Assad

Erdogan now the most important political leader in the world.

A long time ago I put that heading up and then shrugged my shoulders and didn’t write anything under it – but given all the current drama I had better spell out, just for the record, what I think is underway now.

4 years after the Russian intervention the world is now watching as a VERY large mechanized army is being inserted in part of what was Syria. They are on the opposite side to those Russians! Many people have failed to notice that this is the biggest picture in this complex development. Most yabbering in the MSM notice only that the Kurds have a big problem and forget that the whole picture of the region must be considered.

What I have termed HIRISE (Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, Iraq (Shia militias) Syria (undemocratic Assad), and Egypt (undemocratic militarists) is going to be the big loser when all this settles down and it will settle down with a FSA Islamist footprint.

The PKK/SDF do not have to join with Assad and his HIRISE suporters. They don’t have to go up against the Turks and the FSA. They have had choices for many years and they have not been willing to make those choices in the interests of genuine democracy. They have not shared power with the FSA but worked willingly with the root of all problems Assad. It is they who have been ethnically cleansing areas and not sharing power with the FSA so this fight was bound to come to them. People should remember that they are as often as not young ‘Turks’ and ‘Iraqi’ Kurds. They are very often non Syrian players just as they demonstrably were not when the Peshmerga turned up to fight ISIS in Kobani. They were correct to show up then and they would do well not to fight now. They are Kurds from the region being given the chance to join with the FSA and stand united against the undemocratic Assad supporting HIRISE. The region is at war.

The Turks for their part are going to continue to make a bigger footprint in Syria and that footprint will resemble current Turkey (a place that has genuine democracy and consequently naturally an Islamist government that is at war with a) islamofascists and b) Kurdish nationalists/separatists. The current Turkish government did not start either war and they have no real choice but to be at war with this Kurdish movement and no choice but to make war to end the HIRISE footprint. The genuine peace effort (despite the coup attempt and historical ill will across Turkey that can be wound back by more democractic practice) can be resumed. Kurdish oppression is still apparent in large parts of the population but change was underway and can be resumed with good will and an end to the armed struggle. I think that good will is on offer in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey and ought to be grabbed with both hands by the Kurd leadership but I think that it will not be and there will be yet another setback.

The refusal to remove themselves to the east of the Euphrates and allow the FSA to occupy that Arab territory was the indicator of what this would lead to. The young Kurds have been very badly led and sadly they will pay a terrible price for that poor leadership. It is very sad to see this slaughter of people I so admire and instinctively side with. But the Kurdish nation can not be liberated at the expense of the Arab peoples that constitute the vast bulk of the Syrian peoples. They must deal with the FSA not Assad.

There is even now a way forward for the Kurds and that is with a genuine democratic process and that process genuinely is being regionally led by Erdogan who is clearly opposite to HIRISE and the PKK in all its forms including as the SDF. The Kurds are not democratic yet but I hope that they will take that turn. The same turn that is required of the masses in Iran and in Egypt and so on. The region requires democratic revolution rather than nationalist border wars that the Kurds must back down from. The YPG etc and the SDF is just a PKK ruse. The SDF ought be made real.

The SDF has made war on the FSA just as the HIRISE troops have. They have collaborated with the HIRISE and are scrambling to do so now but it won’t work. The Turks are moving too fast for the HIRISE and are prepared to spread the war out from Idlib if they start being attacked by them so this is a push and shove moment.

We could say ‘I don’t blame the Kurds at the moment’ but the long term problem is that there can be zero democracy while millions of Syrian’s are displaced and not permitted to return to a safe country and that must be a democratic country. They can’t return if ‘Assad’ remains. HIRISE is no solution and is a fascist preserving enclave that has to be overthrown. It is a long term project.

Only Turkey and NATO who, apart from Trump (and who can tell with ga ga Trump) do not yet support the Turks, can do that liberation in anything like a realistic time frame. But with Russians involved that timeframe is not short.

The Turks have upped their involvement just as I said they would be eventually forced to do. They have taken this next move at about the right time and the people who will benefit from it are the returning Syrians who can only return to democracy. They have shown that they can take control of Islamist Syria and control the Islamofascists. They can’t however return people to paddocks and little towns so big cities must come on the agenda next.

The Kurds are not very happy but they have played their side and are still sitting in Manbij so they have given zero ground and now want to invite Assad and the Russians into Manbij. It ain’t going to happen.

The Kurds ought to have pulled out years ago and made some other substantial consessions to the Turks and re-established a genuine peace process that had been underway till the Syrian Civil war brought it back from deaths door.

This advance into Syria is the Free Syrian Army backed by democratic Islamists!

The Turkish military are under the control of the genuinely democratic and elected government of Turkey and they are the best in a rotten region.

The Islamist revolutionary fighters can best be controlled by this force.

What makes this a great problem for the HIRISE is that the US military is STILL very much around and in great demand now apparently. This lurking force is not going to let any significant territory fall to ‘Assad’.

HIRISE is the big loser from this.

This move forward is going to shake things up and despite the ABC/BBC commentary stability is not to be hoped for.

54 Responses to “Assad”


  1. 1 patrickm

    ‘The other clip shows why people of the left should support Rojava.’

    I have been following the issue for a long time and none of my points are addressed by putting up a video of the usual suspects who are now and were all along totally onesided over their support for the PKK.

    I have supported the PKK and been critical of it, just as I have been critical of the leader of the democratic revolution in Turkey and that leader is Erdogan. It is similar to my lifelong stand on the Irish nationalist struggle. The Irish nationalists are to be commended for both fighting-back against oppression and also making a deal with the British when they did.

    The Kurds have had to fight at times and they will also have to make peace with democratic Turkey, and to the small extent that they compose the population of Syria (about 10%) thus help build a democratic Syria. They can’t fight the FSA (now known as the Syrian National Army) and unite with Assad / HIRISE and hide behind their SDF formula and be taken seriously. Their game playing has not worked. They would not even pull back from Manbij where they had no business staying! Now they are being pushed out, and at the same time offered the opportunity to defect and join the Syrian National Army. They ought to be incorporated in this new formation IMV.

    The questions that Steve will not ask himself are one’s like….
    Can the fascists be allowed to win in Syria? What of their policy of driving off the peoples’ that want democracy? HIRISE terror bomb Syrian democrats till they have to run into Turkey and thence to Greece and on through to Sweden for the lucky one’s; so what is to be done to stop this? NO the fascist can’t be permitted to win is the correct answer for a revolutionary democrat.

    My biggest problem with the Kurdish spokespeople being dragged up by the likes of Democracy Now, just talking like Rojava is the issue, is that it self evidently is not and never was. The PKK leadership is just playing the hand that it acquired from the blood of the Syrian struggle for democracy. This Rojava zone is a footprint with an Assad dominated past. This enclave makes no national Kurdish sense and nor does an SDF separate from a ‘Syria National Army’ that is premised on a democratically constituted Syria. One democratic Syria and one democratic army is the long term goal and that is not the current long term goal of the PKK.

    The PKK got their tiny little Rojava when Assad had zero number of troops to spare. THEN they expanded it by attacking the FSA and now we are to pretend that never happened. It is now presented to the gullible as if it was only ever ISIS that they took territory from with the US/cow doing the artillery conquers bit. The PKK leadership were more than happy to have their young fighters do the infantry occupies bit and as they point out they now have their very much larger footprint having lost 11,000 fighters, plus all the injured on the way by first surviving (we can remember Kobani) and then working closely with the anti ISIS cow that ought to have had many more outsiders on the ground! But only Turkey is really putting in the required democratic troops. A great many Arab Syrians, quite often driven out of this ‘Rojava’ enclave do not quite see this latest move as simply as Steve is now putting it.

    The most progressive of the Arab Syrians want all of the Syrian enclaves back as one country. They insist that there must be a constitution and democratic elections and that will mean that the country will reflect the sort of country that Turkey currently is. That is why ‘realists’ really hate democracy. Democracy Now types would rather tyrants like Saddam stayed in total control of the ‘stability’ they bleat about, than have the US/or Turkey invade and bring on a democratic constituiopn and elections.

    Turkish involvement will lead in no other direction.

    Erdogan is now playing the same role as Bush, Blair and Howard did back when the liberation of Iraq was launched in 2003.

    It is very late in coming but as it unfolds it is going to put cities like Aleppo back on the agenda. The cities must come back on the agenda. Erdogan is not about dumping Syrians back in a paddock and wiping his hands of what returning half the population to Syria means. Bad news for the HIRISE terror merchants.

    I hope the Kurdish leadership dump their current failed strategy and unite with the Syrian National Army and the democratic country of Turkey.

    I hope the Turkish army continues to be as disciplined and as effective in this next phase as they have been over the last 2 years.

  2. 2 Stephen Owens

    Patrick your argument doesn’t clear the first hurdle, Syria is run by a dictator but the target of the Syrian National Army is some Syrian Kurds? Tell your mates in the SNA that the road to Damascus doesn’t run through Kobane.

  3. 3 patrickm

    What do you know Steve, overnight ‘Rojava’ simply vanished and HIRISE backed Syria is now said to have replaced it. Do you think it has or that the Turks can let the HIRISE just take over ‘Rojava’ and that somehow this will end the Syrian civil war and bring democracy and thus peace to Syria? No that’s right you don’t believe it so I suspect that you will now listen to Erdogan a little bit more than you have been.

