Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Obviously!

According to forensic anthropologists, this is Jesus. He reminds of me of a colleague of mine from Raqqah. He is against Daesh, as one would expect him, and he has not yet been introduced to the miracle that is the electric trimmer. I wonder what Muhammad looks like!

DDGD December 16, 2015

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Today’s Post is brought to you by…  The Barrel Bomb Monologue – A New Broadway Musical. Written & Directed by: Bashar Al-Assad & Co. Music By: The Russian & Iranian Arms Industry in collaboration with the International Arms Industry. Executive Producer: Vladimir Putin, Ali Khamenei & The Consortium of Loyalist Oligarchs & Mullahs. Starring: Ten Million Rebellious Syrians, Five Millions Willfully Blind Ones, Eight Millions Insistently Silent Ones & One Million Dead Ones. Songs include the already record breaking “I feel shitty, oh so shitty. I feel shitty, ugly and at bay, and I envy everyone who’s not me today.” And “Obviously I feel rejected. Obviously I feel dejected. Obviously I hate everybody now. Obviously, all too obviously, I will never ever trust anyone, again.”

The Delirica  


The Facetious Chronicles of Al-Sisi the Fascisi: It turned out to be true. It was the most disgusting capricious report one could imagine, so much not only I but also so many other Syrian activists could not believe it, but it turned out to be true. Al-Sisi, the Wankertator of Egypt, and the jaundiced junta supporting him, did in fact hoist this attached banner in the streets of Cairo.

The banner shows  smiling Al-Sisi sporting his military uniform standing next to a child waving at the dead body of Aylan, the Syrian Kurdish child who drowned off the cast of Turkey in September 2015, and whose death brought international attention to the plight of Syrian refugees, at least for a few weeks, before governments decided to ignore it again. The text accompanying the banner said: “A child who lost his army.”

For those who don’t get how macabre this gesture is, bear in mind that Aylan and his family were trying to escape the violent and bloody repression of the Assad regime’s army, the army that was to be protecting them, when their boat overturned and they drowned. Al-Sisi’s people are standing the truth on its head in order to justify their repression at home and their support of the maniacal regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

There is something so macabre and anathematic about dictators’ continued existence in this day and age, something that poisons the soul and militates against one’s own sense of humanity. No justification works anymore. They are neither father figures, nor modernizers, nor peacemakers, but maniacal ravishers and a deadly plague. Yes, they have some popular support, but some people are willing to make peace with cancer knowing that they would die of it, but, no matter what they think, they have no right to kill the rest of us. Because this particular cancer does not discriminate. This applies to Al-Sisi’s supporters as well as those of his earlier Islamist iteration: Mursi, the little horsy that couldn’t deceive enough people for a long enough time to sacralize his Islamist agenda in the form of a constitution.

Being critical of both sides of Egypt’s malaise wins me no admirers neither in Egyptian or Syrian circles. Some Syrians expect me to support Mursi and oppose Al-Sisi based on their positions towards the Syrian conflict, not their overall policies and worldview. But no can do.

The Egyptian Neroah churns a half-smile
while Cairo slow-burns and Egypt dies
When Al-Sisi mounted his coup, I was sad and wrote something like this on Facebook page: this is what the Muslim Brotherhood’s blind hubris managed to accomplish – it facilitate a return to military rule. I don’t support coup d’état’s but I cannot support religious autocracy, even if its wannabe founders came as a result of a popular vote. Indeed, the inability to understand that winning an election does not entitle one to rule as he and his party pleased, refashioning the state in their image and according to their particularistic vision, this inability does emanate from wishful stupidity but from willful blindness and Machiavellian machinations. Willingness to compromise is the only way out of this crisis, but many people cannot handle compromise it seems, and nuance is not something that they are used to. To them, I cannot be against Al-Sisi’s coup and not for MB. I am either for this side, or that side. And being with a side means treating its representatives as heroes. And our heroes are always saints, our villains perfectly villains, the ones inside and the ones outside. And our victimhood, for we are victims after all, we must be victims seeing how weak and insignificant we are, there is no denying this, not by any stretch of the imagination, our victimhood is always a perfect undeserved one, one to which we did absolutely nothing to contribute. It’s always the other’s fault: the others inside, and the others outside. That makes all of us guilty, therefore, none of us is.


The Daily Delirynth

Vladdie the Gunslinger: Writing for The National Interest, Paul Starobin, wants us to be more objective with our analysis of Putin’s personality and motivations and to realize that his actions are not simply meant to “embarrass a dithering Washington,” but to achieve certain goals such as maintain the Tartus Base and fight Islamists away from the homeland before they come to the homeland. Moreover, Mr. Starobin wants to take a page out of FDR’s old manual on how to deal with “a difficult leader” in the Kremlin, by proposing finding common grounds with the Putin when it comes to fighting a common enemy. “If a U.S. president can use his or her charm to get a bare-chested Putin to flatten ISIS, then three cheers,” he says.

