I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too 247


This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya.

Sirte-destroyed-1

When the neo-cons in the UK parliament and the serial warmonger Hillary Clinton call for a “no-fly zone” they actually mean the opposite. They mean that NATO should be given untrammelled access to the airspace to carry out mass bombings – but that nobody else should.

We saw it in Libya. The argument goes like this. NATO aircraft need to enforce the no-fly zone. To do this in safety, they need to attack and destroy any ground to air weapons capabilities on the ground. That does not just include surface to air missiles, both carriage mounted and hand held, but anything that can be pointed upwards and fired. They need to take out by more bombing any stores that may house such weapons. They need to take out any radar installations, including civilian ones, that may pinpoint NATO aircraft. They need to destroy any runways and hangars, including civilian ones. They need to destroy by bombing all military command and control centres, including those in built up areas. They need to destroy the infrastructure on which air defence relies, including electricity generation and water supply, including civilian assets.

I am not exaggerating. That really is the doctrine of NATO for enforcing a “no fly zone”, as previously witnessed in Iraq and Libya. It really was NATO aircraft which did to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Sirte the destruction which you see in that picture – in order to enforce a no-fly zone. Enforcement of the no-fly zone was the only authorisation NATO had for the massive bombing campaign on Libya which enabled regime change, which enabled rival jihadist militias to take over the country. They showed their gratitude by murdering the US Ambassador. The failure of central government led to Libya becoming the operating site from which a number now in the hundreds of thousands of boat refugees have crossed to Europe.

Now they wish to do precisely the same again. Make no mistake. Those calling for a “No-fly zone” do indeed want to stop the bombs falling on jihadist-held areas of Aleppo. But they want to replace this with NATO dropping a vastly greater weight of vastly more powerful weaponry on areas held by the Assad regime. They are relentless warmongering bastards, pretending to be motivated by humanitarian concern.

There are no easy answers in Syria. Without Russian and Syrian government air power, Syria might well already have fallen to disparate groups of murdering religious fanatics, who would then have redoubled their existing tendency to also kill each other. The pretence that there is any significant number of pro-western democratic rebels is ludicrous nonsense. But so equally is the pretence that the Assad regime is a decent regime. It is not and never has been. There is always this pathetic reductionism in the western media to conflict as between “good guys” and “bad guys”. They are all killing civilians. They are all bad guys.

If all bombing were to stop, the danger is that jihadists would again gain the upper hand. But in a situation where there are no good options, I think that is still better than the continued bombing of civilian areas held by jihadists. The fact that the West has repeatedly done this massively in Mosul or Fallujah does not make it right for the Russians or Assad to do it now. The moral balance now must be for a halt to all bombing and all military air operations – including by NATO.

A security council resolution could be tabled calling for the end of all military flights, by anybody, over Syrian airspace. The UK and US would oppose that, and so would all those Tories ad Blairites pretending to advocate a no-fly zone in the House of Commons. That would show up the bastards for the evil hypocrites they are.


247 thoughts on “I Support a No-Fly Zone in Syria – A Real One that Applies to NATO Too

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  • harrylaw

    Boris Johnson has changed his tune this is what he said last December “Am I backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site? You bet I am.https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/07/boris-johnson-allies-should-join-assad-and-russia-against-isis Time for his poem the goat fucker Erdogan..

    There was a young fellow from Ankara

    Who was a terrific wankerer

    Till he sowed his wild oats

    With the help of a goat

    But he didn’t even stop to thankera. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/boris-johnson-wins-the-spectators-president-erdogan-offensive-poetry-competition/

  • RobG

    Are there any psychiatrists in the house? This woman, Samantha Power, who’s US ambassador to the UN, strikes me as being a bit unbalanced (a 40 second clip)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWM6eOaF2hk

    Craig, as a former ambassador, have you ever seen anything like Power storming out of that UNSC meeting? (and of course she was accompanied by the British and French poodles)

    Mind you, I suppose Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table comes close.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ RobG October 13, 2016 at 19:39

      At least Khrushchev had a very good reason for doing it – he was telling the truth, that the U2 was on a military mission, and the US was saying it wasn’t. But the Russians had the pilot, the remains of the U2 with it’s spying equipment, and the photos that had been taken by it of Russian military bases. Some sources reported that Ike was livid, and that the CIA had deliberately sabotaged a potential thaw in US-Russian relations.

      • Habbabkuk

        We have been over this ground before.

        If you’re into conspiracy theories, you might as well say that it was the Russians who wished to sabotage the forthcoming Paris Conference by choosing that particular moment to intercept a flight which was part of an on-going programme of U2 spy flights of which the Soviets had been aware for some time.

        • Alan

          And?

