Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Frog Hospital" And "Pax On Both Houses" Discuss Syria & Whether Assad Deserved Overthrow

Image result for bashar al assad quotes
Dear Fred,

To think democracy would take root in The Arab Spring represented the triumph of wishful thinking over inexorable history.

People who prostrate themselves five times a day at the altar of Islam's total/totalitarian (?) submissiveness have compensatory need for strong men to keep order in a world of competing interests, theocratic self-certainty and inevitable compromise. Not to mention the nuts-and-bolts of non-theocratic practicality.

Yes, it may have been foolish to try to overthrow Assad.

But if R had been living under Assad - or under Assad's father - I think he would have joined the rebels. 

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This would not mean Ron was "right." 

But there it is.

I understand that autocracy has a long pedigree.

Christianity's idealizes "kingship."

But I also understand that people get profoundly pissed off at autocrats.

Once they raise their heads from the myopic exigencies of survival, it is self-evidently true that the earth's "resources" deserve some sort of equitable distribution and that people living in "palaces" and "towers" are scam artists who neither earned their wealth nor deserved their wealth but stole their wealth from common people as surely as Trump stole the substance of every Trump "University" student. 

Compendium Of Pax Posts About Trump "University" Scam

At bedrock, I am against anyone who steals from The Common Good as Bashar al-Assad's family has done for decades.

Currently Assad's "net worth" is between 1.5 and 122 billion.

By my lights, plutocrats are essentially deluded people, able to purchase and promote public images of themselves that diverge wildly from their heart's desire. 

By purchasing the appearance of integrity, plutocrats obscure the trinitarian altar of bombast, pomp and fatuity where, ultimately, they worship themselves.

Here in America we now have ringside seats in our own arena of plutopathy.

Let the "Reality Show" begin!

Donald Trump Is The Swamp | Donald Trump Is The Swamp | image tagged in trump,corruption,swamp,drain the swamp | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

Having said all that, Syria is a swamp. 

Who knows what's really happening in a country so shattered?

I was surprised that R thought he could discern the truth in Syria by putting himself in the hands of Bashar's well-groomed, well-scripted public relations people. 

It is equally surprising that R faults the rebels of East Aleppo but felt no need to go there: Instead, Assad's "official story" provided all that was "necessary." 

Across the spectrum of conspiratorial thinking, it is striking that intelligent people discard every vestige of peer-reviewed (and muck-raking) documentation for the unshakeable self-certainty of ideologically-driven "alternative realities" which inform and nourish their core contempt for any narrative they feel compelled to deny. 

I acknowledge the huge discrepancies between the official story of 9/11 and what has been documented to the contrary.

But what this "contrary documentation" reveals about the actual underpinnings of 9/11 is indeterminate. 

In my mind, it is just as plausible that jihadist workmen -- pretending to be "making repairs" on the Twin Towers and Building 7 -- wired those structures with the internal explosives that may have brought them down. 

I see no persuasive evidence that those buildings were wired to "self-destruct" as a false flag attack. 

It is one thing to doubt "the official story" and quite another to create your own... 

I also note that retired Air Force general friend AWC - who spent his life in military intelligence, who had top-level CIA clearance, and who identifies himself as an "in-your-face liberal," says that "truthers" have no idea how 9/11 might have been manipulated by strategic misinformation devised by U.S. intelligence agencies, and that one collateral effect of this misinformation could be profuoundly mistaken interpretations by conspiracists. 

However we slice it, absolute certainty concerning false flag motives and "insider" perpetration of 9/11 is, at bottom, rhetorical presumption and moral presumptuousness.

The Thinking Housewife Plunges Into The Abyss Of Conspiratorial Thinking

Ahmed Mohamed And The Abyssal Swamp of Conspiracy Thinking

For me the coup de grace "in all this" is Bashar al-Assad's friendship with Putin, a sonofabitch motherfucker if ever there was one.

"We are known by the company we keep" and Assad's KGB pal is the same squirrely thug whose fondest dream is to undo America... to cast our country into political dysfunction and irretrievalbe chaos... and who may have already succeeded by way of the boost he gave to his other Pal on this side of the Atlantic.

