Saddam forgotten as Howard backs Assad

From The Australian:

John Howard’s suggestion that Western powers strike a “deal” with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to defeat Islamic State has been highlighted by Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese.

The former Liberal prime minister last night said political negotiations were needed to resolve Syria’s civil war and dealing with Assad, who had killed thousands of his own people, was “a price worth paying”.

“If it takes some kind of interim deal and some kind of arrangement about his future (to solve this) then it is a price worth paying,” Mr Howard said.

No more neocon wars then. Twelve years on and that much wiser, I guess.  The ISIL timeline from Bloomberg says it all:

20151117_ISI3 (2)
David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. Headline is a bit inflammatory but I guess it is a choice of our pet dictator or Russia’s pet dictator :(, and would “our” pet dictator rise from the ranks of the CIA project ISIS????

  2. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Is this his way to apologise for causing all this bother?

    Bloody apologists every way you look.

    • The Libs interpretation of “bother” is having to take on more asylum seekers. From that perspective, John Howard is actually making some sense. Getting rid of Assad was supposed to reduce the asylum seeker intake. However, since that has backfired the innocent slaughter of civilians by Assad is a small price to pay.

      *tic*

      • Different scenario. Global war – one nation, one race. If you were to nuke Syria, Muslims would take it as an attack on Islam and Iran would launch an all out war using every proxy available to it. This would see Paris style attacks a weekly if not daily occurrence all across Western Europe and in US cities.

        We’d be much better off nuking KSA. They are the ones who actually fiance Wahabi terrorism across all corners of the globe. The added benefit would be that crude would be $300 a barrel and this would speed up the switch to alternatives 🙂

      • “If you were to nuke Syria, Muslims would take it as an attack on Islam and Iran would launch an all out war using every proxy available to it. This would see Paris style attacks a weekly if not daily occurrence all across Western Europe and in US cities.”

        Then herd every Muslim into the country where nuke number 2 goes off.

    • Terror Australis

      It’s idiotic comments like that which the world a more dangerous place for the rest of us.

  3. Next up, we’ll be hearing from George W. Bush and Tony Blair with their thoughts on peace in the Middle East.

  4. The US, UK and NATO loved Assad when he was torturing terror suspects for them at Syrian black sites in the early 2000’s and also siding with their Middle East foreign policy. They were lauding him as a moderate and secular poster boy for the Mid East.

    The USA loves democracy and it’s so called “values” so much that they have been trying to depose this DEMOCRATICALLY elected leader for the last half decade in favour of “moderate” head choppers who kill Christians and Alawites. They even love democracy so much that under the transition plan proposed by Russia, their major concern is not allowing Assad to be a candidate in any election – because he would actually in all likelihood still win.

  5. “No more neocon wars then. Twelve years on and that much wiser, I guess.”

    It’s a bit off topic, but the broader problem is people are scared and expect their governments to do something about terrorism and groups that promote it. Western governments can hardly admit that they don’t know how to stop the spread of terrorism or their backward, hate-filled agenda. My worry is we all let fear lead us down an unsustainable path. I mean how many more decades can the West afford to bomb these bastards back to the stone age only to spawn more terrorists or more hate? That said, it’s completely hypocritical, but I’m all for doing what it takes to remove Daesh from the face of the planet. But we desperately need to also formulate a long term sustainable strategy, because ultimately you won’t defeat these groups with bombs and guns.

    • I would be happy if Western governments stop creating proxy army that end up biting the hand that feeded it.

  6. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The very first point in that Bloomberg time line needs to be considered in light of this

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/mar/06/james-steele-america-iraq-video

    The insurgency was set up by an American mercenary.

    Further to this is the simple fact that the Syrian insurgency is almost TOTALLY FOREIGN – they are western backed, western paid, funded, trained and armed.

    This entire French bombing (which is a war crime under every single classification) fiasco is due to the realisation that the west has totally failed in its attempts to initiate regime change in the state and that it will now remain a Russian Ally – the entire project to isolate Russian energy from Europe has failed – Ukraine, Northern Iraq and Syria being the primary avenues for cutting it off in order to supply Gulf State energy.

