Coffee House

What to do about Syria? Easter edition

29 March 2013

29 March 2013

This morning’s Times reports (£) of the arrest of a former US serviceman, Eric Harroun, suspected of assisting Jabat al-Nusra, a jihadist insurgent group in Syria. He has been charged with conspiring to use destructive devices outside the United States. That the alleged offences were made against the Assad regime is immaterial.

The West looks at Syria through very dark glass. Basic cultural preconceptions about conflict demand a struggle of Good versus Bad. War is rarely so simple; but Syria is even more complicated: various shades of bad fight each other and whatever good may exist.

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If you haven’t read Mary Wakefield’s piece about the murder of Christians by some anti-Assad groups, then I urge to do so – particularly as it is Holy Week. International Christian Concern has catalogued the atrocities committed against Christians so far, which will provide more context to this often unreported dimension of Syria’s suffering.

I drove out of London last night and, while listening to the radio for a couple of hours, heard a total of five appeals to help Syrian and Lebanese refugees of all creeds and none. These appeals, coupled with the images of news reports such as those generated during Samantha Cameron’s recent visit to refugee camps, rekindle what remains of the liberal interventionist cause; but the fire refuses to spread because of the blanket of uncertainty about the various rebels’ intentions, to say nothing of the interests of regional and global players.

Con Home’s monthly survey asks the question ‘Syria: No fly zone? Humanitarian aid only? Just keep out? What should the Government do?’ I can’t answer any of those questions. Can you?


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Show comments
  • Jebediah

    What to do about Syria? Nothing. There is nothing to gain and only loss of British lives and treasure by aiding either set of homocidal maniacs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom
  • Wessex Man

    What to do about Syria, how about minding our own business and staying away from there!!!!!!!!!

  • Dogsnob

    It seems that my total ignorance regarding our involvement in Syria, is shared by many others. Why is this? Why are our usually industrious news reporters showing such a reticence here, leaving us floundering, devoid of information; and the government free to make such intrepid proposals on our behalf?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, the media is a thick mob of poorly educated knobs, and they mostly live in a bubble, alongside the thick, poorly educated knobs in government.

      And that collective mob wants to make cash and not look stupid, and they can do both by supporting each other, as the necessary cash flows in from various deals and parties satellite to the bubble, said cash supporting the entire thick, poorly educated, knobbish construct.

      Does this help any?

      • Dogsnob

        Yes, thank you. I agree with every word. We are in quite a pickle it seems.

  • chan chan

    Nothing. Let them cut each other’s heads off.

  • Hookeslaw

    Mr Blackburn, the Wakefield article (written in Lebanon) points out –

    ‘Everyone in the region is either for or against Bashir al-Assad’s regime, it’s a bipolar world: Christians and Shia mostly for, Sunnis mostly against.’
    it also says
    ‘But what’s also true is that each side of this bloody squabble is so cross about the other side’s lies that it feels quite free to counter with some of its own.’

    I seem to remember we had a pretty bipolar civil war ourselves a few centuries back. At least then it was christians killing christians over religion. You knew where you stood.

    So we see (according to the article) Christians (and some muslims) supporting the Assad govt are killed by other muslims opposed to it. And vice versa.

    (interestingly we get this comment on the article…
    ‘I hope is not late for the left to wake up!!! Join the EDL keep your women safe for Gods sake!!!!!!’
    Such is the level we are sunk to. or rather such is the miserable level of hysteria the Spectators comments are sunk to – no doubt fuelled by their headline writers)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

    How about helping CHRISTIAN refugees ? How about asking Canon White how the Christians in Iraq are living now they have been “liberated” from security ? How about Britain ceasing to act like some Mercenary Gang ready to be hired to whatever rich tribe wants to hire it ? The House of Saud seems to own British troops and The Condor Legion was hired to bomb Libya with its Tornadoes.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Ahhhhhh, now you’ve hit a nerve. Condor Legion? Careful there, lad. 😉

  • http://twitter.com/rayveysey Ray Veysey

    You cannot extinguish a gas fire by blowing on it, you need to turn off the gas. In Syria, as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and the Lebanon the gas is from Iran. Turn off the gas and stop the fires in at least 5 places at once.

