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    Arab Spring Discussion

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    Russian Patriot
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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  Russian Patriot on Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:26 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:Never heard of this guy, he doesn't sit on the National Council. So some rebel general has 25 guys who fought in Iraq... big deal? There are over 10k rebel troops on the road who have no affiliation with AQ.

    You make it sound like same way we reacted to Basaeyev at first No

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  lulldapull on Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:22 pm

    Look at this......the CIA lies exposed with its effort to destabilize and occupy Libya Somebody ought to bitch slap that Hillary & Obama for lying!

    Libya had one of the highest standards of living in Africa before these shitbilly thugs went in......

    A CIA commander for the Libyan rebels
    March 30, 2011

    By Patrick Martin - WSWS

    The Libyan National Council, the Benghazi-based group that speaks for the rebel forces fighting the Gaddafi regime, has appointed a long-time CIA collaborator to head its military operations. The selection of Khalifa Hifter, a former colonel in the Libyan army, was reported by McClatchy Newspapers Thursday and the new military chief was interviewed by a correspondent for ABC News on Sunday night.

    Hifter’s arrival in Benghazi was first reported by Al Jazeera on March 14, followed by a flattering portrait in the virulently pro-war British tabloid the Daily Mail on March 19. The Daily Mail described Hifter as one of the “two military stars of the revolution” who “had recently returned from exile in America to lend the rebel ground forces some tactical coherence.” The newspaper did not refer to his CIA connections.

    McClatchy Newspapers published a profile of Hifter on Sunday. Headlined “New Rebel Leader Spent Much of Past 20 years in Suburban Virginia,” the article notes that he was once a top commander for the Gaddafi regime, until “a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s.”

    Hifter then went over to the anti-Gaddafi opposition, eventually emigrating to the United States, where he lived until two weeks ago when he returned to Libya to take command in Benghazi.

    The McClatchy profile concluded, “Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, DC.” It cited a friend who “said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.”

    To those who can read between the lines, this profile is a thinly disguised indication of Hifter’s role as a CIA operative. How else does a high-ranking former Libyan military commander enter the United States in the early 1990s, only a few years after the Lockerbie bombing, and then settle near the US capital, except with the permission and active assistance of US intelligence agencies? Hifter actually lived in Vienna, Virginia, about five miles from CIA headquarters in Langley, for two decades.

    The agency was very familiar with Hifter’s military and political work. A Washington Post report of March 26, 1996 describes an armed rebellion against Gaddafi in Libya and uses a variant spelling of his name. The article cites witnesses to the rebellion who report that “its leader is Col. Khalifa Haftar, of a contra-style group based in the United States called the Libyan National Army.”

    The comparison is to the “contra” terrorist forces financed and armed by the US government in the 1980s against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The Iran-Contra scandal, which rocked the Reagan administration in 1986-87, involved the exposure of illegal US arms sales to Iran, with the proceeds used to finance the contras in defiance of a congressional ban. Congressional Democrats covered up the scandal and rejected calls to impeach Reagan for sponsoring the flagrantly illegal activities of a cabal of former intelligence operatives and White House aides.

    A 2001 book, Manipulations africaines, published by Le Monde diplomatique, traces the CIA connection even further back, to 1987, reporting that Hifter, then a colonel in Gaddafi’s army, was captured fighting in Chad in a Libyan-backed rebellion against the US-backed government of Hissène Habré. He defected to the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF), the principal anti-Gaddafi group, which had the backing of the American CIA. He organized his own militia, which operated in Chad until Habré was overthrown by a French-supported rival, Idriss Déby, in 1990.

    According to this book, “the Haftar force, created and financed by the CIA in Chad, vanished into thin air with the help of the CIA shortly after the government was overthrown by Idriss Déby.” The book also cites a Congressional Research Service report of December 19, 1996 that the US government was providing financial and military aid to the LNSF and that a number of LNSF members were relocated to the United States.

    This information is available to anyone who conducts even a cursory Internet search, but it has not been reported by the corporate-controlled media in the United States, except in the dispatch from McClatchy, which avoids any reference to the CIA. None of the television networks, busily lauding the “freedom fighters” of eastern Libya, has bothered to report that these forces are now commanded by a longtime collaborator of US intelligence services.

