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Want to Understand Syria?

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Seven Important Points:

1) While Hafez Al-Assad was indisputably in power, his son was not groomed for succession, and was basically parachuted out of his London Ophthalmologist practice into Damascus. There he immediately became a puppet of the Alawite Mukhabarak, something he eventually managed to partially minimize.

2) In the original protests, Assad initially attempted negotiations, but, partly due to ingrained behavior and partly due to the quite considerably regime casualties even in the "peaceful" phase, supporters of a "forceful" approach within Syrian security won out, and attempted to solve the issue by force.

3) Temporarily, this put Assad himself between all chairs. The opposition viewed him as a traitor (due to the security organization being very violent despite orders to the contrary) and the security state himself viewed him as a weakling due to his non-violent orders.

The American assistance that "Assad must go", as a precondition of entering any negotiations was, under that background, seen as sheer bad faith by the Russians. Assad could be utilized as a tool to rein in the Syrian Mukhabarat, and he was/is certainly more controllable/civilized then the people actually running the various Mukhabarats, removing him would achieve nothing, other then the Mukhabarat fighting completely gloves off for its own survival.
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Turkey: Slow-Motion Crash

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Turkey, once a pillar of Mideast stability, looks increasingly like a slow-motion truck crash. What makes this crisis so tragic is that not very long ago Turkey was entering a new age of social harmony and economic development.

Today, both are up in smoke as this week’s bloody bombing in Ankara that killed 99 people showed. America’s ham-handed policies in the Mideast have set the entire region ablaze from Syria to South Sudan and Libya. Turkey sits right on top of the huge mess, licked by the flames of nationalist and political conflagrations and now beset by 2 million Syrian refugees.

As Saddam Hussein predicted, George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq opened the gates of hell. Attempts by Washington to overthrow Syria’s Alawite regime – a natural US ally – have destroyed large parts of that once lovely nation and produced the worst human disaster since the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940’s and 1967.

Turkey, once a pillar of Mideast stability, looks increasingly like a slow-motion truck crash.  What makes this crisis so tragic is that not very long ago Turkey was entering a new age of social harmony and economic development.
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Obama's New War In Africa: Do We Need It?

The Obama Administration's disastrous invasion of Libya scattered well-armed jihadists throughout Africa and the Middle East, including to Syria and Cameroon. After emptying out Gaddafi's arsenals, these groups proceeded to spread their mayhem. Yesterday, President Obama announced that he was sending US troops into Cameroon to help defeat one of the groups who benefitted from the US-led intervention in Libya, the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram. Today's Liberty Report look at whether another US intervention can solve the problems created by intervention in the first place...
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