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09 April 2014

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Tyler

No you see Fred, all you have to say is ISLAMOFASCIST a thousand times and talk about Israel Uber Alles, the little democracy that could, and that's all you need to know about the Middle East.

Otherwise what are you, some sort of Pat Buchanan who wants to Holocaust the Jews all over again?

Eliot

I think the weird part of it all is the hint of moral indictment. The Syrian Air Force is using a low technology weapon ergo they are inferior. I would say quite the opposite, it speaks to their intelligence - they've created a nice little precision bomb for pennies on the dollar.

Fred

You've got me there Tyler. What with Saddam = Hitler, Assad = Hitler, Putin = Hitler, Ahmadinejad = Hitler and so on what is a lonely little nuclear armed state blockading Gaza and the West Bank to do but demand the US take action.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I fear that in Cameron’s case the remark about ‘Jesus’s donkey’ may be to the point. From an interview on his first visit to the United States as PM, in July 2010:

“I think it’s important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the U.S., but we are the junior partner,’ he said. ‘We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis.”

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1296551/David-Cameron-describes-Britain-junior-partner-Americans-1940.html )

Tyler

The Nazis are coming from inside my brain at this point!

Tyler

Liquid natural gas must flow.

Medicine Man

But the nation that is gradually ethnically cleansing their neighbor and appropriating their land? Crickets.

bth

Thanks for the link. If I read it correctly Syria needs $6 billion a year and is getting $4 billion via line of credit from Iran in 2013. I can't imagine Syria is exporting oil to speak of such as they have it and tourism revenue must be non-existent. So Syria's economy must be wiped out. Then there is the oil for commodities deal that Russia and Iran are negotiating at 0.5 million barrels a day which at $103/bbl would be about $18 billion annually. Given that the deal seems to be sped up from August to now, before the nuclear sanctions are/if resolved in July, just makes me wonder what the full dynamic actually is here. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/russia-oil-talks-pose-hurdle-iran-nuke-pact-23266319 And curiously the Russian intermediary isn't named. As to China and Syria I don't see recent open source info on their economic relations.

Thomas

What got me about Ms Kardashian's power with her followers was an incident after her TV divorce from mid-level NBA player Kris Humphries, who shows up with his team at MSG while she is sitting on celebrity row, and gets mercilessly booed. I didn't realize her show had that audience watching.

For those of her people that normally wouldn't pay close attention to global events, they would be now on this issue. And the Turkish-Armenian conflict is coming back into vogue again.

Tyler

You must be a Nazi if you think Jews have had agency since Solomon.

Tyler

Gotta keep in mind since the rise of neoconservatism and the new neoliberalism (really two sides of the same coin) its been all about convincing the US to bomb the shit out of Christians in the name of non-Christians.

Bandolero

bth

Syria's oil production almost dropped to zero, there are no Syrian oil exports anymore. As I read the article just the Iranian help with oil on credit to Syria is worth USD 500m per month. That Iran delivers a lot of oil to Syria seems very logical to me. Since the west sanctioned Iranian oil exports, and Iran must let oil flow so that Iranian production facilities would not harmed by becoming dry, it makes perfect sense to Iran to deliver to Syria a lot of oil - which it can't sell otherwise anyway.

On top of this Iran, Russia and China help Syria with other "vast credit lines," too. How much that is is the major wildcard what is hard to get know from the outside. I think it's quite a lot, probable multiple times more than Iranian oil help of USD 500 mln monthly. Syria's agrar production is severely damaged due to the war and it's industry and tourism sector is almost completely broken due to war and western sanctions.

Nevertheless the Syrian pound is quite stable since a while, state employees are paid - even those in regions occupied by rebels, Syrian soldiers got even wage increases and quite large structures of pro-government "National Defense Force" neighborhood militias were founded and are paid. In addition to this the Syrian government has likely high expenses for weapons and sheltering and nuturing internal refugees. As Syria produces almost nothing anymore this hints to me that some outside powers are paying a lot of money to keep Syria economically afloat. And the economically and financially most capable of these outside powers known to be friendly with the Syrian government is clearly China. My estimation is that Iran and Russia are operating visible in support for Syria, while China prefers to silently hold the back of Russia and Iran.

But simply paying the bills to keep small Syria afloat with some billion of Dollars monthly still for me seems to pale for the costs of western economic pressure. Hillary Clinton seems to have had a similar idea when in July 2012 she called for every nation in the world to bring pressure on Russia and China due to their support for Syria:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-friends-of-syria-must-unite-to-stop-russia-china-blockading-progress/

I read in Chinese media that some influental Chinese people believe this Clinton's call to bring pressure on China due to Syria was the true origin of the suddenly increased "island trouble" between Japan and China. So some people in China saw the Japan as a proxy of the US bringing pressure on China due to it's stance on the Syrian issue and China decided to fight off that pressure and managed to do it decisively by crashing Japanese cars and hitting thereby Japanese car companies very hard.

My Opinion: That surprisingly decisive and successful Chinese stand against pressure of the western alliance seems to me to be the key to understand why Assad still stands tall despite western politicians trying hard to press for another outcome. Western politicians seem to have totally underestimated the seriousness of the UNSC vetos of the economic superpower China.

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