Victory in Syria?

Well, this is interesting. RT reported yesterday that President Vladimir Putin is ordering the withdrawal of some Russian troops from Syria. http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/12/11/putin-russian-troops-withdrawing-syria/

This brings up a whole lot of questions. First of all, I can’t imagine this happening if the Christian minorities were still in peril. I’m sure that Patriarch John X of Antioch must have given him positive information while he was in Moscow recently.

Of course there are other angles at play here, not merely the Christian one. I imagine that the Russian military and naval bases will remain intact. Also, there seems to have been a detente of sorts worked out between Turkey and Russia, I’m not going to say that President Erdogan of Turkey “cried Uncle!” necessarily but the fact remains that Syria, Turkey and Iran –under the tutelage of Russia–seem to not be working cross-purposes. (Nor should it be forgotten that President Trump told the Turks that they couldn’t look to him for help against Russia as was reported here several months ago.*) At the very least that means that ISIS has been neutralized if not eradicated.

Other questions abound. I’m rather curious if we will now see the end of the Assad regime. Recently, I received an article written by Ben Taub in The New Yorker. It describes how top-secret documents which describe the Assad regime’s war-crimes and use of systematic torture were revealed. (Hint: Assad is no choirboy.) www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/bashar-al-assads-war-crimes-exposed.

Will Syria remain an intact state post-Assad? I imagine that it’s possible, otherwise the Russians wouldn’t be pulling out or suspending major military engagements. We’ll see.

None of this would be happening without the under-the-table agreement between Trump and Putin. Of course, the Kurds were basically thrown under the bus and their case for nationhood will remain unrequited for the time being. But no victory is ever complete. Regardless, if the Russian intervention results in a stable post-Assad Syria where all the minorities can live relatively unmolested, then Putin will be viewed as a great statesman.

And yes, none of this would be happening had Hillary won the election.

*http://www.monomakhos.com/this-is-how-the-long-game-is-played-ukrainian-edition/

Comments

  1. We were on the wrong side in Syria. Assad is an Alawi Shiite. It’s a peculiar little sect within Shiism. As such, the Assad family has been quite good at protecting the security and rights of religious minorities in Syria. Now, Syria has also been a supporter of Hezbollah which is where we as Americans come in. For you see, America tends to do Israel’s bidding and sees things in a similar way to Israel. It has something to do with the relative number of Jews there and here, I suppose. I don’t mean that in an anti-Semitic way. Everyone has their own self interests, Jews included. And given the Holocaust, I don’t blame them for organizing a strong common defense that has incorporated the United States government as a central player.

    Yet that is actually where our American hostility to Assad comes from. The Hezbollah/Jewish/Israel thing. But that is just par for the course for an Arab state. Nothing exceptional. Hezbollah isn’t flying planes into American buildings, after all.

    Of course, there are Syrian Orthodox Christians in Syria . . . well, fewer now than before all the hubbub started. The mistake was trying to displace “the dictator” Assad. He’s the focus of stability and the only guard against Islamism there. I mean at the end of the day I’m not going to take the side of the Jews against Syrian Christians.

  2. Joseph Lipper says:

    We’ll probably soon see if Syria is part of the Palestinian “peace agreement” that Trump hasn’t fully revealed yet. It sounds like it may involve some redrawing of national boundaries, and this could very well include Syria. The US and the EU really, really wanted Assad gone. Maybe they just don’t want him to interfere. For now it appears the major players in this unrevealed “peace agreement” are Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and the US. Disturbingly enough, Palestinians have not been included yet.

    Did Saudi Arabia just try to give the west bank to Israel?
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-saudi-arabia-just-try-to-give-the-west-bank-to-israel/

  3. Veras Coltroupis says:

    The Assads sheltered Alois Bruner, the chief nazi war criminal of the Balkans. You cannot complain about the mistreatment of the Serbs if you like Assad.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      I don’t like Assad. That’s not the point. Hitler was pals with the grand mufti of Jerusalem

  4. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find a posting from the Middle East Media Research Institute.

    ISIS Supporter Calls For Attacks On Christians In Egypt
    December 04, 2017

    https://www.memri.org/jttm/isis-supporter-calls-attacks-christians-egypt

  5. Gail Sheppard says:

    Putin is all smiles when he greets Assad, but when he walks away, there is no misunderstanding who is calling the shots, as Assad is forced to walk several steps behind. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5171633/Humiliating-moment-Assad-stopped-following-Putin.html#v-2418704784839886929

  6. Assad is staying says:

    I thought one of the basic premises of this blog was “don’t trust MSM”? Since when should we start trusting the agenda-driven New Yorker magazine, edited by David Remnick? As a Jew, he’ll obviously be impartial when it comes to Assad.

    Assad is beloved of his people – all religions and ethnic groups. MSM never mentions that 90% of the population of Syria either lives in Assad-controlled areas, or has fled to them. MSM never mentions that, when the anti-government protests started, MASSIVE pro-Assad demonstrations followed suit, outnumbering the dissidents (same in Libya BTW). The war cry of his victorious troops is “We bleed for Syria and Assad!” and these troops are predominately Sunni Arabs, not Alawites.

    Can’t anyone see that all these hokey stories about gas attacks and secret torture chambers are all propaganda? Independent research has shown otherwise every time.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the security forces were roughing up dissidents, however, but then who are we in the United States to complain, when we still have Gitmo up and running? The US prison system is the biggest in the world and is effectively an industrial rape machine. We can’t point fingers at anyone.

    And besides, looking at the bigger picture – if your next door neighbour was the Israeli terror state, with whom you have been in a state of war for nigh-on 70 years, and you had the global bully, the United States, breathing down your neck, manhandling dissidents would be warranted. The dissidents and rebels (so-called) are nothing but traitorous CIA stooges and deserve nothing less than a bullet, if you want my opinion. Getting their heads knocked about by interrogators is getting off lightly.

    Putin is reducing the RF military footprint for his 2018 election campaign, but the reduced forces are still knocking the proverbial out of the US-Israeli proxy forces. Victory is in sight and Assad is staying.

    Prior to this fake rebellion, Syria was moving towards a first-world economy, with an excellent standard of living for all peoples in the nation. Now the country is in ruins and its religious and ethnic minorities are decimated. If Assad was as evil as MSM makes out, he’d already be gone by now, but the people have stood by him.