  • Donafugata

    The Syrian problem would never have started if the MB and assorted jihadis hadn’t been encouraged to think that the filthy infidel is happy to rid the ME and Magreb of useful dictators.

    The invasion of Iraq for the purposes of regime change was what began the domino effect. The insurgents in Syria were betting on the same help that Hague gave to Libya to add yet another piece to their caliphate jigsaw.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      Hillary Clinton and the Muslim Brotherhood – an attempt to find a new political dimension for US influence and prop up Saudi Arabia. It is 9/11 to the Max. Bin Laden wanted the US out of Saudi Arabia and has simply increased the Saudi hold over US policy

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    How about MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS.
    Haven’t our “Elite” learnt the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan yet.

    • AY

      “our own business” dear is to win the war.

      not to lose country.

      not to become slaves.

      not to leave chance to the enemy to fight another day.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S7LUOD2P3JFRDSG2SL7YKQVY7E fred smith

    I get the impression that the current government is itching to meddle in Syria and is doing so as far as they can.

    I really wish they wouldn’t. I’ve no confidence they have the foggiest idea what they are doing.

    They might pay attention to problems closer to home which they are supposed to be dealing with and could have a useful influence on.

    • Donafugata

      Absolutely.

      Hague and Cameron are under starters orders, their Libyan adventure made them feel so good about themselves so they are desperate to go again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        No it is Qatari and Saudi MONEY

        • AY

          +100.
          all that “charities” and “appeals” are nothing but disguised extortion by Sunni jihadis. not a penny of these money will go to Chirstian and Alawite civilians, which suffer massacre after massacre by the hands of international gangs of Oil Sharia promoters.

          Hague and Cameron behave like governors ruling on behalf of global Sunni domination project, as they are taken hostage by 1) the threat of terror, 2) economic blackmail, and 3) the huge domestic Muslim demographics.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Not Muslim demographics, but certainly promises of future personal wealth. Don’t forget Edward Heath had a secret account at Brown Shipley which is how he funded Morning Cloud and look how Tony Blair was able to save so much money as PM to buy a portfolio of properties after he “retired”

  • Reconstruct

    The best we can do is to buttress our military and snooping bases in Cyprus: ie, talk softly (if at all) but watch carefully and carry a big stick. It would be good for Cyprus too.

  • huktra

    Ever since the dawn of time there has been conflict in geographical Syria.
    Leave them to it.

  • chudsmania

    Forget Syria for a while……I think North Korea is rather a more pressing issue at this present time. Will the ‘Dear Leader’ carry out his threats ?

  • Portendorfer

    How can we, a Christian country at Easter, stand by while Assad bombs and gasses his own citizens.
    A joint US, UK and French task force could finish this in a week and stop the day on day killing.
    Only then will Lebanon, Turkey and Israel be able to breathe again

    • Russell

      You mean like the ‘week’ it took to finish Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan?

      • Portendorfer

        At this Christian Eastertide should we walk by on the other side.
        Iran is avowed to blow Israel into the sea and Syria is an important buffer.
        A tripartite force would ensure a regime in Syria dedicated to peace throughout the region.

        • Fasdunkle

          Iraq is now a client state of Iran

          • Portendorfer

            I am not sure you are correct in either religious or political terms but the possibility emphasises the urgency of action.
            Cameron and Hollande are up to it, Obama is lukewarm and Merkel and the EU are exerting a drag.
            This is time for Cameron to show he has the balls of Blair.

            • Russell

              A lot of people would like to have Blairs balls, mainly Iraqis.

              • Hookeslaw
                • Russell

                  They want back the 100,000+ of their friends and family members who were killed as a result of Blairs war!

                • Hookeslaw

                  The great majority of deaths were as the result of Muslims killing each other – long after the invasion, as they had been doing before the invasion. Iraq was a place of terrible death before the invasion
                  http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/01/world/iraq-sanctions-kill-children-un-reports.html
                  ‘As many as 576,000 Iraqi children may have died since the end of the
                  Persian Gulf war because of economic sanctions imposed by the Security Council, according to two scientists who surveyed the country for the Food and Agriculture Organization.’

