This blog initially set out to focus primarily on Islam and the Islamisation of the UK. However, since that time the subjects covered have broadened. They now include (amongst other things): IQ tests, Jean Baudrillard, global warming, sociobiology, Marxism, Trotskyism, David Cameron, Foucault, Nazism, Ralph Miliband, economics, statistics and so on. - Paul Austin Murphy
I've had articles published in The Conservative Online, American Thinker, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc... (Paul Austin Murphy's Philosophy can be found here.)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Why Syria? Why Gaza?

It's just been made public that various leaders in the UK drew up plans to equip and train a force of up to 100,000 “rebels” to fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

It was primarily General Sir David Richards' idea and it was first suggested in 2012. The plan even included a “shock and awe” operation similar to the one against the Iraqi army in 2003.

It has also been reported that the military plan was even considered by Prime Minister David Cameron and the National Security Council. “Officials” in Washington were also in on the plan. However, all these institutions and individuals deemed it to be too “radical” (or too “risky”).

Interestingly enough, though, only a week or so ago Barack Obama was demanding $500 million to train and fund the Free Syrian Army and other groups.

Unintended Consequences

Military interventions often make things worse (as can be said about the intervention in Iraq in 2003).

As Professor Michael Clarke, of the Royal United Services Institute, put it:

"There are no good options over Syria. It is a slow-motion road accident."

In other words, there's no way of predicting all the “unintended consequences” of military intervention simply because there are just so many variables involved. However, there are some unintended consequences which are predicted: it's just that they aren't intended. In other words, these predicted - though unintended - consequences are simply deemed to be the unfortunate by-products of military intervention; though they are still viewed as being politically acceptable.

In addition, when you make the losers the winners (such as the Sunnis in Syria or, previously, the Shia in Iraq), then at the same time you'll be making the winners the losers (such as the Shia/Alawites in Syria, or, previously, the Sunnis in Iraq).

Despite all that, the people directly involved in conflicts are desperate for help; and understandably so. Indeed some peoples - or at least their leaders - who otherwise hated the West (or America) have sometimes come to beg for its help.

Monzer Akbik, a spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, is directly involved in the conflict in Syria. He said:

"The international community did not intervene to prevent those crimes... [which]could have saved also a huge humanitarian catastrophe."

Has Monzer Akbik (as well as people like him) been active in campaigns for intervention in, say, Nigeria or the Congo? I doubt it. More relevantly, would Mr Akbik be in favour of action against an equally repressive Sunni regime or even against the (Sunni) jihadists of ISIS operating in Iraq and Syria itself? And historically, were the majority of Syrian Sunnis in favour of the intervention in Iraq to get rid of a Sunni leader – Saddam Hussein - who was far worse than Bashar Assad?

Why Syria and Not Nigeria or the Sudan?

So why Syria?

There have been very many equally bad - sometimes worse - conflicts in which Britain and America haven't - even for one moment - contemplated the possibility of military intervention.

Take the genocidal Islamic campaign in the Sudan between, roughly, 1991 and 2005 in which over one and a half million Christians and animists were killed by the regime in Khartoum and the jihadists of Janjaweed. Over two million people also died due to the resultant starvation caused by the conflict; and over four million people were displaced. In addition, Sudanese Muslims captured over 200,000 southern Sudanese and Nuba to use as slaves.

What about the 35,000 deaths as a result of Islamic terrorism in Pakistan between 2001 and 2011? (That 15,000 more deaths than those who have died as a result of “civil strife” in West Bank/Gaza between 1948 and 2014.) Should we also intervene in Pakistan – even if its President, Mamnoon Hussain, asked us to?

And finally: what about what's happening with Boko Haram in Nigeria or al-Shabab in Kenya at the moment?

It's often said that “we can't intervene everywhere” so we may as well intervene in the case of X or Y. Yes it's true that we can't intervene everywhere. Yet that statement only raises exactly the same question: Why Syria?