          Only this week one of our “newspapers” was telling us how those “brave RAF pilots” escorted a Russian bomber out of “British Airspace”. If we are allowed to claim the right to dictate who flies in “British airspace” then surely the Russians have the same right?

          • Habbabkuk

            Certainly.

            But that – as you know – wasn’t my point, was it.

            The point was that if you’re into conspiracy theories, you could argue that the Russians deliberately sabotaged the Paris conference by shooting down that particular U2.

            In my experience, conspiracy theorists only highlight those alleged conspiracies which happen to suit their own political standpoint and discount those which do not.

            CM ConspiraLoons please note.

    • Babushka

      Altho I’m no psychiatrist Rob, I’ve spent my entire life searching for ‘normal’ and ended up here.
      What happens when rats are cornered? I have survived a number of Narcissistic Personalities at home and in the workplace.

      Thomas Merton wrote about Adolf Eichmann that a psychiatrist pronounced him perfectly sane. In his essay included in Raids on The Unspeakable, Merton is disturbed “to consider this calm, “well-balanced”, unperturbed official conscientiously going about his desk work, his administrative job which happened to be the supervision of mass murder. He was thoughtful, orderly, unimaginative. He had a profound respect for system, for law and order. He was obedient, loyal, a faithful officer of a great state. He served his government very well.
      He was not bothered much by guilt…
      No one suspects the sane, and the sane will have perfectly good reasons, logically well-adjusted reasons, for firing the shot…when the missiles take off, it will be no mistake.
      People like Power and Eichmann are perfectly matched all over our globe in the quest for position of Top Dog/Empire.

      While I note the current flurry of Royal activities with the British visiting Canada and The Netherlands, and the Dutch/Argentinian visiting Australia.
      Reminds me of an innocent and ancient story, of a king and his new clothes.

      • RobG

        Babushka, I’ve read barely any of Merton’s writings, so thanks for pointing me towards his essay on Eichmann.

        I think maybe that the crux of it all is how can we create a political system that keeps the psychopaths away from the levers of power?

        If such a system could be created, it might also filter down to the workplace and the domestic situation to some extent; at least, so that sociopathy is no longer accepted as the norm, which is our present situation.

        • Tom Welsh

          “I think maybe that the crux of it all is how can we create a political system that keeps the psychopaths away from the levers of power?”

          People have been asking that question since Plato, and probably long before him. But I rather doubt whether it is possible. (There is no natural law stating that all problems must have solutions that human beings like).

          Bands of 20-200 people no doubt evolved to work quite well in the Palaeolithic. Beyond 500 or so, something is lost. The larger the group gets, the harder it is to govern justly, and the more horrible the people who usually wind up in charge. It stands to reason: the leadership of a great nation affords almost unlimited power – especially to the utterly unscrupulous – and therefore appeals immeasurably to the criminal mind. Normal decent people can’t make the efforts, or conjure up the dishonesty, to get elected.

          Plato summed up the problem very neatly when he said that anyone who wants to be a ruler should be automatically disqualified from being one. He considered schemes where innocent citizens of good character are arbitrarily hijacked and obliged to rule for a limited period – one or more years – before going right back to what they were doing before. That would solve a lot of problems. For an interesting variation on this idea, read Philip K Dick’s SF novel “World of Chance”.

        • Babushka

          I think there is an inherent dilemma in “political system” which implies top-down rule.

          People are incredibly unique, frail and glorious, in complex combinations and permutations according to where, and how they are born.
          Suffice to say that for all our Learnings, the so-called western civilisation is not exactly exercising wisdom.
          My first seven years were lived in the village systems of the Netherlands. Like you, close to the earth and neighbours. Merton was also educated in French schools then UK then NYC. I was given a copy of his autobiography by the principal of a major Catholic College in Sydney, as I was forever asking ‘difficult’ questions.
          The point I’m making here, is that increasingly, the planet’s resources are owned/controlled by the dreadful few.
          The peasants that worked the land in my childhood are no more, and we buy adulterated rubbish in supermarkets, go to doctors and hospitals to deal with our symptoms. Many people work for health and education in holistic ways, but regrettably, the Big Guns ensure that the Corporatocracy prevails.
          I’ve worked and lived all my life I’m Oz with descendants of convicts, displaced persons from war-torn Europe. Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese, South Afticans…we exchange stories and hospitality. Society can really only be successfully governed by its own.
          So there is the paradox.
          You are best placed where you are, doing what you are doing.
          I know there to be many good people doing good work in this world. Holding others accountable for misdeeds is one of our greatest obstacles, and I grieve with Loony here, who is obviously in the same Life Boat as us.
          Keep fighting the good fight Rob

        • Babushka

          PS You may appreciate Tom Gilling’s Grog: A Bottled History of Australia’s First 30 Years.

