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What happens next

Posted on November 22, 2015 by

We don’t often bring you footage of an Armed Forces Committee session in the US Senate, readers, but this spellbinding six minutes of questioning from a Republican senator on the subject of military action against ISIS doesn’t miss and hit the wall.

(We should note that Sen. Graham is a hawk who wants ISIS bombed back to the Stone Age. But even he can see the insane, irrational nature of the action currently being proposed, which would leave Syria a shattered mess but firmly in the hands of a murderous Russian-backed dictator conducting a ruinous, destabilising civil war.)

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    1. 22 11 15 16:38

      What happens next | Politics Scotland | Scoop.it

    2. 22 11 15 16:43

      What happens next | Speymouth

    187 to “What happens next”

    1. bobajock says:

      Can we get that bloke that was on the Andrew Marr show and get him to squirm like that? No – of course not, there is nobody in the unionist parties that will ask these questions.

      Please, can the SNP at least put these questions to Cameron?

    2. mogabee says:

      That’s US strategy always. Fuck everything up and run away whilst blaming someone else.

      History repeats…

    3. Steven Roy says:

      WOW!

      Clearly not remotely bothered about it being illegal to go to war for the purposes of regime change.

      Assad has killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and he is annoyed that America is not going to kill hundreds of thousands more.

    4. Truth says:

      Well, he didn’t hit the wall did he?

      Though I’m not sure that removing Assad is the best thing for the region, he certainly put those guys on the spot.

    5. handclapping says:

      Getting rid of Sadam in Iraq worked so well we want to repeat it in Syria? Nothing to do with the Israelis finding oil in the Golan Hights? And definately nothing to do with having got ourselves in how the hell do we get ourselves out?

    6. msean says:

      It appears to me that whoever you help,you will indirectly help someone you don’t want to help. It is a bit mad,and best left alone.The middle east is a tinderbox and could easily get out of hand quickly.

    7. David Agnew says:

      This article was written earlier this year but points out how little we will achieve with this new war.

      http://chuckspinney.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/can-gold-plated-military-counter-isis.html

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      There are basically four options in Syria. One is the halfway-sensible one of choking ISIS to death financially, which is unlikely to happen because too many people make money out of selling them guns, buying oil from them etc etc.

      That leaves your three basic military options:

      (1) Do nothing, thereby at least not making it worse. We know their supply of recruits has already slowed to a trickle. Don’t give people any reason to join them by mounting a crusade. Leave police and security services to worry about terrorist attacks. That’s what they’re there for. (In any event, EVERYONE agrees that getting involved only makes terrorist attacks MORE likely.)

      (2) Bombing and/or ground campaign to destroy ISIS and then sod off. That will leave Syria in Assad’s iron grip – the same Assad, remember, that we were determined to go and bomb the crap out of in 2013. God alone knows what sort of a mess that will create, on top of the untold number of dead we’ll be directly responsible for.

      (3) Destroy ISIS and then carry on trying to remove Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran. Or in short, start World War 3.

      I think Sen. Graham actually favours option 3. We appear to be dead set on option 2. Either way, keep your head down, folks.

    9. Gary45% says:

      This is the same bunch of clowns who have basically turned the middle east into the desperate situation that its in.
      Yer man, should just have come out and said its our oil, and nobody else is getting it apart from our leaders in Israel.
      Its time someone put the boot into the USA and the murderous Israelis.
      Nobody gave me a vote on allowing the USA being the rulers of Planet Earth along with the “murdering land thieves.”
      America or Russia? give me Russia any day, and no I am not a communist, just a pissed off citizen of Planet Earth.
      If America wants some credibility it can start by putting Israel in its place.
      “Free Palestine.”

    10. GrahamB says:

      Military strategy – oxymoron? Discuss …

    11. JLT says:

      What a complete and utter disaster of the political thinking in defence and foreign policy by the United States.

      The West ‘lost’ Syria weeks ago the moment that Putin ordered his military in to defeat those ‘who oppose the Syrian government’. It’s not hard too work out ‘who’ they are. Putin will destroy not only ISIS, but also the rebels that the West has tried to ‘help’.

      Basically …the moment Syria got Russia’s backing, the game in the Middle East changed immensely. For sure as night follow day, should Assad remain in power, then the Russians are going to be able to not only exert its own influence in the Middle East (and by God, this time it will), but it have Syrian Ports to move its own ships in and around the East Mediterranean.

      To the UK, this is an utter disaster. Cyprus sits a stones throw from Syria. What navy does the UK have that will oppose a Russian fleet that sits in the East Med? Are they going to place one of the new Aircraft carriers permanently around Cyprus because that’s what it will come down to if we wish to have a ‘presence’ there. Will the US be piling in with their aircraft carriers …and for whom? Apart from Israel, the US is detested by most of the Arab nations in the Eastern Med, so that seems like a pretty bad idea.

      My hunch is that if Russia secures Syria, then watch the rise of Iran. My money is on Russia building the Iranians a few warships, and thus counteract the power and position of Saudi Arabia (Iran and Arabia are mortal enemies since time immemorial). Iran about a year back sailed a battered old warship right up the Suez and on to Syria itself. It was enough for the EU and US to sit up and feel alarmed that an ‘enemy’ ship from another part of the world could move freely into their ‘sphere of influence’. Backed by Russia, Iran knew no one would do a single thing to that ship.

      And to top it all …the US needs Iran at this very moment to help fight ISIS, and because of that, there is no way the US is going to oppose what Iran does. This will surely infuriate Arabia.

      So …a compelling and disturbing video from the US defence committee, that is open and frank, and shows that America’s (as well as the UK’s) foreign policy in the Middle East is in complete shambles. In fact, the moment Putin got involved may have diminished the West’s power in the Middle East.

      Yep …congratulations to every single government of the UK and the US in the last 100 years in completely making a dogs dinner out of the Middle East. God knows how many trillions have been spent on the place, but in the current assessment of the on-going situation, both have created nothing but anger, bitterness, divisiveness and bigotry throughout the greater Levant. Their policies if going from the footage above should alarm and anger every single person in the West. How much have we spent in 100 years? How many civilians have been killed? How many Western troops have been killed? How much will it cost to regenerate the entire Levant? …and all for what???

      And who is to say that the Russians don’t begin to help the Palestinians next? If that happens, then things could really get ropey.

    12. James Hunter says:

      So what’s a “full assed” strategy? Going to War with Russia?
      Easy to question when you have no answers

    13. Grouse Beater says:

      America – the world’s self-appointed policeman: http://wp.me/p4fd9j-2rF

      Some people are worried China is about to become the next world power. Little chance; it holds two-thirds of the USA’s debts.

    14. Mr Graham sure does cut through the bull#hit,

      a million words written and spoken about what`s happening in the `mideast`by zoomer experts and halfbaked MSM hacks and Mr Graham sums the whole mess up in less than 5mins.

    15. Capella says:

      So what’s a “full assed” strategy? Going to War with Russia?
      Easy to question when you have no answers

      and China.

      If US Senators are concerned about cruel dictators torturing innocent opponents, they could do something about Saudi Arabia instead of arming them to bomb Yemen and Syria.

    16. msean says:

      This could get messy,if this guy wants boots on the ground,but doesn’t want Assad,that surely puts you in a direct fight with Russian forces. Russia would lose its access to the sea in the area if Assad goes. They won’t allow that to happen.

      Can’t really see anything changing that much till after a new US president is in office. Please don’t let it be Trump.

    17. Capella says:

      Oh dear. We’ll have to bomb ourselves now. 6 British nationals arrested in Belgium. That makes all the terrorist suspects French, Belgian and British nationals.

      https://www.rt.com/news/323040-belgium-terrorism-uk-ambulance/

    18. defo says:

      Well done Stu.
      Every now and then, something important enough will come up which isn’t your meat and two veg of Scottish politics and the MSM.
      If this isn’t the time, it never will be.
      Peeps need educating on the reality/absurdity of UKUS policy on Syria.
      There’s no point fighting for an independent, nuclear wasteland Scotland…

    19. galamcennalath says:

      What does it take to get the violence to stop, the civil war stopped, rebuild Syria, and get the millions of refugees home?

      Perosnally, I haven’t got a clue.

      What should Scotland do? Help in any humanitarian way we can, and nothing else.

    20. Valerie says:

      All those highly paid, highly decorated men, unable to answer some straight forward questioning of who supports who.

      You would not enter that arena, at this juncture, without being able to place the players. Shameful that the electorate, and those elected in this case, are so poorly served, and explains a great deal.

      Poor Syria 🙁

    21. JLT says:

      @Rev

      It’s option 1.

      Assad is safe, thanks to Russia. How much the UK and US decide to invest in destroying ISIS is now debateable. Why rid Syria of ISIS if Assad is going to remain? The winners of such an event will be Assad, Putin, Iran and Russia.

      My guess is that the Westminster and Whitehall both know that the ‘war’ in Syria is lost, and that the ‘Arab Spring’ is nothing but dust. Democracy is a very long way off in the Middle East, and if that is the case, why bother?

      The US and UK could just sit tight and just allow Russia to dominate the proceedings. Russia could incur the wrath of the Arab world, should it go in too hard and kill many Syrians as it tries to wipe out Assad’s enemies is a fair possibility. The US and UK could use that as a propaganda tool to counter Russian influences in the region.

      But as we saw last week after France declared war on ISIS, Westminster flipped-flopped nervously on whether to do the same. Westminster most certainly does not want to get involved in another Iraq. So, I expect the UK to make noises around the international community, do the odd bombing sortie, kind of hover around the fringes, and have our media point out what a glorious job the UK is doing in the Middle East …while praying that a terrorist attack similar to the one in Paris never happens in London as the destruction of ISIS takes place.

    22. Macart says:

      There’s not much you could add to any of that. The middle east is a powder keg surrounded by monkeys playing with matches.

      I don’t think the poor souls living there can stand much more ‘help’ from any of the ‘great powers’.

    23. Dan Watt says:

      People need to get a grip with themselves, including you Rev, over Assad.

      Is he a dictator? Yes. Has he murdered people? Probably yes.

      Did he and his old man maintain a stable country? Yes.

      Now, before everyone shits the bed about this, I am not endorsing Assad or dictatorships in general, but Iraq and Lybia (both secular stable countries under Hussain and Gaddafi) show how not to bring democracy to a country.

      The middle east needs more secular, stable countries, not less.

      Russia’s involvement is the best thing that could have happened for the ordinary Syrian, but the worst for the American CEO. It’s obviously dangerous for everyone else, but I don’t think Putin is stupid enough for war with the US.

    24. gordoz says:

      @ Scot Finlayson.

      I’m with you and Stu … too many folks missing the point on this.

      Wow, just wow ? Its the probing, questioning. Its an art lost on the media of Scotland. KISS strategy …

      (Keep it simple stupid)

      And the UK wants to get involved in this mess ????

    25. X_Sticks says:

      Macart says:

      “The middle east is a powder keg surrounded by monkeys playing with matches.

      I don’t think the poor souls living there can stand much more ‘help’ from any of the ‘great powers’.”

      Aye Sam, just what I was going to say only more eloquently put.

      It really is on a knife edge at the moment. Throw a Trump presidency into that mix and I think we will have the most dangerous situation since Cuba.

    26. Black Joan says:

      I hope they followed that with a screening of Dr Strangelove.

    27. Jim says:

      The whole Syrian civil war got to this point because a bunch of NATO members wanted a to leave Syria a shattered mess but firmly in the hands of a murderous Saudi-backed dictator conducting a ruinous, destabilising civil war

    28. handclapping says:

      If nothing else it shews up how effective our Bliar was as Middle East Peace Envoy!