  7. Gail Sheppard says:

    AISS, I posted a video that shows one ruler being asked to stand back so another ruler can take the lead and I surmised that Putin is going to leave Assad in the dust just like he did on the video. This has nothing to do with David Remnick or the New Yorker.

    I suspect Assad is NOT loved by the 500,000+ that were killed or their families, the 5.1 million who have fled, the 6.3 million who have been displaced or the poor souls who are stuck digging themselves out of the rubble. He is certainly not loved by the rest of world.

    90% of the population does NOT “live in Assad-controlled areas, or has fled to them.” Damascus was 35 percent darker in 2014 than before the war. – In 2015, there was 83% less light out of all of Syria. We’re probably talking well over 90% less now. The country has, indeed, been decimated.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/12/world/middleeast/syria-civil-war-after-four-years-map.html

    Not even the guy who rescued him is standing by him, AISS. He passed him and is quickly walking away. Assad was either too weak to lead or didn’t give a you-know-what about his country. In either case, he was/is an abysmal failure. You saying it isn’t so isn’t going to change anything.

    • Assad is staying says:

      Dear Gail,

      I wasn’t actually referring to the video, but if you want my opinion on it, it’s ‘much ado about nothing.’ It seems more like ceremonial protocol than anything – Putin was going to meet with another military officer on his own and the rest stayed back – including Assad. Nothing more to it, I think.

      Of that 480,000 that died (according to anti-government estimates), just under half of them were soldiers that died fighting on the side of the Syrian Arab Army, i.e. loyalists. These people are held to be martyrs by their families; they died to preserve the way of life that Syria had before the US State Department unleashed the dogs of war.

      You’re talking as if he is to blame for this war. He didn’t start it: foreign-backed ‘rebels’ (many of them actually foreign fighters) started this by firing on Syrian troops. This was was foisted upon the Syrian people and Assad did his duty as the national leader. What else was he to do? Become another Qaddafi and get raped and murdered by gangs of NATO-supported Islamists? Let his country turn into the next Libya, with three non-functioning governments constantly fighting one another, and no end in sight? No, he stood his ground, Syria’s ground, and resisted the machinations of US-NATO-Israel and is now within sight of victory. The Syrian economy is making a recovery in government-held areas and the population is behind him: Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawite, and Christians of all stripes. If he was unpopular as you claim, he would never have lasted this long. An absolutely ridiculous notion. Only this past summer, after the northern Hama offensive, he was walking around in a number of towns and villages not far from the front line, with gangs of people (children to adults) chasing after him, cheering, hugging him, and chanting his name.

      According to syriancivilwarmap.com (not a pro-government site by any means), around 75% of the population is in government areas. This is based on pre-war figures. Given that many civilians have fled to government held areas (the population of Damascus, for example, is bulging) we could probably push this up, at least, to the mid-80s%. Rebel-held areas like Idlib and Da’ara are rural and sparsely populated. Refugees are returning from abroad to government-held areas in droves (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-05/over-500000-syrian-refugees-return-government-controlled-areas-syria). MSM narrative is total bunk. They even love Assad is rebel-held areas: http://syriadirect.org/news/opposition-authorities-vow-%E2%80%98penalty%E2%80%99-for-pro-assad-chants-at-demonstration-in-rebel-held-idlib-province/

      There’s less light in Syria? Of course, there’s a war! People die; stuff gets blown up; infrastructure gets wrecked. Did Assad go around smashing all the light bulbs or something? The country has been ruined by foreign-backed terror gangs. The SAA didn’t blow up the bridges on the Euphrates; USAF did. The SAAF didn’t flatten Raqqa; USAF did. The SAA didn’t cut the electricity; rebels caused that by wrecking oil fields. The SAA didn’t poison the water supply to Damascus; rebels did. Government-held areas are being quickly rebuilt – do you think the US is going to help rebuild Raqqa? I doubt it.

      It’s easy for us to sit in the good old Us of A and play armchair president, but Assad is by no means a failure. He could have fled the country with his family. He could have backed down to US gunboat diplomacy. He could have sold his country out to the foreign controlled rebels. The guy is a mild-mannered eye doctor, for crying out loud; he didn’t want to be a leader. Despite all the odds, he has won the war, the majority of the people are on his side, and the State Dept., CIA, and Mossad have bloody noses. The facts on the ground speak louder than Western MSM propaganda.

      Pro-Assad demonstration in 2011:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsDP8S3ry1A

      Pro-Assad demonstration in 2014:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-e7W_INzbo

  8. George Michalopulos says:

    Breaking: the Obama Administration looked the other way while Hezbollah was making money smuggling cocaine into the US. It seems that Hezbollah was transforming itself from a Shi’ite paramilitary wing allied with Iran into an organized criminal syndicate. Obama looked the other way in order to justify his impending treaty with Iran. This is far worse than Iran-contra.

    https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/

    • Assad is staying says:

      An article from Josh Meyer. Come ooooon.

      They’ve been trying to paint Hezbollah with this for years. Check out this article from the past summer: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/hezbollah-s-narco-jihad-propaganda-drugs-1744439087

      For one thing, a criminally connected member of the Lebanese diaspora, of which there are plenty, does not a Hezbollah kingpin make, as tempting as the obscene reductionism may be to the likes of Levitt, Royce, and everyone else on that overpopulated bandwagon.

      For another, the origins of the ostensible “proof” of Hezbollah’s diabolical networks consistently escape scrutiny. Lebanese scholar Amal Saad, author of Hezbollah: Politics and Religion and a forthcoming title from Palgrave Macmillan, recently commented to me on the manner in which “the US media and ‘terrorism experts’ who together make up the terrorism industry uncritically reproduce unsubstantiated allegations [from] official sources”.

      She continued: “The appeal to authority – the DEA, the FBI and the intelligence community as a whole – is the sole referent for all these reports.”

      Looks like some more Israeli-directed propaganda in light of Hezbollah’s growing prominence as the mainstay of popular resistance: https://www.globalresearch.ca/explosive-leaked-secret-israeli-cable-confirms-israeli-saudi-coordination-to-provoke-war/5617115

      Although, if it is true, then it might explain the CIA’s enmity towards Hezbollah: no drug runner worth their salt (or ‘powder’ in this case) wants a rival on their turf.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        We’ll probably never know the provenance of the various drug cartels. Although I do believe that the cia is not innocent. I’m not concerned about Hezbollah or someone using them as a cover, what pisses me off royally is that President Lightworker told the deal to look the other way. This is so unconscionable that he and Loretta lynch need to be brought up on treason charges.

