Reality check: What kind of hell is the Syrian conflict opening up for us?

Children in the rubble in Jarablus, just south of Syria’s border with Turkey, on Saturday. [Image: Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images].

Children in the rubble in Jarablus, just south of Syria’s border with Turkey, on Saturday. [Image: Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images].

While we in the UK have been gossiping over make-believe allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and concerns about Brexit in the Conservatives, world events may soon render them utterly irrelevant.

It seems clear that Russia may be committing war crimes, according to the evidence of its attacks on Syrian rebels in Aleppo, in tandem with that country’s government.

Hawks in the US want their government to take a more direct role in events in Syria, but President Barack Obama has called for calm, pointing out that Russia has been invited to join the conflict by the Syrian government, whereas the US has no legal justification for direct interference.

But Obama will not be president forever.

What if Donald Trump sways the US electorate and takes office in January? I know it’s unlikely at the moment, but it isn’t impossible.

And there’s no telling whether Hillary Clinton will take the same stance as her Democrat colleague.

Concern is rising that events are spiralling towards a much larger conflict – unless cooler heads take a much more active role.

Will anybody step forward?

An unrelenting Russian and Syrian blitz of eastern Aleppo heavily damaged one of the city’s three remaining hospitals on Saturday, as Moscow warned that any American attempts to stop its assault would lead to “frightening tectonic shifts in the Middle East”.

The Russian raids struck at least five areas of the opposition-held half of the city, which is bracing for a ground assault by Shia forces allied to the Syrian regime. Syrian helicopters are believed to be responsible for the strike on the M10 hospital, which has left those who remain in the east with next to no access to essential healthcare.

Earlier in the week two other emergency centres and the only remaining maternity centre were bombed by jets, prompting a bitter response from US diplomats and vague claims that Washington was “reviewing options” about how to defuse a grave and deteriorating humanitarian crisis.

The attacks on Aleppo have worsened since the breakdown of a ceasefire brokered by Russia and the US that had barely lasted a week before Russian jets and Syrian helicopters attacked and destroyed an aid convoy that had been permitted to cross into an opposition-held part of the country. The US and Europe have said Russia is acting in flagrant breach of international law. Three days of phone calls between US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov have failed to slow the carnage.

Source: Russia warns US not to intervene as hospital is hit in latest Aleppo blitz | World news | The Guardian

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26 thoughts on “Reality check: What kind of hell is the Syrian conflict opening up for us?

  1. Jon Jaguar

    This looks like a repeat of Grozny, the Ghenghis Khan strategy. They’re obliterating Aleppo and have no intention of stopping until everybody’s dead/fled. The defenders need Stinger missiles or equivalent. The alternative is to open an air war with Syria/Russia.

  2. Jonathan L Trapman

    “It seems clear that Russia may be committing war crimes, according to the evidence of its attacks on Syrian rebels in Aleppo, in tandem with that country’s government.”

    What stuff and nonsense. You really ought not buy into the propaganda and so called ‘evidence’ of what the press reports Russia and Assad are committing. That is even more unbelievable than what Labour rebels tell us is being committed by Corbyn

    Stop becoming part of the problem.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Guardian article’s evidence seemed pretty good.
      Tell you what – if you’re so sure it’s “stuff and nonsense”, let’s see your evidence to disprove the claim.
      Or have we just seen it – “Stuff and nonsense”?

      1. mohandeer

        So someone disagrees with a statement you make even though there is plenty evidence available for those who can be arsed to look for it and you make snarky comments?
        Is that really the best you can do? I really thought you were above such pettiness, I was mistaken.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        And if you had seen the same reply applied to other matters, perhaps closer to your heart, you may have responded in the same way to unevidenced claims.
        I am indeed above pettiness; that is why I requested evidence to back up Mr Trapman’s claims.
        There is a further point, but I see Mr Trapman has replied so I’ll post it there.

