“Regime-Change without State Collapse is Impossible in Syria,” Landis Interviewed by RT’s Sophie&Co

Sophie Shevardnadze of RT interviews Joshua Landis on Russian TV

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Joshua Landis

The following written version is a “cleaned” up “edited” version of my interview. I edited it for grammar, diction and clarity. None of the arguments made in the video (linked below) are missing or altered.

Sophie Shevardnadze: Professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, and influential analyst on Syria, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us. Professor, President Obama is sending up to 50 SpecOps forces to Syria to coordinate the fight against the Islamic State. Fifty people is not a lot of help. What’s he hoping to change in the grand course of things? Is there a hidden point to this move?

JL: I think President Obama is trying to respond to his critics, more than anything else. 1. One set of critics are the 50 intelligence analysts who complained a month ago that the administration was spinning intelligence to suggest that the U.S. was winning the war against ISIS when it was not. 2, The Iraqis have been asking the Russians to help them bomb ISIS. They complain that the US isn’t doing enough. And 3, U.S. allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have complained that Washington isn’t helping them enough. They complain that the reason Russia is moving into Syria is because the US has left a vacuum. So, Obama is inserting extra troops to satisfy his critics. At the same time, the troops are small enough in number to avoid getting the U.S. sucked into a third Middle Eastern war.

SS: Ok, but doesn’t that number strike you as not even symbolic? Fifty people? I mean, it’s pretty obvious that 50 people can’t really do anything…

JL: Well, I’m not sure they can’t do anything. We’ve seen some important actions by Special Forces. They liberated a bunch of captives in Iraq. In Syria, they killed Abu Sayyaf, the economic brains of ISIS, and captured his wife along with his computers which provided important information about ISIS. They can make a difference, but you are right; no one believes they will change the course of events in any significant way. They are not meant to defeat ISIS.

SS: Okay. 75% of American sorties in the anti-ISIS campaign come back without having fired. And that’s according to Senator John McCain. Should the U.S. air effort be more intense?

JL: Well, obviously, the US is trying not to kill innocent Syrians. They’re very worried about collateral damage. It is important to understand that the U.S. is not trying to destroy ISIS but to contain it and keep it weak enough so that it cannot kill Americans or destabilize Jordan and its neighbors. I think President Obama has largely abandoned the notion that he’s going to destroy ISIS. He is pursing a very narrow counter-terrorism campaign. Of course, many people expect them to destroy ISIS, because he said he would destroy it – but immediately after saying those words, he began to say “well, it’s going to take many years.”

SS: So, Iran has joined Syrian peace talks, sitting down with Saudi Arabia and the U.S. The two were staunch opponents of Iran taking part in the talks. So, what has changed?

JL: The U.S. wanted Iran at the table. Everybody knows that Iran is important. It has thousands of troops in Syria and funds Syria to the tune of billions of dollars. Hezbollah is also in Syria at Iran’s urging, to a certain degree. Iran is a key player. No peace agreement can stick without Iran. The U.S. understands that. And, in some respects, the Russia incursion in Syria has given cover for Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to revise some of their past policies toward Syria.

SS: Neither the Syrian regime, nor the opposition were invited to peace talks. Why not? Do powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia have more control over the situation in Syria than Syrians themselves at this point?

JL: Well, that’s a very good question: everybody was been scratching their heads about the absence of Syrians at the talks. But it would be very difficult to get Syrians to the peace talks. Assad will not attend so long as the US and coalition members are demanding that he step down. The opposition is too fragmented and numerous. There are a thousand five hundred militias, according to the CIA. Of course, there are about 20-30 that are big, important militias, but they refuse to talk to Assad. So, if one waited for Syrians to attend, one would have to wait until hell froze over. I think that the Great Powers made the logical decision that “we’re going to meet anyway.” Moreover, all combatants in Syria depend almost entirely on outside powers for arms and money. If the powers could agree to stop sending arms into Syria, it would result in a dramatic decrease in the amount of people being killed. Syrians are so weak and poor that external powers, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia can make a tremendous difference even if they meet without Syrians.

SS: Assad has agreed to take part in early elections – can Syria in its current state hold the vote? Can there be a vote before Islamic State is beaten?

JL: First, Syria is in such terrible physical state and so many people have been forced from their homes or left the country that it would be almost impossible to have fair elections. Secondly, and more importantly perhaps, it is hard for anyone to believe that the outcome would be different from the elections held in the past 45 years? All ended up with a 99% vote for the President. There’s such distrust between all sides. Nobody puts much faith in the idea of elections. Most people understand that lurking beneath the question of elections is another question: “Can the Assad regime stay or not?” Now that Russia has intervened on the side of Assad, it’s quite clear the Assad regime is staying and will stay. How the West is going to accommodate itself to this fact is not yet clear.

SS: The Western-backed FSA commander Ahmad Sa’oud told AP: “What we care about is Assad leaving, not turning this from a war against the regime to a war against terrorism”. So, they don’t really care about the fight against Islamic State as well…

JL: You’re right. Most actors in Syria have other priorities besides destroying the Islamic State. Almost all rebel groups insist on destroying Assad before the Islamic State. They refuse to be drawn into what they call a “sahwa.” They do not want to become “agents of America” and so forth. The vast majority want nothing to do with the fight against ISIS before they have defeated Assad. Many members of the Coalition that are fighting ISIS also have other priorities. That is a big problem for both for the Russians and for the U.S. Indeed, the US has other priorities as well. We saw in Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor and elsewhere, the US would not attack ISIS if it believed Assad and his military would benefit. It preferred to have ISIS take Palmyra than to be seen to be helping Assad.

SS: So, why does the West keep supporting those rebels? For the West it’s not a fight about removing Assad rather than fighting Islamic State.

JL: This is true, but many top US generals, like the Syrian opposition, continue to insist that Assad is the magnet drawing ISIS into Syria and thus must be destroyed first. This argument makes little sense. After all, when did Al-Qaeda pour into Iraq? Only after Saddam was deposed and the Americans ruled the country. I don’t think any of the US generals who now claim that Assad must be destroyed in order to defeat ISIS would also argue that America had to be destroyed in Iraq in order to rid it of al-Qaida. If fact the US is building up the Iranian supported Shiite regime in Iraq to destroy ISIS, whereas it is seeking to destroy the Iranian backed “Shiite” regime in Damascus in the name of destroying ISIS. The American policy in Iraq is to kill al-Qaida not to accommodate it.

I think everyone can agree that Al-Qaeda spread in Iraq because the state was destroyed and insecurity prevailed. The same is true in Syria. When Assad pulled his army out of the East, al-Qaida and other forms of Islamic extremism spread. ISIS spreads where states fail.

The U.S. does not use the same logic in Syria that it uses in Iraq. This is simply part of the political landscape in America. You need to understand that the U.S. has two different metrics – one for Iraq and one for Syria.

SS: Does the U.S. have enough influence over the opposition they’re backing to make them agree to a political process in Syria?

JL: No. That’s the short answer.

SS: So people who represent the opposition in peace talks, are they controlling forces on the ground?

JL: No, they’re not. The strongest militias in Syria are the more extreme and more Salafist militias. The Islamists have a real ideology to sell; they are the militias who have national reach and representation in all provinces of Syria. The US backs the weakest militias in Syria. They are the non-ideological militias and are extremely local. For the most part, they are composed of clan and tribal leaders. They may hold sway over a village or two; they may command a thousand men, perhaps two thousand, but not more than that. The Islamic militants, such as Al-Qaeda, Ahrar ash-Sham, ISIS and the Islamic Army, have purchase over a broad segment of Syrian society that stretches from north to south. The US refuses to deal with Islamist militias. It insists on dealing only with the weaker ones, which operate with some independence, but in many cases have to defer to the tougher and stronger Islamist militias that hold sway in most parts of Syria.

The US policy of trying to bring forward moderate militias has failed three different times. It was never likely to succeed. I think Obama was correct not to go down the road of betting on the moderates. The US would have gotten stuck in a third Middle Eastern war. It would be committed to the impossible policy of making them win.  Those that argue that the US squandered its opportunity to train, arm and finance moderates to destroy both Assad and Jihadist militias delude themselves. The US is at a loss in Syria now that the policy of arming moderates has failed. Russians have an opportunity to shape the Syrian political landscape because of America’s confusion.

The US will not like what Russian is doing, but it will stand by without opposing Russia too much. We will see if the Syrian army has enough oomph, enough strength to do the things that it claims to be able to do, such as take Aleppo and Idlib. Right now, Russia is confident, the Syrian authorities are confident; they believe that they can win. But I think people in the U.S., the top brass, are thinking that Russia will fail. Obama explained that he believes Russia will be sucked into the Syrian swamp. Evidently Saudi and others are pumping in more TOWs and advanced weapons to ensure Russia does get sucked into a swamp. They will ensure that Assad doesn’t win; it should be easy. U.S. policy makers are betting that in a year’s time, or even less, Russia and Assad will come back to them on bended knee. We’ll see what happens. Of course, in that time, Syria is going to be further brutalized, and a lot more people will be killed.

SS: So, Professor, you were talking about America supporting moderate rebels just before the end of the first part of our program. A CIA veteran Graham Fuller told me that being a moderate and fighting a civil war contradicts itself. When you pick up a gun, that means you’re already not a moderate – what do you think?

JL: Well, there’s a lot of truth in that. None of the militias are taking prisoners. I don’t know what the US uses as its metric for determining moderation, but if human rights is one of the metrics, none of these militias are following anything remotely close to what the United States would consider moderate or acceptable. Separation of church and state? I’m not aware of any militias that call for secularism or separation of church and state as the US does. All want some form of Islamic state – how much is really the measure. I guess, the U.S. is trying to measure how long their beards are and whether they are really committed Salafists or not. America has sided with tribal and clan leaders, as I said before, that are not very ideological. The danger of this policy is that clan leaders are prone to become warlords who will side with anybody so long as they pay and provide arms.

They are more interested in carving out their own little territories to rule. They cannot presume to conquer Damascus or rule the country. They are teaming up with their cousins and other close relatives and friends in order to protect their families and villages. In the south, Jordan and Israel use friendly militias to build buffer zones. They ensure that radicals, such as al-Qaida and ISIS don’t become neighbors. They also provide their sponsors with leverage against Assad. They can hurt Assad when they need to. In the north, Turkey looks to its favored militias to give it leverage in Northern Syria and prevent Kurdish expansion. Turkey’s aim is to prevent the Kurds from joining Kobani to Afrin.

SS: But also, the rebels inside Syria, they haven’t united against Assad. Do they even want to unify?

JL: They claim to want to unify but have failed to do so because they all want to be the leader or “top dog” in their neighborhood. This is the problem with the larger Middle East – it’s very fragmented. Family, clan, and village still predominate over a sense of the nation. Compromise is a bad word that signifies weakness. It is an important reason for the failure of democracy and secular nationalism. Dictators dominate all the Middle Eastern states. Why? Because there are no ideological bonds that unite the people or democratic traditions. The socioeconomic and ideological prerequisites for democracy are weak.

SS: Does that mean that if Assad is gone, the power struggle between these factions will continue and there will be no unity – so we’re going to get another Libya on our hands?

JL: I believe so, yes. The West falsely believes that it can separate the regime from the state. It argues that it can pursue regime-change while simultaneously preserving the state and its institutions. Washington believes it can avoid the chaos it sewed in Iraq. I don’t believe it can. It wasn’t only Bremer that criminalized the Baath Party and disbanded the army. The Shiite politicians he empowered insisted on it. In most Middle Eastern countries, the regimes, for better or worse, have transformed the states into reflections of themselves. They have cannibalized the state. They have crammed their loyalists into every nook and cranny of the national institutions. They had to in order to coup-proof their regimes. They justified it in the name of bringing stability. State institutions are not autonomous.  Westerners believe that because their own state institutions are run by professional civil servants, Middle Eastern states are too. But they aren’t. Political appointees make up the entire edifice. They cannot simply be swapped out. Regime-change for an Arab country is not like administration change in a Western country. Destroying the regime means destroying the state. The price of regime-change is chaos. That is the situation in Syria today. It is the situation almost everywhere in the Middle East. Think of Saudi Arabia without the Saudi family. What would be left of the state?