It can also be said that there are aspects of the conflict in Syria which weren't the case in the Sudan and which aren't the case in Nigeria. Then again, we can say that there are aspects of the case in Nigeria/Congo/Sudan/etc. that aren't the case in Syria. In other words, do those differences really make a difference? For example, it can be said that many Syrians are calling for intervention. Yes; though many Syrians – e.g., Shia, Christians, etc. - aren't.

The many calls for intervention in Syria are partly a consequence of the fact that Sunni Muslims in the West, as well as Syrian exiles, are very good lobbyists. They are better than, say, Sudanese/Nigerian Christians or the Thai Buddhist victims of the jihadists.

Another relevant factor is that there are between three and five million Muslims in the UK: 90% of whom are Sunnis. And, of course, it is the Sunnis of Syria who are the victims of the Bashar Assad's Shia (Alawite) regime.

More Bad News in Gaza

Think also of the obsessive attention to detail we find in the case of almost every Israeli action against the Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza. There are far worse conflicts throughout the world.

As I said about intervention in Syria, it's often said – mainly by Western Leftists - that “we can't focus on all conflicts” so we may as well focus on Israel and the West Bank/Gaza. It's true that we can't focus on all conflicts. Yet that statement only raises the exact same question again: Why focus on what's happening in Gaza and the West Bank and not on, say, Pakistan or southern Thailand?

Here again it's not the intensity of the conflict or the scale of the suffering that's the primary reason for the obsessional scrutiny of - or the monomania about – the West Bank and Gaza.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict has been one of the least bloodthirsty of all 20th and 21st century conflicts with a maximum of 15,000 deaths (1948-2009) due to “civil strife”; which, importantly, also includes much Palestinian-on-Palestinian violence. Yet the fact is that more people have died (up to 120,000!) in what are called the Mexican Drug Wars than in the entire Israel-Palestinian conflict: and in far fewer years. (These Mexican drug wars are largely ignored by much of the European media; unlike what's happening in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.)

All this is also because there are far more American and European journalists in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza than in any other country outside Europe and America. (Though this too is partly a result of ideological/political bias.) On the other hand, other journalists (the non-Leftist ones) have called the Muslim and Arab world – outside Gaza and the West Bank! - “the arc of silence”.

So now let's put the cards on the table.

National Socialists (Nazis) show their very deep, sincere and profound sympathy for (brown) Palestinians because they are being "oppressed" (in their eyes) by evil Jews and also by a "capitalist pseudo-democracy" (Israel). 

International Socialists (Leftists/"progressives") show their eternal and monomaniacal sympathy for the Palestinians because they are being "oppressed", in their eyes, by... well, evil Jews and also by a "capitalist pseudo-democracy".


So it's frequently the case that the decision to intervene in a foreign conflict isn't determined by the number of deaths or the severity of the conflict.

Similarly, it's often political and/or ideological bias that determines which political events become big news stories and which ones are largely ignored.

This isn't to say that political bias is necessarily wrong or even that it's something that can be overcome. How can it be? My writing on this very subject displays my own political bias. Indeed when someone says that Journalist X or Politician Y is “politically biased” that doesn't automatically mean that what this politician or journalist says is false or wrong. 

All that's being said here is that political and ideological bias exists and it is that bias which largely accounts for where we militarily intervene. Similarly, political and ideological bias also largely – or sometimes only partly - explains why certain political events become major news stories whereas other equally – or more - serious political events do not. 


Notes on American Thinker Comments

1) "Close to 130,000 have died in Syria in just a few years, the slaughter of Christians continues in Islamic African nations and the ethnic-cleansing of Christians in Middle East countries has finally been noticed by Prince Charles and Tony Blair. Still Gaza is the big news item and only when Israel retaliates. (The dozens to rockets launched this year prior to Israel's actions were never reported.)"

Virtually all the major - and even the minor - conflicts in the world in the late 20th and 21st centuries had a higher body count that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians: Algeria, the Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, the Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, west Africa, etc.

So you can only assume that the fixation is political/ideological (as well as racial) and not something to do with the severity of the conflict. And indeed it is.