    A few people need to listen to what is really happening in Syria, the idea that it is some megalomaniac simply bombing his own people shits and giggles is laughable.

    Watch this video – its important.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQuceU3x2Ww

    Russia has sent in 150,000 troops to Syria. They have also sent in several of the worlds fastest and most powerful bombers, they are also conducting around 2,000 sorties a day. The wests plans in Syria are totally destroyed and they know it.

    The US plan in the middle east is now a complete and utter disaster.

    • For a more ‘objective’ view I’d suggest Al Jazeera’s very recent documentary ‘Enemy of my enemies – The rise of ISIL’ http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2015/10/enemy-enemies-rise-isil-151017151127849.html

      It’s not Russia vs the west, there are various groups and ever changing coalitions against and within ISIL; while Iran and Shia will not stand and watch ISIL gain ground at the expense of Shia groups.

      ISIL has been financed significantly by selling $1 billion oil on black market in Turkey (which I assume Putin was referring to and correct), while being leveraged by the Turkish state/govt., i.e. weapons and ISIL protaganists able to transit Turkey (in addition to Chechens etc. who are the fighting experts), harass Turkey’s enemy Assad, and ignore ISIL while bombing Syrian (and Turkish) Kurds, no doubt in agreement with the Turkish military.

      Leading on, years before when politics was just a twinkle in Turkish President Erdogan’s eyes, the first civilian president post dictatorship years, was a military officer, and his first words were ‘Allah Akbar’…..

      Tin pot national socialist rackets, sorry states, in the region have been supposedly ‘secular’ but continually used religion for control, but they let the genie out of the bottle….. aka horrific ISIL bombings in Turkey, ‘blowback’.

      • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

        “It’s not Russia vs the west, there are various groups and ever changing coalitions against and within ISIL;”

        Sorry that’s absolutely untrue. As I have just stated – and the facts are concrete – the overthrow of Syria was an entirely western backed campaign to oust Assad and install a compliant dictator – the idea that you are just going to pick up midstream and forget absolutely everything has happened over the past 3,4,10 years is absurd.

        Not just 6 months ago ALL FOCUS was on Iraq, we even sent troops there, the US was bombing there and there was absolutely NOTHING happening in Syria apart from Assad apparantely slaughtering his own people – then when Russia intervened and destroyed the US / NATO plans for regime change all of a sudden everything shifted.

        As Putin points out, the BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS, to everyone on earth – this is an ENTIRELY US / NATO funded exercise (along with the Gulf states of course). Even TRYING to claim this is just haphazard group of rag tag zealots selling oil and forming loose coalitions is mind bendingly ignorant of the facts.

        You might as well claim world war two was not fought between great powers but rather clans of Christians grouped along family lines – ridiculous assertions in the extreme.

      • What has Al Jazeera got wrong? If you bothered to watch video?

        That’s right, you have the ultimate or unique truth along with Vlad, make issues into binaries e.g. all evil = USA/NATO/EU, with varying degrees of responsibility, but ignoring all other factors, that don’t fit, including neighbours such as Turkey.

        Get the idea the great Russian icon of literature has only learnt how to see things in black and white, and dismiss grey or inconvenient facts e.g. Al Jazeera with all its resources, a panel of local and international experts (including Russian ally i.e. Iraqi Shia) ….. and no one should listen to anybody except Putin/Kremlin on Syria, even if agreement? Sounds like hero worship to me……

        PS I’d defer to Al Jazeera anyday vs ‘TruthStreamMedia’….

      • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

        LMAO – Id prefer to hear it from the person who has taken it upon themselves to defeat ISIS, who single handedly changed the course of the entire global fight against ISIS, destroyed the well laid US plans for regime change and has been praised around the world for their actions – PUTIN.

        Sorry champ, but just sitting there hating Putin like some 1950’s McCarthy fearing reds under the bed is insidiously inane.

      • Of course one should respect autocracy, patriotism/nationalism, Russian orthodox church and worship icons of Putin, not unlike US nativist conservative politics as used by ‘neo cons’ themselves….. at least they can be kicked or voted out democratically, how about Vlad?