    Now as it happens, every hour Turkish backed Syrians are advancing in the territory and if the size of the Turkish deployment is anything to go by and also the history of former Turkish deployments (people must remember that this is now the fourth such incursion) push is at shove stage yet again. The Turks have won the last three rounds and on form should win a big chunk of territory for the Syrian National Army yet again. But this time the stakes are much higher. The current western political leadership is still Biden like in it’s ability to get results so the Turks are essentially on their own but that ought be no real surprise by now.

    I wonder if the west will be so piss weak as to let HIRISE / Assad regain the oil fields? I think they will and hope they won’t. Will the US just let them cross the river or will the US air force step on them and let the Turks do what must be done in the alternative? I think the US will let them come across but hope they won’t.

    With Trump who really knows; and he is really in the driving seat.

    With Steve it’s just as hard to get a systematic thought process working.

    The Turks up to date have had the clear intent of establishing a long term viable enclave that the Syrian people can exist in without being driven out of, either by HIRISE activities or that of the PKK (in whatever SDF form that underlying reality takes). Despite the ABC/BBC view Erdogan led Turkey has no territorial ambitions in Syria but must work to end the Syrian ‘civil’ war that has brought war back to Turkey. The fact is war in Syria has long since not been a civil war.

    I think that Erdogan expect’s the outcome from his war making in Syria to result in a democracy that very naturally resembles democratic and thus Islamist Turkey. What else could people expect him to really think?

    People ought to really listen to him remind people of what Egypt is all about as they critisize his latest move! Listen to what he is saying about the KSA. Listen to how he exposes the do nothing Europeans. He is right about all of them.

    The road to Damascus is not just through Idlib where the Russian air force is STILL destroying hospitals as policy day in day out. Putin and co must be stood up to and they can be!

    Even the 1/2 theorists long ago stopped believing that Putin was in Syria with the rest of the HIRISE in order to end the war and bring a democratic result about. So they won’t notice anything at the moment and more silence in 1/2 theory land would probably be best. The ABC types ought to join them but as they get paid to talk crap just can’t. Imagine having to dribble on about bad old uncle Erdogan and then having to admit that it is the Turks that have most of the refugees that HIRISE is generating as policy! And, what is to be done when Vlad has made the cost more expensive than you would like?

    The Turks steadily have increased their footprint and tried to ensure that conservative but democratic Islamists get and keep control of territory and Islamofascist types are defeated yet we are not to notice. I will grant Steve that (as we have often seen in these last 8 years) it is sometimes very hard to spot the difference between the 2 but that has been just as true in Iraq and in Libya and even in Egypt! (remember the US female reporter raped in Tahrir Square?); and there is always those that change from the one to the other and those that playact as democrat by day and come out as fascist at night…..but none of that reality gets us far because we understand that we start with that very problem (Hervin Khalaf RIP). The solution for ‘realists’ is to back tyranny but that option is not open for people who believe that democratic revolution is the way forward.

    Assad and thus HIRISE are (1/2 theory or not) the root problem and democracy via Turkish backing the very very messy solution! I for one might wish it were otherwise but that means as much as a Putin promise. If Assad can survive for a bit longer with the reinclusion into his Syria of what parts of what used to be Rojava that ‘he’ / HIRISE can grab so be it because that is still not going to end the war for democracy and the return to Aleppo etc., of the Syrian refugees.

    I have no wish to see any such stability descend on Syria to quote the usual word from the usual suspects from the ALP.

  4. 4 Stephen Owens

    What goes on in Syria is all a bit murky. Turkey was in an undeclared alliance with ISIL https://www.huffpost.com/entry/research-paper-isis-turke_b_6128950?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9lbi53aWtpcGVkaWEub3JnLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAACEM2cn6amoVY0zHHkS_tdHHbqxTUd6I66nXHYxWTBXJcM8n80sbvE84JdG2v57Of7_n609ZN-EqwdlNVHb8w4AhFJG-3ucesa6AGqKGzgwTyg3ABix6cwudILPWjbcCdtS_ZwAvjuFc519qXMg8R0gISR_Papc-fE-gNIPFDkNp but that alliance was disrupted by the Kurdish/US alliance. The US has 50 nuclear weapons at a Turkish air base as well as the US president I think his name is Whatthefuck has 2 Trump towers in Turkey. The President dissolved the Kurd/US alliance bizarrely stating that the Kurds had been no help during WW2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBZyNopyNZE&fbclid=IwAR3by2FPgFmpHjduYXfSBGpGTjbbdT6CN7E8JztcVw70V2nANgATrU6JIj0
    Now Turkey has committed a blatant act of aggression with the FSA in tow. This so called FSA can be measured by the videos that they have distributed where they gleefully execute Kurdish civilians.
    Erdogan has driven the Kurds into the hands of Assad who now rely on his good graces for their protection.
    Erdogan must be a student of Mao because didnt Mao say if someone you dont like is sitting out the war attack them bring them into the conflict always strive to unite your enemies

  5. 5 Stephen Owens
  6. 6 patrickm

    Eight years ago no one had heard of ‘Rojava’ nor ‘understood’ that Kurds ought to be left in control of all territory nth east of the Euphrates plus a large pocket west. The Obama led US (very specifically Biden who is currently a little silent) told them to get out of that pocket and go back east https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUxN2K1_7v0&pbjreload=10 Who does not know this?

    They did not go! THEY just stalled and eventually defied the US and stayed with game playing formulas! Everyone knew who was running the pocket including current western supporters who refused to be critical of them then when I was and you were silent!

    Why did they side with Assad all along when push was at shove? For example earlier in this ‘civil’ war they had a big enclave that they kept control of in Aleppo, and that bit of yellow was not in conflict with Assad’s section of Aleppo! They also had Afrin. Well now things have changed and when they would not negotiate and leave Manbij they got thrown out of Afrin that they had wanted to link through to in the first place!

    Biden is very quiet for a good reason. People might eventually notice that he was totally ineffective in getting the Kurds to be reasonable and stay out of Manbij. But instead of reflecting on what we know you Steve cling on to the usual poor propaganda about islamists really being islamofascists. They are not the same as I have often said but it is true they often hide in protoform within the ranks of the democratic revolution.

    Egypt under the military coup leadership that killed the democratic islamist reolutionaries and does so every day is (like you currently are) very critical of the Turkish democracy liberating another footprint in Syria. Around the world the pseudoleft finds itself in agreement with them and Putin. They should stop they are making things worse they realy support ISIS yada yada. Yet what of the millions driven out by the hospital bombers? Putin, Assad and Sisi (former Director of Military Intelligence like Putin) are all hospital bombing anti democrats that – as policy – drive out Syrians by the millions! Sorry folks but this has to be fought and put a stop to. Taking in refugees will not do the trick.

    Democratic Turkey plans on bringing the Syrians all home to the country called Syria. They are coming back as an army not as refugees!

    Some Kurdish separatists that have been conducting a war against the Turks for the last 30 years would now like people to forget that they are at war and have been fighting Syrians to gain an ‘independant’ Rojava! But people do not forget basic facts. Rather than throw in their lot with the Democratic Syrian National Army (formerly all manner of groups and the FSA who are -thankfully- kept in check by the Erdogan led Turks, the separatists would prefer unity with anti-democratic HIRISE tyrants. Well more fool them.

    I am pretty sure that the Turks will liberate Manbij with and for the SNA and that the HIRISE backed ‘SAA’ will suffer a defeat. They will soon enough or eventually grab that entire strip in the nth East.

    I have long understood what the issues involved in Manbij are, so I am not surprised that the SDF are being forced out. They never had to be. This is and always was poor leadership that costs the lives of mostly young and good Kurds.

    The Turkish government under Erdogan is simply not anti Kurd and that has been perfectly clear for years. There is confusion sure but the proof is what people do, not what they say. We have many years of proof of what all the sides have been doing.

    Without theory you are once again ‘groping in the dark’.

    I am already looking ahead to the liberation of Aleppo, and that is years down the track. But the SNA must eventually turn their attention to the issue of cities. When Erdogan talks of returning Syrians he is talking about the totality of that issue not some dump of refugees in a paddock.

    Turkey is training and equipping the SNA. The Kurds ought to throw in with them but some (possibly a majority even) of Kurds are badly led by the PKK and play these deadly games instead. They will lose. So will the Assad in the making on the NILE! Democratic revolutionaries now have their eyes wide open about what these HIRISE sorts are capable of.

    Talk is cheap; just ask Biden.

    If you want to understand what is happening in Syria just remember that it is the masses that make war and Erdogan is leading the masses forward step by painful bloody step. He has not made moves until it was actually demanded by the masses. This is the forth such move. He is not way out in front but rather leading in pointing to the solutions to real problems that HIRISE can’t solve and the rotten western leadership won’t solve!

    Ask yourself why aren’t Australian troops on the ground even extracting a bus load of Australian children and fanatic and or deluded women!

    More later…

  7. 7 Stephen Owens

    https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/rights-groups-abuses-rise-syrias-afrin
    Is Afrin the model for Rojava as a whole? As the Kurds keep saying they were faced with a choice, a rotten compromise or genocide.
    You must remember your Irish history when the Irish delegation attended talks with Churchill and was offered a war of extermination or a rotten compromise. You agree that the Irish had to chose the compromise but some how you think that the Kurds should accept genocide. That Turkish army is going nowhere already because the Kurds have made the only real choice on offer.

