaped on the Syrian revolt by hundreds of “anti-war”, “socialist” and “progressive” organisations?

These lies, slanders, the careful spreading of doubt and uncertainty, have all played a role in disabling and undermining any attempts to build solidarity with the revolt worldwide.

Whether with the gruesome adoption of “war on terror” language and narratives, whereby anyone supporting Syrian revolutionaries is supposedly backing Al-Qaeda or ISIS, or the more subtle, political and ultimately disempowering “anti-imperialist” arguments that we should concentrate on our own Westerns governments, that there was nothing we should or could do about Russian or Iranian interventions in Syria, the “Left” and it’s representatives played a key role in undermining solidarity with the Syrian revolt.

How else to explain the inaction? Over 500,000 have been killed, yet there have been none of the mass mobilisations which greeted the US attack on Iraq, or Israel’s periodic assaults on Gaza, or its war on Lebanon. Syrians protested for years demanding help, and were greeted with silence and inaction.

Russia and Assad bombed 120 schools in 2015, yet did a single teachers union protest this atrocious attack upon children and the right to education? 71 hospitals have been bombed by Russia and Assad in the last 6 months, but has a single health union worldwide condemned these atrocious attacks upon medical staff and civilians? Tens of thousands have been tortured to death is Assads dungeons, but this doesn’t stop leftists talking positively about the “stability” of the Assad regime versus the “chaos” and “extremism” of the rebel areas. The Syrian army employed mass rape as a tactic against women, yet feminist organisations remained silent, or focused instead on the lack of women in conservative rebel groups, or the presence of the hijab and niqab in opposition areas, versus the “secularism” of the regime controlled areas.

250,000 civilians have been besieged and are in the process of being bombed, starved and massacred in Aleppo, yet no anti-war organisation has called a protest against this. It’s left to Syrians themselves, liberal human rights groups and Syria solidarity groups to organise the only protests against this horrific massacre.

There can be no excuses for this. The Syrian conflict is the most well documented in history. It’s playing out on our television screens every night. “I didn’t know” won’t work as a reason for doing nothing. “It was too complicated” will just seem like studied ignorance. “I didn’t know what to do” will explain the vast majority of people, but what of the political activists, those who claim to have the answers, to believe in struggle for a better world? What can they say?

What can we say? Little, except that we failed. Or didn’t even try. And the entire world is going to pay the price of that failure. Is already paying the price of that failure. The price is Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, Orban, Sisi, and every other authoritarian, strongman or fascists who has ridden to power on the effects of the chaos spread by the Assad regime in Syria. The chaos that the Left did nothing to stop, and much to aid and abet.

[end post]

West’s Darkening Hour

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Ruth Riegler, Facebook Post, 22nd Nov 2016

Le Pen, like Farage and Trump, is another of Putin’s fascist stooges and Assad’s “natural allies”. It’s almost like Vlad has a plan…
‘Europe’s darkening hour? Populist movement smacks of the fascist past’

22-11-2016: ‘…Europe is sensitive to the rise of fascism given how quickly the misery of the severe economic crises of the 1930s morphed into nationalism. Is that where we are now?

“The boundaries of reason disappeared with Brexit. The main lesson for us in France is that Marine Le Pen can win,” conservative former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told RTL radio. It was a view shared by fellow former premier Dominique de Villepin.

Across Europe, there is a kind of awakening. In Austria, where elections will take place in December, Norbert Hofer and his Eurosceptic Freedom Party gained 49.7 percent of the vote with rhetoric that is largely anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant. Hofer even goes as far to wear a blue cornflower on his lapel, which was worn by Austrian Nazis in the 1930s as a secret symbol after their party was banned.

In Hungary, the twice-elected social conservative and Europe-skeptic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took the lead in rallying the right wing last year when he roared with Trump-like enthusiasm about building a razor-wire fence and using water cannons to block immigrants. Orbán has locked down his country with a zeal that would make Vladimir Putin proud: hindering free press, NGOs and the judiciary. Despite this, he is considered by many to be one of the most influential leaders in the European Union. Politico went as far as to call him the “talisman for Europe’s mainstream right.”

Holland could also go the way of a Trump-like tornado in their election next March. The country has long been wrought with problems stemming from an inability to assimilate its growing Muslim population. Geert Wilder from The Party for Freedom went as far as to call the American election a historic victory: “A revolution! We will also give our country back to the Dutch!”

In the UK, the father of Brexit, Nigel Farage of the UKIP Party, grandly said he was handing over the “mantle” to Trump. He did not specify which mantle but it is not hard to work out. Farage skipped Remembrance Day—a solemn holiday in Britain—to visit the new U.S. president.’

See Also:
Europe Newsweek Opinion: Europe’s Darkening Hour? Populist Movement Smacks of Fascist Past Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s victory, Le Pen’s rise in France and more give comfort to hard-right leaders who are evoking some of Europe’s darkest days.
By Janine di Giovanni,20th Nov 2016
http://europe.newsweek.com/europe-populist-movement-smacks-fascist-past-523093?rm=eu

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What is wrong with West progressive politics, a 3D approach.

