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Faint Signs of Hope in Syria and Afghanistan

James O’Neill

In March 2003 Iraq was invaded by military forces led by the United States, and including other military forces from a range of US allies, including Australia.

The ostensible reason for the invasion was the Iraqi government’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Possession of such weapons is not of itself a legitimate basis for invasion. The Allies therefore had to embellish the claim. Saddam Hussein was going to attack the United Kingdom, with only 45 minutes warning! He was using these weapons against his own people (a claim later repeated to justify the attack on Syria). He posed a threat to peace and stability in the Middle East (irony bypass required here).

It was even hinted, none too subtly, that Saddam was one of the persons responsible for the events of 11 September 2001 (“9/11”). There was not a shred of evidence to support any of these allegations. Absence of evidence has never been a deterrent where imperial ambitions are concerned. The invasion of Iraq was about many things, but Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMDs was not one of them.

One element, but far from the only one, were the ambitions of Israel as set out in the 1982 article published in the magazine Kivunim (Hebrew for ‘Directions’) and authored by Oded Yinon “the Yinon Plan”. Among other things he was a former adviser to the war criminal Ariel Sharon. This plan sought to exploit structural and cultural flaws in the surrounding States. If those flaws could result in the breakup of those States into smaller States, then they could be more easily ‘managed.’

Thanks to Russia’s 2015 intervention in Syria, Israel no longer has the freedom to violate  Syrian air space and international law. Syria has both an effective air defence system and missiles capable of precision targeting of Israeli targets. This may prove to be one of the major game changers of 2019.

A second element was control of Iraq’s significant reserves of oil and gas. It was not by accident that then vice president Dick Cheney had plans drawn up for the division of Iraq’s oil riches between US oil companies well before the invasion.

A third element was to give the Americans a stronghold on Iran’s borders. The US never forgave the Iranians for having the temerity to stage their own revolution in 1979 and overthrow the puppet regime of the Pahlavi dynasty, itself installed in a 1953 coup that overthrew the relatively progressive Mossadegh Government. That coup, by the CIA and Britain’s MI6, was precipitated by Iran’s nationalization of the Anglo-Persian (now BP) oil company.

Today, nearly 40 years after the revolution, and nearly 16 years after the invasion of Iraq, the overthrow of the Iranian Government remains a prime objective of the Americans and the Israelis.

There were no WMDs in Iraq, as the United States and United Kingdom governments (and probably that of Australia) knew before the invasion. If WMDs had been a legitimate reason for invasion, their complete absence should have led to the withdrawal of the invading and occupying forces, profound apologies, and reparation paid to recompense the Iraqis for the enormous structural damage the invasion had caused.

None of this of course happened. Instead, Iraq’s civil society was devastated. By several authoritative assessments, more than 1 million people were killed and a further 4-6 million were made refugees, fleeing their homes and in many cases the country.

The tide of refugees, from Afghanistan to North Africa, currently a major political issue in Europe, is a direct consequence of the illegal wars of aggression waged by the United States and its allies, including “joined at the hip” ally Australia. There is a resolute refusal by the mainstream media to recognise the obvious relationship between having one’s country invaded and destroyed and the resulting outflow of refugees.

In 2011 General Wesley Clark disclosed the existence of a memo he had seen at the Pentagon in the aftermath of 9/11. The memo described how the United States was planning to “take out” seven countries in five years.

The starting point was Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing with Iran. Clark had seen the memorandum after the United States had commenced its bombing of Afghanistan (not included in the list).

The Afghanistan invasion, again with Australia as a willing party, was also commenced on the basis of multiple lies. The occupying troops, including Australia, are still there more than 17 years after the invasion.

As with Iraq, the real reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan had nothing to do with the events of 9/11. We now know that the decision to invade Afghanistan was made in July 2001 when the Taliban Government refused to give the contract for an oil pipeline from the Caspian Basin to American companies and instead awarded the contract to Argentine’s Bridas Corporation.

Again as with the later invasion of Iraq, there were multiple real reasons beyond the publicly claimed ostensible reason. Among those incentives to invade and occupy was Afghanistan’s prime location in proximity to the borders of China, the “stans” of the former USSR, and Iran. Another factor was Afghanistan’s possession of immensely valuable rare earths.