    Nor have the liberal and “left” enthusiasts of the US-European intervention in Libya taken note. They are too busy hailing the Obama administration for its multilateral and “consultative” approach to war, supposedly so different from the unilateral and “cowboy” approach of the Bush administration in Iraq. That the result is the same—death and destruction raining down on the population, the trampling of the sovereignty and independence of a former colonial country—means nothing to these apologists for imperialism.

    The role of Hifter, aptly described 15 years ago as the leader of a “contra-style group,” demonstrates the real class forces at work in the Libyan tragedy. Whatever genuine popular opposition was expressed in the initial revolt against the corrupt Gaddafi dictatorship, the rebellion has been hijacked by imperialism.

    The US and European intervention in Libya is aimed not at bringing “democracy” and “freedom,” but at installing in power stooges of the CIA who will rule just as brutally as Gaddafi, while allowing the imperialist powers to loot the country’s oil resources and use Libya as a base of operations against the popular revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

    Patrick Martin


    Last edited by lulldapull on Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

    lulldapull
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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  lulldapull on Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:59 pm

    Tarpley lays it out:

    http://tarpley.net/2011/03/30/the-libya-rebels-a-cia-secret-army-of-al-qaeda-terrorists-anti-black-racists-and-monarchists/



    Vladimir79
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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:56 am

    Russian Patriot wrote:
    You make it sound like same way we reacted to Basaeyev at first No

    Who reacted that way? We always knew he had Wahhabi links. It was jihad from day one with those people.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:53 am

    You make it sound like same way we reacted to Basaeyev at first

    Why not... the west is reacting exactly the same as it did when the Soviets entered Afghanistan.

    They handed all sorts of high tech stuff without asking who was getting it.

    Night vision equipment, communications ATGMs like Milan, MANPADS like BLOWPIPE and Stinger, and old model Strelas captured from the ME. 50 cal rifles for shooting at helos. All sorts of stuff, and of course huge amounts of stuff bought from China like AK rip offs, RPGs, 14.5mm HMGs etc that they could pretend was captured from the enemy... except that the Afghan government and the Soviet forces didn't use Chinese ripoffs of Soviet gear.

    The goal was to hurt the Soviets the way the US was hurt in Vietnam.

    Didn't matter that the Soviets were dragging the Afghans into the 20th century and that women were getting rights unheard of in this region of the world.

    They jumped into bed with people who turned into the Taleban... yeah that didn't bite them in the a$$. Rolling Eyes

    Wonder how long after Gaddafi is removed from power that Libya will declare Sharia law and bite the hand that tried to exploit it for its oil reserves.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:13 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    Russian Patriot wrote:
    You make it sound like same way we reacted to Basaeyev at first No

    Who reacted that way? We always knew he had Wahhabi links. It was jihad from day one with those people.

    Our goverment with Berzevosky!

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  Pervius on Sun May 29, 2011 8:41 am

    From the DrudgeReport:

    www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/27/us-libya-idUSTRE7270JP20110527

    Russia now supports US take over of Libya, Kadafi must go.


    Operation Odyssey Dawn going on as planned for a New World Order. Will Russia end up being a Sovereign Nation when it's done?

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  nightcrawler on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:40 pm

    I don't what is keeping Russia off-coasts. I mean with the technology as superior as one can get & with the increasing economic upheaval why not Russian go for a full economic ventures in Middle East especially Iran...why they listen to the UN to do this & that I think besides preparing for the upcoming elections Putin is to hasten his role internationally as well

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:58 am

    The problem is business.

    Russia does not have any problems with Iran... they don't hate them or anything.

    The real A$$hats in Chechnia that are causing Russia problems are from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan... Iran is not the problem there.

    The only thing Iran did wrong was to throw off the shackles of imperial America when it kicked the Shah of Iran out and nationalised the oil industry so that instead of a few people making enormous amounts of money from the oil in Iran the whole population can benefit... the evil bastards!