          I went to school in close proximity to the old Rum Corps Barracks. If it was grim for me in those days, I’ve never stopped feeling deep compassion for those we displaced.

          Tom Gilling was raised in Norfolk but is now an Oz.

  • Manda

    From my reading most of the terrorists are not Syrians or are working as mercenaries due to lack of income etc. due to war and sanctions. Sanctions could be lifted for a start… Syrians are dying due to lack of medical equipment and drugs etc.
    I don’t believe Syria should be grounded from protecting it’s citizens and country from foreign proxy invasion for regime change, nor do I think Syrian government shouldn’t call on the aid of allies to assist purging the terrorists. Whatever Assad is has nothing to do with us in the west it is up to Syrians to decide but it looks like most remaining in Syria fully support him and see him as the only hope of saving Syria from the fate of Libya. Citizens need a rallying point. I understand Syria was a safe country before the war was engineered. Syrians weren’t being butchered en masse by Assad were they?

    • Paul Barbara

      Considering the range of countries supporting the invasion by Jihadi mercenary poxies (sorry – proxies!), Assad has every reason to request assistance from Russia, China and Iran, as well as Hezbollah.
      Russia was wrong-footed over Libya – thinking the West was going to honour the UN Mandate that they helped to pass – and Qaddafi, Libya and the Libyan people have paid a terrible price.
      Russia won’t, hopefully, make the same mistake in Syria.

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Serious request, Craig: Can you supply leads to genuinely-substantive evidence that the Assad government in Syria – elected and supported by a majority of the Syrians as it seems to be – “is not, and never has been, a decent regime”, please?

    We hear this accusation ad nauseam by the mediawhores of the Western lamestream media and their siamese-twin pocket-politicians, of course. But I don’t recall ever seeing any substantive evidence, especially not since Bashar took over. I’m open to the idea that it may be so; it wouldn’t surprise me. But – you know – evidence… solid, persuasive evidence?

    And, btw, can we get somes simple, basic fairness into the discussion by referring to ALL elected governments as ‘governments’ or alternatively ALL of them as ‘regimes’; sauce for the goose/sauce for the gander style? Why do the Western mediawhore propagandists’ vile, lying job for them?

      • nevermind

        O/T, sorry, but it is relevant to the developments that are about to occur. A good article looking at Britain from the European standpoint, An excert from Herrn Scheuermann.

        ‘During the Brexit campaign, tragedy and farce overlapped in a way that’s only possible in the land of Shakespeare. The strangest part, though, was how obvious it all became: Rarely had so many people lied so much, rarely so many untruths been unmasked. It was as if it was all a vast irony, a wink, a game without consequences played by Eton alumni.’

        http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/united-kingdom-and-brexit-searching-for-the-true-britain-a-1116325.html

      • nevermind

        Kempe, we knew that his father was as brutal and we have never done anything about it until this botched and bumbled attempt at unseating him.

        And why should NATO be involved at all? who says that they are the responsible body to drive gas and oil interests in this conflict?

        Who decided to wreck the country when they could have easily chosen a grassy knoll somewhere and shot him? who decided that the whole of Syria would have to fall into chaos, with Bashir as the convenient, real bastard, as a target.
        We under estimated his popularity and his allies, now we have to watch Aleppo burn, whilst nobody wants to talk to the Russians. The ceasefire was broken by us and the US, then came the attack on the aid convoy, so lets not get our knickers in a twist who was responsible for breaking the ceasefire.
        Another point, we are relying on chaotic drug fuelled terror organisations who are going to be ,de facto, rubbed out in the process of fighting this war for us. We are going to do it because when all is done nQatar wants its pipeline and so do the Saudi’s.
        Don’t forget the same chaos is planned for Iran, regardless of the peace treaty and more open relations. Time will tell, should we be able to live long enough to see it.

      • Manda

        Call me stupid, I am used to it. Reading the Amnesty link Assad looks almost benevolent when compared to Saudi, Israel, Erdogan, Bahrain, Qatar etc.
        The priority as I see it is to get rid of the externally funded and supported terrorists and restore calm and peace then Syrians can decide what they want and rebuild their country. Installing someone ‘we’ approve of never works…

      • Paul Barbara

        I was a member of Amnesty International for amny years, and an active campaigner for Human Rights.
        However, I eventually came to sense, if not actually see, a bias developing.
        I had already left AI by 2012, but in that year, my fears were proven justified, when Suzanne Nossel Executive was US elected Director of Amnesty International USA.
        https://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2012/09/30/suzanne-nossel-executive-director-of-amnesty-international-usa/

        Thankfully, she was forced to resign due to grass-roots protests before long (search her CV).
        I know the Peace Brigades were heavily infiltrated by the CIA, and I’d be very surprised if HRW isn’t too.
        That being said, all three organisations have done some excellent work.
        Next, perhaps Kempe will explain what heroes the White Helmets are?

