Kinda feels like there should be a thread on Syria


#1

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


#2

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…)


#3

I’ve seen a lot of people quite uncritically sharing the Robert Fisk article from yesterday which very much follows the line of smearing all rebels as jihadis of the level of extremism of ISIS. Although it’s calling for balance, he’s basically just repeating the same lines that the regime apologists have been spouting for years - the white helmets are just western propaganda, are there even that many people in Eastern Aleppo etc. The article was also cited by the Morning Star to back up their original ‘liberation’ coverage.

The rebels have no doubt used some extreme tactics and have committed atrocities. But this in no way detracts from the brutal repression of the uprising and grave violations of international law perpetrated by Assad with the support of Russia and Iran. I am astounded that so many people on the left have failed to even utter their support for the Syrian people.


#4

also seen people valorising ‘the Kurds’ cause they’re feminist and secular. such an orientalist way of looking at it… like they’re all one group and they fit our politics and it would please us to see that type of thing. the YPG are the ones who’ve received actual direct assistance from the US.


#5

Basically: Russian imperialism is still imperialism.


#6

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


Syria
#7

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.


#8

for up to date, reliable info, Al Jazeera is generally ok http://www.aljazeera.com/topics/city/aleppo.html

some journalists to follow on twitter if you’re on there https://twitter.com/priyankaboghani/status/809028034992947200

this is an article about the continuing importance of conscription http://qz.com/862890/aleppo-highlights-the-impossible-choice-faced-by-syrias-young-men/

also important to remember that even when the coverage was of people going to Europe, this was still a small fraction of refugees and internally displaced persons from Syria. The vast majority are/were in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan (and some internally displaced within Syria) http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php


#9

what I find really disturbing is people who have been so vocally against the WAR ON TERROR and how it’s been used to shore up power for oppressive status apparatuses, denigrated Muslims etc.

now they’re doing that.


#10

This is really interesting.


#11

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


#12

Preferably Aleppo


#13

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


#14

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


#15

There’s a list of organisations here:


#16

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.


#17

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


#18

surely a gross simplification?

why is the way for us in the west to look at it as a comparison/juxtaposition of two completely essentialised representations of two opposing sides? I mean, a table ffs. let’s use game theory!


#19

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.


#20

yeah I wasn’t referring to the author but to his intended audience. I read the article.

I just don’t see how you can understand the ‘greater picture’ if you deliberately construct binaries like this to see everything through. It’s disregarding so much of what the uprising was about. It fractured and degenerated into something that doesn’t fit so easily with our ideals but this table/article elides so much of the complexity and as I say it essentialises the rebels. Just giving the Assad regime a clean slate uhh ok.

Find the simplification of women’s rights into Islam vs. liberal western rights framework here pretty problematic too. It seems to deny the women involved any agency (see Lila Abu-Lughod http://ideas.time.com/2013/11/01/do-muslim-women-need-saving/)

Anyway, the ‘who has the best politics?’ rubric isn’t necessarily the best way of looking at the overall situation. What about who has killed the most children?