Israel commits three sins: it's capitalist, it's a democracy and it's a state for Jews. Thus, even if only three Palestinians had died in the entire period, Leftists and Nazis would still obsess about Israel's "oppressive treatment of the Palestinians".

2) "Now that Egypt is fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, so should Israel in Gaza. I read today that Egypt is planning to import natural gas from Israel."

The leaders of Egypt have always had an ambivalent relationship to Israel. Even the nationalists, such as Nasser, felt the need to come out with much crude stuff about Israel and the Jews. On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, just like Hamas, has never had an ambivalent attitude to Israel - it must be destroyed. Not only destroyed as a state: every Jew must also be ethnically cleansed from this "Islamic land"; as every Jew has almost been ethnically cleansed from the entire Middle East (save 10,000 in Iran).

That's why the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egypt's Anwar Sadat - because of his overtures to Israel.

To put it in the words of Azzam Pasha of the Arab League:

"This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre..."

3) "The author is undoubtedly correct, but his explanation is incomplete - for it does not factor in deeper motives for intervention, not only in Syria but in the Ukraine, namely the competing western and eastern energy blocs vying for control of the enormously lucrative and strategically-important oil and natural gas trade in the region."

That's why I said it was "partly" a response to Syrian lobbyists (or however I phrased it).

What you say about oil is interesting.

The Left says "it's all about oil" (or global warming, etc.). In other words, it's all about Western capitalism.

But it's never all about X or Y.

Nonetheless, although Leftists provide a Marxist analysis of all conflicts in terms of, well, capitalism and it overseas adjuncts, I would never say that it's not about oil at all.

The Left's default position is to blame Boko Haram, Syria, Iraq... everything on Western capitalism. Without that fixation on evil Western capitalism and its adjuncts in the Arab and Third World, Leftists wouldn't know what to say. Their analyses of all these conflicts are reductionist and essentialist.

Still, it has something to do with oil - just not everything.

"The western bloc consists of the U.S., European Union/NATO, Israel, and the Sunni Muslim gulf oil states of the Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, etc.). The eastern or Russian-led alliance, on the other hand, consists principally of Russia, China, and the Shi'ite states of the Middle East such as Iran, Syria (and possibly Iraq)."

Yes, I can buy that... up to a point. Despite saying that, ideology, Islam, individuals, societies, etc. still run free from the power of these various oil lobbies - no matter how much money and power they have. Money and oil can't lead people along blindly. (Leftists are never led along, are they?)

Leftists, for example, said that the intervention in Afghanistan was all about an oil pipeline being built, I think, from Turkey to somewhere in one of the Muslim republics (or the other way around). The US and UK intervened in 2001. After 13 years, as far as I know, that pipeline still hasn't been built. In fact, because of the Taliban, the mountains, the tribal wars, etc., it was always a long shot that it would ever be built. Still, it gave Leftists the opportunity to construct a reductionist (Marxist) analysis of the conflict in Afghanistan.

"... George Soros and his kind (including Barack Obama) aren't interested in Syria or the Ukraine because they care about the plight of ordinary people in either place; they are there because they see a chance to make a great deal of money and expand their power. In the end, it always comes down to money and power. Cui bono - who benefits?"

No, it's never only about money and power. Not even with George Soros.
Your analysis completely goes against Obama's affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood and his possible Islamic beliefs. To you, it's all about money and power. Perhaps money and power are the means to bring about Obama's - and even Soros's - ideological dreams and fantasies.

That phrase, Cui bono, is something I read a lot in The Guardian or on Nazi websites. It's too conspiratorial for me. Sure, it has the advantage of simplifying things. Power, money and oil are indeed big players; though boiling the entire Obama phenomenon down to his love of power and money goes against what most people who post on here say about the President. To me it sounds like a Marxist analysis which completely discounts factors that aren't to do with economics and power (money).

As I said to FeralCat (below), I didn't say you are a Marxist. I said you offered a Marxist analysis of a very specific subject.