So, apparently, and after a long and rational analysis of the situation, we are called upon to believe that Putin is indeed interested in fighting, no, flattening, ISIS. I guess he’s just going about it, the long way around. Like in Hollywood movies, he is building up to a climactic moment featuring a showdown between his good and their evil, a distinction that would make no sense at all to whomever remains of the Syrian people to witness that electrifying encounter. And just like in Hollywood movies, he already has that special “gunslinger gait.”

The Caricaventures of Mr. Johnny Obviously! Meanwhile, a lesser electrifying encounter demonstrates exactly how not to work with “a difficult leader” in the Kremlin: No 'regime change' in Syria: After talks in Moscow, Kerry accepts Russian stance on Assad. If finding common grounds with autocrats requires us to forgive systematized mass slaughter and protect said autocrats from the terrible consequences of their actions, what does defeat look like, especially when the foreseen benefits fail to include fighting the alleged common enemy? Indeed, it’s all about drainage, you see, the Obama Administration has allowed Putin to drink all its milkshake and erase all its red lines.

Just listen to sniveling Mr. Kerry after his meeting with a chuckling Mr. Lavrov. Do you hear what I hear? A song high above the trees, with a voice as big as the sea declaring America’s shirking of any moral responsibility towards the children of Syria, just in time for Christmas. Pray for peace, people everywhere, and let your conscience sleep.

"The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change," Kerry told reporters in the Russian capital after meeting President Vladimir Putin. A major international conference on Syria would take place later this week in New York, Kerry announced… But after a day of discussions with Assad's key international backer, Kerry said the focus now is "not on our differences about what can or cannot be done immediately about Assad." Rather, it is on facilitating a peace process in which "Syrians will be making decisions for the future of Syria."… Kerry said, "No one should be forced to choose between a dictator and being plagued by terrorists." However, he described the Syrian opposition's demand that Assad must leave as soon as peace talks begin as a "nonstarting position, obviously."

Obviously.

But what Russia’s venture in Syria did accomplish so far, other than actually helping IS, is this: 80% Aid Cut, 260,000 Displaced, Infrastructure Damaged. And that’s only a small part of the price of realism. The other will be paid at home, and no, I am not talking about terrorism, I am talking about the growing hate within

And what Assad has accomplished with Russia’s and Iran’s help is even worse, much worse. Yet this is the person we are asked to differ judgement on because asking for his ouster is a “nonstarting position, obviously.” Obviously.


One also has to wonder whether Shia militias and death squads operating in Syria and who remains responsible for more carnage than even Daesh and Al-Nusra will ever get classified as terrorist organizations, as indeed they should. Considering Mr. Obviously’s fondness for the Shirk ‘N’ Shift, one should not hold one’s breaths.


Stop The Bullshit: Stop The War Takes Down A Third Article From Its Website. “The second was a widely criticised article that appeared to praise the “spirit of internationalism and solidarity” of ISIS… On Friday, it emerged that a third piece had been taken down from the website: an article that said in its headline that it was “Time to go to war with Israel”.

This particular paragraph taken from one of the articles illustrates the problem with Stop The War, among other anti-imperialist movements, that is, when America or some other Western power can be said to be involved: they romanticize Islamist terrorist movements by buying into their hype, that is, by believing that they actually stand for the oppressed and for “authenticity,” – being true to their culture contrary to those secular-minded bastards who want to ruin the culture by modernizing it.

The Far Right and the Far Left have often benefited each other in variety of ways: by pointing to each other’s extremism to validate their positions, by considering the extremism as the only legitimate expression of what Right and Left are all about, you know “really,” and by pushing their governments and peoples to adopt policies that directly and indirectly, end up benefiting the other side, even if unwittingly.

It’s not strange to note that the two sides have always been prone to believing and actively churning all sorts of conspiracy theories, as the phenomenon itself comes as a reflection of a deeply religious mindset, even when some of their adherents claim to be staunchly secular. The creeds of the two sides might differ, but the puritanism is the same, as well as that desire to see order, a master plan, a mover that can be personified, rather than some abstract objective laws that only few might be able to grasp and which many not add any sense of absoluteness or finality of meaning to the emerging picture of being.

In final analysis, and despite all their criticism of imperialism and war, these people are from being pacifists. To them, pacifism is simply a tool used to prevent actions by Western countries, irrespective of the goals and motivations involved, while justifying aggression by other powers as some form of resistance to Western hegemony. Questions of human rights and democracy promotion are irrelevant to these pacifists, who often seem to harbor racist views towards the inhabitants of the developing world, deeming ill-suited to handle the challenges of modernity. Hence their willingness to accept the claims by Jihadists and Islamists that they represent the more authentic embodiment of the values of “those people.”

