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11 September 2015


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ex-PFC Chuck

Thank you, Patrick, for this detailed chronology of the Syria fiasco. In the past few hours I have run across two articles that focus on other aspects of this situation. The first is a piece published at several venues two days ago by Gareth Porter that discusses the bureaucratic gridlock that apparently condemn the US to the foreign policy equivalent of continually beating our head on a stone wall. The other is by former USAF officer and Pentagon civil servant Franklin (Chuck) Spinney, who argues that the refugee exodus that has been incited by ISIS has now become a grand strategic weapon in its hands, whether or not the atrocities were originally intended with this in mind. Both pieces are must reads in my view.


Looking forward to next installment. Minor point: I beleieve Bashar is an opthamologist not dentist. Thanks again for informative and entertaining summary.

Patrick Bahzad

think you're right ! Thx for pointing this out ... it's the end of the week, suppose I can use that as an excuse ;-)

Johnny Reims

Thanks for this essay. Contrasting your analysis to that found in the US msm is like contrasting Marion Cotillard to Cyrus Miley.

Look forward to sequel.


I don't know what you are saying. Wonder if it is clear to the visitor from voronezh who just popped up on the traffic feed.

Patrick Bahzad

I don't know what you're saying either ...


My instinctive -- i.e., not well-thought out -- reaction to the revolt in Syria was, support the Alawite regime on the conditions that Assad goes, and the next regime institute economic and then political reforms. I think the old saw of fearing anarchy more than tyranny has significant truth in it. Instability makes the risk of any human rights gains getting wiped out very high.

Also, I think the lone superpower needs to look for incremental improvements in the various repressive countries, not for revolution. China has shown that a country can be economically vibrant without being politically free; and my gut feeling is that a prosperous dictatorship can have political reforms easier than a poor dictatorship.

Yes, who am I to sacrifice the human rights of so many people into the indefinite future? But the alternate route, as seen in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt seems to be far worse, human rights are a joke if you can't be protected from being raped or beheaded.


Thanks for your efforts Patrick, they're most appreciated.

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