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Thread: Syria....here we go again?

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    Syria....here we go again?

    Well, a bit stick was thrown towards us bouncers, for going all Mumsy and talking about whisky and the likes, and not sorting out the worlds problems.
    So, let's hear your thoughts on the latest drum banging , about hanging onto Uncles Sams cling ons , and threatening to chuck some bombs about.
    Well, I'm not going to kid anyone on that I understand all the goings on in the Middle East.
    What I do know, is the Whitehouse and Westminster are not to be trusted in these circumstances. To choose to fight a war, where recent history, if not even further back , tells us nothing good will come of it, is a staggering thought. Though I shouldn't be surprised. All I can see , is the West choosing to fight Russia on neutral territory . Amazingly , and not well reported in the main, Syria , are at the moment , trying to defeat ISIS, who, depending on the month, are sometimes the biggest threat to us since the Nazis . It's all a bit confusing , would like to hear others take on it.
    Then throw in the Donald ???? , why would anyone , any country follow this clown into a war ? Surely this countries people must stand up this time and say no more , not again, and if peaceful protests don't work , then find another alternative??
    And surely , if Thersa May dances to Americas tune yet again , Scotland's independence is in the bag. We can't stand by and watch another horror show. I just don't see the gain, can someone enlighten me, to what I am missing?
    What about @moathibby , surely you have a lot to say on the matter.

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    Surely nobody can get away every time with everything anymore?

    When major world leaders are all self-obsessed egotists and nationalists (great combo btw and give the Chinese bloke a year or two for the self-obsesedness) whaat can you do.

    Eventually you get sick of page refresh on Twitter
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    Of fúckin girls and fúckin guys with fúckin murder in their eyes

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    My opinion is probably simplistic. However, my understanding is this....

    1, Syria is run by a dictator. Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh since 2011 have been trying very hard to over throw him. At one point they were at the gates of Damascus.
    2, Russia seeing the weakness of the West spotted an opportunity. They are happy to be ruthless in protecting their Syrian allie and demolishing ISIS etc. They will turn a blind eye to whatever means it takes.
    3, Uncle Sam, the UK & France isn't happy that Russia is forging a power base with Syria and Iran.
    4, The West is therefore happy to act as the air force for Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to engage in a proxy war with Russia. So they'll side with the maniacs over the monsters.
    5, And all the time while Israel brutally kills innocents at random. And we arm Saudi Arabia to commit atrocity after atrocity in Yemen. Where's our concern for life in these area's?
    6, Russia are ready to make a stand. They are putting troops on the ground. The US may very well tip off Russia where it'll target but what if Russia doesn't move and Russian casualties result?

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    Trump just drafted in a warmonger looney. Quell supreez they've $#@!ed their weapons. Trigger happy $#@!s can't wait!

    I suspect we'll salute bend over, Borris that is with a Union Jack up his arse, and get the codes that will allow us to fire our American missiles, we paid the good olde USofA through the nose for, imminently.

    The Surrender Monkeys will batter their keyboard until a new Guillaume Shakespeare play is produced, shrug their shoulders and say what le $#@!!

    Theresa May will herald this as a shining example of Europe working together post brexit.




    You heard it here first¡

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
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    My opinion is probably simplistic. However, my understanding is this....

    1, Syria is run by a dictator. Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh since 2011 have been trying very hard to over throw him. At one point they were at the gates of Damascus.
    2, Russia seeing the weakness of the West spotted an opportunity. They are happy to be ruthless in protecting their Syrian allie and demolishing ISIS etc. They will turn a blind eye to whatever means it takes.
    3, Uncle Sam, the UK & France isn't happy that Russia is forging a power base with Syria and Iran.
    4, The West is therefore happy to act as the air force for Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to engage in a proxy war with Russia. So they'll side with the maniacs over the monsters.
    5, And all the time while Israel brutally kills innocents at random. And we arm Saudi Arabia to commit atrocity after atrocity in Yemen. Where's our concern for life in these area's?
    6, Russia are ready to make a stand. They are putting troops on the ground. The US may very well tip off Russia where it'll target but what if Russia doesn't move and Russian casualties result?
    7. Westminster may have engineered the salisbury attack to give some credence to their argument that Russia needs brought to book and pave the way for war in Syria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    7. Westminster may have engineered the salisbury attack to give some credence to their argument that Russia needs brought to book and pave the way for war in Syria.
    That thought crossed my mind, it's all falling into place very neatly to slay the pantomime baddie.
    I suppose , our governments can tell us anything but the truth.
    Or that how it seems .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    7. Westminster may have engineered the salisbury attack to give some credence to their argument that Russia needs brought to book and pave the way for war in Syria.
    What could possibly go wrong?

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    Can see a boycott of the World Cup happening if things get worse.


    Think I might nip over to Gorgie Farm and count some Chickens before they've hatched

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    Quote Originally Posted by hibbybilly View Post
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    Can see a boycott of the World Cup happening if things get worse.
    We should get a bounce team together to participate. We could win this
    They're gone, not here, forgotten
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    The city is now Hibernian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    We should get a bounce team together to participate. We could win this
    Over 40s only😂


    Think I might nip over to Gorgie Farm and count some Chickens before they've hatched

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    It's highly unlikely anyone but Russia did the Skripal thing. They have previous, they have motive - in fact several motives - and they had the means. I'm not saying it's impossible that it was someone else but there's no evidence for that. If you think we did it - again not impossible - then that's a seriously extraordinary claim and it would require some extraordinary evidence, especially given that there are lots of good reasons to think it was Russia. And there's literally none.