Were the Russians to place a Sunni on top of the regime, as the US and opposition insist it do, the Sunni leader would have to smash the state and fire tens of thousands of state employees just as was done in Iraq. He would have to assume that they were disloyal and would seek to overthrow him. He would also in all likelihood insist on putting his cousins and those loyal to him in power. This is what happened in Libya, Yemen, and Iraq. This is the Middle Eastern dilemma. This is one reason U.S. led regime-change has failed so miserably. The United States claims the Middle East needs democracy. But democracy has failed, at least democracy promoted by regime-change. Perhaps, this is why so many people in the world today look at Russia and think: “maybe they’re right? Maybe, the Middle East does need strongmen.”

SS: What do you think Russia understands more about Syria that U.S. doesn’t? If you can say it in few words…

JL: Both countries, both Russia and the U.S. look at the Middle East and see themselves. The religion of the United States is democracy; It looks at the Middle East and thinks: “Oh, we can solve its problems by exporting democracy. Freedom will dry up the swamp of angry youth; it will dry up terrorism, which is the product of dictatorship. They believe that Jihadism and Salafism will vanish as merit-driven, young strivers embrace capitalism and self-improvement.

SS: And that never worked – what about Russia?

JL: Well, Russia looks at the Middle East and says: “We need a strong man; there needs to be stability or things will crumble”. Look at Russia at the time of Perestroyka, when insecurity reigned and the country was weak. I think, the President says: “We need somebody strong.” This reaction is wide spread. It is the reaction of all strong men. Turkish President Erdogan used the same logic and slogan to win recent Turkish elections: “You want stability – I am the only one who can save you from chaos!”. Unfortunately, in Syria, the Assads have been intoning this slogan of “Amn wa istiqrar“, “security and stability” for 45 years. Clearly, many Syrians were fed up with it and hoped to break out of this Hobbsian choice. But the situation in Syria has gotten so bad over the last four and a half years that many Syrians are embracing dictatorship again. They want authority over chaos and stability over insecurity, even at the cost of living under dictatorship and giving up political freedoms? We see this in the ISIS territory, where many people claim that they are happier under a cruel authority than no authority at all. They tasted militia chaos, which prevailed before ISIS swept through the region. They learned how dangerous it can be. They may not like ISIS, but they like the security, the institutions, and and semblance of order that ISIS has brought. Assad benefits from the same calculations on his side. He can point to the chaos and absence of state-supplied services that prevail in rebel territory. Of course, he is doing everything he can to ensure rebel chaos. But there is no getting around the fact that the rebels have failed. They could not unify. For the most part, they do not offer more freedoms than Assad does. The successful rebels replicate the authoritarian structures they complained of under Assad. The major difference is that rebels offer authoritarianism with a distinct Sunni-religious stamp, rather than a “secular” or “godless” Alawi stamp.

SS: Al-Qaeda has called on all jihadists to unite against the West and Russia. Are we entering a new phase of a War on Terror? One where Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and the Taliban all act as one against us and Americans?

JL: Would America openly sided with Russia? It’s hard to see that. Russia has been demonized in America for many years now, and the Cold War is not entirely dead. The Ukraine issue has returned the Cold War mentality to a certain extent. It’s hard to imagine the rebels uniting in Syria. I think it is more likely that they will continue to fragment.

SS: So, tell me something, you’ve just said that there’s probably no chance that America will openly sided with Russia on Syria, but why is it important for American politicians to look tough on Syria? What’s really so beneficial for America? For America to be involved in Syria, why does the U.S. even care?

JL: That’s an excellent question! It’s like asking why the U.S. drove Russia out of Afghanistan. One of the stupidest things America ever did was try to arm up the mujahidiin to drive secular Russia out of Afghanistan. Look what we got: we got Al-Qaeda, we got 9/11, and we got a war in Iraq from which we cannot escape. A lot of our troubles came from trying to drive Russia out of Afghanistan. And you could ask the same question about Syria. We were wrong to do it then, are we wrong to do it now? Syria is not that important to the U.S. so one might ask, “why not let Russia have it.” Of course there are people who think that in the U.S. administration. But it is very difficult for the U.S., which has been used to being the superpower, the Decider, and the policeman of the world, to come to the understanding that it can’t control places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. It is hard to relinquish the role of policeman to someone else, and particularly, to Russia.

SS: What does the U.S. see as a good outcome of the civil war? Who does it want to win? Or maybe it just wants to contain this whole thing for a couple of years to come?

JL: I think the U.S. is after containment. What does America want? America doesn’t know what it wants. It wants “moderates” to win, Syrians who have a secular and democratic vision for Syria. But moderates are not going to win in Syria; most liberals have been scraped off the top of Syrian society and now sit powerless in foreign countries; the moderate militias are too weak. Of course, moderates complain that they are losing because America doesn’t give them money and arms and didn’t stand by its red lines, but chances are, they’re too weak. Moderates have been beaten everywhere you look in the Middle East. God bless Tunisia. Tunisia is the exception that proves the rule. They have been too weak across the Middle East. They could not agree on a common vision of Syria and could not unite. The US gave them opportunities and sought to unite the international community with the Friends of Syria effort. A dizzying array of Syrians, of would be leaders, insisted that they could unite Syrians if only the CIA would give them the money and arms. Anyway, there have been a lot of recriminations. We may never know the truth of America’s squandered moderate opportunity.

Whom does America like today? It does not like any of the three major actors in Syria that could possibly win. They are Assad, Jaysh al-Fateh, and ISIS. The US has placed brutal sanctions on Assad and the 65% of Syrians that he controls; it arms rebels to attack him. It is bombing ISIS, which owns almost 50% of Syrian real estate; and it doesn’t like Jaish al-Fatah, which owns the province of Idlib because it has Al-Qaeda at its core and is dominated by Salafists. Consequently, America doesn’t have an answer. The result is that it will try to keep everybody weak. It doesn’t want Assad to win, but also doesn’t want ISIS or Jaish al-Fateh to win. The U.S. will let the Syrian swamp boil. As one U.S. military analyst joked to me recently: “We should build a stadium around Syria and sell tickets.” It was an attempt at gallows humor that horrified many State Department officials who were also in the room, but it expressed the dark mood and sense of futility many in the Obama administration share.

SS: So, I spoke recently to the former French PM Dominique de Villepin, and he told me that the federalization of Syria once ISIS is defeated may be the answer to its political problems. Do you think it will give Syria a chance?

JL: Each side in Syrian still believes that it can win. As long as they think they can win, they will not come to the peace table and talk about federalism, about ceasefires, and about sharing power. Federalism in this context is really about dividing Syria. Seventy percent of Syrians in a recent poll said that they were against dividing Syria. It will take more time before Syrians are ready to sit down and talk about federalism and dividing authority in Syria. They are still in love with their country as it used to be and cannot accept that it is gone.

SS: Professor, thank you very much for this interview. We’ve been talking to Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, influential commentator on Syria, making sense of the maze of country’s civil war and its effect on the region and beyond. That’s it edition of Sophie&Co, I’ll see you next time.

The Interview on video:

Comments (126)

ALAN said:

Syria is not a trouble country. Syria ranked one of the most safe country in the world. It’s US the world’s most trouble. It is contribute the spread of terrorism across the world in the name of democracy, violating the sovereignty of nations, destroy entities and nations using WMD under the pretext of search WMD, kill millions of people under the pretext of defending human rights. Keep silence there over the Atlantic! Will not be allowed you to lead the world anymore. you are an extreme evil

November 9th, 2015, 5:22 pm


Ghufran said:

Erdogan the beloved ikhwanji leader could not send 400,000 syrian children
to school in his country but he wants to join the EU !!

November 9th, 2015, 5:32 pm


Observer said:

Of course this is not a state it is an animal farm
Divide the place and get them out of our hair

November 9th, 2015, 7:43 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Sorry, Landis, the joke wasn’t gallows humor–it was an epitome of psychotic humor.

A sane man would have rebuked this insane framing.

But you are one of the intellectuals that have given succor to this pathetic delusion–so you wouldn’t be in the catagory of a sane human.

Amazingly, you don’t seem to understand how cretinous the US position appears to the rest of the world.

You are among an exceptionally tone death and reviled group of jackals.

I pity you.

November 10th, 2015, 12:39 am


Poul said:


“The West falsely believes that it can separate the regime from the state. It argues that it can pursue regime-change while simultaneously preserving the state and its institutions. Washington believes it can avoid the chaos it sewed in Iraq. I don’t believe it can.”

I don’t agree more. The idea that if only the US had kept the Iraqi army then everything would have been different, has never been convincing.

Why would the Iraqi Shiites and Kurds allow the Iraqi Sunnis a power base in the army from where they could try to regain power in a coup like we saw the Egyptian army do. If there was one thing the Shiites and Kurds could agree upon it was the purging of all Baath party members from positions of power.

November 10th, 2015, 1:06 am


Poul said:

Ups, this “I don’t agree more.” should read “I couldn’t agree more”

November 10th, 2015, 1:08 am


Badr said:


I don’t think one can agree with both Moaz Al-Khtatib’s open letter to Putin, which you were keen to link to, and Landis’ analysis in this post.

November 10th, 2015, 3:07 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Syria is divided now , yet the war is still going on, the war ,now, is due to outside funding and outside powers fighting each other, Russia vs US, Iran vs. KSA, take these outside powers out Assad can not survive, for political solution to succeed those outside powers has to agree on a solution , on the contrary inside powers they will not reach political solution , it will be military solution,
Yes removing the regime means dismantling the state, the regime is based on sectarian rule, the Alawi sect sided with Assad, their survival depends on Assad himself, if he leaves the Alawi regime will collapse, this is not secular regime versus religious regime, Assad made it SECTARIAN divide, so removing Assad means radical change.
We can co exist in democratic system, just like US, but we can not co exist in sectarian atmosphere , an atmosphere created by Assad

November 10th, 2015, 5:06 am


Ghufran said:

Rebels shelled Latakia university and city entrance with rockets. As before the rockets were fired randomly and hit heavily populated areas and killed 2 dozen civilians and injured over 60 people.
Still wondering why rebels failed to win the support of most Syrians and the international community at large ?
When you are a terrorist it does not matter what regime you oppose and how brutal and corrupt your enemy is. Keep cheering for your terrorists and calling them thuwwar(revolutionaries) hoping that some idiots will buy your narrative !!

November 10th, 2015, 10:39 am


Badr said:

Ref. my previous comment

I ought to clarify that when I said: I don’t think one can agree with both …, I meant that if one agrees with either one of the two cited opinions, s/he is going to disagree with the other one, got it?

November 10th, 2015, 11:53 am


Syrialover said:

STEVEN HUNT #4, You may pity Dr Joshua, but I pity you for being caught in the mental closed loop of being a conspiracy theorist and America hater. That to me is you being tone deaf and like a barking jackal, not Joshua Landis.

There is no argument Obama has failed disastrously on Syria. Like he has on a number of domestic issues. And if you want to know how weak and wrong he has been about Syria read the public criticisms from his own State Department and Defense establishment.

And on the ground in Syria? Good friends of mine have their wide extended family caught in hell in ISIS territory. And all those people inside want is to be rescued by America – not the Syrian regime, not Shia mercenaries, not Russia. Please, please America.

I’ve read Russia’s motto in Syria is “We break it, you fix it” – i.e. the dumb sucker Americans and their western allies will be the ones who’ll sponsor any rebuilding, that’s not Russia’s business.

BTW, if anyone is not sure about Mr Hunt, check his comment #5 in the last thread to see how ranting, biased and irrational he is on this subject. Why? There might be a clue in his statement there that the majority of Syrians are on the side of Assad.

November 10th, 2015, 12:58 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Your American-supporting friends in Syria are an extreme minority.

The US has used Isis. These group enter Syria through Turkey.

The US organizes the flow of mercenary, non-Isis Al Queda jihadist’s with the Saudis and Quatar.

So what we are finding out, little by little, is how insane US policy has become. This disaster in the region has been developed by the delusional and arrogant US imperialists, they have a stated desire to force their rule over all peoples of the earth.

This point isn’t even in contention.