  8. 8 Steve Owens
  9. 9 Stephen Owens

    I gotta get it right is that the Syrian National Army or the Syrian Nazi Army? https://apnews.com/7386b1149d2642afb3258e3d07d167dc

  10. 10 patrickm

    Genocide no less! Thank god Putin and Assad are there to protect them from the SNA!

    Is reading beyond you or are you just forgetful? ‘ I will grant Steve that (as we have often seen in these last 8 years) it is sometimes very hard to spot the difference between the 2 but that has been just as true in Iraq and in Libya and even in Egypt! (remember the US female reporter raped in Tahrir Square?); and there is always those that change from the one to the other and those that playact as democrat by day and come out as fascist at night…..but none of that reality gets us far because we understand that we start with that very problem (Hervin Khalaf RIP). The solution for ‘realists’ is to back tyranny but that option is not open for people who believe that democratic revolution is the way forward. “

  11. 11 Steve Owens

    Yes it is truly sad that Assad murderer that he is poses less of a threat to the Kurds than the gentle people from the SNA.

  12. 12 Stephen Owens

    Patrick the thing that you don’t seem to understand is that the Syrian civil war is over at least the bit where democratic forces defeat Assad is over.
    The rebels at the beginning were hard pressed AK47 v tanks but Saudi Arabia changed this by supplying the rebels with US made tow anti tank missiles and then Assad became hard pressed only to be saved by Putin who supplied him with tanks that have activated armor
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russias-t-90-tanks-can-smash-any-army-and-then-it-went-syria-89201
    Then we had cease fire after cease fire which were all defeats for the rebels until the rebels were pushed back into Iblid where Al Qaeda have eliminated the more democratically minded rebel groups
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/19/idlib-faces-a-fearsome-future-islamist-rule-or-mass-murder-syria-civil-war-hayat-tahrir-al-sham/
    Truth is that in Syria if you proclaim support for democratic revolution you will have you head removed from your body, that is anywhere in Syria except for Rojava which will soon cease to exist thanks to you new hero Erdogan. I know that reason will not separate you from your new hero I will just have to wait for reality to do that work

  13. 13 patrickm

    It is no surprise that you have got it as wrong as every other trot. You are saying nothing about Manbij because you know that this is exactly the long term problem that the Pkk leadership have played games with rather than withdraw from. Biden told them they would not get US help if they did not pull back but they never did! They just made war against the FSA and kept the peace with HIRISE. Turkey is the democratic country that has to carry the biggest load re Syria. It has been, with all those millions of refugees while all the trots around the world have yabbered on with their usual hands off crap or even worse as they actually back uncle Vladimir!
    The recruits that the Turks have been training are not the sort of people that trots care about. These people want democracy for themselves and that will require a government that is very like Erdogan is heading up. The Kurds are not just PKK and most live in Turkey where they are not fighting off a genocide. The PKK should make peace with the democratic Turks and not unite with the tyranny preserving HIRISE.

    Even after all these years you remain clueless in the face of the ongoing struggle for human progress in the ME. Very messy business this swamp draining. Consider every other example of revolution. They all resemble two steps forward one step back. There are still so-called leftists that like trump still think that liberating the Iraqi masses was a mistake. Hard to believe but right out in open public display we have such clueless makers of democratic revolution!

    Try supporting the making of revolution. Assad is not going to be on the side of voting. HIRISE are refugee makers just like the PKK has been up to. They are being reluctantly brought to a negotiating position after a pointless test of military strength. The leadership is at fault. The masses are paying for it.

    Millions of Syrians will return and liberate all of Syria. If you have no plan for all these people then you are not part of the way forward. The plan must include Syrian cities. Who is currently talking about liberating Syrian cities? If not why not?

  14. 14 Stephen Owens

    Patrick you say that they (I guess by they you mean the YPG)”They just made war against the FSA….” This is total BS. Back in 2012 the YPG and the FSA signed a truce after minor conflicts had occurred. Several units in the FSA joined with the YPG to form the SDF which is why the SDF is about 40% Arab in ethnic composition. Whats the word for when something is no true? whatever that word is, what you are saying is that.
    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/YPG%E2%80%93FSA_relations

  15. 15 Stephen Owens

    Manbij? Manbij? Whats your point about Manbij? Heres what happened in Manbij which I have pointed out to you before but you just ignore.
    “During the civil war, on 20 July 2012, Manbij fell to local rebel forces who thereafter administered the city. ln December, there was an election to appoint a local council.[27] In January 2014, forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took over the city after ousting the rebels. The city has since become a hub for trading in looted artifacts and archaeological digging equipment.[28] In June 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an offensive to capture Manbij,[29] and by June 8 had fully encircled the city.[30] On 12 August the SDF had established full control over Manbij after a two-month battle.[31]

    By 15 August, thousands of previously displaced citizens of Manbij were reported returning.[32] On 19 August 2016, the Manbij Military Council issued a written statement announcing it had taken over the security of Manbij city center and villages from the SDF, of which it is a component.[33]

    Today Manbij is self-administered by the Manbij City Council, co-chaired by Sheikh Farouk al-Mashi and Salih Haji Mohammed,[34] as part of Shahba region within the de facto autonomous Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava framework. While public administration including public schools has regained secular normalcy after the ISIL episode,[35][36] a reconciliation committee to overcome rifts created by the civil war was formed,[37] and international humanitarian aid has been delivered,[38] the democratic confederalist political program of Rojava is driving political and societal transformations in terms of direct democracy and gender equality.[39][40] Reconstruction after devastations of civil war combat[41] remains a major challenge.

  16. 16 Stephen Owens

    Kurds give Americans the traditional salute of potatoes plus please if you have information about Manbij please share how else will I learn?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAHRPXFyq14

  17. 17 Stephen Owens

    Is this what you are on about https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey-manbij/biden-says-syrian-kurdish-forces-must-pull-back-to-get-u-s-support-after-manbij-idUSKCN10Z1UW
    Well the Kurds stayed and the US kept supplying them so I guess it was just Biden BS while he was visiting Turkey anyhow civil war boundaries move if you want them corrected you sit down with affected parties and negotiate. But really is this what you mean when you say
    “Biden told them they would not get US help if they did not pull back but they never did! They just made war against the FSA…” Really they made war on the FSA? Just put some evidence forward that the SDF or YPG or PKK made war on FSA lets call this day one and see how many days it takes you to come up with some evidence DAY 1

  18. 18 patrickm

    I think people ought to focus on why democracy has just vanished in the same manner as Rojava did just a few days back. The reason is that it was never the reality. The truth has come out about what the the SDF was and that is it was the PKK as were all the other formulations.

    Now HIRISE cares not one jot for democracy and kills anyone who does when they can or when they think it is a good idea. But now Turkey has a larger footprint in Syria and this army protects democrats and can more than fight back if attacked. So why ought the SDF not negotiate with the anti Assad democrats? Why has there been no deal? Why have the PKK dealt with HIRISE but not shared power with the Syrians who are fighting HIRISE?

    The one clear truth for me is that ‘without a People’s army the people have nothing.’

    Erdogan is in command of an army that ought to be able to absorb the SDF so why has this not been the case? Why have Kurds pretended for years to be the SDF? Why have they sought territory rather than unity with other people who declare themselves to be democrats?

    The reason may be that they are playing a Kurdish nationalist game. This may very well not be the best way forward for democratic revolution.

    In Ireland the good Friday agreement was the way forward.

    Unity with HIRISE is not the way forward for any democrat or Syrian Kurd.

    If I wanted to set up a killing zone for HIRISE troops into a long drawn out struggle for democracy I would be inclined to draw them forward into territory where they can’t just bomb at will.

    I would rather play Turkeys hand rather than HIRISE. But it would be better still if the west would wake up and for a start tell the Kurds to pull their head in.

  19. 19 patrickm

    Very simply the PKK can’t make war on the Turks and not have war made back on them in return. PKK activity is what the SDF is all about. Democrats ought to have been able to come to a working unity with opponents of the terror regime but in all these years have not. That is worth thinking about, so naturally the usual suspects don’t bother to think through the issues and instead talk total rubbish about genocide! We must start by accepting that there is a war going on and it has been going on for 30 plus years and cost 40,000 plus lives. So then we ought consider if that war ought to have been resumed and who had an interest in the resumption. Erdogan had managed to get a ceasefire till the Syrian troubles brought the war back to life.

    When the enemy is HIRISE tyranny a deal ought to be able to be done with the Erdogan government, based on the PKK accepting an SDF style democracy formula that they lay claim to.

    The Erdogan government is a regime with decades of struggle behind it for democracy against all manner of enemies both near and far. The PKK has been able to work with the Assad regime!

    Democracy now! Ah yes the hands off everything and no blood for oil drongos. Watching such fuckwits will rot your brain.