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      Hezbollah, a favorite of Metropolitan Philip who was fond of saying, “Some call them terrorists; I call them Freedom Fighters,” which was always followed by raucous applause. He supported them figuratively and literally, as did/does his buddy, Assad. (Notice that the original article, in addition to every other questionable article, has been erased from the Internet.) http://www.monomakhos.com/more-from-the-aoana-or-why-met-philip-doesnt-want-that-audit/

      • I have always thought it ironic that these “freedom fighters” would likely get most of what they supposedly want from the state of Israel and from the rest of the world if they would just cease their violence. Their cause is not without merit (after all, the lands on which they lived for centuries was taken from them). But it seems to me that the political support Hezbollah enjoys among the Arabs of Palestine, both Christian and Muslim, is the result of Israeli oppression which is itself the result of Hezbollah violence. They seem to have become a sort of gang (like those of inner-city America, albeit with a feigned political cause) that ruins life for everyone in the neighborhood.

        If they ceased their violence, the people for which they claim to fight could live in peace, and the cause they claim to represent (land and independence) would be largely realized, although not to their complete satisfaction.

        Instead it’s all or nothing. And so the bloodshed and heartbreak continues on all sides…

        • Assad is staying says:

          Hezbollah was formed in response to Israel’s bloody invasion of Lebanon. The Israelis were oppressing Palestinians long before Hezbollah existed, and would continue to do so if Hezbollah ceased to be. People, including the Christians, support Hezbollah because they know who their enemy is:

          https://www.christianpost.com/news/they-accept-us-as-we-are-christians-join-forces-with-muslim-group-hezbollah-to-fight-isis-in-lebanon-138975/

          https://www.facebook.com/notes/syrian-war-news-info-media/what-do-lebanese-christians-think-of-the-hezbollah/509062525866360/

          Hezbollah and Hamas rockets are lucky to put a few dozen people in hospital, while Israel thinks nothing about bombing the living hell out of Gaza or Lebanon, killing thousands in response.

          Israel is the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. Only we Americans seem to be blind to this fact.

          • Joseph Lipper says:

            The UN security council has condemned the state of Israel over and over and over again. It is only the US that vetoes these resolutions from passing.

            Remember it was the UN security council that gave birth to the state of Israel by formally partitioning Palestine to create an Israeli state in 1947. The UN security council does not have an anti-Israel bias.

            So why does the state of Israel almost never get disciplined for their continuous gross violations of international law? It’s not because of American Jews. The majority of American Jews believe that the state of Israel is acting out of bounds. The main support base for the state of Israel is the American religious right and all those who support it’s agenda. Mostly it is the politically active American Evangelical Christians. The state of Israel is the foreign policy of American Evangelicals.

            If the Palestinians really wanted to target their enemy, it would be American Evangelical Christians and their places of worship. Of course, if they actually did this, it would only backfire, and I’m sure they know this.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            Hezbollah, Lebanese Arab Shiite Moslems, are appreciated in Beirut and loathed in Tel Aviv. One reason: when Israel invaded and occupied southern Lebanon, Hezbollah drove them out.

        • Martyr's Guilt says:

          You see Brian, some cannot accept defeat, so the leaders of the defeated, who know darn well there is no hope in a victorious war against Israel, continue to use their own people, for control and power. All the big players, play the defeated, to their own benefit, and so the killing goes on and on, fingers pointing every direction. Your post is 100% correct, Brian, but this is the way of the world.

          What poster, ”Assad is staying”, also gets wrong, is that, other than America, the world seems blind to the fact that Israel is there to stay, and has shown it will take territory with every attack, and strike back ten times worse, so that the invader will think twice before invading. Israel will not allow outsiders to decide their fate ever again. The UN, and collective Muslims that surround Israel, if fact all Muslims, would not shed a tear in the destruction of Israel. No one is honestly, blind to that.

          • MG,

            There are, however, some things that Assad is Staying gets right. One is the one-sided reporting of all things Middle East in this country. Also, although I do not think President Assad is a hero or a saint, I am convinced that Assad is Staying’s take on the situation in Syria is at least largely accurate, especially in terms of the callous, shameful involvement of outside players, including the United States, and the strong likelihood of false flag operations of who knows who to make Assad appear to be evil incarnate.

            With regard to Gail’s comment above about Met. Phillip’s support of “freedom fighters,” I have to wonder. Would he have expected the U.S. government to protect the properties of his archdiocese if “Freedom Fighter” Native Americans launched attacks on them, claiming them (quite rightly) as their land? Something tells me the answer is yes.

            I am all for justice, but there comes a time when everyone is better off accepting new realities. And while I do not deny that Israel often overreacts to provocations, it also cannot be denied that they are, almost incessantly, provoked, as even he admits…

            “Hezbollah and Hamas rockets are lucky to put a few dozen people in hospital, while Israel thinks nothing about bombing the living hell out of Gaza or Lebanon, killing thousands in response.”

            • Martyr's Guilt says:

              Brian, why are the majority of Muslim countries run by dictators and/or Kings, and have no Jews in their countries, except a few token Jews, mostly in Iran? Why do Muslim run countries also have have very small, restricted Christian populations? Meanwhile Israel has the only true Representative Democracy, in the Middle East, and freely allows Christians to practice their faith. Muslims are not our friends, why is that so hard to understand, by so many Orthodox Christians here in America? Now for Orthodox Christians it’s a matter of survival, living in Muslim dictatorships, that’s understandable. Muslims want us converted, slaves or dead, in the long run, period. Luckily they don’t rule this world, or our survival would be in jeopardy, and most defiantly, our days numbered. Having Israel in control of a good portion of the Holy Land is preferable to Muslims controlling the area. Choose your friends wisely.

              • George Michalopulos says:

                For what it’s worth, Iran has a large and ancient Jewish population. Otherwise your point is well taken

              • Joseph Lipper says:

                The keys to the Holy Sepulcher have been in the custody of a Muslim family in Jerusalem for hundreds of years. The Christians can’t be trusted with it because they fight with each other. None of the Christians trust the Jews to have it either.