                  Children were not supposed to be affected of course but Saddam misused the oil for food loopholes.

                • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Jarvis/100000103314232 Alex Jarvis

                  That’s because S. H. wasn’t there to keep the boot on there neck!

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

              He is CORRECT. Iraq has no air force thanks to the USA and is very much dependent on Iran. there is now a crescent of Iranian influence from Tehran via Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have hired the British to fight for them so far by buying 3500 tonnes of weapons from Croatia and having SAS men in Jordan and Mi6 centres in Turkey training

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          Syria is an ally of Iran. Saudi Arabia wants to replace Syria with an Taliban-style state like the one it funded in Afghanistan.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Portendorfer is not Christian, he’s a lobbyist for some Muslim group

    • Fasdunkle

      It’s not our fight. If we don’t intervene there will be a sectarian bloodbath, if we do intervene there will be a sectarian bloodbath. The end result will always be the same but not intervening saves us money and lives.

      • Russell

        Perhaps the UK government and the press should start demanding answers from Russia & China as to what they are going to do wrt both aid to Syrian refugees and the war and give the UK a break.

        The UK people know we can’t afford to get involved and the majority don’t really want to get involved. It is someone else’s war, let them get on with it until one side wins and then review the situation.
        Iraq cost the UK a fortune and many lives of our armed forces and look at the state of that country today.
        Afghanistan cost (and still costs) the UK a fortune and many lives of our armed forces and look at the state of that country today.
        Libya cost the UK a fortune and look at the state of that country today.
        Many African countries are similarly getting to breaking point with one lot wanting to slaughter another lot.
        How about we keep our noses out for a few years, stop them coming to
        this country with their terrorism and violence and refugees and get the
        UK back on a stable financial footing?

        • Fasdunkle

          That would be the sensible thing to do

        • Donafugata

          I find it astonishing that the Saudis and other gulf states are making an humanitarian contribution to their poorer brothers.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          This is Iraq Phase 2. It is because Bush-Blair removed Saddam and gave Iraq to Iran that Saudi and Qatar are hiring Britain and France to build their Sunni Empire and Caliphate in Syria and Libya and Egypt.

          • Portendorfer

            The butcher of Damascus still has friends inside his borders — men with guns who never hesitate to use them. And he has friends outside — most notably China and Russia.
            But those friends are melting away. As they do he gets desperate and gets out the gas.
            It cannot be an excuse to talk Muslim factions when scores of thousands are dying.
            If Cameron gets on the phone to Hollande and Obama today Syria could be free by Whitsun.

            • MirthaTidville

              No Syria would not be free, it would be in the hands of the Jihadists who will have no truck with things like `Whitsun`

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

              You are simply an avatar for a lobby group. Silly phrases like “butcher of Damascus” with new a criticism of Jihadis murdering Christians and Alawites. It gets tiresome that the British are treated like some mercenary band available to fight other people’s battles because politicians are so cheaply board and British lives so cheaply squandered

        • Hookeslaw

          Iraq has been spared a terrible bloody civil war (the ‘insurgency’ as its terrorism is called is far removed from a civil war). It is in a better place today than it would if it had to face that prospect. The intervention in Iraq caused Gadaffi to give up his nuclear bomb project.
          Likewise Afghanistan.

          The intervention in Iraq has opened up the entire middle east and northern africa to the growth of democracy. It will take work to preserve it. With the threat of and agressive totalitarian Iraq removed the opportunities for democracy in Iran and Syria are plain.

          As such it has been worthwhile. The UK intervention was totally in line with centuries of our foreign policy objectives and military interventions.

          • Russell

            It doesn’t matter how many times you keep spinning this line ‘Tony’, it doesn’t wash. Blair said Saddam could stay in power even 24 hours before the war started if he let in inspectors!
            Blair said the reason to go to war was that Saddam had WMD. He lied and now says it was to remove an evil dictator who he has said could remain!
            No mandate for regime change, hence an illegal war.