      3. Jonathan L Trapman

        Well frankly I may have given weight to what the Guardian writes a few years ago but today it certainly has been thoroughly brought to heel as the rest of the MSM is corralled into the propaganda fold.
        The summation of all the reporting from Aleppo has been so skewed and fixed on the story of Assad as evil and Putin his sidekick perpetrator of evil that to get any reporting showing a modicum of objective reporting is in the realms of La La land.
        Vanessa Beeley, who reports from within Aleppo I find far more reliable and her reports show the travesty of bias and pure propaganda we are fed in the West.
        This interview with the Ron Paul liberty report gives a flavour – https://youtu.be/I8mA0h7dCKI
        Also this 20th Sept article from her:
        https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:Journey_To_Aleppo_Part_I:_Exposing_The_Truth_Buried_Under_NATO_Propaganda

        I appreciate what is happening now needs some solid evidence however no MSM have anyone ‘on the ground’ to verify these claims. If we would take seriously reports from White Helmets and other ridiculous ‘plants’ then someone is just not paying attention.

        That the opposition is using the hospitals as their operating positions loading them with human shielded patients and civilians is very clear and an undoubted strategy.

        The reporting that the Syrians and Russians are doing what the US has done so obviously in Afghanistan and Iraq is merely as so much of the skewed news, used to cover up all the illegal stuff the US and puppets have been doing for a long time.

        The recent UN visit to Syria, unreported by the MSM concluded that Everything said and written on Assad, The Russians and the country’s real state just trashes all this anti stuff coming out.

        So that is why I hold to my ‘stuff and nonsense’ as having little or no weight in the truth stakes.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        And what about the main concern of the article – that the US military-industrial complex will use the evidence – whether real or contrived – provided in reports like that in the Guardian (I could just as easily have used Sky News, Voice of America (UN condemns ‘war crimes’ in that one), Reuters, France24, The Independent, BBC News, Al Jazeera, Radio Free Europe… the list seems endless) may be used to escalate hostilities – not only in Syria but between the US and Russia?
        At least I’m considering the longer-term results of what’s being done, and said about it.
        In that respect, it seems clear that I am not part of the problem. People who stick their heads in the sand may be a different matter.

      5. Jonathan L Trapman

        Mike your initial comment was on this;
        “It seems clear that Russia may be committing war crimes, according to the evidence of its attacks on Syrian rebels in Aleppo, in tandem with that country’s government.”

        I agree there are forces within the US that are itching for escalation. That escalation will inevitably scale up to nonsense and terminal levels if not checked. There are NO BRAKES in the western media, as they are including the Guardian all under the same control. That is a huge problem.

        Hillary has proven more than enough times she would very willingly blow the world to smithereens without compunction. Trump for all his A-hat look and feel would seem more moderate however a hawkish and arrogant Pentagon disposes easily with such interference.

        Where the cooler heads are – specifically how powerful their voice is – is at present residing in the Russian/Chinese and Iranian camps. Russia and its individual representatives have shown up the US/UN and other puppets for what they are. That creates a potential violent response.

        Are there enough heads in Europe/ Asia and beyond who can call this madness out? I cannot say for sure but personally hope dearly it will not all end in tears and ashes of extinction.

        That is why closer to home Jeremy Corbyn is being vilified – alternative press is being hounded, RTs relative transparent and truthful focus on all that is ignored in the MSM is being attacked. Truth v Propaganda is indeed the War of the World

        I would like to feel we are pretty much on the same page!

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        It seems we are – or at least much more so than one may have assumed from your initial comment. I’m glad you have clarified.

      7. Jonathan L Trapman

        Hey as with all this home spun rubbish we are collectively calling out – it helps no one but the true enemy when we argue among ourselves thus lose the point of reference. You have a proven record of good writing, I respect that.
        The beast we face is NOT insurmountable though it tries to show its teeth and scare us all sh*tless. For those who see through the Emperor’s clothes, as do many who follow you, this is ultimate proof that truth will win through!

