John Kerry blames the Syrian rebellion for Assad’s airstrikes

2 months ago John Kerry came out with his ‘admissions’ of long established on the ground US policy in Syria, a gluttony of statements clarifying the 4-year long so-called “muddled” US position (I never believed it has been) sending a signal that the US was essentially declaring “fun’s over, time to wrap up”. Saying that the regime was not the target of “regime-change” (this reality was well-known of course long before Kerry’s statements for those who were not Assad apologists and who closely followed the Syrian conflict, as US actions on the ground spoke for themselves), rebels should fight alongside the fascist colonial Syrian Army against ISIS, declaring that all sides had “bad guys” and there were “good guys” on the Syrian regime’s side as well, and ‘coincidentally’ “revealing for the first time” that he had obtained a signature from (the dove) Assad in 2010 promising normalisation of ties with Israel before all the trouble broke out.

In a recent Syria donors conference held in London, Kerry continued to reveal his true colours:

“US Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian aid workers, hours after the Geneva peace talks fell apart, that the country should expect another three months of bombing that would “decimate” the opposition.

During a conversation on the sidelines of this week’s Syria donor conference in London, sources say Kerry blamed the Syrian opposition for leaving the talks and paving the way for a joint offensive by the Syrian government and Russia on Aleppo.

“‘He said, ‘Don’t blame me – go and blame your opposition,’” one of the aid workers, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her organisation, told Middle East Eye.


The report goes on to state

“A third MEE source who claims to have served as a liaison between the Syrian and American governments over the past six months said Kerry had passed the message on to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in October that the US did not want him to be removed.

Instead, the source claims, Kerry insisted that Assad should stop using barrel bombs, which terrify civilian populations.

The source claimed that Kerry said if Assad stopped the barrel bombs, Kerry could “sell the story” to the public, the source said.”

[Note: the report went on to make mention of the well-known US “Train and Equip” programme /Division 30 “fiasco”. So much has been written on this and yet such a simple fact is so shockingly absent from all reporting about the programme, including by outlets you’d expect better from like Al-Jazeera: the programme stipulated that recruits sign a declaration not to fight Assad and only to fight ISIS – which was why so few recruits joined it, not because of the ridiculous, orientalist and frankly racist notion that all Syrians who don’t represent Assad’s core fighting minorities are “Islamic extremists” (though Tony Blair is the latest to add his voice to the chorus of those who’d have you think so, in a study perhaps as arbitrary and ridiculous (if not more) than his WMD dossier – in which he notably echoed George Galloway in calling the Assad regime a “castle” standing out against dangerous Jihadis, in more and more evidence of the Red-Brown (Left-Right) Western Assadist agreement on Syria – Blair should probably apply for membership of Stop the War Coalition now)]



[From Right to left: “Political control for Russia – The Golan for Israel – The chemicals for America (though apparently there is evidence that the US did not remove all of Assad’s stockpile: in December Sarin was used for the first time since 2013 a week after John Kerry’s statements, and the Obama administration has reportedly blocked FOI requests into the subject) – Military control for Iran – We are a sovereign nationalist country!!”]



[Caricature playing on the marching slogan of Shia miltias -banner reads “O Hussain”, whilst Barack “Hussein” Obama flies overhead stating: “Labaik! [At your service – Arabic phrase responding to an invocation] With you is Hussein Obama from the Family of the White House!?”  (play on Ahl-ul Bayt – Family of the Prophet’s House). Arrow points towards Fallujah]



[US policy in one very painful to read meme]



Syria’s 1988

[From FB Post – originally written on 6th December but blogged later]

— 1988 —

The conspiracy was not about the Arab Spring, it was about how the West operated after the Arab Spring. It was about how the West “tactically retreated” under the guise of “leaving us to our business” to allow the full scale of former war on terror partners to unleash genocidal policies without interruption. The West’s retreat was never permanent or intentional, it was calculated – it could not be any other way. Amongst the euphoria at the time greeting the Arabs’ long-overdue awakening, the best thing that could be done was to allow the counter-revolutions to do their thing. People mistook this for “non-intervention”, it wasn’t: it was the only thing that could’ve been politically done, and was temporary. We would eventually return after a brief hiatus to fight the expected “extremism” coming out opposite the states’ brutality. A crucial bit in all this was Libya. The West did its “humanitarian” bit in Libya, a country of marginal location & importance (as opposed to Egypt, Iraq or Syria), with the most unpredictable Arab leader (after Saddam) and a lot of oil to make this all worthwhile. Libya’s “humanitarian” intervention was enough to suffice for the rest, to put a pretence of support for the Arab Spring; no one could claim that the West had active malice in doing nothing to support the Arab Spring, in Egypt, in Iraq, in Syria, because with Libya there was a cover, an alibi, there was no active malice in allowing the massacres and genocides in those other countries because “we helped in Libya!”. The decision to intervene in Libya took one month: one, month. This was calculated, not emotional. But where else did the West come back? Syria, Iraq. But not to topple the regimes in those much more important areas, but to back them up.

