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Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:15 AM

Fears of extremism taking hold in Syria as violence continues

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/fears-of-extremism-taking-hold-in-syria-as-violence-continues/2012/04/22/gIQA8CInaT_story.html?tid=pm_world_pop

Activists and rebel soldiers based inside Syria say a small but growing number of Islamist radicals affiliated with global jihadi movements have been arriving in opposition strongholds in recent weeks and attempting to rally support among disaffected residents.

He says that he has rebuffed several offers of help from militant groups in the form of arms and money and that he fears the extremists’ influence will grow

“This is not a reason for the international community to be silent about Syria. It should be a reason for them to do something,” Awdi said

__________

just the usual point....a revolution against a dictator does not mean ones gets a western democracy automatically (that should be obvious by now), infact given the various forces at work, it would take 'counter forces of democracy believing people from the international community to push back.

hmm, seems to me, Awdi is asking for help and support, i would say, its time for the western 'left" to start one of those 'actions" and get their asses over to syria and attempt to make a real difference....and try to create a real secular democracy. This is a rare moment where the secular forces are present and have more power than the religious ones, it would be a shame if the western left shirks their duty again. (human rights, civil rights....)

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Response to pelsar (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:11 PM

1. LOL @ the suggestion the International Left cares about promoting western/secular values...

...in Syria.

All evidence (from the media to academics to leftist organizations) shows the western Left is content with the rise of Islamist extremism in the mideast.

There's absolutely no movement at all, no op-eds, etc.. suggesting that the western Left should advocate for western secular values in Syria.

Nothing.

And WRT Israel, we're supposed to believe the western Left really and truly wants a secular democratic one state solution there? Yeah, right. If it became Islamist, what evidence is there that the western Left would do something about it?

No, that's not what they want. A secular, democratic western style government in Syria would have much closer ties to the USA and Israel. That is not what the Left wants at all.

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Response to shira (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:15 PM

2. International Brigades

The Etkar André battalion of the International Brigades.

British Battalion banner
Many non-Spaniards, often affiliated with radical communist or socialist entities, joined the International Brigades, believing that the Spanish Republic was a front line in the war against fascism. The units represented the largest foreign contingent of those fighting for the Republicans. Roughly forty thousand foreign nationals fought with the Brigades, though no more than 18,000 were entered into the conflict at any given time; they claimed to represent 53 states.

Significant numbers of volunteers originated in France (10,000), Germany and Austria (5,000) and Italy (3,350). More than 1,000 came from the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Canada. The Thälmann Battalion, a group of Germans, and the Garibaldi Battalion, a group of Italians, distinguished their unit during the Siege of Madrid. Americans fought in units such as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, while Canadians joined the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion.

Over five hundred Romanians fought on the Republican side, including Romanian Communist Party members Petre Borilă and Valter Roman. About 80 volunteers from Ireland formed the Connolly Column, the latter of which was immortalized by Irish folk singer Christy Moore in the song 'Viva La Quinta Brigada.' Some Chinese joined the Brigades; the majority of them eventually returned to China, while some went to prison or French refugee camps, and a handful remained in Spain.

________

ok....so it would be a bit different, no "action" committees, no seminars, they wouldn't be able to approach the syrian soldiers with their cameras and threaten them with int'l courts of law, follow them around where ever they go, throw stones, confident that at best they will get tear gas in return, and then go back to a safe apartment, again confident that their foreign passport will protect them...and then go back home to tell a few "hero" stories to the friends....

once upon a time, the left not just believed in their philosophy but were willing to sacrifice their lives to establish it....the iranians have been orphaned, the tunisians, the egyptians and now the syrians....all opportunities for the western left to support the establishment of new govts with their values of civil rights by actually going to those places and helping their comrades with their common belief....or so i once believed.

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Response to pelsar (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:58 PM

3. Once upon a time there was a decent liberal Left. Now it's the "New Left" (Stalinist Left).

It's that Stalinist Left that has people scratching their heads wondering what the hell went wrong with the decent liberal Left that would have fought for western values in Syria. Or for women's rights throughout the mideast.

