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  1. The Russians have been in the process of moving their ground forces out of Syria for some time now, and winding down operations. If you think the Israelis (or the US) actually launched the attack, then why hasn't evidence been put forth by Russian satellites and ground radar of Israeli jets flying over the spot of the attack? If the rebels themselves launched the attack, where did they get the planes or helicopters? Not saying they couldn't have done it, but where is the proof? You put forth evidence from a doctor connected to the Assad regime --are we supposed to believe his testimony? Until we get independent verification of what happened, we can't make any determinations here. Maybe we will never get that.
  2. kirtc: I don't believe ANYONE's narrative as to what happened in Syria the chemical attacks We have a group of nations that all have competing objectives here, and who can be trusted? For example 1. Israel wants the US to overthrow Assad and challenge Iran. It could have engineered the CW attack, or helped rebels launch it, in an effort to have the US attack Assad. 2. Assad himself may have launched the attack in order to antagonize the US, invoke a small-scale attack, and convince Russia that they need to stay in his country and protect him and prop up his regime. 3. Putin may have launched the attack in order to invoke a US response against Syria that would convince both Syria and Iran that "Russian protection" is needed, and to ultimately get his naval base in the Strait of Hormuz. 4. The rebels independently launched the attack in order to bring the US into the conflict. This is a like a murder mystery where everyone in the room has a direct motivation, and everyone is speaking in half-truths or outright lies. We need to remain objective and rational about this, and not to let our biases and prejudices cloud our judgment.
  3. America has trouble with numerous nations simply because of Israel. In order to break their influence and power over our politicians and segments of the public, the narrative needs to be changed, and people need to be made aware of what is going on. We can't stop Israel from oppressing Palestinians or engaging in proxy wars by using force --they have nuclear arms and western powers behind them. We do it by electing politicians that will demand an end to Israel's actions, cut funding for their military projects, etc. We do it through grassroots efforts such as the BDS movement, online videos and content, lectures, meetups, etc.
  4. Yes, I agree with much of that, but I think the long-term strategy in regards to Iran-American relations should be one of give-and-take. It would be very easy to start a movement in the United States to force politicians to normalize relations with Iran, respect the Iranian people and their government, lift sanctions, and to cease the propaganda that Iran is tied up with terrorist organizations But it is difficult to do this when the Iranian government continues to back Hezbollah, verbally threatens Israel, engages in bellicose rhetoric, and worst of all, gets involved with Putin. Yes, there are reasons why they do all of this, and some of it is valid, but it isn't a good long-term strategy. Israel, the the Jews in the US, love this conflict--it justifies them asking for money and military aid, and allows they to play the victims. The LAST thing the Jews want is friendly relations between Iran and the US. Likewise, the Saudi monarchs stir up trouble between Iran and the US for their own reasons, which are religious and ideological in nature. When I was growing up, no one thought it was possible for the Soviet Union and the US to come to any kind of meaningful agreements, but in the 1980s, Reagan and Gorbachev began to talk directly, military agreements were reached, the USSR opened up its political system and economy, and eventually the wall came down. Neither side ever gets everything it wants, but the situation Iran finds itself in now is very bad--it is internationally isolated, in a kind of cold war with Israel, with a struggling economy and upset people. I think that can all be turned around if the leaders want it to be.
  5. My experience with Iran and its people dates from when I was a student in Germany, and I lived in a residence with a bunch of Iranian guys who had fled the revolution with their families. I heard many stories, and met their families. I have not been to Iran, but I have been to many foreign countries, including Egypt. I hope to eventually go to Iran--it is a goal of mine. In the last couple of years, I have taken it upon myself to learn as much as I can about the country, and my son learns Farsi (he has a private tutor, and I sometimes sit and learn with him). I have also made a point to learn about Islam. While Iran does not have some of the problems that the US has, you cannot say it does not have things like poverty, drug abuse, and prostitution. Maybe not as much, but it is there. Iran could be a great country again, or it could fall backwards into obscurity. It cannot let itself be the puppet of imperial powers, whether that be American or Russian. Stop thinking that every American lives in a matrix, or has some inherent hostility towards Islam or Persians.
  6. Let me be clear: I do not support American military intervention in Syria, or even in the Middle-East. 90% of Americans oppose this, and want nothing to do with Syria, Afghanistan, etc. You know who is driving this! It isn't "white supremacists" or war-mongers: it is Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish banking interests. Guys like Adelson, Mercer, etc. who donated millions to Trump's election campaign. Some serve as direct advisors to the president, just like they did with Obama. Israel wants Assad overthrown and Iran contained, even if this is against US interests, and is not supported by the people. The more Iran involves itself in international intrigues and gets involved with the dictator Putin, the more it will convince Israel that it needs to be "dealt with", and they will turn to America to make that happen. Hezbollah is also a problem--it is viewed by most in the west as a terrorist group backed by Iran. The solution to all of this is normalized relations between Iran and the US, and the rest of the world. Open up the country to commerce and tourism, loosen the restrictions on the people, and prove to the world that free elections take place, and that the people support their republic. Iran can be a great nation, or it can continue down this path to becoming another North Korea. Part of making that happen is countering the Jewish influence in the US and exposing their intrigues --this is already starting to happen. People are fed up with proxy wars in Israel's interests, just as they are tired of the socialist degeneracy, ethnic discord, and irrationalism these Jews push on us. You have to think about the long-term strategy, and not to be suckered into a short term conflict where everyone potentially loses.