                Ask any Palestinian Orthodox Christian, and they will tell you that the main political problem in the Middle East is the state of Israel and it’s continuous violations of international law by invading and occupying Palestinian lands.

                • Martyr's Guilt says:

                  Palestinian Christians opinions are just that. Considering that they live among Islamists, what would you expect their opinion to be? Muslims in control of the Holy Sepulcher keys is wrong in so many ways, but so is Greek priests and monks, getting into broomstick fights, with Armenian priests and monks. Religions, and Religious careerists make me scratch my head quite often. They live in bubbles, yet believe they understand world politics, and of course the Jews are to blame for all the world problems, right Joseph? Wink wink! Now of course if Christians or Muslims ruled the world like many believe Jews do, everything on planet earth would be peaches and cream. We all need a bogeyman my friend

                  • Joseph Lipper says:

                    Martyr’s Guilt,

                    It’s not the Jews who are too blame, but rather it’s the ideology of Zionism. Zionism captivates the state of Israel and also many American Evangelical Christians. This is what the UN General Assembly is condemning, an ideology of Zionism.

                    The US condemns Russia for annexing part of the Ukraine, but if the state of Israel does something similar, apparently it’s fine. What’s that about?

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Very good point, JL. Though I am generally pro-Israel, one of my beefs with the entire Zionist project has to do with whatever Israel wants, Israel gets; i.e. no moral considerations or qualms. If Israel wants to keep the Golan Heights, OK, it was taken from an enemy while being agressed against by Syria —ius gentium (law of nations) and all that.

                      Then why can’t Russia annex the Crimea? It’s not contiguous but neither is Kalinningrad. And it was done peacefully, by overwhelming majority vote of the natives.

                    • Joseph Lipper says:

                      My point has always really been that modern Zionism is incompatible with true Christianity, that it is actually very anti-Christian, and yet the main supporters and enablers of modern Zionism are not Jews but rather they are “Christians”. These “Christians”, mostly who are American Evangelicals, see this ideology as a God given truth and as their unique political mission. They are the political machine that enables modern Zionism to operate without any real checks and balances.

                      The religious right from it’s beginnings has always had a three point political platform: anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, and pro-Zionism. This has always been the case. Jerry Falwell, it’s founder, was heavily supported by the state of Israel.

                      It is certainly easy enough to get Southern Baptists worked up about the evils of abortion and homosexuality (which by the way are not common sins they are usually prone to, so it’s like preaching to the choir). That’s what get’s them politically active. Getting Southern Baptists to politically support Zionism appears to be some strange sleight of hand, but they certainly do.

                      As Orthodox Christians, I believe we have a proper place to point this out as a false teaching. Personally, I’m not against the state of Israel, and I don’t wish to stand in the way of it’s ambitions. However, I am against the idea that Christians should support what the state of Israel is doing because it is somehow Christian. If we want to talk about ecumenism, this type of Judeo-Christianity may be the worst example of ecumenism ever.

                    • I take Israel on a case by case basis. They have their interests, the American elite have their interests and we Orthodox have our interests. It’s a rolling crap game.

                      As a pragmatic matter, on the one hand, God seems to have indicated that He will use a Jewish Israel toward the end times. On the other hand, they continue to reject Christ, thus they are not the good guys.

                      But we should separate that calculation from the following calculation regarding Muslims: Islam is a false religion founded by the devil. Any religion coming after Christ which denies the Incarnation and Resurrection, the Divinity of Christ and the deification of man, is wicked and diabolical. This cannot be stressed enough. There is no “legitimacy” to “Islam”, “submission”, for it is submission to the evil one, Lucifer.

                      We need to be crystal clear about that if we are to appreciate the actions of Bosniaks, Turks, Palestinian Muslims, Saudis and Iranians. Better to herd them toward killing each other if violence is inevitable rather than allowing it to spill over on us.

                      That whole hot mess is just brewing for the evil one to raise an Antichrist to lead it.

                      Recall that Israel was not on Osama bin Ladin’s bill of particulars against America before 9/11. He was upset about our presence on “holy” Muslim territory on the Arabian peninsula, et al.

              • MG,

                I have no love for the Muslim “faith.” It is Satanic. If that offends anyone, then let the truth offend.

                But that gives us no right to slaughter Muslims, treat them as subhuman, or use their Muslim-majority countries as pawns in a global chess game. Nor is it our business what form of government they have. In my opinion, they generally have the kind of government they need, whether some of them like it or not, as so few of these cultures share the values required for republican forms of government.

                How many tens of thousands of innocents have we participated in killing in our quest to spread democracy (so-called) in the Arab world? How has it helped the people we have supposedly liberated? How are the Christians – or most anyone else – faring in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria…? Better or worse?

                I do not claim to have the answers. The world will never be made right and just apart from Christ. And yes, I would greatly prefer to live here or in Israel over any Muslim-majority country. I also feel very strongly that we, as a ‘Christian-majority’ (if that can even be said with any truth) country, ought to defend ourselves from Islamism (both militant and otherwise) and its corrosive effects on our culture and our security. This does not, however, justify or change the fact of our government’s shameful participation in the slaughter of countless innocents (not to mention our own soldiers) in our endless, inhumane game of global influence and propagandized media.

                And talk about choosing your friends – Oh my! How about the other wonderfully “democratic” allies we have like…well, let’s see…Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, The UAE, Bahrain, Turkey, and the list goes on. And then there’s Iran under the Shah, Iraq under Saddam, Egypt under Mubarak (when they were doing our bidding), and that list goes on as well.

                I am not arguing with you as much as I am asking you to open your mind a bit.

                For Heaven’s sake, we probably have more in common, culturally speaking, with the Russia of today than we do with much of Europe, but the morons in our State Department and a great many ignorant politicians can’t seem to stop fighting the cold war. And the news reports we get nearly always reflect these highly slanted views of the world.

                Our actions in the last fifty years or so have almost never been about freedom and democracy. These are mere propaganda to rally public support. They have been about power and money; and all the smaller countries, whether Muslim or not, are pawns in this callous game. I myself didn’t want to believe it, and I do love my country, have the highest respect for those who serve in the military, etc. But it has become undeniable, and I say this as one who leans heavily toward the Conservative side of the political spectrum.