In certain cases lower level intervention continued, in Syria where the US acted as the border guard through its proxies for the quantities of weaponry that went in and out of the country, the four border countries (Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon) divided into two: “friends” of the rebellion and “friends of the regime”. All four countries happened to also be friends of the US. The most amazing, articulate of double games ensued. The US allowed regional states to send some arms to its rebel allies, through two of those countries, Jordan and Turkey. But it also allowed arms and thousands of loyalist militias to be enter from the other two of those countries, Iraq and Lebanon.

Which side did the US support?

At its height and greatest momentum in 2012 when the Syrian rebellion was exclusively that, with the widest, most non-sectarian base, the US allowed no weaponry at all, maintaining a blockade on rebels who had to rely almost exclusively on captured military equipment and DIY weaponry, the US included a blockade even of private arms-sellers. However the momentum of the rebellion and the disorientation of the regime was such that rebels were 6km away from the Presidential Palace. However they did not have enough ammunition to continue the campaign against the strongly defended centre. The regime pushed back. 2013: the US waits – and allows – Iran and Hezbollah get drawn in; the fight turns from a popular rebellion against a specific regime into a sectarian regional war. Now, and only now, does the US allow more weaponry to go in, for the fight now is not only a rebellion, it is a regional sectarian war, facilitating a sectarian Sunni-Shia bloodbath with decades’ long repurcussions.

Yet even after the US opens the tap, the tap is not a permanently open one. It closes whenever the “supported” rebellion achieved serious victories. Meanwhile curious developments begin. Sanctions on Iran are not tightened when its militias enter the country in thousands, but are relieved. Hezbollah is not treated worse when it enters another country altogether, but is in fact taken off the “terror” list. These things seem suspicious to those looking from afar, but not as much for those who’ve already noticed the direction. Things they once demanded for their former friends are suddenly accepted at the precise moment when they have become the worse of enemies. How are those thousands of militiamen propping up an “enemy” regime allowed to enter Syria through US-allied – indeed dependent countries?

Trump card comes in: ISIS

ISIS was the death of the rebellions, and ISIS was *allowed* to rise for a very long time before intervention occured. Very, long time. Considering intervention in Libya took a month, it was a very, very long time. Why was ISIS allowed so much time to build itself up? Well ISIS allowed the Arab Spring, which had already been transformed from a popular rebellion to a sectarian “civil war”, to enter the third stage of an altogether War on Terror. Support for one side, in effect was transformed by the end of the conflict into much more tangible support for the other. Here, we see the Iraq-Iran war repeated. “Encouragement” of one-side ends with undeclared support for the other. Remarks emerge that “We do not want to see Assad’s “collapse”, but “negotiated” ousting”. Remarks emerge: “there is no military solution to the conflict”, or “notion of rebel victory was always a fantasy”. Remarks change from “Assad has to go” to “Assad’s timing is negotiable”, or “Assad can lead transition period”. Latest remarks include “Assad and the rebels could work together against ISIS”. The remarks are sweeteners for those following the story, for those who could not read between the lines and were left waiting for the one year at a time installments to the full-version. The remarks were not necessary, for those who observed US policy knew all they needed. The remarks were torturous, insult to injuries. A stringing out of torture, rage and betrayal. The worse the situation became, the worse the remarks got, the further away from reprieve the desperate were. The carrot of reprieve held above but never delivered, getting higher, and higher the more the need for reprieve was. It was never going to be delivered. It was the Arab Spring’s psychological Guantanamo.

