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Ear to the Ground

Gulf States Will Pay Syrian Rebels, Defectors

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Posted on Apr 1, 2012
State Department

Secretary Clinton delivers remarks during the Second Conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People in Istanbul, Turkey.

After an international conference in Turkey, the Syrian National Council said it will receive millions a month in funding from wealthy Gulf nations to pay Syrians who are either rebelling against or defecting from President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

The BBC reports that the compromise decision by some 70 foreign governments stops short of arming the rebels:

BBC: An SNC leader told the BBC that she hoped more substantial funding would help bind the disparate units of the Free Syrian Army into a more coherent fighting force, and encourage other soldiers to defect from the government side.

Some countries at the conference - notably Saudi Arabia - have been openly calling for insurgents in Syria to be given weapons. But others - including the US and Turkey - oppose the move, fearing it could fuel an all-out civil war. Read more

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking from Istanbul on Sunday, outlined Washington’s commitments emerging from the conference, which include “additional sanctions on senior regime officials, a new accountability clearinghouse to train Syrian citizens to document atrocities and abuses and to identify perpetrators, and more than $12 million in new humanitarian aid, bringing our total to nearly 25 million.”  —PZS

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

dog—- Syria leads not just to Iran but ends Hezbollah’s weaponry and domination
on Lebanon…... might just lead to the end of the occupation of the West bank.

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By blogdog, April 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Hegemons insist wherever possible on deciding everything for everyone - the notion of state sovereignty as anything real only applies to the state wherein reside their bases of operation - today that’s Wall Street and City of London.

Within their states, hegemons unanimously dismiss as so-called ‘conspiracy theory’ any suggestion of election fraud (e.g. 2001) or illegal ramrod legislation (e.g. Homeland Security Act, which was, in fact almost entirely authored before Sept. 11, 2001) - ‘we’ per se, on the national/international level decide literally nothing; even the so-called ‘political leaders’ decide virtually nothing -  they are plutocratic water-carriers for the hegemons.

The hegemonic GLOBAL FINANCE OLIGARCHY decides everything of any geopolitical importance - as of now, only Russia and China stand in the way of the hegemons literally crushing the entire 3rd world.

So why bother with a two-bit despot like Assad? It’s the path to Iran. At day’s end, just follow the money. Iran, Syria and Libya… a year ago none had Rothchild-controlled central banks - now it’s one down, two to go - IMF/World Bank hegemons are licking their chops.

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By heterochromatic, April 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

omop——it’s not in the US Constitution, it’s

the new Syrian Constitution, which was approved six
weeks ago, with 90% of the vote, which gives the US the
right to choose the head of Syria…..

...or was that right awarded to Iran..

we didn’t get to read the fine print until after the
the result was announced just prior to the voting.

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By omop, April 4, 2012 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

What is it with Susan Rice and amigos about Syria?

Where in the US Constitution is the American citizen/taxpayer and
government mandated to decide who is in charge in Syria, Libya, Belize,
Iran or other UN member state?


Besides the country’s domestic policies are the biggest threats to U.S.
national security proclaimed to the press Richard Haass, president of the
Council on Foreign Relations.

“What we do to improve our schools, our infrastructure, what we do to
reduce the budget deficit…this is going to be critical in years and
decades ahead,” Haass says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. “The
most important national security question for the coming year is actually
the domestic set of issues that involves the economy.”

Its time to grow up USA.

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, April 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Escobar has a point of view.  One of many.  I read his pieces and will look over anything relevant.  I can’t, however, agree that by quoting one individual an issue can be considered settled.  I have valid reasons for reaching different conclusions than does Escobar.

The fact remains, on the issue of Syria, all but the Palestinian votes have bode poorly for the Assad Government.  Changing the subject does nothing to change these votes.  Nor does attacking the Arab League or individual members.  I have so many problems with the lot I could go on for days.  But why such angry resistance to something so apparent?

I hope to make one thing stand out whenever the issue of Syria arises.  Even less controversial is the common knowledge that the Syrian people themselves have made their dreams known for a very long time.  No Assad family government.  Whatever each of us may think, on a bevy of related issues, in these deliberations there should be little doubt of the one thing most Syrians will come together on.  No Assad family government.

‘Occupy’ Damascus, anyone?