                • George Michalopulos says:

                  Brian, sometime in the future, we’ll know to what extent the Neocons hijacked our foreign policy and made a mess of the world using the US military for their purposes. God’s justice cannot be constrained forever.

                • Martyr's Guilt says:

                  Brian and George,
                  We are on the same page, and team for that matter. Understand I really don’t care, or expect any Muslim nation to adopt our style of Government. My point is Muslims in general are not the type of people who do Democracy, for a reason, and that reason is their violent culture, and religion. They were born of a violent leader/prophet, and no matter how much money, power, and populous they amass, they will never change, and are cursed for eternity, by their religion, and deeds. Most Muslims in the Middle East, still live as if they are stuck in the same century of their Devil Prophet.

                  Todays’s Jews, are from a religion that we were also born of, and share not only the same book, minus the New Testament, but also Prophets, and Saints. Our views, and beliefs in today’s society are much more aligned with each other, than that of a Islam. So given the choice I will always align with those of Judaism before Islam. We should have also aligned with Russia, but even with Trump as President, that train left the station long ago, when we raped them in the 1990’s. We lost their trust forever. Really all this is a no brainer, but this has nothing to do with brains, and everything to do with greed, on our leaders part. Difference is you, George, and I are not world leaders, so brains, and our souls do matter.

                  Now if you want to throw American Government policies into the debate as well, that’s OK. I expect our Government’s leaders to play with which ever side pays, and keeps our Senators, and Presidents, in power, and rich. This is our country’s tradition since the Korean War. Yes before there was corruption, but national interest was at the same level as getting palms greased, but not any longer by most in DC. In addition, the majority of our Spiritual leaders, that continue to partner up with the Governments they live within, have the sin of greed, and bloodshed, on their hands as well. To believe we can ever permanently change any of this corruption, greed, and murderous ways of the world is foolish, and naive. Hence why, when push comes to shove, I will always side with The Jewish State of Israel before any, in the long run, back stabbing Muslim nation. Only our Lord’s will and Justice can suffice in the end, which at this point can’t come soon enough!

                  • MG,

                    I would only say that American government policy and the lazy media that merely repeats what they hear from government policy makers is what Assad is Staying was primarily referring to.

                  • Joseph Lipper says:

                    Martyr’s Guilt,

                    Again, the only reason Muslim countries hate America is because of how the U.S. ingratiatingly supports the state of Israel. If the U.S. played hardball, kept the state of Israel in line, limited our support and said “no” more often, then I believe those Muslim countries would leave us mostly alone.

                    The great evil caricature of Islam that we presently witness has been the ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria. However, almost all of ISIS’s rage has been focused against other Muslims, with exception to the Christians who stand in their way. ISIS has mostly fought against other Muslims.

                    It is probably no coincidence that ISIS has essentially done the dirty work for the state of Israel by attacking and destabilizing their enemies, the Muslim countries of Iraq and Syria. Interestingly enough, there is increasing accusation and evidence that ISIS was created and/or is supported by the U.S. government. Regardless, the only real winner that has emerged from ISIS has been the state of Israel.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      JL, ISIS support system is more curious than you let on here (and you’re mostly right about ISIS’ origins). The IDF has set up a “rat-line” which regularly takes wounded ISIS fighters and ships them to Israeli hospitals. Once treated of their injuries, the IDF spirits them back to the front lines. It’s an open secret in the Middle East.

                      So yes, ISIS is to Israel as Hezbollah is to Iran: an auxiliary fighting force.

                    • Constaninos says:

                      Dear Joseph,
                      You are quite correct in your assessments of support for Israel in the US and may I mention Guatemala as well. If I’m not mistaken, Christian Zionism has its genesis in John Darby and the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. There is strong evidence that Jewish Zionism has its roots in evangelical Zionism. It is a heresy. There is an article on Al Jazeera that states Jerusalem was Palestinian before London was English. During the partition of Palestine in 1947, Jerusalem was supported to be an international city under the auspices of the UN because of its importance to the three major Abrahamic religions. I am not particularly sympathetic to Zionism as it has caused untold suffering to our brother and sister Orthodox Christians. We’re never going to change the course the US has set itself on.

                    • Martyr's Guilt says:

                      Muslim countries, and Islam hate not only America, but everything not Muslim, and their goal again, Enslave, Convert, or Kill. All the Blah, Blah, Blah, you throw out, true or not, means nothing, when one realizes, one wants you dead, enslaved, or converted and the other wants some territory, and then left alone. I given up on our government doing the right thing, in the Middle East, or anywhere for that matter, with the exception of just getting lucky, sometimes. Ever notice we never really care about solving all of Africa’s civil war problems, just the ones, where there is money to be made, and oil to leverage, against others. Religions are a by-product to manipulate the masses, to whatever advantage a government might need to achieve.

                    • Assad is staying says:

                      Absolutely, George. ISIS is totally an Israeli-US construction. I’m glad that you pointed that out.

  9. Gail Sheppard says:

    AISS, the answer to your question is that Assad doesn’t want to leave all that money behind. His family owns 60% of the wealth and a lot of it is tied up in Syria. – You’re right about one thing, though. He didn’t want to be a leader and it turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Your Syrian war map is just that. It doesn’t show that “around 75% of the population is in government areas. . . based on pre-war figures.” There is NOTHING that suggests anything close to that and I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, here. I actually READ what you posted.

    Please don’t expect me to comment on a blog that belongs to entities that post under the name of “Tyler Durden,” a character from Fight Club. (Zero Hedge). Seriously?

    In the other article you posted from back in March (syriadirect.org), it says: “With our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you, Bashar,’ dozens of Tarmalah residents chanted, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” DOZENS. A handful of people. Find me even ONE pro-Assad demonstration today; the day of “victory,” with anybody at all.

    Your first YouTube clip was dated December 2011. Ask one of our esteemed priests who was there the previous October. He will tell you there WAS no war. (However, I vehemently disagreed. No one listened to me then, either.)

    The second clip, although posted in 2014, appears to be from his presidential victory in 2000. Not sure why either clip is relevant. Whoever loved him in 2000 and 2011 does not love him now. He failed Syria.