They believe that humanity is at the root evil–and that there has to be a hegemonic power that rules all.

This is depraved and insane.

The Iraqis want to develop alliance with Iran and Russia–and I don’t blame them.

The squalid cynism and poverty of the US empire has been unmasked.

Don’t you see what you’ve done?!

November 10th, 2015, 3:44 pm


ghufran said:

aksalser removed the news about the terrorist attack on Latakia from the main page, other thawrajiyyeh sites repeated Ahrar al-sham lies about targeting Hmaimeem airport (rockets exploded in residential area full of students).
Where are the freedom lovers when you need them ?
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

November 10th, 2015, 1:00 pm


Syrialover said:

Russia is now in big trouble in the Muslim world for decisively joining the Shia team.

And watch Putin’s backside explode in blazing sky-high flames from Islamic jihadists in his own territory.

With that, and its domestic economic crisis, how soon before we have Russia’s ethnic minorities and unemployed joining the desperate exodus to the west?

November 10th, 2015, 1:20 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Only in your jihadist dreams my friend.

Your type wants to increase sectarian hate, to develop a Saudi supported caliphate.

Hate is not something that Syrians can build upon.

November 10th, 2015, 3:47 pm


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN #10, it’s coming out of both sides of your mouth again. Singing your song that yes maybe Assad has his bad side, but never as bad as those (non-ISIS) rebels.

November 10th, 2015, 1:27 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN #1 said, “Syria ranked one of the most safe country in the world”

But not for Syrians it wasn’t.

And now the curtain is pulled back on how far the Assad regime will go to keep its criminal enterprise going, Syria has been exposed as one of the most terrifying, brutal and insecure places in the world to have been living.

ALAN’s bark, bark, bark about America won’t distract the world from knowing this.

November 10th, 2015, 1:41 pm


jo6pac said:

Steven H. and Alan, Thanks.

November 10th, 2015, 5:43 pm


Steven Hunt said:

You are welcome.

I support international law and the elimination of violent jihadist’s that warp the core foundation of Islam.

The US has exploded this situation in Syria exactly because it has broken international law and order, and the US has been allowed to engage this lawlessness with impunity.

Russia is doing the world a huge service.

But what you will see in the coming year is that the US and its clients will be the clear impediment for peace in Syria.

Like I said, the US ideology for power projection is rooted in the idea that humans are evil at the core.

With this root belief, nothing healthy can grow.

Really, this ideology is the essence of the problem in all this.

November 10th, 2015, 6:57 pm


Ghufran said:

A delayed annual report on Turkish prospects for EU membership says there have been serious setbacks in the past two years on freedom of expression.
It also says the independence of the judiciary had been undermined and that new laws run against EU standards.

November 10th, 2015, 9:11 pm


Y. Ben-David said:

One thing that stands out in my mind about the whole situation and yet never seems to merit comment by others is the reaction of the rest of the Arab/Muslim world to the fratricidal slaughter we see not only in Syria, but also Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya and even Egypt. I would think we would see an outpouring of protest by Muslims around the world saying that Muslims butchering each other in the name of their religion is a profanation of that religion. Instead most of the comments I see coming from the Arab/Muslim world involves cheering on one side or the other, not a call for a halt to the outside powers like Russia and the Gulf States who are fueling the killing.
Even if we say that it is not possible in the autocratic Middle Eastern states to mount such a protest, why don’t we see organized protests in the West like Paris, London, Berlin or New York where there are large Muslim population who are free to express their opinions? Maybe it is this indifference that is the root of the sickness we see emanating from the Muslim Middle East in recent years?

November 11th, 2015, 1:17 am


Majed97 said:

Steven Hunt,
Thank you for exposing the hypocrites on this site and restoring some sanity to it. Truth and honesty have been highly compromised on this site for years now.

Hard to believe after so much evidence of direct involvement of Syria’s traditional enemies in this war to destroy Syria in clear violation of every international law, some still call this a “civil war” and a “revolution”…

November 11th, 2015, 12:02 pm


Ondřej said:

So Syria cannot have a regime change? An intellectual, who is an expert on this country is telling us, that there cannot be a different regime? WTF??! If so, then it must be the most saddest, backward country that ever existed, my god!

What I really do not understand is: do the guys from CIA really have NO assassin, that could shoot this dictatorial a..hole down, so the whole world could move on in this syrian mess??!

November 11th, 2015, 1:15 pm


ghufran said:

Syrian opposition leaders have flatly dismissed Russian proposals for ending the country’s crisis by launching a constitutional reform process and holding new presidential elections in Damascus, it has emerged before a new round of international peace talks.
Reports from the UN said Moscow’s eight-point plan detailed the functions of a “popularly elected president of Syria”. But it avoided any mention of the future of Bashar al-Assad, the key issue in contention in a war that has claimed 250,000-300,000 lives and made millions homeless.
Khaled Khoja, leader of the western-backed opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), repeated that the only way out of the crisis was for Assad to step down. The US, Britain and other countries have said he could remain in power for a short transition period but must then go
“The Syrian people have never accepted the dictatorship of Assad and they will not accept that it is reintroduced or reformulated in another way,” Monzer Akbik, a senior SNC official, told Reuters. The group is deeply suspicious of Russia.
(The Guardian)

November 11th, 2015, 1:38 pm


ALAN said:

19. JO6PAC
I shortened the commentary. Thank you
Some people here using language that is not polite to cover their nakedness.

November 11th, 2015, 2:17 pm


ALAN said:

The Russian-led coalition will eventually achieve its objectives and win the war in Syria. Washington will have no choice but to return to the bargaining table and make the concessions necessary to end the hostilities.

November 11th, 2015, 3:31 pm


Syrialover said:


Instead of dishing out conspiracy theories and weird diatribes (while organizing to give yourself 10 instant thumbs-up votes), here’s a suggestion on how to contribute to this forum:

If as you say, you support international law and feel it should be applied to Syria but isn’t, why not research and give us some information on the following:

– What aspects of international law could be applied in Syria’s case
– How?
– What has already been discussed in international forums and tried to be put on the table?
– What happened?

I’m serious, help us out here.

Or don’t they allow time for that kind of research in Moscow HQ.

November 11th, 2015, 4:55 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Any uninvited incursions into Syria violate international law.

The US is so accustomed to violate international law that mind-numbed commentators simply accept primary violations as de facto reality.

The US helps facilitate terror mercenaries to destroy the Syrian government.

Not of the US allies that fuel this illegal agression operate outside of what the US approves.

Further, Isis is a scam and a charade.

This is a level of lying and mendacity that only the most brainwashed group thinkers cannot recognize.

An intensive review of the propaganda and framing of events in Syria since this began five years ago points to the absurdity of the US position and framing.

This is not complicated–seeing the criminality and treachery with what the US is engaging.

Do you think the US really cares about freedom and democracy, popular will of the Syrian people.

If you do you are a zombie.

November 12th, 2015, 7:58 am


Ghufran said:

Vienna 2 will probably fail. Iran may not attend or just send a second tier envoy.
The axis of evil, ksa, Qatar and Turkey is likely to refuse including 3 terrorist groups
in the terrorism list, Obama is watching knowing fully that Jaish alfateh is a branch
of Alqaeda but his advisors told him that if those terrorist groups are targeted Assad
and his allies will be able to say ” I told you we are fighting terrorists” since they have
been claiming for over a year that those who are fighting the syrian army are mostly
terrorists. Pride and prejudice are stopping the West from confronting terrorism in Syria.
The filthy trio in the region will not stop until their own interests are threatened,
until then they will continue their proxy war.

November 11th, 2015, 6:00 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I support international law and the elimination of violent jihadist’s that warp the core foundation of Islam.

Steven Hunt,

Do violations of international law by Russia, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas interest you or is it just violations from ISIS/ISIL that put a crimp in your day?

November 12th, 2015, 8:43 am


Steven Hunt said:

The sovereignty of Syria was violated from the first protests that developed in the country.

The US and its clients in the region, from the very beginning, helped destabilize Syria.

Starting the narrative with the monster Syrian “regime” slaughtered innocent protesters totally hides the illegal external destabilization and incessant propagand war waged by the US with the goal of destroying the Syrian government.

The primary crime is state on state illegal agression.

Once the US starts fueling chaos and terrorism inside Syria, the focus is shifted to the “crimes” of the Syrian goverment.

There have been tens of thousands of jackal jihadist mercenaries that have been unleashed into Syria.

But the strategy by the primary criminals in this Syria escalation has been to downplay the US invasion of Syria so as to over throw the government.

The US uses Islamic State, as well as jihadist al Queda forces in tandem–in an illegal war of agression.

This is the core context that the situation in Syria is legitimately framed.

The cynical maneuver of the US imperial narrative is to frame the onus of responsibility on the Syrian government.

From the beginning, the illegal involvement of US terror proxies to escalate the violence proved that there was legitimate domestic upwelling of revolution is a farce and a lie.

Syria is totally within international law to accept Russia and other countries helping destroy externally supported violent agression.

The US has totally lost control of the framing and narrative–they have been the major force fueling violence and terror in Syria.

And this is why Syria and Russia are winning in this conflict.

November 12th, 2015, 2:27 pm


Ghufran said:

While Aleppo’s southern country side
is about to fall in the hands of hizbullah and syrian army, suicide jihadists were busy killing women and children in the Shia suburb of Birj Al-Barajneh south of Beirut.

November 12th, 2015, 4:09 pm


ALAN said:

Follow dishonest American activity between Sinjar and Raqqa
Sinjar’s strategic location is on the M4 highway supply route and the only practical connection between Iraqi Mosel and Syrain Raqqa. Retaking Sinjar means ISIS territory will be split into separate Syrian and Iraqi parts. This affects supply which runs in both directions.
mmmm… Why would the US do this now?

November 12th, 2015, 4:59 pm


Ghufran said:

The pillars of usa policy in the Middle East have not changed much since 1970:
Support for Israel
Support for the filthy regimes in the GCC
a third pillar was added in 1979: animosity towards Iran
One has to be an idiot or a hypocrite to say that the Washington political establishment is pro freedom and democracy in the Middle East, they use the slogans only agsinst the regimes they do not like. If Washington uses a veto against a resolution to add Nusra, Ahrar (Ashrar)al-sham and Jaish al-Islam to terrorism list people will conclude that usa government is providing political cover for terrorists. Opposing isis is not enough.

November 12th, 2015, 5:18 pm


Ghufran said:

Whether it is civilian victims in Latakia, Aleppo, Damascus, Buri Albarajneh, inside a mosque in Saudi arabia, at a market in Sanaa or onboard a Russian plane, the perpetrators are the same.

November 12th, 2015, 8:22 pm


Altair said:

So if regime change without the state collapsing is not possible, what is possible, in Prof. Landis’ opinion?

Is there any chance that Syrians will ever get their human rights? Rule of Law?

November 13th, 2015, 12:05 pm


Ghufran said:

Now it is France’s turn, terrorism hit Paris, wait for deniers to come up with a new twist blaming Majousi or Nusairi agents for it !!

November 14th, 2015, 1:31 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

What we see now is an example of what is called a butterfly effect theory,

November 14th, 2015, 4:57 am


Tara said:

Isn’t time for the world to realize that Assad is fully responsible for the creation and growth of ISIS. Had he not brutalized and murdere Peaceful Syrians in cold blood, there would be no such thing calling for jihad in Syria and taking over part of the country by ISIS.

Take out Assad and ISIS together. Their fate is linked together. There will be no other way. The war on ISIS will not succeed without taking Assad out! Plain and simple!

November 14th, 2015, 8:28 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

you are absolutely right, Assad Alawi regime has to be eradicated and a central government will clean Syria from ISIS, the alternative is US and Europe send army to Turkey and all togather take over ISIS controlled eastern Syria, ISIS is serving the interest of the mastermind of terrorism , Assad , and Iran,
God blessed Omar Ibn Al Khattab who said I wish there is a mountain. Of fire between us and Persia
Can anyone explain why such terrorism never hit Iran?

