Friday, August 5, 2016

And Now for Something Completely Delirious

Brought to you by…

The Prodigal Sons Association: We believe in negotiating a better homecoming deal.

09:21 pm

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad walked in Aleppo late last month, in a photo provided by the Syrian state news agency. PHOTO: SANA/REUTERS

Wanton criminality, unparalleled stupidity

Syria Regime Drafts Prisoners, Teachers to Bolster Depleted ArmyState workers are being pressed into battle as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime tries to take advantage of Russian support

Assad’s commitment and dedication to destroying every bit of hope for a better future is matched only by the sheer stupidity of those still betting on him.

08:44 pm

“The Middle East Institute, Syrian American Medical Society, and Physicians for Human Rights hosted Dr. Ammar Ghanem (SAMS) and Elise Baker (PHR) for the release of a new report, Madaya: Portrait of a Syrian Town Under Siege. The report examines the public health effects of the siege and puts forth recommendations about best practices in humanitarian assistance to besieged areas.”

Meanwhile, “In an exclusive open letter addressed to the children of Syria, the former U.K. ambassador to Lebanon, and advisor to NGO Theirworld, Tom Fletcher, points to failures of the international community in keeping its promises to fund the education of Syrian refugees.”

07:18 pm


Mike Morell who advocated cooperation with Assad and Putin in Syria few months ago now accuses Trump of “damaging” America’s national security on account of the latter’s bromance with Putin. He says that he will be voting for Hillary, I just hope he doesn’t end up advising her.

06:58 pm

A 2-day long siege in the central prison of the Suwaida province, Syria, ended today after pro-regime forces opened fire on political prisoners protesting their maltreatment on the hands of prison-guards. Four prisoners were reportedly killed, with few injured. Protesters were specifically concerned for the fate of prisoners recently transported to Damascus, a move that’s usually considered a step towards eventual liquidation. The Suwaida prison hosts over a 1,000 inmates, the majority of them are political prisoners. The province is a majority-Druze enclave, and has retained a position that is considered neutral for the most part in the ongoing civil war.

04:58 pm

As I read through the Black Lives Matter Manifesto “Invest-Divest,” I find that many of its ideas dealing with domestic issues to be positive albeit too aspirational in nature to inspire any real policy change at this stage. On foreign policy issues, however, the Manifesto is an unmitigated disaster. After reading the sections on foreign policy, one cannot help but come out with the impression that the United States, Israel, the CIA and Western corporations are the source of all evil in the world, including genocide. No other state or non-state actor is blamed for anything, and there is no attempt at contextualizing any of America’s, or Israel’s, policies. It’s as though the Cold War never happened, corrupt and authoritarian rulers don’t exist, and terrorism and terrorist groups are a chimera. If this is the worldview guiding the actions of Black Lives Matter activists then no good can come out of their movement. I still believe in “Black Lives Matter” as a moral ethos, but, I cannot endorse the movement.

03:40 pm

If the plane carrying the released American prisoners was not allowed to leave until the one carrying the money landed, then, the payment was ransom, no matter how we spin it.

03:28 pm

Team Refugee

Speaking of refugees: Syrian refugees design app for navigating German bureaucracy

03:18 pm

Alternate Title

Alternate 1: NATO to lose Turkey as member; #Incirlik’s future in serious doubt.
Alternate 2: Obama’s foreign East policies cast shadows over NATO future.

Indeed, recent developments in Turkey including current rapprochement with Russia reflect long-term mismanagement by the Obama administration of Turkish-American relations. Turkish President Erdogan’s personality and ambitions may have made any discussion quite difficult, but the administration’s diplomacy in this regard seems to have always lacked the much needed sense of urgency and foresight to prevent arriving at this juncture. So NATO might have been lost long before Trump made his entry onto the stage.

01:59 pm

Now This…

01:10 pm

 And now for something completely repetitive…

The fact that it was George W. Bush who signed the agreement on the Iraqi pullout does not forgive Obama’s bungling of the matter. How so? Because the idea was to pull out leaving a stable Iraq behind. Ensuring that was one of the primary tasks entrusted to the Obama team. Yet, the administration showed little interest in challenging the sectarian policies of the Maliki government despite ample warnings that they were facilitating the reemergence of Al-Qaeda and the appearance of ISIS. Obama should have realized months before the pullout that the country is not ready to left alone, and he should have seriously pushed to negotiate an extension of the deal.

01:10 pm

And now for someone completely indifferent…

Obama: Big Chunk of My Gray Hair Comes Out of Syria Meetings: “President Obama talks about one of the biggest issues of his presidency, the civil war in Syria, and how it weighs on him.” Nice try Mr. President, but you’re fooling no one. The moment you refused to impose a no-fly/no-go zone you condemned us all to hell. And none of the excuse you offered made any sense: the plan did not call for massive deployment of American military might, and did not call for thousands of American troops to be sent to Syria, and, had it been done early on in the crisis, it would hot have even called for arming rebels, as they were none. Once Assad was deprived of his military advantage, protesters would have taken over most towns and cities in Syria and would have been able to provide effective governance. Negotiations under international supervision would have accomplished the rest. No, this is not wishful thinking. We have seen these dynamics play out in the first 8-12 months. Assad’s extremely violent tactics coupled with your indifference combined to transform the situation into a civil war, a proxy war, and the largest global humanitarian catastrophe in decades.

Barack Obama says he does not trust Russia over peace in Syria. "I am not confident that we can trust the Russians and Vladimir Putin, which is why we have to test [them].” If they don’t play ball, "Russia will have shown itself very clearly to be an irresponsible actor on the world stage that is supporting a murderous regime and will have to answer to that on the international stage.

But how will this impression of Russia as “an irresponsible actor on the world stage” help stop its multiplying war crimes in support of Assad’s “murderous regime”? Russia’s crimes now include bombing civilian neighborhoods, targeting hospitals and doctors, and using internationally banned weapons such as white phosphorus, vacuum and cluster bombs. And still we expect Putin to show he’s willing to become a responsible actor? And let’s not forget Iran of course.

01:00 pm

Bad governance is the plague infecting most Arab-majority countries, and, despite the Arab Spring and its myriad revolutions, nothing has so far changed. Will Arab countries that were not directly affected by the revolutions learn the lesson and improve their governance styles?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please stick to the topic(s) being discussed in this particular entry. Hate speech will not be tolerated.