Many are unaware of these faux liberals attempting to hijack liberalism altogether.

WRT Israel and the Jews, there's hardly a difference between the fascist neo-nazi Right and the Stalinist Left. Neither is more appealing than the other and both are very antisemitic. I recall stories from the holocaust era in which Jews from the Soviet Union were happy to see the Germans, who they thought would be kinder to Jews than the Stalinists.

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Response to pelsar (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 01:43 AM

4. this maybe "self serving" but this is absurd (in my eyes)

http://www.wikihow.com/Help-the-Syrian-Revolution-from-Where-You-Are

6 steps:
Boycott pro regime produces.
Hold demonstrations
Support the refugees.
Be proud of the cause.
Spread the word
Express yourself

with a warning:
You must throw fear behind your back
_______________________

LOL...you must be "brave" to write about it? to boycott? ...jesus christ what is wrong with these people, how about option 7, get your ass to turkey, cross the border, grab an AK-47 with lots of magazines (check the bullets, you'll probably get the bad ones) an join up?

it may not be for everyone, but the option is not even listed....

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Response to pelsar (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 02:29 AM

5. So when do you get your ass over the border?.......

LOL...you must be "brave" to write about it? to boycott? ...jesus christ what is wrong with these people, how about option 7, get your ass to turkey, cross the border, grab an AK-47 with lots of magazines (check the bullets, you'll probably get the bad ones) an join up?......it may not be for everyone, but the option is not even listed....


So when do YOU get your ass to turkey, cross the border, and join up Pelsar?

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Response to kayecy (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 09:22 AM

6. your talking to the wrong person....

Last edited Wed Apr 25, 2012, 10:52 AM - Edit history (4)

not only have i already put my life on the line, i still do it as per my beliefs and personal hierarchy of where to put my time and energy, so i'm quite busy over here .....some of us actually have the gumption to act on our beliefs...

(i wont mention that fact that the syrians might not be too excited to take in an israeli jew)

so what about you, i would say the least you could do is go to syria and help patch up the wounded.....afraid? too busy? plans that "can't be interrupted" or perhaps you just prefer to be a "desktop warrior" as your conviction isn't that strong for you to actually do something serious about it, but you can write really really good letters to the editor and comments on blogs and forums and you might consider even boycotting...
(that will show them!)

personally i don't disparage those who limit their efforts to letters to demonstrations, to forums...as we all have various levels of convictions and abilities and "to each his own," though i do think it should be on the "to do" list for those who can or are willing to......(think of the Marmara but going to syria instead-may take more guts). And it should be understood that those who are actually willing to go, risk their lives for their beliefs, are actually doing something a bit substantial than writing on blogs (or even "protesting against the IDF). Think of the essays they can write when they (if) they return to the university.....

but you really shouldn't challenge me on that specific aspect....I've "walk the walk"

and just for fun...
So when do you get your ass over the border?....... maybe i have been....

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Response to pelsar (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 02:16 PM

7. What exactly are these beliefs that you ‘put your life on the line’ for?......

not only have i already put my life on the line, i still do it as per my beliefs and personal hierarchy of where to put my time and energy, so i'm quite busy over here .....some of us actually have the gumption to act on our beliefs...

Ahhhhhhh......It must be a comfort to be able to think that way, but what exactly are these beliefs that you ‘put your life on the line’ for?...........Did you volunteer to helped patch up the anti-Gaddafi wounded in Libya?........Have you worked towards ending the West Bank occupation which you have admitted is immoral? .......Have you worked to end Israel’s settlement activity which I am sure you also consider immoral? (Sorry to bring up the settlement question again but you failed to respond to my previous challenge......I’m sure you had a good reason for not doing so.)


so what about you, i would say the least you could do is go to syria and help patch up the wounded.....afraid? too busy? plans that "can't be interrupted" or perhaps you just prefer to be a "desktop warrior"

What about me?.......I have followed my principles of course......I am a believer in International Law.......I do not believe that you , Israel or anyone else should act as a vigilante and take the law into your own hands......Apart from the legal aspect, there is a every possibility that interference in Syria by foreign secular individuals could result in even greater loss of life.


but you really shouldn't challenge me on that specific aspect....I've "walk the walk"

But I do challenge you!........What steps have you taken to support the Syrian secular anti-dictator groups?.......