Meanwhile, those on the ground understand, get the hint. They turn to their lord for help, to their faith. They have fell into the trap. They no longer want to be part of factions whose decision making was curtailed by foreign control – factions which could not launch campaigns in the areas they needed. They have become independents and build forces lacking the inhibitions of the others. They threaten the status-quo of equilibrium, they threaten the delicate balance of power (destruction). They get attacked. Not by the Russians mind, but by the “friends”. Idlib is taken. Latakia is threatened. Bombs start falling on their heads. You should’ve toed the line. You can play along, but don’t cross the red lines. The red line? Those who we will return to business with after this segment of fun is over. Things can’t always be like this, and we must think of the aftermath. We like destruction, but we will not allow your overthrow of those we can work with. They must distance themselves from us now, and us them, but we are collaborators, we are not enemies. The elites, they stay. The centres of power, they stay. They know how this game works, and we will resume dealings after this charade is over.

Remarks come out: Syrian ministers praise the US intervention. Syrian media celebrates the US change of opinion. “We are in the same ditch against terrorism”. Ah there’s that T word. In the past, peoples were colonised in the name of “bringing civilisation”. Today, they are colonised in the name of “fighting terrorism”.

Why did the Russians take so long to bomb (the rebels, not ISIS)? The Russians bombed only after the US had launched bombing campaigns of the same side, a side which had been achieving non-stop victories which threatened the state’s collapse. It is not a coincidence that a week before the Russians came in the Americans had bombed the same areas. And very possibly at their behest. Yes, at their behest. The Russians did what was too politically embarassing for the Americans themselves to do. They could justify bombing the rebels every now and then amongst the ISIS airstrikes, but the Russians would bomb ISIS every now and then amongst the rebel airstrikes.

But hold on, so which side does the US support?
It is the side on which the bombs did not fall. After all this depth, the answer may be a coincidence. It is the side that became a friend when for all others it became the enemy. It is the side that smeared “terror” on those who once batted the word away from them. It is that side that the US supports.

1988 is here once again.

13/12/2015: Massacre in Douma دوما تباد


After Russia’s jets missiled the rebel area repeatedly, Assad’s jets followed it up to attack the Syrian Civil Defence rescuers (“double-tap” bombing).

“Stories beyond expression”

Syrian mother above the remains of her son’s lifeless body.

“I want Mama”






According to Syrian Network (not Observatory) for Human Rights, monitoring group on the ground. Note that Syrian Armed opposition groups are ranked higher than Russians, ISIS, unidentified, Kurds, and Nusra (which makes sense due to their size and duration of fighting) so please lets not mention bias. For more statistics over types of casualties, see

According to the Violations Documentation Centre – who only draw up statistics from casualties with verified names (hence the much lower death toll). The founder of the VDC as well as three other of its activists (the “Douma 4“: Razan Zaitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wael Hamadeh, and Nazem Hammadi) were kidnapped allegedly by a rebel faction, not the regime – so again, lets not have allegations of “pro-rebel” bias.


The Syrian genocide continues whilst Assad is propped up as a “transitional” leader, whilst the world diplomats state that “he must stay“, whilst US continues its tap-drip weapons embargo policy of handicapping the Syrian resistance, and the Arab states’ cowardly obligement.



The most important thing you will do this year

If you never come to this blog again and ignore anything else I ever post, watch this. I cannot overstate how important it is, I would quote things from it but this would be a mammoth post. Just take an hour of your time whenever that may be and watch this, I guarantee you will not regret it.



Article titles/themes *(for expansion)* [UPDATED]

Hi everyone. The below are a few random article titles which have been drafts for way too long. I wanted to put them out there for anyone who would like to take them (or ideas/themes within them) and expand upon, as I don’t know if I will be able to do so anytime soon:

– How the unlikely duo of Abdullah and Khamenei served as the cornerstones of the US response to the Arab awakening
– Reverse orientalism: Analyses about Syria are about everything but Syria
– When the US accepts allies: Reactionism and the poisonous ‘T’ word
– Syria’s revolutionary Islamists a far cry from Egypt’s MB
– It is not only Western establishments that must be brought to account for Syria, but the ‘anti-establishments’ as well
– The War on Terror and its Arab proxies
Pawn Warfare: The Western left and the Arab revolutions or How Western establishments put their opponents ‘revolutionary consciousness’  to the ideological sword, and impaled them with it
– How the US was able to squirm out of the democracy-demanding (“bluff-calling”) Arab Spring – with the help of the unlikely allies of the statist left

– Talibanitis: How the combined forces of Left and Right rehabilitated a 21st century regime of national socialism
– On the Siege of Yarmouk and the PSC’s (irony-immune) ‘both sides’ onus: The unadulterated hypocrisy of Syria’s moral equivalencing and the activist killing of Desmond Tutu (‘if you are neutral in situations of injustice then you have chosen the side of wisdom’)
– How parts of the Western left might have (inadvertently and ‘advertently’) allowed the rise of ISIS to facilitate the beating up of political Islam, unaware of its further implications (simplistic ‘Islam’ vs ‘political Islam’ dichotomy)