      • Republicofscotland

        Kempe.

        No one said Assad regime was a just one, but that doesn’t give the world police (Nato) the right to try and change the regime, to aid Israel and the Qatar gas pipeline.

        I see no outcry from you about Israel’s terrible torture and brutality of Palestinians, some children, nor do I hear you bitch, about Saudi Arabia’s head chopping in public, or the years of torture handed out to men at Guantanamo bay, some held for years without charge

        No your weasel words, are intended to portay Assad and Putin for that matter as the sole bad guys.

        But then again you’re just a lickspittle for the West and its minions, speaking of obedient lickspittles, I see Habbs back.

        • Tom Welsh

          It struck me forcibly that the present situation in Aleppo has striking parallels with Israel and Gaza. Occasionally, people in Gaza fire off lots of rockets at Israel; very occasionally, one or two of them do some actual harm. In response the Israelis launch actual military campaigns, sending waves of aircraft and tanks to destroy hundreds of buildings and kill thousands of people – almost all of them innocent civilians. For this the Israelis get nothing but praise from Western governments and media.

          In exactly the same way – it seems to me – terrorists in East Aleppo fire barrages of rockets at West Aleppo, killing a lot more civilians and doing a lot more harm than the Gazo rockets have ever done. In reply, the Syrians and Russians do almost exactly what the Israelis do to Gaza – only, I suspect, with a lot more care to focus on the terrorists. (Besides, the density of civilians is far, far lower in East Aleppo than in Gaza, which is basically one huge concentration camp).

          Yet Western governments and media complain about the Russian and Syrian anti-terrorist operations, for all the world as if they were worse in some way than the Israeli attacks such as “Cast Lead” – or for that matter the US attacks on Fallujah and other cities.

          • Laguerre

            The rebels in E. Aleppo shoot a lot at the west, and kill a lot. The Gazans only a rare homemade rocket. They’re not very similar.

        • Kempe

          The subject was the brutality of the Assad (father and son) regime. Nobody asked about Saudi Arabia, Israel or anywhere else.for that matter.

      • Rhisiart Gwilym

        Sorry, Kempe. You devalue your offered ‘evidence’ with your opening remark. And I can push it straight back at you anyway: Do you REALLY trust Amnesty (in its USAmerican manifestation) or HRW to be reliable, impartial witnesses? Do you? Really? “Are you blind or just stupid?” And as for your mate: That would be interesting. But a sample of one isn’t really a big enough witness-body on which to base a firm conclusion. It makes you sound like all those corpohacks who purport to take as gospel the information from the Coventry clothes-shop keeper, who says he gets it from his mates, allegedly still in Syria.

        That isn’t how RELIABLE evidence is verified…

        My request – seconded by others here, as we see – stands: Any RELIABLE evidence about the supposed beastliness and unpopularity – really? – of the elected government lead by Bashar al Assad? Anyone? Any seriously trustworthy, non-demonising EVIDENCE, please? Please note most particularly: I really am genuinely open to it, as long as it stands up to sober examination. Ad hominems would not then be necessary – would they, K?

    • RobG

      Rhisiart, I was going to approach Craig’s post in a similar manner to you, but instead pointed out some typos in the post.

      For what it’s worth, my take on things is this: the likes of you and I can rant and rave below the line, but in our present society the author of the piece can’t do likewise. Craig is a relatively high profile person (and I hope Mr Murray doesn’t mind the ‘relatively’ stuff!), and as such if he is too outspoken he would be risking his life far more than any of us BTL.

      That’s why I praised what Craig has said here, despite, like you, having disagreements with some elements of what he has said.

      I suppose it comes down to the nature of the society we now find ourselves living in (fascist madhouse), and the fact that people like Craig are very brave to voice an opinion against it, even if they don’t go as far as some of us would like.

    • Habbabkuk

      Bashar only took over because his father’s intended successor – his older son Basil – foolishly got himself killed in a car accident.

      Talk about keeping things in the family! 🙂

    • Tom Welsh

      And me. People who write balanced accounts always seem to feel obliged to add something to the effect that, “I hold no brief for Putin who is a villainous thug…” or “While Assad is really rotten…”

      How do they know, and how can you know? Have you ever tried ruling a Middle Eastern country yourself? A country, moreover, that Israel, the USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Tyrannies have resolved to destroy?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The whole world is descending into a contest between over-sexed males, working for Clinton, using all kinds of false flag attacks to expand their aggression abroad for her, while Donald Trump is using similar behavior by him and Bill to win total power at home.

    The world is never going to have a chance to grow up.

