I often use this blog to publish comments that do not make it past Juan Cole's moderation filter. Because his most recent post on Syria has several, I've made them into a post instead of only putting them into my own comments section.
The first is one I did not expect, because it does not make an assertion, but asks for support for what has become the very conventional understanding of the situation in Syria.
The protesters who were attacked by the Syrian regime, and then took up arms in response, were not part of a secession movement.I'd make the same request of any reader here. I have not seen images or videos of large non-violent protests being dispersed by force, even such as I've seen from Bahrain. If anyone has a link, please present it.
That’s a commonly repeated narrative. But I have not seen compelling evidence that it is accurate.
What one link can you produce that best establishes that non-violent protests were attacked by the Syrian regime?
The second comment regards a discussion that we've been having here ad nauseum. Dermot Maloney from our comments section is actually the second person I've ever come across who has actually tried to argue that Saudi Arabia is an independent country and not a US dependency. Recent comment sections will provide a reader with more than enough of this discussion to draw a conclusion on that point.
In another five years, this will be small potatoes.The next comment regards something I've seen in my own comments section as well. I've claimed that there is no non-violent way to establish "liberated territory". What I've meant by "liberated territory" is territory not under the control of the formal central government. For example, Castro and Guevara were able to establish liberated territory in regions of Cuba - by driving out the military presence loyal to Batista.
I’m not too worried about your link that Saudi Arabia will get nuclear weapons in response to Iran's nuclear program.
The people of Saudi Arabia consider Israel more of an adversary, yet the government of Saudi Arabia has not responded for decades to Israel amassing hundreds of nuclear weapons.
The only possible explanation is that Saudi Arabia is not an independent state, but executes the foreign policy imposed on it by the United States, in which case the United States, regardless of Iran’s nuclear program, can and will exercise the option of not allowing Saudi Arabia to develop even legal nuclear weapons capabilities like those Brazil has.
While reporting the same claim, Reuter's sources agree that it is of no practical importance as long as Saudi Arabia remains under US control:
Few analysts believe Riyadh, the world's top oil exporter and a key ally for the United States, is likely to embark upon a weapons programme in defiance of U.S. calls for restraint.
In short, if Saudi Arabia is not independent enough to respond to Israel’s nuclear arsenal, it is not independent enough to respond to Iran achieving legal nuclear weapons capabilities like those Brazil has.
Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela represented movements that in some ways can claim to have liberated territory, but in each case with the cooperation of the central government. This is not the sense in which the term "liberated territory" is commonly used. But it seems that the meaning of liberated territory as territory taken from the control of a country's formal central government is not universally understood.
Anyway, my attempt to clarify that over at Juan Cole's website was not released from moderation.
Whew.Lastly, the comment that likely convinced Cole to block all of my recent comments is one that shows that while it may be the case that there have been peaceful protests, the narrative that opposition violence is an effort to protect peaceful protests is just false and even laughable.
By “liberated territory” I mean territory outside of the control of the central government.
At no point will Cairo be that. Homs was liberated territory, as defined here, in 2011, the Syrian security forces had been forced out and had to reenter the town to reassert central government control.
Did you seriously not know what “liberated territory” means in this context?
The first report of an ambush against Syrian troops that I can find was from around April 10, 2011. That attack was not related to any protests but was done against troops going from one city to another.The current status of these comments is that they are awaiting moderation, which means they have not been rejected yet. It is possible that they will be released. But comments with later timestamps have been published so I don't expect these to be.
The number of Syrian servicemen killed in an ambush on an armed forces unit in the country’s northwest has risen to nine, the Syrian SANA news agency reported on Monday.
The armed forces unit came under attack at a highway between the port cities of Latakia and Tartus on Sunday afternoon. Seven soldiers and two officers are among those killed, Sana said, quoting an official source.
Previous reports said one serviceman had been killed and dozens injured.
Less than one month after the beginning of protests there were ambushes and kidnappings of Syrian troops completely independent of any peaceful protest movement. The Arab League observers' report confirms that these attacks on government forces unrelated to protecting protests continues.
Barack Obama would respond to an armed group launching attacks against US troops on US soil (with even a possibility of foreign support) just as ruthlessly as Assad.
Cole is sensitive about this narrative that peaceful protests in Syria were violently crushed by the government and that the armed opposition formed as an attempt to prevent the government from crushing protests. So sensitive that even asking for support for that narrative, much less demonstrating the falseness of part of that narrative cannot be tolerated on his blog.
Fortunately there are other places. I highly recommend Raceforiran.com which has an unmoderated comments section and Moonofalabama.org which also has an unmoderated if smaller comments section and publishes articles more often.