Crossing the border on the instructions of an IDF officer with the might of the IDF behind you would hardly qualify as support for Syrian secular anti-Assad groups, would it?


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Response to kayecy (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:11 PM

8. i'm one of those...

Last edited Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:58 PM - Edit history (3)

that stop people from carrying bombs into israel or just attacking any israeli they cross among other things. Sometimes its has a price in costing us our lives for those of us who are active in that particular activity.

I do not do anything to stop the settlements at all, nor will i, until i believe the Palestinians can develop a stable western democracy, until them my moral duty is to do what i can to protect the israelis from their attacks. Their attacks on human beings and unstable/theocractic dictatorships are far more immoral in my eyes than any land ownership or buildings.

____

do you really expect me to buy what your selling?...you wont go and help the syrians who are fighting for a change in government, who are pleading for outside help because your afraid it could result in 'greater loss of life?

OMFG, those syrians are getting massacred slowly and you're afraid if you help, it will make it worse, so its better to leave assad alone....and let him kill "in peace." (l guess like the killing in dafur) that has got to be one of the most absurd excuses i've heard yet....and what "law" prevents you (outside of the law of fear) from going to syria and aiding them in creating a better government? i would say your viewpoint is "morally bankrupt", since you refuse to help those syrians fighting a dictatorship on principle.

____

and Kaddafi? no way, i believe NATO's interference was hypocritical, nor do i believe the tribes fighting each other will result in anything resembling of a democracy, so why would i even consider going there and risking my life for something i don't believe in? I've made my decision of what i believe in and where i risk my life and that is where i am presently.

and you? outside of writing on a forum, do you actually do anything that actually has a "cost/risk" to you? (its not that i expect people to, but if your going to attempt to show your "moral superiority"...lets hear what you have done, that has a 'personal cost" if anything

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Response to pelsar (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 12:22 AM

9. I suggest your position is untenable and you know it........

I do not do anything to stop the settlements at all, nor will i, until i believe the Palestinians can develop a stable western democracy, until them my moral duty is to do what i can to protect the israelis from their attacks.

You agree settlements are immoral but you still do nothing to stop them?.......Why?

You claim it is your moral duty to protect the settlements because you do not believe Palestinians can develop a stable western democracy......... Withdrawing settlers from the settlements would remove a major complaint of Palestinians.....No settlements means no attacks on settlements, so why don’t you take steps to stop settlers expanding the settlements?


I suggest your position is untenable and you know it........Your military duty as a soldier requires you to protect settlements but your conscience tells you that settlements are immoral......You are trying to justify what you know is unjustifiable.....Settlement expansion contibutes nothing to the development of Palestinian democracy....... On the contrary, by withdrawing the settlers, Israel could change the whole dynamic.


...............................
i believe NATO's interference was foolish and stupid, nor do i believe the tribes fighting each other will result in anything resembling of a democracy, so why would i even consider going there and risking my life for something i don't believe in?

Let me remind you what you have written in the past:

In fact all dictatorships in my mind should be threatened with removal from the very day the dictator takes power. Dictatorships by their very existence are immoral and must be removed...one way or another.

You seem to have changed your mind about dictatorships........NATO was only doing what you wanted and you now claim it was foolish!

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Response to kayecy (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 01:26 AM

10. did you forget about the rest of the country?

Last edited Thu Apr 26, 2012, 03:29 AM - Edit history (4)

No settlements means no attacks on settlements
did you forget about the rest of Israel? it too is considered a "settlement... Have you spoken to hamas recently? islamic Jihad members? and i noticed in the past before there were settlements post 67, that, there were also attacks on israel and now there are less... Its is immoral to place israel, its citizens in a more dangerous position. The gaza withdrawal in fact put over a million israelis vulnerable to the random rocket fire, of hamas, that too is immoral. Whereas from a point of view of geopolitics (national and international) leaving gaza was smart, it does however remain immoral. That immorality will not be repeated.