  20. 20 Stephen Owens

    You said “They just made war against the FSA…” I asked you you back up this claim with evidence.You did not answer the question.
    FYI heres a list of FSA members who are in alliance with the YPG
    “FSA groups allied with the YPG
    Army of Revolutionaries[80][47]
    Jabhat al-Akrad
    Northern Sun Battalion[81]
    Northern Democratic Brigade[81]
    Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa,[82] including its sub-groups[81]
    Raqqa Hawks Brigade[81]
    Liberation Brigade[81]
    Syrian Elite Forces[81]
    Free Raqqa Brigade[81]
    Euphrates Liberation Brigade[81]
    Manbij Turkmen Battalion[81]
    Manbij Revolutionaries Battalion[81]
    Euphrates Jarabulus Battalions, including its sub-groups[81]
    Jarabulus Company[81] (defunct)
    Revolutionaries of Tal Abyad Front[81]”
    So just back to the question you state “They(YPG) just made war against the FSA…..”
    You just have to give an example of your claim, is that too hard? What stops you from providing a simple example to back up your claim surely you have evidence, your claim cant just be made up out of thin air can it?

  21. 21 Stephen Owens

    Now into Day 2 “They just made war against the FSA…” Really they made war on the FSA? Just put some evidence forward that the SDF or YPG or PKK made war on FSA lets call this day one and see how many days it takes you to come up with some evidence DAY 1”

  22. 22 patrickm

    Why not list the group that you left unlisted? That is just stupid. BTW the 2 lists are only some of the groups

  23. 23 Stephen Owens

    “They just made war against the FSA…” Really they made war on the FSA? Just put some evidence forward that the SDF or YPG or PKK made war on FSA lets call this day one and see how many days it takes you to come up with some evidence

  24. 24 patrickm

    Why did you leave out the 2nd list?

  25. 25 patrickm

    where is the List that you deliberately left off? As is said it takes 2 to tango, and even a dolt knows that’s the same with war. you know what they say about getting stuck in a hole. Stop digging yourself in deeper. Now that you are linking up with Assad and the rest of team tyranny it will be interesting to see how the democracy bit works. But first the old list of who was at war!

  26. 26 patrickm

    GWB once said ‘with some people you are never quite sure if they are telling you the truth but with vlad you always know’. It is just as clear with the silence from Steve. I am still chuckling at just how funny Steve’s dishonesty was. But I won’t put the list up for him. Nor will I explain again the obvious 2 sided nature of war. Stunning.

    Now Steve will try to say that what he meant…
    But first you can post the list.

  27. 27 Stephen Owens

    You are just ducking the question I put up a list of FSA units that are in alliance with the YPG some of these joined the YPG to create the SDF thats why the SDF has a composition that is 40% ethnic Arab.
    Stop ducking the question and give some evidence to your statement
    “They just made war against the FSA…” or just admit that you overstated the case.
    Heres the list of FSA that are fighting the YPG
    FSA groups fighting the YPG
    Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army
    Sultan Murad Division
    Free Idlib Army
    Mountain Hawks Brigade
    Northern Division
    13th Division[64]
    23rd Division
    Levant Front
    Hamza Division
    Elite Army
    Army of Victory
    Ahrar al-Sharqiya

  28. 28 Stephen Owens

    Why the first list is much more useful than the second is that the first is a list of FSA groups in alliance with the YPG the second is a list of organisations that under Turkish assistance attacked the SDF in Afrin and now this latest incursion. The truth is that you cant find any evidence of the YPG making war on the FSA what can be found is minor skirmishes organised truces and the attacks launched by Turkey and FSA.
    So produce evidence that the YPG was making war on the FSA or admit error its as simple as that.

  29. 29 Stephen Owens

    Erdogan in his never ending quest to defeat Assad has just agreed to cooperate with Assad, a very cunning plan
    “Earlier the day, Putin held a meeting with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, after which, they announced that they had agreed on renewing the Adana Pact which establishes a cooperation between Turkey and Syria on border control, while combating all terrorist groups jointly and conducting joint patrols as well.”
    So your boy leading the “democratic revolution” has feet of clay and you my friend have no argument to push. It is over.

  30. 30 patrickm

    The thing about lists in what used to be Syria is that they are in true middle eastern style very fluid. For example all the groups named in the first list are but a pimple compared to what group was on that list a few days back. The much more powerful US! Now they have dropped off the list (sort of) and what groups have turned up instead that’s right we have the SAA and the Russians no less. The obvious point that the huge list of groups gathered up with all their banners and explained by the BBC are constantly in flux but the basic strategy of the bigger formations have remained clear.

    The PKK have a strategic stand and their tactics have served that stand. The PKK know that nobody fights a one sided war. War breaks out when the talking stops.

    You have to be stupid not to understand that the PKK under all it’s names has been following a military path that has wrested control of territory from FSA types (under their myriad names) until stopped from further progress and the situation reversed. They were told to stop and go back etc but only ever stepped backwards when the shooting resumed.

    This is the 4th Turkish led operation. Turkey has made it clear that the PKK war is never forgotten and that as a vast majority of Kurds live in Turkey the war is vital. The territory that the PKK has managed to gain is now being undone. First it was done then it is being undone. It did not just wrest territory from IS and even if it did with all that US help it was still told by Biden to get back over the river but instead it decided that it would fight rather than give up the project that it had started on named Rojava. That is the way you make war Steve. It has been going for decades and the Turks are not so stupid as to not know what the issues are.

    How will you cope with Assad’s troops being the wanted target for the FSA types? Time for a new list!

  31. 31 patrickm

    They just made war against the FSA…” Really they made war on the FSA? Just put some evidence forward that the SDF or YPG or PKK made war on FSA lets call this day one and see how many days it takes you to come up with some evidence DAY 1

    Here is a vid you could have chosen for yourself…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSQDSnpepF8&pbjreload=10

    Now apparently you don’t want to know they are fighting what you want to know is who struck the first blow as if the rights and wrongs of a battle let alone a 30yr war can be decided by such a dopy measure of who started it.

    So your boy leading the “democratic revolution” has [about 4million refugees to bring back to Syria and that will require some time and some cities and they won’t disappear nor will they be just bombed back again by the Russians…] feet of clay and you my friend have no argument to push. It is over.

    YOU JUST KNOW THAT IT IS NOT OVER AND THE FSA ARE LOOKING FOR A LONG TERM FIGHT WITH ASSAD!

    Turkey has a very big Army deployed now and they have some big political issues to patiently resolve. HIRISE had to be stood up to and the Turks could not do that and forget that it was still at war with the PKK now could it? Whatever happened to the ‘Democratic’ enclave run by the PKK? We won’t be hearing much from that direction till Assad has to pull back because he is stretched to thin again.

    Actually I hope the PKK comes to their senses and works out the alternative plan to Assad.

    Also you might guess the reason why there was a
    Second Battle of Ras al-Ayn (2019) as but one example of what the issues are.

    According to PYD leader Salih Muslim Muhammad, Arab rebel control of Ras al-Ayn would have two effects. First, it would isolate Kurdish pockets in Aleppo Province from the main area in Hasakah Province, giving the FSA and its affiliates more leverage over the PYD/YPG. Second, it would secure a vital supply line from Turkey that could potentially enable Arab rebels to seize control over greater parts of Syria’s east, including the city of Hasakah itself.[65] Rebel leader Nawaf Ragheb al-Bashir, a prominent Arab tribal figure from Hasakah Province who has engaged in disputes with Kurds in the past,[66] stated that his forces “will not allow the separatists to control [Hasakah] province because it is the richest part of Syria in terms of oil and agriculture”.

    Back in 2012 it went like…
    ‘Syria’s civil war, which activists say has killed more than 39,000 people, began as an anti-regime uprising in March last year but morphed into a conflict pitting mainly Sunni rebels against Assad’s regime dominated by his minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

    But earlier this month Kurdish residents backed by PYD militiamen began taking control of towns near the border with Turkey as pro-government forces pulled out without a fight, sparking tension and clashes with established rebel groups in the region.

    North and northeast Syria are home to most of the country’s two million-strong Kurdish minority, who have mostly stayed out of the civil war leading to angry allegations by the opposition that they are cutting deals with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

    Kurds question why the rebels entered a safe area, which they say is home to thousands of refugees who fled embattled areas of the country.’

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/58675/World/Region/Dozens-die-as-Kurds,-rebels-clash-in-northern-Syri.aspx

    Now there is clear unity with Assad and the PKK but the Turks have turned up in strength so push is still dealing with a shove.

  32. 32 Stephen Owens

    Patrick yes it does appear to be the YPG parading dead bodies. The caption says its “YPG parade corpses of FSA fighters through Afrin, N. Aleppo” and you just believe whatever it says. Have you heard the word gullible. If these are FSA troops what battle is it from? Why would you believe that they are battle casualties? Why do you believe its Afrin? Who put this propaganda piece together? No it suits your purpose so you accept it without question.

  33. 33 Stephen Owens

    You put forward the battle of Ras al Ain really your supporting al Qaeda in Syria this is where your rotten politics has lead you to be an apologist for al Nusra aka al Qaeda in Syria

  34. 34 patrickm

    The flags are hard to ignore.

    As for where it was I guess that would be a bit harder to work out. But it’s pretty clear to me that those flags, one on the truck and one on a following car, are real. I think it clear they have gained territory that pissed off the FSA. That’s always a big issue in war.
    Anyway I think this issue has been dealt with to your satisfaction.
    The issue now is what is the way to fight the refugee makers? Erdogan has inserted a very big army and that protects the Syrian masses where that army is. The masses are anti Assad!