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By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

brian, Pape notes that only 11 Arab League nations showed up for the vote on the
no-fly zone without mentioning that there absence was due to supporting the
measure but not wishing to cast a vote.


Pepe is correct that only 2 of 22 voted against it.


at worst 82% of the Arab league supported the no fly zone but the truth is really
90% support.

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By gerard, April 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Let’s you and him fight, and we’ll send you some money to pay for medical expenses and call it “humanitarian aid.”

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By blogdog, April 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...Pepe Escobar’s writings are usually an affront to human intelligence.

WRONG - the author of the above text is most very likely the greatest
insult to human intelligence any among us will ever encounter

Report this

By heterochromatic, April 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

brien—- Pepe Escobar’s writings are usually an affront to human intelligence.

Report this

By brian, April 3, 2012 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

what does it say about human intelligence, when
clueless people make rash assertions like: the entire
arab league is against syrias govt. Who is this arab
league that is against syria? lets ask journalist
Pepe Escobar about that same arab league and Libya:

‘You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in
Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal
struck between the Barack Obama administration and
the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the
United Nations independently confirmed that
Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain
and crush the pro-democracy movement in their
neighbor in exchange for a “yes"vote by the Arab
League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main
rationale that led to United Nations Security Council
resolution 1973.
...
As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League
endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22
full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six
of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members,
the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of
which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria
were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to “seduce”
three other members to get the vote.

Translation: only nine out of 22 members of the Arab
League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was
essentially a House of Saud-led operation, with Arab
League secretary general Amr Moussa keen to polish
his CV with Washington with an eye to become the next
Egyptian President.
http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD02Ak01.html

your arab league dwindles down to a few bona fide
dictators..But what do the people of the league
think? has anyone asked them?

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By brian, April 3, 2012 at 7:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

its a joke: by gulf states is meant brutal
dictatorships like saudi arabia and qatar….by
‘rebels’ is meant jihadis terrorists who use car bombs
IEDs snipers to terrorise the peeople of syria.

its no surprise then the people of syria support their
army
http://lizzie-phelan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/students-
from-homs-thank-syrian.html

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By IMax, April 3, 2012 at 4:02 am Link to this comment

O.K., hetero, if you don’t like the word allied we don’t have to use it.  The point is the U.S. and China are intricately linked and have come to many agreements while simultaneously competing in significant ways.

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment

Free Syrian Army foot-soldiers of Western military alliance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAjvCJtyAv4&feature=player_embedded

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

IMax—- the capitalist system was going along pretty well when China decided that
getting rich would be glorious and joined up.

I’m pretty sure that the capitalist system would have endured without mainland
Chinese participation.


we’re just not allies, IMax….we do business but don’t exchange Christmas cards,
attend each other’s daughter’s coming out parties or buy weapons from one
another or develop them jointly.

late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Germany and France did
business with each other…..and probably could not be described as allied.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

hetero, - “you’re not aware that China was given a seat on the Security Council because….?”

-

I am aware.  That is exactly the juxtaposition I’m talking about.  How does your point about it change where we find ourselves today?  The capitalist market system would not exist if not for the strong alliances of the U.S., China, and others.  Is this not correct?

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

gerard—the Saudis were scheduled to enter an alliance with Israel and Egypt
under NATO protection in a grand scheme to take out Iran and Syria - Mubarak
would not join - that’s why he was taken out

- the Saudis are full-on complicit in the hegemonic globalist agenda of failing
states that stand in the way of IMF/World Bank enforced debt servitude of their
populations, e.g. Libya, Syria, Iran

- btw: several thousand fighters from Qatar joined NATO’s coup/invasion of Libya
and many are operating in Syria now too

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

gerard—- the Sudis are getting ready for open conflict with Iran and they are
determined to sever the Assad alliance with the iranians and remove iranian
influence from the Arab Middle East.

toppling Assad will go a very long way toward ending that influence as Hezbollah
only is able to subvert Lebanon because of the weapons flow from Iran through
Syria.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

IMax——you’re not aware that China was given a seat on the Security Council
because the US was allied with Chiang’s government….which was deposed by
Mao’s Communist regime which we opposed and with which we had no
relationship for 20 years? ....unless you count the time when we were at war with
them in Korea

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By gerard, April 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

“Some countries at the conference - notably Saudi Arabia - have been openly calling for insurgents in Syria to be given weapons.”
  What gives here?  Saudi Arabia, just about the most autocratic nation in the world, wants to give insurgents in Syria weapons to fight against the Assad autocracy? Will wonders never cease?