  7. "Trump, May, Macron and rest of white supremacist ideologues" Oh come on! These people are many things, but "white supremacists" they are not. Macron some kind of imperialist racist? I see Africans flooding into France on a daily basis--that is hardly the policy of a white supremacist. Aside from Iran and Russia, I am not aware of any nations who consider themselves a friend of Assad, or who even respect him. He is routinely denounced as a monster within the halls of the UN and around the world. Putin is likewise viewed with suspicion and fear by many nations. Just because you don't see that on the sites you visit, or the Iranian radio and TV you tune into, doesn't mean it isn't the case. Now that doesn't mean he should be removed from power--I don't support that. He must remain in order to keep stability in Syria. Just as with the US, the nation Iran should have very little, if anything, to do with the Syrian regime or Russia. The drawbacks far outweigh the benefits.
  8. So the people of Crimea voted to join Russia, just like the citizens of Danzig voted to join with Germany in 1939? --or maybe the people of Austria voted to join the Third Reich a year earlier? I suspect there wasn't much of a choice in the matter. As for Putin's credibility, even Sweden, who is pretty neutral, has been highly critical of Putin, especially his refusal to allow in independent investigators into Syria. Understanding that Putin has his own agenda, and is not an honest or reliable figure, is not to buy into John McCain's neocon mission, or to side with Trump. It is to clear your mind of Putin's propaganda, pushed out through websites like RT.
  9. There is no way any nation is going to believe the results of a joint Russian-Syrian "investigation". Vladimir Putin has zero credibility internationally, after invading the Ukraine, his actions in South Ossetia, his treatment of political dissidents in Russia, poisoning of spies, etc. He is viewed as a backwater dictator. Assad has an even lower reputation. Now that being said, I think Assad does need to stay in power out of necessity, and Israel and the US did assist jihadists in the region, either inadvertently, or deliberately. We all know the history of the conflict. An international team could be assembled that is unbiased and objective, but they would need to be given access to the site. I doubt Assad and Putin will give it to them, further convincing the rest of the world that they were the perpetrators. Within 24 hours, the US is likely to take out the entire Syrian air force, and casualties will be heavy. Does Iran really want to be involved in this? Does Iran want to be treated like North Korea--a pariah state? You can complain that this isn't fair, and that people don't understand the situation, but this is the political reality.
  10. Well some kind of investigation needs to be done: the rest of the world isn't simply going to take Assad's (or Putin's) word for it that they had nothing to do with the attack. The CW attack could have been engineered by Israel, who wants to formalize its occupation of the Golan Heights in order to drill for oil there, among other things. But until we figure out what happened, we can't make any determinations --everyone looks guilty here.
  11. Russia just vetoed an independent UN investigation into the chemical weapons attack in Syria If Putin has nothing to hide, why do that? https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/russia-vetoes-resolution-syria-chemical-weapons-probe-180410193956669.html
  12. I don't think Assad launched the CW attack. It makes no sense for him to do it. The possibilities include 1. The rebels staging the attack to force US and UN involvement in Syria 2. Israel engineering the attack in an effort to get the US to remove Assad 3. Putin ordering the attack through his proxies to force a US response in order to convince countries in the region that they need "Russian Protection"
  13. BOTH America AND Russia want to control major areas of the Middle-East Don't trade the devil you know with the devil you don't know. Putin's efforts against the Jihadists are simply to keep them away from his naval base in Syria --he doesn't care about what happens to the victims of ISIS. He might be concerned if fundamentalist violence were to spill over into Russia, but that is about it. He isn't some kind of ally, and he isn't reliable.
  14. So Putin's propaganda machine has reached into some far corners I see .... The only thing sensible about Putin is his policy of putting his own interests ahead of everyone else. When he poisoned those guys, he did it in such a way as to make sure everyone understood he was behind it. Street criminals don't run around with Polonium or Russian-created nerve toxins. He was sending a message.
  15. Here is another theory: Vladimir Putin wants to take control of major portions of the Middle-East, as this is part of a larger, expansionist policy that Russia has been following (the Urkraine for instance) When the US attacks ME countries with missiles, drones, or even ground troops, it convinces those countries that Russia's help is needed to protect them. In the case of Syria, Putin could very well have ordered the CW attack in an effort to invoke an American response. Assad and Iran then become convinced that having tens of thousands of Russian troops in the region is necessary to hold back "American aggression". It also forces Iran into making large concessions on trade to Russia, cooperating with that country on foreign policy matters, etc. This is Putin's long game: after Syria and Iran become virtual puppet states of Russia, he then rolls the tanks into those nations. The US won't respond, because Iran and Syria are technically "enemies" of the west (propaganda). The UN will protest, but no action will be taken, and the Iranian people will then have to live under the boot of a violent, expansionist, nuclear power. Russia will corner the world's oil market, gain permanent access to ports in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea. One thing is pretty clear. Assad didn't know about this CW attack --but Putin isn't asking Assad for permission to do anything. Iran is working with a guy who is literally the Devil (engages in terrorism abroad by poisoning people with nerve gas and Polonium, invades his neighbors, throws political dissidents into prison, makes people vanish ...), and it will suffer the same fate that Austria and Hungary did in WWII -annexation by force.