            Blair should be on trial in the Hague.

            • Hookeslaw

              I know what Blair said and I do not support Blair (Blair was the leader of a pacifist Labour Party) – rather I support the honesty of GW Bush who was quite open about wanting regime change.
              http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/WH/wh-bush-04-06-02.htm

              ‘Maybe
              I should be a little less direct and be a little more nuanced, and say
              we support regime change.’
              ‘It was the policy of my predecessor as well’

              As for WMD – Blair relied far too much on that but everyone thought they had WMD and that included David Kelly.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                I think you will find you are in error over David Kelly so stop spreading falsehoods

                • arnoldo87

                  If you do some proper research for a change, you will find that David Kelly did indeed think there were WMD.

            • arnoldo87

              Blair was not lying when he claimed that Saddam had WMD, because he genuinely believed that WMD existed (as did almost all of the nations of the world).
              As for “mandates” for regime change, what is the democratic body that needs to give you permission to remove an evil dictator? The United Nations?
              Really?

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                Crap. They KNEW there was no WMD. Iran used the US to remove Saddam and Bush-Cheney fell for it. They have now sold out the Anti-Iran groups that had taken refuge in Iraq. The US disowned them . and the Iraq regime is now murdering them in special camps. The US has cut a deal with Iran. China draws its gas from Iran under a 25-year contract so its new naval flexing off Japan and Vietnam is a warning. Blair lied but cannot recognise lies as a sociopath and he “did a Gliwice” and it worked. Poor Cyprus, there it was the target of Saddam’s missiles and chemical weapons according to Campbell-Blair Fiction Enterprises and dimwit Colin Powell showing us pictures of Renault artics like roaming Scuds ready to wipe out human life. If Saddam had had WMD they would NOT have dared attack….they dare not attack North Korea, Pakistan, Iran because they KNOW they do have WMD

                • arnoldo87

                  “Poor Cyprus, there it was the target of Saddam’s missiles and chemical weapons according to Campbell-Blair Fiction Enterprises”
                  Cyprus was within range of Saddam’s missiles in the first Gulf War, never mind the second.
                  Having said that, please produce evidence of Blair claiming that Saddam could hit Cyprus with chemical weapons.
                  If you cannot, you are the liar, Tom Tom, not Blair.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                  “In the build-up to the conflict, Tony Blair was criticised by
                  intelligence officials for giving the impression that Saddam had
                  developed ballistic missiles that could carry WMD warheads and hit
                  targets such as Israel and Britain’s military bases in Cyprus.”…….http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/1448757/Revealed-the-Iraqi-colonel-who-told-MI6-that-Saddam-could-launch-WMD-within-45-minutes.html

                • arnoldo87

                  This is typical of the distortion that was commonplace over WMD. The only published opinion on Saddam’s ballistic missile capability came from the intelligence services themselves. The only opinion Blair could have had was that provided by them.

                  Only if Blair made a separate statement or written claim that exceeded or exaggerated their data could he be accused of “giving an impression” on the subject.

                  The only direct comment Blair made on the dossier was in its foreword and in his speeches to the House of Commons. He did not mention Cyprus in the foreword or Saddam’s ability to hit it, nor in his Commons’ speeches. The executive summary was written by the intelligence community as was the rest of the dossier.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                  Go read what Jones of DIS stated…….you must be a real apologist for War Criminal Blair

                • arnoldo87

                  Whatever your latest bluster, Tom Tom, the truth must now be obvious even to you:-

                  *Blair did not make any statement saying that Saddam could hit Cyprus with chemical weapons.