As Putin and Assad regimes push to bomb their way to endless dictatorship in Syria. As the West progressives and the reactionaries both cheer Putin. As the rise of authoritarianism in Europe increases its speed. As the world’s economy teeters onwards on a wave of every type of debt. You might wonder what is wrong with progressive politics in the West.  This is a way of thinking about it:

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How this works, is up to you to think about.

Second comment “Peace Action” seem unable to publish on Syria.

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Not very surprised to find US Peace Action will now not publish a comment in response to their second article “Choosing the Path of Peace in Syria Part Two: Safe Zones Are Not Safe” (see https://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/choosing-the-path-of-peace-in-syria-part-two-safe-zones-arent-safe/ ). The comment reacting to Jon Rainwater’s article was not accepted so far, creating the impression that there is no reply to his arguments. The missing response is below:

[start comment they will not publish………]

To summarize “Safe Zones” need to be militarily protected and can become targets or encourage ethnic cleansing. Part 3 will look at No Bomb Zones (see https://partnershipblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/how-a-no-bomb-zone-would-work/) and assume will engage with others ideas of Charles Lister and others (see https://partnershipblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/recent-ideas-for-an-itinerary-of-strong-effective-action-to-empower-the-syrian-people-to-end-the-crisis/ ). Part 1 and 2 seem to be about which paths do not work. “Choosing the Path of Peace in Syria” looking forward to resolution on which path is available. Obama has tried sermonizing to Assad will no known result so far.

[end comment they will not publish………]

Comment “Peace Action” Will Not Publish On Syria

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Surprised to get some comments accepted by US Peace Action, in response to their article “Choosing the Path of Peace in Syria Part One: The Siren Song of the No-Fly Zone” (see https://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/choosing-the-path-of-peace-in-syria-part-one-the-siren-song-of-the-no-fly-zone/ ). The final comment reacting to Jon Rainwater’s response was not accepted, creating the impression that there was no reply, to his deeply flawed argument. The missing response is below:

[start comment they will not publish………]

A brutal dictatorship is definitely not a country at peace in any sense…………. The counter argument to the problem of No Fly Zones, is in previous comments, even a link to a briefing on the No Bomb Zone Strategy (please see http://www.syriauk.org/p/no-bomb-zone.html for a more detailed briefing)……. Most Libyans wanted to live without Gaddafi’s oppression, not just “many”.

I did engage strongly with why the transition in Libya has gone wrong. You acknowledge the alternative to “intervention” as “partnership”. I went through what should have been done, and what was not done. I agree with you that a “quick military fix” is insufficient, but that does not mean there is not a military dimension to empowering people striving to live without dictatorship.

The concept of partnership was enumerated in previous comment as ……. “The concept of partnership I am referring to, is not confined to reconstruction. The Libyan Opposition needed the resources, arms and training to create a professional armed opposition before Gaddafi was overthrown, so they could provide security after the regime ended. They begged for this and did not receive it. Consequently there was a patchwork of divided militias, and the initiative was given to funding from Sunni monarchies and Egyptian military establishment. This was compounded by lack of reconstruction help after Gaddafi was removed, so the new government could not demonstrate legitimacy by providing food, health and housing security to the Libyan people.”

You say “Peace Action is not an international solidarity group we focus on U.S. policy.” The foreign policies of democratic Western countries are governed by elites, with little public input. This has created shameful serious policy failures, as we both know. My point is that the foreign policy of US, UK, Germany, France …. must be about international solidarity with the peoples (not the elites) of other nations. This is “non interventionist” as not about invading or imperialistically doing things to others, it is about empowerment. You want solutions to all problems which have no military dimension. This is not possible with brutal dictatorships like the Assad regime.

I engaged with the chaos in Libya after the uprising and the limited support from the West. I explained what was done, and what should have been done.

You say “Likewise the forces the U.S. would be backing will not necessarily replace the Assad government with democracy as we can see with some of the brutal authoritarianism in some of the rebel held areas.” This is why we need progressives to expose and campaign for an alternative partnership approach, rather than blanket rejection of any “intervention”.

The “if only” you mention is about “if only” the West had given the Libyan Opposition the resources to enable them to create a cohesive force. Partnership is about empowering others. You are right about the problems of reconstructing governments, especially in an environment of hostile Sunni authoritarian regimes pushing spoilers; but you underestimate the agency of the people of the MENA.

On Bassam Haddad, beware of too narrow sources. Idrees Ahmad has this to say on BH, “How sad that the day Russia/regime commit a major massacre in Syria, Democracy Now! invites an ideologue to equivocate and obfuscate. Just when we thought that DN [Democracy Now] was moving away from Assad apologists and giving Syrians a voice, we get this torrent of drivel from a hack best known for his flatulent prose and morally flaccid posturing.” See http://muftah.org/responding-bassam-haddads-false-binary-syria/ for a demolishing of BH narrative.

On the polls quoted. ORB poll article includes “There must be US and Russian pressure on Bashar al-Assad to compromise, to step down, then it would be possible to reach a solution.” – Male 18-35 from Der ez Zor, Syria. Refugees poll “Of those who responded, 71 percent agreed that an ‘end to the fighting in Syria’ would be ideal. Sixty-five percent of respondents agreed that removal of the Assad regime would be an ideal ending.” Is this sample who reach Turkey representative of Syrians or even Syrian refugees, as 90% causalities caused by Assad and Putin regimes.

[end comment they will not publish………]