    Assad won nothing which is why it was Putin who declared the victory. He is now Putin’s puppet. When those emails come to light, Assad and his regime will be charged with war crimes (the purpose of smuggling them out) and Putin will gladly give him up. There is no talking to you until then, because the truth is just too difficult to face. For that, I am truly sorry. I sincerely mean that. It must be very painful for you.

    As for the U.S., I can’t defend our actions. We got in too late and we didn’t go about it the right way. You’ll get no argument from me on that. That the CIA orchestrated it is crazy. We’re not that clever nor would it have served us to kick up the dust in the Middle East. Many hoped Assad would implement the reforms he talked about but he didn’t, which lit the match. I don’t think he wanted to share the wealth and he had an astounding capability to ignore the plight of others. One day he will pay for that. . . for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . and your fate.

  10. Gail Sheppard says:

    Again, AISS, seriously? Are you quoting Zero Hedge and now the Muslim Brotherhood? They are not legitimate sources.

    “Globalresearch is an ‘anti-Western’ website that can’t distinguish between serious analysis and discreditable junk — and so publishes both. It’s basically the moonbat equivalent to Infowars or WND. While some of GlobalResearch’s articles discuss legitimate humanitarian concerns, its view of science, economics, and geopolitics is conspiracist — if something goes wrong, the Jews West did it! The site has long been a crank magnet: If you disagree with ‘Western” sources on 9/11, or HAARP, or vaccines, or H1N1, or climate change, or anything published by the ‘mainstream’ media, then GlobalResearch is guaranteed to have a page you will love. The website (under the domain names globalresearch.ca(link), globalresearch.org(link), globalresearch.com(link), and sister site mondialisation.ca(link)) is run by the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky,[2][3] a former professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, Canada.[4] Whenever someone makes a remarkable claim and cites GlobalResearch, they are almost certainly wrong. Do not confuse Globalresearch with globalnews.ca, which is a perfectly ordinary news site.” https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Gail, I’ll keep these cast of characters in mind. Thanks for pointing them out. Just so you know, I do like to read Zerohedge (although I must confess I did’t know the provenance of the name having never seen Fight Club). Also The Vineyard of the Saker.

    • Assad is staying says:

      Gail,

      You didn’t say anything about the content of my post, which suggests that there is no response.

      As for the sources: Zero Hedge’s article was based on this: http://htl.li/RfjO30de1Yj BBC reporting UN.

      Syria Direct is funded by US non-profits, with some involvement by CNN, and Middle East Eye (while not MN-affiliated, has some MB people associated with it) is edited by the former editor of the excruciatingly left-wing Guardian.

      US non-profits = Anti-Assad and anti-Hezbollah.
      Guardian = Anti-Assad and anti-Hezbollah.
      Muslim Brotherhood = Anti-Assad and anti-Hezbollah.

      The fact that I can use these hostile sources to back up what I’m saying is telling.

      I can’t believe you actually used rationalwiki. You’re better than that, Gail.

      Global Research, on the other hand, is run by the scholarly Michel Chossudovsky, professor emeritus at Ottawa University, who has been acclaimed by people like Noam Chomsky. His contributors are a variety of scholars and journalists reporting from outside the mainstream narrative. They’re a serious, respectable, anti-MSM collective.

      We should all know by now that throwing around terms like ‘moonbat’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ is absolutely meaningless. If “rational”wiki had a page on Monomakhos, it would use the exact same terms. There’s a reason why Google promotes them so heavily – they blindly march onward to the tune of the liberal establishment.

      “Give me the liberal agenda, or give me death.”

  11. Gail Sheppard says:

    AISS, I’m not going to respond to everything you say. You get so much wrong, it would be exhausting trying to keep up with you.

    For example, you say 480,000 have died in the Syrian War, which is close to the figure quoted by SOHR, which I am assuming was your source. What you failed to mention is that these are *documented* deaths. The SOHR estimates that there are another 135,000 *undocumented* deaths. This puts the toll at around 615,000, which is why I put the number at 500,000+. This is the sort of thing I have to let go because there is just not enough time in the day.

    You also said, “just under half of them were soldiers that died fighting on the side of the Syrian Arab Army, i.e. loyalists.” It’s closer to 25%. Look it up.

    Finally, you said, “These people are held to be martyrs by their families; they died to preserve the way of life that Syria had before the US State Department unleashed the dogs of war.” How does one respond to such a ludicrous and hate filled statement? We are not the “dogs of war” here. (You’re Palestinian, right? You all have a thing for “dogs.” It MEANS something when you use that word.)

    In fact, it is Syria who is in a perpetual state of war, both within and outside her borders. There have been 8 major Syrian wars in my OWN LIFETIME! Don’t blame the U.S. on this sorry state of affairs. Anytime you have a country where one family holds 60% of the wealth, you’re bound to have problems. Syria is one giant war machine. The U.S. is damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We played nice with Assad for a very long time. We intervened about the time he lost control of his own army. I think it’s great that Putin is there now. He will do what others won’t.

    You say, “He (Assad) didn’t start it (the war): foreign-backed ‘rebels’ (many of them actually foreign fighters) started this by firing on Syrian troops.” You’re fond of quoting the BBC. They summed it up nicely: “Syria conflict: from peaceful protest to civil war. . .” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-21797661 Peaceful protests, no “foreign-backed rebels” in the beginning. Just a dictator who was long on promises and short on results. You say, “Assad did his duty as the national leader. What else was he to do?” He could have delivered on his promises. Again, his family owns 60% of the wealth so it was within his providence. His unwillingness to address his country’s concerns created a vacuum, allowing every modern terrorist group known to man to infiltrate its midst. One doesn’t see this so much in other parts of the world. Syria is unique in that way; it’s literally infested with vermin.

    You posted that Syrian war map to support your contention that, “75% of the population is in government areas.” The map you provided has nothing to do with where populations reside. I did address that.

    You’re very fond of posturing and using inflammatory language directed at U.S. It seems to escape you that many of us on this blog are from the U.S. and we love this country. I’m being kind when I don’t respond. Trust me, you don’t want to know what I think about the content of your posts.

    You say, “refugees are returning from abroad to government-held areas in droves.” Of course, they’re returning to government-held sites: They believe there is no fighting going on there! No one said they were returning to stay or that they were returning because they love Assad. They are returning to check on their families and their homes. Read your own sources! Saying, “They even love Assad is (think you meant “in”) rebel-held areas” is just plain BS and you know it.

