Reporter Sharmine Narwani on the secret history of America’s defeat in Syria


Salon has the article Reporter Sharmine Narwani on the secret history of America’s defeat in Syria.

I want to have a record of this article on my blog for use when I run into believers in the USA propaganda about Bashir Al Assad and Syria. Even Tulsi Gabbard shows no signs of understanding this.

As I hinted a moment ago, your reporting is very distinctive for its granular detail. In Syria you’re more or less in a class by yourself in this respect. One of your sources especially intrigued me, Father Frans van der Lugt, the Dutch priest who lived many years in Homs. Tell us about him. I should mention for readers’ sake, he was killed in Homs in the spring of 2014.

I never interviewed Father Frans, though I did go to his church gravesite during a visit to Homs shortly after he was killed. Through his writings, this Dutch priest gave us some rare, objective insights into what took place in the early days of the crisis — events he witnessed first-hand.

In September 2011 he wrote: “From the start there has been the problem of the armed groups, which are also part of the opposition… The opposition of the street is much stronger than any other opposition. And this opposition is armed and frequently employs brutality and violence, only in order then to blame the government.”

And then in January 2012 he expanded: “From the start, the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”

The 75-year-old Father Frans was shot at point-blank range by a gunman while sitting in a church garden in the rebel-occupied part of Homs….

How do I know that I don’t have a confirmation bias in sharing this story? I don’t know. However, since you get so much of the same crap from our oligarchs’ news media, I figure that knowing that there is another side to the story is a valuable service. I have to wonder how the USA public has the hubris to support going into somebody else’s country without being able to know who is telling the truth. What amazes me is our need to do something, anything, without caring if it is the right thing or the wrong thing just as long as it is something.


April 25, 2019

When I mentioned the item about term limits to a few friends at lunch, they asked why Bahar al-Assad was still in office. So I looked it up.

First is the Wikipedia article President of Syria

According to article 88 of the Syrian constitution, the president runs for a 7-year term after he is elected, and can only be reelected for one more term.

Next is the Wikipedia article Bashar al-Assad

On 10 July 2000, Assad was elected as President, succeeding his father, who died in office a month prior. In the 2000 and subsequent 2007 election, he received 99.7% and 97.6% support, respectively, in uncontested referendums on his leadership.

On 16 July 2014, Assad was sworn in for another seven-year term after receiving 88.7% of votes in the first contested presidential election in Ba’athist Syria’s history.

There seems to be a slight oopsie in here. Bashar al-Assad was first elected in 2000. He can only hold office for a maximum of 14 years. It is 2019, and he is still in office. Could someone explain?

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