  • Sharp Ears

    With Dimbleby tonight on QT @ 10.45
    Conservative work and pensions secretary Damian Green MP
    Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry MP
    Former SNP leader Alex Salmond MP
    Editor-at-large of the Independent Amol Rajan
    Daily Mail’s political-editor-at-large Isabel Oakeshott !!!

    Scraping the barrel.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07zhyws

  • James

    As a pilot, I love the term “no fly zone”.

    It actually means “we’ll fly …and if you do, we’ll shoot you down”.
    Ah, the question is, “who will police, the police” !

  • chris avery

    Im reading a great book at the moment which outlines Nato’ s self annointment as the enforcers of the UNs R2P. Its advocated for reasons of self interest: the advancement of NATOs containment of Russia- with neocons jumping on the bandwagon to eliminate states supportive of Palestine .

  • Mick McNulty

    Russia made a major mistake last year pulling out before the US- and Allied-supported terrorist baboons were all killed. We would be at a much later, closure stage in Syria now, not in a situation where the poisonous US can continue making excuses to kill its enemies there.

  • James

    QUOTE

    “A security council resolution could be tabled calling for the end of all military flights, by anybody, over Syrian airspace. The UK and US would oppose that…”

    And that is the end of that !

    The UK and the US (and all comer’s including Russia and Turkey) love the sh*t out of the fact that they have “nothing whatsoever” to fear (Turkey less so, as they are a bit sh*t at flying. Smiley face and what not !).

    It’s amazing that “Syria” has even become “a very good Civil War”.
    I’m sure, if it has, the boys in WWII would have envied the “rear echelon” and their “supply chains”.
    On both side !!!!

    There is “no starvation of weapons” in that country.
    And “a lot” that wish to “grab the opportunity to leave” (… and without “the wife” !)

    • michael norton

      I’d like to know,
      why do the BBC,
      not do an in depth report of how the mess in Syria kicked off?
      If you go back ten years, Syria was doing alright, compared to other nearby countries ( not including Turkey or Isr**l)
      They had food, health care, homes and roads and education and oil.
      Nothing left now but rubble.

      • michael norton

        Syria, studiously stayed out of the wars raging on its borders.
        I know they “interfered” in the “state” of Lebanon but they considered Lebanon their back garden.
        Something must have triggered the mayhem, someone must have been supplying arms to the “moderates”
        could the supplyers have been Turkey – perchance, who sought a greater Turkey?

  • Kempe

    ” This is the result of NATO bombing of Sirte to “enforce the no-fly zone” in Libya. ”

    Well, no it isn’t is it? It’s the result of five weeks of intensive and very violent urban warfare between rebels and Gaddafi loyalists. Clearly those buildings have not been hit by the heavy bombs favoured by NATO; which miraculously appear to have pierced walls but left the roofs more or less intact. What you see is the result of RPGs, tanks, and weapons like these:-

    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/10/14/article-2049108-0E5B635900000578-574_964x607.jpg

  • James

    TBH…. Democracy in the UK is “dead and buried”.
    The “political class” have “just about” had their day.

    More and more people are saying “who gives a sh*t about Syria…and/or Libya”.

    In WWII, MI5 was like a “Public School W*nking Club”. And all these “boyz” are still the same.
    Look at Craig ! We Must Have A No Fly Zone !
    Why ?
    Let the buggers fight it out for themselves….is the only reason to have a No Fly Zone.
    Liz and the shrunken prune were quick enough to invite the “head chief of Syria in the UK” to the bald son’s billionaires wedding.
    It was the Syrian “head prick” in the UK that “turned it down” (coz he was about to do some war !).

    Get a grip Craig.

    Have a “more fly zone”. Lets have a rumble !

    • Republicofscotland

      Norton I see you’re imitating me, well I’ll take that as a compliment, or it could be the that, you’re too weak minded to devise your own style, probably the latter, me thinks.

      Reach under the bed for one of your bibles the Express, I’m sure you’ll find something in it to create a genre, afteall, the Express has almost a vivid imagination as you, and that’s saying something.

  • mike

    There is no civil war in Syria.

    To repeat: the opponents of the Damascus government are, in the main, Islamic Proxies Inc., supplemented by probably no more than 5 per cent of adult male Syrians.

    It’s an insurgency, bought and paid for with petrodollars. The 5 per cent is not insignificant, but to characterise neocon/GCC regime change as a civil war is really misrepresenting the facts, however skillfully the media-operations of the White Helmets present matters otherwise.

    Eighty per cent of the Syrian population live in the Government-controlled areas. If there was civil war this could not possibly be the case.

    We are being lied to – again.

  • writerman

    I agree with your sentiments about the level of civilian casualties, but this is… war after all, and the kind of war we’re going to have to get used to now and even more so in the future, where the ‘battlefield’ isn’t going to be a ‘field’ anymore but an urban ‘battlescape.’ Everyone seems to be training and perparing for wars fought in cities and especially the big ones in the Third World.