I'll make it simpler: it would be immoral for me to place my family in a potentially more dangerous situation...and just plain stupid as well. Removal of the IDF and the settlements from the west bank at this point would do just that.

and the Palestenans like any people have the ability to create a western democracy, its a matter of national will, western education and culture. I don't believe any of those aspects exist within their culture presently, with enough "mass" and i believe its essential for any long term peace and stability to have a chance....that too is a moral stand. Helping/aiding in the creation of a dictatorship is one of the most immoral things any international community can do as it negates the whole concept of civil rights for its citizens from the very start.

I suggest your position is untenable and you know it.
on the contrary, i live in a world where i admit i can't read the future and at the sametime am willing to make choices that i believe are the best moral choices, choices that may not be simple, but never the less are actual choices

this is in stark contrast to you...basically you sell out your "morality" to "international law" so you infact have to do nothing.

the only thing you've written that has some truth to it is:
On the contrary, by withdrawing the settlers, Israel could change the whole dynamic.

yes it would, i don't believe it would be for the better, at this point, and that is nothing in the history or in the past events that would suggest otherwise. You may believe it wont, and you probably have a new set of "authorities" who's ability to read the future is probably very poor, but it is nothing more than a religious type belief since it ignores history...but you still believe it anyway

You seem to have changed your mind about dictatorships........NATO was only doing what you wanted and you now claim it was foolish!

whereas i have my own moral compass and believe (unlike you) that dictatorships are illegal and have no rights, and in fact should be on a "removal list, it doesn't mean one does stupid things like remove a stable secular dictatorship and replace it with tribal and religious based dictatorship.....that is even more immoral.

It seems to me, that in your view, if the UN says something is OK, that means its legal, if they don't, you believe its then 'illegal" and you don't seem to have your own moral compass at all you just believe what your told.

i.e. interfering and killing in Libya is morally justifiable, interfering in Dafur would be immoral, The iraq wars were all moral since the UN agreed.

did i get that right? sure makes your life easy, you don't even have to act on anything, since your "moral authority" does it for you.

i call that being morally bankrupt.....

so tell us:
will you or will you not do anything at all to help the syrians, or do you stand by your version of morality and declare it immoral and illegal to aid them?
__________________________

just a note: it occurred to me, why you have such a simplistic black and white view of good and bad, what is moral and what is not....you've never done any thing..never had to make choices between the shades of morality, decisions of what is "more moral" and what is "less moral" is something you can't comprehend because you've simply never had to face it....

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Response to pelsar (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 09:25 AM

11. Why are you trying to defend Israel's indefensible settlement activity?....

did you forget about Israel? it too is considered a "settlement... Have you spoken to hamas recently? islamic Jihad members? and i noticed in the past before there were settlements post 67, that, there were also attacks on israel and now there are less

You say “Israel is considered as a settlement” - What a pathetic attempt to defend West Bank settlement expansion!........You are prevaricating again......I don’t believe you really think that stopping settlement expansion would increase violence against Israelis......Why are you trying to defend the indefensible?

Its is immoral to place israel, its citizens in a more dangerous position

What nonsense!.......Why would stopping West Bank settler expansion place Israel or its citizens in a more dangerous position?

..................................
and the Palestinians like any people have the ability to create a western democracy, its a matter of national will, western education and culture. I don't believe any of those aspects exist within their culture presently, with enough "mass" and i believe its essential for any long term peace and stability to have a chance

You may be right but why has Israel not introduced “western education” into the West Bank?......After ruling the West Bank for 45 years, by your own admission it has achieved nothing in the way of changing Palestinian views and yet it has succeeded in doing so with Arab Israelis.......Israel is the de facto ruler of the West bank......It is just a much its responsibility (and in its long-term interest) to change Arab opinion there as is it is within the Green Line.

