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23 November 2015

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SteveG

We could send Gritz and Fritz
class of 76 to monitor the results!

plantman

It's not just democracy that is at stake in Syria, it is national sovereignty.
Should King Salman be forced to comply with internationally-monitored elections at gunpoint because Putin thinks he's "lost his legitimacy"?

The question is never even asked. It is only asked if the leader is considered an obstacle to Washington's geopolitical ambitions.

I, for one, am glad that Putin has deployed his warplanes to challenge this strange idea that one country can arbitrarily dictate who is "legitimate and who is not.
Sovereignty is the foundation upon which international law rests. Remove it and you end up with the world we have today, where one country has basically undermined security from N Africa across the ME and into central Asia.

That system is NOT working very well.

LondonBob

The irony of the Gulfies and Turkey demanding Syria hold free and fair elections seems to be lost on everyone but me.

The Beaver

Colonel,

Looks like the French FM has not come around like his President or his predecessor or some members of the former Govt who were for the fall of Assad:

http://www.challenges.fr/france/20151121.CHA1846/fabius-bachar-al-assad-ne-peut-pas-etre-l-avenir-de-la-syrie.html

I guess the Iranians must know him by now

turcopolier

All

look, pilgrims, this is a way to call the bluff of all the jihadi backers. pl

Will

Assad is just the talking point. He had a nice ophthalmology practice in London and wasn't really interested in governance until his father recalled him.

The borg would not be satisfied with free elections, Assad would win anyway. They want to rewrite the constitution to their liking. Their "Assets" must then be ensured control.

"The new constitution would set a limit of two seven-year terms for future presidents and also removed Article 8 of the constitution of Syria, which states that "the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party leads the state and society.""

so far so good. this must be the sticking point:
"The text removes the Baath party monopoly over the political life in Syria. The constitution also states that political parties cannot be founded on ethnic, religious, regional and tribal basis.[4] Any planned political party must get the government's permission and approval before it is to be formed."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_constitutional_referendum,_2012

turcopolier

Will

All that stuff on paper, constitutions, etc. is just paper with which the powerful wipe their a---s. It is stuff for lawyers to talk about. In the ME, lawyers have only one real function and that is to draw up contracts which may, or may not be enforceable. The point of my post is to challenge the Borg. Assad is a lot more than a figurehead. If he was just a figurehead the Borg would let him be. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Putin landed today in Tehran and without any ceremony - none - went straight to a meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei that lasted 2
hours.

The reading was this: Western policy in the Middle East is a threat to both Iran and Russia and the 2 countries will work together to neutralize that threat.

Matthew

Col: I suspect Assad knows he will win a free election for the simple reason that he's the least worse alternative.

turcopolier

Matthew

Nah! It's the ME we are talking about, a world of scumbags. In the ME Assad is a pussy cat. pl

bell

not really.. i think this coming election in saudi arabia will be the first one where women are elected to vote.. that is a good analogy for all of this smoke and mirrors bs... why it was only a month or so ago that we here in canada got to vote for a new prime minister.. the last one - harper - had made it so anyone outside of the country couldn't vote unless they were in the country... that is a good example of the neo-con mindset of voting.. this proposal in the article is more smoke and mirrors bs from the same ones who don't give a fig for anything democratic..

bell

there bluff has already been called and they continue to obfuscate while pouring more gasoline on the fire any way they can.. they seemed to have learned well from their teachers - the west..

A1

Sorry but your comment shows a lack of knowledge about how our Canadian system works. We vote in a riding for a local MP. We do not vote for a party or for a prime minister. We vote for a person

If you do not live in the country or do not have residency where is your vote supposed to be counted? What riding?

Harper was wrong about lots of things - but banning non residents from voting is not one of them. And if you want to comment please comment on our current system, not the one you would like. From a moral perspective, given how our current system works, what right do you have to vote in a geographic area you if you don't live in the area?

turcopolier

A1

I thought to mock you in an exaggerate Southern voice, but in the end I thought it not worth the effort. I am a dual US/Canadian national and have the paper work. I understand that I can not vote in Canadian elections because I do not have a "riding." That in spite of my ancestors having founded New France in 1617. And Anglo ancestors having emigrated from the US to whatever Canada was called in 1802. In the US you cannot vote unless you have a state and precinct. Did you know that? pl

Haralambos

bell,
With all due respect, I think there are many good reasons to deny citizens living abroad and not physically in the country the right to vote. I say this as an American who has voted absentee over 30+ years in federal elections but only a few local elections, since I do not feel well-enough educated on some of the local issues, nor do I feel I have a right to decide on local tax issues that will not affect me. My wife holds both US and Irish citizenship. She votes in US elections as I do, but she cannot vote in Ireland unless she is physically present. An Irish friend explained the sound logic behind this many years ago, given that Ireland had four million plus citizens and 40 million Irish-? like my wife. Letting these 40 million vote to determine the policies of four million who need to live with them could and probably would lead to numerous anomalies if not results that were outright undemocratic.

user1234

It would definitely be interesting.