Further, and far from the least of the factors, was Afghanistan’s role as the world’s major source of heroin. The role of heroin and other major drugs as a key factor in financing clandestine operations on behalf of the United States is well documented.

As with Iraq, these significant geopolitical factors determining US foreign policy are rarely if ever considered worthy of examination by the western mainstream media.

If there are now some cautious grounds for hope in 2019, against this background of policies based on lies, illegal invasions of multiple countries, destruction of the infrastructure of those countries, the mass slaughter of civilians, and endless occupation for entirely self serving reasons, then those rays of hope may be seen in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

In November 2018, a Russian sponsored peace conference took place in Moscow, attended by Afghanistan government officials and Taliban representatives. Other countries represented at the conference were Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The United States was conspicuous by its absence. They are part of the problem and clearly not seen as part of the solution. It is significant that all of the representatives attending the conference came from countries that are part of or associated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Separate talks have taken place between the Taliban and Iranian officials in Tehran as recently as last month. Iran clearly sees instability in Afghanistan as detrimental to its own security, including but not limited to illegal drugs sourced in Afghanistan, and a major influx of refugees.

Even if the Taliban and Kabul ‘Government’ reach an agreement as to the future of the country, there is no guarantee that the Americans will either accept or abide by it. Korea is a classic illustration of how the Americans sabotage armistice talks, break the terms of any agreement reached, and prove almost impossible to dislodge (Pembroke, ‘Korea’ 2018).

This past Christmas, Australia’s interim Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, visited Australian troops in Iraq, but did not go to Afghanistan, as it was “too dangerous.” The irony of this reason, more than 17 years after the invasion and when Australia is allegedly performing a training role for Afghanistan government forces, was entirely lost upon the Australian mainstream media.

There are similarly some faint hopes that things are improving in Iraq. The actions of Donald Trump, probably unintentionally, are expediting those trends in Iraq. Trump’s announced intention of withdrawing US troops from Syria has already been qualified within days of the original announcement. It is difficult to identify a single country where American troops, once ensconced, voluntarily leave.

Those troops that have been withdrawn simply crossed the border into Iraq, where they established two new bases (on top of the 12 or so already there). The location of those new bases, situated where they can obstruct the land route from Iran to the Mediterranean via Iraq and Syria, is a better clue as to American intentions than the rhetoric surrounding the withdrawal announcement.

There is no evidence that the consent of the Iraqi Government to these new moves was either sought or given. Trump also made a visit to US troops in Iraq at Christmas time without bothering to advise the Iraqis.

This provoked a rare and angry response across the Iraqi political spectrum. Members of parliament from both sides denounced Trump’s visit as “arrogant” and “a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.” Both sides of Parliament also called for a vote to expel US troops.

Even if such a vote was passed, implementing it would prove difficult for all the reasons outlined above, even though there were on this occasion threats of using “all means” to enforce their departure; presumably a reference to military action.

The US has indicated it is in no hurry to leave, again displaying an indifference to the wishes of a sovereign government, let alone considerations of international law. The so-called “Green Zone” in Baghdad houses 10,000 personnel attached to the US embassy alone. There are also at least 10,000 declared US troops, contractors and Special Forces (plus contingents from tame allies such as Australia.

Powerful voices in the United States condemned Trump’s Syria initiative, and will undoubtedly try to sabotage it. Those same voices are unlikely to countenance any effort to remove American troops from Iraq. The continued retention of Bolton and Pompeo, both of whom are rabidly anti-Iran, on Trump’s National Security team will ensure that any attempts to remove American troops from Iraq (with its prime position on the Iranian border) will be bitterly resisted.

All of which gives an especially hollow ring to the endless propaganda about democracy, the rules based international order, and the sovereign rights of nations. One of the central questions for 2019 will be whether these tentative moves by Afghanistan and Iraq to re-establish their sovereignty can defeat the obvious American intentions for the status quo to be defended.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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vexarb

“My jacket old, of narrow seam,
I brush it when the day is done;
And straight of Asia I dream
Old Asia of the sun! ”

— Herman Melville, poet, novelist, sailor and retired New York customs inspector.

Davo Verde
Davo Verde

James – thankyou for your well grounded perspective. You did state

“A second element was control of Iraq’s significant reserves of oil and gas. It was not by accident that then vice president Dick Cheney had plans drawn up for the division of Iraq’s oil riches between US oil companies well before the invasion.”

