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13 November 2013


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William R. Cumming

Thanks NN!

nagi najjar

b, you were correct on this one,,,,,, : http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/15/334772/takfiris-behead-fellow-militant/ , this issue is making lots of noises internally,,( including the Farsi press) ,,, however nobody believe they decapitated him by " mistake",,,,,, that was definitely an Intel penetration and manipulation by the regime to sow discord among the rebels,,,,and create infighting,,,,,, Isis , Nusra and Ahrar el Sham fight together on the battlefield,,,,,they all talk to each others behind the scenes,,, , Isis is targeting lots of FSA officers on its "kill list",,,,, these are double agents acting for the regime, the Syrian Intel excel in these kinds of scenarios,,,, lots of fighting have happened the last few days between the FSA and ISIS ,,,,, this is one segment of this scenario,,,,,,,Again, ISIS is big time penetrated by the Russian Intel ( Chechnya - Dagestan fighters),,,Chechnuans fighters inside Syria speaks fluent Russian ,,,,, they are the ones that kidnapped the two Christians bishops in Aleppo and the regime blamed the FSA for the hit,,,,,, penetrated by the Assad regime ( most of these were inmates in Assad jails, released at the beginning of the conflict , aka AQ Abu Musab el Suri & Al ) ,,,, and Iranian Intel,,,,, lots of these extremists were released by Maliki from Baghdad's jail per Iran's request ,,,, why? they have been sent to find inroad inside Syria,,,,, now Russia, Iran and Assad will blackmail the West with these groups using them as proxies,,,,,, Russia is removing all this dirt from central Asia with the knowledge of the SVR and sending it away from its territory on purpose,,,,,,, to keep the headache away from Russia and fail simultaneously the course in Syria for the West,,,,,,


FB Ali,

Erdogan and the AKP government in Turkey are not crazy, but definitely clueless. They are clever in a peasant way, but not intelligent. Their religious, sectarian, self-serving and anti-modern ideology has carried them to the point they are now, but they certainly bankrupted now when confronted with a truly international crisis as it exist now in Syria.

Turkish Military and the Police are now two totally different entities. Police is the Republican Guard for the Erdogan government, whereas the Army used to be previously, and the Army is emasculated to the point that they are no longer a force to be contended with. The police and the intelligence services are working directly to carry Erdogan policies, not the State policies. As far as Syria is concerned, it is obvious now that the stand Erdogan took earlier was entirely sectarian based. So as long as the Jihadis now flocking into Syria were Sunni, and not Alawite or Shiite, they have no problem with them. This is what is crazy, and I don't think they see it even now. They will realize soon that the old adage "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" will not, and never applied in Middle East, especially with the Jihadis.


Nagi Najjar,

Thank you for your concern, I can not, and will not go to Syria or Iran for obvious reasons, unless I have false papers. My earlier post was hypothetical, to illustrate how easy it would be to go into Syria now if one wanted to, especially for one willing to die for the cause to begin with.

Your take on the situation in border areas are very well informed and correct, your advise as not to go is also sensible as well for anyone. The short of the matter is the border does not exist in traditional sense anymore. It was an artificial one to begin with.

Somebody made an analogy in a different post about how much Syrian civil war is like the Spanish Civil war. Istanbul now is very much like it was during WWII, like Lisbon and Bern. It is so easy for anyone to blend in here and come and go as they please. I will be surprised antenna dish business is not booming at all the embassies of the countries you mentioned above.


Israel for one. Kurds, for another one. Hezbullah for another, because they gain fighting experience, distract Israel's attention and get their hands on all kinds of new toys. Oh, El Kaide and the Jihadis are benefiting tremendously, who knows, they may even get a Khalifa out of it.

Secondary beneficiaries, AK47 and RPG merchants, Patriot Missile manufacturers, private security firms, tent manufacturers and undertakers.


"There is no U turn to that request,,,,even if it means 1 million casualties"

A lot of people. If it is that, then indeed it is victory or bust. Peace talks - what for?

You bothered asking the candidates for that million casualties for their opinion on whether it's worth it? Do they share your willingness to sacrifice?

What precisely is it for you that makes it worth it, killing off 1/20th of Syrians? That Assad is a tyrrant, a heretic, or both? It's unlikely to be the woman rights.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Kunuri!

William R. Cumming

Perhaps our foreign policy in MENA is too subtle for the US government and polity!

Would there be merit in more clarity and simplification?

What if the US were to clearly state that it is now clear that FDR and others contributed to the largely successful holocaust in Europe by US actions and policy and that out of a sense of collective guilt the USA wishes to preserve Israel? And as to the rest of MENA and the Palestinians our only interest is oil?


