Posts Tagged ‘Bashar al-Assad’

Going to War in Syria

August 27, 2013

It would seem that we are preparing military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria. I can’t even begin to say what an incredibly stupid idea this is. Yes, it is deplorable that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the rebels. Yes, the current government of Syria is a vicious tyranny that has violated the human rights of the people of Syria and it deserves to be overthrown. The problem is that the rebels are Islamist fanatics that want to impose Sharia law on Syria, that are allied with al-Qaida, that they have been massacring Syria’s Christians, and that they will very likely to be as tyrannical and vicious as the Assad regime.

There are no good guys in this conflict. Both sides hate us. Both sides have links to terrorists. The last thing the Middle East needs is another Islamic state, yet that seems to be just what Obama is trying to achieve. We need to just stay out of this.

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Crossing the Line

June 14, 2013

The Obama administration has determined that the Assad regime in Syria is using chemical weapons against the rebels and so has decided to send arms to the rebels. As CBS News puts it.

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.

“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.

President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that, if crossed, would be a “game changer” for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.

“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a separate written statement.

“The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he continued.

In terms of further response, Rhodes said, “we will make decisions on our own timeline” and that Congress and the international community would be consulted.  Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.

“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.

To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.

I think that this is a very bad idea. There are no good guys in this conflict. On one side there is a vicious secular Arab nationalist/socialist government that has an awful human rights record. On the other side there are rebels who are Islamist and almost certainly have ties to al-Qaeda and will probably impose Sharia law on Syria. Neither side is likely to be grateful for any aid we provide and both sides hate us and the West. As far as I can tell our only options are staying out of this conflict or, if we’re feeling especially cynical and Machiavellian, to keep the fighting going as long as possible.

And then there’s this from the Los Angeles Times.

Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns.

A resettlement plan under discussion in Washington and other capitals is aimed at relieving pressure on Middle Eastern countries straining to support 1.6 million refugees, as well as assisting hard-hit Syrian families.

The State Department is “ready to consider the idea,” an official from the department said, if the administration receives a formal request from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is the usual procedure.

I don’t think this is a good idea either. Hasn’t the bombing of the Boston Marathon taught us anything about the wisdom of allowing refugees from war-torn Muslim countries? We really do not need to import more radicalized fanatics who hate us into this country. In fact, I would suggest, as a matter of policy, that no Western country accept Muslim immigrants under any condition and the Europeans should consider ways of evicting the immigrants who are slowly taking over their countries.

 

 

Photoshopping Syrian Style

July 13, 2011

From Yahoo News. Syrian president Basher Assad swore in the new governor of the city of Hama, Anas Abdul-Razzaq Na-em.

See anything wrong with this picture? It looks funky because the whole thing is a crudely done forgery.

Enterprising journalists and bloggers soon spotted key discrepancies–such as the telltale way that the table between the two men appears to cast an improbably glossy shadow on the surface of an oriental rug, and eerie way that Naem (the figure on the right) casts no shadow in his surroundings whatsoever. The UK Guardian solicited an opinion from its “imaging expert” Drew McCoy, who noted further that “two pictures may have been merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room, with the one on the right positioned fractionally higher than the one on the left. This becomes clearer when you look closely at the floor, which is distorted. The right hand side of the picture has been stretched downwards into place to line up with the left side (which is not distorted).”

The Washington Post noted further that one of Naem’s shoes “appears to be sticking out in front of the table leg,” even though the rest of his body is position behind the table leg. And McCoy’s counterpart at the Post, Dan Murano, seconds McCoy’s judgment that a closer examination of both figures shows few of the signature traces that actual humans display when actually captured on film–such as stray hairs. Instead, the figures of both men have perfectly unruffled outlines. The photo, Murano concluded, “looks as if someone selected the the bodies and heads with the lasso tool and then adjusted the contrast and brightness, leaving a black outline at the tool’s selection boundary.”

What kind of a Dictator has minions who can’t even provide good faked photographs?  It’s shoddy work like this that makes it hard for your fellow tyrants to take you seriously.  I guess it is hard to get good help in Syria these days.


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