November 14th, 2015, 9:00 am


Ghufran said:

Fox News: ISIS claimed responsibility for Paris attacks and a Syrian passport was found on the body of a suicide bomber at the Paris stadium. Why would a suicide bomber carries his passport before he dies ?
Isis actually emerged after the invasion of Iraq by USA and NATO and the forceful installment of a majority government that totally alienated Sunnis and Baathists.
Idiots in the syrian opposition and fake libertarians here want to do the same thing in Syria and get different results !!
You can not fix stupid.

November 14th, 2015, 10:03 am



Another perfect false flag attack from the authors of ¨ISIS & BAGHDADI¨.

Assad, Iran, Putin and CIA have created the perfect hit to push France accept what was not aceptable for Paris yesterday morning: Assad remaining in power.

The great sollution Obama offers to the syrians under bombs and syrians in exile is:

1) Interim transitional government
2) Electing Assad after 18 months once again

Now Assad, Iran, Rusia, CIA and ISIS have 18 months happy hour to kill and destroy as many lives as they can. So the voting for Assad will be easier for all.

November 14th, 2015, 3:20 pm


Altair said:


Why do you insist ISIS is a creation of Asad? It’s probable that the Syrian regime has manipulated it and even cooperated with it at certain times with it (think oil sales and distribution), but highly doubtful that they created it.

ISIS is an outgrowth of the US invasion and destruction of the Iraqi state. Without the chaos created by such, there would never have been the environment from which ISIS could grow and flourish.

ISIS also likely received funds from Saudi sources (another indirect US connection), though those funds have probably frozen up by now.

What we know for sure is that ISIS ideology is quite similar to the Wahhabi ideologies promoted by the Saudi government, ideologies that regard Shi’ites as apostates, for example.

ISIS did claim bombing the Iranian embassy in Beirut in November 2013 killing 23, so maybe you should consider that when concocting another ridiculous conspiracy theory. That they didn’t bomb Iran itself yet doesn’t make them allies.

Now Iran doesn’t help things in Iraq by promoting Shi’ite dominance and discrimination against Sunnis, if it indeed does (and I suspect that it does). But that is a different issue, and a different complaint.

The Middle East has a web of alliances that are quite convoluted and often do not make much sense, and I sympathize with anyone who can’t make sense of it. But that doesn’t mean we should jump to unwarranted conclusions.

November 14th, 2015, 5:25 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Isn’t time for the world to realize that Assad is fully responsible for the creation and growth of ISIS. … Take out Assad and ISIS together.


Yes and yes!

The UN needs a coalition similar to the one GWB put together to rebuild Syria. One caveat: STAY THERE UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE!

Are you listening Obama?

BTW, ISIS is funded by rich Sunnis aka KSA and Assad is SOLELY responsible for the security of the State as president.

November 14th, 2015, 5:41 pm


Ghufran said:

Did Turkey and ksa give the finger to Jaish Alfateh when
they agreed to list Nusra as a terrorist organization ?
The only way for Jaish alfateh to get off the hook is to
abandon Nusra which is the strongest group in it, that
means a new wave of internal fighting unless ksa and
Turkey are simply selling words to buy usa approval.
The resolution, not binding until unsc accepts it, can also
give Russia a green light to bomb Jaish alfateh until it
separates itself from Nusra which will be very difficult.

November 14th, 2015, 7:20 pm


Tara said:

Altair ,

I am not insisting ISIS is a physical creation of Assad. I am insisting that Assad is directly to be responsible for the terrorism inflicted by ISIS. He was the root cause for the call of jihad in Syria. Syria and specifically Damascus has always been held very highly in muslim’s conscious due to Hadith verses ( الشام كنانتي ومن أصابها بسهم…) and some other factors. Assad by tortuting and murdering peaceful Syrians in the hundreds of thousands created the call for jihad across the Muslim world when people across the universe watched the Syrian holocaust and lifted no finger. Calling for jihad against the Assad regime was a natural consequence to the footage of people being burned alive and buried alive when refusing to say ” no god except Bashar” etc… Then to Shiite Iran and the Shiite HA direct participation in killing Syrians. This is how terrorism starts. Jihadis are ordinary people being brainwashed initially by a legit cause then morph into human monsters capable of committing monstrous acts. Assad creaed the reason for the call to jihad and subsequently provided a protected physical environment for ISIS to grow and expand and nourish in Raqqah. Raqqah was never bombed by Assad for more than 3 years . Why? Additionally, unless rank and file Syrian buys into fighting ISIS , ISIS will not be destructible. Russia is trying and is failing miserably . The western alliance has so far failed miserably despite occasional made up ” victories” such as killing jihadi John.

No foreign power can defeat ISIS in Syria. Only Syrians can, in my opinion. And as long as Assad in power, the status quo will persist and we will watch more terrorism and more criminal acts

You want to defeat ISIS, take Assad out and help Syrians build a democratic country and let Syrians defeat ISIS . While the west can watch Douma and eastern Ghouta being barrel bombed everyday and do nothing, it is only when they realize that only Syrians can protect them from ISIS, the terror will go on. It is a real irony!

November 14th, 2015, 7:30 pm


Tara said:


“The UN needs a coalition similar to the one GWB put together to rebuild Syria. One caveat: STAY THERE UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE!

Are you listening Obama?”

Yes, And in my opinion, they should not even invoke humanity as their reason to do so. No one will believe it. Their real motive should be the war on terrorism! The world must realize that this war is not going to be victorious unless Muslim themselves do it.

November 14th, 2015, 7:42 pm


Akbar Palace said:

 The world must realize that this war is not going to be victorious unless Muslim themselves do it.


That’s fine. I have doubts arabs can create their own democracy, but they should be given the opportunity.

November 14th, 2015, 7:51 pm


Ghufran said:

” they say it is a popular revolution for justice and freedom but they consider Sunnis who do not join them as traitors and see non sunnis as potential targets, they support or cover for Nusra and similar terrorist groups and refuse to denounce war crimes committed by islamist rebels, they want to decide how a future syrian government should look like and they do not want people to have the right to choose, it is either their way or the highway”.

November 14th, 2015, 10:36 pm


ALAN said:

Our old friend.
I quote:
Well, it all became clear
Secretary of State Kerry held a press conference at which he announced the war to Syria and called on the entire American coalition to rally around the US!
US declaring War on Syria due to Paris Attack, Says All need to join the Fight and get Assad out at same time. Transcript of Speech now embedded
Do you understand why the attack was necessary and who actually made?
“Claimed responsibility Isis,” and here Syria if Syria is fighting Isis? Where is the logic of the United States? “IS claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris!”
Greate! The attacks did Isis and the United States formally declare war on SYRIA! You can enter the war, but will necessitate your end. Go ahead… F**k you…

November 15th, 2015, 10:29 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

If someone wondering about the relations between this criminal Assad regime and ISIS , he on
Y has to remember what the Alawi Assad regime did in the past, , this criminal regime sent terrorists to Iraq and Nouri Al Maliki admitted that , this Assad regime was the one who sent Zarqawi to Iraq, this Zarqawi is the father of ISIS, Assad regime is the one who masterminded killing several Lebanese by explosives including Rafiq Hariri, this Assad regime sent Mr. samaha along with explosives to bomb and kill Lebanese, his right hand , Ali Mamlouk who executed many of these bombs , no one should exclude Ali Mamlouk could be the master mind of the Paris explosions ,
Assad released the leaders of ISIS from jail, he relinquished Raqqa to ISIS without a fight, he relinquished Palmyra to ISIS with Little fight, , Assad Alawi criminal regime is proven that has trade relations , buying oils from ISIS,
After that we hear someone deny this relations between the Assad regime and ISIS, the roots of this terrorism is Assad regime and ISIS is its branches, trimmings these branches would never eliminate danger , we need to eradicate the root who are Assad regime, if we are to end this terrorism, , Assad is still on the loose ,

November 15th, 2015, 1:01 pm


Ghufran said:

Islamists were used by all to achieve political goals. USA used them in Afghanistan agsinst the Russians, Israel used them against the plo and Hezbollah and syrian and Iranian regimes used them agsinst US troops in Iraq, and Turkey, Qatar and ksa are using them agsinst assad and Iran.
isis and Alqaeda however needed an ideology to recruit fighters and they needed events on the ground to motivate those fighters. Wahhabism provided the ideological basis for the islamist movements and oppressive regimes and foreign intervention provided the motivation.
Everything else written on this blog about isis and Nusra fail to speak the whole truth. Do not wait for ideologues to be factual and objective.

November 15th, 2015, 1:56 pm


ALAN said:

Look at the world around you, all of them criminals and you are silent like a rabbit!

November 15th, 2015, 1:59 pm


ALAN said:

There are only two logical conclusions that can be reached about American foreign policy leadership in the 21st century.

1) American leadership is ruthlessly pursuing immoral wars all over the world with the intent of creating outside enemies to focus public anger on, as a conscious diversion away from the criminality happening domestically. As an added bonus, the intelligence-military-industrial complex makes an incredible sum of money. The end result: serfs are distracted with inane nationalistic fervor, while the “elites” earn billions.

2) American leadership is completely and totally inept; being easily manipulated into overseas conflicts by ruthless corporate interests and cunning foreign “rebels” in order to advance their own selfish interests, which are in conflict with the interests of the general public.

I can’t come up with any other logical conclusion. Either way, such people have no business running the affairs of these United States, and their actions are merely increasing instability and violence across the planet. The longer they remain in charge with no accountability, the more dangerous this world will become.

November 15th, 2015, 3:05 pm


Passerby said:

Pretty bleak outlook Joshua paints. Hard to really disagree with any of it.

But the fact remains, the Security Council is now united, and they want an end to ISIS, and they have the firepower. They’ll do something to muddy the waters about Assad leaving later, and go after ISIS now.

Here’s how they are going to sort out who is a terrorist, and try to talk any non totally mad dog rebels into cutting a deal. There will be a ceasefire, (except for Al-Qaeda and ISIS), and any that keep fighting is considered a terrorist by everyone and dealt with accordingly.

NATO has been attacked by ISIS, Turkey needs to decide which side it’s on.

The Gulf States? Whose side are they on? No problem with Al-Qaeda in Yemen, the biggest baddest Al-Qaeda, live and let live, but some Shiites act up? Heaven and earth must be moved to deal with that. And it’s clear they want ISIS to stay until Assad is gone, but they are the only ones.

November 15th, 2015, 3:20 pm


Passerby said:

Oh yeah, and I’d like to thank those Bosnian Muslims we saved from being exterminated by the thousands, entire cities of men and boys, and the Kosovars we saved from squatting in their own excrement in cattle pens.

Those tens of thousands of Bosnian, Kosovar and Albanian Muslims standing by our side as we confront ISIS is priceless to remind everyone…

…oh yeah, that’s right, they could give a damn and don’t lift a finger to help.

November 15th, 2015, 3:46 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Good for president Holland, I hope he hits ISIS to a. Complete enhilliation, hejuststarted, he just responded not like the bombastic but empty. Putin, I support land forces to take over ISIS controlled land, that is what we need, france must not have mercy on ISIS, , land forces necessary so Assad can not take back these territories,

November 15th, 2015, 4:20 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

It is now announced that the mastermind of Paris terrorism is Abdulhamid Aba Ood, and he is now in Syria, and three other terrorist families are living in Syria

November 16th, 2015, 5:43 am


Tara said:


Yup. I think land forces to take over lSIS -controlled territories will be good solution. That can also provide safe haven to refugee fleeing assad indiscriminate barrel bombs and chemical weapons, and protect hospitals and bread lines.

November 16th, 2015, 6:56 am


Ghufran said:

Paris attack will mostly hurt current snd future syrian refugees/ immigrants. Further proof that those who claim they are defending Muslims and Islam are indeed Muslims worst enemy,
Western countries especially USA have been very stingy with visas when the applicants are professionals but the same countries accepted loads of unskilled immigrants who came in using family ties. Europe now has millions of poor Muslims who might be Isis best hope for recruitment, the US is in a better shape mostly because it is not
an attractive choice for North African Muslims who prefer Europe due to geographical and cultural reasons,
However, ksa has a lot of influence and followers among US mosques goers due to funding, Saudi funded mosques have been the preferred meeting places for convicted terrorists in the past according to available data, do not expect USA politicians to do much about this, Ksa (and Israel of course) owns the political establishment here.