Babak Makkinejad

There is a huge difference between different identities and divisions. Of course, people in the region have different identities, like anywhere else.

Speaking in socio-cultural historic terms, you may easily track such different identities as far back as to prehistoric times. See here, a map of the Byzantine and the Sassanid empire in their last days, looking quite a lot like today's mainly "Sunni" and mainly "Shia" regions:


When you take a look a bit closer, there exist many more different schools of jurisprudence and identities connected to those than "Sunni" and "Shia":


But now we live in the 21. Century. Almost nowhere in the world differences in identity are faught over violently in these times. The Thirty Years' War in Europe was finished almost 400 years ago.

So how does it come that in the region of western asia such identity differences lead to divisions and bring about wars, even though it's now the 21st century?

The answer is simple: using differences in identity to stoke up divisions and violence is a tool of war, psychological warfare if you want. That psychological warfare to stoke up divisions between sects in western asia was and is used by the British-US-zionists empire and their puppets in the region to excert power by divide et impera.

To understand that you just need to read any Reuters report about Syria. Reuters and mush of the western press is not reporting, but engaged in psychological warfare, trying to transform a political and socio-economic conflict in Syria into a conflict of religious identity (Sunni vs Shia) following the age-old divide et impera scheme. If you follow the website of AIPAC, you might have seen that AIPAC was at the forefront of that effort in the summer 2012.

It's easy to see what's that about: AIPAC thinks if the conflict in Syria is seen as "friends of Israel" against "friends of Iran" then the "friends of Iran" will win, but if the conflict is seen as Sunni-Shia, then "friends of Iran" will lose due to the composition of the Syrian population.

It's just a classic tactic of psychological warfare, but unfortunately for AIPAC and it's friends, the Syrian and Iranian leadership understands it well and didn't fall into that trap.


With this prolivity for swift and forceful punishment one is left with the dilemma that once that head is off, it can't be put on again, quite literally in this case.

What an absurd episode. And speaking of that ...

"Petrov gets on his horse and, addressing the crowd, makes a speech about what will happen if, in the place where the public park now is, an American skyscraper will be built. The crowd listens and evidently is in agreement. Petrov notes down something for himself in his notebook. From the crowd there may be distinguished a man of average height who asks Petrov what he has written down for himself in his notebook. Petrov replies that this concerns only himself. The man of average height persists. One word leads to another: and a strife ensues. The crowd takes the side of the man of average height and Petrov, to save his hide, urges on his horse and makes off round the bend. The crowd gets agitated and, for the lack of another victim, grabs the man of average height and tears off his head. The torn off head rolls down the pavement and gets stuck in an open drain. The crowd, having satisfied its passions, disperses.

Daniil Charms, A Lynching"

I for my part am convinced that the people who cut that poor fellas head off were likewise quite satisfied in their respective passions.


"nobody believe they decapitated him by " mistake",,,,,, "

Far from it. Executions are by their very nature quite deliberate affairs.


I mean, you make that very point by implication - that apparently the beheading would have been an absolutely adequate measure had be indeed been a Assad government soldier.

After I read about Jihadis, to the dismay of local farmers, shooting randy goats for their utterly immodest behaviour in Iraq, without taking so much time as to consider that they are animals and incapable of a culpable act, and judging by the multitude of videos that document the killings of Syrian government soldiers at the hands of Jihadis, I can very easily see how they, without further ado, would chop off the head of a guy they think is a Syrian government soldier.

The point here is that the beheading is the feature, and the only bug is the mistaken indentity of the victim.


Good. Why should the Saudi- and Qatari-funded mercenaries be unopposed?


"...the Army is emasculated to the point that they are no longer a force to be contended with."

Does that mean the Army can no longer overthrow democratically elected governments? If so, thank God.

Maybe the Turkish Armed Forces chould focus on protectiong Turkish civilians instead of watching passively while the IDF murders them on the high seas.



Are you at all concerned that Erdogan may think that further elections might be a bad thing if the progress of Islamism in Turkey is challenged thereby? pl