    29. galamcennalath says:

      Dan Watt says:

      “Russia’s involvement is the best thing that could have happened for the ordinary Syrian”

      I have to disagree.

      I do take your point about the relative stability of Arab dictators and their regimes compared to the aftermath of ‘liberation’. However Syria has moved a long way from that state of stability

      Assad has killed 180k of his own people. Millions more have fled abroad. Assad is the problem and the main perpetrator of violence. His regime being kept in place by Russia and Iran won’t stop the civil war.

      Even if the US doesn’t pump arms into the anti-Assad forces, other Arab states will.

      It’s a mess. I can’t see the US or the UK being able to make things any better militarily, but the Russian presence wouldn’t help either.

    30. bjsalba says:

      @msean
      I lived in the USA for almost 3 decades..

      If you think the MSM is bad here, you ain’t seen what the USA gets. It is total craaaap.

      Yes they are stupid enough to elect Trump. They elected Bush Junior, didn’t they?

    31. Dr Jim says:

      People are getting too upset over this

      As long as we sell lots of weapons to somebody, anybody, get control of all the oil money and mineral rights and our rich folk get richer there’s nothing to worry about, it’s all good

      See there’s always an upside to death and destruction so look on the bright side

    32. heedtracker says:

      Reap the New Labour whirlwind.

      What have we got, upper class twits in charge, Chilcott buried and a creepy BBC propaganda coverup outfit.

    33. No no no...Yes says:

      If only some of the rUK politicans and MSM journalists would open their eyes and ask some difficult questions.

      I watched Angus Robertson on SkyNews and Stewart Hosie on BBC Scotland Politics programme, and it seems the SNP are backing the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in getting Cameron to come forward with some form of LEGAL and credible strategy. This needs to look way beyond bombing Syria and the restoration of peace. A tough job!

    34. JLT says:

      @Dan Watt
      Russia’s involvement is the best thing that could have happened for the ordinary Syrian

      That has yet to be proved, Dan. The US and UK were going to liberate Iraq, and we’ve all seen how that turned out!

      Make no bones about it, Assad will go through Syria removing those who initially opposed him once the war is over. Do you really believe that Syria will quieten down and the Syrians will be happy with Pax-Assad. I don’t think so. I think many Syrians will be petrified at the possible recriminations that will come. What happens to all the villages, towns and cities that openly opposed Assad during the civil war? Sure Assad will promise forgiveness and toleration …but you watch what happens when the first Syrian raises his hand to object to one of Assad’s policies in the post-war period. The disappearances will begin. Saddam Hussein as an example, exacted revenge on the Shi’ites not long after the Gulf War had finished when they rose up in protest against him. He devastated areas in southern Iraq as a warning to anyone else who tried to rise up against him.

      At the end of the day, the best thing that could have happened was for the West to stay well clear of the Arab Springs. But we didn’t, and instead, we made the world a more dangerous place. You say we should leave Assad in place; simply put, we should never have got involved in the first place!

    35. Macart says:

      @X_Sticks

      Folk are fed a daily diet of proxy and resource wars from all over the globe. They think they are used seeing ‘war’. They have no idea.

      I’m one generation on from those that actually lived through the last global conflict. Some of the commenters on here no doubt were kids during the Clydeside raids. They’ll remember only too well what war looks like.

      We never seem to learn.

    36. Capella says:

      @ Valerie
      Good link. Sums up the need to destroy Syria from Israeli and USA point of view. As always, it’s about oil.

      For those who haven’t seen Robert Newman’s “History of Oil” I’ll post the link again. It’s stand up comedy but with a history lesson thrown in. 45 mins.
      Dispels the myth that UK and USA are now or ever were trying to “bring democracy to the middle east.”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpm_8v80hw

      PS would people posting numbers of those Assad is alleged to have killed please include links to sources. Thanks. I like to check these things out as the good Rev has taught us.

    37. Bob Mack says:

      What we are all saying really is that it is a war with no winner.
      Trying to kill off a highly mobile force with opportunistic air power is not going to work in any event.
      Boots on the ground create the same problem we have seen in Afghanistan, in that they have to be there more or less permanently and distinguish between a civilian population or terrorist,who are sometimes the same thing.

      Syria is too important to Russia to abandon.Assad or whoever follows,is and will always be, their puppet.

      Ultimately no matter what action we take ,we are pouring petrol on a fire. The risks are enormous no matter our action.

    38. Dan Watt says:

      @JLT

      Russia isn’t “liberating” Syria though, so the situation is different.

      @galamcennalath

      The “civil war” is at least partially fiction. It is mainly ISIS vs Assad and civilians are dying as a result.

      The entire scenario is playing out because rich people want access to oil.

      Qatar wanted, with the backing of Saudia Arabia, to run a pipeline through Syria to Turkey. Assad said no and all of a sudden ISIS appeared out of nowhere and started a “civil war”.

      That is the whole reason the west is involved at all.

    39. Dan Huil says:

      Meanwhile the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.

    40. Geoff Huijer says:

      All I could hear from those being questioned was *inaudible mumble*…

    41. heedtracker says:

      The entire scenario is playing out because rich people want access to oil.

      Its happening because the UK and the US invaded Iraq for no other reason than revenge and had no exit strategy.

      Removing the Ba’th party in Iraq created IS, destabilised the whole of the middle east and could possibly result in a US war with Russia.

      Quite an accomplishment for ridiculous characters like Blair, Brown, Darling that made up Labour UK.gov. But its not all just on them. UKOK Westminster loves a good war.

      “The Syrian Ba?thists took power in 1963, but factionalism between “progressives” and “nationalists” was severe until 1970, when ?afiz al-Assad of the “nationalists” secured control. In Iraq the Ba?thists took power briefly in 1963 and regained it in 1968, after which the party’s power became concentrated under Iraqi leader ?add?m ?ussein. Differences between the Iraqi and Syrian wings of the Ba?th Party precluded unification of the two countries. Within both countries the Ba?thists formed fronts with smaller parties, including at times the communists.

      In Syria the main internal threat to Ba?th hegemony stemmed from the Muslim Brotherhood, while in Iraq Kurdish and Sh??ite opposition was endemic. The Iraqi branch of the party was toppled in 2003 as a result of the Iraq War.”

      http://www.britannica.com/

    42. davidb says:

      Russia is not the power it was in the cold war days. If it even was then.They lost in Afghanistan despite having a land border. The sanctions and the low mineral prices will not be helping their economy much. Can they afford military adventures? Can we?

      These daesh nutters are happy to blow themselves up. When its the metro in Moscow or the Hermitage in St Petersburg, how gung ho will the Russian resolve turn out to be then?

      The daesh are a Saudi construct. The whole area is a tinderbox of tribes bound up in artificial states which exist because France & Britain drew up the lines when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. It is unstable. It perhaps only existed as long as it did because of the cold war. Leave them to sort the mess out themselves.

      I hope the Scottish Government listens to Call Me Dave, then at best abstains from roping us into yet another bloody mess. What on earth has any of this to do with boys recruited from Scottish schemes to the armed forces?

    43. Colin Mccartney says:

      @grahamb

      Military strategy – oxymoron? Discuss
      or
      Military intelligence – oxymoron? Discuss

    44. Graeme James Borthwick says:

      ISIS is a mercenary force financed by the West. Assad, with his English wife, is well supported by the Syrian people…he will be even stronger after the ‘work’ of our mercenaries. We seem to need a war to support our economies….but the West is not going to win.

    45. Lollysmum says:

      Fine Time now stands at £4,012
      Stuart-that’s one hell of a lot of sweeties 🙂

      Jeane Freeman has launched a crowdfunder for Carrick,Cumnock & Doon election campaign.

      http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jeane-freeman-snp-for-holyrood-2016/

    46. Albaman says:

      @Dan Watt,
      There was a fellow in the 1930s, who had similar views regarding his country,s position in the world order, remind us all Dan how that played out?!.
      Putin and his hawks will be unable to hold themselves back, should they be allowed to set the ball rolling.
      To me there is something chilling in the similarities.

    47. HandandShrimp says:

      Syria is a mess. Assad was a dictator but he is not opposed by one unified force. There are at four or five players in this conflict all with different goals. The army chap was cautious because he knows that there are no easy fixes.

      Daesh have thrown a complete curve ball into things. They are as likely to attack the Kurds or the Free Syrian Army as Assad.

      The questioning was entertaining though. The chap knows what he wants and he knows it isn’t going to happen. God knows what would happen if Trump was President though.

    48. Gerry says:

      This remains a US/Russia dispute by proxy. Syria provides some very strategic military advantages to Russia, particularly the port on the West coast, and there’s also the gas pipeline issue. Putin needs to have influence over any regime change initiatives in order to protect russian interests.
      Putin is playing a blinder in this regard so far, running rings round the US and their allies. IS/ISIL or whatever they’re called this week are just america’s new excuse, and sen Graham and his ilk are straight out of the Chicago university Leo Strauss appreciation society.
      I wonder who their “Tim Osman” equivalent is in Syria?
      Russia has china at the back of them firmly now, and if the chinese tell the US to GTF, they will.

    49. Genghis D'Midgies says:

      “the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned. “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria… Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria.

      From Pol Pot to ISIS: The blood never dried:
      http://johnpilger.com/articles/from-pol-pot-to-isis-the-blood-never-dried

    50. Ruby says:

      What a absolutely brilliant article!

      A years supply of Charbonnel et Walker Pink Marc de Champagne truffles is the least you deserve although I still think membership to an upmarket Spa would be better for your chakras than £3k worth of sweets!

      This spa looks amazing. I like the look of the open-sir rooftop pool.
      https://www.thermaebathspa.com/

    51. Phronesis says:

      ‘The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict…to put it simply ,all the key issues in the Middle East-the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq,Iran, the need for political and economic reforms, and extremism and terrorism-are inextricably linked’ former US Secretary of State, James Baker The Iraq Study Working Group 2006
      http://www.usip.org/publications/iraq-study-group

      Almost 10 years later in which direction is the geopolitical situation going in? A highly decorated American General is flummoxed by a basic question of military strategy in Syria -where is the inspired leadership that will put a halt to war amongst and against the people? It will certainly not come form those with a vested interest in the profits of a global arms trade.

      Jeff Halper, learned American Israeli anthropologist has a better grasp of what is required.His book ‘war against the people’ should be read by all those who are struggling with the origins on past and current conflicts in this region-perhaps the current world ‘leaders’ who seem to be bereft of answers could also read it.

      ‘Halper coined the term “Matrix of Control,” which is frequently used in ICAHD materials. This matrix, according to Halper, consists of “a maze of laws, military orders, planning procedures, limitations on movement, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, settlements and infrastructure – augmented by prolonged and ceaseless low-intensity warfare – that serves to perpetuate the Occupation, to administer it with a minimum of military presence and, ultimately, to conceal it behind massive Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ and a bland façade of ‘proper administration.’”

      Embedded in the Matrix, according to Halper, are Israel’s three policies of fragmentation, displacement, and appropriation…

      Halper was nominated, together with the Palestinian intellectual/activist Ghassan Andoni, for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee for his work “to liberate both the Palestinian and the Israeli people from the yoke of structural violence” and “to build equality between their people by recognizing and celebrating their common humanity’

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Halper

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghassan_Andoni

      Perhaps he and his Palestinian counterpart should lead the global mobilisation to demand peace in this region- most citizens of faith or none don’t really want to live in a permanent war zone. But this requires strong, visionary and brave leadership which will not come from the main stream political leaders- we should be hearing more from those in the region who do understand truth and reconciliation.

    52. galamcennalath says:

      Dan Watt says:

      ” It is mainly ISIS vs Assad.”

      Perhaps now, but it began in 2011 and ISIS were ‘late starters’ in 2013.