November 16th, 2015, 8:22 am


Steven Hunt said:

It has been the US and its friends that have been supporting terrorists toward the goal of toppling the Syrian government.

Also, the US has allowed Islamic State to spread as part of their strategy.

So, we see the people, like Tara, that have supported US mercenary terrorism in Syria all giddy that the fight against Islamic State will entail illegally taking control of Syrian territory.

This criminal attitude and projection of violence on the part of the US and Saudis has fueled the terror in Syria.

And what you are watching right now is the total defeat of US supported terror in Syria.

Watch and Weep in the coming weeks.

You are the true enemies of international law and global security. The eyes of the world are opening up to the diseased nature of the US and its terrorist allies.

November 16th, 2015, 11:22 am



The mastermind of the terror attack in Paris is now in Syria but not in a dirty house of Rsqqa but in a luyxury room in Damascus, maybe in the iranian embassy or maybe in the russian building.

France and US know that ISIS is the tool used by their enemies (Russia, Assad) to hit them without showing their identity. The first step is reducing the power of ISIS, after the rebels and the kurds will spread and finally Assad will be forced to leave if Israel finally accepts that after Assad is posible without chaos.

Because what we are facing here is that Russia and Israel are both completely agree about Assad remaining in power.

November 16th, 2015, 12:53 pm


Steven Hunt said:


You make accusations about Russia and Iran and Syria pulling the strings for ISIS to engage terrorist attacks in Paris.

How you can present such an accusation given the well-known connections of US strategy goals in Syria, the ties to ISIS with Turkey, Quatar, and the Saudis, as well as the diametrical character of Russia, Syria, and Iran in opposition to this ISIS brand of Sunni caliphate extremism is a function of year so confused narratives that have been engaged by the US and its allies in the region toward the goal of toppling the Syrian government.

It has been the US, France, Turkey, the Saudis, and Quatar that have funded and facilitated mercenary terror armies entry into Syrian territory to destroy the legal government of Syria.

If elemental facts are so grotesquely twisted, and mendacious lies promulgated and bull-horned so brazenly, then this situation has reached a stage that will simply escalate into WWIII.

However, the West and its intelligensia have created this variant of ‘fog of war’ with respect to Syria.

There is international law that must be adhered to as the minimum foundation for international order. But the US and its corrupt intellectual and state adjuncts abuse and corrupt the very notion of international law and the viability of nations.

That they were so brazen in destroying Iraq, and nobody was held accountable and punished, has lead right up to what we are witnessing in Syria.

Now, people like Sandro feel confident that they can simply totally invert the elements of this Syrian crisis and claim that it is actually Syria that supports ISIS. This is allowed because when the empire is intent on toppling a government, its obsequious minions will become too timid to challenge the distorted narratives and memes.’

This is simply disgusting—and the result is the escalation of death and terror.

But you shameless adjuncts never learn.

Cowards, the lot of you.

November 16th, 2015, 4:55 pm


ALAN said:


Washington continues making an international fool of herself by her inability to effectively counter the impression around the world that Russia, spending less than 10% of the Pentagon annually on defense, has managed to do more against ISIS in Syria in six weeks than the mighty US Air Force bombing campaign has done in almost a year and half. One aspect that bears attention is the demonstration by the Russian military of new technologies that belie the widely-held Western notion that Russia is little more than a backward oil and raw material commodity exporter.

Not surprisingly, Carter did not mention Washington’s own very loud nuclear saber-rattling. In addition to advancing the US Ballistic Missile Defense array targeting Russia, Carter recently announced highly-advanced US nuclear weapons would be stationed at the Büchel Air Base in Germany as part of a joint NATO nuclear program, which involves non-nuclear NATO states in Europe hosting more than 200 US nuclear warheads. Those NATO states across Europe, including Germany, have just become a potential Ground Zero in any possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Perhaps it’s time for some more sober minds to take responsibility in Washington for restoring a world at peace, minds not obsessed with such ridiculous ideas of “pre-eminence.”

November 16th, 2015, 6:47 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Well, there will be no respite.

Just like the nihilistic Third Reich–the US will set the world ablaze rather than admit defeat.

Their goal is total unchallenged domination.

Very much in the same pattern of Isis.

November 16th, 2015, 9:32 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Steven Hunt,

Stop the blame game of the usual suspects.

Face it, muslims have been slaughtering muslims for the past 4/5 years. The only thing one can say is the Paris attack PALES in comparison to the death and destruction muslims have created in the Middle East.

November 16th, 2015, 9:41 pm


Ghufran said:

The Syrian passport found with the dead body of one of Paris suicide bombers is fake according to HRW’s emergencies director Bouckaert who also said that fake Syrian passports are widely available in Turkey.

November 17th, 2015, 1:33 am


Badr said:

If I may AP,

I think you should be able to answer your own above question. Hint: fake & Turkey

November 17th, 2015, 1:53 pm


Passerby said:

Putin Says France Now Ally in Syria as Russia Steps Up Strikes

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean to work as allies with French warships in attacking Islamic State targets in Syria as his military stepped up its offensive against the terrorist group.
France has a naval group led by an aircraft carrier heading to the area where Russian vessels are operating, Putin told a naval commander of a warship in the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday in a live video link shown on Russian state TV. “You need to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies,” Putin ordered.

Russia’s military doubled its attacks in Syria on Tuesday, carrying out 34 cruise missile strikes and deploying long-range Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22 bombers from Russian bases to hit Islamic State’s heartland in the Syrian province of Raqqa and other targets, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the same meeting. The bombardment is continuing and Russia planned 127 sorties on 206 targets in the first 24 hours of the new stage of the campaign…


France and Russia aren’t waiting for Hussein “Red Line” Obama to make up his mind whose side he’s on. No, America doesn’t support ISIS, Saddam created them (and his regime runs them now), but the only reason one can’t conclude “Red Line” doesn’t work for ISIS, an ISIS flunkie, is that he’s being far too obvious. “JV Team” when they controlled everything between Damascus and Baghdad. No one is that stupid, no one on this forum would have said that. “Controlled” the day they butchered all those French women and children, and this weekend, “ISIS isn’t capable of attacking America”. Like he’s working for them, setting up the American people.

And to put it in perspective, France 20/day, Russia 200/day, and France has a lot more money, they could be 200/day too. In their case it’s symbolic, at least for now. Russia is playing for keeps, and so far, they and Iran are the only ones.

November 17th, 2015, 2:19 pm


Passerby said:

France has over 500 fighter jets. About half are fixed wing attack aircraft. All can drop precision bombs. They are using 10. Something more important going on elsewhere?

November 17th, 2015, 2:29 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Apparently, fake passports are so common its like using a fake drivers license to purchase beer at a liquor store.

I think the more interesting questions for me are:
– Why are these young people killing themselves and unarmed civilians?
– How are the governments experiencing these killings going to respond?
– Why the outrage over 130 deaths and none for 250,000 deaths?

And here are my answers:

– brainwashed by friends, family and clerics
– very weakly
– because when it happens to “others”, it’s not important

Which brings me to the purpose of terrorism.  It is usually conducted to bring attention to problems not on the radar of another country in order to get them to react.  In this case, the reaction is to eradicate these terrorists groups as we’ve heard many times before.

Without another GWB-like war, I don’t see this changing much.  Like I’ve been saying, a “Marshall Plan” for the ME is in order.

November 17th, 2015, 3:40 pm


Passerby said:

Russia Pounds ISIS With Biggest Bomber Raid in Decades

Putin’s air force just uses its nuclear bombers to lay waste to the captial of the “Islamic State.”

The Russian air force just pulled off one of the biggest and most complex heavy bomber missions in modern history—sending no fewer than 25 Backfire, Bear, and Blackjack bombers on a coordinated, long-range air raid against alleged ISIS forces in Syria.

The Tuesday mission, which launched under the cover of darkness from a base in Ossetia in southern Russia, signalled a significant escalation of Moscow’s air war in Syria…

…All three models of bomber can fly thousands of miles while hauling no less than 20 tons of weaponry. Only China and the United States possess similar heavy warplanes. Launching 25 bombers on one mission is an impressive undertaking…

…Seven B-52s flew together to launch cruise missiles at Iraq in the early hours of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and a group of eight of the giant warplanes repeated the feat on the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.

In other words: this Russian attack was “shock and awe”—on steroids.

Russia’s bomber raid was certainly impressive, and has propaganda value in addition to bolstering Moscow’s operations in Syria. When 25 of the planet’s most powerful warplanes attack at the same time, it’s more than a mere air raid. It’s a statement to the whole world.


ISIS screwed with the wrong guy. Should have stuck to cutting off the heads of Americans, or machine gunning French women and children.

November 17th, 2015, 6:24 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Russia Pounds ISIS With Biggest Bomber Raid in Decades

Hey Passerby,

You think the UN will issue a strong condemnation against Russia for their “disproportionate” use of force? 😉

Not in my lifetime.

November 17th, 2015, 8:16 pm


Faizal said:

This is the message to all the supporters of the ‘Butcher of Damascus’ , Bashar al-Assad and his Regime , not only Saudi Arabia is keen to topple the rule of Bashar al-Assad , but the whole Sunni world is keen to topple the rule of Bashar al-Assad over Syria . Maybe you are seeing the goverments figures in Sunni countries acting neutral , but believe me , the Sunni Muslims people in every Sunni countries are calling for the toppling of the rule of Bashar al-Assad over Syria . As we know , the situation like in Afganistan in the early 1980s , have a high probability to happening again . Jihadist from Indonesia , Malaysia , Thailand , Uzbekistan , Chechnya , Bosnia , North Africa , the GCC countries , Egypt and Pakistan are preparing themselves to enter Syria to fight under the banner of Jihad against Russia , Assad , Iran and Hezb-Syaitan from Iraq and Lebanon .This is not just words . But the Sunni Jihadists and Armies will battle against the enemy of Sunnis especially in Syria . Remember this is not just words .

November 17th, 2015, 11:36 pm


Badr said:


I guess I have to spell it out. Unless “Ghufran” answers your question to him otherwise, I think he wants to blame the Turkish authorities that one of Paris attack terrorists was able to obtain a fake Syrian passport in Turkey, and pass through its border unhindered.

November 18th, 2015, 1:28 am


Syrialover said:

PASSERBY #71 and #74 you are not just passing by but rushing at the speed of light with your eyes and ears shut tight.

Russia has now been embarrassed into show-attacking ISIS because it has been exposed in accusations by a number of heads of state of doing nothing to attack ISIS but instead degrading the internal Syrian opposition which is needed to play an important role in any future Syria.

Russia has been committing serious war crimes in Syria. Check out the videos showing them bombing civilian areas (far away anywhere ISIS is), waiting until the dust settles and people come out again then bombing and killing more.

Anyone childishly awed and excited by Russia’s massive indiscriminate bombing of Raqqa must lack the IQ to think about the brutal impact on hundreds of thousands of ordinary Syrians held hostage by ISIS in those areas and the pointless destruction of what little infrastructure they have to rebuild with.

In drastic contrast, France is highly aware of civilian casualties and concentrating on strategic targets.

And do you know something? Global military analysts say the Russian economy can’t afford to fund what is being spent in Syria.

And ME political analysts are saying Russia has now trashed its credibility in the Arab world – and caused widespread Sunni anger deeper than the permafrost – by joining with Shia Iran and Hezbollah to invade and kill Syrians.

So only the most switched off, zero-informed, propagandist “passer by” could fail to despise Russia, and more unbelievably, actually praise it.

November 18th, 2015, 6:53 am


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #72, thanks for reminding me of that article, which I’d read earlier. It’s right on the money.

I can’t resist posting an excerpt:

From article “The blood of Paris is on Assad’s hands”:

The truth is that Assad and IS are not enemies: they are allies.

To understand what I mean, we have to go back to 2012/13, when the rebels — led by the Free Syrian Army — were at the gates of Damascus. In order to save himself, Assad did two things.

Hardened jihadists were released from prison, and replaced with bloggers and human rights activists

First, he accepted what was essentially an Iranian takeover of the campaign: as Dexter Filkins recounted in the New Yorker, Qassem Suleimani — the head of Tehran’s Quds Force — flew into Damascus to assume personal control, flooding the conflict with Iranian money, Iranian arms and fighters drawn both from Tehran and its Lebanese client, Hezbollah.