    I'm also persuaded that the evidence that the authorities in other countries have seen probably strongly suggests it was Russia. Why else would they follow and support May and Trump, who are hardly popular, and expel diplomats and take a firm stance against Russia? Why would Trump take a hard line? He's previously been quite well disposed towards Putin. I can only assume they have information that has persuaded them.

    I'm probably not in favour of intervening in Syria. But there are two big downsides to doing nothing (or not much): first it's going to be a bloodbath - it has many of the hallmarks of the Balkans, the Turkish backed FSA are already ethnically cleansing the kurds who will regroup and fight to hold as much as they can of the territory they've taken. On the other sides you have the remnant of IS in the east, the Russian and Iranian-backed regime, and Israel taking pot shots. We can look the other way but we should be honest with ourselves that complete non-intervention will be worse for civilians and indeed everyone except the strongest, who will deal mercilessly with the vanquished.

    The second is that Assad in local and Russia in global terms will be emboldened if we let them get away with what they are doing. Again, maybe that's a price worth paying to not be involved in what will probably amount to a series of massacres punctuated by drawn-out guerrilla wars. Perhaps we are best off hoping we can allow a nasty proxy war to be fought in Syria rather than risk a global conflict.
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    It's highly unlikely anyone but Russia did the Skripal thing. They have previous, they have motive - in fact several motives - and they had the means. I'm not saying it's impossible that it was someone else but there's no evidence for that. If you think we did it - again not impossible - then that's a seriously extraordinary claim and it would require some extraordinary evidence, especially given that there are lots of good reasons to think it was Russia. And there's literally none.

    I'm also persuaded that the evidence that the authorities in other countries have seen probably strongly suggests it was Russia. Why else would they follow and support May and Trump, who are hardly popular, and expel diplomats and take a firm stance against Russia? Why would Trump take a hard line? He's previously been quite well disposed towards Putin. I can only assume they have information that has persuaded them.

    I'm probably not in favour of intervening in Syria. But there are two big downsides to doing nothing (or not much): first it's going to be a bloodbath - it has many of the hallmarks of the Balkans, the Turkish backed FSA are already ethnically cleansing the kurds who will regroup and fight to hold as much as they can of the territory they've taken. On the other sides you have the remnant of IS in the east, the Russian and Iranian-backed regime, and Israel taking pot shots. We can look the other way but we should be honest with ourselves that complete non-intervention will be worse for civilians and indeed everyone except the strongest, who will deal mercilessly with the vanquished.

    The second is that Assad in local and Russia in global terms will be emboldened if we let them get away with what they are doing. Again, maybe that's a price worth paying to not be involved in what will probably amount to a series of massacres punctuated by drawn-out guerrilla wars. Perhaps we are best off hoping we can allow a nasty proxy war to be fought in Syria rather than risk a global conflict.
    The CIA and/or MI6 definitely wouldn't do something like that Also, the Russians are experts in murder and most likely wouldn't have messed it up the way whoever did this did. You might choose to believe our government at WM but I don't.
    They're gone, not here, forgotten
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    The CIA and/or MI6 definitely wouldn't do something like that Also, the Russians are experts in murder and most likely wouldn't have messed it up the way whoever did this did. You might choose to believe our government at WM but I don't.
    I didn't say they wouldn't do it. I said they might. I just said there's no evidence for it and plenty of circumstantial evidence that Russia or someone backed by them did.

    And the idea that because they didn't die it wasn't the Russians... do you think they're some strain of super-baddies? Have you read about what happened with Litvinenko, the amateurism and callousness of it? You're free to consider your cynicism a more valuable tool than a dispassionate view of what we can actually know, but I can't honestly believe that all these countries would leap behind May and Trump - whom they loathe - if they believed for one second it wasn't Russia.

    Who by the way today said that the UK did the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. An attack that they claimed earlier in the week didn't happen. France says they are convinced beyond doubt that Russian backed Syrian government forces were responsible and that they have evidence. I'd be pretty unlikely to trust Russia's account at this point. But perhaps your instinct tells you different?
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    I didn't say they wouldn't do it. I said they might. I just said there's no evidence for it and plenty of circumstantial evidence that Russia or someone backed by them did.

    And the idea that because they didn't die it wasn't the Russians... do you think they're some strain of super-baddies? Have you read about what happened with Litvinenko, the amateurism and callousness of it? You're free to consider your cynicism a more valuable tool than a dispassionate view of what we can actually know, but I can't honestly believe that all these countries would leap behind May and Trump - whom they loathe - if they believed for one second it wasn't Russia.

    Who by the way today said that the UK did the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. An attack that they claimed earlier in the week didn't happen. France says they are convinced beyond doubt that Russian backed Syrian government forces were responsible and that they have evidence. I'd be pretty unlikely to trust Russia's account at this point. But perhaps your instinct tells you different?
    You just blew your argument out of the water. Circumstantial evidence ffs. That's the same as no evidence. Post up the irrefutable evidence that Russia did it and we can agree it was them.