Just to be clear, these plans were clearly drawn up well before September 11, 2001, ‘Terrorist’ attacks. Surprise Surprise! The proof of that is in the papers released to Judicial Watch (judicialwatch.org – just search for ‘Iraqi Oil Field maps’ and note the date on the table entitled ‘Foreign SUitors for Iraqi Oil Field Contracts’ whcih lists the western corporations in negotiations with the Whitehouse to divide up Iraqs oil, dated 6 months before Sept 11. Alternatively, consult the appendices in Michael Rupperts book ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ for details).

vexarb

Les Gilets Jaunes are back on the streets after the Festive Season, to remind Rothschild’s little Macron that one of their demands is, no French neo-Colonial adventures. From Whozhear BTL SyrPer #283658:

The Assad curse strikes again?……..

It is becoming clearer that the yellow vests protests are spreading ………

https://twitter.com/CgtTuifrance/status/1081573987849777152

https://twitter.com/Bellingdawg/status/1081614350316695553

https://twitter.com/LPLdirect/status/1081590069985722369

Between the Chads using their fists to beat up the regime’s thugs……..

https://twitter.com/thuchelinho/status/1081640787841040384

and active duty police and military now joining the protest marches……..

https://twitter.com/Risitov/status/1081736490751803393

and the regime’s thugs clearly having battle field training

https://twitter.com/Bellingdawg/status/1081592302701895682

the days of the Macaroni regime are numbered.

vexarb

An able indictment of war crimes committed by “the West” (including Australia) over the past 30-40 years; but I prefer O’Neill’s optimistic peek into the future, as we in “the West” end our our bloodstained first twenty years of the 21st century:

“… those rays of hope may be seen in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. [and Iran]

In November 2018, a Russian sponsored peace conference took place in Moscow, attended by Afghanistan government officials and Taliban representatives. Other countries represented at the conference were Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The United States was conspicuous by its absence.”

As was The Land of Oz. And the Mother Country. And the rest of the EU. Why are we in “the West” not attending this Eurasian Peace Conference?

harry stotle
harry stotle

“Why are we in “the West” not attending this Eurasian Peace Conference?” – the short answer is because war and social unrest are powerful engines for the Empires economy.

For example, Trump has signed off a defence budget worth staggering $716 billion this year.
In fact the system is so corrupt Rumsfeld couldn’t account for the Pentagons $2.3 trillion that went missing just before 9/11.

The MSM of course worry far about Tommy Robinson than they do about the long running neocon campaign to murder their way across several continents in pursuit of greater wealth.

Savorywill
Savorywill

If that sum of $716 billion for the defense budget is accurate, why doesn’t Trump just skim off $5 billion from the top of that huge sum to pay for his wall/fence on the southern border? After all, he does claim illegal immigration is a national security threat, so he could justify using that money for ‘defense’.

Nothing the US government does makes much sense, actually. I think just sitting around having meetings and doing nothing constructive actually rots the brain of those career politicians. Common sense is extremely uncommon in that strange world. Just check out this exchange with one representative and a general a few years back, during the Obama administration:

vexarb

Faint Signs of Hope in Westminster:

UK Renovating Embassy in Damascus, Reopening Likely –
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13971013000691

kevin morris
kevin morris

Your broad brush account of the US and the Iranian revolution neglects to mention the Iran Hostage Crisis. In an account that purprots to give an explanation of US neocon machinations in Syria, Iraq and Iran, this omission is a glaring one.

It may well be true that the US and the UK too were appalled at the Iranian Revolution, but the Iranian revolutionary authorities did themselves no favours when they held US embassy staff hostage in Tehran for 444 days. The US president at the time was Jimmy Carter, a figure sometimes hailed as a good guy by off Grauniad readers. The standoff saw his downfall and the installation of Ronald Reagan and we all know how that ended, not only in South America bit in much of the world and in the US too.

Public opinion in the US and elsewhere went against Iran and justifi\ed the Iraq Iran war, in which Saddam Hussein was seen as the hero. Memories are long and there is no doubt in my mind that recollections of the Iran Hostage Crisis still justifies support for the protracted US threat of invasion of Iran.

