Category Archives: Syria

Revenge Death

It was just another art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, many diplomates attended the event because it was just another public exhibition. Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov was standing at the podium prepared to make the normal comments a diplomat utters at such boring events when a voice shouted: “Don’t Forget Aleppo” and raised his pistol and blasted away at the Russian envoy. The shooter was an off duty policeman named, Mevlut Allintas, just another Muslim angry at events in Syria which had resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands.

OH, he did utter some last words before being shot himself. “Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has  taken part in this oppression will one day pay for it.” A noble statement, but Vladimir Putin will never pay for his bloody deeds of horror.

Aleppo

What can one say about Aleppo that already has not been stated? The horror of this event lives on in the minds and hearts of all decent people.  There are two nations that are most responsible for this event–Iran and Russia. And, who will be our next Secretary of State–Rex Tillerson of ExxonMobil,the man who has spent twenty  years sucking up to Vladimir Putin and the thugs who are proud of assisting President Assad in the murder of hundreds of thousands. Those who teach about the Holocaust pose the question–why did the world stand by and allow the murder of six million Jews? We have just stood by and witnessed the murder of hundreds of thousands, including children, and were silent.

Appointing Rex Tillerson as our Secretary of State would simply reward one who, in one way or another, aided those who murdered the innocent. We cannot allow this ally of death to become our spokesperson since he has demonstrated disregard for human rights. If one lies down with murderers, one is a murderer.

Goodbye Syria

Since the opening days of rebellion against the dictatorship of President Assad in Syria, there has been blood flowing in the streets of Syria. The growing numbers of dead has progressed year after year until when we see a new number, our minds are so numbed that we ignore it, and go on with  our evening meal. One day it is a hundred thousand dead, the next month it is two hundred thousand dead, and now it appears Russian, Syrian and other allies of  Assad are ready to give the final blow to wipe out the Syrian people who oppose Assad.

Russian planes are ready to completely demolish any and all rebel forces currently in the eastern section of the city of Aleppo. They will bomb,they will destroy,they will wipe out any and all rebel forces. Reality, we Americans are so consumed about the latest nonsense of Trump/Pence, we pay no attention to what is happening in the death throes of the Syrian people. Here today, all gone tomorrow!

Death In Syria

Death is not taking a holiday in Syria. The city of Aleppo for the past few  years has been divided between forces representing the Syrian government, and rebel insurgents. Rebels control about 25% of the city and government troops control the  other 75%. It is rather a strange situation to have a city divided in the midst of  a civil war. Russian planes and Syrian planes are bombing and bombing rebel sectors of the city. They have specifically targeted hospitals, and it is now clear there are no important medical facilities still working to meet the needs of those who are wounded or sick.

A nurse reported the situation: “you cannot imagine what we see every day. Children are coming to us in body parts. We collect the body parts and wrap them in shrouds and bury them.” This is happening in the 21st century, not in the Nazi Holocaust of the 1940s.

Oops, Bombed The Wrong Guys

It is not surprising that American planes bombed the wrong guys the other day in Syria. Of course the real issue is exactly who are the “right guys” to bomb. A US air force spokesman admitted that a bombing carried out in Deir al-Zour to wipe out members of ISIS sort of wiped out about forty or so Syrian soldiers. I guess they where in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just imagine being in Syria in a plane going hundreds of miles an hour, gazing down and seeing people, who the hell knows if they belong to ISIS or al Qaeda or the Free Syrian
Army. They got  weapons is all one knows.

The Russian government blamed failure on the part of the United States to coordinate its bombing mission with Russia for the debacle. The Syrian government, however, offered the real reason for this bombing, the United States is an ally of ISIS!

Cease Fire In Syria?

A few days ago US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian diplomats and they agreed that tomorrow there would be a cease fire in Syria. Of course, it has been months,if not years,since peace and quiet reigned in this sad nation. Naturally, the past two days Russian planes bombed and bombed. After all, what does one do in preparation for a cease fire–bomb away since you, technically, will not be supposed to be bombing away. There are numerous deaths in this prelude to a cease fire.