  35. 35 Stephen Owens

    The masses are anti Assad! Well duh. The very reason dictators rule with the gun and the secret police is because the masses would string them up if they got the opportunity. Why you would think that Erdogan is on the side of the Syrian masses is beyond me. When faces with a choice of attacking Al Nusra, Assad or the SDF he chose the only group with any claim to popular legitimacy. And the people making up his democratic crusade well word is getting out about them.
    https://us.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/10/23/syria-violence-npw-pkg-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/top-news-videos/

  36. 36 patrickm

    3.6 plus million ran to Turkey and live there. The pkk did not ask the masses to return and work with the Turks to protect them from the HIRISE hospital bombers!
    So did you notice the flags? Do you think I ought to start with a strong bias towards the notion that the vid is true? What sort of casualties do you think they might be?
    I have not looked at your next clip. This method is now not much use for us to work our way forward. The reason is that I have already expressed the 2 sides of my problem. So repeating that is not required. What is required is rejecting the Assad/HIRISE notion that they have always pushed and that you are now pushing and that is that all of the rebels are Islamic terrorists. Terrorists will hide on both sides, so what are the big policy settings that are required to expose who is who? The 1/2 theorists thought Putin was there to help end the war, they were wrong. I think Erdogan is there for the demonstrable purpose of continuing his policies that have been on full and COMPARABLE display against HIRISE policies. Pkk policies have not been directed at solving the issues that concern the many millions of refugees. This issue is the key in my view. The masses make war and without an army the people have nothing. Erdogan is giving the opportunity to the Syrian masses to make war. They must make war. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast is what is unfolding right in front of your nose. Pkk policies are being undone and they have to be if democracy is ever going to be the issue. The Syrian masses are not interested in 30% of Syria being gobbled up by the opportunistic PKK.
    I quoted the Kurd leader above about why they were fighting the FSA so you just ignor the Kurd leader and say they were fighting Nusra/al Qaeda. No. You have to read and think. You are not trying to work out anything what you are doing is drowning in a flood of Syrian refugees.

  37. 37 patrickm

    Have a look at the animation in this time line and then you can explain to me how the green was first and then along comes the yellow. Now why do you suppose FSA green bits got turned yellow?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Syrian_Civil_War
    And there is this type of town to consider.
    https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Formation_of_Conquest_Brigade_in_Tell_Rifaat.png#mw-jump-to-license Think about the dates and reflect on what the PKK were up to.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tell_Rifaat
    But you can also reflect on how the new maps are shaping up.

    What makes you say all this idiocy (genocide no less) and then go all silent? I’m starting to think that your about to hand in your cruise-missile membership and try to scramble back up on the shaky old fence. I have to tell you it won’t work. The refugees are still going to require that Turkish protection.

    Why not try to work out what is really going on? At least we seem to agree that Assad / HIRISE is the root cause of this war and that they left the PKK territories alone and co-operated with them quite often. Now they are rushing in and being cursed by the locals yet invited by the PKK. ALL these years and the clear enemy status of the regime and yet no deal was ever possible with the Turks and the FSA! That is strange given that people are not worried about the millions of refugees that the Turks have been looking after. Looks to me that the PKK has overplayed it’s hand and the FSA is recovering it’s strength.

    Now the curious thing is that all genuine progressives actually want the oil fields kept from the HIRISE, Some blood for oil it would seem!

  38. 38 Stephen Owens

    Patrick it is clear from the timeline that you have presented that the map goes green which represents gains by the FSA then it goes dark representing the victories of IS over the FSA then it turns yellow as the SDF has victories over the IS. It would be good for you to recognise that Turkey and IS were in an informal alliance. IS which was mainly made up of non Syrians was able to put together an army with equipment substantial enough take over about half of Syria and a third of Iraq. All these fighters came from somewhere and most traveled through Turkey as did their weaponry and to boot they were able to access medical care in Turkey. When IS was running through northern Syria the Turkish army sat on their hands within eyesight of the most despicable terror organisation known. I say genocide because the Kurds say genocide forgive me if I deffer to people who know much more about the danger they face than I do. Why do you say I have gone silent my last post was earlier today, thats hardly silent. I think that your position is filled with wish fulfillment to the point that it has detached itself from reality.
    Your position is that the FSA will march through Syria with the backing of Erdogan. Just find someone anyone who knows about Syria who agrees with you. If you cant then ask yourself the question how would one person who has never been to the ME and who has never formally studied ME politics or history and who doesnt speak any ME language see stuff from his lounge room in Adelaide (or where ever) and no one else in the world has picked up on these self evident truths.

  39. 39 patrickm

    No that won’t work look again I am not colour blind. Before IS the PKK replaced the FSA look in the north west for a start. Stands out like proverbial dogs balls.

    So on that note I will say you have been exposed as not knowing that the group that could not make peace was actually and quite obviously making war.

    What you are silent about is not accepting the simple corrections that I have dragged you through above. How can you be so stupid as to not know where the Majority of Kurds live. Answer: you can’t be. Genocide is not an issue and you know it. The enemy troops get shot at till they are stopped from making their war and you can’t complain about that. The Turks are not and never were involved with IS and that is the whole crap that is spread by people who deliberately try to pretend that islamists are all islamofascists. It is pure junk but it is very silly to complain that people you are making war on are sitting on their hands when their 2 enemies are busy killing each other.

  40. 40 patrickm

    The Turks were in such an informal arrangement with IS that they could help the US anti IS alliance out with a huge airbase to fly out from every single day to kill them! Mind blowing how stupid your position is!

  41. 41 Stephen Owens

    The civil war commenced in 2011 Turkey did not give permission for the US to use the Inicrlik or Diyarbakir air bases for operations in Syria until July 2015
    “In April 2018 an article was published by Foreign Policy in which it was stated that In 2013 alone, some 30,000 militants traversed Turkish soil, establishing the so-called jihadi highway, as the country became a conduit for fighters seeking to join the Islamic State. Furthermore, it was claimed that wounded Islamic State militants were treated for free at hospitals across southeastern Turkey. Among those receiving care was one of the top deputies of Islamic State chieftain Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Ahmet el-H, who was treated in a private hospital in Sanliurfa in August 2014.[53]”
    Now how do 30,000 fighters transit through Turkey without some sort of governmental co operation.

  42. 42 patrickm

    I will be gracious and explain your error.
    Map 1 is all Assad
    M2 a tiny bit of FSA and that is most notable in the north west but little bits all up the west.
    M3 some more green FSA spreads and it’s now 2012
    M4 8 12 (that’s August 2012) the first tiny bit of yellow is added Darbasiyah.
    M5 1 13 Afrin goes from green to yellow!
    M6 6 13 struggle between green and yellow
    M7 9 13 BLACK turns up
    Then there are 3 maps for 2014,15,16,17; 2 for 18 and 1 for 19 = 22 iterations. So as you will now know what was ‘clear’ for you is totally wrong! So it is your job to concede this now proven point and we can move on and I will tell you something more.
    As for why I am so good at this well modesty forbids but clearly that is often the case that people who work for decades at the task of trying to understand big picture issues are going to have at least a chance of getting at the truth. But it is always a sign of desperation when you shoot the messenger and that is what you are doing with such a pathetic bleat. As to why you must accept the PKK leaderships line that ‘The Kurds’ are facing genocide… Obviously ‘they, are not and it is now up to you to admit this.

    It is also just as obvious that if you want to be taken seriously you would accept that there is a coherent position that puts islamists at the core of any democratic revolution in the ME. The masses could usually only come out after Friday prayers.

  43. 43 Stephen Owens

    Thanks but I think your map is wrong. Map 5 as you say goes from green to yellow indicating that the YPG took Afrin from the FSA but if you search the web for Afrin you get
    “In the course of the Syrian Civil War, Damascus government forces pulled back from the canton in spring 2012 to give way to autonomous self-administration within the Rojava framework, which was formally declared on 29 January 2014, and the territory of Afrin Canton has virtually never seen civil war combat.”

  44. 44 Stephen Owens

    So it is your job to concede this now proven point and we can move on

  45. 45 Stephen Owens

    Looks like you video of YPG parading dead bodies through Afrin was real but they were not FSA dead but Ahrar ash-Sham dead.
    I think that it happened because senior Kurdish leaders condemned it
    Kurdish leader and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Aldar Xelil said: “The show of bodies of the enemies in such a way in front of the civilians in the streets, as what happened in Efrin today, is disgusting and contrary to our values of humanity.”

    “We are not those who terrorize their enemies in such a shameful way. These ways are closer to the traditions of Daash [ISIS], the al-Baath-regime, or a military dictatorship. We feel very ashamed of it,” Xelil said.

    Also senior officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) condemned the incident.

    “What happened in Efrin cannot represent our principles and morals and we cannot slip into such a behavior, we have grown up with values,” Sharvan Darwish, a spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement, emphasizing that the SDF is following ethics of international laws and values of humanity.

    Syrian Kurdish activists and journalists were shocked and condemned the event.

    Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish activist Nidal Hassan said: “At 14.00pm in the afternoon, Efrin saw the arrival of a truck with the bodies of opposition fighters that attacked SDF forces the last two days. The dead bodies were displayed in the streets of the city in a humiliating way to humanity.”

    “I think this is a big mistake, and what happened is not a reflection of Efrin and the culture of Kurds,” he added.