– “Wahabbi, Jihadi, Takfiri” – I wish this was the Daily Mail: We once had to face mainstream media, now we have to fend off its ‘alternatives’ as well
– Is the only good Muslim, a secular Muslim?
– Iran in, Saudi out: How US rapprochement with Iran extends far beyond nuclear deal, and how Iranian mouthpieces are desperately trying to deflect attention [“Iranian Hasbara”?]

Random Thoughts:
– The US policy in Syria has been manifestly anti (mainstream) “Islamism”, before being anti-Assad or anti-ISIS (and yet, Syria’s opposition would not have been backed even if it were secular)
– Failure to stand up to the ‘moderate’ tag costly – same as the disparaging ‘commie’ tag for those fighting Franco
– For many in the left, conclusions of overlaps in populism: if you cant get socialism, national-socialism is apt
– Interesting observation: correlation of statement that people who tend to say ‘well we don’t know what’s happening in Syria’ are generally the ones making generic statements about what’s happening there in Syria
– Where the (status quo) Arab bourgeoise and Western Left converge
– “Wahabbi” is the new Sunni; “Islamist” is the new terrorist
– Muslims: don’t let ISIS and media-fuelled Islamophobia silence you from opposing Assad, and don’t let the “militant secularists” get away with rehabilitating him (and put the blame on politically-identifying Muslims)
– Can you imagine if Bashar was an “Islamic” (i.e “Islamist”) ruler?

– When’s a social uprising not a social uprising? When Islam plays a role (also, when’s a disadvantaged uprising not a disadvantaged uprising? When proclaimed leftists are in power)
– Blocked from weapons, abandoned to ISIS, bombed by our “allies”, and yet somehow we’re “puppets”: The curious case of the Syrian ‘rebels’

Happy to help with sources, references etc. if requested 🙂


7 common features between the Zionist lobby and the (emerging) Iranian lobby

1) Statism: the state’s “sovereignty” is paramount, even while routinely tramping the sovereignty of other peoples – peoples’ sovereignty is null

2) Terrorism terrorism terrorism: terrorism (non-state) is the root of all evils and does not derive from any context or reality. Projective nature of the accusation; both states having engaged themselves in massive terrorism (defined by the actual meaning of the word of ‘terrorising’ people, rather than the political usage of ‘non-state actors that we don’t like’) and yet both launch massive propaganda campaigns to convince people of the opposite (their reacting to ‘terrorism’)

3) *Mainstream* Islamic religious extremism is the problem in the region (‘Islamists’/’Sunni Islamists’), backed by ‘sectarian’ hostile regional allies (usually proven by anti-Jewish rhetoric/anti-Shia rhetoric). This is a) despite the fact that the two states that make this accusation are themselves based on religious-sectarian grounds, and b) that beyond such rhetoric these ‘allies’ are overwhelmingly a let down when it comes to concrete help, whether in Palestine or Syria; for for too long we have seen videos of civilians whose homes have been bombed, whether in Palesine or in Syria, saying the immemorial phrase, ‘where are the Arabs’.

Emphasis on ‘mainstream’ because the problem is not cited as fringes of the general Islamic community, but an entrenched and widespread problem within the majority of the mainstream (mainly Sunni) Islamic umma. From listening to their rhetoric on ‘religious extremism’ one would forget that Israel insists that it be defined in terms of a Jewish state, or one would almost assume that Iran was a secular state, rather than an ‘Islamic Republic’.

4) Deals with the devil where necessary; both are pragmatic states and have cooperated with the ‘devil’ in various points in their history; the US (currently and in the past) and Israel in the case of Iran as an example, Hamas, Syria (during the 1970s-1980s against Arafat’s PLO) and Iran in the case of Israel.