    By crossing the US they earned an enemy for life.

    Nothing to do with Russia.

    So why did Russia cancel S-300 deals with Iran?

    Most likely because they were promised much much larger potential contracts from Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and other countries.

    At the end of the day Iran is not a big spender when it comes to military equipment.
    As such it is not a best friend that needs to be protected at all costs.

    If Iran had been smart... ie sneaky, they would have turned to Russia and replaced their F-14s with Mig-31Es, and bought lots of Mig-29s and Su-27s to replace their F-4s and F-5s. They did buy some Migs and some Su-24s and some submarines, but most contracts were half a$$ed and they bought parts from other former Soviet Republics to save a little money.

    Very simply the Russians are the only ones that will sell civilian nuclear reactors to Iran and that is really the only product the Iranians are really interested in from Russia... along with S-300s of course.

    I can understand Iran not jumping into bed with Russia, because as a former imperial country Russia in some respects is similar to the US and indeed both are quite alien to Iran.

    The other thing they should have done was take the few steps that would enable them to comply with the IAEAs demands. It was those sanctions that prevented the Russians delivering the S-300s.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  SinaAzad on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:54 am

    GarryB wrote:The problem is business.

    Russia does not have any problems with Iran... they don't hate them or anything.

    The real A$$hats in Chechnia that are causing Russia problems are from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan... Iran is not the problem there.

    The only thing Iran did wrong was to throw off the shackles of imperial America when it kicked the Shah of Iran out and nationalised the oil industry so that instead of a few people making enormous amounts of money from the oil in Iran the whole population can benefit... the evil bastards!

    By crossing the US they earned an enemy for life.

    Nothing to do with Russia.

    So why did Russia cancel S-300 deals with Iran?

    Most likely because they were promised much much larger potential contracts from Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and other countries.

    At the end of the day Iran is not a big spender when it comes to military equipment.
    As such it is not a best friend that needs to be protected at all costs.

    If Iran had been smart... ie sneaky, they would have turned to Russia and replaced their F-14s with Mig-31Es, and bought lots of Mig-29s and Su-27s to replace their F-4s and F-5s. They did buy some Migs and some Su-24s and some submarines, but most contracts were half a$$ed and they bought parts from other former Soviet Republics to save a little money.

    Very simply the Russians are the only ones that will sell civilian nuclear reactors to Iran and that is really the only product the Iranians are really interested in from Russia... along with S-300s of course.

    I can understand Iran not jumping into bed with Russia, because as a former imperial country Russia in some respects is similar to the US and indeed both are quite alien to Iran.

    The other thing they should have done was take the few steps that would enable them to comply with the IAEAs demands. It was those sanctions that prevented the Russians delivering the S-300s.

    Well , , i should clear some things Very Happy
    Yes We And Russia dont have problem ...
    Life, in time of our king was better ...
    USA Controls our Gov ! and this Enemy (Iran) , is just a pet here ...
    why russia wont give us the s-300 ? here is the answer :
    Russia got some points from S.Arabia and USA when it was under pressure ! in producing the Shafagh Aircraft , it was the problem too ...
    the thing is , USA needs iran , Why ? Bcs USA Needs a big enemy to sell Weapon !
    we have fool people here ! that is way world thinks we are their enemy ... In Iran Khamenei and Hamadi nejhad , are using Religion to rule the people ! Like Hesbollah !

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    “Human Rights” Warriors for Empire

    Post  Guest on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:07 am

    The largest imperial offensive since the Iraq invasion of March, 2003, is in full swing, under the banner of “humanitarian” intervention. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers. These “human rights” warriors, headquartered in the bellies of empires past and present, their chests shiny with medals of propagandistic service to superpower aggression in Libya, contribute “left” legitimacy to the imperial project.

    London-based Amnesty International held a global “day of action” to rail against Syria for “crimes against humanity” and to accuse Russia and China of using their Security Council vetoes to “betray” the Syrian people – echoing the war hysteria out of Washington, Paris, London and the royal pigsties of Riyadh and Doha. New York-based Human Rights Watch denounced Moscow and Beijing’s actions as “incendiary” – as if it were not the empire and its allies who were setting the Middle East and Africa on fire, arming and financing jihadis – including hundreds of veteran Libyan Salafists now operating in Syria.

