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Syrian Christians were Quietly Warned Before the War

Syrian Christians were Quietly Warned Before the War

Years ago I wrote about my first encounter with Syria as a young twenty-something year old fresh out of active duty service in the Marines: "My first visit to the region while desiring to study Arabic in 2004, just after completion of active duty service, and while still on the inactive reserve list, began a process of undoing every assumption I’d ever imbibed concerning Middle East culture, politics, and conflict." I introduced in that fairly widely-read essay with the provocative title, A Marine in Syria, "An initial visit to Syria from Lebanon was the start of something that my Marine...

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Danny Makki to the ‘Dark Side’? Joins Charles Lister At Middle East Institute

Danny Makki to the ‘Dark Side’? Joins Charles Lister At Middle East Institute

Sun Tzu, or if you prefer Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather” gave the wise advice: Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. There's much more going on under the surface than meets the eye regarding Danny Makki's joining the Middle East Institute's Syria Program as a non-resident fellow. Of course, the pro-Syria crowd along with independent journalists piled on in response to Danny's very unexpected announcement on Wednesday, "Delighted to be joining @MEI_Syria as a non-resident scholar, look forward to covering Syria in-depth and working with some great talent."...

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‘Special Powers, Government Powers’: British Man Told He Can’t Be In His Own Yard

‘Special Powers, Government Powers’: British Man Told He Can’t Be In His Own Yard

When UK police enact restrictions they (perhaps predictably) go insane. Watch this encounter where a man in his own garden is told to get indoors or "the coronavirus will get you!" At one point the officer even begins dictating how many times the man is able to go to the local grocery store. "I saw you carrying two bottles of pop earlier." https://twitter.com/silkiecarlo/status/1248338348739104768 Just maddening. Of course the state never "apologizes". Since the UK went on lockdown there's been endless examples of such outlandish abuses.

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Bernie on Russian Interference: “I’ve seen some of their Tweets and stuff”

Bernie on Russian Interference: “I’ve seen some of their Tweets and stuff”

Bernie was put in an awkward spot. As Consortium News put it: Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, “Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me,” he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin. He won the Nevada Caucuses despite what was a well-timed and carefully calibrated last minute smear from the classic "it's all Russian influence!" fall back position of mindless establishment hacks who long ago gave up on coming up with anything original (yeah it goes back to 1954). But in a...

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As If US Efforts In Venezuela Weren’t Shady Enough, Enter Erik Prince

As If US Efforts In Venezuela Weren’t Shady Enough, Enter Erik Prince

Enter the prince of shady black ops for the highest bidder, per Bloomberg: "Erik Prince, a private security mogul with ties to the Trump administration, held secret talks in Caracas last month with Venezuela’s vice president after briefing at least one senior U.S. official on his plans, according to people familiar with the situation." He met with Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, Maduro's outspoken number two, and who happens to be a sanctioned individual. It appears a weird Trump admin "back-channel" situation of sorts, perhaps realizing the campaign to foist Juan Guaido on the population...

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Boomer Whips Out iPad At White House, Things ‘Took A Dark Turn’

Boomer Whips Out iPad At White House, Things ‘Took A Dark Turn’

Erdogan says he taught his foremost Republican Congressional critic Lindsey Graham "a lesson" during yesterday's closed door meeting hosted by Trump in the Oval, which involved the somewhat unprecedented scene of five Republican senators and Turkey's president squaring off. Things "took a dark turn" when Erdogan upended the meeting by whipping out his iPad, in a 'let me show you something on my tablet' moment, or just about the most boomer thing ever. As Axios reports: "An Oval Office meeting yesterday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a dark turn when Erdoğan pulled out his...

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Three Deep State Confessions On Syria

Three Deep State Confessions On Syria

First, all the way back in 2005 — more than a half decade before the war began — CNN's Christiane Amanpour told Assad to his face that regime change is coming. Thankfully this was in a televised and archived interview, now for posterity to behold. Amanpour, it must be remembered, was married to former US Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin (until 2018), who further advised both President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. https://twitter.com/IntheNow_tweet/status/1190327643951886338 Next, a surprisingly blunt assessment of where Washington currently stands after eight...

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Don’t Mind Us, ‘We’re Just Patrolling Around’

Don’t Mind Us, ‘We’re Just Patrolling Around’

"We are just patrolling around," a US special forces commander said to regional media in a rare interview from the ground in northeast Syria. And where is this "ground"?... Syria's oil fields of course! Years or decades from now, long after the hoped for final close of the tragic eight-year long Syrian war, these will be the images the world remembers as the true American legacy in Syria and the broader Middle East. https://twitter.com/vvanwilgenburg/status/1191296869592453120 Some astounding confessions and commentary from CNN this weekend: "Our professional military officers and diplomats...

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