5) Conspiracy against evidence: There is a regional/global conspiracy closing in against the state in turn requiring militarist reactions. This is cited regardless of the realities of the ground; claims of the Obama administration being an existential threat to Israel whilst US vetoes any UN motions targeting Israel and gives billions of dollars in aid; or Iran posing as anti-US force whilst working hand-in-hand with the US in two different states (Iraq, Lebanon) and being appeased in the third one (Syria) (although ‘appeasement’ implies a dilution of values, when my personal belief is that an overthrow of the Syrian state was never in the US interest), with its affiliates receiving billions of dollars in US aid – effectively replacing Saudi Arabia as the regional lynchpin-in-making (this is not to mention a rich history of cooperating in the rendition and torture of US War on Terror prisoners, trading with Israel, receiving weapons from Israel, and facilitating the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq)

6) Starvation sieges are justified against ‘terrorist havens’ (be they in Yarmouk or Gaza) as ‘necessary’ and ultimately to be blamed on the ‘terrorists’ holding ‘human shields’ inside the open-air prison camp(s)

7) Expansionist nature is denied, or argued to be legitimate form of ‘self-defence’

Iran and Israel share much more in common then they would like to admit, and indeed, it is merely a case of outward admission. However, they both serve as useful bogeymen to each other, and although Iran is increasingly showing its reactionary/status-quo conservative nature (as opposed to previous ‘revolutionary’ potential), this may continue into the future.


Understanding the West’s position on Syria

Unlike Hezbollah or Iran under Ahmedinejad, Syria was not seen as possessing a dogged ideological understanding of the resistance for it had long departed from the Ba’ath party’s original Arab nationalism, and indeed while its leadership belonged to the Alawite ethno-religious group they were in fact very different from Iran and Hezbollah in terms of ideological outlook… Thus Syria rather saw sponsoring groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas as a means to both exercise continued pressure on Israel as well as maintain local legitimacy in the absence of military action in the Golan, rather than an Islamic liberation of Jerusalem.

It is a myth to say that the West did not arm the Syrian resistance because of the presence of extremist units (Nusra and ISIS) within it posing a threat that weapons fall in their hands, they did not do so long before these groups ever became a significant presence within the opposition ranks.

The reason the West did not back the mainstream Syrian resistance is because from the very beginning of the conflict when the resistance picked up arms, you would see clearly in every footage of them what their slant and their nature clearly was, always shouting religious slogans like ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) and often using religious speech in their defiance to Assad; the reason they did not back them is because contrary to the secularist (in the sense of ‘non-religious’, i.e. not speaking of religion as informing their politics) rhetoric of the SNC leadership the brigades actually on the ground (that is even when they were overwhelmingly FSA) are overwhelmingly religious moderates, that is they use basic religious slogans as the majority of the society does (that is even if they believe in a pluralist democratic society as the FSA do, they are still informed by a religious ideological leaning; so for example if they would vote they would likely favour a democracy with an Islamic flavour) and are not ‘non-religious’ (in the secularist sense) as for example Assad’s forces tend to clearly be. This is the reason they have not been backed because simply they reflect the majority of the society’s moderate religious nature which if translated in any form of self-determination the West will eventually pose a threat. Similiarly to all the other revolutions, which would likely in time choose to create ‘pan’ governments (transcendental notions strongly outweigh in popularity narrowly nationalistic ones) if they could democratically decide, this is why the West does not trust the Syrian resistance.

So how can the West’s position on Syria be explained? In an ideal world the West would probably prefer an allied government in Syria over Assad, although not to the extent we are led to believe. As late as 2011 the West was involved in negotiations with Syria over the return of the Golan and the lifting of sanctions in exchange with breaking with the ‘traditional’ resistance axis, of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas; while Syria was initially more reluctant to break with the former two by 2011 it eventually became more clear that such an arrangement could be possible.

Unlike Hezbollah or Iran under Ahmedinejad Syria was not seen as possessing a dogged ideological understanding of the resistance for it had long departed from the Ba’ath party’s original Arab nationalism, and indeed while its leadership belonged to the Alawite ethno-religious group they were in fact very different from Iran and Hezbollah in terms of ideological outlook, for while the latter were explicit Shia Islamists the latter was strongly and irrovocably Arab secularist, with even mainstream Shia Iranians often viewing the Alawites as ‘heathens’ or misguided brethren. This secularism often took the explicit form of ‘anti-religion’ rather than ‘non-religious’ (much more so than say Egypt for example, perhaps seen as necessary in a religious background as Syria); this was evident as a routine reality in dealings with state bureaucracy and civil service which disparaged any religious notions and rhetoric and was constantly ‘blasphemous’ in the sense of insulting God and religion (for e.g. when a civilian tries to get some paperwork done and pleads with a state official to help him ‘for God’s sake’ he responds with ‘Don’t mention God to me, here I am your God’). Thus Syria rather saw sponsoring groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas as a means to both exercise continued pressure on Israel as well as maintain local legitimacy in the absence of military action in the Golan, rather than an Islamic liberation of Jerusalem.