................................
whereas i have my own moral compass and believe (unlike you) that dictatorships are illegal and have no rights, and in fact should be on a "removal list, it doesn't mean one does stupid things like remove a stable secular dictatorship and replace it with tribal and religious based dictatorship.....that is even more immoral

Did you post something to that effect at the time of NATO’s involvement?.......Perhaps you could see the future more clearly than NATO?.......Stating that a post-Gaddafi government would be tribal would have been nothing but a guess at that time, but you didn’t need a crystal ball to see what the future for Benghazi residents would have been had Gaddafi been allowed to fulfill his promise of "no mercy"........If you did object to the removal of Gaddafi, were you also content to standby and watch a massacre take place?

...................................
so tell us: ....will you or will you not do anything at all to help the syrians, or do you stand by your version of morality and declare it immoral and illegal to aid them?

You believe the Syrian secular rebels deserve your support in toppling Assad but the Libyan rebels didn’t simply because the Libyan rebels are tribal and religious-based.

That is too fine a distinction for me.......My moral code is less conditional.....I will support any action that I think will minimize death and suffering......The Syrian rebels have my moral support just as I supported the Libyan rebels..... I hope they succeed in their objective but whether it will lead to a democracy or even fewer deaths than under Assad is anyone’s guess.

It is sometimes difficult to decide the most effective thing to do......I shall probably wait until the situation becomes clearer........You obviously know the best thing to do in such sitations......You have leapt into action by posting a Washington Post article.......Perhaps it would help the rebels if I posted a similar article!
.

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Response to kayecy (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 26, 2012, 03:35 PM

12. Your moral code is similar to 'running away"...

Last edited Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:57 AM - Edit history (2)

I will support any action that I think will minimize death and suffering.

what does that mean?....will you or will you not go and help the syrian rebels?.....and if not why not?
you've already claimed your against such 'vigilante actions, so can we assume your against anybody going to help them out of your moral principles?

how about Lybia, were you also against individuals going to help the rebels?
your moral code is very vague about actual actions..and since one can never know what will cause less or greater deaths, one has to depend upon other values as well, do you have any other values in terms of governing right or wrong that would actually cause you to get up and go and participate physically?

-----
Why are you trying to defend the indefensible?
again with the religious beliefs?....declaring facts where facts do not exist is the classic sign of the intolerant bigot/believer....i can't answer to such declarations.

You may be right but why has Israel not introduced “western education” into the West Bank?
the Palestinians, even under the occupation were given some rights as to their their education and judicial systems,of which they took from jordan and egypt. The influence of israeli democracy that came though via their Palestinians working in israel, and learning of the culture was expressed in Intifada I and the local councils that were established. Mr Arafat, upon his return, removed all of that and replaced the local with his own corrupt cronies, there by creating the foundations for the dictatorships we see today in gaza and in the west bank......


Did you post something to that effect at the time of NATO’s involvement?.......Perhaps you could see the future more clearly than NATO?.......Stating that a post-Gaddafi government would be tribal would have been nothing but a guess at that time, but you didn’t need a crystal ball to see what the future for Benghazi residents would have been had Gaddafi been allowed to fulfill his promise of "no mercy"........If you did object to the removal of Gaddafi, were you also content to standby and watch a massacre take place?

"posting" is not a priority with me, i find it amusing that you put such "weight" on it, as if its some kind of statement of ones personality or character...you really should get out and see the world, start with the conflict zones, and leave your credit card at home.... (oh yea, it will change your view of morals real fast)


NATO went in for oil, that was rather obvious and given the various tribes and their own internal wars, it was pretty obvious what the future had in store. Only the most naive or the believers saw differently. I didn't see a good solution either way, though i would guess that had NATO stayed out of it , there would have probably been less deaths in a shorter time as Gaddaffi had the greater fire power (see syrian, and hama 1982 for an example)..so i guess that you would be on Gaddaffis side as well...that is your principle is it not?