    With the Syrian military’s apparent successes in securing most of Homs and other centers of rebellion, the armed opposition has stepped up its terror tactics – a campaign noted with great alarm by the Arab League’s own Observer Mission to Syria, leading Saudi Arabia and Qatar to suppress the Mission’s report. Instead, the Gulf States are pressing the Arab League to openly “provide all kinds of political and material support” to the opposition, meaning arms and, undoubtedly, more Salafist fighters. Aleppo, Syria’s main commercial and industrial city, which had seen virtually no unrest, was struck by two deadly car bombs last week – signature work of the al-Qaida affiliate in neighboring Iraq.

    The various “Friends of Syria,” all nestled in the U.S./NATO/Saudi/Qatar cocoon, now openly speak of all-out civil war in Syria – by which they mean stepped up armed conflict financed and directed by themselves – as the preferred alternative to the protracted struggle that the regime appears to be winning.
    Syria is fighting for its national existence against an umbrella of forces mobilized by the United States and NATO. Of the 6,000 or so people that have died in the past 11 months, about a third have been Syrian soldiers and police – statistical proof positive that this is an armed assault on the state.

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. As groups most often associated with (what passes for) the Left in their headquarters countries, they are invaluable allies of the current imperial offensive. They have many fellow travelers in (again, what passes for) anti-war circles in the colonizing and neo-colonizing nations.

    There was great ambivalence – the most polite word I can muster – among purported leftists in the United States and Europe to NATO’s bombardment and subjugation of Libya. Here we are again, in the face of existential imperial threats to Syria and Iran, as leftists temporize about human rights while the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” blazes new warpaths.

    There is no such thing as an anti-war activist who is not an anti-imperialist. And the only job of an anti-imperialist in the belly of the beast is to disarm the beast. Absent that, s/he is useless to humanity.
    As we used to say: You are part of the solution – or you are part of the problem. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:09 am

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem

    They both have their own agenda, and the west tends to use them when they suit their purposes (ie telling North Korea off or China) and completely ignoring them when they don't suit their purposes (ie when they criticise Israel or the US or Saudi Arabia).

    They use the UN in the same way... a rubber stamp set for wars, or an impediment to peace when they don't rubber stamp the wars they want to start.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:08 pm

    Man I love posts/articles like this one Very Happy
    The language used had me laughing the whole way
    Anyway, there's quite a lot of truth to it

    And that Russia and China are being blamed for something that the US, Britain and France are causing. Funny as fuck

    GarryB wrote:
    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem

    They both have their own agenda, and the west tends to use them when they suit their purposes (ie telling North Korea off or China) and completely ignoring them when they don't suit their purposes (ie when they criticise Israel or the US or Saudi Arabia).

    They use the UN in the same way... a rubber stamp set for wars, or an impediment to peace when they don't rubber stamp the wars they want to start.

    That appeared to be the case in years past but it seems that for this latest 'offensive' the Western powers have no only mobilised their armed forces, but also as much of the information space as they could. The casualties of this monopolisation appear to be HRW and Amnesty International which have indeed broken their own objectivity and completely started to delve into the politics and intrigues of the issue... entirely from the point of view of just one side.

    Just looking in the internet for articles about Syria, I can scarcely find anything other than 1-sided propaganda. Ladies and Gentlemen, the domination of information has now reached the internet too. Anti-war movement? Forget it. It took its last breath in 2003 and now there seems to be no information on or the attempted organisation of one, another casualty of the information war no doubt.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:43 pm

    Yes, but then the west has been using, or should I say abusing human rights groups for many years now, the CIA will use all sorts of methods to overthrow a hostile government and the first step is underground newspapers.

    The irony is that the west talks about freedom of speech and the power of a free media, but they have their own media on very short leads... like the attack dogs they are.

    In addition to newspapers they also use non governmental organisations like human rights groups to criticise and attack the government.

