13 Jul 2012
It's all so utterly hopeless, I don't pay an yattention anymore.
Yep Assad's a brutal dictator, but when he's replaced, it'll be by yet another brutal dictator.
The political culture of islam and the middle east doesn't really allow for anything else..
So my expectations are nil
13 Jul 2012
He might have added that the killings in Houla, described as a massacre by Syrian forces, turned out to be a massacre of Alawite villagers by Sunnis.
Both sides are awful. What matters is what is best for the West. What is best for the West is continued Alawite rule, by people who no longer try, as the Alawite rulers have done, to outdo the Muslims in anti-israeli fervor, and to win favor too by pretending that they are Shi'a, by supporting Hezbollah and Iran. If they have their hands full in Syria, simply trying to keep control, , that will make them less able to help Hezbollah or Iran. And that's a good thing. And if they can keep Al Qaeda and the more fanatical Sunnis at bay. In every Arab country, there are Sunni Muslims who, without stating it openly, would wish for a rule that could, as Ataturk did, intelligently and ruthlessly and systematically constrain Islam. The current Alawite rulers are more ruthless than Ataturk, and not as intelligent. But if you were born in Syria, into a Sunni Musilm family, , but recognized the baneful effects of Islam on those who truly took it to heart, you might be willing to accept -- without of course openly declaring it -- Alawite rule.
That's the ideal outcome. If things end with a triumphant Syrian government, so crushingly victorious that it is free to act in concert with Iran and Hezbollah, that would not be good. If things end with a triumphant Sunni Musilm opposition, free to take revenge on the Alawites and, as collateral damage, on Christians, that would not be good.
So far, things are working out. Syria becomes more and more of a drain on Iran's treasury and military. Sunnis in Lebanon are becoming more enraged at Hezbollah, which finds itself stuck as the defender of the Syrian government.
Meanwhile, the American government wants the wrong thing -- the collapse of the Alawite rule -- and is stymied, for the wrong reasons, by the wrong countries, Russia and China. It's wonderful. One more of the crazy-quilt idiotic, practically impossible to comprehend situations that always arise when the Western world tries to meddle in the Middle East, without those who are in positions of power bothering to study, to grasp, the meaning, and menace, of Islam, and of all the ways that Islam, the central fact not only in the lives of Muslims, but in those who grow up in parts of the world where Islam dominates (for the Copts, for the Maronites, for the Assyrians, and for the Alawites too, Islam and what it means for them is what determines their atttitudes, their fears, their reactions which, to some in the safe and complacent West, seem to be hysterical overreactions).
Everything is working out, not because of any grand strategy in Washington, but precisely because of the bumbling and incoherence of American and other Western policies. Ainsi soit-il. The result is better than if such a policy had been deliberately conceivged. .
The only thing the West need do is to concentrate on those stocks of chemical and biological weaopns. Or will this be left, as so much, over the past fifty years has been left, for Israel to deal with alone, and then to receive not thanks, but more base ingratitude and vicious attempts to deny that state its right to defend itself and, what's more, to insist that its legal rights not continue to be ignored, or denied, as they are, routinely, by the foreign offices in London and Paris, and might well be, too, were the State Department not held in check by Congress and a public opinion that has not, as in Europe, been systematically brainwashed by Arab propaganda and the incredible, because ill-informed and biased, reporting that, with some remarkable exceptions, continues to characterize the coverage of the Jihad against Israel.
13 Jul 2012
Of great interest, too, are the dozens of comments following the article, almost all of them in ferocious agreement with Rev. Mullen about the role of the BBC in deciding on a party line, a narrative, as it did in Egypt, Libya, and so on, and making sure that all of its reporting and commentary (they can hardly, in the case of the BBC, be told apart) reinforces that story. In the case of Syria, it is that all the Sunnis are against the regime (it's not true), that the Alawites are bad, that the Christians are also bad for continuing to quietly wish for an Alawite victory, and that the Sunni Muslims in opposition are the repositories of alll virtue.
13 Jul 2012
As Jerry Gordon has reported on this blog, Syria has one of th e most extensive and advanced chemical-biological warfare capabilities in the world. A truly frightening matter, especially in a destabilized country, or maybe abroad. Somebody's going to get fumigated. This war has no moral bounds.