Syria under Assad thus perhaps resembled more closely Egypt under Sadat; a possible shift from ‘resistance’ in exchange for land, neo-liberal reforms of the economy (even before a formal shift to the Western sphere of influence), and eventual breaking with Russian loyalty to American stewardship in the offing (Assad’s regime had collaborated with the CIA during the early 2000s in the rendition and torture of prisoners). Ironically both regimes had also come under the auspices and hopes of a ‘corrective revolution’. The West had however been unable to accomplish the shift with Assad (which required the Golan’s return from Israel, a very difficult task) in time when the revolution broke out (which necessitated Assad’s firm interruption of any process of possible reconciliation with Israel to enable his re-emergence as a ‘resistance’ leader), leaving them returning to their prior (rhetorical) hostility. The US was essentially caught in two minds; on one hand wanting to overthrow a ‘tyrannical’ regime to strike a decisive blow to Iranian power in the region (and to Israel’s threat Hezbollah),eliminate the final Russian base in the Middle East, and finally to establish a loyal ally along Israel’s borders, with the added ‘sweeteners’ of being able to re-establish its global credentials as a ‘freedom supporting’ power (which had taken a big hit in recent years) and repairing its standing in the Muslim World. However this simply clashed with the reality of having a dependable ally in a hostile region, a situation without which was likely to prove costly to maintain, and with no advantages of oil to make this worthwhile (as in Libya) there was a prohibitive (strategic) cost in supporting this particular revolution beyond the rhetoric expected, and not due to ‘extremist elements’ as it claimed. The matter of strong Russian and Chinese opposition (as well as the absence of a local appetite for intervention) were not in themselves prohibitive had the conditions been available but added to the effort and cost needed. Simply, the lack of a dependable ally in Syria (i.e. a pliant unpopular guerilla army a la contras which would be willing to rule with terror in American favour, rather than a popularly-backed religiously-moderate one like the FSA brigades) was the main reason why this was not worthwhile. The US Defence Industry does not mind the complexities (for e.g. in terms of conflict with Russia) or economic costs of military interventions nor popular feeling towards it, for it relishes these ‘adventures’ for they are arguably its raison d’etre and economic funding does not come into it (the money is always abundantly there for the military), but it did mind a possible geo-strategic cost which was not in its interest and could potentially cause a threat to it.

While there are shades to the forms of resistance which derive from an Islamic background there are in essence two roads to this current ‘Islamicate’ resistance; there is essentially that of immediate unity, unfortunately emphasised in the likes of ISIS, this does not generally regard the people’s will as relevant (and hence will always be tyrannical by nature), and there is the more ‘nationalistically’ defined type (with shades on how temporary it sees these borders or how much affinity it associates with the ‘nation’, i.e. religious nationalists such as large parts of the FSA as opposed to clear Islamists, the Islamic Front (although the FSA has Islamists as well) – ‘nationalistic’ thus not necessarily in terms of conviction but in terms of pragmatism and priority), which seeks Islamic-flavoured government (again with shades) with the ultimate goal of unity but in a more organic and long-term process; defined ultimately by popular vote or ‘shura’ (consultation) and the people in Syria gradually deciding that process.

(Update 8th of August) Incidentally, Obama’s no-fuss, quick and quietly prepared intervention in Iraq today proves that it was never the case that he was ‘itching’ to intervene in Syria but couldn’t due to ‘Russian opposition’ or ‘internal opposition’ (would those who have opposed his intervention in Syria been now ‘for’ his intervention in Iraq?), but that the US always acts without second thought or debate where Islamists, oil and religious extremists – i.e. where its interests are concerned. Its interests were not in the intervention in Syria.

Meanwhile in ‘surprise’ revelations made in an interview on the 2nd of August, a former spokesman for the Syrian National Council (SNC) frankly stated, disregarding any risk of upsetting his supposed American ‘allies’: “When the Syrian opposition was almost going to penetrate into Damascus one and a half years ago, the White House withdrew all ammunition, because the strategy of the White House is to try to reconcile the Assad regime and the opposition, they hope for some form of reconciliation. Their strategy was always to try and maintain ‘balance’ – everytime they saw the opposition forces winning [the war]… the ammunition would dry completely, and the fighters are forced to withdraw back”. Today of course, there is talk of the US considering working with Assad against ISIS.