      When Cameron wanted to bomb Assad, that was before ISIS became significant in Syria.

      Also, the Russians have been criticised for targeting groups other than ISIS with their air strikes. The fighting still involves multiple groups.

      Most of the refugees fled prior to ISIS involvement.

      I agree Qatar and Saudi (with western backing) were implicated in starting the attempt of overthrow Assad.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Civil_War

      In Iraq, it appears to be ISIS versus the Kurds and Iraqi government. However, in Syria it is still very much a multi faction conflict.

    53. Dorothy Devine says:

      I see we have been merrily ” droning” from Lincolnshire – makes you proud duntit?!

    54. Pardeep says:

      The only rational immediate solution is to support the action of the Russians along with the Syrian Arab army against ISIS and the other murderous moderate jihadis who have been reckless supported by the west and it’s loyal allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Anything else is absolute insanity, do you really think Iraq and Libya are now better than under Saddam and Gaddafi? If you do then I would seriously question your mental well being.

    55. Papadox says:

      IMHO

      Suez 1956: FRANCE, GREAT BRITAIN & ISRAEL created a wee political situation in EGYPT which would allow them to save the EGYPTIONS from taking over part of their own country, namely the Suez Canal.

      All went disastrously for the 3 amigos. THEY HAD FORGOTTEN TO ASK THE NEW BULLY ON THE BLOCK, the good old USA. They were told to get back in their cages or else. They were told you do what Uncle Sam tells you or you don’t do anything. France took a middle road, Israel got into bed with the yanks and good old HMG sold the jerseys and bent over, with a tug of the forelock.

      The Americans are gods chosen people o and their bankers, ask Israel.

    56. Gerry says:

      Dorothy Devine says:
      22 November, 2015 at 7:00 pm
      I see we have been merrily ” droning” from Lincolnshire – makes you proud duntit?!

      Sitting there in their little mini shipping containers – they probably think they’re playing world of warcraft.
      Sadly, they kind of are.

    57. Onwards says:

      “(3) Destroy ISIS and then carry on trying to remove Assad, who is backed by Russia and Iran. Or in short, start World War 3.”

      The General at 3:20 on that video:
      “I think the balance of forces right now is in Assad’s advantage.”

      This guy could be a politician. He must have been struggling not to say “You actually want a war with Russia?”

    58. schrodingers cat says:

      once again, it is these so called “rebel groups” currently being bombed by Russia are the exact same “rebel groups” that the US and the UK have, up until recently, been funding and supporting

      someone should have told this senator why US and UK policy has changed

      al nusra and jaysh al islam are al Qaeda (and Saudi) backed Wahhabi jihadists.

      these are the rebel groups that the senator is defending and why the US and UK have dumped them. the Syrian rebels have been over run by extremists.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11882195/US-trained-Division-30-rebels-betrayed-US-and-hand-weapons-over-to-al-Qaedas-affiliate-in-Syria.html

      this cartoon sums up the position.

      stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news/obama-and-cameron-clear-up-any-confusion-about-why-they-are-bombing-iraq-and-syria

      jaysh al islam Syrian rebels

      http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/11/syrian-rebels-use-caged-civilians-fighters-to-deter-airstrikes.php

      al nusra Syrian rebels take on paris
      http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/al-nusra-front-back-attacks-paris-despite-opposition-islamic-state-976490550

      warning, graphic images of al nusra Syrian rebels executing civilians and Syrian prisoners

      http://www.raqqa-sl.com/en/?p=286
      http://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=648537901861985

    59. tartanfever says:

      Few other interesting things to throw into the mix.

      Putin and the Finnish President were brokering a deal in 2012 that would see regime changes in Syria, but the UN security council members of the UK, USA and France hedged their bets that the Assad regime was about to fail anyway and decided not to pursue this. Numpties.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/15/west-ignored-russian-offer-in-2012-to-have-syrias-assad-step-aside

      Syrians blame the US for ISIS.

      http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/09/polls-show-syrians-overwhelmingly-blame-u-s-for-isis.html

      Recent polls show come up with some surprising results that you wouldn’t expect, like how popular Assad still is, and amazingly, that 22% of Syrians believe ISIS is a positive force in Syria.

      http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/new-poll-suggests-syrians-believe-civil-war-resolvable-despite-social-strife-1647775093

      No doubt the situation is complicated in Syria, and while the US Senator makes light of that, his conviction that Syrian people want to get rid of Assad is oversimplifying to the extreme, and perfectly highlights that ‘John Wayne’ type American f**kwits who believe in ‘Good vs Evil’ should not be trusted as far as you can throw them.

    60. Swami Backverandah says:

      I wouldn’t mind a bit of ‘regime change’ in the UK.
      Who can we get to bomb the Tories?

      At least the Generals appear to recognise an illegality when they see it.
      Unlike some.

    61. Colin Dunn says:

      This is an interesting read on the topic, if a bit grim. . .

      https://medium.com/@gordonguthrie/war-is-coming-ii-2c4ad57c790f

    62. Colin Chuch says:

      This is a side show. It has always been about Israeli Zionist expansion – keep a beady eye on Golan Heights everyone – and Saudi Wahhabist power base. Both are merciless in their aim. Unfortunately UKOK team GB backs both to the hilt. Collateral damage excused and tolerated. Ashamed. Let’s GTFO!

    63. dakk says:

      ‘Or in short, start World War 3’

      Please No.

      I couldn’t do the camaraderie thing with unionist Scots.

      I plead conscientious objection on those grounds.

    64. Dr Geoff Black says:

      Rev,

      As a great admirer of your work, I have to say I am so disappointed by your stated 3 choice options for action, culminating in c) ‘start world war 3’. You surely realise that international political strategies are too nuanced to be reduced to an a,b,c choice. It’s not ‘The Chase’ and I suspect you already regret that dumbed down statement. Again, so many good things to appreciate here and hate that my first comment is a criticism, but amid the general nonsense somebody needs to say it.

    65. Bob Mack says:

      @dakk,

      Nuclear weapons make no distintion between unionist Scots or independence minded Scots.
      We will fry together.

    66. Dr Jim says:

      Two years ago the vote was about Assad barrel bombing his own people, thus the plan was to remove him

      Now the Telly Media keep telling us it’s all the same issue, and it’s nothing of the kind

      This particular piece of idiocy is about the merry prelude to America’s world war bloody three with the good old UK joining in for a wee legacy for Davie Cameron because they’ve already sucked in the French who fell for the big knee jerk reaction

      They want us to sign up to fight, well, basically everybody
      The military chiefs are already champing at the bit to strut around plumage stuck out talking carnage in every direction with absolutely no exit strategy, no plan, no concern for the actual population just raw John Wayne “Lets stick it to the bad guys rhetoric”

      Which if it were genuine would be OK if we knew for sure who the bad guys actually are, Isis excluded of course

      So two years ago we want Assad dead, this year we’re fighting on his side? what’s going on? because one move against Assad now pisses off the Russians and others if that’s what the West is hoping for

      We don’t believe a word in their newspapers, we don’t believe a word that comes out of their mouths at the best of times, why on this earth should we believe their motives in this, whatever they say they are, because all I’m seeing is a big giant whip up of the population and flag waving patriotism if we don’t “support” killing as many people as we possibly can

      What are they going to do if we don’t “support” their war, go in a bad mood again Sheesh!! (Coz I get that, Boo Hoo stamps foot) remember the last time

    67. Angra Mainyu says:

      Galamcennalath: “Assad is the problem and the main perpetrator of violence. His regime being kept in place by Russia and Iran won’t stop the civil war.”

      Hard to imagine you being more wrong.

      The “civil war” is now known to be a consequence of meddling by the British and others. Actually the record shows the UK were fomenting division and instability as early as late 2010/ early 2011, well before this exploded on to our TV screens and before the so called Arab Spring.

      There is a profound difference between a civil war and an insurgency crated, armed, and backed by external forces, the latter Iin international law would be classed as an “act of aggression” (article 3, g. http://www.un-documents.net/a29r3314.htm).

      Students of history will know that being guilty of an act of aggression in International law puts you into the same category of rogue states as say Nazi Germany.

      But that’s all doublethink anyway because even if Assad was the root cause it would still be necessary for the UN to give a mandate for military action. The only grounds for military action allowed under international law, without an explicit mandate, are conditions where a state is under direct attack from another state, i.e. self defence.

      One thing that nobody has pointed out so far, a key point in all this, is that Syria invited and requested Iranian and Russian involvement. They didn’t invite our involvement. They didn’t invite us to bomb them. When you watch the video above and listen to all the nonsense on the TV in the coming weeks, you should bear that in mind.

    68. Anagach says:

      So the USA/UK/France will get people to put their lives and families on the line to fight ISIL and when/if that is done, they will then abandon them to the Assad’s regime.

      Nothing like holding the moral high ground.

    69. schrodingers cat says:

      cyberspace ate my last post….mmm

      thing is, the us and the uk backed the rebels, initially but the civilians in rebel held areas have mostly fled to refugee camps or to Europe. the rebel forces that are left have been over run by Wahhabi jihadi terrorists who are as bad as isis anyway

      that is why the us and uk have stopped supporting them and are not complaining about putin bombing them at the moment

    70. Clootie says:

      Labour will support the Tories. The Westminster club needs to bomb and that is what will happen…at least the Daily Mail will be happy!

    71. schrodingers cat says:

      what happens next?

      a UN resolution to bomb isis and the other wahhabi rebel forces

      I hope Saudi gets sanctioned and imbargoed for funding them but I doubt it

      I would also hope the kurds independent state in the north of Syria and Iraq finally gets recognition, but I doubt that too. they are the only group in the entire middle east who actually deserve our support

    72. schrodingers cat says:

      the snp should hold the line about refusing support to Cameron unless he gets permission from the un.

    73. Ken Waldron says:

      Who says the majority of the population want rid of Assad?
      Here’s what his opponents say:
      In 2012 Reuters, the UK Guardian and Time magazine reported three ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) leaders in Aleppo saying the Syrian President had about ‘70 percent’ support; or that the local people, ‘all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us’; or that they are ‘all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction’.

    74. john king says:

      “I would also hope the kurds independent state in the north of Syria and Iraq finally gets recognition,”

      I can support that sentiment, Britain bombed Kurdish villages in the 30’s
      http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/war.crimes/World.war.2/Air.Control.htm

    75. Luigi says:

      There’s a nasty rumour that the west’s campaign against Assad predates the Arab Spring. The reason Assad suddenly became the bad guy and a campaign against him was encouraged was that they wanted to build an oil pipeline from the Arabian peninsula up to Turkey and it had to cross Syrian territory so the had to install one of their own puppets.

      Want to find the source of western intervention?

      As always, follow the oil – it never fails.

    76. john king says:

      Here’s another one
      “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_revolt_against_the_British”

      #proud to British?

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If being dragged into another illegal war doesn’t constitute ‘a material change in circummstances’, what does?