    I think I’ve spent enough time responding to you, AISS; more time than anyone else has given you.

    P.S. When I read something I know to be true that is succinct and to the point, yeah, I’m going to quote it. Not surprised that you’re a fan of Global Research. When RationalWiki says, “it’s view of science, economics, and geopolitics is conspiracist — if something goes wrong, the Jews West did it!” they are 100% correct and you just proved their point. You’re blaming the Syrian War on our State Department! LOL

    • Assad is staying says:

      What on earth made you think I am a Palestinian? I am an American. I gave no indicator of being Palestinian whatsoever. I’m an American who loves his country, but is disgusted by what it has become. BTW ‘dogs of war’ is Shakespeare.

      I’m an American that served the majority of his adult life in the US military (early 30s now) and left, also disgusted, after discovering our involvement in this mess, among other things. I was in the ME when the ‘Arab Spring’ was happening. I was working as an intelligence analyst. I saw that the media reports and what we were getting did not match up.

      I present Tony Cartalucci’s War on Syria as a free downloadable .pdf. At least skim through it and you’ll see how everything I’ve been saying is in there. He uses hundreds of sources, both MSM and independent to demonstrate the point I’ve been trying to make. Do yourself a favor and check his sources:

      http://educate-yourself.org/cn/cartaluccisyriaebookdownload24aug13.shtml

      BTW I don’t think that the Educate Yourself site is any good, but it was the only place that had the PDF available to download.

      It’s unbelievable that an intelligent person like yourself can’t see the hand of the US government in this debacle. Have you never heard what General Wesley Clark said?

      We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.

      The Arab Spring was a way of trying to do this, after the US forces got entangled in the Iraqi quagmire, and they damn near succeeded. Of course the State Dept. was involved – this was the same State Dept. that was handing out cookies and Captagon at the Maidan protests. The same protests where snipers fired on both protesters and security forces. Just like in Syria. Same playbook. The State Dept. was funding ‘pro-democracy’ and other groups all across the ME for years prior to the Arab Spring. Good old John McCain had several meetings with the rebels from the onset of the fighting. Yes, I do think they are that smart. Smart and devious.

      Even Brian above largely agrees with me, and we’re not on the same page with many things.

      Here are the population statistics from that site: https://infogram.com/population_under_control_of_each_faction_in_extrapolation_based_on_pre_war_population_june

      Like I said, with the wartime swelling of Damascus and other government-held places, we’re looking at upwards of 85%, if not 90%.

      Regarding casualty figures, I used an average based on high and low estimates. The SOHR’s 135,000 unaccounted casualties – is that 135,00 babies personally gassed by Assad? No, it’s probably in proportion to the other half million or so – 40% government troops and 40% rebels, give or take. Add to that SOHR’s admission of classing civilians who have taken up arms and subsequently been killed as ‘civilians’ on their casualty figures, then the military casualties are again higher. SOHR’s lower estimate has government casualties at 116k, rebels at 120k, and civilians at 100k, so that slices it into thirds more or less. Upper estimates have far higher military casualties on both sides.

      Considering that the rebels who control places like Idlib have a proclivity for chopping up children (https://www.timesofisrael.com/video-shows-palestinian-boy-beheaded-by-us-backed-syrian-rebels/ – note that Washington ‘may’ stop funding them) and eating hearts of their slain enemies (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3524976/CANNIBAL-moderate-Syrian-rebel-cut-ate-Assad-soldier-s-heart-liver-killed.html) I’d say that a few dozen is a pretty good turnout since they probably got shot, at best, for doing so.

      The 2011 demonstration occurred when there were armed clashes already taking place within the country. It was a show of support. The 2014 demonstrations were from his 2014 presidential election victory – a fair and democratic election, according to a number of international observers: http://tass.com/world/734657

      The US had no right to go into Syria and has caused even more trouble as a result. Ron Paul, a great American patriot, agrees: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/october/02/what-did-washington-achieve-in-its-six-year-war-on-syria/

      As for GR blaming the Jews all the time… that’d be tough since Chossudovsky is a Jew himself.

      Gail, you might feel sorry for me, but I feel sorry that most Americans have become sheeple, just nodding along to the accepted narrative. The US government has blood on its hands, and we would all do well to see that.

      Read, or at least skim, the Cartalucci book and see how he documents the foreign involvement in Syria from before the protests. Here’s a list of quick links also demostrating this: https://worldaffairs.blog/2017/04/18/syria-20-links-that-prove-regime-change-plans/ and some more informative articles: https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/15-articles-on-syria-that-will-destroy-every-mainstream-narrative/
      https://worldaffairs.blog/2017/07/07/assad-is-not-a-brutal-dictator/

      I have no more to say here, since I have provided Cartalucci’s book, which basically says it all. I have Christmas shopping to do and am too busy. I wish you all, and Gail especially, a blessed remainder of the fast and a joyous Nativity.

  12. Gail Sheppard says:

    There were 3 things that made me think you were Palestinian, AISS: (1) your politics, (2) your love for Assad and (3) using the phase, “dogs of war” to describe the U.S.

    You can be a citizen of the U.S. and also Palestinian, as evidenced by His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of Thrice-Blessed Memory. He was Palestinian and was fond of calling me (and others) “dogs.” I understand it is one of the worst things a person can call you in their world.

    I, too, was critical of the U.S. and said so in my response to you. I wouldn’t call our military the “dogs of war,” though, because it suggests they’re “off their leash” (at least to me) and capable of the unspeakable, which I don’t believe. Do atrocities happen at the hands of the U.S.? Yes. Is this behavior normalized within our military? I don’t think so.

    I’ll read the PDF and take a look at the links.

    The most important things we can agree on: Merry Christmas, AISS!

  13. Assad is staying says:

    I have to return, just to add this:

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/thousands-crowd-streets-aleppo-celebrate-citys-liberation-anniversary/

    This was today in Aleppo. They’re carrying images of Assad and the fallen heroes of the war.

  14. Gail Sheppard says:

    AISS, oh my gosh, you’re so easy!

    All teasing aside, look closely at this picture. Look at the pictures of Assad. Do they look pasted on to you? They just kind of float on top of the crowd, don’t they? They had a hard time doing this with something as small as a poster which is why there are probably not more pictures of Assad floating out there.