    The fact that you have noticed the HRGs taking sides just shows that like Al Jazera they have been infiltrated or whomever controls the purse strings has given a tug.

    The saddest thing is that this war could spiral out of control and end up hurting the west rather more than any possible best case outcome... it is like watching a slow motion car crash... you know people are going to die, and there is nothing you can do about but either choose to watch, or turn away and pretend it is not happening.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:06 pm

    GarryB wrote:Yes, but then the west has been using, or should I say abusing human rights groups for many years now, the CIA will use all sorts of methods to overthrow a hostile government and the first step is underground newspapers.

    The irony is that the west talks about freedom of speech and the power of a free media, but they have their own media on very short leads... like the attack dogs they are.

    In addition to newspapers they also use non governmental organisations like human rights groups to criticise and attack the government.

    The fact that you have noticed the HRGs taking sides just shows that like Al Jazera they have been infiltrated or whomever controls the purse strings has given a tug.

    The saddest thing is that this war could spiral out of control and end up hurting the west rather more than any possible best case outcome... it is like watching a slow motion car crash... you know people are going to die, and there is nothing you can do about but either choose to watch, or turn away and pretend it is not happening.

    I am rather more worried about the West winning this one actually. And then going on to support the 'freedom' of 'oppressed peoples' in China, Russia, etc...

    If the West losses it will also be a disaster and turn the region into chaos.

    Basically it's a no-win scenario, but the greed of the Western elite seems to know no bounds.

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    How America Created The "Arab Spring"

    Post  gloriousfatherland on Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:00 am

    welcome Lets all do some research into the "Arab Spring" and lets come up with its inception, modus operandi and its consequences. Lets base it on Fact and smart analysis.Pretend your in the intelligence service of Iran, China or Russia and your the chief of the Mideast/Africa division of command, and your heads want you the intelligence field officer/defence analyst to answer this in terms of "What" "When" "How" "Why".....Let start thinking Very Happy and writing!

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  TR1 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:03 am

    Well, the Mubarak was a long time US ally, so I don't think they did anything there.

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    Salafi's Jihad against Syrian

    Post  Guest on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:45 am

    Salafi's Jihad against Syrian
    If there was any doubt as to Saudi intentions in Syria, that veil was ripped away on Sunday at the Istanbul "Friends of Syria" conference. The Saudis and their Gulf allies spearheaded an effort to create a formalized pay structure for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and privately ruminated on the possibility of setting up official supply conduits to forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This decision went much further than what the West, or even neighboring Turkey, seemed willing to embrace. But while the United States and her allies are wary of seeing Syria become a sectarian battleground, the power brokers in Riyadh are enthusiastically hurtling towards it.

    When the Syrian uprising began last March, Saudi Arabia was in a state of panic. The revolution in Egypt, the uprising in Bahrain, and the bubbling civil war in Yemen consumed attention and cultivated a manic siege mentality. This fear and clarion call for stability stymied any potential efforts at exploiting the regional chaos. However as the Saudi domestic and geopolitical situation began to stabilize, they began to look hungrily at the potential opportunity in Syria.

    The shift onto the offensive began in early August when King Abdullah tested the waters by staking out a position as the first Arab leader to castigate the Assad regime. While the Saudis escalated their rhetoric and began lobbying in Arab diplomatic circles, they also began to unchain their clerical soft power. A steady stream of firebrand clerics and senior religious officials began to take to the airwaves with official Saudi sanction to excoriate the Assad regime and encourage pious Muslims to strive against it. Clerics like Sheikh Adnan al-Arour, a Syrian-born Salafist preacher who has called for a jihad against the Assad regime have been given prime time coverage. The influence of these clerics and the increasing connection between them and fighters in Syria is evidenced by communiques from armed groups like the 'Supporters of God Brigade' in Hama which declared allegiance to al-Arour.

    To experienced Saudi watchers the escalating religious rhetoric being encouraged in the Kingdom may seem perplexing. For much of the past decade the Saudi government has worked to muzzle and regulate the ability of clerics to make calls for jihad, reinforcing the doctrine that such an action is only valid if endorsed by the King and his senior religious authorities. This was done to suppress the flow of recruits not only to al-Qaeda but to insurgent groups in Iraq and Yemen. However the Saudi decision is a sign that they are once again willing to embrace one of the most potent weapons in the Kingdom's arsenal, state directed jihad.