    78. john king says:

      I have no idea why I put quotation marks on that link. 🙁

    79. Petra says:

      Interesting to see Senator Graham ‘interrogating the interrogators’ so to speak and actually making them squirm. And a bit of a farce that he’s trying to make out that he’s really concerned about Assad killing 250,000 of his own people (if that’s true at all) and that this accounts for wanting to remove Assad ….. carry out a regime change that would have inevitably been filled by Islamic fundamentalists from IS / al Qaeda such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham. Although the situation in the region is multi-layered and complex it’s clear that the US is in Syria to appease the Zionists and rob Syria of its resources such as oil. Everybody on the planet must know this by now.

      http://www.premshankarjha.com/2014/02/27/syria-who-fired-the-first-shot/

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/twenty-six-things-about-the-islamic-state-isil-that-obama-does-not-want-you-to-know-about/5414735

      Meanwhile we’re being informed that at least 300,000 people (those who have been identified) have been killed in Syria: not down to Assad at all and that MILLIONS have died in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan due to US, UK and NATO (et al) ‘intervention’ with some in the US Military actually ‘relishing’ being part of the killing machine.

      https://theintercept.com/2015/11/19/former-drone-operators-say-they-were-horrified-by-cruelty-of-assassination-program/

      The New American Century (10/10) PNAC Exposed. Last video of the series.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6rSawYKJqo

      Since when has the US been concerned about anyone being killed at all, other than US citizens? They didn’t seem to be too bothered about 2 million people being massacred in Rwanda in 1994. I don’t remember the US, UK or NATO going to their rescue. Why not? … Nae oil just coffee to sell and agricultural land to cultivate.

      ‘Rwandan Genocide of 1994 was a truly traumatic and horrifying event. It was one of the most brutal acts of murder ever committed. Over the course of 100 days from April 6 to July 16 1994, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide. A recent report has estimated the number to be close to 2 million. More than 6 men, women and children were murdered every minute of every hour of every day. Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 100 days of genocide with up to 20,000 children born to women as a result of rape. More than 67% of women who were raped in 1994 during the genocide were infected with HIV and AIDS. In many cases, this resulted from a systematic and planned use of rape by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide. 75,000 of survivors were orphaned as a result of the genocide.’

      http://survivors-fund.org.uk/resources/rwandan-history/statistics/

      ‘Why the US didn’t intervene in the Rwandan genocide’ ….. ‘After a disastrous peacekeeping mission in Somalia, the US vowed to stay away from conflicts it didn’t understand ……. between clans and tribes it didn’t know, in a country where the US had no national interests.’

      http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB53/index.html

      As to the US bellyaching about Putin being in the frame now well they have some chutzpah, as their pals would say. They’ve been bombing Syria for over a year now and got a bit carried away with their self bestowed ‘World Policeman’ status. More than anything don’t seem to be too keen on sharing the role with someone who’s managed to exterminate more key Daesh sites in a few weeks than they have done in over a year. Putin’s ‘late’ intervention, FAR from ideal, is the best thing that could have happened under the current circumstances, imo.

    80. Jim says:

      The US is not the good guy here (not that there are any good guys, but the US is rarely a good guy.)

      Please, have a quick look into PNAC (Project for the New American Century) then have a look at the following:

      A seven and a half minute video featuring a retired 4 Star US General: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUCwCgthp_E

      An article by a US investigative journalist who broke some of the Iran/Contra stories: consortiumnews.com/2015/11/19/tangled-threads-of-us-false-narratives/

      An article by the well-respected Noam Chomsky: http://chomsky.info/20150820-2/

      … and I believe that someone already shared the John Pilger article titled “From Pol Pot to ISIS …”

      I have a few more links to share but I understand that too many links in one comment is frowned upon.

    81. Robert Peffers says:

      Just by chance I was re-researching that very subject over the last couple of days. It is a real complex mess and a very long post but you really do not need to read it if you find such stuff hard going.

      Iraq didn’t exist before WW1. It was known as Mesopotamia hundreds of years before World War One. The mainly Arab region of Mesopotamia was in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. During WWI the United Kingdom invaded Mesopotamia and eventually they conquering the area.

      The peace ended Turkey’s part in WW1 and they gave up control of Mesopotamia which then reverted to the older name of Iraq. The new Iraq was left under UK control and that caused much unrest.

      The present borders of Iraq, and of most other Middle Eastern nations like Syria, Palestine and Israel, were re-drawn by the conquering Europeans. This was without regard to what the inhabitants would have preferred to be their countries. Thus Iraq became a single nation with three big demographic groups. Namely the Sunni Kurds in the north, the Sunni (Sunna) Arabs in the central area of the country, and the Shiite (Shia) Arabs in the south.

      The Kurds wanted a nation of their own, as did the Kurds living next door in Turkey and Iran. Even although The United Kingdom did eventually give Iraq full independence it was with lots of bloodshed, conflict and resentment. There was much hard feelings throughout Iraq about the long UK occupation.

      Here’s a wee list of some of the conflicts: –

      WWI, (The Great War), – 1914-1918, this war ended the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire then aligned itself with the German led Central Powers. The Turks fought mainly against the UK, or more correctly, The UK Empire. This mostly in Ottoman Palestine and Ottoman Mesopotamia and also against the Russian Empire in the Caucasus and Iran.

      In late 1914, (November), UK forces landed at Basra, (which is now southern Iraq). After a humiliating UK defeat at al-Kut, in 1916, Baghdad fell to the UK forces in March, 1917. However, by November, 1918, the UK gained control over most of the provinces, (vilayets), of Iraq.

      This is getting too long so I’ll list the conflicts and you can do your own research : –

      The Great Iraqi Revolution, known in the UK as the Arab Revolt of 1920 or the May 1920-Feb. 1921-Rebellion by Iraqi Arabs against the rule of the UK Mandate. This can be considered the First Anglo-Iraqi War. After this war the UK established, (with League of Nations approval), a colonial style mandates over the region they now named Iraq.

      Kurdish Revolt, (1922-1924): A rebellion by Iraqi Kurds against the UK Mandate. Kurdish tribesmen, led by Sheik Mahmud, a powerful Kurdish leader, attempted to establish an independent Kurdish nation. UK forces, primarily using airpower, suppressed the rebellion. Many related Kurdish uprisings took place in neighbouring Turkey and Iran.

      Assyrian Revolt and Massacre – August 1933 : –
      The Iraqi military, using a revolt as an excuse, massacred at least 600 Iraqi Assyrian Christians.

      Shia Tribal Revolt-1935- a Shiite uprising against the Iraqi government.

      Anglo-Iraqi War of 1941 – or the Rashid Ali Coup :-During WWII Iraqi politician Rashid Ali seized power in Iraq and aligned himself with German-led Axis Powers. UK forces invaded Iraq and quickly defeated the Iraqi military.

      Kurdish Revolt 1945 or the August 10 to October Rebellion: –
      (suppressed by the Iraqi Army and the UK RAF), it was led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani, who escaped into Iran by breaking through an Iraqi Army force. In Iran Mustafa Barzani and his forces joined the army of the,“Mahabad Republic”, a short-lived Kurdish state.

      After Mahabad’s defeat by the Iranian Army, Barzani again led his forces into Iraq on April 28,1947.

      Kurdish Campaign 1947, May 27 to June 15: –
      After returning to Iraq from the failed Mahabad Republic, Iraqi government actions there were arrests, executions and so on that caused Mustafa Barzani and 496 followers to begin a fighting retreat from the Barzan region in northern Iraq, through Turkey, and into Iran in an attempt to reach the Soviet Union, which they reached on June 15, 1947, followed by the Iranian Army.

      Al-Wathbah Uprising, Jan. to May, 1948.
      An Anti government uprising led by Iraqi leftists. This began due to the Treaty of Portsmouth. By this Iraq agreed to let Britain keep military bases in Iraq and maintain influence in Iraqi foreign affairs. However, an imposition of martial law in May, 1948 allowed the government to crush the rebellion. Just at the right time for the Iraqi army to invade Palestine for the First Arab-Israeli
      War.

      First Arab-Israeli War, 1948-1949 :-
      Israel declared independence from the UK Mandate Authority on May 1, 1948, and was subsequently invaded by the armies of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

      It was really just a continuation of the violence between Jewish, or rather Israeli, militias and Palestinian Arab militias in the UK’s pre-withdrawal. The war ended on July 20, 1949 with the last Israeli armistice with the Arab nations. Although normal combat ended temporarily a legal state of war still continues until today.

      Army Revolt & Coup, July14, 1958:-
      Brigadier General Abdul Karim el Qassim overthrows the royal government of King Faisal II. Both the king and Prime Minister Nouri al Said are killed. Qassim withdraws to Iraq from the pro-Western Baghdad Pact and established friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

      Mosul Revolt, March, 1959:-
      Pro-Qassim communist militia , (The People’s Resistance Force), are violently routed by an anti-Qassim Sunni Army faction of manily junior officers.

      Kirkuk Violence, 1959:-
      Pro-Qassim, pro-Communist, Kurds and People’s Resistance Force murder ethnic Turkomen in Kirkuk.

      Kurdish Revolt, 1961-1970: –
      After some relative peacfulness the Iraqi government’s promise of Kurdish autonomy, or self-rule, are not met and this causes discontent and an eventual rebellion of the Kurds in 1961. Mullah Mustafa Barzani is back asa leader of Kurdish forces. By 1963, the Syrian Army and Air Force units are aiding the Iraqi military fighting against the Kurds. The cease-fire in 1964, lasted only until April of 1965. and ended in 1970 with a cease-fire and a guarantee of Kurdish
      autonomy.

      Six-Day War, the 3rd Arab-Israeli War, 1967:-
      Israel launches a pre-emptive attack on Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, fearing they were ready to launch an attack. The Israeli air force attacks Iraqi airfields. Iraq sends ground forces to support the Jordanians and Syrians.

      Ramadan, Yom Kipper, War. 1973-1974:-
      Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel during the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday. It is also the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Iraq sends army and air forces to support Syria.

      Kurdish Revolt, March, 1974:-
      Kurdish rebels, againled by Mullah Mustafa Barzani, (who had survived an assassination attempt), rebel against the government believing the government is not holding to the agreement used to end the last revolt. The Iraqi Kurds are aided by the Shah of Iran who seeks to put pressure o the Iraqi government over a border dispute. The Kurds are also helped by the USA CIA, who opposed the Iraqi government of the Iraqi friendships with the USSR. After an agreement between the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein in 1975, (this temporarily settled the border dispute, till the Iran-Iraq War began in 1980). The Kurd forces were beaten by intense Iraqi military force.

      The CIA, who had backed the Shah, then suspended their aid. The kurds saw this as a betrayal by two key allies and continued to distrust USA attempts to incite them to fight Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1990s and in in the early 21st Century.

      Kurd vs Kurd Warfare, 1978-1979:-
      In 1975, Jalal Talabani formed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), an urban and leftist based in opposition to the Barzani-led Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP).

      Shia unrest in Karbala, February 1979:-
      Is suppressed by by the Saddam. Under Saddam the Shiites (Shia) were a persecuted religious group, despite them being numerical majority in the country.

      First Persian Gulf War, (or Iran-Iraq War), 1980-1988:-
      In 1975, Iraq and Iran came to an agreement on the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway which was Iraq’s sole outlet to the sea. In exchange for Iran not supportting the Kurdish rebels, Iraq agreed to share Shatt al-Arab with Iran. This, along with other disputes over common borders, together with a belief the 1979 revolt had weakened Iran, led Saddam to launch an invasion of Iran on September 22, 1980. Initially successful the Iraqi army were stopped and forced to retreat after repeated assaults by the numerically superior Iranian Army and elite Revolutionary Guards. This, after being pushed back into Iraq, caused Saddam to begin to use chemical warfare. After both sides grinding to a halt, and after almost a million casualties, they agreed to end the war.

      Osiraq Reactor Raid, June 7, 1981:-
      Fearing the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, Israel launches a pre-emptive air strike on the, under constructio, Osiraq nuclear reactor. 1981.

      Kurdish Revolt, 1983-1988:-
      Iraqi Kurds, aided by Iran, fought against the Iraqi government forces. In 1987 and 1988, the Iraqi
      military used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Kurds (mostly civilians) in successful efforts to
      beat the resistance.