Nagi Najjar

Agree,,,, but the point here also is that the Assad regime is doing all in power to push the Rebellion on the path of Islamic extremism, to justify what it is doing worldwide,,,, therefore to make it look bad and unreliable to the West, and try to drive a wedge,,,, , just as you say now,,,beheadings , kidnappings of western journalists ect,,, , many in the FSA see ISIS as a product of the regime, not the Rebellion,,,, while the Revolution objectives are the downfall of Assad , the replacement of his regime by a state of institution, rallying all of the minorities around it, and move on the page,,,,, the zulus of ISIS & AQ are preaching for the Caliphate, targets the nationalistic officers of the FSA, lure and kidnap " western hostages" , their modus operandi is doing all in power to derail the Rebellion from its original track,,,,,, most sequestrated Syrian soldiers are imprisoned by the FSA and treated with some kind of dignity,,,,with ISIS and AQ they are shot automatically,,,, this is not by coincidence,,,,, it is all by agenda and manipulation,,,, the Agency should have stepped in long ago, bolster the moderate units and strengthen them,,,nothing happened,,,,( only in op-eds & US newspapers ) , the only side that got the logistics and the weapons from Qatar & Arabia are the extremist proxies,,,four main entities , all four has for agenda the Caliphate,, FSA is marginalized,,,,did not get one friendly bullet from the beginning of the war,,,,, so is the US,,it will become marginalized and neutralized in the future,,,, DOS is doing the wrong job ,,,,,, US boots on the ground was not needed, rather a covert op, shaping the right elements in the right format ,,,,Syria by going rogue will be worse than Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan ,,,,it will be a nightmare to the West,,,, and this is where Russia intends to take it,,,,in order for America not to digest it,,,,,,, Agree in general on the whole picture you are describing,,,,



"the point here also is that the Assad regime is doing all in power to push the Rebellion on the path of Islamic extremism, to justify what it is doing worldwide,," Nonsense, the jihadi element has always been dominant in this revolt. pl


Thanks Babak, I think Bandolero is not Russian but German. Although he did not answer my question a while ago, how old he is and were exactly he grew up in the context of "re-education". Which for me matters since the region I partly grew up not the Americans but the French were in charge. I am always in personal memories in that context, if there are any. That's why age matters. ... "B" and "b" seem to both have a fast dot connecting approach. ;)

"Evening of the Strangers". Hmm? That may be something that cannot be solved with googling in English?

I just stumbled across what you may refer too in an interesting discussion somewhere else. That is a really helpful information to understand the Shia - Sunni difference more historically.

Wikipedia has this context:


Could you tell me why you refer to it as the "Evening of the Stranger"? How could find more about the specific Persian customs beyond Ta'zieh? Although that is interesting on its own.



"...the region I partly grew up not the Americans but the French were in charge." How would that have made a difference? pl

Babak Makkinejad

That is all fine as far as an attempt at historical explanations go, but now you are departing from your initial statement that blamed the Quds Force - an instrument of the (Shia) Islamic Republic of Iran - for the divisions among Muslims.

This latest post by you is putting the blame on Israelis, their instrument of foreign influence in US, namely AIPAC and the US puppets in the Middle East.

You seem to have made a 180-degree change.

The relevant members among those "puppets" - as you say - are Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The first one wishes to eliminate all schools that are not Wahabi from the world of Islam and the other one - with little persuasion and arms-twisting by US & EU - went after the chimera of regime-change in Syria.

All I see is that US, EU, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia initiating a religious war in Syria to wound Iran.

I think Iran is the most significant Shia state in the world - the other being Azerbaijan Republic, in its pre-Shia phase - and the Doctors of Religion there are committed to the welfare of Shia everywhere.

And assault on Iran is an assault on Shia Islam, in my view and would be most likely viewed as such by those Doctors of Religion in Najaf, Qum, Beirut, Mashad and elsewhere.

This project of the wounding of Iran via Syria always had the potential of becoming a sectarian war – as did the Civil War in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Syria, and in Southern Russia.

Now, given the history of the 30-year War in Germany, why did Europeans support this policy?

Why did the European states determine that Iran – and the Shia – are their enemies?

Who were the responsible men and women for such policy choices in EU states; can you name some names?

And by the way, the Muslim world is in year (lunar) 1343, (solar) 1392.

Babak Makkinejad

Evening /Night of Strangers:

The ceremonies are held on the evening of the Day of Ashoura which commemorate the suffering & humiliation of the “Strangers” – the surviving captive members of the families of Imam Hussein as well as those of his companions after the Battle of Karbala.

Below, please find photographs of the ceremonies in Tehran and in Mashad:


Among those captives was Imam Hussein’s sister – Zeynab – who is buried in Damascus in the area called Zeynabiyah.

Do not underestimate the effect of the call on the Shia to protect her shrine in the current situation obtaining in Syria – “We will not let Lady Zeynab be held in captivity again.”

