|A sane voice on and for Syria! Dr. Andrea Stanton|
I was perusing a dead tree edition of the Stunned Vancouver Sun this weekend past and after being confronted by the usual drivel, stuff like the purposely convoluted financial structure of the Aquilini empire and how the unwashed masses could delight in seeing it opened to public view, thanks to the upcoming divorce trial of Roberto and his estranged soon to be ex-wife. Then on page one of Canada World, I was treated to both a tale of killer former Canadian Forces officer Russell Williams and his collection of victims underwear and our hero Andrew Coyne and his usual blind, stupid and/or mendaciously deceitful scribblings, this time on Syria (which as usual "promulgated the accepted corporate view, in this case bomb the bastards to "send a message" or bomb the village to save the village).
Then on page B7, I was astounded to find an article that actually addressed the current situation in Syria honestly, coherently and without the macho hyperbole and a lack of the preferred message approved by the Military/Industrial Corporate Complex. It was an interview by William Marsden of PostMedia with Andrea Stanton, an academic specializing in Middle Eastern history, affairs and religion who actually lived for a number of years in Syria before the outbreak of the current civil war. Today she is an associate professor at the University of Denver and from her page in the faculty guide:
Dr. Stanton is Assistant Professor of Islam, focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century Islam in the Middle East and beyond. Her research focuses on media and religious identity, and investigates the sometimes conflictual, sometimes cooperative relationships between new technologies and claims to religious authority. Her most recent historical work examines government management of religious broadcasts in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s, connecting this to a broader trend of Middle Eastern states controlling religious communities' access to radio and television.
Her most recent contemporary work examines the emergent phenomenon of "Islamic emoticons," which appear in online Islamic chat forums and websites. Other recent projects include an examination of the role of the Olympic Games in fostering national and regional identities in Lebanon and Syria, and an analysis of themes found in US-based Syrian aid appeals and in Syrian political cartoons.
Her teaching interests include Qur'anic studies, contemporary fundamentalisms, globalization and its impact on religious identity and practice, gender and Muslim practice, and embodied practice and notions of piety, as well as the Internet and social media's evolving impact in these areas.Would a U.S. strike open Pandora's box? (the piece on B7) turns out to be a Q and A composed of relevant questions and sensible and informed answers - a startling surprise in a paper increasingly full of meaningless fluff about celebrities or wannabe celebs, advertising disguised as editorial content or advertorials, and propaganda from the Fraser Institute, CAPP, the CofC, the BC liaRs and the StevieCons disguised as news or fair minded balanced opinion. Basically millions of trees are killed and pixels wasted to either sell automobiles, real estate and/or, or to sell lies to promote the interests of those who benefit from the tar sands, IPPs, wild fish killling farmed fish and so on. For example when Mr. Marsden asks Dr. Stanton
Q If the U.S. were to arm the rebels, what is the risk of the weapons falling into extremists' hands?She thoughtfully (and from an informed position) replies
As Kerry has tried to paint a picture that draws a clear distinction between good and bad rebel forces. Syria expert Stanton laughed at this checkerboard vision. She said the issue is far more complex, adding that there is a limited knowledge about Syrian demographics, public opinion and opposition groups. "What we can say is the very simple picture of here are the good guys, here are the bad guys, here are the secularists, here are the extremists, here are the moderates is too simple," she said. Rebels of different colours and goals fight alongside each other. War tends to blur the lines. If the U.S. arms the rebels, any fighter determined to get his hands on them will get them.Meanwhile all the talking heads on TeeVee and stenographers in the Lamestream spew nonsense with no end that is reminscent of nothing so much as the lead up of lies that Bu$h/Cheney engineered to initiate their "shock and awe" campaign on Baghdad. The only thing missing this time around is Judith "Kneepads" Wilson and "Curveball." But they won't be missed as an army of prevaricators and fluffers have risen from the depths willing, able and anxious to pick up the torch they dropped or had ripped from their grasp. Our man Andrew Coyne spouts the same style of predictable meaningless drivel as usual in If Syria’s use of chemical weapons is not a reason to draw a line, then what is? or an article I saved a copy of titled cuckooCoyne.txt.
If chemical weapons are no different than conventional, why did Syrian President Bashar al-Assad use them? Or rather, why did he keep them in reserve at first, then try them out on a smaller scale, then escalate their use, in places where the resistance had proved particularly entrenched? Because they work where conventional weapons do not; because, like other “weapons of mass destruction,” they are the ultimate weapon — because of the high ratio of lethal capacity to resources at risk, because of their portability, their undectability, their sheer indiscriminacy, especially when used against civilians.Here like the Obama administration and the rest of his useless Lamestream colleagues, he claims as fact assertions that come out of his ass. And then since he is almost as much of a genius as Tom Friedman, he even explains to we idjits why anyone would even use such weapons....thanks Andy you asshole.