                  *Even the dossier itself (drawn up by the Intelligence services) tabled doubts about whether the al Hussein missiles left over from Gulf War I were serviceable.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                  The Foreword to the Iraq Dossier 2002 written by Prime Minster Tony Blair stated as bullet point: – “Constructed a new engine
                  test-stand for the development of missiles capable of reaching
                  the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and Nato members (Greece
                  and Turkey), as well as all Iraq’s Gulf neighbours and Israel;”

                  Now arnoldo87 you can retire to the library with the pearl-handled revolver and stop bothering adults

                • arnoldo87

                  So, they had constructed a stand for development of missiles. This is obviously not evidence of your claim as the threat was in the future. If you’d bothered to read the full report you will have seen that Blair stated that there were some missiles with 650 km range left over from the first Gulf War (as I told you before). But the report had doubts about whether they were usable.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            Britain overthrew “democracy” in Iran under Operation Ajax. It put the Shah on the throne and Mossad advised SAVAK. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company shortchanged Iran on oil revenues to bail out Britain……..don’t you think people in the region know exactly how much BS you spout HookesLaw ?

        • Mynydd

          Well said.

      • In2minds

        It’s not our fight? Wrong, a large number of UK born men are fighting in Syria now. And when they come back there will be more trouble for us. So well done the USA in arresting one of theirs. What a pity we do not do the same.

        • Fasdunkle

          The home grown jihadis are our fight. Syria isn’t

    • http://twitter.com/rayveysey Ray Veysey

      Yes, just like those other quick wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan, you stop Assad then the insurgents turn on you, better to send them to Iran.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      They did Iraq in 10 days i recall. Obviously Conscription should be introduced and ALL 18 years old male and female trained as Rapid Deployment Troops. Britain can become Ein Volk im Waffen

    • Redneck

      Portendorfer

      A few points, if I may?

      1. With that attitude, the UK will remain “Christian” for precious few years.
      2. Why should any British soldiers’ lives be put at risk for those who hate us?
      3. What possible interest or role should the UK have in any of this? Let it be.

    • Augustus

      Israel doesn’t know which of the two options is worse: Assad or the rebels. On one hand the Assad regime is an Iranian agent which plays an important role in supporting Hezbollah, on the other hand, it has maintained the cease-fire with Israel since June 1974, which is no small thing. It can be assumed that the Assad
      regime will fall and those not forced to stand by him will flee his sinking ship. Essentially, the U.S., Europe, Turkey and Israel have been more alarmed about Assad’s ties with Iran than the nature of the divided rebel forces. That’s why the U.S. is training rebel fighters in northern Jordan.

      • Portendorfer

        All of which means we need to go in and establish a regime that will respect Israel and Holy Jerusalem.
        This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to complete the instruction of Urban 2 at The Council of Clermont.
        We have a duty to end what is escalating daily killing. When should we act? 500,000, a million?
        We have a wider duty to restore tolerance and respect for the judeo-Christian religion

        • Augustus

          I think it was TIME Magazine that reported the struggle in recent days has not only been between Assad’s forces and the rebels, but also among the rebels themselves. This is just a preview of what is to come in Syria. The Syrian opposition’s lack of unity is a result of the
          divisions in the international community. Everyone knows that the West supports
          the rebels, while Russia and China, along with Iran and Algeria, support the
          Assad regime. But the problem is that the support for the rebels is split between religious rebels and secular ones. One can already see the Syrian opposition battling within
          itself over what will happen the day after Assad falls. Qatar and Turkey are helping the Muslim Brotherhood, while Saudi Arabia is
          helping defectors from the Syrian military. Qatar and Saudi Arabia each have
          their own television channels. Given the state of the opposition and the international community, it is not
          surprising that Assad is still surviving.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

      There is NO evidence Assad has “gassed” anyone. You must try harder and tell us about eating babies and torturing Christians to complete your BS. The Alawites are hated by Turkey and Sunni Muslims – they believe in Christmas – it is the Alawites that keep Christians safe. It is Saudi Arabia and Turkey that are forces for evil in the region. this is a Proxy War with Iran

      • the viceroy’s gin

        I especially liked the propaganda during the excellent Libyan adventure recently. The NWO was telling us that the Colonel’s forces were taking steroids and erection enabling medicine so that they could rape more women.

        A masterstroke. Sheer brilliance. The stupes ate it up.

        And yes, I expect Christians to suffer horribly in Syria, as if they haven’t suffered enough already. The Assads are no prize, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get worse. It can.