I can't see how my saying that you are offering a Marxist analysis (even if I'm wrong) is an ad hominem; especially since I explained my view. If I had accused you of being a Marxist (full stop), that would be an ad hominem.
You even quote what I said: "Marxist analysis which completely discounts factors that aren't to do with economics and power..." That is not an ad hominem. And I included other points in my initial comment. Now I may be wrong; but it wasn't an ad hominem.

"... Barack Obama... interested in Syria or the Ukraine because they care about the plight of ordinary people in either place; they are there because they see a chance to make a great deal of money and expand their power. In the end, it always comes down to money and power. Cui bono - who benefits?"

I can't fit all that together with your new comments about Obama being Muslim Brotherhood and being "driven ideologically".

How about a compromise? -

Mr X can be driven by power/money and by ideology/religion.

Indeed, as I said, sometimes power and money are but a means to further an ideology; or, in Obama's case, Sunni Islam (or the Muslim Brotherhood).

Think here of Maurice Strong, the warmist and self-described socialist who's also a multimillionaire businessman who has used his money and clout to further UN "globalism". He even helped found the UN's warmist apparatchiks the IPCC. In that respect, he's very much like George Soros.

Money/power and ideology (world socialism) go together in Maurice Strong's case.

Again, I didn't say he is a Marxist. I said he offered a Marxist analysis. There's a difference.

People on the Right are often spotting other conservatives/right-wingers offering Marxist analyses without thereby classing them as "Marxists". You can use specific Marxist analyses without being an outright Marxist.

The problem is, if you boil everything down to economics (or oil), and discount the independence of ideology, consciousness and, in some cases, religion, you can't get much more Marxist than that. It's called materialist reductionism.

Even some people in various Christian churches use Marxist analyses about, say, poverty, Israel and the Palestinians, why Hitler came to power (because of capitalism and with the "help of capitalists", etc.) and so on.

Taking in economics or (oil) etc. is fine, as long as people don't say "it's all about oil" or all about Western capitalism's global warming (e.g. Boko Haram), etc. When you reduce everything to capitalism, the greed of capitalists and various conspiracies between capitalists and political leaders, then you're offering a Marxist analysis.

There are conspiracies, sure, and there is capitalism, it's just that the Marxist picture is simplistic and quite deliberately so. Only simple (reductionist) pictures will fire "the people" up to embrace the revolution... or so Marxist activists have it.

4) When I said "without that fixation on evil capitalism and its evil adjuncts in the Arab and Third World", I wasn't telling people what I thought, I was saying that this is what many most Leftists think.

There is no Western imperialism and certainly no colonialism - in the 19th century senses - in the Arab world or anywhere else today.

Most of the Left base what they think about this on a book written by Lenin in 1917. That Leninist vision might have been updated a bit; though it's still at the heart of the Left's anachronous views about "Western imperialism" or "Western colonialism".

For example, the Israel-obsessives of the Left say that the Jews were "colonialists" in Palestine (before the state of Israel was created) even though they never exploited the Palestinians (in factories, farms or anywhere else), they improved the lives of Palestinians (by harnessing the land through irrigation, etc.), they often employed them as equals; and they worked the land themselves. In fact the lives of Palestinians improved dramatically from the 1920s - or before - onwards as a result of Jewish know-how. (The Arab population grew dramatically too, and Palestinians began to live longer as a result of "Jewish colonialism".)

As usual, Leftists/Marxists are fixated on theories (about "imperialism" and "colonialism") and they make damn sure that reality, or the facts, fit their theories rather than the other way around.

5) "The UK military Chief was most likely told to put a contingency plan together as to how many men this 'rebel' army would need to have , in order to depose Assad. He himself might not agree with it .We can't presume he did/ would have .It is his job to obey The PM & Cabinet."

Actually, I think it was the other way around. It was almost exclusively - from what I've read - the General's idea and Cameron and co. rejected it.