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Hetero, - “no, IMax we are NOT allied with China in any significant way.”

-

My first reaction was to think how this leaves us with little to talk about it. wink But have you considered the history of the U.N. Security Council?  Particularly the five permanent members?  Is this not the U.S. and China allied in innumerable ways.  Global markets, exchanges, banking and all of commerce as we know it is built on these alliances.  They are inseparable if the goal is to maintain the current method of diplomacy, commerce, trade, scientific exploration and education exchanges.

At the same time China is a founding member of SCO while the U.S. is allied with NATO.  We cannot overstate what it means to both Russia and China to maintain a military port in Syria.  We can be 100% certain this is an issue now vigorously discussed amongst the so-called Top Five, or Permanent Five.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

dog, I don’t really know why you linked to Spencer
Ackerman at wired, but I gotta say that he’s about the
most trustworthy person to whom I ever seen you link.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

no, IMax we are NOT allied with China in any
significant way.

further, we do a shitload of business with
Venezuela…and if you want to try opining that we’re
allied with Hugo Chavez….. I might just toss a fit.

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

“...China and it’s aircraft carriers…” (?!?!)

Photos: China’s New/Used Aircraft Carrier Ain’t Scary
By Spencer Ackerman Email Author December 28, 2011

- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/china-aircraft-carrier-photos/

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, - “IMax—do we not do a shitload of business with China without being allied with their regime?”

-

Good question.  Are we not allied with China in innumerable and nondetachable ways while simultaneously competing for influence all over the globe?  China has her own sphere of influences which are, at times and in significant ways, diametrically opposed to the interests of, say, the United States and Poland.  Or China and it’s aircraft carriers and Russia’s sole military port of Syria.

The world has security agreements because the world has, for as long as man has breathed, been a dangerous place.  Those agreements have evolved over centuries.  My point is, we are where we are, not because the United States exists, but because the United States exists amongst roughly 200 nations and over six billion people.  All of them, everyone of us, being human.

Devise a better human.  Until that time leaders of the world will be choosing sides.  Particularly in the Middle and Far East.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Jeff, - “doesn’t that come down to the fact that (the Assad government*) is supported by Iran, Russia, and China and therefore he’s not on “our” side, and doesn’t support “our” economic interests, whereas Saudi Arabia and Qatar do?”

-

To me this is a yes and a no.  The situation in Syria is not all about the United States.  It’s simply not. - Bare with me a couple minutes.

The Syrian government is despised by every neighbor it has, less the current Iranian government.  Very little of this has anything directly to do with the United States.  There is a reason, in fact several reasons, why the entire Arab League is on one side and Syria another.  Most of it having little to do with China, the U.S., or Russia. - Each of the major “players” working daily to either obtain, or maintain, as much influence as possible in this vital, extremely unstable, region.

Yes, the United States has several vital interests in the Middle East.  Namely oil.  It is undeniable.  The U.S. has historically maintained the free flow of oil to the open market.  But at the same time these interests are no more or any less important to China, Russia, India, Turkey, Britain, Germany and so on. - If you personally, for example, want the U.S. out of the Middle East, stop supporting Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria, stop supporting Israel, stop trying to influence and maintain its own position over the oil market you personally need to make a decisive and hard choice.  China?  Turkey?  Russia?  Britain?  India perhaps?  There will be no vacuum, and that is the point**.

Lastly and most importantly.  Not directly toward you.

1. The Syrian people have made their desires known for decades.  That desire has absolutely, nothing-what-so-ever, to do with the United States. 2. The Arab League is nearly unanimous.  We are seeing Arab politics which, again, has less to do with the United States. 3. Blood is being spilled over it and, like it or not, the larger global issue is IS NOT about the United States.  It’s about China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France, India, Turkey etc., etc..  Not one of the above truly wants this to be happening.  But the Syrian people do.

-

*While I firmly know the world has it’s evil people, I don’t believe Bashar Assad is an evil individual.  It’s a long explanation which I’ll not force anyone suffer.

**I personally have never looked at the United States as inherently evil.  I know how unpopular it is to say such a thing here (near blasphemous).  The world’s problems are not caused by the United States.  The world’s problems are caused by man.  I make a conscious decision to support the United States over China and/or Russia.  The two most likely to step in, with as much forcefulness as they can muster, if the United States were to fail.  That will not always be the case.  But as long as man remains there will be a pinnacle.