        Looks like Russsia will be stuck with him and the small elite who have most of the wealth, which they manage from western Europe/EU because they have no intention of living in the Russia the nation of Dostoyevsky which all elite Russians claim to love, who helped (try) bring the enlightenment to Russsia…. meanwhile the ‘elite’ all create bolt holes in EU and heaven forbid, the USA for their families 🙂 Hardly a vote of confidence…. let alone patriotic….

    • American arrogance expected the world wanted to be like them and it didn’t. Yes they were a pretty sizeable factor in winning WW2, but subsequent bouts in Korea ended in a draw, Vietnam was always going to end badly and unbridled support for Israel alienated the Arabs. Grappling for relevancy, the Middle East was always going to be the place where subsequent US policy failure would take shape and the US didn’t disappoint.

  7. “Western governments can hardly admit that they don’t know how to stop the spread of terrorism or their backward, hate-filled agenda”

    That would involve the USA telling it’s ally in KSA to stop spreading and financing these peoples backward and hate filled agenda. They’d rather kiss the Princes hand and bow!

    • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

      “That would involve the USA telling it’s ally in KSA to stop spreading and financing these peoples backward and hate filled agenda.”

      The Sauds are a vassal state of the United States – the US is not kow-towing to the Sauds, they Sauds are doing as they are told. It is very important to remember that the number one rule of being a despotic middle eastern dictator is that you only remain in power at the whim of the United States – the second you step out of line your people or the US will throw you to the wolves. Need proof ?

      Sadaam, Gadaafi, Tsakasvilli, Sha, Suharto right the way back to Pinochet and Noriega.

      Sauds are lacky’s in every sense of the word.

      • Neville Gearless

        Was happy to read the ME plot, not having any close association myself, but then you mentioned a former Indonesian President. Before I suspected, now I know you don’t know what you are talking about. The Indo’s are frustrated the US takes so little notice of them, not the other way around. They made the leap to democracy all by their own little selves, completely. But yeah, that’s a whole other subject.
        You make it sound as if the ‘mericans’ control things. Things happen as a consequence of their fuck’ups you mean..

  8. If Howard were to apologize for his role in the 2003 invasion and admit it was a wrong decision – the same was Malcolm Fraser did over his role as Defense Minister during the Vietnam War – then I would have respect for him and listen to his opinion. But, that is never going to happen. There is now talk of building a “John Howard Library” in Parramatta. I think people will be spitting on the ground every time they enter.

    • “If Howard were to apologize for his role in the 2003 invasion and admit it was a wrong decision –”

      I just heard a Steve Ciobo defend the Iraq war and the quality of the “intelligence” they choose to draw on. He was completely unapologetic. I don’t know if these people are unethical, in denial, or blinded by ideology.

  9. Those timelines really are a bit silly. Obviously they may mask an alternative history which could well have seen the rise of an ISIS like entity more powerful and some years sooner. Timelines fail to transmit nuance and apportion all outcomes to recorded events. And fail to explain the barbarity.

    But anyway, Muslim integration in France. Not so good. Is this replicated in other European countries that have reasonable sized Muslim populations? Why?

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/11/identifying-barriers-to-muslim-integration-in-france.html

      • Not at all. It appears that perpetrators in Paris were EU resident in the main. Far removed from all the Western intervention in ME blah the apologists routinely put forward.

        Suggests something else is wrong. Surely wise to step outside the stereotypical.

      • Spin all you want warmonger. You made the monster and now you are feeding it. Not the 1k going off to die so it doesn’t matter to you I guess…

  10. Last I heard joining the armed forces was individual choice. He chooses not to.

    Do you think in some circumstances some sections of immigrant communities do not integrate and that this may give rise to grievance. Not the chopping of heads or sexual servitude, perhaps encouraging identification with extremist groups. In rare situations, explosions of violence?

  11. despite heavy media control, I think it’s becoming so obvious that KSA is behind this surge of Islamic terrorism. Their desire to push their own Salafist/Wahhabist Islam seems to be greater than anything. Just keep in mind that Muslims are by far the greatest victims of ISIS; it seems that priority goal of KSA is to eliminate other kinds of Islam before doing anything else.
    Due to its love for oil West is being trapped in the game that is not even about them.