All I can say that General Sir David Richards may be brilliant at his job - military strategy; though I bet he has almost no idea about Sunni-Shia history or the fact that the Sunni "rebels" are overwhelmingly led by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, I bet he knows next to nothing about the war between the Syrian Baathist regime and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood proceeded the "civil war" (which began in 2011) by some 60 years. In other words, in a sense the civil war didn't begin in 2011 - it began in the 1940s or even before.

Added to that it can be said that the overall Sunni-Shia civil war began in 656AD.

However, I wouldn't say that I know that the General has little knowledge about these things. It's just a bet.

When I read and hear military men talking about these conflicts; they rarely mention the ideologies or beliefs of the people involved. That's not what they are trained to study.

And even if the General were an expert on Shia-Sunni history, that knowledge wouldn't be paid attention to by UK's political leaders. In other words, it wouldn't go down well in the Foreign Office, or wherever, if he stressed the Islamic and historical nature of the conflict in Syria. Then again, I don't know what he knows. But I'm pretty sure about what he can and can't say to David Cameron and other leaders.

This is not to say that our military leaders are uninformed. It's just to say that our military leaders are military leaders.

Our political leaders, instead, think - or pretend to think - in terms of goodies and baddies when all the while they may be thinking about "energy imports" and oil.

Then again, if it's all about oil, perhaps we should invade Saudi Arabia and take it over... seriously. Of course the backlash would be massive. But the backlash to the intervention in Iraq was massive too.

If we took over Saudi Arabia, so many problems would be solved... and many other problems created. However, the problems solved would far surpass the problems created.

6) "The author first asks: why Syria and not Sudan or Nigeria?"

That's a question I would ask the US and UK governments. I know that all of us have our own ideas as to why Syria was chosen and, say, Nigeria, etc. have been ignored.

The point is that talk about oil, etc. is not the reason our leaders give, of course. They talk about "humanitarian catastrophes" and the like. Yet on that reasoning we should be intervening all over the place; which we don't. (Think of various conflicts in Congo, in which literally millions have died.)

However, I don't think it's all about oil either. How could it be when there are so many players involved?

For example, how can we square the common view (on American Thinker) that Obama is intent in destroying the US economy, and even the US itself, with the idea that he's prepared to fight wars, or arm Sunni Islamists, in order to secure oil... for an America which he hates?

Unless it's all about Obama simply gaining more power and money. And I don't entirely accept that either.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Barack Obama's Good & Bad Islamists


Senior American politicians (such as the Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio) have just asked Barack Obama to provide Syria's opposition with more money and help. More specifically, they have demanded that the US Congress approve $500 million to train and equip what they call “moderate Syrian rebels”

It's strange that on the one hand America may well be taking military action against Iraq's Sunni Islamists (ISIS); and yet on the other hand it's funding - to the hilt - Sunni Islamists (the Free Syrian Army, etc.) in Syria.

Then again, the UK and US supported Islamists in Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood) at the same time as fighting against them in other parts of the world (e.g., in west Africa, etc.).

Yes, it's easy to acknowledge that there is indeed a difference between Islamists (such as the members of the Muslim Brotherhood) and hardcore jihadists (such as ISIS and al-Qaeda). However, an argument can be advanced that Islamists are in fact far more dangerous to the West - in the long run - than honest jihadists. (It mustn't be forgotten that the Muslim Brotherhood motto includes these words: “Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!”.) After all, the Muslim Brotherhood had power in Egypt (if only for a short while). It has even managed to firmly embed itself in American politics and civil life. (To a lesser extent, the Muslim Council of Britain has also done this the UK.) In other words, whereas ISIS and other jihadists control fighting forces of up to 15,000 young men, Islamists influence and even control (at least to some extent) nation states across the globe (e.g., the US, UK, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, the Sudan, Jordan, Libya, Iraq, the West Bank, Gaza, Kuwait, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia, Indonesia and so on).

So how does Barack Obama know that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), for example, is “moderate”? How did he know that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - prior to 2011 - was moderate? Simply because they told him that they are? Either that, or Obama had a prior sympathy and predilection for the Muslim Brotherhood. (Many sources and much evidence says this is in fact the case.)