    It's more likely that had the Russians carried this out the two of them would be dead. You can dispute that all you want.

    Russia says it has evidence to suggest the Syrian chemical attack was engineered by outside agencies and I'd be pretty unlikely to believe that it was definitely them until someone shows me actual evidence instead of just parroting what WM wants us to believe.

    It's pretty convenient though that 2 chemical attacks, both attributed to Russia, happened so close to each other. It's almost as if the USA and their $#@! the UK found that a reason to get involved in Syria more heavily fell in to their laps.

    Each to their own though Henry.
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    Watching the news this morning before work, and the BBC are explaining where, what bases the " good guys" we're likely to strike.
    Well f&&k me , I hope the enemy wasn't watching , , they might be ready, or move all their planes . What a disaster that would be
    It's not unlike Blackadder goes forth , where Fry goes on about doing the same thing again and again and again , cause that's exactly what the enemy won't expect. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.
    I just don't see what anybody expects to gain from it all, now I'm pretty thick on these matters , but I know the answer. As we all did in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan . It's $#@!in madness. It's all our children who will pay for this $#@!, and for what????!!!! I ask a few people this, and nobody, not one can give me an answer. Nobody has a ####### clue what is going on , but we all know how it will end.
    Send Trumps kids and grandkids in , send Mays, but of course not . It's all the expendables, all the folk who have been kept in the dark and fed $#@! .
    TELL US THE FCUKIN TRUTH, we are all big boys and girls , just what do they have to hide? I even heard Blair saying we should act!!! Does that next Tuesday never learn?????

    I'm away for a lie doon!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tayside hibee View Post
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    Watching the news this morning before work, and the BBC are explaining where, what bases the " good guys" we're likely to strike.
    Well f&&k me , I hope the enemy wasn't watching , , they might be ready, or move all their planes . What a disaster that would be
    It's not unlike Blackadder goes forth , where Fry goes on about doing the same thing again and again and again , cause that's exactly what the enemy won't expect. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable.
    I just don't see what anybody expects to gain from it all, now I'm pretty thick on these matters , but I know the answer. As we all did in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan . It's $#@!in madness. It's all our children who will pay for this $#@!, and for what????!!!! I ask a few people this, and nobody, not one can give me an answer. Nobody has a ####### clue what is going on , but we all know how it will end.
    Send Trumps kids and grandkids in , send Mays, but of course not . It's all the expendables, all the folk who have been kept in the dark and fed $#@! .
    TELL US THE FCUKIN TRUTH, we are all big boys and girls , just what do they have to hide? I even heard Blair saying we should act!!! Does that next Tuesday never learn?????

    I'm away for a lie doon!!!!!!
    If they told you the truth they probably wouldn't be able to manufacture a reason to go to war.
    They're gone, not here, forgotten
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    If they told you the truth they probably wouldn't be able to manufacture a reason to go to war.
    Ah, you touched on the @tayside hibee question "I just don't see what anybody expects to gain from it all"

    The arms manufacturers in the USA will be lobbying hard while quietly celebrating more multi billion contracts. Meanwhile in Russia the military machine shifts up a gear.

    Profits all round.

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    Ah well, looks like nae World Cup for our over 40’s @Dub


    Think I might nip over to Gorgie Farm and count some Chickens before they've hatched

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    Quote Originally Posted by hibbybilly View Post
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    Ah well, looks like nae World Cup for our over 40’s @Dub
    Maybe no world by the time Trump and May are finished.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    It's highly unlikely anyone but Russia did the Skripal thing. They have previous, they have motive - in fact several motives - and they had the means. I'm not saying it's impossible that it was someone else but there's no evidence for that. If you think we did it - again not impossible - then that's a seriously extraordinary claim and it would require some extraordinary evidence, especially given that there are lots of good reasons to think it was Russia. And there's literally none.

    I'm also persuaded that the evidence that the authorities in other countries have seen probably strongly suggests it was Russia. Why else would they follow and support May and Trump, who are hardly popular, and expel diplomats and take a firm stance against Russia? Why would Trump take a hard line? He's previously been quite well disposed towards Putin. I can only assume they have information that has persuaded them.

    I'm probably not in favour of intervening in Syria. But there are two big downsides to doing nothing (or not much): first it's going to be a bloodbath - it has many of the hallmarks of the Balkans, the Turkish backed FSA are already ethnically cleansing the kurds who will regroup and fight to hold as much as they can of the territory they've taken. On the other sides you have the remnant of IS in the east, the Russian and Iranian-backed regime, and Israel taking pot shots. We can look the other way but we should be honest with ourselves that complete non-intervention will be worse for civilians and indeed everyone except the strongest, who will deal mercilessly with the vanquished.