    It is one of the most tried and true weapons the Kingdom possesses having utilized it to fight Nasser in Yemen, the Serbs in Bosnia, and of course the Soviets in Afghanistan to name just a few. The Saudis have clearly made the calculus that the potential fruits of toppling Assad, and enthroning a Sunni aligned regime in Damascus are well worth the political risk.

    While the Istanbul conference marked what could arguably be termed the beginning of an overt state of conflict between Riyadh and Damascus, the signs have been building for months that the covert war has been in full swing. Reports that Saudi agents have been working in Jordan and Iraq to finance smuggling routes appear to have a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence, and is certainly a view endorsed by those taking part in such activities on the ground. While unsubstantiated and likely untrue accusations that Saudi Arabia has played a role in the spate of suicide attacks in Damascus belie a more likely fear that the Kingdom is strengthening its ties amongst Islamist groups in Syria.

    The danger of course is that while Saudi Arabia embarks on its jihad to topple Assad, it will get free reign in picking the winners and losers amongst the opposition. This will have the effect of distorting the movement by strengthening ideologically allied Islamist groups at the expense of moderates and secularists. Indeed there is a worrying precedent in Afghanistan where the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency altered the political landscape by controlling who did or did not receive support. If the Western powers, Turkey included, voluntarily stand aside and let Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies unilaterally control the process of arming the opposition, then they might find themselves appalled at the result.

    The international community as a whole should be cautious in the manner that it approaches intervention in Syria. Footing responsibility to Saudi Arabia and her allies risks ideologically poisoning the opposition movement as Sunni religious groups receive disproportionate support and other groups adapt their message to receive support. If the United States and her Western allies are committed to supporting the Syrian revolution, they cannot afford to sit back and do it through intermediaries.


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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  gloriousfatherland on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:47 am

    great read. Just asking, did you write this article?

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:32 am

    I agree with what you are saying too... Smile

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  George1 on Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:56 am

    Sergey Ivanov: About Saddam Hussein, refined liberals, the law of the jungle, foreign policy ambitions and lessons of history

    - The world learned that Russia was about to go to war against the Islamic State in Syria when you presented the president's request for permission to use the armed forces outside the national territory to the Federation Council (upper house of parliament).  You were the one who broke the news, so will you please tell us: 'Why now?'

    - Let's begin at the beginning. Memories are still green of how our US partners and colleagues in the late 2000s were explaining to me in great detail how very important it was to bring democracy to the Middle East. Now they've brought it there… For the whole world to see the results.

    The operation Enduring Freedom lasted in Afghanistan for thirteen years. The United States launched it in response to 9/11. It was the longest war the United States had ever fought. Its ultimate goal - victory over the Taliban - remained unachievable.

    As long as Saddam stayed in power, no one ever had the slightest idea some kind of terrorist groups might crop up in the territory of Iraq

    I don't think I'll have to explain to anybody what the Americans have plunged Iraq into more than a decade of chaos and lawlessness. One should remember that Saddam Hussein hated Al Qaeda and all other terrorists. Take it from me. True, while fighting against them he employed methods one can hardly call democratic. He was sending them to the gallows and he had them shot without inquest of trial. That was his way of settling scores with opponents. As long as Saddam stayed in power, no one ever had the slightest idea some kind of terrorist groups might crop up in the territory of Iraq. But then Saddam Hussein was sent to the gallows himself. With all the ensuing consequences.