The Syrian Sunnis have done a lot canvassing and lobbying in America and they've sold themselves as moderates. Yet actually being moderate and and only selling yourself as being moderate are two different things. (Look at the
Muslim Council of Britain (also Muslim Brotherhood) as proof of that.)

And even if these Sunni “fighters” in Syria were moderate:

i) Is there enough of them to win-out against the tens of thousands of home-grown and foreign jihadists Syria?
ii) How does Obama know the moderates won't be overrun by the jihadists in the (near) future?
iii) How does he know they won't join sides with jihadists in the future? (In fact this has already happened in many instances.)

Again, even if these Obama-friendly Sunni fighters are indeed moderate: that just means
moderate-when-compared-to-the-jihadists. It doesn't mean they believe in Western-style democracy or rights for Syria's Christians, Shia, etc. Many of the so-called moderates believe in sharia law and the Islamisation of Syrian society. In other words, all they've done is put on a nice show – with their suits, ties and trimmed beards (just like CAIR!) - when they've visited Washington and dined with various American leaders.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army

The main reason why Barack Obama supports the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is that it's primarily a Muslim Brotherhood organisation. More specifically, two-thirds of those elected to its new command (as of 2012) were members of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood.

And as just about everyone knows, Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood. He does so because he deems it to be a moderate movement (at least officially). Thus it follows that Obama will see the Free Syrian Army as a moderate force too.

Historically there has been a long war between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and Syrian Baathists dating back to 1940. Moreover, Bashar Assad continued that war after his father, Hafez Assad, had passed it onto him in 2000. (Take the single case of the 1982 'Hama massacre'; in which between 10,000 and 40,000 people were killed.)

When/if the the Syrian Free Army  (therefore the Muslim Brotherhood)  gains power, Syria will become a fighting front against Israel and a launching pad for Hamas (another Muslim Brotherhood organisation). Thus a Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni) Syria may well become far more dangerous to Israel and other countries than Bashar Assad's Syria.

All this must surely mean that the genuine moderates won't win-out in the end. They will either be destroyed/taken over by the jihadists and Islamists; or they will simply go over to them when push comes to shove.

Thus Syria is highly unlikely to be become a pro-Western democracy in the near future. So, in the end, it doesn't matter if two or three members of the FSA are "nice" and believe in progressive lesbian collectives. We must look at all this historically.

In purely military terms, The FSA has around 40,000 fighters. One of its main rivals, the Islamic Front, has 45,000 fighters. And that's only one of FSA's many rivals. Other rivals – or enemies - include ISIS (between 5,000 and 22,000 fighters), the Al Nusra From (15,000 fighters), etc. In fact there are another three Islamic groups (largely unknown in the West) which, between them, have 43,000 fighters. So clearly the FSA is fantastically outnumbered by the other Islamist and jihadist groups fighting in Syria.

And all that's forgetting the 178,000 fighters of Bashar Assad's Syrian Armed Forces; as well as the 60,000 men of his National Defence Force. That means that Assad has 238,000 fighters against the 150,000 or so Islamic fighters of the various Sunni factions. In addition, those 150,000 Islamic fighters are not (on the whole) coordinated; whereas Assad's 238,000 men (on the whole) are.

The Reform Party of Syria (RPS)

In a sense, there are so many “opposition groups” and rival factions in Syria that my focus on the Reform Party of Syria (RPS) may seem a little odd. Nonetheless, as we shall see, the RPS has the ears and finances of many bigwigs in Washington and beyond. Despite that, the RPS now seems to be more or less defunct. 

Primarily, the RSP is a American lobby group. This means that the RPS is really just like CAIR. (A lobby group which has become deeply embedded in American politics: from Washington and the universities all the way to the interfaith circuit and even the US army.)

So what's happening here (with the RPS) is the same as what happened when Washington literally flew in a Shia elite of American lobbyists into Iraq in 2003. Indeed the leader of RPS, Farid (or 'Frank') al-Ghadry can hardly be said to be Syrian at all. (He's been a US citizen since 1975.) The same was true of the Iraqi exile, Ahmad Chalabi, when he was flown into Iraq in 2003. People like Chalabi were mainly Americans/Westerners and, consequently, they were all destroyed – by their fellow Iraqis - within two years (by the 2005 election).