    The second is that Assad in local and Russia in global terms will be emboldened if we let them get away with what they are doing. Again, maybe that's a price worth paying to not be involved in what will probably amount to a series of massacres punctuated by drawn-out guerrilla wars. Perhaps we are best off hoping we can allow a nasty proxy war to be fought in Syria rather than risk a global conflict.
    It's beginning to look [apparently, according to the Swiss lab that tested the samples handed over by britain] as if it wasn't a Russian nerve agent at all. The new favourite [although not with the british press obvs] is that it was 3-Quinuckidinyl benzilate which is a toxin never produced in Russia but was used by the US, UK and other Nato states. What say you now Henry? Still most likely the Russians?
    They're gone, not here, forgotten
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    It's beginning to look [apparently, according to the Swiss lab that tested the samples handed over by britain] as if it wasn't a Russian nerve agent at all. The new favourite [although not with the british press obvs] is that it was 3-Quinuckidinyl benzilate which is a toxin never produced in Russia but was used by the US, UK and other Nato states. What say you now Henry? Still most likely the Russians?
    BZ is a hallucinogen that was supposed to incapacitate soldiers or make them turn on each other....see wiki

    my point would be we will never know what happened - its not for us to know and attempting to do detective work from a computer at home is not going to be productive. perhaps a journalist allied with a whistleblower may get to the truth but i know i am not going to be able to do so. What we are being asked is to take on trust what our or their government tells us. I have no doubt our government are capable of spinning a story to suit the 'national interest' but that doesnt mean i am going to believe propaganda from the Kremlin either. That trust has been eroded in Westminster (en masse since Iraq and WMD) should not mean we trust Putin's story.

    I do know our government has no authority to argue from an ethical perspective what should be the consequences of Assad using chemical weapons or Putin using a nerve agent when we are culpable in atrocities in Yemen and Palestine (to name but 2). Such arguments ring hollow when you see pictures of kids slaughtered by 'our' weapons. Rather than get bogged down in the unfathomable detail of Syria or Skripal I think we should instead be looking to reform or replace government in this country to be more open and transparent in its decision making (and ideally more humanitarian in its foreign policy).

    in the mess that is Syria spare a thought for the Kurds in Rojava a point of light in the dark. LINK. That the Turks are 'allowed' to destroy this is a tragedy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    It's beginning to look [apparently, according to the Swiss lab that tested the samples handed over by britain] as if it wasn't a Russian nerve agent at all. The new favourite [although not with the british press obvs] is that it was 3-Quinuckidinyl benzilate which is a toxin never produced in Russia but was used by the US, UK and other Nato states. What say you now Henry? Still most likely the Russians?
    Would the Russians use their own stuff in a hit? They've previous for using other folk weapons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chester Perry View Post
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    Would the Russians use their own stuff in a hit? They've previous for using other folk weapons.
    What you seem to be saying is, If it was a Russian nerve agent then it was the Russians. If it wasn't a Russian nerve agent then it was the Russians. I'm getting a feeling that you think it was the Russians J.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    BZ is a hallucinogen that was supposed to incapacitate soldiers or make them turn on each other....see wiki

    my point would be we will never know what happened - its not for us to know and attempting to do detective work from a computer at home is not going to be productive. perhaps a journalist allied with a whistleblower may get to the truth but i know i am not going to be able to do so. What we are being asked is to take on trust what our or their government tells us. I have no doubt our government are capable of spinning a story to suit the 'national interest' but that doesnt mean i am going to believe propaganda from the Kremlin either. That trust has been eroded in Westminster (en masse since Iraq and WMD) should not mean we trust Putin's story.

    I do know our government has no authority to argue from an ethical perspective what should be the consequences of Assad using chemical weapons or Putin using a nerve agent when we are culpable in atrocities in Yemen and Palestine (to name but 2). Such arguments ring hollow when you see pictures of kids slaughtered by 'our' weapons. Rather than get bogged down in the unfathomable detail of Syria or Skripal I think we should instead be looking to reform or replace government in this country to be more open and transparent in its decision making (and ideally more humanitarian in its foreign policy).

    in the mess that is Syria spare a thought for the Kurds in Rojava a point of light in the dark. LINK. That the Turks are 'allowed' to destroy this is a tragedy.
    I agree that we will never know what happened. My response though was to the assertion that "Russia is the most likely to have carried out the attack" which is complete bull$#@!. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this was engineered by our government or at least an agency acting for the government and in collusion with the USA or an agent acting for them in order to justify the mindless attack on Syria that Theresa May seems to have decided is up to her and not us or our elected representatives.

    This to me is a case of the UK gov trying to prove they are still a force to be reckoned with in the world and nothing to do with any morality or concern for the Syrian people.

    As you say we have previous and I don't think our interventions in Middle East countries have resulted in a utopia for those left to clear up the rubble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    BZ is a hallucinogen that was supposed to incapacitate soldiers or make them turn on each other....see wiki

    my point would be we will never know what happened - its not for us to know and attempting to do detective work from a computer at home is not going to be productive. perhaps a journalist allied with a whistleblower may get to the truth but i know i am not going to be able to do so. What we are being asked is to take on trust what our or their government tells us. I have no doubt our government are capable of spinning a story to suit the 'national interest' but that doesnt mean i am going to believe propaganda from the Kremlin either. That trust has been eroded in Westminster (en masse since Iraq and WMD) should not mean we trust Putin's story.