    Next, to Libya. The country has now been turned into another Somalia. This says it all. The goal of North Africa's and the Middle East's conversion to democracy was again offered as the underlying motif

    Or take Egypt. Now it is somewhat outside the spotlight of public attention. Some other trouble spots are far hotter. But just recently, in 2012 the CNN was telecasting hours-long bombastic reports about waking popular masses in Cairo, and at times it came pretty close to presenting the Muslim Brotherhood as refined liberals and democrats… To cut a long story short: but for the courage and far-sightedness of the then Egyptian defense minister, General El-Sisi, the country these days would have been looking very much like Libya. In that situation there might've followed a merciless free-for-all. Mind you, Egypt is the most densely populated country of the Middle East with a population of more than 80 million. It was fortunate history turned it another way…

    Now, we have Syria…

    - I'm not sure about the 'now' part. The civil war there erupted back in 2011.

    - Correct. The conflict there has lasted for several years now. A large territory of the country is under the control of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. It's a hard fact! All of us have been witnesses to how very successful the international coalition has been in its more than twelve-month-long military campaign against the IS.

    - Are you being ironic?

    The way I see it, the world is at a turning point in international relations. On the one hand, there are the universally recognized institutions, like the UN Security Council. But for them all of us would've had a really hard time these days. And on the other, there are individual countries which position themselves as benchmarks of democracy and offhandedly defy international law. There is no written law they may agree to recognize. In fact, the sole rule they agree with is: "Might makes right." And that is a real menace. After all, the place where we all live is not the jungle, and nobody should feel free to ruin the established world order.

    In a sense, Syria is a litmus test. I won't be retelling now what exactly President  Putin told the UN General Assembly session, or review in detail the background of his request to the Federation Council for permission to use our armed forces to help the government in Damascus. I will just say once again that Russia in this particular case is pursuing no foreign policy ambitions whatsoever. It is crystal-clear that military means alone will never bring about a settlement in Syria. In the final count a political solution will have to begin to be looked for. A future solution will be complex and hard to achieve, but Syria as such is a no simple country. By the way, originally, the idea of an intra-Syrian alliance in the struggle against the Islamic State was not ours: it came from the French President, Francois Hollande. He speculated that the government troops under Bashar Assad and the so-called Free Syrian Army might present a common front. Of course, if the latter does exist in reality, and is not a virtual brainchild of some armchair pundits in the West. Any sensible opposition can be negotiated with and compromises are to be mutual - that's pretty clear.

    In the meantime, while this is still a matter of distant future, I would mention one more argument why Russia had to intervene in the Syrian conflict. As you may have heard, there are thousands of Russia or CIS-born people fighting for the Islamic State. So will you advise us to just watch and wait for them to be trained there and then get back home?

    Many are still not in the mood of saying certain things aloud. They just don't dare state them outright. But I will… Crowds of refugees from the Middle East are now heading for countries in southern Europe, hoping to cross it to Western Europe. How can one be sure that among the migrants there are no "sleepers" - sleeping agents or undercover terrorists who are on the way to the Old World for the purpose of settling down inconspicuously somehow and waiting for the D-day to come? And on that D-day they will emerge in the forefront again to play the very well familiar role. For instance, of a suicide bomber who is prepared to give up one's life for faith and take as many other human lives as possible? I wouldn't like to utter gloom prophecies, but I personally have no doubts it will happen this way. I am dead certain!

    - But aren't we provoking these radicals by getting involved in this war? Didn't the just-prevented terrorist attack in Moscow ring the first alarm bell?

    - We will do our utmost to ensure that nobody ever comes to Russia from the Islamic State, that all of them remain in Syrian soil.

    - But you haven't answered the question what was the reason for us to join the fight at this particular moment.

    - The situation has turned intolerant.

    - Some western media have been quoting anonymous sources - traditionally anonymous, I should say - in the Kremlin that President Putin was talked into beginning an air operation in Syria by a trio of Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and you. Was that really so?

    - I believe I should thank you first for mentioning me in such a good company… I am being ironic again, don't you see, so will you please forgive this habit of mine. Making serious comments regarding such "leaks" is always very hard. But if we are to stay neutral and discuss only the hard facts, I will say this: the mentioned "anonymous sources" got it all wrong. How it all happened was very different.

    - So, how did it all happen? Conspiracy theory fans are claiming that Syria is just a decoy operation, launched to switch attention from the east of Ukraine to the Middle East, to push Donbas into the background.