    I don’t really think Assad himself is some raging bloodthirsty monster, given his professional history working as an optimologist in a London hospital. He seems more like a moderate reformist who found himself pushed into a dangerous job he probably wouldn’t have chosen for himself if his people, the Alawites had an alternative for the post, only they didn’t. The regime in Syria has always been a pretty harsh one, which isn’t surprising given Syria’s history and where it finds itself in the Middle East.

    Our media and leading journalists, almost to a man, seem massively biased against Assad and want to see him toppled from power, so it’s difficult to know how much of what passes for reporting on evenst in Syria is truth or merely more propaganda aimed at softening up the public for a military intervention or a no-fly zone, which really means no-Russian jets in the air… and that probably means open conflict or war with Russia. Do we really want to go to war with Russia because we want save our Islamist friends in Aleppo?

    As far as I can see there is no ‘moderate muslim army’ in Syria at all. Cameron’s 50,000 are a myth they don’t exist. There’s only, in truth, the radical Islamists. Like the courageous White Helmets, everything seems to be wrapped under layers of propaganda designed to dupe us into supporting yet another reckless strike to change another regime we don’t approve of, with something far, far, bloodier and many times worse that the ‘evil’ it replaces. As in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and, if successful, in Syria.

    • Jo

      @ Writerman

      I agree. Media coverage is pretty appalling and there is no worse culprit, sadly, than the BBC.

    • Loony

      There are organized and disciplined fighters in Syria who would meet the definition of “moderates.” They are the Kurds and they are enjoying some success against ISIS. They would probably have a lot more success if they were not routinely attacked by our NATO allies Turkey.

      Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive.

      • Paul Barbara

        And the Kurds had a pretty sound ‘modus vivendi’ with Assad forces. The Turkish incursion into Syria occurred under a US air umbrella.

    • Hieroglyph

      Do we really want to go to war with Russia because we want save our Islamist friends in Aleppo?

      It’s genuinely hard to think of a dumber reason to go to war, with Russia or anyone else. Honestly, this is even more stupid than the Archduke Ferdinand thing, and that was exceptionally stupid.

      And seriously, does anyone in Government think we are buying their anti-Putin bullshit? It’s just bizarre, the lies and omissions and fake-morality, it really is like the governing classes have entirely lost their collective marbles.

      Me, I’m sane, and I understand that backing head-choppers to the point of a war with Russia is not rational behavior. This is fairly obvious, to sane people. It troubles me that powerful people do not see how obvious this is.

  • Jo

    I would make just a few of points, Craig. The UK has NO authority to impose and enforce this “no-fly zone” in Syria. None whatsoever.

    That’s why Boris is doing this off his own bat, solely because he has no authority to do it. That’s why he’s dodging the UN route. He’s at it. Both Boris and the disgusting Kerry don’t give a toss for the innocent trapped in Aleppo. Their priority is what it always was: to bring Assad down and as yet they haven’t even admitted that those rebels – who turned into IS – were trained and armed by them! It isn’t Assad or Russia who are holding those innocents hostage. It’s IS. They’re using them as shields. And what does Boris want to do? He wants to kick off WW3. It is also alarming the number of MPs who support this, again while concealing their real motive, to bring down Assad.

    How many more regions will we allow our governments to get involved in when our previous involvement in the same area has brought the Middle East to the almighty mess it is in today? How many more times will we allow our governments to throw international law aside along with the UN in order to follow their own illegal agenda……also known as “regime change”. It is obscene.

    We must stop our Parliament making decisions it has no right, under international law, to make.

    • Paul Barbara

      I tried shouting out information at Tuesday’s ‘Emergency’ Debate from the visitor’s gallery, but unfortunately I found out they could not here me in the Chamber below, because of the thick glass partition. I left before I was ejected!
      I have given or sent many MP’s information about the truth of the Syrian catastrophe, as well as StW, but no one wants to know.
      It’s maddening – we don’t want to wait 7 years for a ‘Chilcot’ semi-whitewash, when the facts which should stop calls for Western intervention are freely available now.
      I propose sticking explosives up Boris and Co.’s jacksies, and sending them to the Syrian Front (that was not what I shouted from the gallery!). All in favour?

  • Loony

    As the author points out to enforce a no fly zone you would firstly have to degrade a lot of infrastructure on the ground. Much of that infrastructure either belongs to Russia, or is used by Russia or is controlled by Russia. There is no doubt that the Russians will defend their assets against any such assault – and there is no doubt that the Russians can defend themselves.

