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Rubin Reports

The Truth About Syria

August 26th, 2013 - 3:23 pm

Syria is both a most revealing test case for the failure of change in Middle East politics and a key actor — though there is plenty of blame to go around — in making things go so wrong for the Arab world. If Damascus had moved from the radical to the moderate camp during the 1990s or under Bashar’s guidance, it would have decisively shifted the balance to a breakthrough toward a more peaceful and progressing Middle East. Syria’s participation in the Gulf war coalition of 1991, readiness to negotiate with Israel, severe economic and social stagnation and strategic vulnerability, and new generation of leadership provoked expectations that it would undergo dramatic change.

It was a Western, not Arab, idea that the populace’s desperation at their countries’ difficult plight would make Hafiz al-Assad — and Saddam, Yasir Arafat, and other Arab or Iranian leaders, too — move toward concessions and moderation. But the rulers themselves reasoned in the exact opposite way: faced with pressure to change, they became more demanding.

Often, at least to a point, this strategy worked, as the West offered Syria more concessions in an attempt to encourage reforms, ensure profitable trade, buy peace, and buy off terrorism. Of course they were acting in their own interests, but what is most important is that these included solving the issues which had caused conflict, building understanding and confidence, and proving their good intentions toward the peoples of the Middle East.

Yet to the dictatorial regimes, this behavior seemed not the result of generosity or proffered friendship but rather from Western fear of their power and an imperialist desire to control the Arabs and Muslims. Frequently, too, it is seen as a tribute to their superior tactics which fool or outmaneuver their adversaries. This perception encouraged continued intransigence in hope of reaping still more benefits.

Eventually, this process destroyed any possibility of moderation, though not Western illusions.

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Top Rated Comments   
We Westerners are wasting time using our very different and separate thought processes in trying to reach sensible conclusions on how to "deal" with our Muslim Problem.

Our politically correct "Diversity" and lowest common denominator immigration policies are an obvious disaster. Why do we persist?...is this perpetual "political correctness"?

It's the death of us, and we've brought it upon ourselves.

Practicing Muslims and educated Westerners are simply incompatible.

And, let's not waste further time mentioning "stuff" like our superficially and mutually agreed upon Trade Agreements; they're merely pragmatic temporary exchanges of money for some product, no more, no less. They don't solve the basic intellectual incompitability of our two cultures....they're wobbly bridges only.

That's the fact that needs urgently to be "dealt" with.

The area from Morocco eastwards to and including Bangladesh, that basket case of an "entity", ought to be quarantined and carefully watched for their next attack upon our Civilization. They're constantly reminding us of their being at war with us infidels; why don't we act accordingly as a nation at war and under attack?

This continual seeking of a "peace" between Israel and their surrounding enemy is a waste of time........Muslims have no credibility except when they remind us of their being at war with our civilization. Israel's Wall is sensible, very sensible.

Hillary and Kerry - and of course that empty suit Obama - are the personification of shallow amateur Folly.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll keep saying it, because nobody else wants to. What the hell is Obama doing in Syria?

http://nyyrc.com/blog/2013/08/what-the-hell-is-going-on-in-syria/

In summary, the conflict in Syria has four distinct strands:

1. Secularism (strongmen like Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Assad) vs. Sharia (Muslim Brotherhood)
2. Christianity vs. Islam (on a superficial level, anyway)
3. Russian Organized Crime (PKK) & North Korea vs. Qatari Organized Crime (al Qaeda)
4. U.S.A. vs. Russia (in an apparent continuation of the Cold War, with our new ally being the Muslim Brotherhood [??])

Bonus-
5. Throw in Obama vs. Putin (Alex Dugin) in the struggle for LGBT equality, and you have a decent picture of the world today.

Finally, consider the anecdote that Hezbollah and Israel are actually on the same side – supporting Assad – and we’re against them both. Israel, it seems, has defected to Russia. Could this get any WORSE?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
IF ASSAD IS BEING WRONGFULLY BLAMED FOR GASSING HIS PEOPLE AFTER KILLING THEM EN MASSE SO MUCH THE BETTER.

His fall will be a mighty blow to Iran and Hezbollah-the two worst actors in the region followed by their Sunni counterparts. I pray that Obama (following Bush and Blair) does a Saddam on Assad and brings down his regime even if it means the Brotherhood replacing him-the lesser of two evils (but not for Syrian Christians, Alowites and women). And if the venture goes awry Obama will be blamed, with the left tearing him apart like vicious wolves branding him George Bush and Cheney II. What a spectacle that would be. And what a boon for Conservatives and the GOP.

http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The conflict in Syria presented huge opportunities for both the United States and Israel yet neither country was able to exploit them.
The choice was always between a state ruled by Assad and a state ruled by Al Qaida. The least noxious, for both the wider world and the Syrians themselves, is Assad.
Israel could have debilitated Hizbullah and diplomatically solidified control of The Golan. The United States could have blocked Soviet expansion and retained it's influence over the Saudis.
Like most of Obamas policies his Syria policy is doomed to fail.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Has anyone considered the possibility that Obama will start a war involving Russia that he has no intention of winning ?

Alot of people talk about how he is deliberately wrecking our country, but what better way to do it than this ?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We Westerners are wasting time using our very different and separate thought processes in trying to reach sensible conclusions on how to "deal" with our Muslim Problem.

Our politically correct "Diversity" and lowest common denominator immigration policies are an obvious disaster. Why do we persist?...is this perpetual "political correctness"?

It's the death of us, and we've brought it upon ourselves.