      Iraq-Kuwait Relations: 1961:-
      Iraq threatens Kuwait, claiming that it belonged to Iraq because of old Ottoman territorial claims. The UK supported Kuwait by sending military forces to Kuwait. Saddam Hussein used similar excuses for his 1991 invasion of Kuwait.

      1973, Iraq occupies Samitah, a border post on Kuwait-Iraq border. The dispute began when Iraq demanded the right to occupy the Kuwaiti islands of Bubiyan and Warbah. Saudi and the Arab League convinced Iraq to withdraw.

      The Second Persian Gulf War, (called “Operation Desert Storm”, in the USA):Aug. 2, 1990-Feb. 1991:- Iraqi forces invaded and quickly conquer the emirate of Kuwait. An international coalition of nations send in powerful military forces led by the USA under UN leadership. First to defend the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia but secondly to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. The United
      Kingdom, led by Maggie Thatcher, worked closely with the USA against Saddam Hussein’s territorial ambition.

      The Kurdish Revolt of 1991 was encouraged by the defeat of Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and it was urged on by appeals from George H. W. Bush. The Kurds rose up against the Iraqi government. Most of Saddam’s elite forces had escaped the fighting in Kuwait and I southern Iraq. So Saddam managed to stop the revolt but it caused many hundreds of thousands Kurdish refugees to flee into
      Turkey and Iran.

      Shiite Revolt, 1991: –
      Also egged on by the defeat of Saddam’s forces in Kuwait and by Bush’s support, the Shiites of southern Iraq revolted against the Iraqi government, and were suppressed by Saddam’s forces but sporadic guerrilla resistance went on with much of the Shiite forces taking refuge in Shiite Iran.

      The No-Fly Zone War, 1991-2003:-
      After the cease-fire ending the Gulf War, the USA , UK and France conduct air patrols over Iraq to ensure Iraqi stuck with the cease-fire terms. France then left the coalition, but USA and UK planes patrrolled Iraqi air space, usually drawing anti-aircraft fire from the ground. Major bombing campaigns were used to hurt the Baghdad regime. This conflict officially ended when the Third Gulf War began, (March, 2003).

      Intra-Kurdish warfare, 1996, was war between several Kurdish factions.

      The Third Persian Gulf War, March, 2003 to 2011. (in the USA called, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”).
      This has two parts. The Invasion and the Occupation. Saddam’s regime fell quickly but there was ,
      much guerrilla movement that slowed the occupation down. The Iraqi people had elected a government with a Kurdish president but the war against the occupying forces is civil war among Iraqi factions. It goes on until the present time.

      In the summer of 2014, a Sunni Jihadist groups, known as ISIL or ISIS, (the group’s Arabic name is Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham). Al-Sham is the Arabic term for the area comprising modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel.

      ISIL), seized large parts of western Iraq, including such cities as Mosul, Fallujah, and Tikrit. They threatened to march on Baghdad. ISIL is actively combating the Assad regime in Syria, and ISIL also controlled large areas of northern and eastern Syria. In June 29, 2014, ISIL changed its title to, “The Islamic State, and declared a new Caliphate in the Muslim world.

      So now the USA, Iran and Russia are all provided support to the Iraqi government and the USA is sending several hundred military advisors, Iran providing combat troops and Our own UK Tory PM just itching to continue bombing the hell out of the area again.

      Phew! That was hard work!

    82. Jim says:

      A few more links:

      A nine minute video featuring a former US Marine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESZN_YDE-TU

      From an investigative Historian: http://rinf.com/alt-news/featured/npr-propagandizes-putin-regime-change-russia/

      … and finally, from an independent researcher: consortiumnews.com/2015/07/20/hidden-origins-of-syrias-civil-war/

      Thank you.

    83. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Dan Watt at 5.15

      Thank you. My Arab relatives all back Assad.
      We funded ISIS

    84. Andrew says:

      Was the Falklands war about the Falkland Islands / oil / boosting the Tory parties popularity by uniting behind a common foe?
      Is conflict in the Middle East about the Middle East / oil / boosting ……

      The answer is probably reason two and three in both cases.

    85. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      galamcennalath at 5.34

      I think you are being a bit naive. Assad won a bloody civil war. He is no worse and probably better than those who tried to depose him and who have killed as many if not more.
      We funded Islamic loonies against a “dictator” running a stable state. We are now bombing the loonies.
      It was none of our business.
      We (US/UK/ Israel/France/Saudi Arabia)are the axis of evil and deeply stupid with it

    86. Petra says:

      @ Valerie says at 5:28 pm

      http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2986289/israel_to_annex_golan_heights_after_billion_barrel_oil_find.html

      Following on from that Valerie ………………..
      Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria’s Golan Heights to Rothschild, Cheney and Murdoch

      http://leaksource.info/2013/03/10/israel-grants-oil-rights-in-syrias-golan-heights-to-rothschild-cheney-and-murdoch/

      @ Jim says at 9:30 pm ”… and finally, from an independent researcher: consortiumnews.com/2015/07/20/hidden-origins-of-syrias-civil-war/”

      Jim couldn’t open it. Reposting.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/20/hidden-origins-of-syrias-civil-war/

    87. mr thms says:

      #Robert Peffers @ 9.29 pm

      Thanks for the concise history of the region.

      I have copied and pasted it to ‘Google Docs’ for future reference.

      You might be interested to learn that your post used up 6 and a bit pages!

    88. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Genghis D’Midgies at 6.56

      Exactly. I heard this was planned by US/UK in 2006

    89. Jim says:

      @ Petra says at 10:04 pm

      “Jim couldn’t open it. Reposting.”

      Thank you Petra.

    90. Petra says:

      No problem Jim. Worth reposting.

      ‘US in a state of panic over Russia’s move in Syria: American author …. British – Saudi Terrroist Apparatus.’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec2Z-85rZl0

      ‘Alex Salmond vs. Andrew Neil on foreign policy; USA driven neocolonialism and Islamic State.’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIDpNh5N7iI

    91. Thepnr says:

      We’re all in a bit of a mess eh, when your elected government don’t even know which side to support or attack.

      Looks like we’re fucked either ways.

    92. CameronB Brodie says:

      JLT

      What a complete and utter disaster of the political thinking in defence and foreign policy by the United States.

      I posted this on a previous thread.

      Lewis’s legacy of intellectual and moral confusion has greatly hindered the ability of sincere American policymakers to think clearly about Islam’s living imperial legacy, driven by unreformed and unrepentant mainstream Islamic doctrine. Reilly’s highly selective and celebratory presentation of Lewis’s understandings—the man Reilly dubs the “foremost historian of the Middle East”— is pathognomonic of the dangerous influence Lewis continues to wield over his uncritical acolytes and supporters. xiii

      http://www.andrewbostom.org/2011/08/bernard-lewis-pied-piper-of-islamic-confusion/

    93. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Actually I think there are ISIS terrorists in Cowal Place and Valrose Terrace so I’m asking the US,the UK and France to bomb Dunoon.

      Did we see the UK bombing Belfast or Derry because there was terrorists there?

      Would they bomb Carlisle if there was terrorists in charge there.

      Of course they would not
      But the Syrians/Iraqis/Afghanistanis/Libyans are only brown guys

      There is never a case for bombing. The only morally acceptable intervention in any situation is ground troops moving in and policing. But that would mean that some of our white guys might get killed. Hand me that poppy

    94. ClanDonald says:

      More further reading on the mess the west has made in Syria, it’s from the Spectator a few weeks ago. Apologies if someone else has posted this already on this thread, I didn’t see it.

      “Bizarrely, Putin is talking more sense on Syria than anyone else”:

      https://archive.is/yiBql

    95. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been following this thread closely, checked-out a good few links, and I still don’t know wtf is going on in Syria.

      What I do know – because my memory is better than John Humphries’ – is that the last time we were this close to getting snarled-up in a major conflict, John Swinney was leader of the SNP. He dithered about whether or not to declare support for the Iraq invasion until the moment he had to go onstage in front of the biggest gathering of Scots ever seen on a demonstration, i.e. outside the ‘Armadillo’ in Glasgow – same day that Blair delivered his speech early to the Scottish Labour conference, then bolted (allegedly under orders from Strathclyde Police).

      This time ’round it’s Alex Salmond’s gig, and I’m sure he won’t miss the chance to slap Cameron about the chops sometime this week.

      ‘Not In Our Name’ was the chant twelve years ago. Looks like we’ll be screaming it again, no matter how futile it may be. It’s like howling at the fucking moon, but what else can we do?

    96. a supporter says:

      “in the hands of a murderous Russian-backed dictator conducting a ruinous, destabilising civil war.”

      C’mon Stu? Surely you aren’t being brainwashed by the Tories and their fascist supporters in the MSM? About the only bit of that sentence which is known to be true is the bit that says Assad is backed by the Russians. Assad may be a murderous dictator as the West claims but he IS the head of the Legal Government in Syria however he got there. And HE isn’t ‘conducting’ the ruinous destabilising civil war. Assad is fighting a civil war against a number of different insurgent groups who are trying to overthrow that Legal Government of Syria.

    97. Tony Little says:

      Interesting piece by John Pilger. Worth a read

      http://johnpilger.com/articles/from-pol-pot-to-isis-the-blood-never-dried

    98. Petra says:

      @ Jim says at 9:30 pm ”A nine minute video featuring a former US Marine”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESZN_YDE-TU

      I’ve read through every article on here and just watched this video and MY, MY, MY! The best yet and sums up the whole situation in nine minutes. Brave man.

    99. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Interesting voice from the past there on BBC North Britain Radio News – Sir Jeremy Greenstock.

      A’body mind him? Suave, sophisticated, ever-so-plummy, and banging the auld drummy (ever so diplomatically, naturellement) for boots on the ground in Syria.

      He was, of course, a well-kent coupon when we were going through all the Resolution 1441 palaver at the United Nations.

      Who will crop up on the ‘news’ next? George Robertson? Jack Straw? George Foulkes? Perhaps Blair will do us all a favour and tell us what he thinks – we can then be assured that the opposite is as close to the truth as we’re likely to get.

      The vampires need a feed and the prospect of fresh blood is strong…any surprise that they’re all coming back out again?

    100. J Galt says:

      Who cares whether Assad is a “Dictator” – they do things differently in the mid east – maybe they see through the largely phony Western “Democracy” shite and want none of it.

      It’s not fluffy and PC but these places need strong men (and occasionally women) in charge to provide a secure framework for the ordinary punters to lead reasonable lives.

      Yes you need to keep your nose clean re the regime but hey ho thats the way the cookie crumbles.

      To hell with “western values”.

      Russia’s humiliating the US and it’s lackeys and it’s great fun to watch – long may it go on.

      Mon’ Vlad the Lad!

    101. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I think I’ll invite Putin to our Burns Night

    102. Cadogan Enright says:

      @rev

      While the Assads and Gadaffis may be an unpleasant lot, I don’t think that there is anyone with a knowledge of the region who does not think that the majority in both Countries should gladly have them back and who would greatly prefer that ‘Western Help’ had never happened.

      Russia’s play to me looks logical, and more likely to restore a functioning government to the Country.

      A constitutional settlement like that in Lebanon , Belgium, Switzerland or N.Ireland may work given that the Colonial powers will resist re-drawing boundaries.

      Of course if any new confederation does not march to the tune of NATO, it will risk getting they sort of ‘help’ that the U.S., Germany and the UKOK gave the various bits of Yugoslavia before re-drawing it’s boarders in a we have so often been told could not be done after the shameful post WW2 carve up by Britain and France across so much of the Middle East and Africa.

      Yugoslavia could have been transitioned into the EU without the western-led blood-letting that turned the Balkans into a giant crime syndicate.

      Frankly, Russia looks like the only responsible player standing up to Western Militarism foisting war and mayhem in Country after Country across Africa and the Middle East.