  46. 46 Stephen Owens

    “No that won’t work look again I am not colour blind. Before IS the PKK replaced the FSA look in the north west for a start. Stands out like proverbial dogs balls.

    So on that note I will say you have been exposed as not knowing that the group that could not make peace was actually and quite obviously making war.

    What you are silent about is not accepting the simple corrections that I have dragged you through above. How can you be so stupid as to not know where the Majority of Kurds live.”
    Insert apology here ……………………………………..

  47. 47 patrickm

    Steve’s last series of posts are merely confusing. Not to see what ‘Stands out like proverbial dogs balls’ is but one example. When the work was fully done for him he quickly changed the subject and informed me that he was right about something else! So, presumably Steve now wants me to do more work for him and then he can again move the goalposts in the endless effort to expose the bad communist with my rotten politics. But I won’t do that task.

    Quite simply Steve you are so bad at this stuff because you work just as hard at NOT understanding, and then spend even more time obfuscating as this thread once again shows.

    So patiently explaining your errors brings no reward, and that is not a new discovery for me. So why do I tolerate this? Because quite frankly most of the foolish views blurted out are right there on the MSM/BBC/ABC. But even the know nothings from ‘climate crisis land’ will overwhelmingly baulk at presenting the current Turkish government as embarking on genocide against the Kurdish people. Yet not Steve. Turkey fights it’s side of this ongoing war against the PKK. The PKK led Kurds came to control Syrian real estate as a result of PKK strategy and tactics. The PKK continue their war against Turkey from within their Syrian territory. Yet here is Steve who can’t bring himself to back away from a full blown idiocy of calling the Tukish response genocide when right or wrong this is a standard war waged against a separative movement hiding in plain sight across a border.

    A key point is that the MSM -and not just on its fringes- very often have prattled on that the Erdogan led government is – as was put by Steve- ‘It would be good for you to recognise that Turkey and IS were in an informal alliance.’ Now when it was pointed out by me that they had made airbases available for the US to go and destroy IS back comes the idiocy that they did not do so till…’The civil war commenced in 2011 Turkey did not give permission for the US to use the Incirlik or Diyarbakir air bases for operations in Syria until July 2015′

    Now remember this is just after a tiny bit of study had already revealed a timeline on when IS turned up to even present itself for the said orders from Obama to bomb it! Steve now thinks this timeline is not accurate enough for our purposes; well I think it probably is the best part of spot on and at any rate very fit for purpose. That purpose was and is to indicate that the PKK had indeed made war on what I have called the FSA.

    Steve might remember Obama, he was after all the renowned leader, (in reverse – or after the event) of the anti Iraq war rabble. Obama (and Trump) were both opposed to a war of obvious liberation! They have then been unable to do what people that range from McCain all the way through to me, said had to be done for Syria. BUT Obama was not failing to bomb IS in Syria in 2011 or 2012, because as Steve knows that was not even an option! Dithering has not been mentioned so far in this thread but did it happen? Well, let’s just say Obama was in no hurry even AFTER IS grabbed real estate in Syria.

    Steve could post a timeline of when the US started to bomb in Syria (the very first bombing was 23/09/2014 BTW) and then he could think about when the US required the Turkish airbases that were made available to the US led COW, to use right up till there were no more targets left to bomb! And I would like to note at this point that a few people like me were not that happy with the failure to put many western boots on the ground and upset over an overuse / reliance on air power… but I digress.

    None of this is the point of Steve’s Erdogan=Islamist=Islamofascist slur and that is what it is a slur.

    We are directed by Steve not to Obama or western failure but to Erdogan’s failure and similarity to IS!

    Yet if Erdogan was such a good mate of the Islamofascists why did he let them be utterly blown to bits as and when the US organized? Steve says ‘…Turkey and IS were in an informal alliance’. No he was NOT; but if Trump sold out the PKK then Erdogan absolutely sold out the Islamofascists some years ago!!

    Now rather than Steve’s and others’ incoherent informal alliance accusation, I think that Erdogan knows what is generating this terrible war that without any doubt is profoundly affecting Turkey. I think Erdogan knows what the solution to the war is as well. I also think he could not get the western leaders to grasp the issues and then do what had to be done! IMV the entire western liberal democracies leaderships have been utter rubbish. Wall to wall rubbish, led by the Obama-Trump book end disasters.

    Erdogan can’t get these western ‘leaders’ to even stop Israel from yet further damaging western interests right across the world either and harming the stupidly named ‘war on terror’ in the process!

    Western no blood for oil fuckwits have grasped virtually nothing from near on 20 years of swamp draining and that is the type who is currently running the western world. Naturally, Putin like Trump and Obama was opposed to any swamp draining project so we know what to expect from the world’s leading thug/tyrant.

    The issue of Islamists going to Syria is very confusing for western liberals and is never going to be seriously studied by people like Steve who can’t even notice YPG flags on trucks carrying bodies, and who can’t correctly read a simple animation.

    Even after so much war it may be that (and it’s MV) it’s only just starting; so naturally I think it is vital that it is studied. Indeed all sides study the war. My side has the goal to ensure that Islamofascists are defeated AND the political forces that the Syrian people support overcome the root cause of the war, Assad – now HIRISE- and so themselves come to power. So I support as policy the Turkish state controlling as much of the Syrian battlespace as is possible. This is because it is only they who are the johnny on the spot with the capacity and self-interest to do a job that has been required all along. The west was not running policies of benign neglect but criminal neglect. They couldn’t have cared less about how many Syrians were killed. I did and do and Turkey also has vital national interests at stake. So that is why I am backing ‘the locals’ in opposition to HIRISE and any NATO squawking.

    In 2011 when about 3,000 Syrians had been killed I placed on record my thinking about Turkey intervening at some point in the full context of its ongoing war with the PKK. That material stands unrefuted. (except for my HUGE error as the western leadership DID let Assad use the heavy weapons even after they had not permitted Gadafi to do that). Because it is so damaging to western interests (and in the rearview mirror that is so blindingly obvious) I thought Assad would have to be stopped. BUT he was not! Obama demonstrated year after year that I had not grasped the full depravity and vicious depth of liberal neglect! The assertion that Turkey would act because it was a PKK problem for it was however uncontested indeed unopposed at the time by Steve (even if not openly accepted as simply logically true by Steve). The opportunity to dispute my assertions were available in a fully ventilated thread. Now I say this is exactly the sort of behaviour that is fully expected from a person who is NOT trying to work through what the war would be about and who would only get dragged in later, when it did eventuate that the Erdogan government got unavoidably dragged in. Turkey can’t just be the dumping ground for the masses of Syrians that the HIRISE and their PKK allies force out.

    Now in 2019, PKK demands in relation to Syria can’t be even properly voiced let alone met outside of unity with the legitimate Syrian democratic forces. The SDF formula is thus fraudulent and the enclave that was controlled by the PKK is unstable because Syrians have been driven out and can only come back using the gun. Something had to give and it ought to have been the PKK leadership. But VERY unfortunately they did not back down and those they lead are now suffering the inevitable consequence.

    I say the current unity with HIRISE is eventually doomed to fail so those Kurds in Syria that still follow the PKK will continue to suffer till they find new leaders or these leaders change direction. As long as they persist with their failed policies that ARE against the will of the vast bulk of the Syrian masses they will not build the required broad unity and no good will come of their actions, no matter how many western sorts are taken in by first blush appearances as Steve has been. My sympathies don’t count either!

    The Rojava project vanished in days of Turkey finally ending the period of patience and taking the only other alternative available to it. The PKK could have dealt themselves in to a democracy project and or possibly with some smaller areas of autonomy but they have currently dealt themselves out.

    This is the 4th big intervention and all of them have resulted in a positive development for the ‘FSA’ and harm to the Islamofascists. The National Army must be protected and nurtured until it is strong enough to rid ALL of Syria of hospital bombing / refugee making HIRISE tyrants and their PKK collaborators.

    HIRISE dominated Syria is an unmitigated disaster and hands on is the only other alternative to rubblestan.

    This Syrian section of this region wide war can’t be left up to good Muslims to sort out as some kind of Spanish civil war style volunteers. State actors are required yet the west would not step up when required to do so! They allowed Putin to jump in! They could care less in the manner of Obama and Trump so currently Turkey is the only power able to do the required job.

    When the entire Islamic population of the world has been massively traumatised for decades and with a well known 4 million-plus number of refugees entering Turkey; actually many more because that’s how many have stayed while many others have gone on to places like Germany and France as Steve well knows; so what is 30,000? It is a reasonably smallish number when spread over a few years.

    ‘Now how do 30,000 fighters transit through Turkey without some sort of governmental cooperation.’ Well during this time perhaps 1/4 of the top generals of the Turkish army (150 odd) had to be arrested for trying to kill Erdogan and have yet another of their once regular coups. So many people are not clear who to trust in the Middle East generally but most people present as ‘good’ Muslims! Even nonbelievers very often try their best to appear as if they are very good Muslims. If you think it’s hard to tell who is who you would be correct. But we do know that when good western liberals do know some terrorists they have not been so quick to take them back to their own countries when they ought to have.

    When the Islamofascists did reveal themselves on the battlefield it was much easier to organize to kill or capture them at that point but prior to waving an IS flag they may well be just a good Spanish war style islamic volunteer going to fight in an Islamist war against the Assad tyranny. I could not blame those that were or are of that ilk anymore than I could blame the FSA that fled to the protection of Turkey with the intent of training, arming and returning to make war on the HIRISE and their PKK allies.

