• Syria,  Trump

    “TREASON?”

    As Donald Trump continues his descent into paranoid rage, and as one senior official of his administration says that he/she and others are helping to protect the nation from him, I do want to single out one area in which I’m somewhat in sympathy with the President, as revealed in Bob Woodward’s upcoming book. Donald Trump ordered his defence secretary to assassinate Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and “kill the f****** lot of them” in the leader’s regime, in the wake of a chemical attack against civilians, according to a new book. Defence secretary James Mattis is said to have told the president during a phone call he would “get right…

  • Syria,  Trump

    Trump calls out Putin. Now what?

    For those who don’t think I give credit where credit is due when it comes to Donald Trump: I want to acknowledge that after the Syrian regime’s latest horrific chemical weapons attack on civilians, he has finally tweeted something critical about Vladimir Putin. Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018 Given Trump’s willingness to publicly humiliate his own attorney general, among countless others, his readiness to…

  • Russia,  Syria

    Awww…

    Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin welcomed grateful mass torturer and killer Bashar al-Assad in Sochi. Putin did more than anyone to keep the butcher Assad in power. Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad, the Black Sea and a balcony corner of the Bocharov Ruchey State residence in Sochi, a favorite of the Kremlin head. You can also see one of Putin’s many luxury watches peeking out from under his shirt, this one perhaps a Blancpain $10,000 piece, one that is often spotted on his wrist, according to activists. Yet the context is as important as the timing. On Wednesday Putin is due to welcome Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Turkey Recip Tayyip Erdogan…

  • Russia,  Syria,  Trump

    Trump surrenders to Putin on Syria

    After the regime of Bashar al-Assad began its brutal and murderous repression of the largely peaceful Syrian uprising, I was very critical of then-president Barack Obama’s half-hearted and mismanaged efforts to aid non-extremist rebels in their struggle against the regime. But it was symbolically important that the US was doing something to help the more secular and democratic anti-Assad forces in Syria. No more. I was somewhat encouraged when President Trump approved a cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for a sarin gas attack on civilians But now Trump has ended the covert CIA program to arm Syrian rebels. Anti-Trump conservatives are the great truth-tellers of our…

  • Stateside,  Syria

    Alt-Right turns on Trump (and other reactions)

    Politico reports: The fractured elements of what was once called the alt-right were unified once more on Thursday night in condemning Donald Trump’s airstrike in Syria as a mistake. Or as Milo Yiannopoulos put it, “FAKE and GAY.” Say what? This loose confederation of Web-savvy, anti-establishment right-wingers formed an important vanguard of Trump’s online support in last year’s election, and its unified opposition to the airstrike forewarns a political downside to intervention in Syria. While foreign wars tend to boost presidents’ popularity in the short term, Trump risks losing the segments of his base that flocked to his isolationist, “America First” message. In addition to its nationalist, anti-interventionist and anti-“globalist”…

  • Stoppers,  Syria

    Stop the War: Shame on You [updated]

    An agitated man, reportedly a Syrian refugee, here takes issue with Stop the War Coalition’s demonstration against Trump’s recent air strike in Syria. But Chris Nineham, a StWC founder member, doesn’t seem keen for this voice to be heard. ‘Keep chanting’, he urges his distracted followers. Update Here Hassan Akkad, the Syrian who tried to argue with StWC, offers his own perspective.

  • Syria,  Trump

    Rubio: Assad’s gas attack “no coincidence” [updated]

    I was about to suggest that this might not be outside the realm of possibility. But Republican Senator Marco Rubio was a lot blunter. Rubio: It's no coincidence that Syria gas attack happened after 'concerning' Tillerson comments https://t.co/yTKYd4rvlF @KFILE — David Wright (@DavidWright_CNN) April 5, 2017 “In this case now, we have very limited options and look, it’s concerning that the secretary of state, 72 hours ago or a week ago, last Friday, said that the future’s up to the people in Syria on what happens with Assad. In essence almost nodding to the idea that Assad was gonna get to stay in some capacity,” Rubio said on the show…

  • Syria,  Trump

    US takes Assad off the hook

    Amid the awful, bloody mess into which the Syrian civil war has descended, one central fact needs to be remembered: More than 94 percent of the more than 200,000 civilians who have died in the conflict have been killed by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies. It is to the lasting shame of Barack Obama that– despite his stated goal of removing Assad from power– he could never manage more than a half-hearted and confused effort to help rescue the Syrian people from Assad’s murderous campaign. His own ambassador to Damascus resigned in protest of Obama’s failure to act more forcefully. Of course we had no right…

  • Syria

    Syrians again take to the streets against Assad

    It’s worth noting that whenever there is a lull in the fighting in Syria (the fighting is mostly indiscriminate attacks by the regime against rebel strongholds), opponents of Assad use the opportunity to take to the streets to demonstrate peacefully. This is not Islamic State or al-Aqaeda. These are the same kinds of Syrians who took to the streets back in 2011 in massive non-violent demonstrations against the Assad regime, only to be met with brutal repression and violence. Unfortunately it seems the regime is already violating the cease-fire. Anyone surprised?

  • Syria

    In Jo Cox’s memory: Expel those who defame the White Helmets

    This is a cross-post by Paul Canning I have a question for John Prescott. If you are a Labour Party member who defames the White Helmets should you be expelled? On Friday my friend the Times columnist Oliver Kamm retweeted my throw to him of the Snopes post debunking Eva Bartlett. She is a Russia Today promoted woman whose shtick is that media reports of atrocities in Syria are staged. Her shtick has been as widely distributed as the one about the Odessa Massacre, and by the same people. Her shtick has been distributed in the same way – and often from the same sources – as was the notion that the…