Facing Calls for Diplomacy, Many Syrian Rebels Reject Talks With Assad Regime

I wish the fighters in Syria well, fighting against a totalitarian regime, backed by a totalitarian regime is no easy task. Hopefully their continued resistance will gain some traction and they’ll get a victory and a chance at a democratic society, without interference from radical Sunni groups or Tehran.

World

Just back from the front, where he watched his rebel-commander father die in a rocket attack launched by the Syrian army, Berri al-Hamad stalks the worn carpet of his family’s temporary refuge in Lebanon, swearing vengeance. His head wrapped in his father’s beanie, knitted by his grandmother with the red stars and black-and-green stripes of the revolutionary Syrian flag, Berri aims an imaginary AK-47. “Oh, Bashar,” he growls at his distant enemy, Syrian President Bashar Assad, “you killed my father. I will not rest until you are dead. I will kill every one of your soldiers with my gun.”

Berri is 4 years old. His is not the uncomprehending bravado of a toddler mimicking violent cartoons — he was the first to kiss his father’s bloodied face when fellow fighters pulled the body of Hassan al-Hamad out of the shattered remains of the ad hoc ambulance he had been driving…

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UNGA Time

Well, here we are.

It’s time for the General Assembly and to see what our favorite Mullahs have to say about the State of U.S. Iranian relations.  We’re not going to go into too much detail, because there are far better sources out there.  Please read these if you have the time, and remember, be on guard for the lies we’re about to deal with.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/opinion/short-of-a-deal-containing-iran-is-the-best-option.html?ref=opinion-New York Times op-ed by Brookings Institution Scholar Kenneth Pollack

 

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/Outside-View/2013/09/23/Outside-View-Fallacy-of-a-moderate-mullah/UPI-64851379909160/-UPI post by George Mason Professor Ramesh Sepherrad.

To Detente or to Not?

To Detente or to Not?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took a page out of President Vladimir Putin’s book yesterday and ran an op-ed in the Washington Post.  Now while we think op-eds are a great way to get press, and to reach out to people, there are a couple of issues with this, namely it’s written by the wrong guy.

As we all know, there’s only one Supreme Leader in Iran, and that’s the Ayatollah.

When Khameini decides to write an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal to round out the whole trifecta of East Coast newspaper giants, we’ll pay attention.  Heck, we’ll buy an armload and distribute them so people can hear the good word, but until that happens I’m not believing anything that Rouhani says, because he’s not the one in charge.

 

Well This Must Be Awkward

Nieuwsuur, a Dutch news agency, recently broke a huge story given to them by members of the Free Syrian Army.  Why was the story so important?  Mainly because it was footage that captured Iranian Revolutionary Guard soldiers on the ground fighting with Assad’s militiamen and soldiers….

It doesn’t get better than this.

The footage, viewed here (via the New York Times) shows an interview with an IRGC commander about the war in Syria, why he believes it’s a holy war, the casual racism of his soldiers, and his belief that all non believers are evil in this war.  Considering that Assad’s forces keep claiming to be the ones protecting the religious minorities in the contry, I think that’s a pretty far stretch to assume that he’s just talking about the rebels.  

Now according to the Iranians, these soldiers are only there to train Syrian militia forces, provide logistical support, and help rebuild areas affected by the war, sounds innocent enough.  But the videos show IRGC forces armed for bear and going out on patrol with Syrian militiamen and soldiers, one of the videos actually shows the IRGC in a firefight with the rebels.  

So for all of the talk regarding peaceful use of military force in the region it turns out Tehran lied, and its soldiers are directly involved in the fighting in Syria.  However, we here at TMP were already kind of guessing that more was going on.  There was one thing that struck us here though, a side comment made by an IRGC soldier while driving through a once abandoned town.  

Soldier one: “When we came there was no human being, the town was deserted”

Soldier two: (interrupting) “There are still no human being here, only Arabs”

Good luck Syria, some of your saviors appear to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Following the Situation in Iraq

We understand that Syria is getting a ton of attention right now, with Putin’s op-ed today, a possible solution to the chemical weapons issue, and that the U.S. is now arming the Syrian rebels.  That’s more than enough to concern Middle Eastern talking heads for quite some time, so we’re not going to talk about that today.  Instead we’re going back to a post we wrote a while back regarding the massacre at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.  If you’ve followed that bit of news, you know that unarmed Iranian dissidents were executed most likely by forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  52 men and women died in a smaller, but no less horrible atrocity, but unfortunately the story doesn’t end there.

In fact it looks like it has just begun.

According to news sources, 7 survivors of the massacre are being held in Iraqi custody, with a good chance that Maliki will turn them over to the Iranian government for punishment.

Imagine surviving one horror, only to have another one dropped in your lap.

Luckily word has gotten out to several human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, who have started a campaign to save the hostages.  They need help, so if you want to try to help save some people from suffering an awful end at the hands of the Mullahs, do your best to give a hand.

We wish the best of luck to those in danger, all over the region.

Well…

We’re pretty sure most of those interested in IR and Middle Eastern issues have heard that today President Obama has decided to loosen sanctions on Iran.  Now some think this is great, that some good ol’ fashioned detente will ensue, people will hug it out, and Iran will no longer be a threat to the stability of such a troubled region.

Well good on you!

Now since we write for a site called “The Mullah Problem” we’re more than a little doubtful that this will end up being the case.  Considering that Iran has a list of human rights violations longer than the Nile, funds extremist groups (look we’re being all political now!), and has blatantly called for the destruction of Western countries and individuals, we’re not convinced playing soccer against the Iranians will do much good.  Especially when you think about the strings they’re still pulling in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, and the innocent people who suffer for it.

Here’s hoping that someday Iranians can choose leaders not prepackaged by the Ayatollah and Guardian Council.

 

Fun Link Time!