I like the calling the bluff part. I guess that was done a little bit in Egypt already, wouldn't hurt to repeat the experiment.

Speaking of which, what would a nationwide election mean for the independence of the Kurds? What if the winner is a theocratic or sectarian government other than IS? Brings up lots of hard questions -- and they should be brought up!

Bill Herschel

"The argument is made by the Borg (led by or leading Obama) that Assad has lost his "legitimacy" (always a tricky thing to establish)."

Selective legitimacy. Let's hold an election with universal suffrage in Saudi Arabia.

All my comments, and there should undoubtedly be either none of them or far, far fewer, come ultimately out of furious rage. For me, Ukraine tore the fig leaf off the satanic degree of hypocrisy at work in the "leadership" of the U.S.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

J

Colonel,

I notice how silent Kerry is when it comes to ridding the ME of the ISIS's real underwriters.

bell

thanks A1 for going over what i already know in your first paragraph and assuming i'm an ignoramus.. http://tinyurl.com/mc7kbsu
changes were made to elections canada thanks harper which prevented many from voting - specifically those canucks living abroad who are residents of canada.. hopefully the link goes thru to fill you in on what i am referring to and what harpers gov't was successful in overturning here later into 2014..

Drew

This is tangential, but in regards to IS/ISIS, is the rise of the term meaning bigot "Daesh" among Arabic speakers likely to impact the steady stream of new members joining their ranks or is it just the wet dream a linguist like myself thinks branding them with such a name will alter the choices these people make?

Robb

Not sure what morality has to do with this. I think the larger point is countries themselves can decide how to structure their elections. In the US you can vote in a jurisdiction without living there. You do need to be a registered resident. I personally voted in California elections (state, city, county) while living in Paris. You can argue whether that makes sense or not but that is the way it works.

confusedponderer

Ah, elections in Syria, with Assad running!

Don't you know that Assad has lost the legitimacy to govern? Being illegitimate he cannot possibly have any domestic support. Should the devil Assad win - given that he is a devil and everybody knows it - that can only mean that he cheated, and we knew that beforehand that he would. Someone who barrel-bombs his own people, is also mean to kittens and always cheats in elections. Always! Especially if he wins.

So, clearly any elections with Assad running are a farce. The Syrian opposition agrees also, and what possible self interest could they have to say just such a thing?

No, Assad must wear hair shirt, publicly flog and then hang himself on a Damascus square 'for the sake of the Freedom™ of the Syrian people', 'justice' and, natutrally, for the Borg's unrelenting and inflexible hostility to be appeased. A distant second option for the Borg, since it wouldn't involve Assad getting killed, would be for him being brought before the ICC for trial, sentencing and public humiliation.

Assad's petulant rejection of these attractive prospects for himself, his extended family and supporters only proves his persistent wickedness and why he has lost his legitimacy to rule in the first place. He must see that himself, and that again only underlines his wickedness.

That said, for as long as the Borg keep up that habit of propagandizing themselves and actually believing their personalisation and demonisation of foreign leaders they will continue to formulate dysfunctional foreign policy.

It's not just Assad - the devil! - but Putin, Putin, Putin - the KGB thug! - as well. As if there are non other Syrians and Russians.

The world has always been more complex than a cartoon strip characterisations one is being tread to atm in the MSM. To wit: Propaganda is supposed to be only for the rubes, the elites are supposed to be cynically understanding of that fact.

Will

OK folks, the fat is now in the fire! What will Putin do? Does he have the мячи to shoot down a few Turkish planes?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/24/turkey-shoots-down-jet-near-border-with-syria

João Carlos

In a related topic, the news today morning say Turkey hit a Russian Airship, a SU-24. IMHO, that is very bad news. Sooner or later Russia will repay Turkey hitting a F16.

I fear the WWIII...

Tel

Not the worst suggestion; but given that it ain't never gonna happen, not like you are at risk of getting called on it either.

If they can't even figure out which Syrian passports are fake, and which are real, I think there's probably going to be a few technical difficulties... but even if we presume the difference would average out, still ain't gonna happen.

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