    I do know our government has no authority to argue from an ethical perspective what should be the consequences of Assad using chemical weapons or Putin using a nerve agent when we are culpable in atrocities in Yemen and Palestine (to name but 2). Such arguments ring hollow when you see pictures of kids slaughtered by 'our' weapons. Rather than get bogged down in the unfathomable detail of Syria or Skripal I think we should instead be looking to reform or replace government in this country to be more open and transparent in its decision making (and ideally more humanitarian in its foreign policy).

    in the mess that is Syria spare a thought for the Kurds in Rojava a point of light in the dark. LINK. That the Turks are 'allowed' to destroy this is a tragedy.
    Good post.
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    May is moved by compassion for Syrian kids as we all are.....yet rejected 3000 Syrian kids taking refuge in Britain!! This event despite what Trump, May and Macron say really shows their weakness not strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    You just blew your argument out of the water. Circumstantial evidence ffs. That's the same as no evidence. Post up the irrefutable evidence that Russia did it and we can agree it was them.
    Circumstantial evidence is clearly not the same as no evidence. You won't get to the point where it's irrefutable so you have to make a judgement call. I choose to believe that Russia did this for lots of reasons, but primarily because so many other countries have been persuaded. Watch Marr's interview with Corbyn, who has now seen the classified files, even he clearly thinks it was them.

    It's more likely that had the Russians carried this out the two of them would be dead. You can dispute that all you want.

    Russia says it has evidence to suggest the Syrian chemical attack was engineered by outside agencies and I'd be pretty unlikely to believe that it was definitely them until someone shows me actual evidence instead of just parroting what WM wants us to believe.

    It's pretty convenient though that 2 chemical attacks, both attributed to Russia, happened so close to each other. It's almost as if the USA and their $#@! the UK found that a reason to get involved in Syria more heavily fell in to their laps.

    Each to their own though Henry.
    Indeed. I'll leave this here as you're cloaking yourself in the armour of conspiracy theory and in my experience it's impossible to persuade someone with logic once their mind's been made up in that way. I note you're already keen to believe the Russian evidence which you haven't seen over the other evidence which you haven't seen. That doesn't suggest an objective stance, tbh.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    It's beginning to look [apparently, according to the Swiss lab that tested the samples handed over by britain] as if it wasn't a Russian nerve agent at all. The new favourite [although not with the british press obvs] is that it was 3-Quinuckidinyl benzilate which is a toxin never produced in Russia but was used by the US, UK and other Nato states. What say you now Henry? Still most likely the Russians?
    Your source for this is Russian, isn't it? Even then you have got it wrong - read what Lavrov said and then read what the Swiss lab said afterwards.

    But as I say you are in the rabbit hole. I'm not sure there's much point trying to discuss this as you will be unlikely to accept my sources and I won't accept Russia Today or Zero Hedge or whatever Lavrov is saying today or tomorrow (which are sure to be different).

    Why do you think so many countries who saw the classified information on this reacted so aggressively towards Russia and so supportively towards the UK, as a matter of interest? We are insignificant and disliked, remember?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    BZ is a hallucinogen that was supposed to incapacitate soldiers or make them turn on each other....see wiki

    my point would be we will never know what happened - its not for us to know and attempting to do detective work from a computer at home is not going to be productive. perhaps a journalist allied with a whistleblower may get to the truth but i know i am not going to be able to do so. What we are being asked is to take on trust what our or their government tells us. I have no doubt our government are capable of spinning a story to suit the 'national interest' but that doesnt mean i am going to believe propaganda from the Kremlin either. That trust has been eroded in Westminster (en masse since Iraq and WMD) should not mean we trust Putin's story.

    I do know our government has no authority to argue from an ethical perspective what should be the consequences of Assad using chemical weapons or Putin using a nerve agent when we are culpable in atrocities in Yemen and Palestine (to name but 2). Such arguments ring hollow when you see pictures of kids slaughtered by 'our' weapons. Rather than get bogged down in the unfathomable detail of Syria or Skripal I think we should instead be looking to reform or replace government in this country to be more open and transparent in its decision making (and ideally more humanitarian in its foreign policy).

    in the mess that is Syria spare a thought for the Kurds in Rojava a point of light in the dark. LINK. That the Turks are 'allowed' to destroy this is a tragedy.
    Good post. Note that Rojava has been made possible largely because of - yep - bombing by America.
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    Good post. Note that Rojava has been made possible largely because of - yep - bombing by America.
    indeed, chaos can be the mother of new life and ideas. whats your thoughts on Rojava - should the west be cultivating/protecting whats happening there or 'allow' Turkey (now co-operating with jihadists in their efforts) to do what it will?

    Is there a humanitarian case for helping the Kurds?
    Last edited by gun ainm; 16-04-18 at 19:31.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    Circumstantial evidence is clearly not the same as no evidence. You won't get to the point where it's irrefutable so you have to make a judgement call. I choose to believe that Russia did this for lots of reasons, but primarily because so many other countries have been persuaded. Watch Marr's interview with Corbyn, who has now seen the classified files, even he clearly thinks it was them.



    Indeed. I'll leave this here as you're cloaking yourself in the armour of conspiracy theory and in my experience it's impossible to persuade someone with logic once their mind's been made up in that way. I note you're already keen to believe the Russian evidence which you haven't seen over the other evidence which you haven't seen. That doesn't suggest an objective stance, tbh.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Your source for this is Russian, isn't it? Even then you have got it wrong - read what Lavrov said and then read what the Swiss lab said afterwards.