      The beneficiaries of this Western Madness certainly are not Seán and Sheila Citzen here, or Jock and Moira Subject in North Britain.

      The only war that might have been justified was Afganistan, but then the energy and money that should have been used for reconstruction there was blown on an insane war in Iraq

    103. dakk says:

      Bob Mack 8.12

      ‘Nuclear weopans make no distinction… we will all fry together’

      Don’t be daft Bob.That’s why we are about to spend another £167 bn on Trident.

      It’s only a deterrent dontcha know 🙂

    104. Peter Craig says:

      O/T

      I got back from the west coast of the U.S. recently after visiting family in Los Angeles.

      I have been visiting there regularly since the late seventies, California, in most of that time has been solidly democrat in its political leanings.

      As an entity California would be really pressed to survive without its immigrants from the hispanic nations to its south.

      The mostly undocumented workers can be found every morning on Pico Blvd. looking for work. Almost every pool guy, gardener or domestic worker is undocumented and of hispanic origin.

      I was amazed and dismayed at the traction Donald Trump seems to be making even amongst a population that knows his stance on undocumented workers is plainly bullshit.

      I have to say ,that with conversations I have had with both blue collar and lower middle class americans recently, I am afraid that Trump has a real chance of taking the White House.

      Should that inconceivable situation ever come to pass, then God help us all.

      His knowledge of global politics is only matched by his knowledge of domestic issues, which is to say, he knows nothing of either.

    105. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Does anyone know what the running-order is in the HOC this week? I can’t be bothered hunting through the official sites.

      Basically, I just want to know when we’ll see Alex Salmond having a go at Cameron over all the drum-beating. Is it likely that he’ll get a chance this week?

    106. Patrician says:

      If the Americans really, really wanted rid of Assad, he would be long gone. The area has more than enough suicide bombers and I would expect it is not beyond the wit of the CIA to get one in close to Assad.

      Peace in the ME doesn’t suit lots of interests, when the picture is this confused who know what is really happening.

      I say this of course as someone with no knowledge or insight into what is happening in the ME, which seems to put me in the majority of people including the UK and US leaders and military.

    107. Alastair says:

      Never in the field of human conflict have so few lied so much to so many.

    108. Angra Mainyu says:

      “The only war that might have been justified was Afganistan”

      Lol. I’d love to know how.

    109. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Just been talking to someone with strong Middle Eastern family connections. Assad in their judgement has at least 80% support in Syria and we have been fed huge lies for years about this.

      Was quite concerned to find out we had entertained a couple of Syrians at SNP conference with a wicked Assad story

    110. CameronB Brodie says:

      There’s a lot of history to this region.

      The Great Game, 1856-1907: Russo-British Relations in Central and East Asia

      http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1611

    111. crazycat says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      http://services.parliament.uk/calendar/future.html#!/calendar/Commons/MainChamber/2015/11/23/week.html

      Tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday morning? I suppose the agenda might change; this one is still banging on about Iran.

      I saw a tweet from Roger Mullin. on his way to London by train, and Syria was in his list of forthcoming business for this week.

    112. msean says:

      Re Afghanistan,I think the USA invoked the NATO collective defence thing.

    113. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Tony Little (11.08) –

      Cheers for the Pilger link.

      Good to see the man’s still as on-the-ball as ever.

      Blair is a haunted character, and will remain so – he’s got Rose Gentle at one ear, and Pilger at t’other.

    114. call me dave says:

      O/T

      Scotland Bill 2 please says SNP, in the Herald.

      https://archive.is/30Xxq

      PS: Herald:

      A bid to keep longannet generating to avoid loss of supply.

    115. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @crazycat –

      Hoots tae ye! Hope ye’re well.

      No doubt AS will make the most of whatever openings arise. Here’s hoping he gives Cameron a proper roasting, and the likes of the SDL and UKIP fair warning that their inflammatory pish will not be tolerated in Scotland.

    116. crazycat says:

      @ Ian

      Same to you, too.

      I’m well enough all things considered (house repairs, computer irritations, and, oh yes, imminent World War 3 – might not need to worry about the other things for much longer).

    117. I blame Alexander who 2345 years ago destroyed the unity of the Persian Empire and ever since the place has been going from one war/empire to the next.

    118. schrodingers cat says:

      Patrician

      there is no conspiracy theory…..just blind incompetence

    119. Still Positive. says:

      Ian Brotherhood.

      It is worth watching Parliament TV even if they are not discussing any thing relevant to Scotland. I watched the Local Government debate last Wednesday and they appear to be shafting the north of England.

      Worth watching the Northern Ireland debate tomorrow – to compare and contrast – and see how we fit in. Just a thought.

    120. CameronB Brodie says:

      Rwandan Genocide of 1994 was a truly traumatic and horrifying event.

      Does re-branding a country devastated by genocide qualify you for selling a pup to a nation choosing it’s destiny? VNoB?

    121. Ken500 says:

      The SNP could point this out. The War is being taken to Europe now. Any escalation will only make things even worse. More indiscriminate bombing is not the answer. Putin tried to get UK/US and France to talks with Assad/Syria the West refused. Assad is reported be willing to relinquish some powers and put it to a vote. The US/UK have fundedand ared Daesh and put them into Syria. As per usual UK/US and France are responsible for the crisis in the Middle East, in order to illegally take resources from the region. Cameron and Osbourne are war criminals. Psychopaths who should be put in jail. They are killing the vulnerable at home and away. They are a total disgrace.

      Osbourne has found another £12Billion (to put on the debt – on tick) for military aircraft to blow more innocent, vulnerable people to death. The Unionist politicians and their American associates are an absolute disgrace. A shower of murdering, greedy low lives. Always have been and always will be. They kill indiscriminately to line their pockets. Just as well the SNP will point that out.

      That video sums up the situation, except Assad was reported willing to talk to find a diplomatic solution. The only solution that will have a chance of resolving the conflict. Along with Israel being brought to book.

      Where is the Chilcot verdict. 7 yeas late. Blair and Brown should be in jail. Netanyahu should be in jail along with the Westminster criminals. They are a completes disgrace. Every one of them.

    122. Ken500 says:

      Assad has more support than Cameron.

    123. James D says:

      Looks like you’ve throw your normally high jouralistic standards out the window on this one Rev.

      Where is the evidence of the 100ks slaughtered by Assad? MSM says so?

      SNP=Bad! – now PUTIN=BAD?

      It’s a simple fact that ISIS serves US/UK Western geopolitical interests and NOT those of Russia.

      And indeed as @Ken500 notes – Cameron has only 24% support of the UK electorate, so who’s the dictator here?

    124. J R Tomlin says:

      Considering how brilliantly it went when we ‘went in to take Saddam Hussein’ down, I have no problem at all that we’re not going to do the same thing in Syria. I see no reason on earth to think it would go one whit better.

      I don’t know how bad a dictator Assad is but I know of no reason, either, why it is our job to ‘take down’ every dictator on earth. And I know some I KNOW are bad, Salman of Saudi Arabia for example, who run governments ten steps beyond oppressive to which we vigorously kiss arse, so the ‘he’s a dictator so we have to take him down’ argument to put it mildly does not convince. We also aren’t really eager to send a huge army in to ‘take down’ the horrendous dictatorship in North Korea. Funny that. We’re real selective about which dictatorships we’re so eager to ‘take down’.

    125. Capella says:

      Glen Beck, right wing TV host, horrified at the type of terrorist US is helping in Syria. This video clip is a couple of years old. Even Putin knows this is immoral, says Beck.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG4gXCRyv_A

    126. caz-m says:

      It looks as if it’s going to be ANOTHER Tory Free week on BBC Scotland.

      Yet again they fail to get Mundell OR Davidson into one of their studios to answer questions about the Tory cuts being announced this week.

      BBC Scotland are experts are twisting a story so much, that you would swear that it was the SNP who was carrying out all these cuts.

    127. Macca73 says:

      There’s a lot of flexing of muscles at the minute and with yesterday’s government announcement to buy more aircraft, drones and put more troops “On the front line” we seem to be gearing up for it too.

      I pity the country that we’ve been left with in Scotland. The Yes vote would have given us a voice of reason in the UN.

      Very sad times indeed.

    128. caz-m says:

      We are being told that new fleet of air maritime patrol planes will be based at RAF Lossiemouth (Some time in the future). Does anyone know how many Scots will be employed their.

      As far as I know, almost ALL RAF planes are piloted and crewed by our friends from England. When was the last time you heard a Scottish accent when an RAF pilot is interviewed.

      They all seem to have a “Home Counties” accent.

      Toys for the (English) boys.

    129. heedtracker says:

      Prince Charles: climate change may have helped cause Syrian civil war

      Rancid The Graun headline. So fix global warming and that’s the middle east problem nearly solved.

      Prince Charles also huge fan of Saudi monarch rule, oil rich kingdon of Saudi.

      Its great neighbouring a land ruled by nutters, also in charge of Scotland, still.

    130. scottieDog says:

      Initially drought that got Syrians on street asking for govt aid

    131. caz-m says:

      O/T

      If you are out and about today, keep your eyes peeled for a Russian submarine. BBC Scotland telling us that our defence forces are looking everywhere for it, but have not spotted it yet.

      To help you identify it, BBC Scotland have put out a description. They say it’s a big long black thing and is usually found in the water. Good luck and don’t be afraid.

    132. CameronB Brodie says:

      caz-m
      I knew a Tornado pilot from Dundee that might take offense to that and he was huge. So big it’s worth mentioning. 😉

    133. Petra says:

      @ Ken at 5:58 am / 6:06am …….

      Totally agree with you Ken. The fact alone that Chilcott has dragged on and the warmongers such as Bush, Cheney, Blair, Straw et al have got off Scot free must have enraged millions in the Middle East: the West sticking two fingers up to millions who have lost loved ones.

      What happened in France last week was horrendous but can you imagine how people in these countries feel when they see all the flag waving, pomp and ceremony being displayed for as they see it a couple of hundred deaths when this is a daily occurrence for many of them and has been for years now. The pomp is then followed by the National anthem, ‘we are at War’ and more bombing. How devastated must these people feel in that they aren’t in a position to protect themselves or retaliate? The Palestinians, for one, come to mind. It’s no wonder that many moderates have been flooding to join Daesh. We can’t understand it as Daesh seem like barbarians to us however they have experience of the West being barbaric towards them.

      This video highlights that some of their own drone operators are complaining about such barbarity and can clearly see that their actions are increasing Daesh popularity / support.

      https://theintercept.com/2015/11/19/former-drone-operators-say-they-were-horrified-by-cruelty-of-assassination-program/

      NATO leaders are using their might against Assad by trying to make out that they are concerned about 250,000 deaths (true or not), his lack of popularity in Syria and factions fighting to get rid of him. Whatever the case it’s clear that the vast majority of Syrians support him. Cameron is ruling the roost over us albeit there have been no mass deaths and factional fighting has been contained to yobs in Freedom Square and an egg being thrown. The vast majority of people didn’t vote for him in Scotland, he’s highly unpopular and around 50% of people here want regime change however I don’t see NATO coming to our rescue and bombing London. I don’t even hear any of them saying enough is enough, cut it out Cammy and give the Scots the devolution they deserve.

      Bombing isn’t going to get rid of Daesh and they know it. Someone has to cut off their financial supply line, get round a table with Assad and get boots on the ground to fight Daesh not Assad. Saudi comes to mind especially as they are one of biggest culprits in both instances.

      Cameron bombing won’t make a whit of difference and where is the money going to magically appear from to do so? He’s just ‘back affronted’ as we say here that he’s not one of the big boys anymore and can’t show off his big boy toys. Worse still is now known Internationally as the pig fancier .. with all the jokes that’ll entail. He’ll also be under pressure from banker and arms dealing lobbyists to get his finger out.

