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Syria fighting rages as refugee numbers soar

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at least 72 people were killed as the regime continued its onslaught on Friday

Killed by whom? The rebels? Why the consistently vague and obfuscated statements by the AP when referring to deaths in Syria. Granted, with the sentence above the impression is left (no doubt intentionally) that the government is responsible, but actually that's not clarified at all. Note that the passive voice is used but the agent (by so and so) is omitted, yet then we have the non-causative conjunction of "as", which essentially means 'at the same time' but not 'due to'.

This above technique is an example of lying by omission. What is most likely true is;

At least 72 people were killed by the rebels as the government continued its security operation

Then the truth is then altered for propaganda purposes, whilst maintaining legal factuality;

At least 72 people were killed as the regime continued its onslaught

Moscow called off a meeting on the conflict that had been planned for Friday after Western and Arab governments said they would not attend.

So who called off the meeting first? Seemingly, western and Arab governments. So why write this to leave the impression that it was Moscow that called it off?

Mr Bashar al-Assad doesn't deserve to be on this earth," Fabius said.

Pretty gruesome words for a foreign minister. Let's be honest with ourselves. If the leader of an Arab country said this about the leader of a Western country it wouldn't be tolerated, nor should it be.

after the United States said it was ready to consider the move.

Ready to consider... Hilarious. They try to leave the impression that the US is reluctantly try to solve the problem when in fact Hillary has been hellbent on bombing Syria since she took office and no doubt the plans have already been drawn up.

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Thank you NeverSubmit... you also clearly know what is really going on.

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Syria is a former client state of the former Soviet Union (as was Iraq) that stayed in business by successfully combining Arab nationalism with MIG fighter jets and AK-47s supplied by the latter. The Assad family & its cronies was able to hang onto power for two decades after the breakup of the USSR, but that status is drawing to a close. I am reminded of a line from the stage play "Inherit the Wind," in which one character says to another, "All change is relative. Perhaps it is you who have moved away, by standing still."

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NeverSubmit

Killed by whom? The rebels? Why the consistently vague and obfuscated statements by the AP when referring to deaths in Syria

They answer your question quite clearly for you, when they say this. Didn't you read any further?;

It is impossible to independently verify such claims as journalists are unable to report freely in Syria.

I wonder, NeverSubmit, if the Assad regime is as squeaky clean and innocent as you constantly claim, why wouldn't they let in foreign journalists to get up close to the action and report the truth?. The regime has everything to win by doing so, if things are as you say, correct?

This above technique is an example of lying by omission. What is most likely true is;

At least 72 people were killed by the rebels as the government continued its security operation

Just your skewed opinion, nothing more.

They try to leave the impression that the US is reluctantly try to solve the problem when in fact Hillary has been hellbent on bombing Syria since she took office and no doubt the plans have already been drawn up

Again, your rather tenuous appreciation for the fine balance of politics in the Middle East leaves your statements sorely wanting. Syria is not the same as Iraq - geographically or politically. The one country the United States is most concerned about and aligned to in the region is Israel. Syria and Iran are allies and have a military agreement to cooperate against the threat of the US and Israel and fund groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon - and we all know what Hezbollah make of Irsael and the US. If the US start overtly bombing Syria, they will start a broad scale war in the region. They simply won't do that.

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This has been a proxy conflict from the start, basically, playing on the sectarian divisions and historic rivalries, which is beyond irresponsible, and has resulted in tragedy for too many people in Syria. The Western powers seem intent on self-righteously justifying their stance in the name of protecting the human rights of the protesters, even as they have been fleeing the conflict for months.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for President Bashar al-Assad's regime to be "smashed fast" as he visited Turkey's largest refugee camp near the border.

More war mongering by the West.

Even though the Assad regime will undoubtedly not survive in its present form, there is no question that the future government of Syria has to be representative of all of the minorities in a manner that assures for the continued existence of the diverse population of Syria, not converting it to a Sunni theocracy. There have been calls by the so-called opposition of late for the Sunnis to "take their country back".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/us-syria-crisis-rebels-idUSBRE87F16G20120816

"This is not just about the fall of Assad. This is about the Sunni Muslims of Syria taking back their country and pushing out the minority that have been oppressing them for generations now," Najjar said.