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

trolls from Earth’s center occasionally emerge, suddenly decompressing - violently
exploding fecal-inflected fictions, to rival anything ever written on any bathroom
wall - curiously they immediately start refilling with the self indulgent notion
somehow they’re ‘creative’ - this is rapidly becoming the 8th wonder of the world

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

students from Homs testify that the Syrian Army is being massacred by invaders
from the 8th dimension and that they’re raping the cattle and causing crop circles-
——

here’s the official footage that Mrs Assad collected when she interviewed these
children….it’s all so heart-rending and completely believable…....


http://blog.newsok.com/photo/files/2011/10/Untitled-4.jpg

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Students from Homs thank Syrian soldiers for protecting them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC4IMs9dOlM&feature=player_embedded

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

IMax—do we not do a shitload of business with China without being allied with
their regime?

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By Jeff N., April 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

IMax - “The United States did not choose the Saudi form of governance or the family with which it deals. Yet the United States is condemned for supporting an oppressive monarchy.”

So what is it about the Syrian or Libyan brand of oppression that is so revolting to the U.S.?  The U.S. supported Gaddafi until we realized he was going to be overthrown.  When you say it “has more to do with the despised Assad government” in Syria, doesn’t that come down to the fact that he is supported by Iran, Russia, and China and therefore he’s not on “our” side, and doesn’t support “our” economic interests, whereas Saudi Arabia and Qatar do?

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Jeff N.,

Who said anything about the forcing of views?

The United States and Saudi Arabia have both commerce and security agreements between the two nations.  Agreements that have been in place for decades.  The United States did not choose the Saudi form of governance or the family with which it deals.  Yet the United States is condemned for supporting an oppressive monarchy.

Iran and the United States does very little direct commerce.  Iran has also been at war with Saudi Arabia for at least the past 50 years.  It is with Saudi Arabia which the United States has a security agreement.  Not Iran.  The United States is commonly condemned for supporting the dictatorial Saudi Arabia and not being passive or supportive toward the dictatorial Iran.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Hetero. - “doing business is different from forming a relationship of alliance.”

-

I’m sorry but, I don’t know of a place on earth where that’s true.  Can you lend some examples of your point?

China, for example, has formed many business alliances with Syria which are diametrically opposed to the wishes and security agendas of, say, Saudi Arabia.

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

“... peaceful demonstrations…” agitprop

ME wave of regime change mission on the boards in Langly, Voxhall Cross,
Brussels, Tel Aviv - contracting with Otpor & Canvass for over a decade - method
of choice: so-called color revolutions, leading to armed insurrections… e.g.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lpXbA6yZY-8

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By Jeff N., April 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

“One either does business and commerce with them or oppose them.”

Agree with hetero.. I think an absolute statement like that isn’t very useful, and I don’t really see why it needs to be true.  There are plenty of nations that have robust trade with countries all over the world and, although they may disagree with how the country is run or how the people are treated, do not engage them militarily.  Call me a pacifist, and I’d like to think of myself as one, but forcing your views on someone else doesn’t generally go well.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

IMax——one can “do business” with other countries and yet refrain from provided
military/financial aid to the corrupt govenments of those countries….....

doing business is different from forming a relationship of alliance.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Jeff, - “The needs of the Syrian people are pretty far down the list of concerns on either side I’m afraid.”

-

I wholeheartedly agree.  It seems equally obvious that democracy is not the intentions of the Arab League.  It’s my belief this has more to do with the despised Assad government.  I have not personally heard anyone describe current events in Syria as being a boon to, or in the name of, democracy.

On a separate but linked issue:  I have never understood Americans who claim the U.S. should not involve itself in the affairs of others while simultaneously condemning the U.S. for “supporting” dictators.  One either does business and commerce with them or oppose them.  It seems to me, in reality, there is no neutrality.  Syria seems a good case in point.

No U.S. President can remove the United States from events in Syria.  He or she can only decide what position(s) to take.  When we have a situation such as we see in Syria, a situation wherein we have the entire Arab League plus Israel calling on the U.S. to act, which side the U.S. comes down on is clear.  Which, necessarily, means going against the desires and agendas of Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran.