Prediction: people will die during the cease fire. Bombs will be dropped since this “cease fire”does not include bombing ISIS or al Qaeda. Somehow, some where, bombs will wind up falling on the innocent. Their problem is they are in Syria,and anyone, any time is an open target for the Russians.  I realize Donald Trump agrees with these Russians. I suspect his Great Plan for Syria is to join with Russia and bomb away.

Democracy Dying Daily In Turkey

I confess to mixed feelings about the recent failed coup in Turkey. One one hand, thee is need to end the rule of  President Erdogan who has stifled democracy in Turkey. As a result of the failed coup he has already fired  25,000 teachers, 1,500 Deans of colleges, 20,000 government officials, and arrested one third of generals and admirals in the armed forces. Not a single one of these people was presented with any criminal charges, they will not have a fair trial–that is, if they actually have a trial.

If the coup had succeeded then Turkey at this moment would have been the scene of another Syria. Conservative Muslims would have picked up arms and initiated a civil war that would make the Syrian a side show. A Turkish civil war would have sent over 2,000,000 Turks into the EU which would have created a disaster.We express our sorrow for the people of Turkey as they witness the end of democracy in their nation.

Turkey, Nation Doomed

Since becoming, first the prime minister, and then the President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan has increasingly gained complete control of the nation. A democracy increasingly has become the personal domain of Recep Erdogan. A group of Army officers attempted to overthrown the president, and the coup was crushed. Nearly 20,000 people, army officers, lawyers, judges,government officials, and journalists have been arrested. The days of democracy in Turkey are getting fewer and fewer.

Much as we wish a real revolution could have swept Erdogan from power,its defeat bodes well for the world. A successful coup would have transformed Turkey into a giant Syria mess. Once this civil war began, millions of Turks would have attempted to enter the EU causing chaos and allowing right wing fanatics to gain power in France, Italy, Hungary and Poland. It would have been the end of the European Union. Alas, people of Turkey, the failure  of the coup avoided an even greater tragedy.

So, What About Syria?

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have made income inequality the main issue in their contest to become the candidate for president, but one more terrorist attack and  many Americans will be more interested in physical security than financial security. Neither candidate has offered any sort of foreign policy program that deals with this key issue. There is a large segment of the American population that is scared stiff. So, what can Bernie or Hillary offer that might address this issue?

1. It is time to be realistic. It is time to call for a new anti-terror alliance that involves the US, Europe, Russia and Iran.

2. During World War II the US and England formed an alliance with the Soviet Union. Yes, the Soviet Union was led by a dictator who would make Vladimir Putin come across as a choir boy. But, VICTORY was the name of the game.

3. Iran has boots on the ground in Syria–the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, so let the US offer Special Operations and air might.

4. It is time to make clear to Turkey the Kurds are part of the anti-terrorist equation.

Yes, terrorism can be defeated in Syria. So, Bernie and Hillary, offer a damn plan!

Putin Scores A Goal For Russia

No, Barack Obama is not responsible for problems in the Middle East, but he IS responsible for failure to develop a coherent diplomatic strategy for the region. A few years ago I asked students in a graduate course dealing with international relations as to how would they describe America’s foreign policy in the Middle East, not a single student had any conception. On the other hand, Russian leader Vladimir Putin HAS been pursuing a foreign policy. What is it?

1. Create an  image that Russia is a powerful nation which shapes world policy.

2. Enter the Syrian mess with a short term strategy of attacking anti-Assad forces and then getting the  hell out of there. Obama has insisted that ANY policy that dealt with Syria would result in America getting bogged down in Syria. Putin has proved there were other alternatives other than -full military commitment to the region or NO involvement.

3. Putin pulled off a fast one. He is now a key figure in determining what now happens in Syria. Any American led effort must now meet the approval of Vladimir Putin.

4. In one sense, the Putin policy simply buys time for President Assad, it is specifically a short term policy that enables Russia to accomplish short term goals in Syria while still retaining the option to get the hell out of there.

The question remains– did the Obama administration have other options in  Syria other then get involved or remain out?  Reality is that President Obama never had any policy other than –have nothing to  do with the Syria calamity.