Syria: The "Rebels" Are Terrorists

Discussion in 'Politics' started by RedStar, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    Does anyone seriously believe the "rebellion" in Syria is an actual grassroots effort at political reform?

    The "rebels" are openly Islamic fundamentalists supported by NATO and the United States, for Pete's sake. This isn't a revolutionary effort. It's an effort at establishing a theocracy under the control of foreign powers. How anybody could still think Assad is the bad guy here is beyond me.

    That being said, I do not think Assad is an especially good leader, but if the choice is between foreign-backed Islamists and a largely secular government under Assad, I vote for the latter. Obviously the ideal would be a socialist or communist government, but the material reality is that it comes down to foreign-backed Islamists vs secular Assad.

    As a person who has actually visited Syria before (in 2005), it's a pretty safe country and I did not sense any tension between Christians and Muslims. Syria is one of the more secular countries in the Middle East and does not have nearly as much sectarian tension as Lebanon or Israel. So my vote goes for Assad in this crisis.

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  3. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Is there any other commonly held ideology that it would be possible for the Syrian rebels to hold? And it's not terrorism when they go after Assad's leadership, that's a legitimate target.
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  5. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    From what I've read, most of them are Islamic fundamentalists

    Really? Is it a legitimate target if somebody in the United States went after Obama?

    No. That would be rightfully called terrorism, and the government would arrest you or worse.
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  7. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    Russian Orthodox Christians apparently fear that Christian minorities will be the victims of a wave of Islamic fundamentalism in Syria should Assad fall, The New York Times reports.

    In a recent meeting with Syrian diplomats in a cathedral near the Kremlin, Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill I shared anxieties about the fate of Syria's ten per cent minority population of Christians.

    So far, Christians in Syria have been reluctant to join the mainly Sunni Muslim opposition to Assad, fearing persecution should the uprising succeed. Preferring a position of support for the sitting leader, the Orthodox Church in Moscow has been wielding what influence it has with the Kremlin.

    Read more:

    I've been wondering why anyone would support the terrorists that want to overthrow the Syrian regime but knowing this it would seem that the West just might be supporting the wrong side in this crisis. I'm not going to side either way for I still am not certain a dictator is any better than a terrorist and a dictator that has prove over and over that he is anti Israeli, anti West and only wants what his regime wants, not the betterment of the citizens, I cannot say who I'd support in this uprising for neither side seems that good for the people there.
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member


    Only a small subset are Islamic fundamentalists. The civil war in Syria is looking more and more like a factional struggle between the majority Sunnis and the Alawites and others.

    And the "support" from NATO and the United States is pretty minor at this point - nor are those groups particularly in the business of teaming up with violent Islamic fundamentalists.

    Sure it is.

    That's silly.

    But I note that this is pretty much exactly the line coming from Putin and Russia. Are you Russian?

    It probably has something to do with the decades of brutal dictatorship, torture chambers, tens of thousands of civilian deaths, execution squads, threats to use chemical weapons, etc. This is hardly rocket science.

    You don't get a vote, unless you're actually a Syrian.

    And you don't get to redefine the conflict into stilted, misleading terms to apologize for crimes against humanity, no matter who you are.
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    The talking weasels say that you should come up with a citation, or drop your assertion.

    If Obama were an illegitimate dictator engaged in an open civil war, then yes.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Inevitable ....

    The Inevitable ....

    Every once in a while, comrade, we receive a new member who advocates some revolutionary "Marxist" outlook that reminds us of the sort of scare stories Boomers used to tell their children in order to reinforce patriotic notions of American ideological supremacy.

    As the children of Boomers reached college age, many of them learned, simply by reading the source material, just how perverse some of those lies were. Mark Steel, the British comedian, columnist, and leftist, recounted in his book Reasons to be Cheerful a day in the 1970s when he came to realize that communism was not inextricably tied to the Soviet Union.

    The Marxism you advocate is straight out of my father's jingoistic rants; it is as if you believe those distortions, intended to discredit Marx's work, are true, yet advocate those outcomes, anyway. It's the sort of thing that make your fellow leftists here hesitate, and wonder if you're actually serious, simply miseducated, or some sort of provocateur.

    It has been hard enough to believe you're actually serious about your outlook; nowhere else in my world do I encounter "communists" of your style. Quite literally, it is only here at Sciforums that I find such undying alleged devotion to failed possibilities.