    So, if your concern is for civilian casualties and if you believe civilian casualties can be minimized through establishing a no fly zone then surely Yemen is the place to start – as a no fly zone could be established there with a minimal risk of starting World War 3. That this is not mentioned begs many questions. I do hope one of the answers is not that people believe the lives of Syrian civilians to be more valuable than the lives of Yemeni citizens.

    • James

      TBH it would take that much “degrade” to implement (in most of Syria.

      But, if you want (who the hell is going to “implement” anyway !) you could fly missions against Russia (as they have mos of the “AA” there and most of the “in air” activity.

      Craig ….are you SERIOUSLY asking “NATO declare war on Russia” ?
      Or have you gone completely “Guardian Readership Mad” ? You’re getting like that baboon, Mr Clarkson

    • Tom Welsh

      “…degrade a lot of infrastructure…”

      Now there is a really tasty piece of military euphemism for “blow things to hell and kill everyone in or near them”.

    • John Goss

      I bet that is what they tested on the USS Donald Cook’s systems which sent that vessel scurrying back to a Romanian port. My suspicion is too that they used this technology to scupper two missiles (probably Israeli) which targeted Syria when the false claims about Syria using chemical weapons was in vogue.

      • Fuddlededee

        Remember the careful wording on this Russian reference. The use the term directed energy weapon and this is indeed something that is feasible and has been in use for many years in slightly different forms.
        Modern electronics has improved dramatically over the last few years driven by the need to be immune from performance degradation in very rf hostile environments. Existing equipment is not good enough to produce the required signal levels to ensure GPS receivers and a missile’s (or drone) tracking receiver are rendered non-functional. Much money and energy has been spent by all protaganists to develop a new generation of “intelligent” high powered electronic jamming equipment to mmet the new requirement.
        This fuels the need to develop new anti-jamming measures and so the game goes on.
        The only real way this equipment can be used is in the air as if it is static on the ground it is an easy target for other measures.

        In the usal war games, yes i suspect the ship was illuminated by something that caused a WTFWT response and they scurried back to port review the position. Just like a warning shot across the bows. No doubt the vessel was doing something it shouldn’t have been.

        On a side note I have to take issue with Craig. In the post he repeats the story that the US Ambassador was murdered in the US Embassy. I know this fits Hillary Clinton’s narrative conveniently but I understood that he actually suffocated after the special forces threw him into the Embassay’y Safe Room. This incident prompted an immediate review of Safe Rooms in Embassies world wide.
        It fits the narrative thought to keep telling the worlks it was the bad boys wot dun it.

  • John Goss

    Can you believe your eyes and ears with this link.

    I have been its severest critic but when the BBC does interviews with Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, and similar enlightened interviewees, and in a non-threatening and gentlemanly way, it gets my full support. What Papadopoulos says about Syria, Russia and Boris Johnson is right on the button. I am almost sure that Craig would endorse what he says about the dangerous rhetoric of Johnson’s new diplomacy of a government openly encouraging protests outside a foreign embassy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv8ACO0X1r8

  • RobG

    RE: Wikileaks continuing release of the ‘Clinton e-mails’, this one is more American-centric than most, but it’s more general in the sense that it shows what a total sham most of the ‘alternate media’ is. I’ll let Thom Hartmann try to excuse himself (10 minute clip)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQqo4krwp7A

    We’re loading our shotguns down in Texas, care of Alex Jones (miracle ‘survival pills’ now at a discounted $9.99).

    Just about all of the ‘alternate media’ is now controlled by the security services.

    We live in the Matrix, folks, and we are being marched-off to war, again…

    • Fredi

      Free Western woman goes by herself to Syria, says everything western media tells you is wrong

      What’s really going on in Aleppo? Are Assad and Putin exterminating the population for sport? Is it a war against US-backed “moderates”? That is what the mainstream media would have us believe. Vanessa Beeley, an independent investigative journalist who just returned from Aleppo has the real story: the US backed “moderates” are the terrorists.

      Journey To Aleppo Part I: Exposing The Truth

      Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=347_1475273143#CQpqCowA5j7U57Ae.99

  • Soothmoother

    Craig

    I agree with most of this, however, the West and their Gulf Arab chums are arming the Jihadis in Eastern Allepo and elsewhere in Syria and Iraq. The Jihadis (Terrorists) don’t do ceasefires. They continue to lob bombs into Western Aleppo and snipe at the resisents there. They’re embedded amongst the locals, terrorise them and use them as human shields. It’s a no win situation for the Syrian government. How would a ceasefire help? Western governements are acting like gangsters and get away with it.