      One way or another we are heading towards the abyss if someone doesn’t put a stop to this and soon. As usual we see the Labour Party Blairites prepared to vote to cause death, destruction and mayhem. This is exactly what we wanted out of last year …. the Better Together Union of red and blue Tory warmongers.

    134. Angra Mainyu says:

      msean says:
      23 November, 2015 at 1:00 am
      Re Afghanistan,I think the USA invoked the NATO collective defence thing.

      ———

      Yes, which in international law means precisely nothing.

      In terms of law they tried to draw on article 51 of the UN charter which allows military action on the basis of self defence but they soon realised how stupid that was.

      The mission changed from shutting down terrorist camps to promoting democracy withing about 3 weeks.

    135. ScottieDog says:

      “They say it’s a big long black thing and is usually found in the water.”
      The morning after a night on the Guinness. :-s

    136. Petra says:

      @ caz-m at 8:35 ….. threats of a big submarine now! Hate to say it but I’m just waiting on a terrorist attack in Scotland. By whom? The one aimed to shut us and the SNP up, back bombing and remind us that we require Unionist protection, pooling and sharing

    137. Albaman says:

      @Robert Peffers,
      All that information in Kelty libery?.

    138. Dr Jim says:

      Once again UK Better Together promises to Scotland broken and completely disregarded

      BBC Scotland Response to the SNP “Yes but circumstances change don’t they”

      If the SNP were to even alter a promise a tiny degree they’d be hounded day and night by the BBC Media, STV, the Labour Branch office, the Tories, even wee rotten Rennie would get his Knebsworth in, but if the big important UK Parliament says Stuff you Scotland that’s OK

      UK?….Burn it

    139. Cadogan Enright says:

      @petra 8.48

      You mean ‘fooling and scaring’ , don’t you?

    140. Dr Jim says:

      Re the Russian submarine, everything’s OK they’ve sent for Jeremy Wade the River Monsters guy, he’s gonnae catch it wae yin o thon big rods he’s got

    141. Angra Mainyu says:

      “International analysts as well as Syrian sources have since 2011 maintained, that the eruption of violence was systematically created from abroad.”

      “Top British Officials Confessed to Syria War Plans Two Years before Arab Spring”

      “I am going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me, that they were preparing something in Syria”. (former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas

      http://nsnbc.me/2013/06/16/dumas-top-british-officials-confessed-to-syria-war-plans-two-years-before-arab-spring/

    142. CameronB Brodie says:

      The Food Crises and Political Instability
      in North Africa and the Middle East

      Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand and Yaneer Bar-Yam
      New England Complex Systems Institute

      Abstract
      Social unrest may reflect a variety of factors such as poverty, unemployment, and social injustice. Despite the many possible contributing factors, the timing of violent protests in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 as well as earlier riots in 2008 coincides with large peaks in global food prices. We identify a specific food price threshold above which protests become likely. These obser-
      vations suggest that protests may reflect not only long-standing political failings of governments, but also the sudden desperate straits of vulnerable populations. If food prices remain high, there is likely to be persistent and increasing global social disruption. Underlying the food price peaks we also find an ongoing trend of increasing prices. We extrapolate these trends and identify a crossing point to the domain of high impacts, even without price peaks, in 2012-2013. This implies that avoiding global food crises and associated social unrest requires rapid and concerted action.

      http://www.necsi.edu/publications/food/food_book.pdf

    143. heedtracker says:

      scottieDog says:
      23 November, 2015 at 8:31 am
      Initially drought that got Syrians on street asking for govt aid

      Oh right that explains it then. Where would the world be without rulers like Prince Charles etc.

    144. call me dave says:

      Frigate!

      GMS saying that the promise to build the (15?) frigates on the Clyde has been scaled down. Only 5 now to be built.

      Ian Davidson and CMD said we would be OK if we voted NO.

      🙂

    145. Ken500 says:

      Salmond and the SNP are on to them. They will get telt straight. That Cameron is ready for a talking to, his own lot don’t support what he is doing.Labour are a joke. The prima donna troughing Laborites are going to run away again. If the Tories go ahead it won’t be on Scottish taxpayers money. Scotland didn’t vote for this crap. Good riddance Tory/Unionists. You useless bullying, murdering cowards. Always attacking the vulnerable.

      Not in our name.

      Where’s the Chilcot Report 7 years late. Brown and Blair. Should be in jail,

    146. pitchfork says:

      Is anyone else concerned about hints in the press that the SNP might be considering backing military action in Syria?

      I still doubt that this would happen, but if it did I think it would be a disaster for the SNP’s prospects in 2016 and set abck the independence cause immeasurably. (In addition of course to the military action itself being disatrous for the Middle East).

      I’m a convinced SNP/SNP for 2016 having previously mostly voted SSP, but I personally would most likely either spoil my ballot in 2016 or vote some combination of Green/RISE/SSP if the SNP backs the war.

      I do hope the SNP don’t make the Labour’s mistake in ignoring their core vote and assuming that people will stick with them anyway.

      Don’t inflame the middle east further, and don’t halt the impetus towards independence. – I still think the SNP _will_ do the right thing on this issue, but for the first time since May I’m a little worried.

      – Chris

      * PS I have not been impressed by RISE’s recent stream of statements which make them look like they are scrabbling for votes in 2016. I don’t think elections should necessarily be the main focus for a small left wing party and at this particular time RISE seems willing to prioritise their own small chance of electoral success over the need for an SNP majority. That looks to me like a big unecessary gamble.

    147. Capella says:

      Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria. Our equivalent is the Queen, Head of State, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces etc.

      So although David Cameron has only 24% support of the voters (and I think his approval ratings are a large minus quantity), the Queen is a monarch and has no democratic standing at all. Many people support the monarchy, but that doesn’t make it a democratic institution.

    148. Petra says:

      @ Dr Jim says at re. The Russian submarine …. Everything is OK they’ve sent for Jeremy Wade ………

      Forget about Jeremy Wade. By the sounds of it our very own ScottieDog is now actually Scotlands Nuclear deterrent. Ever thought of having a night out in a pub close to Westminster Scottie? I’ll put up the pints.

    149. Ken500 says:

      There is already a dangerous, black submarine based in Scottish waters. It’s called Trident and Scotland don’t want it there. It’s a wasteful, dangerous waste of money. Scotland needs frigates to control their coastline, preferably made in Scotland to create jobs. So they can find any Russian subs. Imaginary or otherwise.

      Assad is more popular than Cameron. Putin is more popular than Cameron. Anyone is more popular than Cameron and his mouthpiece – the BBC. Gie’s Peace.

    150. caz-m says:

      CameronB Brodie 8.38am

      RE: English RAF pilots.

      “I knew a Tornado pilot from Dundee…”

      OK Cameron, I’ll give you that one, Scotland has got ONE RAF plot.

    151. Sinky says:

      O/T Unchallenged by supine media, Kezia Dugdale still flogging the 50% tax increase without mentioning that it also means increasing all tax bands to pay for spending plans.
      https://archive.is/UTiGy

    152. Ken500 says:

      The Royals act illegally and are not impartial. They are meant to be. The only reason for a Monarch as Head of State. The Royals and Westminster collude against the majority wishes of the people. Against the public interest.. The Royals are an extension of the Westminster PR stunt and illegally do their biding.

      A majority of the rest of the UK are taken in. They fall for it. ‘The Royals are good fun and act like a joke’. All those ridiculous outfits. The English working class vote Tory and love the Royals. Deluded. They know their place. Happy to rein over them for a big fat fee. £Billions of tax evaded funds. While the subjects are unhappy and live in misery.

      Football (Sport) and shopping. The Opium of the people.

    153. galamcennalath says:

      heedtracker says:

      “is what they think of their Scotland region”

      At that point we were only about 8weeks from voting and Yes were increasing, alarmingly from a Union perspective.

      I have little doubt that the Ministry of Defence saw their role to defend the Union. Projecting Scottish symbolism rather than Union would have been acting ‘for the other side’.

      Petty, perhaps, but all UK Ministries ultimately did the same – stood up and were counted for their Union.

    154. Ken500 says:

      The Royals illegally get involved in illegal wars and tax evasion. They should be in jail.

    155. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Anent Scottish RAF pilots.

      The guy I sat beside at school joined the RAF and was a front-line pilot. He retired as a Group Captain, after some years flying a desk.

      Another guy, from the year below, also joined and flew fighters, while another younger guy, used to frighten the natives by buzzing the village any time he was up in Scotland, flying his Hercules transport ‘plane.

      All three, however, are now retired, but, I assume, somewhere, there will be Scottish pilots still.

    156. Ken500 says:

      Not again. Kezia can’t add up or understand elementary Maths. Kezia should go back to school or do something useful rather than annoying folk. Gie’s Peace.

    157. Ken500 says:

      Cameon had the red, white and green for the Chinese dictator. That’s respect for you. Getting £Billion of debt to build a dangerous nuclear station. That’s respect for you. 50 years of Oil and nothing to show for it. Not even a puff of smoke.

    158. Ali says:

      So why didn’t they ask Sen.Graham if it was his intent to declare war on Russia?

    159. Ken500 says:

      Ewan McGregor brother. Ewan is a tax exile. Likes the Los Angeles sun. Did he come out for No? No respect.

    160. Lanarkist says:

      Sorry OT.

      SLab Radio this morning discussing the banning of the Lords Prayer Church of England advert video from being played in cinemas across the country.

      Reason given by cinema chains is that they don’t allow adverts for religion or politics to be shown.

      I seem to remember cinemas playing Better Together/ NoBOrders ads in Scotland in the lead up to the Referendum and that they had to pull the ad referencing the children’s hospital in London!

      Doesn’t apply in Scotland region then, obviously!

    161. CameronB Brodie says:

      caz-m
      There was enough of him for two. 🙂

    162. Capella says:

      @ Ken500
      It was actually in honour of the Indian Prime Minister, Modi.

      https://www.facebook.com/royalairforce/videos/10153781818814885/

    163. Ken500 says:

      The right Charlie does sword dances with the Saudi’s on Westminster missions commands. The Saudi’s the most absolute, despot Monarchy in the world. Absolutely no rights for the people. They crucify boy compaigners. They cut the arm off elderly Indian workers, they treat as slaves. They kill and maim labourers, they treat as slaves.

    164. Fireproofjim says:

      Capella
      I agree with you that the monarchy is anything but a democratic institution. However, a country being a monarchy is not necessarily a bad thing as all the most stable and peaceful countries seem to be monarchies. A few spring to mind – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. All places where it would generally be pleasant to live.
      Monarchy has many faults but at least it keeps the head of state out of the grubby hands of politicians.

    165. Capella says:

      @ Fireproofjim
      I agree. Those Nordic countries with their monarchs are far nicer places to live than a lot of republics that spring to mind. Nevertheless, it is not democratic, and so we should not be waging wars and preaching democracy to other nations when we fall far short of it ourselves. And I haven’t even mentioned the House of Lords and FPTP voting!

      Lets put our own house in order first.

    166. Ken500 says:

      The right Charlie is the biggest consumer on the Planet. Another Green hypocrite tax evader. Charlie and his associates caused the Syrian War because of their greed. No respect. The Royals are illegally engaging in illegal wars and political matters.They are supposed to be impartial. They are not supposed to be (secretly) interfering in Government or illegally (secretly) evading tax.

    167. Petra says:

      My first post of the morning in response to Ken seems to have disappeared into the ether! Really frustrating.

