I continue to believe that Obama correctly does not want to escalate US involvement in Syria. But the geo-politics are robbing him of options very quickly. I explore at LobeLog.
Archive for the ‘Syria’ Category
Public opinion on foreign policy matters is a fickle thing, considering how ill-informed of world news people are in the isolated and exceptionalist United States. Unfortunately, the politics of ignorance still plays much too big a role in US foreign policy decision-making. That’s why it is such a relief to see poll results like this one, from a HuffPo/You.gov poll: (more…)
Posted in Israel, Syria, tagged AIPAC, Assad, Barack Obama, chemical weapons, GCC, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah, Iran, Iran threat, Israel, Israel Lobby, Lebanon, red line, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Syrian civil war on May 1, 2013| Leave a Comment »
Posted in Syria, tagged Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, CIA, David Lesch, Facebook, France, Free Syrian Army, Hafez al-Assad, Hama, Hezbollah, Iran, Jane Harman, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Lebanon, Lindsey Graham, Muslim Brotherhood, Rafik-Al Hariri, Salam Idriss, Sunni, Syria, Turkey, United States, Victoria Nuland on April 5, 2013| Leave a Comment »
It seems there’s an awful lot of surety around when it comes to action, or non-action, on Syria. But a deeper look at what is happening there does not lead to simple solutions, or even to a whole lot of clarity on the nature of who the “good guys” are. I examine the dynamics in this week’s column at Souciant.
Posted in Syria, tagged 972 Magazine, al-Qaeda, Amos Harel, Bashar al-Assad, Hezbollah, Iran, Israel, Larry Derfner, Lebanon, SA-17, Syria, Turkey, United States on February 1, 2013| Leave a Comment »
[NOTE: Updating now that the Syrian government has cheerily started reporting on this: “MacMaster’s hoax aimed at enhancing continuous fabrications and lies against Syria in term of kidnapping bloggers and activists.”
MacMaster claims he is trying to “educate” others about the conditions in the Mideast. Yet he didn’t think of how the Syrian government could use his charade for their purposes if it was ever discovered? One really has to wonder if his motives were as pure as he’d like us to believe.]
I freely admit to being one of the many people around the world who was taken in by the hoax perpetrated by the blog “A Gay Girl In Damascus.” I applaud Ali Abunimah for his dogged efforts at exposing this sham, and thank him for doing so.
Any of you who have followed my bursts on Twitterabout this know I’m angry about it. Perhaps it’s because I hate being suckered. But I think the reasons are much deeper
Tom MacMaster, the charlatan who perpetrated this hoax, initially issued a very thin apology, where he blamed “liberal orientalism” for the controversy. He later posted a much more sincere and convincing apology.
OK, what more could he do? He can’t be expected to rake himself over hot coals or something. But we should still take a long, hard look at this and understand just why so many activists were angered at what he did.
The real-life Syrian activist Sami Hamwi sums it up nicely in his blistering attack on MacMaster: “I say shame on you!!! There are bloggers in Syria who are trying as hard as they can to report news and stories from the country…We have to deal with more difficulties than you can imagine. What you have done has harmed many, put us all in danger, and made us fearful about (pursuing) our…activism…Your apology is not accepted, since I have myself started to investigate Amina’s arrest. I could have put myself in a grave danger inquiring about a fictitious figure.”
Sami Hamwi himself uses a pseudonym to edit the web site GayMiddleEast.com. And I’m sure more than a few of you are now saying “How can we believe that Hamwi is a real person? If Amina was a hoax, why couldn’t Hamwi be as well?” (more…)
Posted in Golan Heights, Palestine, Refugees, Syria, tagged Assad, Golan Heights, international law, Israel, June 5, Middle east, Netanyahu, Occupation, Palestine, Palestinians, Peace Groups, Protests, Syria, United Nations, West Bank on June 6, 2011| 3 Comments »
According to reports on Syrian television, 23 people were killed along the border with Israel as they tried to go across the border with Israel.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) disputed the numberand the circumstances.
Considering the sources of both the accusation and the denial, both highly dubious with long track records of dissembling, I’m keeping my mind open on this. But there are some very important points to be made about the violent confrontations on the northern border.
Let’s start with this: Uri Avnery was right when he said the IDF used disproportionate force. The IDF itself said all the injuries were on the Syrian side of the border—this is why they say they cannot confirm any casualties. The IDF also says they shot live fire at the legs of protesters heading toward the border fence, but still on the Syrian side. Hard to see how that can be called proportionate force. And at least one witness, a journalist, said that the Israelis are understating the severity of their response.
Let’s also be clear about another point: Israel is not defending its borders here. The Golan Heights, which is the area Israel is defending in these incidents, is occupied territory, internationally recognized as Syrian. Unlike the West Bank, which is claimed by the Palestinians but was not previously part of any sovereign state (it was occupied by Jordan from 1949-1967 and part of Mandatory Palestine before that), the Golan is Syrian, and Israel’s annexation of it in 1981 is illegal and recognized by no other country, including the United States.
So, Israel is not defending its borders here, but is defending its occupation. And herein lies the problem, because what is happening on the Syrian border, though certainly heartfelt and significant, is counter-productive for the Palestinians. (more…)