    - It's absurd to refute plain gossip. I've already explained why we found it right and appropriate to respond to the request from Syria's legitimate leadership for help in fighting against terrorists of all sorts. What attempts to switch attention are you talking about? Look here, it was not us who staged the anti-constitutional coup in Kiev, right? I am ready to discuss the theme of Ukraine in greater detail, if you wish. Just as our efforts to get out of the so-called isolation no matter what. I love history and I do know that Russia has always been looked at as a threat and with great suspicion, to put it mildly. That was so when Russia was an empire and ruled by tsars, it was so throughout the Soviet years, and we still see the same today. Alexander Solzhenytsin said perfectly well that from time immemorial the West had felt scared of Russia's enormity. Enormity, mind you! We saw sanctions taken against us back during the rule of the Romanov dynasty. There's nothing new about them. Trade barriers were put up and financial obstructions posed again and again… Those measures were far harsher than the current ones. But we managed. We didn't get scared in the past, and we will stay firm this time. The West grossly exaggerates the influence of the latest sanctions on the Russian economy. True, they do pose certain hindrances to us, it would be foolish to deny the obvious, but I will say again and again that in the past we lived through far greater problems.

    Attempts to punish Russia are senseless and ineffective. Take the expulsion from the G8. Some must've thought we would get very much upset. But the G8 is certainly not the place where we would like to get back. Honestly! In the 1990s Russia spent much time and effort for the sake of being admitted to this club of select few; it eventually got there only to see for itself that the G8 was no longer capable of addressing any of the fundamental issues humanity was confronted with at the current stage. True, it is possible to get together to talk about the western attitude (western, mind you) to this or that issue, but the world today is very different. The G20 - that's the worthy level. It is there that truly important themes are being discussed and solution mechanisms can be devised. Here is a Syria-related example. The need for eliminating the arsenals of chemical weapons in that country was agreed on within the G20 format, and not the G8 or G7 group. So there no regrets about the demise of the G8, believe me.

    As for the procedure employed to make the decision to dispatch a Russian air group (which in the past would've possibly been called a limited troop contingent) to the base near Latakia, there was no haste or anything spontaneous. All steps had been considered well beforehand and agreed with the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. It is common knowledge that the combat aircraft and some special units of the Russian armed forces had been dispatched to Syria well in advance…

    - Although we kept denying everything at first.


    - We didn't. We neither confirmed nor denied the reports. We merely refrained from comment. That's standard international practice. And quite legitimate, by the way. But let's be realistic: everybody understands that the redeployment of several dozen planes cannot be kept secret. Everything can be seen well from space.

    The final discussion on the operation in Syria, with senior military officials taking part, was held at a meeting of Russia's Security Council late in the evening on September 29. We considered all the pros and cons, all strengths and weaknesses once again. The presidential request to the Federation Council followed only after that. I brought the text to the FC building in Bolshaya Dmitrovka Street early the next morning…

    - The Americans have already predicted the losses the Russians will soon sustain in Syria. It's clear that there can be no war without losses, but how large is the risk of such developments? What do you think?

    - As I've said, we gauged all likely risks.  Our troops will not be involved in clashes on the ground. We declared that from the outset and in very clear terms. The air base from where our planes fly combat missions is inside an area under the full control of Syrian government forces. There is a certain level of protection, and a very serious one. Apart from the air pilots and the maintenance personnel based in Latakia there is a small commando unit responsible for guarding the airbase. That's a natural precaution and any other country would've taken it. So I wouldn't say there is a serious risk of an attack against the Russian air group in Syria. Theoretically everything is possible, but all precautions have been taken.

    As for what has been said about the expected losses, we'd prefer to be more tactful and to avoid counting the US Marines who've already lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    http://tass.ru/en/politics/829778


    _________________
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    Walther von Oldenburg
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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:57 pm

    Dunno if if fits there - two Saudi activists for human rights were just sentenced to 10 years of jail.

    It's amazing that the same human rights organizations that are so quick to condemn the most minor violations of human rights in Russia not even once condemned Saudi Arrabia for what it does.

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    Re: Arab Spring Discussion

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