I have no love for the US nor for their proxies in the middle east, and I deplore the threats of military action that Iran still faces, but much in history is an account of cockups rather than grand strategic visions and it does nobody any good omitting major events that don’t fit in with your thesis.

vexarb

Yes, Kevin, in those days I too despised Jimmy Carter for not bombing Teheran. And I approved of the U$ arming Allah-fearing Islamists in order to drive Godless Communists out of Afghanistan.

One advantage of growing old is to realise what an idiot one used to be.

kevin morris
kevin morris

We may gain in wisdom with age but I’m not entirely convinced that wisdom is the special preserve of any particular age, social group or political viewpoint. I know that circumstances can make murderers of us all if the conditions are right, especially those of us who are willing to place an agenda before an acknowledgement of human frailty. It’s true that I too disliked the Iranian revolution, but being frank, there was a good deal to dislike. Frankly, I never had much stomach for the mass hangings that were prevalent in the early days of the Iranian revolution.

I have always had a soft spot for Russia though and before it, the USSR. Although in Britain we didn’t get much information about Afghanistan, I started reading the International Herald Tribune and remember accounts pre invasion of Russian agricultural advisers being captured by the Mujahideen and skinned alive. It was much later that I became aware of the CIA’s destabilisation of a Russian supported government that had been moderate and progressive. Back in those days women came out of purdah and Kabul even had its own trolleybus route. US actions in Afghanistan are unforgivable and my support was always, quite inexplicably, for the ‘godless Communists’.

vexarb

@Kevin: “I was always for the Godless Communists”.

Then you were not such an idiot as I was. Nevertheless, that story of Afghan women coming out with their knives to skin Anglo boys alive derives from Kipling. He was an “embedded journalist” long before IHTribune joined “The GreatGame”..

Jen
Jen

The US embassy staff and their families were held hostage by university students from a number of universities in Tehran who belonged to a radical student group called the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Student_Followers_of_the_Imam%27s_Line

While Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini supported the group and its actions (personally or just publicly, I do not know), to say that the students had the support of the revolutionary authorities at the time is far-fetched without actual evidence that the government and the students were in contact and/or in agreement over the students’ actions throughout the hostage crisis.

Starac
Starac

PM, let’s sum up what you are saying:
When bully bashes his innocent pray, it is prays’ fault.
Victim should respond as bully would like him to respond.
If it does not, that is proof that the bully is righteous and should keep bashing.

BigB
BigB

Kevin

“… much in history is an account of cockups rather than grand strategic visions and it does nobody any good omitting major events that don’t fit in with your thesis.”

There is a more significant backstory to the Iran Hostage Crisis. The hostages were kept overlong, entirely at the behest of the Reagan Regime. Reagan made a backchannel deal with the Ayatollahs to keep the hostages: to prevent Carter being re-elected on the national euphoria of having them released. The Iranians wanted an early release, but the deal had already been struck. This has been confirmed by, inter alia, the incoming Iranian President, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr. This has become known as the Reagan/Carter ‘October Surprise’: the ‘Surprise’ being dirty dealings and treasonous backroom deals, in the run-up to the November Presidential elections. (Significant others include Kissinger’s spurious Nobel Prize for extending, that’s extending, the Vietnam War by another four years (See: “The Trial of Henry Kissinger”)).

https://consortiumnews.com/2013/03/07/october-surprise-and-argo/

It doesn’t end there. With the release came the authorisation of the transfer of SAM missiles from Israel to Iran: in contravention of the arms embargo.. This was the start of Iran-Contra: which involved illegal arms trading on two continents; shed loads of black cash; the arming of the Nicaraguan Contra terrorists; and the influx of Colombian cocaine into Mena, Arkansas (straight into the nose of a young William Jefferson Clinton) …none of which had any oversight, Congressional or not.

https://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/08/world/iran-pipeline-hidden-chapter-special-report-us-said-have-allowed-israel-sell.html

So Reagan dealt with the Ayatollahs for the extended “arms for hostages” crises (81-85); Israel supplied American-made arms to Iran – to fight the Iran/Iraq war (to Israel’s advantage); America resupplied Israel with the arms; later, a certain Colonel Oliver North (plus Ted Shackley and his ‘Secret Team’) diverted said black cash to fund the Contra’s – illegally supplying them with arms (some of which came from the arsenal of the Arkansas National Guard); then re-importing the Medellin Cartel’s cocaine from Colombia into Mena et al. This was thoroughly exposed by Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” trilogy.