Why would stopping West Bank settler expansion place Israel or its citizens in a more dangerous position?


This is rather obvious to most israelis, but i shall explain later, as it requires an understanding how the various Palestinians groups prepare for their attacks upon israel and how they are thwarted, which is why there a few attacks from the west bank and almost daily attacks from gaza. It will be difficult for you, since it involves indirect actions as well as making educated quesses on future events, things you refuse to admit are relevant in life


so, back to Syria....go and join up or not, they are asking for help, and if not why not?...you claim you "support them", whatever that means in your world (writing comments on blogs?..)

...whats your decision, you seem to have avoided the question. and btw, a "non decision" is also considered a decision in my world as like any other decision it has an affect.

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Response to pelsar (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:59 AM

13. Can we dispense with snide remarks etc and stick to facts?......

Forgive me if I split your response into three parts.

1. Snide remarks, false claims and simple distractions

I will support any action that I think will minimize death and suffering.......what does that mean?....will you or will you not go and help the syrian rebels?.....and if not why not?

I can’t make this much clearer for you.......What don’t you understand?......I have no plans to go and risk making things worse in Syria.

.........................
again with the religious beliefs?....declaring facts where facts do not exist is the classic sign of the intolerant bigot/believer

A snide remark and unworthy of you.

.........................
"posting" is not a priority with me, i find it amusing that you put such "weight" on it, as if its some kind of statement of ones personality or character

Another snide remark......I only asked to see if you had some written proof of your position at the time of NATO’s involvement.......Your memory is sometimes not very good!

......................
so i guess that you would be on Gaddaffis side as well...that is your principle is it not?

Why not stop “guessing” and try reading what I wrote in my last post?.....I said I supported the Libyan rebels just as I support the Syrian rebels.

.....................
you really should get out and see the world,

I have spent some 40 years living and working in ten countries in every continent except Africa.....What is your experience of living in foreign cultures?

......................
so, back to Syria....go and join up or not, they are asking for help, and if not why not?...you claim you "support them", whatever that means in your world (writing comments on blogs?...LOL?)...whats your decision, you seem to have avoided the question.

Your questioning my own intentions with regard to Syria seems to be a deliberate red-herring......You were the one who published the Washington Post article, not me.......I expected you to be able to justify your criticisms just as you expect me to justify mine, but let me be clear, I was not criticising you for not “getting your ass across the border”, I was criticising you for being a hypocrite in telling others to do what you were not prepared to do yourself.

Can we now dispense with such snide remarks, false claims and simple distractions and stick to facts?
.........................

2 Libya and similar dictatorships

NATO went in for oil, that was rather obvious and given the various tribes and their own internal wars, it was pretty obvious what the future had in store. Only the most naive or the believers saw differently.

And your reasons for making this claim are what?

.................
though i would guess that had NATO stayed out of it , there would have probably been less deaths in a shorter time as Gaddaffi had the greater fire power (see syrian, and hama 1982 for an example)..

This doesn’t make sense to me......”less deaths in a shorter time as Gaddaffi had the greater fire-power”?............Is that what you really meant to say?
.......................


3. Settlement Expansion

Why are you trying to defend the indefensible?
...i can't answer to such declarations.

Come on Pelsar, out with it......Do you or do you not support expansion of the settlements?


................
the Palestinians, even under the occupation were given some rights as to their their education and judicial systems,of which they took from jordan and egypt.

In other words, Israel never tried to give the West-Bank Palestinians an education in western values in spite of being the sovereign authority the West Bank .........After 45 years of occupation, road-blocks, settlements and military courts, don’t you think it is about time Israel admitted failure and tried something other than crude repression?


...................
Why would stopping West Bank settler expansion place Israel or its citizens in a more dangerous position?
This is rather obvious to most israelis, but i shall explain later, as it requires an understanding how the various Palestinians groups prepare for their attacks upon israel and how they are thwarted

I look forward to your explanation of how stopping the expansion of the settlements by civilian settlers would place Israel or its citizens in a more dangerous position.
.................

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