    Still, though, if you're not serious, perhaps you're amid the long wrangling one undergoes in separating myth from reality. That is, you recognize the potential, have not yet untangled lies and truth about Marx and communism, and thus defend those failed revolutionary incarnations.

    However, with this thread, you have done what provocateurs of this style inevitably do. You have pushed just a little too far. Syrian Ba'ath Socialists are resigning from the party in droves because of President Assad's bloody attempts to quell social unrest, though the party officially stands with the regime, since Bashar al-Assad is the Secretary General of the Syria Region of the Party.

    Remember that the whole Syrian Revolution started with peaceful protests—mobilization of the people—that the Assad administration attempted to grind into a bloody pulp. Any proper socialist, communist, or Marxist would rightly be horrified; this is not how things are supposed to work.

    Certes, we cannot pretend that the protests and later revolution are monolithic or homogenous. But the unifying idea seems to be a sentiment against President Assad and Ba'ath cronyism. "Unity, liberty, socialism" is a dead motto under Bashar al-Assad. To stand with the regime simply because the regime is the Party is irresponsible to say the least. It is deplorable, even repugnant.

    American revolutionary organizations are either understandably quiet or typically quixotic on Syrian affairs. CPUSA, in March, called on Western powers to stay out of the Syrian revolution, and noted constitutional reforms proposed by the Assad administration. As the situation has degraded even further, and the regime increasingly demonstrated itself intractable, the Party has gone silent. The World Socialist Website has followed the situation more closely, but focus their coverage and commentary on fears about imperialism.

    The discussion about imperialism can always take place with words, which are by far preferable to bombs and bullets.

    The Arab Spring is the first great revolution of the Millennial generation. Indeed, it is the biggest revolutionary happening for Generation X since their hippie Boomer parents dosed and danced for free love and flower power. And say what you will about the years in which the Iron Curtain finally rusted away, but American leftists have never regrouped after their blasé response to the failure of the Soviet Revolution.

    Ultimately, the "imperialist" outcome is preferable to one dominated by fundamentalist religion. A twenty-first century, neo-liberal result in Syria at least sets the stage for a dialogue we are more familiar with; it's a question of square one versus climbing out of a hole of unknown depth.

    Likewise, the triumph of tyrannical bloodlust requires great struggle to even bring the discussion up to a reasonable starting point.

    The Assad regime forfeit its claim to legitimacy when it responded to the people with a hail of bullets.

    The role of the communist is to stand with the people. There is no ideal outcome in Syria for revolutionary leftism. Of the options presenting themselves, the one American leftist organizations seem to be following—fretting about imperialism—is the least damaging. Of course, this is why the revolutionary left has such a hard time gaining any traction in the American discourse; while the rest of society stands horrified by the carnage in Syria, the IFCI says, "Don't stop it, you imperialists!"

    Imperialism we ought to be able to deal with. After all, we allegedly have much practice.

    Any self-respecting revolutionary leftist ought to be able to see this.

    And we, as well as our imperialist neighbors, might rightly wonder why you cannot.
  11. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    I seriously question any support from Western powers considering their track record.

    Right, just like Libya and Egypt totally didn't elect Muslim Brotherhood members into office.

    Yes, I am, but in this case, Putin happens to be correct.

    Makes me wonder why the United States supported these kinds of dictators before...but I digress, Syrian history is not black and white and democracy in Syria would be tenuous at best. Just take a look at Lebanese "democracy". Sadly, only that sort of "iron fist" rule has kept the country from falling into religious war.

    All I'm saying, is I can't take the US condemnation of Assad seriously considering their track record.

    I seriously question why Saudi Arabia would arm these rebels. Then again, I seriously question how the United States can be an ally of Saudi Arabia and yet condemn Syria for "human rights" abuses, don't you?

    I see. So good to see you applying this principle to Fidel Castro, too, in his overthrow of Batista. But wait, that was not "legitimate" in your opinion.

    Tiassa, this is irrelevant, and you have apparently never been to Europe or Russia if you don't run into communists. Also, I'm a bit insulted that you think I'm "miseducated" for being a revolutionary Marxist. I don't believe in capitalism at any level, and I don't think it can be reformed. So what?

    This point is irrelevant and insulting. Just because I'm not some moderate liberal, doesn't mean I'm not serious. If anything, it's the liberals who are not serious about change.