Practicing Muslims and educated Westerners are simply incompatible.

And, let's not waste further time mentioning "stuff" like our superficially and mutually agreed upon Trade Agreements; they're merely pragmatic temporary exchanges of money for some product, no more, no less. They don't solve the basic intellectual incompitability of our two cultures....they're wobbly bridges only.

That's the fact that needs urgently to be "dealt" with.

The area from Morocco eastwards to and including Bangladesh, that basket case of an "entity", ought to be quarantined and carefully watched for their next attack upon our Civilization. They're constantly reminding us of their being at war with us infidels; why don't we act accordingly as a nation at war and under attack?

This continual seeking of a "peace" between Israel and their surrounding enemy is a waste of time........Muslims have no credibility except when they remind us of their being at war with our civilization. Israel's Wall is sensible, very sensible.

Hillary and Kerry - and of course that empty suit Obama - are the personification of shallow amateur Folly.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You nailed it as well as any one I have seen. I just don't understand why our elites are oblivious to reality.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They're not "oblivious to reality", they are traitors.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Regime maintenance is the all-encompassing cause and goal
of the Syrian government’s behavior.'

Destroy the Regime and the (next) government will behave better ?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
After the latest round of diplomatic exchanges between the US and Russia, the situation with Syria is obviously spinning out of control. The Chinese owned media has offered the US a few 'diplomatic' warnings, as well.

A quick cultural and political history of Syria is relevant and timely. Perhaps Mr. Rubin might spend some time looking into these diplomatic exchanges and share a few thoughts about the short and long term implications of such strongly worded letters and phone calls between the governments involved.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is good no one can call them hot heads ,instead Israel a cute little lamb in a guarded gated little land and from a distance the sheep look white as snow so big guns can do their business
"Ten top national commanders meet in Amman on Syria intervention
DEBKAfile August 26, 2013, 3:01 PM (GMT+02:00)

The ten military chiefs began a two-day conference in Amman Monday to discuss joint action in the emergency posed by the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian wary. The meeting is co-hosted by US chief of staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Jordan’s top soldier Meshaal Mohamed al-Zaban. Present too are the top commanders of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada,
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's one heckuva coalition! Unleash them and it will be the end of Syrian and Iranian political leaders. Yeah baby yeah!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Puleeeze.............let them murder each other.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let Hezbollah and Al Quaeda murder each other.

Then figure out how to get both sides in Iran to use chemical weapons.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't we have Hezbollah vs Al Qaeda here? Let's hold their coats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Miley Cyrus only used the TWERKING positions approved and used exclusively by the Obama Administration.
If she'd used the TWERKING the main stream media employs, you'd have to be a paid subscriber to the WSJ, NYT, LA Times, Huff Post, or at the highest ranking porn site.
Were We a great country, or what?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Her daddy must be proud....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Syria- both its government (Assadites) and the Foreign Jihadist Terrorists (from EU-Maghreb-Americas-even Talibani are on their way to Peace through Cemetary (one EU FM). When Pres.Obama established diplomatic relations with Syria - it should have hinged on Bashar Al-Assad ceding chemical weapons (Russia is not the only country which furnished Assad's Syria). Then came 'red lines' - then Turkey's manauvers to cause an incident. When Syria was finally ready to be indicted for Lebanon's Hariri murder- US gave a leeway for Assad to establish diplomatic relations . When one stirs a hornet's nest- one should be ready to make sure all the hornets will be gone. Syria and Assad have been given so much extra time to prepare- the Foreign Jihadists will have their own agenda- Syria backers Hizbollah will be fighting in Lebanon- Iran is ready to attack Israel- Russia says will not take part in any war- but they wont stop Assad in trying to shoot missiles to Israel. Israel must be ready to defend itself since any air-war against Syria might have missiles raining in Israel - or bombs- since an error by one of the partaking countries must be figured in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Iran is not going to attack Israel - why would they, now? Iran is bankrupt and terrified of the Muslim Brotherhood revolutions all around them. No, Iran is now with Israel, and Russia, and Assad, and trying to stem the advance of the nut job narco-caliphate of al Qaeda, Qatar, and Dawood Ibrahim.
http://nyyrc.com/blog/2013/08/waking-up-to-the-war-were-in/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I do not agree exactly.

Syria threatened today to attack Israel with theater weapons (they have those) if attacked by the US. I do not think that Israel can take that lightly. They made that mistake in 1973 and nearly lost.

Syria thus far against Israeli attacks against it's own red lines has not responded, not only that the attacks were so well executed that the Syrians never saw it coming.

The US has only one option. To keep to the red line of no chemical weapons allowed. We cannot change the balance and have no national interest to do so. We do have a national interest to uphold the principle of no WMD, despite our shortcoming when it was Iraq doing the gassing against Iran and Kurds.

All we need to do is hit targets inside Syria. Just enough to send strongly the message that this will not be be tolerated in the international community.

c'mon. How many times has Israel hit Syria with effect in the last decade and how much whiny hand wringinging from big **s USA over this decision?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah, the military genius who was agitating for taking sides against the Turks for Cypriot, Israeli and Greek(!?) mineral rights a week ago thinks we have only one option in Syria. Ain't that predictable? Which one will "spindok" be agitating for war with next week? Jordan? They look guilty!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ah, the military genius who was agitating for taking sides against the Turks for Cypriot, Israeli and Greek(!?) mineral rights a week ago thinks we have only one option in Syria. Ain't that predictable? Which one will "spindok" be agitating for war with next week? Jordan? They look guilty!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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