The Assad regime violent suppression of the protests was unacceptable, but was there ever any chance of a transition to a post-Assad pluralistic democracy in Syria that preserved everyone's rights and the demographic makeup of the country as is? Or would the Alawites, Christians and Druse have had to emigrate when a Sunni dominated Islamist government took power?

It may seem cynical, but the way I think there is a high likelihood that the West used agent provocateurs drafting off of the popular uprisings in Arab countries to try and topple a regime aligned with Iran. It would be a 'no-brainer' for those idiots in the "intelligence" community to incite sectarian conflict.

That's what you call "Real Politick".

And it seems that terror attacks in Iraq have increased. It would appear that Al Qaeda drafting off of this conflict to boost their efforts against the Shia.

Anyway, the West have done practically nothing constructive to bring peace, as far as I can see, and continued inflammatory remarks like that from the French Foreign Minister simply make matters worse.

And he is supposed to be a diplomat? He is an apologist for the West, trying to convince the suffering refugees that the West is acting in their interests.

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They answer your question quite clearly for you, when they say this. Didn't you read any further?;

Perhaps your reading skills are better than mine.

Where exactly kind I find the alleged deaths of 72 people being directly attributed to a particular party?

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Let them kill each other. All the countries yelling "help us" during the Arab Spring are now yelling "allah hu Akubar” now.

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Virtuoso:

" he Assad family & its cronies was able to hang onto power for two decades after the breakup of the USSR "

The Assad family also represent the Alevites; a small but significant ethnic minority in Syria. Under Assads harsh but secular regime, women had equal rights, were educated, and non-muslim minorities such as Druzes, Christians, and Jews had full minority.

Anybody who thinks that this will be the same under the Sunni majority islamist regime that the Muslim Brotherhood "rebels" will install is living in phantasy land.

The Soviet Union and its successor state have little to do with this, they will support whoever gives them geopolitical advantage at any time.

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sorry, type, should be "non-muslim minorities such as Druzes, Christians, and Jews had full religious freedom".

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I wonder, NeverSubmit, if the Assad regime is as squeaky clean and innocent as you constantly claim, why wouldn't they let in foreign journalists to get up close to the action and report the truth?

The Assad regime is certainly cleaner than the regimes that support the rebels.

Anyway, Syria does allow foreign journalists to get up close to the action and report the truth. Journalists are much more afraid of the rebels. The rebels are the ones attacking journalists and UN officials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxzlGlnEV6k

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Tamarama:

" I wonder, NeverSubmit, if the Assad regime is as squeaky clean and innocent as you constantly claim "

Nobody ever claimed that the Assad regime is "squeaky clean". But it is secular and grants modern rights like education for women and freedom for minorities.

You can bet you behind that that is NOT case for the Shariah regime that the Muslim Brotherhood "rebels" will install. Just look around all the other countries where the islamists have taken power.

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"Nobody ever claimed that the Assad regime is "squeaky clean". But it is secular and grants modern rights like education for women and freedom for minorities."

And death to protesters....

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And death to protesters....

Assuming your hypothesis is correct (and let's not forget that you're not there and you're just rehashing the nonsense that the Damascus blogger dished out), how do you suggest NATO dealing with the recent shooting of protesters in South Africa.

Should NATO send in ruthless mercenaries and religious extremists? Should NATO set up a no-fly zone over South Africa? Should NATO arm the protesters with military grade weapons and hardware?

And let's not forget the Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and post-Arab Spring Egypt have all applied deadly force in protests this year. Why is the NATO gunsight not on them?

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"Should NATO send in ruthless mercenaries and religious extremists? Should NATO set up a no-fly zone over South Africa? Should NATO arm the protesters with military grade weapons and hardware?"

Oooh, lets have them arm Pussy Riot too Comrade?

"And let's not forget the Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and post-Arab Spring Egypt have all applied deadly force in protests this year"

Deadly force in a handful of instances does not equate to the ariel bombardment of a countries second biggest city, nor besieging with heavy weapons.

You really seem to have lost your edge, you don't even sound like you believe it any more.

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And let's not forget the Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and post-Arab Spring Egypt have all applied deadly force in protests this year. Why is the NATO gunsight not on them?

Oil.

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Exactly Luca.