But the other prong of Assad’s strategy was more insidious. Since the start of the war, he had labelled his enemies as Islamist terrorists. And over the years, he did everything in his power to make that a reality.

Hardened jihadists were released from Sednaya, the regime’s mega-prison, and replaced with bloggers and human rights activists. The regime’s bombs and guns were aimed squarely at the moderates, while the Islamist radicals (many of whom had won their spurs in the insurgency against the US in Iraq) were given a free hand in the north. It was even alleged that they received air support from Assad during their march to Aleppo.


Think about it: “Hardened jihadists were released from Sednaya, the regime’s mega-prison, and replaced with bloggers and human rights activists.”

PS And have we forgotten all those clumsy fake “terrorist attacks” the regime staged and accused the opposition?

November 18th, 2015, 7:08 am


Akbar Palace said:

I guess I have to spell it out. Unless “Ghufran” answers your question to him otherwise, I think he wants to blame the Turkish authorities that one of Paris attack terrorists was able to obtain a fake Syrian passport in Turkey, and pass through its border unhindered.


As much as I am NO FAN of the current Turkish government, I can’t blame them for someone’s fake passport.  That I blame on the individual.  And there are thousands of fake passports used all over the world (according to articles I’ve read).


The Syrian landscape is so muddled and so broken, I think we’ve come to a point where no one knows who is actually allied with who.

I think at this point, most of the West wants to work with Russia to eradicate ISIS, especially after the Paris attack.  So I think the world community is becoming unified on that.  Of course, the next question is what to do once they are defeated (assuming they can be defeated).

I don’t think Assad will be back, and I think the resistance axis is holding their breath to see how this plays out.  I hope the UNSC permanent members can AGREE, once and for all, to make a plan that allows Syria to be fixed and then to heal. 


November 18th, 2015, 8:31 am


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh,

You have been insisting that the US cannot change anything in Syria and that it would be a loss of blood and treasure.

Why aren’t you claiming the same for Russia? You seem to think Russia can succeed in Syria. Why Russia and not the US?

I think the major world powers (UNSC 5 permanent members), can come together on the Syria file. They need each other as one member alone cannot effect change. Together, they can.

November 18th, 2015, 12:37 pm


ALAN said:

Western rulers recognized the reality of the threat of ISIS after the attacks in Paris, however, even after the events of Washington continues to insist on the resignation of Bashar al-Assad as president of the Syrian Arab Republic!!!
Despite the fact that in Syria there is no force that can withstand the hordes of mercenaries, Islamists, according to the West, the key in the negotiations is not a question of combating terrorism, BUT the question of withdrawal of the Syrian president.
Major Western media has once again changed the version of events, saying that ISIS has appeared as a result of the failure of the political parties in Syria and Iraq.
the Islamic state was the result of the work of Western and Arabian intelligence services, the huge cash injections and the creation of a true logistics network, enveloped the entire region. The world remembers what the outcome of the requirements to remove Gaddafi all costs for Libya and the region. Is the world so never learned anything?

November 18th, 2015, 2:47 pm


ALAN said:

United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar:
R you desperate to get your foot in the door to prevent the utter and complete defeat ISIS and other radical Islamist groups in Syria?
Is the situation is further aggravated by the passive actions of the Iraqi army units and certain Kurdish troops that allow ISIS to maneuver its forces between Syria and Iraq? is the cause that absence of trained high-ranking officers among Kurds and in the Iraqi armed forces?
Is the White House forced to evaluating the possible alliance with the Kurdish militia?
In fact this has led to completely incomprehensive attempts to create a rebel force where Kurds will be playing a supporting role. The Kurds, in turn, are waiting for some promises from Washington about the prospects of getting an autonomy, while this is the very step that the White House cannot make in the light of Erdogan’s victory on the parliamentary elections in Turkey. For this reason a full-scale attack on the city of Raqqa has been slowed down. But it’s of critical importance for Damascus today to maintain the momentum in the large scale offensive it launched.

November 18th, 2015, 3:25 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Agree Alan.

It is predictable that the US media haven’t focused on the success of the SAA and its regional allies this past week.

The progress has been palpable.

I would invite you, Alan, to check out syrianperspective blog–they published my first public essay about the Kweires victory last week.

While I appreciate Professor Landis developing this discussion space, and not being overly censorious, it amazes me, the information blackout of what is happening in Syria.

The left-progressives were always weak in the US–but events since Libya have torn off the mask for me.

Quite astounding.

It is a mistake to prop up luminaries on the feeble left–such veneration stands in for the lack of movement and organization in the real world.

Syria, for me, points up that lesson completely.

I thin the left/right paradigm is a fetter–as there are bright people with agile minds that can unite with one another broadly, with respect for difference but with common goals that improve material well being.

November 18th, 2015, 8:27 pm


Passerby said:

Hi Akbar!,

Well, in normal times the hand-wringing over Russia’s massive bombing raids in the UN would hit the roof, but there’s not a peep lately. All that “Russia is bombing hospitals” seems to have come to a dead stop. There’s only been one other time the USA and Russia have gone to war together and compared to that enemy, ISIS is the JV team.

That’s why I think ISIS has started hitting out at everyone, when they never used to. They seem to agree with those of us that Russia showing up means they are doomed. It’s a certain downward spiral, unless they reshuffle the deck. Change a losing game.


On your previous four questions, seems the few sane people that have been around ISIS on the ground in Syria, say they are street kids, intoxicated by the power and dogma. A boring meaningless poor life at home. With ISIS they get money, sex, etc.

Russia will do what Putin says it will do, in regards to ISIS. It always has, a very very important thing to Vladimir Putin. So far, no one else is doing much. Putin says he will destroy them and he will. ISIS will continue to act out, like a cornered rat, and others will join the cause. They say the reason France hasn’t called on NATO and has called on the EU and Russia is that Turkey (and Obama?) wouldn’t go along with it.

Yeah, the 130 and not the 230,000, well yeah, it’s because they are coming for us. But to be fair, in hopeless cases, you just give up and do what you can where you can. Plenty of lives to be saved in central Africa, we should do more to help, but everyone just sees it as out of control.

November 18th, 2015, 5:16 pm


Passerby said:

Hi Syrialover,

I think Russia has gone fascist, with Nazi tendencies, not a big fan. Yeah, a lot of people will die before ISIS is crushed. I’m open to suggestions on alternatives, but ISIS has to be crushed, the general Saudi/Iran struggle will just have to be put aside.

It’s not true that you have to get rid of Assad to get rid of ISIS, it’s the other way around. If we got rid of Assad, ISIS would be running the country.

In War, sometimes the most merciful thing to to bring it to an end. Will civilians where ISIS controls suffer? Not near as much as if ISIS hits the terrorist big time and mercy is no longer an option. That is the great danger to those under ISIS control. If I was living under ISIS, I’d risk the bombing to get rid of them. Seems anyone not on the same page with them would too. Wouldn’t you?

This is a trivial expense for Russia. If the price of oil goes up a couple dollars that pays for it. Iran and Russia have signed a deal for 25 billion on upgrading their energy sector alone. Syria pledging to buy everything Russa is selling too. And Iraq, not doubt. Financially, Russia is sitting pretty on the deal. So far.

November 18th, 2015, 5:31 pm


Steven Hunt said:

Totally disagree with you on two major points: Russia has autocratic party and leadership style, but they have a structure of democratic elections, there are multiple parties, media’s is concentrated very much as it is in other countries in the West–oligarchs are rewarded by playing ball.

If any political or economic forces work with foreign entities to undermine the efficacy of the state they are attended to–as rapidly and forcefully as possible.

Understanding Russia and its people required one to actually get to know Russian people.

Number two: this involve by in Syria isn’t trivial–the threat is existential.

You may disagree–but, again, understanding the concerns that Russia has explained clearly is helpful.

Perception is reality.

On another level that supporters of US hegemony simply refuse to recognize is the idea of international law. Without this principle being adhered to, then you have in time complete chaos in the world order.

While none is pure–the US has been especially egregious in our times.

More, the US goal to dominate the entire world and crush any potential competitors, their deluded declarations about being indispensable and exceptional…need I continue?

Lastly, if any of you don’t know in depth the actual reality that has played out on the ground in Syria–if you narrate the onus for transgression to be placed on the Syrian government, if you swallow the myriad charges of Assad the monster, chemical weapons, etc–if you don’t understand this violence in the context of the mercenaries and weapons being funneled into Syria for years (totally illegal)–then you are intellectually derilict and ethically impoverished.

There is no way international law and the will of the Syrian people can be blacked-out is the goal is peace and stability.

But the problem is that there are many sick minds that desire death over truth and life. The US is dangerously flirti
G with an embrace of nihilism and destruction–and the majority of the world is coming to see this clearly.

That is why we will win–because the other option is not an option.

November 18th, 2015, 8:10 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Thx for the reply. You seem to have some info not readily available to those dependent on the MSM.

I agree with you. I am somewhat envious that Russia is calling the shots. I think the US should. That’s where I disagree with Professor Josh.

November 18th, 2015, 6:42 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“US hegemony” NewZ

More, the US goal to dominate the entire world and crush any potential competitors, their deluded declarations about being indispensable and exceptional…need I continue?

Steven Hunt,

Thank you for that eye-opening assessment. Muslims are killing tens of thousands of muslims and not taking prisoners simply because the US is trying “to dominate the entire world”.

Wow! So if I pick up a gun and shoot an innocent bystander or chop off his head, its OK because “US hegemony” made me do it.

If only Israel could use that excuse. Thanks for the tip.

November 18th, 2015, 9:49 pm


Ghufran said:

It takes courage for people to admit their mistakes. Politicians in particular have a problem admitting mistakes, ideologues are unable to see their mistakes.
Those who worked to dismantle the state in Syria as dysfunctional as that state was were either stupid or evil, some had both qualities. Revolutionists who raise the flag of democracy and freedom are expected to be truthful to their ideas and give constituents a better life, nobody can say that with a straight face about the
Syrian ” revolution”.

November 18th, 2015, 10:10 pm


Syrialover said:

PASSERBY, what’s with these fantasies about Russia?

The west is not panting to partner with Russia on ISIS, it is trying to contain Russia and stop it committing further atrocities against Syrian civilians and ruthlessly smashing Syria’s infrastructure to help Assad.

They play Putin as if dealing with a mentally handicapped person.

Russia is puny and has shrunk on every measure under Putin.

Article: “Russia’s economy keeps getting smaller”. The data makes tragic reading. http://money.cnn.com/2015/11/12/news/economy/russia-economy-gdp-q3/

And Iran and Russia can upgrade their oil infrastructure until it reaches heaven, but who cares and so what. The oil boom easy money days are over. And both are incapable of running their oil industries cleanly and competently and for the benefit of their citizens.

November 19th, 2015, 5:29 am


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN, you will paralyse your face if you keep talking so fast and furiously out of both sides of your mouth.

In #89, as with your other posts, the subtext is the same: Assad is really not so bad, and the Syrian people are a bunch of childish and confused losers (and in this post, liars) who deserve what’s happened to them.

November 19th, 2015, 5:48 am


Syrialover said:

“STEVEN HUNT” (not sure of the correct Russian version) in #87 said:

“it amazes me, the information blackout of what is happening in Syria”

Haha. You wish.

You mean the blackout you are futilely trying to create?

November 19th, 2015, 5:53 am


SimoHurtta said:

90. Syrialover said:

Well Syrianlover have you ever been in Russia and do you know Russians? I live a couple of hundred kilometer from Russian border. I see every day many cars with Russian register plates (not cheap cars by the way). There are thousands of Russians coming to shop in Helsinki and other cities. Trains go from Helsinki to St. Peterburg and Moscow.

I have been in Soviet Union during the 80’s and it was no paradise. T have seen in Helsinki the poor Russians in the 90’s during Jetsin’s time selling smuggled cigarettes and vodka. And often themselves working as whores in order to earn some money. In the turn of the century it all changed. No more poor Russians selling cheap tobacco and vodka. On the east border were over hundred kilometer long queues of trucks bringing different goods to Russia. Then the Russian harbors could not then take in so much ships as demanded and much of the Russian import came through Finnish harbors. Even today the trade, especially import from Russia is considerable (Finland’s second largest trade partner in 2014 and the largest before sanctions).