    And look at some of the flags in the foreground. Notice anything weird about them . . . like some of them have black, not red, at the top?

    I’m not trying to yank your chain on this. I really want you to see it. The picture looks distorted and yet the guy standing on top of someone’s shoulders is in focus, as are the guys on that cutout thing. – Look at the flags toward the middle in the back and then look immediately behind the flags. Notice how they just stop and then there is a nondescript sea of people immediately behind them?

    This is what pictures look like when they’re photoshopped.

    I would say the second to the last picture is probably closer to the truth, even though the guy on the left is holding a flag with the black stripe first. A small group. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter. It’s kind of sad that activists would feel the need to make it look bigger, when those who ARE there have gone through hell and back. I hate that you can’t take news for granted anymore. Everything has to be scrutinized.

    The bottom picture was photoshopped, IMO, and the two pictures that are identical appear to be photoshopped, as well.

    Look at the military picture, too. Do you think when everyone is hold a rifle one guy would be waving a flag in the middle (left). Look at Assad’s uniform. The color is brighter. All that green on the flag he is holding looks strange. Some of these guys are just too white, too. Maybe they’re Russian. – It looks “off” to me.

    The article was hastily written. It says BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 P.M.). I’m sure the article is absolutely correct when it says activists provided the pictures, though.

  15. Assad is staying says:

    Well, you could just watch the video instead, showing the same thing as the photos:

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/aleppo-commemorates-one-year-since-citys-liberation-video/

    Here’s the same picture from another angle:

    https://twitter.com/MauriceSchleepe/status/943978068129013760

    And a little procession that happened on the same day:

    https://twitter.com/NadieHarbi/status/943897525894959104

    They’re chanting “Allah, Syria, Bashar”

    Western MSM is reporting this celebration, but without the epic photos.

    BTW: search “color guard” and you’ll see why there’s a soldier waving a flag about.

    The sore losers from the “Free Syrian Amy” spitefully fired some mortars into residential areas. This was surprisingly reported on MSM too.

  16. Gail Sheppard says:

    I know what a “color guard” is but they’re generally up front. You don’t see them squished in with a sea of soldiers standing at attention like we did in that picture yesterday.

    You don’t know that what’s being shown in the video is what happened in Allepo this week. None of the buildings are severely damaged in the background. It could be a clip from the past.

    Look at the :44 mark on your first link. The same military, in the same position, with their boots lined up the same way on the black strip on the pavement that was in your picture yesterday, but this time Assad isn’t the one holding the flag.

    Look at the cutouts we talked about yesterday, where the guys were climbing on top. They were to the left of the crowd (the viewer’s right) in the picture. In this video, there is a flash of the same cutouts but this time they’re to the right of the crowd.

    It’s easier to tell how thick the crowd is when they’re doing the interviews. At least they provide some context, i.e. talking about a current event, and you can see for yourself the density of the crowd behind them. That colorful parade you see in the center of the videos and pictures is probably the true parade. Everything on either side is grey and dark and probably photoshopped.

    The second link shows the same bogus picture we discussed yesterday. See the flag with the black on top?

    I don’t dispute that there are multiple pictures, etc. I just don’t think they’re legit. There are so many lies out of that part of the world. There seems to be a propensity on their part to block out that which they don’t want you to see and exaggerate what they do want you to see. I have even heard the Church, specifically a priest and a nun, tell bold face lies to the press about things I personally know to be not true.

    We can’t even trust our own sources over there. CNN showed pictures of the White Helmets pulling out the same little victim from different attacks. You can’t believe anything.

    Face it. That part of the world has lost all credibility. There are no legitimate journalists that we can rely on. They all have an agendas.

    This is a video of the devastation purportedly done to Allepo just last year. Do you see anything like this in the background in what you provided? Because I see just a few boarded up windows surrounded by a sea of healthy trees. This could be Damascus for all we know and OF COURSE, you will see Assad supporters there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH6xRh6K7-4

  17. Assad is staying says:

    Bashar isn’t holding the flag in any of those photos… do you think the President of the Syrian Arab Republic would be holding the flag in a military parade? That’s the job of an NCO, not the Commander-in-Chief.

    East Aleppo is heavily damaged, but is being rebuilt. This probably took place in West Aleppo, which has little damage. You can the the huge I <3 ALEPPO sign in multiple shots – this would be conspicuous in Damascus, I think.

    Even the damaged areas are quickly coming back to life:

    Syria may be the only country in recent times to rebuild before a devastating war ends. Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial powerhouse, has been transformed during the seven months since I last visited.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/aleppo-rebuilds-itself-from-destruction-of-war-1.3267526

    The flag with the black on top is upside down. This can sometimes happen when people wave loose flags. It’s hardly a smoking gun. The video’s shot of the crowd (with the cutouts changing position) is from another angle. The big I <3 ALEPPO sign is on the opposite side too. I'm highly confident that this is legit, based on context and multiple reports.

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      You can’t make a point with “high confidence” and expect that to be enough. The crowd is going one direction. They’re either passing something on their left or they’re passing something on their right. There are no “angles” that would explain the difference.

      They are in a city with a few boarded up windows. A year wouldn’t be long enough for me to remodel my house, let alone rebuild a city! Nor would I be able to grow, healthy mature trees towering over my head.

      Lose flags are not attached to rigid flagsticks. You see a stick and there is a flag attached to it. In this case, the flags are upside down which suggests someone photoshopped the image on top of the sticks.

      I’m not looking for a “smoking gun.” This is a gun that went off years ago when Assad took that gun and figuratively shot himself in the foot by refusing to move forward with the reforms he promised. At this point, he couldn’t claw his way out of a paper bag without the assistance of Iran or Russia. The only thing you said that I agree with is that he was an ophthalmologist who never wanted to be a leader. He got his wish. . . he’s not.

      I’m kind of tired of clicking on your links so I’ll pass.

  18. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from yesterday on The Orthodox Church/Orthodoxy Cognate Page website.

    Syrian Christians Praising Revival of Homeland by Celebrating Christmas

    by ORTHODOXY COGNATE PAGE on DECEMBER 27, 2017
    in FEATURED, FEATURED NEWS, NEWS

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201712251060315644-syria-christians-christmas-celebration/