JT's tin-foil hat brigade have been denying the Syrian popular uprising up until recent weeks, attempting to make a case (without a scrap of evidence I might add) that Blackwater mercenaries the CIA and even foreign troops were actually fomenting the violence and the civil unrest, contrary to the reality on the ground.

NATO took about ten minutes to get involved in Libya, because of oil interests and also because a credible opposition with some sort of a post Gaddaffi plan.

If anything, collectively the countries that have abused their UN vetoes (like Never Submit's country) are as responsible for the recent descent into chaos as the dictator al Assad himself. Had their actually been a no-fly zone enforced much earlier in the conflict, the country wouldn't have been opened up to all the foreign jihadists that are filtering to Syria in a similar manner as they did when the US invaded Iraq.

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American court intellectuals - the progressive variety, like Tom Freidman of the NY Times - all assured us that Assad would bring real democracy to Syria.

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attempting to make a case (without a scrap of evidence I might add) that Blackwater mercenaries the CIA

the rebels are using American hand grenades. the only way they are getting American-made weapons is through the CIA.

i also posted a link to an article where a member of the Turkish parliament accused the administration of giving free rein to the CIA and the Mossad in a province bordering Syria.

American court intellectuals - the progressive variety, like Tom Freidman of the NY Times - all assured us that Assad would bring real democracy to Syria.

Syria has a well-documented history of sectarian strife, so there are no excuses for Western powers to be supporting any party in Syria, as there are accompanying sectarian associations.

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A quote from American founding father and president John Quincy Adams

[America] goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

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The reason that a NATO bombing campaign hasn't yet started in Syria is not due to a lack of want on the part of Hillary et al but because this time, as opposed to during Libya, Russia and China kiboshed any idea of the UN authorizing NATO intervention.

So NATO has resorted to more covert means like sending in hired guns and arming jihadists and extremists.

ariel bombardment of a countries second biggest city, nor besieging with heavy weapons.

even the AP repeatedly reported that Aleppo was calm and and trouble free prior to the rebel invasion. The cause of the violence and mayhem are the rebels themselves. There's ample evidence, including documented videos of the jihadist rebels throwing people off buildings and executing them on the street at point blank range.

A high profile American analyst was recently interviewed by PressTV and he provides a lot of insight on recent events in Syria.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/18/256866/us-failed-at-regime-change-in-syria/

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"The reason that a NATO bombing campaign hasn't yet started in Syria is not due to a lack of want on the part of Hillary et al but because this time, as opposed to during Libya, Russia and China kiboshed any idea of the UN authorizing NATO intervention."

Nobody cares about the what the UN says if a country is determined to do something, all the Veto wielding members have undermined the body with an abuse at some point. In this case, it is you Russians and the Chinese who have disregarded protecting the sanctity of human life in lieu of trade (arms) deals and your only foreign naval base.

"even the AP repeatedly reported that Aleppo was calm"

As I've already told you, Paris was calm under Nazi occupation. So was Baghdad. But the only way dictators like Hitler, Saddam or al Assad keep this calm is by arresting, torturing and/or killing any voices of dissent.

The Syrian uprising hasn't bowed to the murderous quelling that al Assad intended, much to his and your displeasure. His last clutches at retaining the family dictatorship have dragged the country into a bloody civil war, and have opened up the gates to foreign jihadists.

The dictator Assad and his desperation to cling to his illegitimate power, along with the support from the dictatorships in your Russia and China are those who are responsible for the bloodshed not NATO, and it is they who will be responsible for the post-Assad carnage that could have been avoided, had he bowed the the democratic demands of the people and their initial peaceful protests.

And like I said, you've lost your devil's advocate A game. I know you don't believe a word of what you peddle, but I realize some posters actually do and that's just a little weird.

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Madverts:

" And death to protesters.... "

That is par for course for Middle Eastern dictatorships. But if you think that the Sunni islamist uprising in Syria is shared by the Christian, Jewish, Druze, Alevite, and Shiite minorities, you are delusional.

This is only a "popular" uprising in the eyes of romantic Westerners who see Arab tribal societies through the lens of your own culture.

What is really fascinating is that the crowd of Western chickenhawks who are now so happy about a regime change in Syria were hell-bent on condemning the overthrow of the Saddam in Iraq. Especially so since compared to Saddam (who killed half a million plus Kurds, often using chemical weapons), Assad is a veritable mother Theresa.