      Anyway just reading Amnesty Internationals latest magazine pointing out that Saudi Arabia is the biggest purchaser of UK made arms. No doubt accounts for the UK secretly supporting their candidacy for a place on the Human Rights Council. ‘The secretive, multi-billion Al-Yamamah contract is the largest single arms deal ever conducted by the UK. For the past 6 months Saudi warplanes have conducted air strikes against Huthi rebels in Yemen. More than 2,100 civilians have been killed, including 400 children. The Saudi-led anti-Huthi coalition is supported by the UK.’

      And is this not extremely worrying … or what!

      ‘Oliver Sprague, Amnestys Arms Control Programme Director, was barred from the recent Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London. He’d attended previous events and had pre-registered to attend this one. He was pulled aside, put in a waiting room and then told by an unnamed official that he ”didn’t meet the criteria for registration’. At past DSEI fairs campaigners have discovered electro-shock stun guns and batons, leg-irons and belly, body and gang chains advertised as well as cluster munitions. ”Every year we’ve monitored the fair and every year we’ve actually found torture or other illegal equipment being advertised for sale” says Olly.’

      This is the bl**dy Union that people like Brown, Darling, Lamont, Rennie, Davidson and of course Murphy the warmonger and member of the HJS …….. advocates of extraordinary rendition and torture …….. were determined we would be part of. Great, eh!

    168. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi caz-m.

      According to the Courier, the new fleet of air maritime patrol planes will be based in Lincolnshire.

      http://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-courier-advertiser-perth-and-perthshire-edition/20151123/281805692836834/TextView

      But, according to the BBC, they’ll be based at Lossiemouth.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-34898079

      Stay tuned for further suggestions…

    169. Flower of Scotland says:

      I love Wings!

      Thanks to all those great posts with invaluable information

      Thanks to Robert Peffers for an amazing post about the history of the Middle East and Syria since WW11.

      It’s wonderful to have such a valuable source of information.

      I am at the stage where I only take news from the media with a large dose of salts!

      What a great job you do Rev!

    170. Capella says:

      I too have had a disappearing post. I agree with Fireproofjim that some of the best countries to live in are monarchies and some of the worst are republics. However, it is an undemocratic institution. As is the House of Lords. As is the FPTP voting system.

      I just think we could put our own house in order before swanning around the middle east preaching about democracy. Especially at the point of a gun.

    171. cirsium says:

      The invasion of Iraq was illegal. The bombing of Libya by NATO forces was in contravention of the UN resolution. The UN defines the individual crime of aggression as the planning, preparation, initiation or execution by a person in a leadership position of an act of aggression. An act of aggression is defined as the use of armed force by one State against another State without the justification of self-defense or authorization by the Security Council. The threshold requirement is that the act of aggression must constitute a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

      The people who carried out the murders in Paris are French and Belgian nationals. What grounds under international law are there for France, the UK or the US to bomb Syria? What right have they to destroy the sovereign state of Syria?

      It would be good if the UK started respecting the UN Charter and international law. Nana posted this link some weeks ago https://archive.is/aUSD8#selection-4565.202-4583.177. It is the text of President Putin’s address to the UN and he was calling for support for the UN Charter and international law.

    172. Angra Mainyu says:

      cirsium, good post. The law matters, and not just when it serves “our” interests.

      The UN took time to define aggression in 1974 so that it also includes those who arm and use proxy armies against other states. On that basis alone Britain and others are the criminals here since they openly admit funnelling arms through their Turkish rat-run to Syrian “rebels”.

    173. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And HE isn’t ‘conducting’ the ruinous destabilising civil war. Assad is fighting a civil war against a number of different insurgent groups who are trying to overthrow that Legal Government of Syria.”

      The lesser-seen pro-Assad viewpoint, there.

    174. Swami Backverandah says:

      “Monarchy has many faults but at least it keeps the head of state out of the grubby hands of politicians.”

      You mention Australia.
      Do you know the circumstances of the sacking of the elected Government of Gough Whitlam by the Queen’s Representative Kerr.

      Grubby doesn’t even come close.

    175. Austin Flynn says:

      Putin + Nato + Assan + Iran+ Turkey. forces get rid of ISIS in Syria. They then brokerage a relatively peaceful change of regime by removing Russian Sanctions for Putin’s help. Trying to get rid of Assad at the moment is stupid. America is out of its depth in the Middle East, hog tied by Israel.

    176. ben says:

      It seems to me that the Military Industrial Complex in the USA demands war, and whatever will mean more war will be backed by the bought and paid for politicians of the USA (which is nearly all of them).

      Sen Graham is a warmongering fool as are they all…

      Look at the facts… Russia is far far far more peaceful than the west (esp UK and USA) look at the USA military bases overseas, then look at Russia’s. I suppose it could be attributed to the cold war… I don’t an awful lot.

      But if you try to learn about USA and Russian politics it starts to look like the opposite of what our media tells us (they tell us USA good Russia bad).

      too much spin. its impossible to make an informed decision. too many conflicting reports. too many invested interests, bought media. etc etc

      tl:dr WE’RE DOOMED (not sure how I ended from USA to DOOMED….)

    177. Jams O'Donnell says:

      Hi Rev. I generally admire your posts, but I feel in this case that you have regurgitated undigested the Western propaganda that Assad is a “murderous dictator”, and that Russian involvement in anything is “bad”. OK, Assad probably isn’t the nicest guy in the world, but Obama, for example, with his world-wide drone strikes in sovereign countries without legal authority, is no better. At least Assad confines his mayhem to his own country. As for Russia, the same applies. Russia has been involved in a few foreign excursions, but they pale in comparison to the US record of illegal interventions in around at least 50 countries since WWII.

      See williamblum.org for detailed information.

    178. Titler says:

      I’m certainly not going to express a pro-Assad viewpoint, but unfortunately the only way peace will come to Syria is if we step back and allow him to retake control. Likewise Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein. And Libya would have been better off under Gaddafi still. Not better off than under a democracy; but do you want to know how much we actually care about what happens after we set out to kill people who make the historical mistake of thumbing their noses at us, and buying Soviet weapons instead of ours? We can’t even be bothered to write more than a sentence about the ongoing, second civil war in Libya on wikipedia.

      That’s a purely illustrative example, but be honest, how much reporting have you heard from that country since our jolly little airstrikes led to Gaddafi being sodomised and killed in the back of a lorry by our “democratic” friends there?

      Even if we cared to actually try and support civil society post-conflict, which we don’t, we’re utterly incapable of doing so. Iraq went to pot in part because it was used as a test bed for libertarian free market ideals whilst American military doctrine has long since devolved to the old Nixonian approach of “Anything that flies on everything that moves” (Both links are dodgy hosts hosting decent content)… but it’s debatable whether anyone can change a society from the outside. The only example I can think of a state that was occupied and developed a democracy that it didn’t previously have is Imperial Japan post WW2. But then, the US elected giants of men back then. It no long does; Donald Trump calls to bring back waterboarding and worse, and his poll ratings go up.

      So… yes, sorry to say again, but it would be better, not “best” or even “happy compromise” that Assad at least gets control of society back again, for now. He has most of the armed forces with him. Very serious allies, as even Lindsay Graham recognises. A previous society he can at least revert back too. He’s also a war criminal and a dictator… but when has that ever bothered our own leaders? Our chum Islam Karizov in Uzbekistan both boils and freezes people to death. But he lets us use his airbases, so that’s ok.

      Or we can continue arming Al Qaeda to fight against ISIS and Assad, and fun fun fun, watch Turkey, through which the arms to Al Qaeda have been flowing and whose President’s son it’s rumoured is profiting from the oil trucks Russia has been bombing, then shoot down a Russian plane over Syria and… wheeeee, Russia provides 60% of the national gas Turkey uses, will it dare shut off the supply to a nation state applying to join the EU in retaliation? Why not, it already has done that to such a state, as well as funding Little Green Men shooting down civilian airliners in the Ukraine. So what more could possibly go wrong, eh?!

      No, awful as it is, at least getting some brutal stability back in Syria is the least worst option. Kick the shit out of ISIS and Al Qaeda, let Assad take back the rest, then offer huge amounts of Marshal Aide reconstruction money which they get to spend, but based upon certain domestic compromises.

      Will he take it? To stay in power, he’ll likely have too, because his country was falling apart due to rapid desertification from climate change which helped trigger the civil war in the first place. But that doesn’t help us feel big manly macho men men, so always comes second to us Kicking Ass And Not Paying Attention To The Names.

    179. Titler says:

      And as I was typing the above… Putin has made his statement;

      “This event is beyond the normal framework of fighting against terrorism. Of course our military is doing heroic work against terrorism… But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can’t describe it in any other way. Our aircraft was downed over the territory of Syria, using air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16. It fell on the Syrian territory 4km from Turkey.”

      He promised “serious consequences”, and added;

      “Do they want to make Nato serve ISIS? I understand that every state has its own regional interests and we’ve always respected that, but we will never allow the kind of crime that happened to today to take place. And of course we hope that the international community will find the strength to come together and fight against the common evil.”

      Oh oh.

      I can’t imagine he’ll allow his pilots to go looking for a fight against Turkish air cover, there aren’t enough local assets in Syria for that. But you can bet the Turkmen inside Syria are going to get a pounding, and a few gas pipes into Turkey might accidentally get bombed and mysteriously cut off for a few months too. And Turkey has a habit of flying over Syria looking to bomb the Kurds (who are supposed to be our allies, but y’know, realpolitik so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get locked up by a few S-300 A2A missiles when they do, hint hint.

    180. Will Podmore says:

      Capitalism never likes to waste a crisis. So in the aftermath of the terrorist outrages in Paris, David Cameron is planning to come back to parliament with a motion to authorise British bombing in Syria. In this he is backed by many Labour MPs and aided by the weak-willed hints from all parts of the shadow cabinet about a ‘free vote’.
      Talk of the RAF bombing Syria to defeat ISIS is a sham. The clear aim is to shore up the crumbling ‘opposition’, which includes the al-Qaeda affiliate the al-Nusra front – the recent recipient of 500 antitank missiles from the US via Saudi Arabia, among other munitions.
      Any British intervention could only be part of NATO’s aim of ousting Syria’s government. That would not only be a breach of the United Nations Charter, it would be an assault on the Syrian people’s right to determine their own country’s future.
      The Syrian government is certainly not asking for British intervention, particularly as Cameron repeatedly says that its president, Bashar al-Assad, must resign. “What gives the British foreign secretary the right to decide for Syrians how long their president should stay in power?” information minister Omran al-Zoubi told The Guardian in September.
      “My message to Britain is that their deeds must match their words,” al-Zoubi said. “If they are really against terrorism let them act accordingly and genuinely confront ISIS. The way to do that is by not ignoring those who are really fighting ISIS.”
      “We will not allow Syria to become an extremist emirate,” he said. “It will not be another Saudi Arabia,” a kingdom he described as “the General Motors of terrorism which exports it to the rest of the world”.
      The British people have no national interest in turning Syria into another Libya – now a country with no government, lawless, borderless, and a breeding ground for jihadists. No British intervention in Syria!

    181. Adam says:

      Getting rid of Assad will be a disaster. A very expensive one in lives and resources. Same as it was with Gadaffi and Saddam. The idiots and crooks baying for Assad’s blood online and in the media are the same idiots and crooks that believed or fabricated the incubator baby stories and dodgy dossier to justify war with Iraq (as well as endless other propaganda material you can be sure is put out there for you to swallow). No power in the West should be involed at all in this area. That constant interference is the problem in the first place.

      The public never learns though. Dumb to the end, when the final bomb will kill the final blind rube on the planet who won’t even know what hit them or why. Keep on supporting those “moderate rebels” or whatever they want to call them next year when they demonise the next group and also the bombing and transfers of money and arms to mysterious recipients. What could possibly go wrong?



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