Thursday, December 01, 2011

Left I On The News on Syria

Left I On The News is a very good blog whose focus is not mostly the Middle East. I will just repost the key paragraphs of an observation about Western news regarding Syria's unrest:
And who were those 12 "civilians"? Well, they might have been "innocent civilians," killed by Syrian government troops in a wanton slaughter. No doubt that's what most people will believe. But they might also be innocent civilians killed by the blast which blew up the government vehicle, that is, they might have been killed by the rebels. Or, presumably excepting the woman and child, they might not have been "innocent civilians" at all, but armed rebels who were killed as the army counter-attacked after the attack which killed 9 soldiers.

The Syrian Office of Human Rights (per Wikipedia) says 2,738 civilians and 970 security forces have been killed. But that's conveniently nebulous. Who were those "civilians"? Were they all just non-violent "Occupy Syria" protesters, and not a one part of the group responsible for the deaths of 970 security forces? Hardly likely. The Syrian government claims that 1,400 security forces, 716 insurgents, and 700 civilians have been killed, which may reflect its own bias, but at least tries to differentiate between the types of civilians killed.
Given that it is widely understood that armed forces, with resources from sources outside of and hostile to Syria are waging an armed resistance to Syria's government, I've never much or even any stock in these supposed casualty numbers that are being released. Barack Obama would respond to attempts to establish areas on US territory but outside of the control of the US government that were funded, possibly funded or even not funded by external adversaries of the United States at least as ruthlessly.

But Eli from Left I does raise an important point, especially for those who aren't as skeptical of US policy in the Middle East as I am.


Pirouz_2 said...

I think the following would be of interest to you, it pretty much confirms what Eric Margolis (and you) say (with which I agree 100%).

By the way I read today in a turkish newspaper that Turkey has said that it will no longer permit the "flight" of any airplane with a military cargo to Syria to use its air space. Obviously the officials have not named any particular names, but the only country to which this description applies is Iran. To the best of my knowledge Iran does not supply Syria with any military equipment, any military air cargo going from Iran to Syria is most likely destined to Hezballah.

So this means that Turkey has completely lined up with the Israeli/US interestes in this region.

Pirouz_2 said...

Ah...while writing about what that Turkish newspaper wrote about Turkey's decision to stop any air cargo going to Syria, I forgot to give you the link to the actual news which confirms what you and Eric Margolis (and I agree with both of you) say:

'Syrian saboteurs train in Turkey'

The head of Turkey's main opposition group has accused the government of allowing the country's soil to be used for training Syrian armed groups, Press TV reports.

lysander1 said...


I'm not sure that would matter anymore since all the flights from Iran to Syria can now just overfly Iraq.

Of course, that assumes there will still be a Syria to fly to. The Russians still seem to be strongly backing Assad, which means they do not yet think he is a lost cause. I assume they would drop him if they thought he was.

My guess is barring foreign invasion, Assad will survive. But Iran and Hezbollah need to come up with a new strategy just in case.