  • michael norton

    Car bomb kills at least 20 near rebel-controlled Syria-Turkey border crossing – reports
    https://www.rt.com/news/362704-syria-turkey-border-fsa-blast/
    BREAKING: At least 20 killed and scores wounded in car bomb blast near Syria’s rebel-held Bab al-Salam border crossing with Turkey – witness

    Well, Last week, we were told hat TURKEY had sealed the border with SYRIA.
    However Turkey has troops in IRAQ as well as SYRIA

    both without the permission of those countries.
    TURKEY is an evil fucking place.

  • michael norton

    ‘Hard Brexit’ or ‘no Brexit’ for Britain – The Donald Tusk
    BBC

    so uncompromizing view from Brussels, either fuck of completely or stay shackled to a drowning corpse,
    difficult one that.

    • James

      Costs me the same in “tax” as it does my accountant now.
      At least “that guy”, I know where he’s spending….hookers and beer !!!!!

      For me… I wouldn’t pay a penny to “The UK dot corp”.

  • James

    The “so called” Political Ruling Classes (and that’s “all inclusive”) should be brought to their knees in shame.

    Trident, Hinkley Point, Carbon Tax, Syrian Civil War and UKIP !

    It’s rubbish.

    And Craig …. “we should impose a No Fly Zone” !!!!!!

    Politics !

  • MichaelAmery

    Hi Craig,

    I thought that may leave this article here: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/left-s-hollow-anti-imperialism-over-syria-1081590395

    But a few other comments. I would also regard myself as ‘left wing’, very broad brush stroke now in a changed political game, and so am typically sceptical towards the ‘neo-cons’ but I have found myself at odds with many people who I usually agree with precisely for some of the reasons of the article I have linked to. I think that sometimes our awareness of western imperialism cripples us and hides from us the fact that what we are really struggling for is equality. If we only see oppression from a western perspective we seem to too sluggish to react/willing to ignore it when it comes from someone else.

    These sentences, ‘There are no easy answers in Syria. Without Russian and Syrian government air power, Syria might well already have fallen to disparate groups of murdering religious fanatics, who would then have redoubled their existing tendency to also kill each other. ‘ are an abdication of responsibility. Clearly we can’t know for sure what would have happened had we not let Assad kill his citizens with impunity but we do know that the protests in Syria were peaceful mass protests until 2012 that could not really be characterised as sectarian, we also know that Jihadis weren’t involved in any prominent way until 2013/4 with Daesh only really coming into the picture then. I think it is crucial to recognise we failed to prevent/ameliorate this disaster and should weigh at least as strongly on our mind as the war in Iraq.

    Last thing, I completely agree with you that it is reductive to divide the conflict into good-guys, bad-guys only and would also advise you to do the same when we are talking about ‘neo-cons/imperialists vs leftists’. I don’t think it helps us to have the most informed debate this way.

    • James

      Mike !

      Craig doesn’t put it in any “way”. NeoCon or Leftist….it’s “politics”.

      Murray said “put an honest man in Parliament”.He came last (well 6th).
      Then he made a career out of ………

      • MichaelAmery

        Maybe you are right and he is just stating it but it seems to me that the term often comes with a fair bit of mudslinging. I would also like to say, as I didn’t fit it in my comment, that I really respect Craig Murray for his stances that he took on whilst serving as ambassador to Uzbekistan.

  • Kim Tan

    Don’t see any of the tory or labour neoconservatives calling for a no fly zone over gaza.

    • michael norton

      Kim Tat
      Nu Labour is almost dead, Old Labour is almost dead, LibDems are almost dead.
      So that has U.K.I.P.
      S.N.P. Conservatives to rule over us.
      it’s tat

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Kim Tan:
      Or Yemen! But then again, it’s their mates and arms customers who are doing the bombing.
      That could change sharpish if Iran started sending aircraft to defend the Houthis.

  • Manda

    An interesting post.
    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2016/10/13/us-climbs-down-on-syria/

    I am not familiar with the blogger, a career diplomat in the Indian foreign service for 29 years and interestingly India’s ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998). I obtained very brief details about him from here http://www.atimes.com/author/m-k-bhadrakumar/ where there is a longer article ‘Russia and Turkey plot the endgame in Aleppo.

    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2016/10/13/us-climbs-down-on-syria/

    No mention of this though. Isis from Mosul to Raqqa under US/Saudi protection. I’ve seen a lot of tweets saying bus loads and lots of trucks with Isis have arrived in Raqqa from Mosul already. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-saudi-arabia-grant-isis-terrorists-free-passage-mosul-syria-reports/

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Macky October 14, 2016 at 01:24

        Yes, isn’t that big of the US and it’s Saudi henchmen! They’ve even dropped the ‘Moderate Rebels’ BS – just pure unadulterated murderous scumbags, which they are unleashing on Syria.
        Of course, when (if) they get to Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor, they can rebrand themselves as ‘Boy Scouts’, and be assured of the full backing of the West and it’s presstitute MSM.

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