    Agreed, and I am, but the situation now is that of radical Islam vs secular Assad

    I would agree, except for all the times the United States has conveniently ignored crimes of dictators for political gain.

    You are genuinely naive if you think the CIA is interfering in Syria out of the benevolence and goodwill of their hearts.
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    But you seem to have no trouble extending credulity to the positions of the dictators in Damascus, Moscow and Beijing, despite their track records.

    Seems that what you care about is not "track records" at all, but your fixed ideological battle.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not the same thing as "Islamic Fundamentalists." The modern Brotherhood is fairly moderate. Libya's transitional government has evinced clear support for human rights, religious freedom and women's rights.

    You are engaged in a baseless, nasty smear campaign, apparently founded in Islamophobic sentiments.

    This is all starting to make more sense now...

    Yet more apologetics for dictatorship.

    Fact is that the Assad dynasty has greatly exacerbated communal and religious tensions in the country. Rather than being justified as a response to such, they have inflamed such to the point where they have become untenable.

    Well, then, there are any number of other sources of condemnation of Assad for you to take seriously. The ones emanating from the Syrian people, for example.

    Seems to have a lot to do with the cold war they've been fighting against Iran for some time now.

    Not really, that's also pretty well understood.

    Not that the Saudi monarchy has killed 20k civilians trying to crush an uprising in the last year and change. They may well lack democratic legitimacy, and be nasty spoiled brats to boot, but they aren't running around mowing down protestors or shelling entire cities like Assad is.

    Where did I say that?

    The only things I've ever said to you about Cuba, were exactly complaints that you were simply assigning some craven "Imperialist" position to me without the slightest pretense of trying to learn what my views actually are.

    That's a bullshit talking point, designed to play on ugly anti-Islamic bigotry to excuse a murderous dictator. When you say this kind of nasty garbage, I have a very hard time taking any of your revolutionary rhetoric seriously.

    So it's okay for Assad to murder his way to power, because the USA hasn't been sufficiently consistent in condemning dictators? Yeah, real convincing.

    He never said anything that would even remotely suggest such a sentiment. Again, you demonstrate your total inability to deal with anyone in any terms other than your debased Imperialist/Revolutionary dialectic, and show your willingness to blithely strawman your way back to that any time you encounter resistance. This kidn of silly tactic is both very childish, and utterly futile.
  13. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Yes, but really is there any other possibility in that area? Islam is fundamentalist in nature.

    It would not be legitimate if you are a patriotic American like me, but if you hate America, attacking our command structure would not strictly speaking fit under the definition of terrorism, which must necessarily be an attack on innocent civilians. It would certainly be an act of war and illegal in the extreme.
  14. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    I don't pretend to be morally superior or in a position to condemn people in the first place. Also, Putin is not a dictator any more than the two-party system in the US is dictatorial, and China stopped being a communist state after the changes made by Deng Xiao Ping

    Ideological battle? Neither Russia or Syria are socialist states, and China is in name only.

    Right. Except Syria has a much larger minority of Christians, who fear for their safety under a non-secular government.

    "Dictatorship" isn't inherently good or bad. Depends on who (or what class) is in charge. The United States isn't that democratic. Get off your high horse.

    Except it's not that clear-cut. Many Syrians still support Assad, especially non-Sunnis and Christians.

    Saudi Arabia is one of the most backwards countries in the world. The only reason the US is their ally is for strategic reasons, which makes me question the commitment of the US to human rights. It's utter bullshit and the US has no right, no moral justification, to condemn others when she is guilty of supporting and carrying out brutal acts.

    No, what I am saying is that it is difficult to take the US seriously.

    Not any more than any other Abrahamic religion. And yes, there is an under Assad :bugeye:
  15. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

  16. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Now you know why the USA didn't support revolutions in Latin America. Better the Devil you know sometimes.
  17. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    I already know why they didn't do that; because most revolutionaries wanted to nationalize US business interests. Mexico is a perfect example of this (from Porfirio Diaz through Cardenas)

  18. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    And because as bad as dictatorship is, it may still be better than the alternatives.
  19. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    Yes, but in this case I am considering what is better for the Syrian people, not American business interests, as in the case of suppressing Latin American revolutions.
    Why are you defending US imperialism? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you? Have you ever taken a course in Latin American history?
  20. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Imperialism isn't necessarily a bad thing. Neither are business interests.
  21. RedStar The Comrade! Registered Senior Member

    Whatever. That's not the point of this thread (and I'm sure the victims would disagree, because, after all, being massacred and suppressed and having natural raw resources stolen isn't fun)
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    On Tilting Windmills

    Did I say I don't?