You obviously have not read or listened to Putin’s speeches. He is certainly not mentally handicapped. Most European leaders share Putin’s opinions about Middle East even they do not dare to say it so straight. What Putin has “offered” is at least a solution for Europe (= more order to Middle East). What USA has offered besides creating the circumstances for ISIS to be born and grow? Nothing besides the old same what they offer Palestinians (= absolutely nothing). Now every day many European leaders send the message to Washington, that it should do what Russia is suggesting. If USA can not provide real solutions to end the flood of refugees, which is tearing EU in parts, and stabilize the region, then USA will be sidelined and there is no more the “west”. Obviously you in USA do not understand of what it is now about. France did not just demand the defense guaranties from EU countries for fun. It is a message for need of a EU army (which means no US controlled NATO).

November 19th, 2015, 7:42 am


Steven Hunt said:

Yeah, NATO is the US colonial army.

Get rid of NATO, make friendship with Russia–and then everyone can deal with all terror groups and make progress.

November 19th, 2015, 11:30 am


Steven Hunt said:

Yeah, NATO is the US colonial army.

Get rid of NATO, make friendship with Russia–and then everyone can deal with all terror groups and make progress.

November 19th, 2015, 11:30 am


Passerby said:

Hi Syrialover!,

It’s a bad situation, (to say the least). There are no happy solutions. Boy did I cheer for the Syrians rising up against Assad. So much hope. Foolish for and old man I guess. The do-gooders are gone, it’s terrorists or those that take orders for them. Assad’s plan worked.

But as long as ISIS exists, there in Syria, Assad ain’t going nowhere. That is why he has always protected them. That’s why he always attacked the most moderate rebels (as did ISIS.) To say ISIS has to stay until we get rid of Assad, is protecting Assad. That’s what Assad wants.

Time is short, ISIS is developing WMD, the French PM just warned of the threat, they’ve been using Mustard Gas on everyone except Assad. Anyone that cares about the Syrian people should focus on destroying ISIS like a laser beam. The path to Assad is through ISIS. France may prefer group hugs to real fighting and Obama may be a traitor, but if they do that with the Russians…

November 19th, 2015, 8:47 am


Passerby said:

Dear Anonymous,

Well, glad to see you have joined the fight. Not obvious to everyone how you can do what the government spooks can’t do.

Here’s a suggestion. Something the government spooks can’t do. Find out who is financing and supporting ISIS. What countries and what people. And what people know about it and are doing nothing about it. Much more important than some internal communications the governments are pretty darned good at.

Follow the money. That part of internal communications etc.

You do that, and you will blow this thing wide open.

Go Get ‘Em, it’s out there,

November 19th, 2015, 10:13 am


Steven Hunt said:

Some of the comments here actually reflect the reality of terrorism.

Terrorism is a condition of the mind that creates reality.

The US develops terrorism through its deep values–the ideological evidence of the US creation of terrorism is documented.

If one supports what the US is doing–then that person is a reflection of the Islamic State.

Obey international law–because if you don’t, then chaos follows.

These points are foundational–and Russia is exemplifying the correct way forward to returning law to the lands of Syria.

If you oppose enforcing the law, then stand against Putin and Russia.

You will be disciplined.

Easy for key board jihadist’s to support terror behind anonymity.

I use my real name–because I have no shame or fear in supporting my side, international law.

But some prefer the black masks and black flag–these people are lost, bereft of of any healthy ideas and values.

Mark my words–you embrace fear, you will find it; embrace truth with courage, you will find these in abundance.

To embrace chaos and violence you mock God. But Putin will find you first.

November 19th, 2015, 11:21 am


Sami said:

While Daesh is committing its heinous crimes, Assad continues to violate every international law that protects civilians.

Your attempt at painting Assad as respecting international law is laughable and juvenile.

Had Assad listened to the wishes of the Syrian people rather than attempt to stifle them with systematic violance, Syria would not have become an incubator for Daesh.

Blind faith in politicians only results in death.

November 19th, 2015, 12:06 pm


Mina said:

Must read

Everything you ever wanted to know about Erdogan’s support for Da’esh

November 19th, 2015, 2:26 pm


Observer said:

Ghufran is a racist and sectarian pro regime troll and he just uses enough critique of the regime so that he can skewer the majority of Syrians who want freedom and dignity
The same could be said about Algerians fighting for independence from France
One could say that if they stayed colonized they would be better off being part of France
There is no doubt that the regime and Russia are working to leave Assad and IS and eliminate the people of Syria altogether

November 19th, 2015, 4:55 pm


jo6pac said:

93. SimoHurtta said:

Thank You

November 19th, 2015, 5:51 pm


Ghufran said:

If Arab and Muslim Americans have any pride and loyalty left they will not give money or votes to any republican candidate:
(The Guardian)
Republicans voted on Thursday to make it more difficult for refugees from Syria and Iraq to come to the US as the fallout from last Friday’s Isis terrorist attacks in Paris continues.
In addition, more than half of the US’s governors have said they will no longer provide placement for Syrian refugees, arguing that they pose too great a risk to national security.
New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie has said his state will not take in any refugees – “not even orphans under the age of five”.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has said he has directed state police to “track” the Syrian refugees in his state, something his state police have played down.
GOP presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have suggested the US government prioritize Christian refugees.
Barack Obama has pledged to veto the legislation, and has condemned the anti-refugee comments as “un-American”, but experts worry the backlash could have dangerous consequences if these claims go unchecked.
“Sowing fear of refugees is exactly the kind of response groups like Isis are seeking,” said Iain Levine, deputy executive director for program at Human Rights Watch, on Thursday. “Yes, governments need to bring order to refugee processing and weed out militant extremists, but now more than ever they also need to stand with people uprooted from their homes by ideologies of hatred and help them find real protection.”

November 20th, 2015, 12:48 am


Hopeful said:

#94 Passerby

“Assad’s plan worked”

I agree with this assessment. It is unfortunate but it is the reality. ISIS is now Assad’s more powerful tool to stay where he is, and it must be taken away from him.

During the late 2000’s, Assad used the jihadis to keep the Americans busy in Iraq so they won’t turn their attention to Syria. It got so bad that even his biggest Iraqi ally (Maliki) complained about Assad publicly. But that problem was not solved until the Americans and the Iraqi Sunnis started cooperating to defeat the jihadis. Now the jihadis are back, being used by the same master, but for a different reason.

November 20th, 2015, 1:07 am



Assad will prevail. He knew from the beginning that all of Israel, US and of course Rusia and Iran would support his regime to the end.

This is why Assad had no limits in commiting all kind of massacres, crimes, erode entire cities, etc.

In fact, the talk about a brilliant future for Assad´s Syria with two pillars in Russia and Iran has been heard in Damascus even since before the revolution and speacially during the beginning of the troubles.

ISIS was the creation of all Assad, Iran, CIA and Putin. They have destroyed the revolution (Rebels to the west and kurds to the east) and created the world union to justify Assad in power.

Even France was redirected by creating the ISIS (CIA, Putin, Assad) hit in Paris.

The stangind question is how to make disappear the syrian population or how to ethnic cleanse them properly.

November 20th, 2015, 2:53 am


SimoHurtta said:

How many times this claim that ISIS is a creation of Assad, Putin and Iran is going to be repeated? It has been already mentioned here in SC’s comments at least 498 times. If Assad, Putin and Iran are really so clever, that they manage to deceive Gulf Arabs to finance their “creation” and upkeeping, Americans to train and arm them, international radical Sunni clergy to take care of world wide recruitment, Turks to provide logistics etc, then what hope have the “stupid” Sunnis and “idiot” Americans? Come-on even Sunni leaders and American regime are not so stupid, that Assad and Putin could play with them in this style and scale.

Why repeat this ultra stupid claim of Assad’s, Putin’s and Iran’s responsibility if nobody except same level of low quality US/Israeli propagandists and more or less radical Sunni extremists playing to be “democrats” here pretend to believe in that claim. Average readers of this blog are far to educated and well informed not be believe in this Assad is behind ISIS bullshit.

This American “Syrian moderate opposition and rebels – we know who they are” claims begin to really comical, when most of US is so afraid of Syrians, that they do not even dare to take “moderate” Syrian women and children as refugees.

Happy day for Akbar, when his brother in religion and colleague in deeds and spirit – J. Pollard – is freed. Congratulations Akbar.

November 20th, 2015, 6:49 am


Syrialover said:

Good read:

Iran’s Intervention In Syria Is Bold, Unprecedented — And Possibly A Disaster

Iran and its allies are confident the U.S. won’t do much to counter their gamble in Syria — for now. But the adventure may have other big costs.


Comment: Includes insight into the pointless disastrous situation Hezbollah is trapped in defending Bashar Assad.

November 20th, 2015, 8:19 am


Hopeful said:

#106 Simo

You may want to check this page and follow the reference links to learn more about how the Assad regime cooperated with the jihadis: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghuraba_al-Sham

Isis Is not the creation of Assad, but two things are for certain:

1. Assad went after the moderate rebels and gave space to the jihadis. In fact, when Raqqa was “handed over” to the jihadis by the mayor and head of security in 2013, even some of Assad loyalists were stunned by the event and demanded to understand how and why it happened.

2. Without the emergence of ISIS, Assad would have had no chance to survive.

November 20th, 2015, 8:37 am


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL, #108 thanks for the link on this topic and reminder about the events in Raqqa two years ago. So much has been churned up and forgotten in the dust of what has happened in Syria.

The other giant-sized clue about Assad’s cooperation with ISIS is the fact the regime has consistently not fought it, instead putting all its efforts into barrel bombing Syrian civilians while ISIS thrives with impunity nearby.

There are excellent studies analysing and quantifying Assad’s lack of serious military engagement with ISIS. He abandons lowly poorly equipped conscripts to them as fodder for public atrocities (as in Palmyra), but actually fight them? Nah, they serve his agenda too well.

And ISIS sends little love tokens his way, like blowing up the Tadmor prison, an inconvenient giant symbol and mine of historical evidence of Assad family depravity and cruelty.

November 20th, 2015, 9:19 am


Akbar Palace said:

Disproportionate NewZ

Russia kills 1300, and about 400 civilians and 90-some children.

Outrage?  Nope, it’s Russia not the Zio Entity this time.


Happy day for Akbar, when his brother in religion and colleague in deeds and spirit – J. Pollard – is freed. Congratulations Akbar.


Pollard is not my colleague.  It is not clear what damage he caused to America’s national security, but considering all the other spies the US has caught and tried, I think he paid his price.

You’re free to comment on all the other spies the US has caught if your interested;)


November 20th, 2015, 9:53 am


Hopeful said:

#109 SL

A friend of mine asked: “how is it that ISIS, within 3 weeks, can bring down a Russian plane, attack Beirut with suicide bombers, and stage a spectacular terrorist act in Paris, but within 3 years, has not staged any terrorist act in the Syrian regime strongholds of Damasucs or Latakia?”

Not that I want to see ISIS’s terror in Damascus or Latakia, but I found his question very telling.

November 20th, 2015, 10:32 am


Tara said:

Hopefull@ 111

Cc: Altair

Thank you very much for posing the question. I’d like to ask Altair the same question. Altair: do you have an answer? Is the Syrian rag tag mukhabarat much more powerful than KGB, the FBI , and the European intelligence combined so a terror attack in Damascus, Latakia, or even a remote city in Iran.
The world we live in is utterly blind and retarded for not posing this question publicly

November 20th, 2015, 11:56 am


Ghufran said:

The animosity between the ruling regimes in Syria and KSA is deep
and personal to the point where a
near and workable deal that involves
the two is unlikely especially after KSA
has asked the US and NATO for a blank check for the opposition file to decide who and how and when.

