Kinda feels like there should be a thread on Syria

I don’t know that I’m really best qualified to start it, though. So I’ll just leave these here

but…yeah. awful. just fucking awful, and the weirdly smug gloating from certain aspects of the anti-West left (see: The Morning Star calling the onslaught “liberation”) is some of the most callous shit I’ve seen in what’s been a pretty fucking callous year

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There is, but for whatever reason it got ignored. (I’m wondering if it’s because this year has felt so shitty that it’s hard to face up to more shittiness, but it’s a bit lazy to not engage given that we’re all still engaging with the significantly less bloody prospect of Brexit…)

i feel like the situation in syria itself a year ago was mad complicated but i had a vague sense of what was going on

then the coverage for most of this year was about the people who were running away and ending up in europe

and now that the coverage is back to what’s going on within the country itself, i once again have no idea what’s going on

if anyone can point me to some articles that will get me up to speed that would be great

Not seen that article but doesn’t surprise me that it’s gained traction. Seen quite a few people on Twitter who are more focused on past mistakes by the West than holding Assad/Russia/Iran to account. Like, you’re not allowed to be appalled/shocked by what’s going on without reflecting on Iraq (like that’s not been reflected on for the past 13 years or whatever, or the Iraq situation is at all comparable to one where the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on its own people to suppress them).

It’s like a mutation of the Crimea apologism over the past few years, but with something far more destructive and catastrophic.

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This is really interesting.

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Feel a bit weird for saying this but hope PissPigGrandad is ok. He’s not tweeted for a few weeks

Preferably Aleppo

Yeah it’s an Owen Jones article while civilians are being shot on sight in the street but it’s very good as usual

Where is the best place to donate money to, do we reckon, the link in the OP?

There’s a list of organisations here:

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Is anyone actually in favor of western intervention though? Particularly western intervention involving bombs? I know Hilary floated the idea briefly but that was largely in the context of creating a no fly zone, which probably wouldn’t have helped stop many of the atrocities that are reportedly being committed given that they seem to be committed by troops on the ground.

Quite an interesting article posted by Nassim Nicholas Taleb which might help shed a bit more light on things

Agree that it’s quite simplified but, I see articles like this as part of understanding the greater picture, also judging by the authors comments his intention is that they be use as a counterpoint to some of the other sources of information.

Also,

Despite currently residing in the US Taleb was actually born in Lebanon and as mentioned in the article was at one point directly targeted by Assad’s regime.

The article states that it’s a condensed study, I don’t believe any one article can accurately describe the situation and whilst in this era of #fakenews it seems increasingly uncommon for rigor to be applied to the formation of ideas drawn from data I would like to believe that anyone reading such an article would use it as a launching point for investigations into the data that it’s contradicting rather than just accepting the points it’s making at face value.

The article describes Assad’s regime as autocratic, violent and directly responsible for civilian deaths in the pursuit of counter-insurgency, Taleb isn’t giving them a blank state. He also mentions that rebellion did not start life as a purely Salafist one but it has over time been increasingly commanded by a minority salafist movement.

Agreed about the issue of women’s rights but again, the article is a simplification, not least because I wouldn’t say Assad’s regime practices liberal western rights. In fact part of the point of the article is comparing it’s structure to that of the rebels.

By doesn’t exist, are you referring to people’s perception of what’s happening in Syria or the reality of the situation? I understand that on the surface of it such a depiction of each side might seem at best as if it lacks in nuance, but it’s countering an existing narrative about events in Syria.

Perhaps it’s just me but I actually don’t think most of the coverage of the conflict has been grossly simplified. Or at least has been largely focused on the plight of the Syrian people particularly those trapped in Rebel held areas.

That said I have to ask if you don’t think there’s a marked difference in the politics of the regime and the goals of the rebels who do you think the rebels are and who, at this point do you think is funding them?

This I’d agree with to some extent which is actually why I would say questioning this narrative is important, not least because it’s worth mentioning the Syrian people largely support Assad’s regime not that this would excuse any atrocities committed by them however it would suggest that any calls for external involvement to achieve anything other than humanitarian aims should be carefully scrutinized.

Yes the article I posted is a simplification not least because it omits the existence of groups like the SDF (although given that the SDF are largely operating in Northern Syria and the article is largely focused on Aleppo that could be excused) however it’s also presenting something other than the “good vs evil” narrative that I’ve largely seen presented elsewhere.

This is kind of the crux of the issue, yes it may have started as a peaceful youth-led uprising but, previous examples of such movements have unfortunately shown that if not supported they can often by co-opted by people who would largely be deemed extremists. The New York times published an excellent long read about how this happened repeatedly during the Arab Spring with the factionalism and anarchy that’s now being seen in both Libya and Yemen and the subsequent loss of life.

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oh to the last point I was just going to say, I agree with this, however the article wasn’t implying it does “come out of nowhere”, and certainly I don’t think that, rather than it can take hold in situations where there’s instability.

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Mainly stuff about raqqa but it shows how fucking complicated a tiny portion of the overall conflict is.

Also this is crazy:

Daily updates on how the offensive is going and how many ISIS recruits they merk. How do they get a signal?