Go figure...

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What about those secular democracies that have sprung up from he Arab Spring in Tunisia and Libya?

How do you eye them from the lens of your own well documented anti-Islamic agenda?

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Madverts

Being against externally forced regime change in Syria has nothing to do with being "anti-Islamic".

The Assads are Muslims, although the extremist element of the Sunnis holds them to be "heretics".

I am basically a modernist for democratic pluralism and am basically opposed to theocracy--whether it be of the Islamic or Jewish variety. We can have modernity without discarding religion.

Now, what is the status of Sharia at present in Tunisia and Libya?

In the case of Syria, it would appear to be the Assads that have represented the most "modern" government.

And lets not forget that Assad accepted the Annan peace plan. Why was the West afraid to implement that without deposing Assad? Why couldn't a gradual transition have been worked out?

The West has blood on its hands; in this case, the blood of Syrians.

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Madverts:

" What about those secular democracies that have sprung up from he Arab Spring in Tunisia and Libya? "

Yeah, what about them? The Muslim Brotherhood is in power everywhere now, and Shariah is being introduced at a rapid clip. You can expect the same in Syria, when those wonderful "rebels" take over.

Thanks for making my point.

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Ubikwit:

" The Assads are Muslims, although the extremist element of the Sunnis holds them to be "heretics". "

LOL, the Assads are a family clan, not a religion. Good grief...

In your defense, I hope you meant to write "the Alevites", and not the "the Assads"...

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Speaking of lenses most Westerners see the Syrian situation through the lens of Western media. We're fed this fairytale that there was supposedly some kind of facebook uprising among the Syrian masses and then there was a massive crackdown involving machine gunning of crowds and bombardment of cities.

It's a total fiction.

Syria like all countries had some protests, but in reality they were scattered and relatively minor. The Western media seized on the few protests, blew them way out of proportion and hashed out nonsense stories like those of the Damascus blogger. In fact most of the initial reports that led to the perception of the so-called "mass uprising" was from that one blogger who was quoted ad infinitum in the Western press, much like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (which is also a front) is quoted en masse today.

The situation on the ground in Syria is totally different that what we're fed in the Western press. Assad has prevailed over and over again beyond everybody's expectations not because of his ruthlessness but because he is generally supported by the population, especially among Christians, Shia muslims and moderate Sunnis. The general population despise the rebels for the havoc they've caused in the country and for their extremist ideology which the average Syrian could care less for.

The rebels were never popular with the average Syrian citizen and now that they've resorted to ever more gruesome and despicable tactics they going to be resented more and more.

The rebels lost in Damascus and Aleppo for two reasons, the Syrian army is disciplined, organized and loyal and also because the local people didn't support the rebels.

For those following the situation you might be interested to know that the VP of Syria Farouq al-Shara, who was reported to have defected actually went public today and personally stated that reports of his defection are false and that in fact Qatar has been offering the following for high ranking officials of Syria to defect.

"Qatar’s ambassador to Mauritania proposed his Syrian counterpart in Nouakchott a million dollars in cash, a monthly salary of 20,000 dollars for 20 years and permanent residence in Qatari capital of Doha. "

Not bad, no doubt a few sell outs will take the bait and some have already done so. But the fact that so many haven't is a testament to the popularity of the current government.

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WilliB

I simply stated that the Assads are Muslims, not that they were a religion (I didn't say the Assads are Islam, for example). Either you misread my sentence or I'm losing my grip on the English language!

Anyway, yes, what I basically meant was that the Assads are members of the Alevite (or Alawite or Alewite...) sect of Islam. The point being, of course, that this is sectarian in nature, not Christian vs Muslim; in fact, the Christian minority tacitly supports the Assads because the sect of Islam to which they belong is less fundamentalist, maybe even has aspects of syncretism.

It seems that the populists supporting the Sunni majority would simply have the minorities evicted from the country, while the Assads have adopted a strategy of simply destroying the infrastructure of the Sunni population centers in a war of attrition that the Sunni rebels cannot win, and the population of Syria as a whole suffers.

Maybe the new peace envoy will be able to broker something, but it is a pretty far gone situation. I don't see how policymakers in the West could not have been aware of the demographic complexities in Syria when they started supplying weapons to the rebels.

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