I’m not done yet. At the subsequent inquiries: the Continuity Of Government planning briefly raised it’s head …along with Rex ’84 and the provision to suspend the Constitution and declare martial law (finally enacted 14th September, 2001 – 3 days after 9/11).

Talking of “grand strategic visions”: looks like somebody had one. Only, it wasn’t the half-senile cowboy. More likely the dearly departed Bush the Greater Evil. I can’t prove my assertion, but there are a hell of a lot of “cockups” otherwise. I don’t like that many cockups, it starts to look as though someone planned it that way, don’t you think? 😉

kevin morris
kevin morris

I’m aware that the republicans were able to extend the hostage affair to get Reagan elected- I’d argue that we all paid the price for that. The author seemed to put much of US activity down to grand strategic vision. I think it is a classic misunderstanding that critics of US imperialism make, I’d substitute opportunism for strategic vision every time. I have no doubt that revulsion at what the Iranian revolution was doing in its early days kstill colours the attitude the US has towards Iran. As for Bush senior, I’m not sure that even he really had any great strategic oversight. I suspect it was more a case of a nonentity being around at important point in history.

vexarb

@BigB: “… came the authorisation [by Uncle $cam] of the transfer of $AM missiles from Israel to Iran: in contravention of the arms embargo [Uncle $cam’s own arms embargo!]”

Result: Iran reverse engineering the U$ missiles and Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon thwarted by a Hezb’Allah armed with Iranian missiles.

Macchiavelli or Cockup? One of History’s Wiley Coyote moments.

mohandeer

“Even if the Taliban and Kabul ‘Government’ reach an agreement as to the future of the country, there is no guarantee that the Americans will either accept or abide by it. Korea is a classic illustration of how the Americans sabotage armistice talks, break the terms of any agreement reached, and prove almost impossible to dislodge (Pembroke, ‘Korea’ 2018).”
I think it was Nixon who went behind the American people’s backs to do a deal with the Vietnamese so he could better his chances of being re-elected. It was the Americans who refused to attend peace talks with the N. Koreans 2017. It was the Americans who circumvented their agreement with N. Korea by bombing Cambodia near the Ho Chi Minh trail after promising they would pull out. There has not been a POTUS who has not reneged on agreements or peace deals and who has not misled the American people about the back room shannigans and clandestine war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The only way the US could win in Korea was to slaughter as many S. Koreans as they could in order to be able to offer them peace if they did it’s fighting against the N. Koreans for it.
The US has never had any regard for the loss of civilian life their aggression leads to, never seen fit to abide by International Law, never observed Sovereignty (because theirs is the only one that matters) and never paid reparation for the destruction they cause.
The US cannot be stopped, like an outbreak of Ebola, it is a festering, spreading plague on humanity. A retun of Klaatu and Gort is needed to sort it out.

Loverat
Loverat

‘The US cannot be stopped, like an outbreak of Ebola, it is a festering, spreading plague on humanity’

Indeed – but the Nazis were unstoppable but were stopped. I would guess the US has probably committed more evil in 50 years than the Nazis did in the previous century. So we are due some karma or whatever you want to call it.

Although I didn’t have the same understanding in 1999/2000 I do recall the US had a few setbacks in Kosovo and for a time it looked as if Serbia would be the one to make a stand against imperialism. Serbia was not entirely blameless however and Russia was in chaos..

Syria has decisively defeated imperialism and inspired those in the West capable of free-thinking. Syria has 100% right on its side. The tide might be turning. Governments, media and other dark forces are coming under closer scrutiny and today the truth is in plain sight if people just look. There would be riots on the streets if people realised the extent of this and more and more are everyday.

The first sign (and perhaps we are seeing this already) is when MSM gradually start retreating from the pro-war narrative. They will be the first to turn and blame their masters and I think this was seen when the WMD myth was exposed.

The alternative to a positive scenario where the criminals are locked up will be a global conflict which will wipe out much of the world. I favour the first scenario but we need to highlight the dangers of the second.

Pablo
Pablo

“Indeed – but the Nazis were unstoppable but were stopped.”

