21 March 2018


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Sarah B

Whenever yuo talk abut "misinterpretations of Islam" you are on shaky ground. Islam is a religion without clergy and hierarchy in which doctrine is formed by consensus among scholars, not by fiat from a Muslim "Rome." To say that there are "misinterpretations of Islam" is equivalent to saying that that there is only one valid form of Christianity. pl


And lest anyone doubt Trump's bad intentions:


TTG, Colonel,

Russian MI-8MTPR-1 helos equipped with the EW system Rychag-AV have surfaced in Syria.

Account Deleted


Erdogan today - apparently Idlib is now on the agenda next, as well as Manbij.



The Turks,ie., regular forces and SF, will mostly pull out of former-Syria, but their 'FSA' badged militia will be given the ground as a permanent home in which to develop and defend a self sustaining pro-Turkish economy (since no one else will help them anymore). Erdogan will keep using this formula elsewhere until other Turk-led militia are given an unequivocal limit of advance by either Russia or the US, the former to protect SAG ground and the latter to protect US bases and interests in SDF-land. The point is that Erdogan will stop; he will not risk a single defeat since his personal brand is that of the strongman or perhaps as the Sultan of the modern era.
I can't see the US pulling out especially east of the Euphrates; they have bases there for a purpose and with the SDF-captured oil fields they may be getting close to a self sustaining structure. For the US, Iran and the Shia Salient are the objectives and Rojava and Jordan offer interesting possibilities.

Sarah B

I am thinking that perhaps you was menat to place this response in the Afghanistan thread, since it is there where I commented about "misinterpretations of Islam".

When I talk about "misinterpretations of Islam" I am meaning mainly particular interpretations of sharia as those they do theTaliban by affirming, for example, that women must go out there with a jail called burka over them or women must not aquie knowledge. This is their particular interpretation based most probably in propaganda interiorized since childhood at madrassas especially conceibed to oposse the communist ideology of the USSR.

This is so since there is no where in the Quran where it is explicited that women must cover themselves in such a way, in any case that they must dress in a humble way, but this is really common to every of the religions of the book....Neither there is no where in the Quran where it is said that women must not aquire any knowledge at all and so must remain ignorant for their whole life...There you have that this is not so even in an Islamci Republic like Iran where women are offered the same opportunities to develop intelectually than men...

Related to hierarchy, it seems to me that Islam has also its religious hierarchy, as it has every religion of the book... What Islam has not, of course, is something like the Vatican ( especially not anything so luxury....), but they have also their Islamic Universities which function as reseracher, study and regulation centers of religious dogma, as could be Qom University for Shi´a Islam or Al Azhar University for Sunni Islam...For what it seems, is Shi´a Islam which keeps the simplest hierarchy...



Notice that neither of these both main branches of Islam accept wahabism as part of Umma, really their higuest scholars and authorities of both Shi´a and Sunni communities have no where to catch this let´s say "ideology" from...An "ideology" especificaly created for conquest through violence, terror and war to fulfill the goals of Western Imperialism...


Behold from the Syrian Observatory the speculation that Sohail Hassan could succeed Bashar. The problem is that any time his name is mentioned by the opposition or Western journalists, there are serious accusation of horrific human rights abuse. I have long speculated that this might be a good idea, but felt that his reputation might disqualify him. He certainly sounds like a good interlocutor for Putin, but stress that the big confrontations can be handled, so their military need not hang around, just reconstruction guys.


The Twisted Genius


That article is originally from Al Rai. I would not be surprised if it was published to deliberately put Hassan's life in danger. It's setting Hassan up as a direct threat to the rule of Assad. If this idea takes off, Hassan will probably die in a tragic helicopter crash. He has taken promotions reluctantly. I don't think he has any desire to challenge Assad for the presidency.

Babak Makkinejad

Wahabis, Taliban, Deobandis, neo-Salafis, and lately ISIS are an embarrasment to very many Muslims in that all of their practices are consistent with Islamic Tradition. That is the source of designation of them as mere "ideologies" - trying to obfuscate the fact that they are as much a Muslim as the next fellow.


Good clarification about al Rai...thanks. Nevertheless, Hassan may be in danger anyway, due to his status as a national hero and has the charisma that Bashar lacks. [Recall the couple of war heroes in Egypt that found themselves in early retirement. A Syrian leader would likely take a more definitive approach.]

I think a lot depends on the intel-security cluster within the military that make the big decisions. Don't know, of course, what Hassan's relationship with them is and their own individual ambitions but it is likely that having "one of their own" sitting at the top might be viewed as a good thing. Whether the regime puts in someone that outsiders and the opposition detest ever more than Bashar, he would be a new face. At the very least after all these decades, it will no longer be called the al-Assad regime. If there is any truth to the article, this does seem to be a better choice that Bashar or any of the civilians around him.

Do you know if he speaks Russia, English or any other foreign language?

Babak Makkinejad

Legitimate religious authority in the World of Islam currently exists only in the institution of the Kingship in Morocco and in the Office of Supreme Juris-consul in Iran.

Mark Logan


On the Turkish claim of no desire to remain.

Does it seem plausible that there is behind the scenes dissension within the ranks of Turkish leadership on this project? It doesn't seem to be working out nearly as easy as some of that leadership imagined at inception, and it seems highly likely they are also feeling some behind the scenes diplo push-back from a variety of sources, perhaps equally unimagined.

I see there are mixed messages coming from Turkey on this point.

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