    2. Anna Zimmerman

      Absolutely agree, Jonathan. I find it incredible that Vox Political can swallow such nonsense whole. If evidence is needed, there is plenty of it via numerous websites. One only has to spend five minutes pondering the course of history in the last hundred years to know that such propaganda is a commonplace when hegemonic powers seek to disguise their blatant self-interest. Here the ‘self-interest’ is NATO (for which read, American) dominance of the Middle East. Assad has stood up to the West, and therefore cannot be allowed to remain in power. Russia has simply been trying to keep their ally, the legitimate government, in power. The ‘war crimes’ cited with such hypocritical horror in MSM are the normal results of a war for which the Western powers and their Saudi/Qatari allies are largely responsible.
      Vox Political – as you admit yourself, you rarely pay attention to foreign issues, but if you rely solely on the Guardian or similar for your information you will be as ill-informed as you would be if that was your sole source for developments in the Labour party.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Who says I’m swallowing any nonsense? The article states that evidence is coming forward of foul play by Russia and that certain elements in the US military-industrial complex are trying to use it as an excuse to take a much more active role. The article raises concern about what might happen if they are allowed to do that.
        The concern is not so much that the information is true – although I’m not entirely convinced by your argument – as it is about what will happen as a result.
        Since you seem to be well-read on the subject, why haven’t you considered that?

  3. Harry

    Well Mike, I have always checked three sites to get the best information possible regarding world affairs they are: Future Fast Forward (Mathias Chang).
    Voltaire,net (Thierry Meyssan)
    The 4th media Yoichi Shimatsu.

    Here are two recent reports from The 4th Media

    http://www.4thmedia.org/2016/10/syria-the-us-propaganda-shams-now-openly-fail/

    http://www.4thmedia.org/2016/09/putin-ups-the-ante-ceasefire-sabotage-triggers-major-offensive-in-aleppo/

    Russia is doing what it can in the face of massive Western (US-UK-EU) meddling and obstruction.

    A recent retaliation by Russia against a “Rebel” command post in Alleppo killed at least 30 Israeli, Saudi, Turkish, British and US officers).

    1. Jonathan L Trapman

      Thank you Anna, appreciate your words and input.
      Mike I also appreciate your take on a lot of stuff you write and your observations.
      However in the present War we are all involved in – The Propaganda War – it is vital we do not slip into the situation where we allow suggestions become anything more than what they are written for – subliminal persuasion. Further response I shall continue in your response Mike

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Then why are you arguing against me? We seem to be on the same side.
        Or do you think the Americans wouldn’t dare escalate matters when they have evidence to support it (whether manufactured or real)?

  4. Roland

    It seems clear that Russia as been invited in to help a goverment the US don’t like so the US arm every one and evry thing they can to murder all with the help of the UK there would be no war if it was not for the US and its troll the western media have been pushing this crap for so long its gone stale. and when it come to the Guardian I have no trust in there outlook there just a cog in a big wheel pumping out propaganda like the BBC you only have to look at the lies about Jeremy Corbyn to see that

      1. Anna

        Hi Mike, I would agree completely that the danger of WWIII is arguably greater now than at any point since the early 60s. This makes it all the more important that we treat the ideologically correct view of ‘NATO pacificism vs. Russian aggression’ with the scorn it deserves, as that is the smokescreen that facilitates Western criminality in the Middle East, Ukraine and elsewhere and pushes us inexorably towards the military confrontation which is actually desired by a sizeable proportion of the US Establishment. As a result it is impossible to discuss the potential outcome of current events without a thorough analysis of how we got to this position in the first place. This necessitates rejecting the highly flawed analysis of publications like the Guardian, which has long since relinquished any claim to being an authentically progressive newspaper. So it is not that we disagree with or overlook your overall concern, but possible solutions cannot be found without gaining clarity about how we got to this position in the first place. As long as we rely on the Guardian et al, we will fail miserably in both respects.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        That’s better.
        It isn’t what you were saying at first, though. I hope you agree you were jumping to conclusions that perhaps weren’t justified by the article.

    1. Jonathan L Trapman

      Barry, yes – however the UN has been terminally compromised and is merely the puppy of the ruling elite, dressed as the objective guardian of all that ought to be good in the world.
      Its history of letting down the world is well documented, more so recently. Thus we have an emasculated body pretending to offer the platform for all sides.