On the face of it this is true, however if you look a little deeper into things such as ‘Operation Paperclip’, ‘Operation Gladio’, ‘MK Ultra’ and Allen Dulles (who ran the US’s ‘OSS’ which later became the CIA), and lead ‘Operation Paperclip’ which commenced before the end of WW2, when leading German Scientists, Engineers, Cryptographers, Secret Service personnel etc were spirited away to the USA, Canada and South America and incorporated into leading US institutions such as NASA, CIA, etc etc – it is possible to think that leading Nazi officials were simply incorporated into the USA’s government systems or successfully carried out a hidden usurping. I recall hearing that one of the leading Nazi’s prosecuted at Nuremberg made such a statement under his breath to a British legal official at the trial, but I cannot at this time recall the name or find a reference on the web just now.

Davo Verde
Davo Verde

Pablo – as Michael Ruppert puts it. the Nazis didn’t lose the war (Germany did), they just changed venues. They now control (perhaps they always have) much of the western intelligence apparatus. Not to say there aren’t good people in intelligence, but they aren’t the ones in the back rooms making the big decisisons.
Operation Gladio is a good case in point.

harry stotle
harry stotle

Can anyone explain to me why the Guardian runs round the room like Rik from ‘The Young Ones’ shrieking fascist, fascist whenever Tommy Robinson comes up, yet fails to notice a relentless campaign (conducted by western neocons) to destabalise vast tracts in the Middle East, even though the body count and number of displaced persons now runs into the millions?

And as Ukraine descends into a far right madhouse the Guardian prints guff about Putin rather than US security agencies bank-rolling shady terrorist organisations.

If there is never any Tommy Robinson type outrage in the MSM over the path Blair has taken us down then it becomes all the harder to hold such people to account especially when they are invited back to spread yet more neoliberal ideology about things like Brexit.

Do they not care, or are they just thick as shit?

Yarkob
Yarkob

“Do they not care, or are they just thick as shit?l

the first thing

mohandeer

Both, but not necessarily in equal ratio.

eddie
eddie

Hopefully Mr Rusbridger will eventually cast some light into the deep dark recesses of the Guardian’s descent into parody.
Until then, the lack of moderation on articles such as ‘How to eat corned-beef hash’ is refreshing. Very bold, and worthy of financial support.

Stonky
Stonky

Can anyone explain to me why the Guardian runs round the room like Rik from ‘The Young Ones’ shrieking fascist, fascist whenever Tommy Robinson comes up, yet fails to notice a relentless campaign (conducted by western neocons) to destabalise vast tracts in the Middle East, even though the body count and number of displaced persons now runs into the millions?

It’s really not difficult

1. Criticise Islam and your a rascist facist mysoginist Nazi’s…
2. Slaughter half a million Moslems and you’re an elder statesman who needs to be given a platform on every subject under the sun…

Signed,

The BBC, the Grauniad, the Indepeachment.

vexarb

Faith, Hope and Charity. Happy 2019 for Syria!

From Britain’s very own Vanessa Beeley:

WHY CHRISTMAS MATTERS TO ALL SYRIANS
Vanessa Beeley . . Jan 5, 2019

Mhardeh – The commander of the volunteer National Defence Forces, Simon Al-Wakil explains why Christmas 2018 was so different to previous Christmases and what this festival means to ALL Syrians.

“It is the Syrian Arab Army that has restored peace and stability to these areas and has enabled the wave of Christmas celebrations to take place across Syria.
God bless all those who have sacrificed their lives to bring peace back to Syria and may all the martyrs rest in peace and their spirits be forever honoured and never forgotten.”

https://youtu.be/-Sx3XE3JJsU

“Hope is to the human spirit what fuel is to the combustion engine, a prime mover” — Anon

vexarb

“All roads lead to Damascus: How the world is welcoming Bashar al-Assad in from the cold” — Daily Telegraph

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

I’m still waiting for Bush, Blair and Howard to be locked up, for a long, long time.
I ain’t holding my breath.

Crane

The thing that is the most puzzling is that the so-called terrorists never target those people, it is always the proles, never the leaders. One could be forgiven for taking the view that troops never attack their leaders (except for the American troops in the Vietnam war – although I have heard the same in reference to the brits during the phony beginning to WWII).

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

If leaders, Generals, CEOs, and oligarchs were targeted by terrorists every nation on the planet would be under military dictatorship and anyone who even looked suspicious would be ‘disappeared’