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The Forum > Article Comments > Our biggest problem is ignorance > Comments

Our biggest problem is ignorance : Comments

By Reg Little, published 4/9/2013

One might recall also that the futile loss of Australian lives in Afghanistan took off under his and the Labor Party's enthusiastic support for the NATO intervention.

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Reg, a well thought out contribution to what is really going on and the danger the Syrian crisis poses for the West.

I sometime wonder why the US has such an interest in Syria, particularly noting that Syria poses absolutely no threat to the USA.

Perhaps it has something to do with the Iranian proposal to construct a natural gas pipeline across Syria, which would boost Iran’s economy by sending Iranian gas to Europe. US intent may be to torpedo Iran’s economy and US worry about nations trading outside of US currency, which was one of the reasons Libya was destroyed.

Energy economics plays a significant role in US foreign policy and as such I think the rational behind any strike will be less about the human tragedy which is occurring and more about geo-strategic/economic interference and destabalisation increase in the broader ME.

Posted by Geoff of Perth, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 4:38:40 PM
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Hi Reg,
Look while I am usually quite imformed and my understanding of the mid east is quite nuanced, I haven't got a handle on Syrria. I'll defer to your experience and understanding.
However your understanding of the US sysyem is a little flawed. Most people think the US economy is based on consumerism. It Isn't it is based on a fundametally extroverted and powerful education sysyem that produces graduates who are focused on creating and developing the means of creating the technology, machines, tools and rransport vehicles that make the things that consumers want.

Similarily it is incorrect to assume that the US wealth and economy is dependent on the wealth of the privately owned banks who own the US Federal Reserve, or more specifically, because of their dominance , the Banks who own the NY Reserve.
The families who own them also own the major US corporations where the real wealth is created. Their banks might fail but they would still own the production of the means of production and their replacement banks would still dominate the world.
Posted by imajulianutter, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 6:56:10 PM
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'... supporting the destruction of what was, whatever the fabled failings of its leader, the best functioning state in Africa, Libya'

Apart from agreeing with everything in this article about Syria, I commend Reg for reminding us of the largely forgotten, but utterly ruthless, NATO campaign that turned the Switzerland of Africa into a tragic pile of rubble.

The NATO script that sealed Libya's fate has been played out almost identically on Syria - i.e. a false Arab Spring, arming traditional tribal enemies with scores to settle against the government (and calling them 'democracy rebels') and fake genocide propaganda to escalate a sense of R2P urgency. The only difference with Syria is that it is more strategically aligned to powerful NATO 'enemies', whereas Libya's main friends were just a bunch of 'lowly' developing African nations.

At least Russia and China look to have learned from the terrible mistake they made in capitulating to NATO R2P propaganda regarding Libya. They haven't been able to spare Syria from nearly 2 years of unnecessary internal warfare, but hopefully, Syrians may be spared the worst of the excesses inflicted on Libya.
Posted by Killarney, Wednesday, 4 September 2013 8:32:05 PM
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The most interesting thing about Reg Little's rant is that he barely mentions the sarin gas attack in Syria which reportedly killed 1500 civilians and was non committal on which side did it. He then spends a thousand words kicking the crap out of the USA, not for what is has done, but because of what it might do.

Reg was an Aussie diplomat between 1963 and 1988, a time when many on OLO can remember that the Australian Diplomatic Service was famous for the high number of paedophiles in it's ranks preying on children in the countries in which they were assigned. I am not accusing Reg of paedophilia. I am simply saying that I would take anything that a member of the Australian Diplomatic Service at that time said with a grain of salt. The Catholic church's clergy has lost it's moral credibility to pontificate because of it's apparent tolerance for paedophiles and I don't see why the same standard should not be applied to members of the Australian Diplomatic Service for the same reason.

Reg claims that Australia honouring it's treaty obligations with the USA is wrong. Which sounds like a funny position for a diplomat to take. And Reg attacks Australia for joining the armies of the world's liberal democracies to genetically eradicate religious extremism in Afghanistan, even though both sides of Parliament support it. He claims that the only reason why we get into wars in the dysfunctional third world with the leader of the successful liberal democracies is because of "ignorance."

Could I put it to you Reg, that attacking those societies noted for spectacular success and always making excuses for dysfunctional societies which are nothing but trouble looks more like "ignorance" to me?
Posted by LEGO, Thursday, 5 September 2013 5:56:06 AM
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LEGO speaking of ignorance, more evidence you don’t want to believe:

Probes from Khan al-Assal show chemicals used in the March 19 attack did not belong to standard Syrian army ammunition.

Samples taken at the site of the March 19 attack and analyzed by Russian experts indicate that a projectile carrying the deadly nerve agent sarin was most likely fired at Khan al-Assal by the rebels.

The key points of the report have been given as follows:

• the shell used in the incident “does not belong to the standard ammunition of the Syrian army and was crudely made according to type and parameters of the rocket-propelled unguided missiles manufactured in the north of Syria by the so-called Bashair al-Nasr brigade”;

• RDX, which is also known as hexogen or cyclonite, was used as the bursting charge for the shell, and it is “not used in standard chemical munitions”;

• soil and shell samples contain “the non-industrially synthesized nerve agent sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate,” which was “used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.”

The findings of the report are “extremely specific,” as they mostly consist of scientific and technical data from probes’ analysis.

While focusing on the Khan al-Assal attack on March 19, in which at least 26 civilians and Syrian army soldiers were killed, and 86 more were injured, the Russian Foreign Ministry also criticized the “flawed selective approach” of certain states in reporting the recent incidents of alleged chemical weapons use in August.
Posted by Geoff of Perth, Thursday, 5 September 2013 10:30:44 AM
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Now let's see, Geoff of Perth. You say that the Russians are claiming that the gas canisters were manufactured by the rebels? That's funny, you, David O'Neill and Davig G refuse to believe anything the yanks say, but you have no trouble believing any self interested crap that the Russians say?

The Russians are now practically a dictatorship again under Putin and they support Assad, right? They have a vested interest in defending him, and yet you believe them over the leader of the western liberal democracies?

The yanks despise Assad, and they despise the rebels even more, but they think that the weapons were used by the Assad forces, on the logical grounds that they were used on Assad's enemies, and he has a large stockpile of such weapons. The claim that the rebels used the damned things on their own supporters seems like a crackpot idea to me. Where did they get them? Supercheap? What would be the repercussions if somebody squealed on the rebels leadership and told their own supporters that the rebel leaders had used the weapons on their own people? There would be nowhere on planet Earth for them to hide, that's what. There would be death squads after them forever.

If the rebels already have the capability of creating their own poison gas weapons then there is no need of the USA to attack (liberate?) Syria is there? Because the primary motivation of the yanks is to get the nerve gas weapons before they fall into the hands of the Jihadis and they use them on Israel.

Which, when you think about it, is a rational thing to do. What makes it unlikely, is people like you who can always be relied upon to blame the yanks for everything and make excuses for their enemies.
Posted by LEGO, Thursday, 5 September 2013 12:20:00 PM
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