    But as I say you are in the rabbit hole. I'm not sure there's much point trying to discuss this as you will be unlikely to accept my sources and I won't accept Russia Today or Zero Hedge or whatever Lavrov is saying today or tomorrow (which are sure to be different).

    Why do you think so many countries who saw the classified information on this reacted so aggressively towards Russia and so supportively towards the UK, as a matter of interest? We are insignificant and disliked, remember?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Good post. Note that Rojava has been made possible largely because of - yep - bombing by America.
    And you sir are blindly agreeing with the government. If the evidence ever truly comes to light we will see what's what. I'll leave you to your own rabbit hole until then.
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    I don't believe Russia poisoned that guy and I don't believe Syria used chemical weapons either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperTortolano View Post
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    I don't believe Russia poisoned that guy and I don't believe Syria used chemical weapons either.
    There's absolutely no evidence for either that we've been presented with.

    Sadly, the sheer silliness of the Skripal incident prompted some truly harrowing commentary to end up looking utterly stupid.

    "Novichok's are worse than VX".

    Really? So how come both Skripals appear to be surviving the attack? If the Russians want these people dead, they could have had them stabbed or shot and not drawn a single raised eyebrow. Deploy nerve agents? Suddenly everyone is looking at you.

    As for using chemical weapons when you're the Assad regime, I don't buy it for a second.

    Why do it?

    The regime was dominating Douma, was in no danger of that changing, and then decides to deploy a chemical weapon that would bring down the ire of the international community? Give me a break. Assad, whatever else he may be, isn't an idiot; and Russia is probably the foremost practitioner in the world when it comes to dominating the information space where wars are now waged and Putin understands how this is done quite explicitly.

    On the other hand, the leader of the free world announces foreign policy via Twitter.

    To me, the reality is that Britain will do whatever Trump's America tells us to. This is, quite simply, because we're relying on a trade deal with them post-Brexit and, despite having the worst government in living memory, May's Conservatives understand that Trump is an overgrown child made of Wotsit dust who will need his tummy scratched. It's just how it is.

    Overall, however, what saddens me most is the utterly nonsensical approach to all of this.

    "We're making a statement about the culture of using chemical weapons".

    That's great, but that won't fix alleged human rights violations, a worsening humanitarian situation, saber-rattling between America and Russia, democratic degradation throughout the Middle East, porous borders with indigenous displaced people, jihadist's jockeying for position, opposition armed groups fighting them and the government, and a whole host of other problems that the Syrian civil has thrown up and that we, in the west, are largely ignorant of.

    Most of all, it's $#@!ing depressing that we've learned nothing from our military misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And it's $#@!ing embarrassing that the Russians have learned from these calamities, and concluded that it's better to try and eliminate violence with an imperfect political regime that you can change later than it is to actually bomb targets that jihadists want to bomb because of non-existent evidence of a chemical attack.

    Still, at least I only dreamed that Boris $#@!ing Johnson is the foreign secretary.

    Didn't I?

    Oh...

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    I have a more simplistic view on it .
    I don't trust Westminster because they have lied to us time and time again over many different issues. I want to trust my government , I Really do , I just find it very hard.
    Donald Trump is not presidential material . I still have not totally got my head round he was actually elected to the biggest power in the world . How can you take anything he says seriously? I certainly can't , I don't personally know anyone who thinks he is " the man for the job" How can one accept anything he says with any credibility? I wouldn't trust him to run my bath , never mind a military operations.

    I know nothing about Putin and his cronies , apart from what I see on the TV. I fail to see what they stood to gain from using chemical weapons in Syria, or the attack on a random dude in Salsbury.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tayside hibee View Post
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    I have a more simplistic view on it .
    I don't trust Westminster because they have lied to us time and time again over many different issues. I want to trust my government , I Really do , I just find it very hard.
    Donald Trump is not presidential material . I still have not totally got my head round he was actually elected to the biggest power in the world . How can you take anything he says seriously? I certainly can't , I don't personally know anyone who thinks he is " the man for the job" How can one accept anything he says with any credibility? I wouldn't trust him to run my bath , never mind a military operations.

    I know nothing about Putin and his cronies , apart from what I see on the TV. I fail to see what they stood to gain from using chemical weapons in Syria, or the attack on a random dude in Salsbury.
    Don't think anyone is accusing Russia of using chemical weapons in Syria?

