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The Forum > Article Comments > Syria in the fog of war > Comments

Syria in the fog of war : Comments

By Julie Bishop, published 28/2/2013

The motivation for reports of the rebels' military victories is clearly part of an age-old tactic of undermining morale within the regime.

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An excellent commentary perhaps written by a very good academic or based on the overt parts of an Australian Government briefing.

Having a feel for the undercurrents of a complex conflict (as this article does) is more important than broadcasting the latest detailed headlines of the week.

Over the last few months I initially thought that the lack of direct Israeli-US-NATO intervention into Syria was due to Syria's lack of oil. However perhaps they don't want to intervene because they would have to choose between backing Iranian aligned Shiite opposition groups or al Qaeda style Sunni groups or both.

The rough formula for al Qaeda could be = many non-Syrian fighters+many/most identify as Sunni+who are increasingly using suicide bombing tactics. That formula increasing typifies the anti-Government struggle.

Israeli-US-NATO on a "careful what you wish for" keel may prefer that the existing Syrian Government, with or without President Assad, prevails. That Government, however cruel and dictatorial, is the "devil you know" for Israel-US-NATO.

Perhaps the Shiite/Hezbollah/Iranian aligned forces are holding back until the Sunni Opposition forces and Assad Government have sufficiently weakened each other.
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 28 February 2013 9:59:38 AM
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It should be clear by now that Bishop is a spokesperson for a political party which, like the failed one currently in power, is an apologist for the colonialist, warmongering U.S. Government.

That the U.S. hasn't gone into Syria with guns blazing is testament to its massive failures in Iraq and Afghanistan to say nothing about its massive debt problems. The question could be asked: has the U.S. finally learned something from its sorry history?

When is the world going to pull the rug from under this war-loving hegemon and treat it as the pariah that it has become?
Posted by David G, Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:55:09 AM
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Plantagenet has added important detail, but other dimensions are even worse: Qatar and S Arabia and Turkey have poured in arms and finance to jihadists; and there are now reports that they are being supplied with heavier arms previously denied.
Posted by Leslie, Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:05:33 PM
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...Syria continues its successful journey through the birthing canal to the Capitalist “ Heterotopia Democratica”
Posted by diver dan, Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:08:57 PM
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Julie states "To counter these reports, the Assad regime portrays itself as a legitimate government that remains in control of a substantial military force and which will eventually regain control of the entire country".

Last time I looked Assad was and remains the legitimate leader of the Syrian government, as hard a pill as that may be to swallow and notwithstanding Assad's probable brutal ruling style.

What has not been stated is the US and Arab (Qatar, Saudi and others) direct interference and influence in arming and stoking the on-going war that is occurring in Syria and as stated has the potential for significant blow-back into other regions and countries.

It is obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence the US intended to destabilise Syria as part of their broader road map to overthrowing Iran. Unfortunately for them, Russian support has thwarted these continuing hegemonic dreams.

US, Jewish, French, German and Arab interference is walking down the exact same paths that lead to the Russian failure in Afghanistan. The US, despite their lies, destroyed Iraq, is continuing to fail in Afghanistan, destroyed Libya, destabilised Yemen and is now going full throttle to destabilise Mali, Niger and so many other countries worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and now more broadly in Africa. I feel despondent reading Julie's blind support for Pax Amerikana.

The US has lost every war it has been involved in since WW II, you would think that they would finally get the message and realise that they are no longer the Superpower they once were, and will never be again.

A very sad situation, more so by the number of civilian casualties the US has created for their own selfish gain (loss really).

In your case Julie the following adage is particularly pertinent:
"Truth is the first casualty of war".
Posted by Geoff of Perth, Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:26:14 PM
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I agree with Plantagenet that the writer of the latest article shows a more subtle appreciation of the complexities of the Syrian situation not immediately obvious in other writing appearing over Ms Bishop's name. There is still a long way to go. A more explicit acknowledgement that the US, Qatar, and others are arming and financing the so-called rebels fighting under various banners in Syria would be a start. So also would be an acknowledgment that the US has pursued a policy of selective regime change in the Middle East for many years, not only for their own interests but also on behalf of the regime in Tel Aviv.
I note that Ms Bishop skips around the real situation in the Golan Heights. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, in direct defiance of international law. The weakness of the Syrian army in its inability to retake its own territory is no reason for successive Australian governments to turn a blind eye to ongoing international outlaw conduct by Israel.
What is happening now in Syria is extremely dangerous to world peace. It needs more than is evident in current Australian foreign policy to help avoid the otherwise inevitable wider war.
Posted by James O'Neill, Thursday, 28 February 2013 3:18:30 PM
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