    • Mynydd

      How can you stop killings with more killings?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    An important strand of this conflict is that it is part of an ongoing cleansing of the ME of it’s Christian and Jewish heritage. This chapter of the Arab Spasm unfortunately gives yet more cover to accelerate the process. This cover is shamefully facilitated by the BBC and others.

    • Austin Barry

      Spot on.

      Muslim extremism even follows the Christian refugees.

      From yesterday’s National Catholic Reporter:

      “Churches and monasteries in Turkey are struggling to shelter a rising number of Syrian Christian refugees who are reluctant to seek help at government-run relief camps because of reported Muslim extremism, said a Catholic Relief Services staffer.”

      • Redneck

        Hexhamgeezer & Austin

        Excellent points: it is appalling that the BBC still tries to portray any aspect of the extremist takeover of the Middle East as a positive.

        It, the BBC, is clearly an abomination and does not in any way replicate the views of the average Briton.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

          BBC gets its reports from a Syrian Opposition News Centre in LONDON which supplies footage. The BBC has no reporters in Syria…remember how Marie Colvin of The Times got killed when she was in a Terrorist Base and the ELINT enabled missiles to destroy it ?

  • Field Marshal

    Just what is wrong with leaving them to it to each blow the other to glory?
    Do we really want to arm, however covertly, Muslim groups dedicated to the struggle against Christians and Jews?

    • Austin Barry

      Getting involved in Syria is just another example of our political elites’ complete disconnect from the electorate. No wonder UKIP flourishes.

    • MaxSceptic

      Indeed. The author asks: “What should the Government do?” The answer is: nothing. (Except, maybe SELL arms to both sides – cash on the nail).

      • Portendorfer

        With respect that is the most cynical irresponsible post seen on this blog in a long time.
        As a Christian nation we have a duty to the Levant which surpasses even our duty to humanity.
        How can we go to our great churches this weekend and sing our great hymns of hope and not want to stop the killing and at the same time protect the threats to our holy sites the focus of our hope and inspiration.
        It would need little effort for Cameron to trigger joint action with the US and France using the sixth fleet and NATO bases in Turkey to end it.
        Damascus is the historical centre that we all remember led Christianity to spread throughout the world.
        In this we have a rallying cry.

        • Dogsnob

          “It would need little effort for Cameron to trigger joint action with the US and France using the sixth fleet and NATO bases in Turkey to end it.”

          Really? Are you sure about that? Of what would that little effort consist?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

            The US fleet has withdrawn from the area. There is however a Russian fleet there. Portendorfer is clearly off the wall but I think he should put himself and his total assets into a relief fund. I have no wish to go bankrupt funding Neo-Colonial wars for France or fighting Iran or provoking Russia

            • Portendorfer

              The understandable concerns have led to inaction for long enough.
              We are at a point where our Christian duty at Easter-see title of article – is to stop the killing.
              Wherever the US fleet are, if we have the will we have the resources.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                You have the will. You have the resources. Off you go !

        • MaxSceptic

          Irresponsible?! You raise the matter endangered Christianity in the Levant as a ‘rallying cry’. If we are to embark on a Christian Crusade to alievate the condition of true believers is Damascus, then what about all the other once-Christian cities that need liberating from oppressive Islam? Let’s head for Alexandria, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Antioch and Constantinople. And Luton.

          • Field Marshal

            Exactly so.

            There is no “good” solution here, other than that noted above:

            “leaving them to it to each blow the other to glory?”
            They will exhaust themselves eventually.

        • Makroon

          I know Syria a bit.
          An extremely interesting and friendly patchwork of a country, with many different varieties of Muslim and Christian religions, and several ethnicities.

          Of course, everyone was frightened to talk about the government, but the one thing they were proud of, was peace between the factions, and relative liberality towards women. Black-shrouded women in the bazaar were always referred to (with a modicum of contempt) as “Gulf Arabs”.
          Well, the “Gulf Arabs” seem to be well on the way to having their way in Syria !
          Just keep out ! We can only make it worse.

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