  5. mohandeer

    “The Guardian article’s evidence seemed pretty good.
    Tell you what – if you’re so sure it’s “stuff and nonsense”, let’s see your evidence to disprove the claim.
    Or have we just seen it – “Stuff and nonsense”?
    How about “The Guardian has produced it’s usual lying propaganda in support of it’s US sponsor based on facts given them by Aleppo Media (ISIS sponsored) and are quite happy to pass this fodder off as “evidence” so that gullible people spread it far and wide, repeating the lies and making statements like the one you made giving it validity?
    THAT is what I took issue with and your beautifully crafted opinion promoting said propaganda with the incredible words “”It seems clear” (that Russia may be committing war crimes)” when it is in fact about as “clear” as mud. Several well informed individuals have come forward with offers of reliable news feeds which include Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett, there’s a lot to trawl through but some of the sites which offer something “evidenced” in op eds and guest articles are: 21st Century Wire, Mondoweiss, The Duran, Veterans Today, Off Guardian, Syrian Free Press for battle ground news daily bulletins, Colonel Cassad, to name just a few.
    The last thing the world needs now is more Bellingcat’s(Elliot Higgins) promoting western media lies and misrepresentations, when what we do need, are respected bloggers citing facts and evidence contravening the bilge put out by rags like the Guardian, The Daily Fail, The Independent, The Torygraph and even some times the Daily Mirror. If you don’t want to avail yourself of the real facts – fair enough, but don’t disappoint your many fans by repeating the presstitute lies ad nausea. I don’t read these toilet paper substitutes for any news, but for home affairs I rely on people like yourself and the various other extremely good and well researched blogs like yours. Don’t let me or yourself down, too many of us are depending on you.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      “How about “The Guardian has produced it’s usual lying propaganda in support of it’s US sponsor based on facts given them by Aleppo Media (ISIS sponsored) and are quite happy to pass this fodder off as “evidence” so that gullible people spread it far and wide, repeating the lies and making statements like the one you made giving it validity?”
      No – there’s no evidence in that part of your comment at all – just assertions supported by emotion. Anybody would be justified in taking issue with a comment like that because, while you might not like what the Groan said, it did at least put forward information in support of it.
      On the basis of the evidence we’re seeing, Russia may indeed be committing war crimes. I didn’t say Russia IS committing war crimes, because I find it hard to take anything put forward by a third party at face value.
      You have jumped to a false conclusion. I am therefore concerned that the newsfeeds you mention may not be as reliable as you suggest but may simply support your view. I’ll try to check them out anyway, though.

      1. mohandeer

        Perhaps if you were better informed about facts regarding the ISIS controlled media and the US driven propaganda you might also be enraged by too many false claims made by the Graund. I base my judgments on facts collected and collated from unbiased international observers which necessarily excludes the information from the anti Assad ex criminal Ussama Sulweini of the SOHR and the so-called White Helmets funded by al Qaeda on which the Guardian bases it’s propaganda.
        There is a plethora of evidence of US criminal activity in the area as well as that of the UK, Israel, Turkey and Saudi and the lies promoted in support of their false claims.
        The slaughter of Syrian civilians may be an emotive issue but do not accuse me of making assertions supported by emotion when in fact I have made assertions according to well documented facts available far and wide not by a few but by many and I do know the choice of language you chose was deliberate to represent me as something of a fey and skittish filly – which I am most certainly not.
        “It seems clear” is a far cry from “It seems possible” so perhaps you could choose your wording better.
        I hope you do familiarize yourself with what is really going on in the ME and previous “humanitarian interventions” by the US and the colonial elements within many European governments including the UK.
        If you were as well informed about world affairs as you are Home Affairs you’d knock the socks off many shills and trolls which is why you are, despite our to and fro, still my number one source for all things to do with British politics and observations. After all, if you were someone who gave up easily you would not have won out against those who recently tried to silence you with semantics – so while you and I may exchange argument, I still admire your tenacity and perseverance. Noam Chomsky seems to have lost the plot recently but Eric Zeusse who I think is fair and honest even when he puts out articles I don’t agree with is another fellow like yourself, he might interest you.
        I’ve shared your posts from today as I always do and I’m thick skinned(not to be confused with thick)enough to take the knocks – even from you.

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