    Rather, I said I don't encounter your style of "communist". The leftists I encounter in the U.S., and many of the people I've encountered, in general, in Europe don't cling to the failures of Marxist ventures in history. Instead, they try to learn from those failures.

    Did I say that you're miseducated for being a revolutionary Marxist?

    In this case, you're either having an obscure joke, are miseducated as a Marxist—that is, indoctrinated to faulty interpretations of Marxism—or simply a provocateur trying to discredit Marxism.

    I would prefer that you're having some sort of joke on us, but unfortunately, I don't see much evidence that you're aiming for esoteric humor.

    I find that an incredibly bigoted outlook. Of course, as an American, I am familiar with the underlying superstition. My conservative neighbors often juxtapose such extremes as if those are the whole of human dimension. In this case, I certainly recognize the danger of Syria falling into the classic trap that an excess of liberty is itself a form of tyranny; but I reject the notion that Muslims in general, or Syria in specific, is only capable of one or another manner of tyranny. Indeed, we see this in contemporary America; the conservative privilege asserts that equality is oppression—ethnic and religious minorities, women, and homosexuals are all subject to the argument: If I cannot deny your rights, then my rights are abridged.

    Every nation must face this question as it strives for the prosperity of justice.

    Can you offer me any vision for a better era, in which the risks of the journey toward liberty and justice for all in Syria will be any less?

    Those who rush to black and white juxtapositions seem to fear the shades of gray. This malady has long plagued the revolutionary left.

    And? Does that mean it should continue to do so?

    What incentive has a person or society for improvement if those gains will simply be held against them?

    A seeming distraction. Sort of a, "Look at the birdie!" argument. Not even the jingoists believe the American government's support for Arab Spring revolutions is purely altruistic.

    The confines of reality are rather quite broad when compared to whatever alternate universe justifies your fear of justice and human liberty. Deal with reality, comrade, not phantom windmills.

    There will always be sacrificial lambs, until the human endeavor gets it right. In other words, there will be plenty of lambs for the slaughter. The only question, then, is whether this or that lamb is given for progress or futility.

    If you expect people to think you wise, or even take you seriously, in arguing for futility, I would suggest you think again.
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Yes you do.

    Yes, he is.

    I didn't say that China was a communist state. I said that they are a dictatorship.

    But your attacks on America's moral standing - which insist are you whole point here - quite clearly come directly out of your fixed, outdated ideological agenda.

    Which happens to dovetail with your Russian chauvinism, to boot.

    Well, that's a great reason to favor permanent, brutal dictatorship in which the majority of citizens fear for their safety.

    The Christian minority in Syria would have a lot less to fear for their safety if they hadn't spent decades supporting a nasty, brutal dictatorship (which used exactly such an excuse) in the first place.

    Dictatorship is inherently bad. It violates the fundamental right of political self-determination.

    Dictatorship is bad no matter who is in charge.

    The United States is qualitatively more democratic than any of the other states at issue here.

    By all means, present us with a holistic, scientific assessment of the views of the Syrian public at large.

    In the meantime, stop looking for excuses to apologize for a brutal dictator.

    Nah, not really. They're pretty developed.

    That's the only reason that any country is ever the ally of any other country.

    In particular, it is the reason that Russia continues to support Assad - and not because of any high-minded ideas about secularism or the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism.

    But, apparently, brutal oppression and dictatorship does not raise any troubling questions for you, at least when carried out by parties opposed to the USA.

    Well, then, again: go ahead and listen to all of the various other parties who are making the same condemnations, if you don't want to listen to the USA.

    Okay, then, again: go ahead and take seriously what any number of other parties are saying. The USA isn't the only voice condemning Assad's brutality.

    The secularism of the Assad regime is hollow - the regime has always worked by entrenching the Alawites and buying off the Christians. It's essentially a confessional state like Lebanon, and not any kind of real secularism, regardless of what the Baath propaganda says, or how Assad tries to contrast himself with the putative "Islamic fundamentalists" to rally support for his crimes.

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