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    Assad has basically won the war with Russian backing.No amount of dropped bombs by Trump and May is going to change that fact.I'm pretty sure the gas attack happened.I'm not so sure the poison will have come to be Russian, it might but how do we know without Theresa May jumping the gun and waiting on the weapons inspectors. Theresa May is playing a last role of the dice. She's gone for it,not because she gives a jott about the Syrian people; any more than she gives a jott for Yemeni children; or the Nigerians suffering at the hands of Boko Haram. What she does give a jott about is arm sales and distraction tactics.
    It's looking like Salisbury is becoming to be seen as coming unravelled. A doorknob with deadly poison contaminating it with a plain clothes policeman guarding it?Hmmn.
    But look back over recent middle East history, an invasion of Iraq that got rid of Saddam but at the end of the day solved very little; an invasion of Afghanistan that cost millions and solved very little; now it's Syria's go.You had a Spring Uprising that failed ,you had an offshoot of the rebels which developed into Isis ;and you got the major sides in the west changing sides more often than I change my pants.I think basically Isis are finished in Syria but their base really is Iran.
    Also you've got the Oil, the west are wanting their hands on oil reserves ,some things never change. But I think the main aim is to gear up for a take on of the Iranians. Watch this space-unless Jamie has changed the rules on archived posts.I'll be able to dig this up when there IS a war in Iran and say see I told you so.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another point each raid cost about 500 thousand,how many Grenfells would that have properly clad?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another point, how many more Syrian children are going to end up dead on a beach before we say enough is enough let them in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
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    Don't think anyone is accusing Russia of using chemical weapons in Syria?
    The Syrians are being accused of doing it, on the Russian watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    indeed, chaos can be the mother of new life and ideas. whats your thoughts on Rojava - should the west be cultivating/protecting whats happening there or 'allow' Turkey (now co-operating with jihadists in their efforts) to do what it will?

    Is there a humanitarian case for helping the Kurds?
    Can't pretend I'm an expert. It seems so intractable - Turkey and their de facto subordinates in the SLA have already retaken Afrin and started ethnically cleansing it as I alluded to before.

    I guess in a way the Kurds have been too successful due to their US air support. They now control nearly a third of Syria, albeit with about a tenth of the population. According to reports I read last week, they are preparing to defend what they have with guerrilla tactics as they know the Americans will desert them.

    To try to answer your question I'm not sure that we will do anything other than allow Turkey to pummel Rojava into dust. We can't even galvanise ourselves to properly bomb a few weapons plants when we see chemical attacks. Some of us aren't even sure we didn't do it! So the notion that we are going to help a controversial new country that one of our NATO allies hates - I don't think that will ever happen.

    I thought a bit more about your earlier post and while I think it's a good take, I don't quite agree that we just can't interpret what's happening in any way. In fact I think that's the goal of Russia and its vassals' propaganda - to make people shrug and throw up their hands and say we just can't know, both sides are as bad as each other etc. There is a lot of fog about, but look carefully and weigh the evidence and some sort of clarity is possible, albeit compromised.

    Take the idea that we and Assad are equivalent, that our bombing this week is similar or even a worse injustice than what he perpetrates. This is a man who when asked last year how he felt about killing his own people, about killing children, replied bluntly that he was engaged in a war, not a charity. Sometimes the answer is staring us in the face.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dub View Post
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    And you sir are blindly agreeing with the government. If the evidence ever truly comes to light we will see what's what. I'll leave you to your own rabbit hole until then.
    But that's the point. I'm not 'blindly' agreeing with them. I'm doing my best to assess various bits of evidence as they arise and hopefully doing so at some level of detail.

    Take the OPCW investigation that you so badly want. Russia and Syria have prevented its investigators from even accessing the Douma site. This is not just according to the UK government, but also the UN whom Russia initially said had done the actual blocking!

    Russia claimed it was because the site was dangerous but admitted to having its own people there, and yesterday a delegation of friendly journalists. The UN said clearances had been given. And yet the investigators who might bring you the clarity you want are not allowed in. How does that honestly look to you?
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by tayside hibee View Post
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    I know nothing about Putin and his cronies , apart from what I see on the TV. I fail to see what they stood to gain from using chemical weapons in Syria, or the attack on a random dude in Salsbury.
    The chemical weapons:

    Basically an incredibly quick finish. Governments get good political capital when they bring 'their boys' home and chemical weapons mop up opposition many times quicker than conventional house-to-house fighting or even bombs because they can get in everywhere and don't risk any casualties on your side.

    They are also terrifying and indiscriminate and thus encourage the enemy and its supporters to panic and flee if they can. Basically they have a disproportionate effect on enemy morale compared to their casualty rate and difficulty or expense of use. If you don't care about civilians they're a quick fix, which is partly why they are so frowned upon.

    In addition they've used them before and got away with it. Why not do so again when they are so chillingly 'effective'?

    Random Dude:

    A traitor being sheltered by a hostile power. Killing him strongly encourages others not to deal with the UK or USA and not to defect. It was a popular move amongst ordinary Russians, a show of power. And there was an election literally about to happen.



    I don't actually think our government is really much less craven than these people. But if we're going to be cynical about UK or US motives let's at least use the same critical eye with regard to entities like Russia and Syria.

    And note I'm not saying that what I've written above proves Russia or Syria did these things; just that there's no substance to the argument that there are no advantages or reasons for them doing them.
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by tayside hibee View Post
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    The Syrians are being accused of doing it, on the Russian watch.
    That's a big difference. 😉

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    Can't pretend I'm an expert. It seems so intractable - Turkey and their de facto subordinates in the SLA have already retaken Afrin and started ethnically cleansing it as I alluded to before.

    I guess in a way the Kurds have been too successful due to their US air support. They now control nearly a third of Syria, albeit with about a tenth of the population. According to reports I read last week, they are preparing to defend what they have with guerrilla tactics as they know the Americans will desert them.