That is why they have been banned, by one treaty or another, since the Geneva Protocol in 1925. Were its signatories naive about war — having suffered all the horrors that conventional weapons could inflict in the First World War? Is it unrealistic to hold today’s combatants to a line that, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has reminded us, even Hitler and Tojo did not cross?In relation to the bolded part above, is Andy unaware that in the first world war they suffered quite a bit, indeed a hell of a lot of a bit of mustard gas and chemical weapons....indeed that was the motivation for Geneva 1925, not that they were weary of all the "horrors that conventional weapons could inflict."
Also they haven't been used much since 1925, except for when Saddam, with Saint Ronnie Raygun's blessing, support and most likely gas supply, gassed the Iranian army repeated during the war started by Iraq's invasion of Iran. Then there was the George H. W. Bu$h and Donald Rumsfeld approved gassing of the Kurds in the early nineties by Saddam. Let us not forget the years of contamination of Vietnam by the US with Agent Orange and napalm or the current day Israeli and US use of white phosphorous on civilians and the US military use of depleted uranium everywhere they swagger into to kill brown folks with funny head gear.
Sure Bashar is a BAD MAN, but he certainly doesn't have a corner on the market, and compared to Saint Ronnie, DickHead Cheney and Bibi the Butcher, he's a small scale amateur.
Since Colin Powell is now looking at himself in the mirror with shame, John "one time anti-war hero" Kerry has taken his place as designated liar from State. Joe Biden is Dick Cheney with a warm working man's face and style and Obama has replaced Bu$h the Lesser with the ability to actually speak English.
But they are selling the same old crap, and this time it could lead to even worse consequences, though Iraq was pretty bad. This time around most of the rest of the planet has lost patience with the assholes from Amerika that read their mail and listen to their phone call and if there really is a coalition of the willing, they're not willing to be identified. Poor John Kerry, one of the few countries he has actually named in his claimed growing list of supporting nations is the United Kingdom, in spite of the fact that wannabe Tony "Poodle" Blair - David Cameron seems to be the only inhabitant of that verdant green jewel Merry Olde England that isn't totally opposed to the idea of whacking Syria.
No one will actually produce the "proof" that Assad actually had anything to do with whatever happened last month in suburban Damascus - unless one considered unverified youTube videos proof of anything, much less who the perpetrator is of what the video claims to portray.
And other than Obama and gang, who is perhaps the stupidest sounding (though unwilling to participate, thank God!) cheerleader for whacking Syria? Stephen Harper, quelle surprise!
As of today things MAY be cooling down as the Russians suggested to John Kerry that perhaps some kind of international supervision, and even eventual destruction, of Syria's unconventional weapons would be acceptable. The Syrian foreign minister immediately indicated he found this acceptable. It remains to be seen if the warmongers will accept this, after all, what a drag it is to not bomb folks when you are all geared up to go. And of course our Stevie, who would believe a turd was caviar if Dubya or Obama told him so, has his doubts and won't accept this until he understands the details (in other words never, cuz he is too dumb and ideological to understand anything) and for now figures it is just another stall. Hmmmm. his BFF's except for China in Israel have been stalling on every agreement made since 1967 with the Palestinians, and will continue to stall until they have built "settlements" on all the real estate that could have been Palestine.
For more on this late development, how it came about and its prospects see Robert Scheer;s Obama Remembers He’s Not George W. Bush an excerpt:
One guy who called into the CBC had an excellent suggestion when the call was out for people to call in with their thoughts. He thought that Syria should be BOMBED. (Scroll down)Surely President Obama can recall his own earlier warnings about the danger of such military adventures, and the disarray in Libya is a constant reminder that even once promising attacks quickly lose their luster. He has also realized that it is necessary to finally bury the legacy of the Cold War and recognize, as the Chechnya-connected Boston bombing demonstrated, the common stake in dealing effectively with terrorism. It is also Obama who acknowledged that the U.S. shares with Russia the ugly reputation of being the developers and possessors of nuclear weapons of mass destruction that make the Syrian arsenal seem insignificant in comparison.
Perhaps this bold Russian initiative will have been discarded as an option by the time this is read......
With food, medicine and GAS MASKS.......
I'm with him!!!!!!!!!