I don’t know that we can fairly call this a proxy war.

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

dog—- it started as a very peaceful protest demanding some sort of meaningful
political rights….and i only became bloody when the bloody dictatorship
imprisoned, tortured and killed some thousands of ordinary citizens.

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

RE: ...the entire Arab League… - the so-called “Arab Spring” wave of
regime change has changed little or nothing in member states that are
monarchies, only in secular states with constitutional processes (agreed,
arguably functional) -

nevertheless, those states funding and arming the failing, bloody Syrian
insurrection, as they did the disastrous imperial adventure to fail the Libyan
state, literally every one of them is a despotic monarchy that put down its own
little uprising, both brutally and decisively with US/UK support -

very clear what’s happening here, and again, Sheer and sons fail to present a
balanced analysis -

Q: for whom do you carry water, Sheer and sons?

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By heterochromatic, April 2, 2012 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

gee,,,,, but doesn’t most everyone want to see an end to the violence…..only thing
is, some folks wnat it to end with the same bunch of murderous thugs supporting
the same illegitimate, dictatorial government in place….

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By blogdog, April 2, 2012 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Jordan, Russia call for peaceful end to violence in Syria
by JT | Reuters | Mar 28,2012 | 00:13

http://jordantimes.com/jordan-russia-call-for-peaceful-end-to-violence-in-syria

AMMAN/SEOUL — Jordan and Russia on Tuesday stressed the need to end the
cycle of violence in Syria and arrive at a political solution to the crisis there.

[...]
____________________

McCain, Graham, Lieberman Unveil Resolution Calling For U.S. Help In
Arming Syria Rebels

By Ali Gharib on Mar 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

http://tinyurl.com/8x9fk2k

In their latest push for U.S. military involvement in the Syrian conflict, three of
the most hawkish Senators today introduced a resolution calling on the U.S.
help arm the Syrian rebels through Arab allies.

[...]

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By Jeff N., April 2, 2012 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

IMax, while certainly difficult to prove, that seems like a valid conclusion to me.  The hypocrisy of dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar arming rebels in the name of democracy is quite amusing, though. 

Sadly, while seemingly everyone in the world has their hands in this dirty business, we’re just ending up with more and more guns on the ground and no closer to any long-term solution.  The needs of the Syrian people are pretty far down the list of concerns on either side I’m afraid.

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Jeff,

Is it possible we’re witnessing a proxy war, arming Syria via Iran, via Russia against the Arab League and the Syrian people? 

Dependent on one’s frame of reference, is it possible for the Arab League to hold this different, but equally valid, point of view?

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By Jeff N., April 2, 2012 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

so we’re ending up with a proxy war, arming syrian rebels via saudi arabia, via USA.  I’m sure an end to the fighting is just around the corner..

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By IMax, April 2, 2012 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

What does it say about Syria and Syria’s relationship with its neighbors when the entire Arab League, less the Palestinians, suspends Syria’s membership and actively moves to remove the Assad government from power?

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By blogdog, April 1, 2012 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

Corporate-owned (CNN, AP, MSNBC, Reuters, et al) and/or Empire-owned
National Propaganda Radio (NPR), British Bullocks Crap (BBC) even Hypocrisy
Now and certainly MI6 asset Al Jazeera post reports far less pertinent and informed than the interviews done by RT ...

e.g. 

Wag The Dog – Media Caught Faking Syria News Stories

Posted by Alexander Higgins   - March 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm   - Permalink -
Source via Alexander Higgins Blog

Like in the movie Wag The Dog mainstream news channels have been caught
carrying dubious footage from Syria to cook up drama to legitimize military
intervention…

http://tinyurl.com/7revj6a

no polemics with dupes - just the facts m’am

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By heterochromatic, April 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

and I owe you a thank you for the Tiny URL tip.

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By heterochromatic, April 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

Russian state-owned TV ain’t to be trusted, dog.

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By blogdog, April 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

from the article: Saudi Arabia…calling for insurgents in Syria to be given
weapons. But others - including the US and Turkey - oppose the move…

NATO LIES - special forces have given equipment,  weapons, training and
direction to death squad terrorists since this regime-change operation was
launched.

Same Old Spring: ‘US training & arming rebels in Syria’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehlI6p0eSjU

that TD, with zero analysis, regurgitates this agitprop is pathetic - Sheer and sons,
shame on you

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