    To try to answer your question I'm not sure that we will do anything other than allow Turkey to pummel Rojava into dust. We can't even galvanise ourselves to properly bomb a few weapons plants when we see chemical attacks. Some of us aren't even sure we didn't do it! So the notion that we are going to help a controversial new country that one of our NATO allies hates - I don't think that will ever happen.
    I think you're right that's what will happen. For me that points to the lack of morality in our Syrian involvement. we have a people denied the right of self determination building a democratic secular society based on pluralism, human rights (for women and men) and education being allowed to burn at the hands of Erdoğan and his jihadist allies. These are the same people who were in the vanguard that has seen the diminishment of ISIS as a force and we abandon them now the job is (largely) done. Why is that not something to value/cherish (particularly in the regional context)? We barely hear about it in the msm, why? I suppose these questions are rhetorical but I think the lack of 'visibility' shows just how hollow the humanitarian arguments proposed by May and her government are. I find them sickening to be honest because the hypocrisy is so clear.

    for those interested try googling Afrin, Rojava and the like - couple of good articles for starters here and here

    The West’s silence on Turkey’s attack does not equate to having a clean slate in this conflict. It is an active party to Turkish war crimes in Afrin. Since 2005 more than 350 units of Leopard 1 and 2 tanks have been sold to Turkey and now cross the border to Syria in violation of international law. Turkish soldiers have been photographed repeatedly at the border areas with G3 rapid-fire rifles produced by German weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch. When President Erdoğan visited Theresa May in 10 Downing Street on January 27, 2017, she signed a sales contract worth almost €115 million for the construction of new TF-X brand fighter jets. A government spokeswoman added back then: “We assume that this will make further deals possible.”

    I thought a bit more about your earlier post and while I think it's a good take, I don't quite agree that we just can't interpret what's happening in any way. In fact I think that's the goal of Russia and its vassals' propaganda - to make people shrug and throw up their hands and say we just can't know, both sides are as bad as each other etc. There is a lot of fog about, but look carefully and weigh the evidence and some sort of clarity is possible, albeit compromised.

    Take the idea that we and Assad are equivalent, that our bombing this week is similar or even a worse injustice than what he perpetrates. This is a man who when asked last year how he felt about killing his own people, about killing children, replied bluntly that he was engaged in a war, not a charity. Sometimes the answer is staring us in the face.
    I do agree they are not both as bad as each other, I dint mean to imply that. Not withstanding the hypocrisy of our govt's position on every other measure Putin is worse than May (and by some distance imo). Assad is off the scale. I think that's a reasonable value judgment to make but doesn't detract from a valid critique of our own govt's actions and policy (including allowing the ethnic cleansing of Rojava because it is expedient)

    PS worth reading/hearing Carne Ross on his impressions of the foreign office from inside (high up) and why he left in the wake of the Iraq/WMD dossiers.
    Last edited by gun ainm; 17-04-18 at 12:54.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gun ainm View Post
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    I think you're right that's what will happen. For me that points to the lack of morality in our Syrian involvement. we have a people denied the right of self determination building a democratic secular society based on pluralism, human rights (for women and men) and education being allowed to burn at the hands of Erdoğan and his jihadist allies. These are the same people who were in the vanguard that has seen the diminishment of ISIS as a force and we abandon them now the job is (largely) done. Why is that not something to value/cherish (particularly in the regional context)? We barely hear about it in the msm, why? I suppose these questions are rhetorical but I think the lack of 'visibility' shows just how hollow the humanitarian arguments proposed by May and her government are. I find them sickening to be honest because the hypocrisy is so clear.
    I largely agree. However there were interesting accounts from inside the cabinet meetings by Tim Shipman that suggest May herself is not motivated solely by realpolitik.

    The issue, I think, is that we are so stung by what happened in the last 15 years that deployment of British troops on behalf of a people few of heard of and a nascent state that almost none have is politically very difficult. Add in the complexities - you would literally need to take on a fellow NATO member - and it's impossible.

    It's also not comparable to a short bombing response to the use of chemical weapons. The latter is a one night only retaliation, a slap on the wrist. The former could turn into a third world war, or at least a 15-year engagement, with huge powers on either side. It's not fair to say that in doing one and not the other they are being inconsistent.

    - - - Updated - - -

    On the reasons for using chemical weapons, some might find this Reuters piece on a declassified French intel report interesting. It covers their reasons for thinking the attack was chemical in nature and why the regime might choose to do that.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-m...-idUSKBN1HL0N1
    so what do I know

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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryLB View Post
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    I largely agree. However there were interesting accounts from inside the cabinet meetings by Tim Shipman that suggest May herself is not motivated solely by realpolitik.

    The issue, I think, is that we are so stung by what happened in the last 15 years that deployment of British troops on behalf of a people few of heard of and a nascent state that almost none have is politically very difficult. Add in the complexities - you would literally need to take on a fellow NATO member - and it's impossible.

    It's also not comparable to a short bombing response to the use of chemical weapons. The latter is a one night only retaliation, a slap on the wrist. The former could turn into a third world war, or at least a 15-year engagement, with huge powers on either side. It's not fair to say that in doing one and not the other they are being inconsistent.
    wasnt really calling for boots on the ground - i think the people of Rojava have shown how good at fighting they are. we could discourage Turkey in a number of ways though without it escalating into WWIII. Interesting to think on what Syroia might look lifke after the war. The federalised democratic model that Rojava is establishing offers hope for that future beyond Assad.
    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear"

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