In any case, Frank Ghadry and the RPS have also been classed as "neo-cons" by their enemies and even by some of their friends. Ghadry has also said positive things about Israel; which always goes down like a lead balloon in the Arab world. Thus Ghadry and his outfit wouldn't stand a chance of gaining power in Syria. That's unless the US invaded and put him in power. And then guess what would happen. Yes, it would be Iraq all over again.

Notes on American Thinker Comments

1) I used to be highly suspicious of the "destruction from within" (by Leftists/progressives) idea and thought it somewhat conspiratorial. Nonetheless, now Leftists/progressives constitute the "ruling hegemony" and have done since at least the 1960s. (The "ruling hegemony" was how Leftists once critically and negatively described all the regimes and cultures they didn't, as yet, control.) I'm not saying Leftists control everywhere and everything; just enough to qualify for that Gramscian and Frankfurt School label: the "ruling hegemony".

So bearing in mind Obama's strong attachment to former revolutionary Leftist terrorists (such as the former Weatherman); his support of the Muslim Brotherhood; his fostering of mass disruptive immigration and destruction of the economy; then.....

After all, many revolutionary Leftists gave up on the revolution as long ago as the 1920s - some even before that. They still believe in the Sorelian myth of revolution; though since they've already "taken over the institutions", there's no real need for one anymore. The revolution, like many others, has actually been non-violent (though destructive).

Sure, they have come to live with capitalism at the economic level; though at the cultural and institutional level, Leftists largely have what they want. And indeed if they have the culture and the institutions, then they can still work towards destroying capitalism from within: as with global-warming activists (the new "anti-capitalist" kids on the block), the overloading of the economic system through mass immigration; destabilisation and "radicalisation" through Islamisation and immigration, etc.

2) I'm not a hard-core isolationist. However, I'm most certainly not a "neo-con". Or, more correctly, the neo-con dream of an Americanised Middle East, and Muslim world generally, must be one of the greatest feats of self-deception ever known. That's if it is really all about self-deception. Perhaps other things are involved: a lot of rich, powerful and privileged egotists wanting to flex their geopolitical muscles and go down in history as Great Statesmen.

With Ahmad Chalabi in Iraq/America, and 'Frank' Ghadry of the Reform Party of Syria (which now seems to be dead) in Syria/America, I think is was more about elites of one country getting on very well - thank you - with the elites of another country. A lot of business-dealing was involved too. (In that sense, the Leftists were right.) Indeed most of these "exiles" were more American (by definition) than Iraqi/Syrian - and that's why they never had a chance and never will have a chance.

With the Free Syrian Army, unlike the Syrian Reform Party, it's more about CAIR-like lobbying (in America) than business-dealing and neo-connery.

3) Even though Obama and the Democrat neo-cons (that's not a typo) like to kid themselves that the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate (therefore the Free Syrian Army is moderate), they can hardly carry out the miracle of also believing that these Sunni Islamists aren't, well, Islamic.

The Muslim Brotherhood of Syria has been in a religious war with the Shia/Alawite regime in Syria for decades. And that same Muslim Brotherhood, from Egypt to Jordan, has made anti-Shia statements that even make some of the stuff that ISIS and Saudi Arabia have said (about Shia Muslims) seem like tender-hearted interfaith stuff.

A (Sunni) Muslim Brotherhood Syria will be a base for Hamas against Israel and also a base for the continuing operations of the on-going Shia-Sunni war. (I say that knowing about Syria's support for Hezbollah, the conflicts over the Golan Heights, Iran, etc.)

Ironically, the closest Syria has come to being Western and democratic is the Bashar Assad regime. If the Sunnis take over, things will only get worse. That's my bet anyway. Sure, they'll get better for the Sunnis of the Middle East - but that will be bad news for everyone else: including the Christians and Shia of Syria.