Nagi Najjar

dear friend,,,,,, with respect,

Not during the first year of the war,,,( where most of the Rebels advances and victories happened on the ground by the FSA) , the extremists were none existent yet,,,,maybe a very few,,,,,,,,, they beefed up after the meeting in Antalyia , sponsored by Qatar first, US, France, UK , Arabia and many gulf states had observers in that meeting , the meeting was a "coup" sponsored by Qatar against the FSA ,,,, it created a parallel entity under the FSA banner called the " Supreme Military Council" ( SMC) , in the West, the Qatar lobby in DC $$$ promoted the SMC as the " moderate element" of the Rebellion, de facto on the ground, it was the main conduit to the MB,,,,, they installed Gen Idriss as chairman, not to do what is good for Syria, rather what was good for Qatar regional MB's designs, ,,,,, when Qatar was sidelined by the US and replaced by Arabia , Arabia sidelined the MB's and replaced the course with the Wahabis, Takfiris and salafists,,,,,all the support went to these, using Idriss command as a conduit to support Arabia's proxies ,,,,, few well armed salafists militias,,,,,,, don't confuse these with the FSA . The SMC of Idriss counts 9 officers and 20 civilians running the command,,,,,, the FSA of Col Riad counts 300 officers in its command , among them 20 senior defected Generals of the Syrian Army,,,,, the FSA does not include Jihadis elements , it is the " moderate" SMC that does,,,,,, The West mixed it up,,,, and didn't care neither,,,,,,, the Syrian platform was a little complex , the US dropped serious support to the Rebellion,,,,, it is at this stage when the FSA was marginalized by Qatar and Arabia,,,,, these two regional states started to pump money, food, logistics, support and arms respectively to its groups on the ground that the Jihadi element became dominant on the ground,,,( with the supervision of the Agency) ( It had agents monitoring all of that on the border ) ,, but it is not all,,,,, despite no support, the FSA is still a robust entity across Syria that nobody can ignore,,, it counts 80,000 - 100,000 fighters in its rank,,,still, as of today, there no communication channel between DC and the FSA ,,,, and neither Bandar $$$ in its ranks to promote Arabia's agenda,,,,, Arabia & Qatar both are seen part of the problem and not part of the solution within the FSA,,,, they have divided their ranks and turned the FSA against each other , each state for their regional personal influence & benefit, not what is good for Syria,,,,,, Bandar excelled in creating demons that he could not control at a later stage ,,,,, was the 1st Afghanistan war not enough? with AQ, the Talibans and all the rest,,,,,,,,,History is repeating itself,,,,, in Afghanistan, the first war,,,, US had the chance to support the nationalistic element of the Afghani resistance, Shah Masood, instead with the recommendation of Paki ISI and Saudi Intel,,,,, it ended up supporting AQ & Al as we all saw where did this strategy have led,,,,,,, same thing in Syria is happening today,,,,, the extremists are getting the support,,,,,, and the center stage rebellion is sitting on the shelf,,,,,,, what will be the end of it,,,,,, a regional nuclear exchange,,,,,, ? I don't see the US turning that page anymore,,, the word America has a negativity on the ground with what this Administration have done,,,,,,, US credibility has vanished,,,,,,,, and it is only going from worse to worst,,,,,,,, should we wait for a Salafist Sheikh to sit with his tank on the Golan Heights preaching the road to Jerusalem in order for the West to move, it will be too late,,,,, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan all the way to Iran,,,, and everything in between will be pulverized then, sucked up in that big black whole that is the Middle East,,,, and the US will be dragged in that Armageddon, there is no escape from it, so far the US has lost a lot on the regional chessboard as a reliable power,,,,,nobody simply trust it,, not its allies neither its enemies,,,,,



"Not during the first year of the war," I don't believe that. IMO this was always a sectarian war and it has only become more so with the passage of time. You sound like all the SNA and SNC spokesmen that I have encountered in meetings in DC who earnestly maintain that this was a secular revolution in the beginning, something that Tom Paine would have supported. In fact, Sunni Imams were among the leaders from the start. Surely, you do not deny that the goal of the revolutionaries has always been the end of Alawi rule. pl


Oh, jees...


"many in the FSA see ISIS as a product of the regime"

They may just try to flatter themselves on that. At the same time, they may give Assad too much credit.

Naturally, Assad has an interest in dividing the rebels to weaken them. He can be expected to exploit that. The man is fighting for his life after all.

Now, what about ISIS being the product of the extent to which ISIS represents pre-existing attitudes of Syrian Sunni and Syria's Muslim Brotherhood. From what I read about what they did to Alawites in the last couple decades on occasion, in particular in the events preceding the Hama example, there is not much difference between their conduct and that of contemporary Jihadis, pod casts aside.

Or what about ISIS being the product, to the extent they rely on foreigners, of those who fund them, and train them and ferry their international volunteers into Syria?

Seriously, the rebels appear, if the perpetually rotating chairmanship of the FSA is any indication, to be just perfectly capable of division on their own. How many chairmen did they have so far? How long was the average duration of chairmanship? A month? Two?

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