    I hope the PKK leadership quickly come to their senses and resume a peace process with the Turkish government as they will not get a better offer of full rights in a society that runs as a democracy albeit and quite naturally for the region in an Islamist dominated country. Throwing in their lot with HIRISE is a matter of reading the sign WRONG WAY GO BACK.

    This revolution came after Friday prayers because there was no other time it could come. Unless in a big group the secret police were quickly on to you and so people kept their head down till Friday prayer. Think about the myriad of armed groups spread across the whole country that was once Syria and is now some armed enclaves with different colors on a map. These enclaves ought not to be frozen for the next 50 years or whatever. What it all means as the small groups block together for self-interest is that Assad as policy attacked the FSA and consequently the more Islamist FSA types and allies such as what became known as Ahrar al-Sham eventually dominated. But I say the Turkish backed FSA now reformed as the Syrian National Army is the best hope going forward.

    This time Steve, pay close attention as I say again…
    “It is no surprise that you have got it as wrong as every other Trot.” This thread shows you wall to wall wrong because you forgot about real democracy bringing forth an Egyptian and Turkish style Islamist government for Syria as well. And at this point of the thread still thinking you have got something right! BUT “You are saying nothing about Manbij [and other similar places] because you know that this is exactly the long term problem that the PKK leadership have played games with rather than withdraw from.” To be clear they took territory from the green team coalition, FSA/SNA/Ahrar al-Sham, etc., etc. and that really is making war on the FSA even if the FSA hands were already full with fighting Assad.

    “Biden told them they would not get US help if they did not pull back but they never did!” and so consequently push would come to shove eventually as Turkish patience would have to run out as I said it would at the time that the PKK started it. Those actions are the start of what is happening now! Consequently; “They just made war against the FSA and kept the peace with HIRISE.” As the more or less accurate timeline map as above demonstrated. It proves how they did deals with Assad and my vid shows how they carted the bodies of those it was fighting right through the streets. (even if the leadership later correctly thought it a bad action)

    Similar very bad actions happened the other day with a small group on the green team and like Abu Ghraib back in the day, this new vicious war crime actually and obviously harmed the war effort, and I condemned it immediately. But that one crime that you are making full use of can not alter the war. Naturally, these people have to be dealt with as THEY HARM the war effort. ‘Patrick it is clear from the timeline that you have presented that the map goes green which represents gains by the FSA…’ Of course Steve knows that this is not really the case, but a shorthand expression for all the rebels that are not the PKK, that are shown as yellow territory, nor Assad /HIRISE types shown as pink, and not IS and their associates shown as black!

    THIS IS THE PKK yellow team MAKING WAR WITH THE FSA green team. If you want me to say the FSA and/or their allies all the time then you are stark raving mad and know nothing at all about the fucking dozens of groups that are fighting in Syria. It is not some form of random warfare but basic alliances that sometimes breakdown and so forth!

    Finally, “Turkey is the democratic country that has to carry the biggest load re Syria. It has been, with all those millions of refugees while all the Trots around the world have yabbered on with their usual hands off crap, or even worse as they actually back uncle Assad and Vladimir!” These dolts did the same stunt in EGYPT against the elected islamist government, and as we saw the Egyptian Assad in the making took over! I don’t know what will happen next but I did know that Turkey was always at war with the PKK during these years and so they could not forget about them.

    Steve hasn’t a clue about war, and never has had, so as shown above is off in LA LA LAND wondering if there is even a war happening between the green team and the yellow team when trucks waving flags go past with a bunch of bodies on board. Steve can’t work it out himself and has to be told by the PKK leadership who would rather hand over Manbij to hospital bombing HIRISE, than to the Turkey-backed green team! Naturally, Steve then makes an apologist bleat about how this must have been the best thing to do and isn’t it sad that Islamist Erdogan is so bad that this was the best thing to do. Just like the apologists did with the Islamists of Egypt!

    You ought to have your cruise-missile membership torn up and be thrown back up on that rickety old fence.

  48. 48 Stephen Owens

    Maybe Erdogan is completely innocent in regards to Turkish aid to ISIL but facts do remain. The 30,000 militants who crossed the border into Syria were not spread over several years but were the estimates for one year. Map number 5 is just an incorrect representation of what happened. It may stick out like dogs balls but it is still incorrect. Turkey did allow the use of its air bases for the US to bomb ISIL but this came a year after the bombing had started. ISIL funded itself substantially through the sale of oil. This oil was mainly transported via Turkey
    The definition of genocide is “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.” The Kurdish leadership in Iraq anticipate 250,000 Kurds will flee Syria as Turkeys incursion progresses. Its easy to deride peoples fear of genocide if your not one of 250,000 fleeing for your life.
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-everybody-is-leaving-syrias-kurds-flee-homeland-for-iraq-amid/

  49. 49 Stephen Owens

    In 2016 WikiLeaks published more than 57,000 emails from 2010 to 2016 reportedly obtained by the hacktivist group Redhack that linked ISIL with Turkey’s Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak, Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, by allegedly “proving his connection to ISIS operation smuggling oil into Turkey,”
    Estimates of the income ISIL derived from its oil operations vary. In 2014, Dubai-based energy analysts put the combined oil revenue from ISIL’s Iraqi-Syrian production as high as US$3 million per day.
    ISIL transferred oil in different ways out of its territory. Oil could be trucked to Turkey, refined there and be used in Turkey or transported to tankers at the ports of Ceyhan or Dortyol.

  50. 50 Stephen Owens

    I do object to the slur that I am against communist politics and I will tell you what Im against. Im against people who put an ice pick into someones head and then go it wasnt us. I object to communists being put on trial on trumped up charges or Communists being put on house arrest only to die of medical neglect or the idea that Lin Biao died because his plane ran out of fuel. Im against communists being given safe passage as was Imre Nagi only to be murdered. Im against Deng Pufang being thrown out of a multi story building because he is Dengs son. If its wrong for Steve Biko its wrong for Deng Pufang.
    Pretty well Im against murder and torture I just cant understand why you are in favor.
    And this doesnt mean Im against communism or against revolution it just means Im against stupid.

  51. 51 patrickm

    I will ignore your usual anti communist reminder.

    The big picture is that Turkish troops keep coming and that requires a comment. Is the deployment of the Turks and the SNA that they are enabling to exist on Syrian territory a good thing well overdrew or a bad thing requiring western progressives to condemn the move? Steve says bad I say good.

    I think that is what we are disagreeing about. We were united in our basic cruise missile stand of opposition to HIRISE and this issue is disrupting this unity. What to do to sort out the differences and resume the harmony.

    I long ago wrote about the withdrawal requirement issue and Steve never commented one way or the other. Yet nothing has changed except the situation became ripe after ISIS was bombed to bits.

    Turkey was politically constrained while that task was underway but could not be expected to neglect it’s war with the PKK even though it was placed in a holding pattern while the US and PKK dealt with ISIS. So now the issue has fully developed and fighting has replaced the diplomacy that was clear from political leaders like Biden and obscure commentators or even astute observers as I would prefer my humble effort to be thought.

    I think we agree that
    A) The PKK is not fooling anyone, that is who the other side is, so the Turks are correct to focus people back on this issue.
    B) Assad’s SAA cannot play a positive role and the SNA are going to fight them without the PKK or with the PKK.
    C) A timeline of any maps of the Syrian conflict demonstrates the changing fortunes of this war from the very beginning when Assad had total control and the FSA had not yet formed from deserters who refused to shoot demonstrators etc. Reflection on such maps is very useful. The changes have been both dramatic and often forgotten or never noticed. The PKK stayed clear of the FSA and often fought for territory from groupings other than ISIS but very less often fought with the SAA! Arthur’s very first comment on my initial big comment described the situation reasonably well.

    ‘Syrian Baathism is a good deal less virulent than Iraqi Baathism (think Mussolini cf Hitler).

    Regime is better described as Alawite than as Baathist. A major issue is that the Alawi minority (10%) was historically persecuted under non Alawi regimes and has good reason to expect persecution again once they lose power (especially as Salafis seem to be stronger in Syria than in other recent revolutions). They might even want to stage a fighting retreat to their own mountain areas and maintain autonomy.

    NATO (including Turkish) intervention might conceivably take a less apocalyptic form – preventing sectarian civil war and all minorities.

    So far I gather the main Kurdish parties have not clearly sided with the revolution (apparently because the main revolutionary forces have not clearly accepted Kurdish demands for autonomy).

    Also the Sunni merchants etc have not yet broken with the regime. Turkish and other NATO intervention might be quite decisive in speeding that break. If so, then once that part of the ruling elite breaks away, again a less major war might be required.

    An indication that the regime could suddenly crack is the sheer hysteria of Assad’s claims about a regional catastrophe. The (directly contradictory) claims about Israel can be dismissed as merely standard Arab dictator rhetoric, although particularly pointless when Israel is so obviously preferring “stability” in Syria rather than yet another islamist regime surrounding it. Only people like Dalec would even pretend to take Assad’s rhetoric on this seriously, so it does sounds like the language of a regime about to crack.