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Compendium Of Best "Pax" Posts About The Relationship Between Trump And Putin

Pax tecum


Human rights


Billboard with a portrait of Bashar al-Assad and the text 'God protects Syria' on the old city wall of Damascus in 2006
A 2007 law required internet cafés to record all the comments users post on chat forums.[122] Websites such as Arabic Wikipedia, YouTube and Facebook were blocked intermittently between 2008 and February 2011.[123][124][125]
Human Rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have detailed how the Assad government's secret police allegedly tortured, imprisoned, and killed political opponents, and those who speak out against the government.[126][127] In addition, some 600 Lebanese political prisoners are thought to be held in government prisons since the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, with some held for as long as over 30 years.[128] Since 2006, the Assad government has reportedly expanded the use of travel bans against political dissidents.[129] In an interview with ABC News in 2007, Assad stated: "We don't have such [things as] political prisoners," though The New York Times reported the arrest of 30 Syrian political dissidents who were organising a joint opposition front in December 2007, with 3 members of this group considered to be opposition leaders being remanded in custody.[130]
In 2010, Syria banned face veils at universities.[131][132] Following the Syrian uprising in 2011, Assad partially relaxed the veil ban.[133]
Foreign Policy magazine released an editorial on Assad's position in the wake of the 2011 protests:[134]
During its decades of rule... the Assad family developed a strong political safety net by firmly integrating the military into the government. In 1970, Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father, seized power after rising through the ranks of the Syrian armed forces, during which time he established a network of loyal Alawites by installing them in key posts. In fact, the military, ruling elite, and ruthless secret police are so intertwined that it is now impossible to separate the Assad government from the security establishment.... So... the government and its loyal forces have been able to deter all but the most resolute and fearless oppositional activists. In this respect, the situation in Syria is to a certain degree comparable to Saddam Hussein's strong Sunni minority rule in Iraq.

Alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has claimed that at least 10 European citizens were tortured by the Assad government while detained during the Syrian Civil War, potentially leaving Assad open to prosecution by individual European countries for war crimes.[135] Stephen Rapp, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, has argued that the crimes allegedly committed by Assad are the worst seen since those of Nazi Germany.[136] In March 2015, Rapp further stated that the case against Assad is "much better" than those against Slobodan Milošević of Serbia or Charles Taylor of Liberia, both of whom were indicted by international tribunals.[137]
In a February 2015 interview with the BBC, Assad described accusations that the Syrian Arab Air Force used barrel bombs as "childish", stating that his forces have never used these types of "barrel" bombs and responded with a joke about not using "cooking pots" either.[138] The BBC Middle East editor conducting the interview, Jeremy Bowen, later described Assad's statement regarding barrel bombs as "patently not true".[139][140]
In March 2015 a report published by Physicians for Human Rights documented that the Assad government was responsible for the vast majority of the deaths of 600 medical workers since the Syrian Civil War began; 88% of recorded attacks on hospitals and 97% of killings of medical workers were attributed to Assad's forces.[141][142]
Nadim Shehadi, the director of The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies stated that "In the early 1990s, Saddam Hussein was massacring his people and we were worried about the weapons inspectors [...] Assad did that too. He kept us busy with chemical weapons when he massacred his people".[143] A 2015 report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights stated that 49 of 56 major massacres displaying "obvious sectarian or ethnic cleansing traits" were carried out by the Assad government.[144]
In September 2015, France began an inquiry into Assad for crimes against humanity, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stating "Faced with these crimes that offend the human conscience, this bureaucracy of horror, faced with this denial of the values of humanity, it is our responsibility to act against the impunity of the killers".[145]
In February 2016, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Paulo Pinheiro, told reporters: "The mass scale of deaths of detainees suggests that the government of Syria is responsible for acts that amount to extermination as a crime against humanity." The UN Commission reported finding "unimaginable abuses", including women and children as young as seven perishing while being held by Syrian authorities. The report also stated: "There are reasonable grounds to believe that high-ranking officers—including the heads of branches and directorates—commanding these detention facilities, those in charge of the military police, as well as their civilian superiors, knew of the vast number of deaths occurring in detention facilities ... yet did not take action to prevent abuse, investigate allegations or prosecute those responsible".[146]
In March 2016, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs led by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith called on the Obama administration to create a war crimes tribunal to investigate and prosecute violations "whether committed by the officials of the Government of Syria or other parties to the civil war".[147]

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 5:25 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote

The links R sent me with interviews of Assad and his wife -- these are valid character studies and she is a real babe, which makes her husband seem like a lucky man ....
The whole pro-Assad argument deserves some thought  -- such as why overthrow Assad if he is to replaced by some equally bloodthirsty ruler.
Unfortunately R dabbles in the outer edges of conspiracy theories. He denies the slaughter at Sandy Hook -- you should put him in touch with Laura Wood on that one  -- they have a lot to share.
Merry Christmas

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: R
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 12:50 PM
To: Fred Owens <>

Yo, Fred:

Are you still on the fence with your radical skepticism?
I just caught a recent interview on RT with Assad.
I send it to you so you can hear from the horse’s mouth what the situation is in Syria. Put it through your skeptical filter if you like.
The second is a follow up with his wife. Myself, like the 5 year old Mozart jumping into the Queen’s lap, I am going to ask her to marry me.
Let me know what you think.
I ‘d like to speak again on the phone. I am a dinosaur in that regard: no substitute for back and forth, give and take, impromptu, extemporaneous. And making me laugh the way you do.

I will try to call on Sunday to see if I can catch you.



And the Assad’s:

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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