November 20th, 2015, 3:34 pm


ALAN said:

From the other side, the retribution for ongoing support of international terrorism is inevitable. It’s been clear all along that there’s a Qatari trace in the terrorist attack against the Russian aircraft over Sinai, that claimed the lives of 224. Even if Qatari security services were not planning this attack, in any case, it was carried out by the groups that have been sponsored by Qatar. This may lead to sanctions against the Wahhabi state, since the financial support of terrorism is a direct violation of a number of UN conventions. And then, the terrorist attack over Sinai was followed by the attack on France, which resulted in 132 people being killed. There’s a growing number of calls being voiced across the world to establish an international tribunal to prosecute ISIL and its sponsors, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been pretty active in the support they provided to those.

In addition to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which, in principle, are not hard to punish, there’s countries like the US, UK, Turkey, Jordan and others that supported terrorists too. Some US senators, including John. McCain met with the leaders of radical groups personally. The CIA and the Pentagon have been supplying them with weapons and trained their militants to create an “opposition” to the elected Syrian government. Turkey and Jordan provided their territory to deploy training camps, while allowing weapons and terrorists to flow into Syria across their territories. But there’s no prosecution of the United States officials due to the fact we are talking about one of the two major nuclear powers in the world. England will be protected from prosecution by Washington, since it’s a permanent member of the UN Security, while Turkey and Saudi Arabia play a “special” role in Washington’s policies. But nothing prevents American officials from throwing a dwarf emirate under the bus. The ruling dynasty will simply be replaced by a republican system of government in the process of “democratization” of the Middle East.

If Western countries are to prevent Qatar from being prosecuted, should its involvement in the downing of Russia’s Airbus be established, Moscow can proceed with the punishement on its own, in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, that grants the right to self-defense in case of “an act of war” being committed. And Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has already classified the downing of A321 as act of war, so those responsible will not evade the prosecution.

November 20th, 2015, 3:42 pm


ALAN said:

على المكشوف
PBS NewsHour Uses Russian Airstrike Footage While Claiming U.S. Airstrike Successes

November 20th, 2015, 4:03 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Putin admitted that his action in Syria failed to reach its goal so far.
Putin in Tehran Monday, they will talk about Syria
UN just issued a resolution to do everything to defeat ISIS

Again you are wrong, when you remember all the facts and read what I wrote about ISIS, your argument is reduced to prejudice idea , and baseless one, ISIS is helping Assad, penetrated by Assad regime, trading with Assad, both are fighting the free Syrian Army ,which is the opposition to Assad
Fighting ISIS and defeating it in Syria is depriving Asad from his best card, that says ISIS is competing with Assad as who is more criminal
Assad released ISIS leaders from prison, Maliki did the same claiming that five hundred prisoner ran away from prison and later formed ISIS, Raqqa was handed to ISIS not lost by fight, the same in Palmyra
Simo you will never win this argument

November 20th, 2015, 9:32 pm


Passerby said:

“how is it that ISIS, within 3 weeks, can bring down a Russian plane, attack Beirut with suicide bombers, and stage a spectacular terrorist act in Paris, but within 3 years, has not staged any terrorist act in the Syrian regime strongholds of Damasucs or Latakia?”

Good question.

I’d give the pat answer, not created by Assad, but he sure helped it grow, because he knew as long as it exists, he will stay in power. Saddam created Zarqawi/Al-Qaeda in Iraq/ISIS/IS for the same exact reason. He planted them in the no-fly zone to torment the Kurds, “See what happens if you don’t let me run my country, terrorists show up in the vacuum.” It’s the Saddam regime at the top, they’d cut a deal with the devil.


And I have a question that’s been bothering me, maybe someone can help. I’ll bravely sort through the inevitable conspiracy theories, who knows, some may contain a grain of truth.

Those 500 oil tanker trucks Russia blew up in a couple days a few days ago. (And the 100 the US blew up.) Had pictures of them all lined up. Seems there is a constant massive movement of those trucks between Turkey and IS. And it all goes through one point, actually controlled by the “FSA” who don’t mess with it because of mortal fear of IS, and the fact that IS can turn out the lights in Aleppo and a big chunk of the country.

Now, there’s always been reputable people saying all of it, but I always had the notion that it was being done secretly somehow. It’s right there in the open, huge commerce between Turkey and IS, and everyone knows it. The excuse given for the US not bombing them was the it would kill the innocent drivers. That the rules for the US bombing campaign is that if any innocent whatsoever could be hurt, they can’t drop the bomb. The excuse given for finally blowing some up, after Russia started, is that they dropped some leaflets to warn the drivers. Uh, ok, so how come they didn’t drop the damn leaflets a year ago? Why permit IS to make millions a day when you could instantly stop it. ANYONE could stop it.

You know, that’s what Donald Trump said all along, stop the flow of the money, bomb the oil. And the banking. He’s right.

Ok, conspiracy theorists, tell me why the US, France, Turkey, Assad, and the Gulf States, Jordan, etc. all the players, never cut off Assad’s money/oil? Even Jordan, mad after that very very brave man being burned to death in a cage? Jordan has the jets to shut that down in an afternoon.

What’s going on there?

And while on the subject, Turkey threated the Syrian Kurds with bombing if they went too far West, across the river. Just on a hunch, is that crossing they didn’t want the Kurds near, the one the massive backed up long lines of tanker trucks cross every day?

Thanks in advance.

November 20th, 2015, 10:31 pm


Passerby said:

I was watching a long documentary on WWI. Concentrated horror far worse greater than Syria. Tens of thousands dying in an afternoon for nothing.

You’d think the sheer magnitude of the slaughter would have caused war-weariness on both sides, where they would cut a deal. But it was the opposite. Both sides had lost millions, and they just couldn’t tolerate the idea that it was for nothing.

A month or so ago I tried to get everyone to practice cutting a deal, do some negotiating. It was the same exact thing. More like hostility from both sides for the notion of a peace deal short of total victory because so many had died and suffered.

In WWI, the suffering had just started. It got a lot worse.


Hard to see how to cut a deal, there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the other side other than Al-Qaeda/ISIS and their allies. Cut a deal with anyone they’d just ignore it.

I thought the idea of giving the Alawites and their allies a very generous deal, if they did depose the Assads was a great idea, and it would be, but who makes the offer, it’s the same problem.

There are two big problems to cutting a deal, the Assad leaving or not thing, and that there are no rebels to cut a deal with, Assad/IS/Al-Qaeda and their allies decimated them. Am I wrong? Name the rebels if I am.


The clock is running out. IS realizes it’s doomed with Russia coming in, (sure hope they aren’t reading my stuff and I’m helping them sort it out.) That’s what all this international terrorism all of a sudden. Anything’s better than certain doom, change a losing game. And now that they’ve taken that path, there’s no turning back. It’s going to get worse. Just like WWI.

November 20th, 2015, 10:54 pm


Passerby said:

Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on Friday that Russian warplanes destroyed 15 oil refining and storage facilities in Syria and 525 trucks carrying oil during this week’s bombing blitz. He said this deprived IS of $1.5 million in daily income from oil sales.

…Russian state TV on Friday showed Russian air force ground crew writing “For Ours!” and “For Paris!” on bombs being attached to Russian warplanes.

According to Shoigu, Russian warplanes have flown 522 sorties and destroyed over 800 targets over the last four days. Russian long-range bombers and navy ships have launched 101 cruise missiles in four days, including 18 fired Friday by Russian navy ships from the Caspian Sea.

Shoigu said the strikes this week inflicted significant casualties on IS, including more than 600 militants killed in just one strike in the province of Deir el-Zour.


Nice shooting!

So, how some no one, from Jordan to Assad ended those millions of dollars a day ISIS was making? Why don’t they shut down their banking? I guess they finally will, now that IS realizes it’s a cornered rat and is acting up.

November 20th, 2015, 11:26 pm


Altair said:

Tara, Hopeful:

The answer cannot be so simple. First of all, it’s not clear that there have not been any recent ISIS attacks in government-held territory. But assuming there have been none, does that necessarily mean collusion between the two?

ISIS hasn’t hit Tel Aviv or Amman either. Does that mean collusion with Israel or Jordan as well?

ISIS has hit Ankara, yet there are constant reports of Turkish government support for ISIS. Can that be true?

As I said before, there is a confused web of alliances in the region, alliances that change often. But there is also manipulation, and I held out the possibility, indeed probability that ISIS was manipulated by the regime.

ISIS makes the regime look good, or at least better, to many Syrians. It scares potential opponents or critics back into the arms of the regime. It has also served as a rearguard action against rebels fighting the regime, thus weakening them. ISIS has done much to discredit regime opponents, and its sectarian, bigoted attitude has guaranteed that some Syrians will fight to the death in support of Asad.

But then again, many ISIS leaders, including its phony “caliph”, were released from Abu Ghraib under U.S. management. Is there a story there? Or was it just incompetence?

I reemphasize: no simple answers. And we’re not necessarily dealing with rational actors either.

November 20th, 2015, 11:31 pm


SimoHurtta said:

116. Majedkhaldoun said:

Well Majedkhaldoun then you as a well known Sunni extremist must ”explain” me how Assad (and allies) is leading a very large and active Sunni extremist movement operating in several countries, which gets its money and salaries from Gulf Sunnis, ammunition and arms from Americans, training from Americans, Jordanians and Turks, world wide recruitment organized and performed by Sunni clergy, free access to oil markets in Sunni Turkey and logistics from the same place. ISIS emerged and collected its strength in Iraq, not by that Assad’s and Iraqi regime released some hundred criminals and political prisoners from prison. The roots are in the US Iraq invasion and Sunnis loosing their positions in Iraq.

Loosing Raqqa without fight. Well one doesn’t have the military talents of Napoleon in order to understand after watching the map, that SAA had no hope in holding and supplying Raqqa. SAA has had difficulties to keep areas even in the populated western Syria. How could it hold Raqqa against an determined and skillful international Sunni terrorist army which just had invaded one third of Iraq and beaten the American trained Iraqi army by 10 to 0.

What is this repeating that SAA is not fighting against ISIS? Well how then SAA managed to break the siege by ISIS on Kweiris Airbase east of Aleppo.

Your only argument is in the end that ISIS must be a creation of Assad because ISIS has a very bad public “image” because of its own actions and its public history and links to Sunnis, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and USA. Well then some could say that the now extreme Sunni sects were created by Shia in order to make them look “good” and when Sunnis make themselves look “bad”.

Winning an argument? Well if repeating with your US and Israeli “collages” here that Assad is the secret ISIS Sunni leader and a dog waste (like your team likes to express it) etc more or less absurd propaganda without providing any real evidence and logical arguments thousand times is “winning”, then you must be winning. By the way M. I have seen here astonishing little critics and worry when Netanyahu just demanded USA to acknowledge Golan officially as a part of Israel, because Syria no more exists. Strange “free Syrian patriots and democrats” indeed.

November 21st, 2015, 6:44 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Please respect yourself and stop saying I am extremist, and stop this silly and stupid accusations that I am working with Israel collage as you said these are pure baseless accusations by prejudiced stubborn commentor
Simo I have argued with Akbar Palace on numerous occasions much more than you have done,
I presented facts prove that Assad regime penetrated ISIS , ,and they have deals selling Assad oil and getting money and protection, and facts that Assad released ISIS leaders from jail, that ISIS is fighting Syrian Rebels who are fighting Assad, I am saying that Assad and ISIS are allies, they have double leadership, Baathist cooperating with Assad and has a face of Islamist, a partnership, of Evil
You are pro Assad, the mastermind of criminality,

November 21st, 2015, 8:35 am


Hopeful said:

#117 Passerby

I remember hearing during the civil war days in Beirut (yes I am old too), that the fighters across East and West Beirut would cease fire for a few hours a day, to let convoys of goods pass across in both directions. Commercial interests sometimes trump any other interests.

I personally know a person in Syria, who works for an “oil services” private company affiliated with the regime. This person’s job is to negotiate with ISIS to buy oil for Damascus.

Additionally, despite what everyone says, I believe the Allies have been careful to avoid both civilian casualties and civilian hardship (as much as possible). Bombing the oil refinery and oil tankers will surely punish ISIS, but will also create more economic hardship for the residents of ISIS territories. Creating hell in non-regime controlled areas is Assad’s game, but it is not the Allies game.

Your answer lies in a combination of the factors above.

November 21st, 2015, 11:10 am


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