    Nevertheless I agree that the Syrian regime appears to have a stronger base than Gaddafi’s and it was surprising how long the fighting lasted in Libya despite the outcome having been obvious from the start. So there could well be a longer and tougher fight in Syria as patrickm suggests, despite the above counter indications.’

    Arthur put up this note on 1 November 2011. So we were writing at exactly the same time as the first of the timeline maps and were very interested in what was unfolding. The PKK did not claim to have control of any territory at that point. That is where maps can confuse people a bit because control in a civil war is never as crisp as any map. All the same over time control maps are established and maps begin to make themselves much more useful.

    I took particular note later of the fighting in Aleppo and constantly referred to a map as that fighting dragged on and on. That was when I really solidified my views over how the PKK were always just out for themselves and not uniting to bring down Assad.

    The PKK did not shift their stance during the 8 years since and they ‘gained’a lot of yellow territory, but it is unstable gains and the SNA with the powerful backing of the Turkish army will now take a lot of it from the PKK. Where Assad’s troops show up they will be attacked by the SNA and a few hundred Russians might find it difficult to do much about those attacks.

    What I can’t guess at is what Trump will do. His military people are telling him to go back in and they are going back in so that ought to distract the Russians a bit. But what of the large numbers of infantry required to occupy? What of the Iranians feeding in the backup troops to allow Assad to move his SAA forward? That is humiliating to the US regional strategy but under trump who can tell what that is. It is Obama without the dithering. The US are running around like they have a purpose but that is hardly more than let the locals sort this out we just keep everyone from the oil fields so no one can pay for anything. It has a certain ‘some blood for oil’ quality that ought to make the democracy now loons all nod at each other knowingly.

    Meanwhile a war has to be carried on by the Turkish army and what could possibly go wrong in this dogs breakfast…

  52. 52 Stephen Owens

    The Syrian civil war is over it is dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZw35VUBdzo
    There are 3 areas still in contention Iblid currently run by al-Nusra and soon to be overrun by the SAA
    The eastern desert oilfields currently run by the USA but soon to be reluctantly handed over to Assad
    And thirdly the Rojava area to which negotiations between Russia and Turkey will eventually hand the area over to Assad as Erdogan’s only wish is for no autonomous Kurdish area to be created as it was in northern Iraq.

  53. 53 patrickm

    If I were wanting to bring down the Assad tyranny I would rather start from this point than from the unarmed deserters who ran to the border to save their own lives 8 years ago.

    You say your not anti communist but this is very basic Mao protracted war. Even the Russians are now unable to just do what they like as they like as they used to do when they first turned up! You haven’t noticed that they can’t just bomb anywhere now. All you see is the glorious victories of the HIRISE cow.

    To me they don’t look as tough a nut to crack as they used to look. But then I forget that people who believed that the Iraqi People’s could overthrow SH think in a very strange way.

    I think the longer the people fight the stronger they become. I think that protected by a massive army is good. I think that years of fighting was producing a win till uncle vlad turned up and changed the maths. But I also know that Russians are not supermen. They have a week economy and low level war commitments all over the place and so anti Putin sentiment has grown and will continue to grow. At home and in the ME more surprises are in store for everyone!

    If the PKK leaders would pull their heads in a return to rapid progress would be possible but as always I’m not holding my breath that they might join the SNA/FSA.

  54. 54 patrickm

    So what does a claim that a genocide is underway followed days later by an assertion that ‘The Syrian civil war is over it is dead.’ actually reveal? It simply demonstrates that the person who is spinning from one pole to the other is not thinking clearly.

    Obviously there is an ongoing war in what used to be Syria (and probably will be again) but now is a series of -still at war but- unstable enclaves. There are for example millions of refugees that are often as not currently outside Syria, and millions more IDP’s and that is just one issue. There is the questions of finance and the trade required to make any modern enclave function. An Assad led tyranny is not all that is on the chopping block of this war. No swapping out of the leader will work now. We might rather be inclined to think that all of HIRISE is in for a shake-up just in passing. They are all going to pay some price for what they have been up to. Just as one small example the west negotiates with Putin if it even now bothers with a very different attitude than it used to. This thug is now shunned, and rightly so.

    The extremely lucky refugees have left the horror and drama all behind and now go shopping in western shopping malls; but the vast majority are stuck with their unresolved problems. So too the governments that are hosting these refugees and the armed groups that they generate.

    The chunk of Syria that is rubble-stan is pretty big and there are now all these foreign troops scattered about in the various enclaves. That could mean a long new cold war or it could just indicate slow developments in the big picture that underpins war-making. It’s just that an armed reality is not usually a good indicator that the war has been won when the weapons are not being stacked up and the training of fresh troops is ongoing.

    Indeed the current MSM in these last few days has been resplendent with very big demonstrations in Lebanon and in Iraq, right next door on either side of Syria while there is the simultaneous Turkish incursion from the north. It may be sound and fury indicating nothing, or that the issues are once again spreading through the region. After all, these issues and protracted war more generally has a well known tide like quality to it.

    The region is, after all, a cesspit of ruling class depravity from one end to the other. That depravity is quite obvious from the outside looking at any of these tyrannies. So currently they all look like real tigers and it is harder to see the paper tiger lurking underneath those fierce appearances. However, the masses make war.

    Now as it happens the masses of Turkey are now caught up in the Syrian conflict and broadly approve of their government sending many thousands of their troops over the border. Turks after this 4th incursion now constitute the biggest of the external deployments. Indeed the Russian supermen are now starting to look like a very thin trip wire force for those with the eyes to see it.

    Arthur used to laugh about such a piddling Russian effort and mistakenly thought that this HAD to mean that these forces were there for another purpose – to end the regime and bring on the change of government no less. Well, being wrong about the latter is not the same as being wrong about the strategic weakness on full display! That was there for all to see and it required a different conclusion. My conclusion was a huge disaster for the democratic revolution and a long term strategic blunder typical of Putin.

    Putin had inherited a collapsing empire and has lashed out on every occasion that presented. Consequently, he is today stretched thinner and his tinpot economy generates less for his own people as they wake up to him and suffer under his anti-democrat and brutal rule.

    There is IMV currently no negotiating way out for him and so he has tried to double up on his threatening stance but Erdogan has shrugged and gone ahead with larger and larger deployments.

    Clashes will eventuate between the SAA and the SNA.

    I think NATO will then have to back Turkey and the war will become even more complex than now.

    Over? Not by a long shot!

    At some point, just like the more powerful looking Russian thug leaders of slightly earlier times in my life – Putin’s corrupt regime will drag his overextended troops back from club med and his whole grand Napoleonic style middle eastern strategic play will be just the latest of the ‘imperialist’ wreckage that we have been witness to over the last hundred years. Policies of imperialism are genuinely an albatross around political players.

    If we just cast our minds back to 1968 the Prague Spring was crushed and the regional collapse was still a generation away. How time flies for Russian occupation troops. They weren’t just doomed in Czechoslovakia. I have watched the Russians withdraw from places all my adult life! They are not in Poland and they could drive there! They even lost most of the USSR itself. Putin’s thug troops are now a bunch of gangster troops that annoy almost all their neighbors who consequently shun them.

    Even the pathetic liberal west has now got the message and began to push back after people were being poisoned in English parks! Even Arthur and Barry won’t be waving any more peace in our time documents from Putin. Erdogan has a better time frame to work with. Western liberals are all wrong and have been shown up by Syria. Club med for Putin’s thug force is not a long term holiday destination at all!

    The Turks are not only the biggest army deployed they are the force with the most genuine national interests involved. They also have a valid political solution that they know will resolve the issues that cause the fighting in the first place.

    The events that are exploding all around us are not anything like those of a ‘dead’ or concluded war in appearance. We ought not have any expectation of a period of peaceful development for the victorious side of HIRISE. HIRISE actually now has the smallest army in the field. Syrians backed by this large Turkish army are not going to forget about what has to be done. Despite any western liberal skepticism democracy is the way out of this war and the quicker the PKK get on board for the negotiations leading to that power-sharing outcome the better.

    Once Syria was under the control of Assad and peaceful demonstrations started to express a well known 21st C desire for democratic and accountable government. This was part of what the MSM had begun to again refer to as the Arab Spring. The first time that expression was used was back in 2005! That earlier use of this expression ran out of steam just as the 2nd did. But the project still goes on, against all opposition from both Islamofascist and Kissinger style realists. Conservative Islamists will come to power! That is what is required and or the process starts all over again.

    But the good news is we short attention span westerners can also reflect on the fact that the original Prague Spring was crushed by the Tanks sent by the Russian revisionists! Whatever became of that Russian ‘Victory’? Who could imagine our current Napoleon would try for this comeback. The originals comeback didn’t work either I might add.

    Syria is now divided and the negotiations between the collections of well armed fighters is underway. I hope they talk a lot and now kill a little. But as this unfolds I am reminded of the military thinking that goes “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.

    People might also remember that not that far in the background lurks the annoyed US military and there is such a thing as western interests. NATO with Turkish leadership and the US at their back constitute more than just an annoyance for the HIRISE.

    Back the Turkish/NATO/US/West/etc V HIRISE! Obama ensured they didn’t get in as early as I wanted them but they are still being dragged in by events. They still fight this war like a sad collection of amateurs but even slow learners can eventually learn to spot a collection of knuckle-dragging anti-democrats as enemies.

Leave a Reply

*