An Ugly Reality: The truth behind Bashar Al-Assad’s relationship with Daesh. While this article seems to come as a Turkish response to Russia’s accusations regarding Turkish involvement in buying oil from Daesh, by correctly highlighting the involvement of the Assad regime, as well as Russia and Iran, in striking similar indirect arrangements with Daesh, it inadvertently highlights as well an ugly reality that no one is talking about at this stage, albeit everyone should be: Daesh has the ability to destroy Syria’s oil infrastructure, plunging the country into darkness and setting its development back to the Middle Ages. This explains why so far no one is hitting Daesh where it hurts: no one can really afford to. How can we defeat Daesh then? I will be dealing in greater detail with this issue and its implications in a future article.


Much attention has been given to the Islamic State’s military and governance activities in northern and eastern Syria, but there has been less focus on its slow and steady growth in the southern theater. Since July 2013, it has been building a presence in a number of locales around Damascus, with the eventual goal of taking the city. While such aspirations are still far beyond the group’s military capabilities, it has actively rolled out soft-power strategies. Focusing on the Islamic State’s activities in the north and east of Syria could prevent a complete understanding of what it is attempting to accomplish.

The Faqihnameh: Iran's October missile test violated U.N. ban: expert panel. Does Iran really want the deal? Or is the Great Faqih simply stalling for time, while his minions are busy changing the face of the region, and creating certain realities that are hard to change back? Whatever the case, we are at a point where intentions may not matter anymore, as we seem to have already passed the point of no-return on regional mayhem. Iran will play its doomsday role to perfection as the fire consumes all.

Briefly Noted: * Cultured, rather, smart enough not to walk around with their penises hanging out to prove that they are indeed manly men, 21st Century autocrats often have to find alternatives that are no less crude in nature, since autocracy is by its nature crude, hence their – insert your favorite observation about dictators: the way they walk, the way they talk, the number of their children, or "secret" mistresses, their saber-rattling against the world, the tolerated behavior of their entourage, etc.

* No one in the West wants to draw the right conclusion from what is happening in Syria, or Ukraine, or Central African Republic, or Libya, or Mali, or Yemen, or Nigeria, etc. because, ultimately, no one wants to shoulder the responsibility of action. Action is expensive, materially and politically, so much so that it makes more sense, politically speaking, and the shorted nature of the stance aside, to gamble on holding to the illusion of invincibility and rationality than to argue the difficult case that “bad things” are inevitable, and preemption could actually work.

Muhammad Ben Kalish Ezab – the Emir of Khemed. An established 
character from the Tintin Universe.
* First Pakistan and now Malaysia announced that they had nothing to do with the anti-terrorism Muslim alliance recently declared by the Saudi Crown Prince. The underlying ethos, some are hypothesizing is that poor Muslims are not really interested in defending rich Muslims. Well, this is at least what some politicians might be telling their constituents. In reality, and whatever happened or is happening behind the scenes, the alliance is needed not so that the rich can defend the poor, but so that Muslim-majority countries can begin tackling certain common challenges together, laying the groundwork for something that could develop economic dimensions as well and could compete with other emerging blocks. Rather than scoring potshots against the Saudis, there are larger issues at stake here that warrant serious consideration by all.

* Speaking of Saudis, one cannot ignore the Cosmos-shattering development that recently took place in that quixotic little property that orientalists seemed to have conjured up for our delight by drawing on their wildest most improbable dreams. And the development is: following decades of not so coy reluctance, Saudi just dipped the tip of a toenail in the 21st century, and elected its first woman to a public office. Hopefully, the century will not prove too cold, and they will be encouraged to dip the rest of their toe in it in the course of the unfolding millennia.

* The final note will have to go to Ted Cruz in light of his current rise in the polls, and lauded performance in the GOP debate: Ted, go fuck a pink unicorn. Then get stiff drink and watch this video:


Refugenics: As these two articles show, Bamako, the capital of Mali, seems to be the newest stop on the way of Syrian refugees seeking the safety and promise of Europe: Why Syrian refugees are travelling to Mali, and How 1,000 Syrian refugees ended up in a remote village in Mali. The Syrian Saga continues. In classical Arabic, the term usually deployed to describe such a development is taghribah (( تغريبة , meaning: going west into foreign and strange lands, but necessarily hospitable ones, at least not all of them.

Quote of the Day

"In the last two weeks, the Russians have attacked opposition forces between Homs and Aleppo and in the far north of Syria and, in doing so, have allowed Daesh to seek advantage on the ground. With our coalition partners - including the United States - we will continue to urge the Russians at every opportunity to focus their fire solely on Daesh. It is unacceptable that Russian action is weakening the opposition and thus giving advantage to the very Daesh forces that they claim to be engaged against." –Philip Hammond, UK Secretary of State

Tweets of the Day
Video(s) of the Day

A Decade After Leaving Syria, Oula Touches Her Home Keys Again.


Cartoons
  



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