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Report From The Syrian Front Lines

With Mike Pesca in for Tom Ashbrook

Reporter’s notebook from Syria. The stories you haven’t heard about this volatile country and region.

CBS News foreign correspondent Clariss Ward interviews rebel fighters in Syria, Feb. 2012.

CBS News foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward interviews rebel fighters in Syria, Feb. 2012.

Syria– friend of Iran, fomenter of malice; master of Lebanese puppets; conduit to Hezbollah, oppressor of its own. The government of Bashar Assad is on its heels, but can a rag tag group of dissidents and militants wriggle out from under from the heel of a vicious dictator, albeit one who received medical training from a top British university.

Syria is immolating; Syria is teetering;. The city of Homs is being shelled and bombarded continually. The whole world is watching, sure, but the whole world is also nervous.

This hour, On Point: Syria at a breaking point

-Mike Pesca


Clarissa Ward, a foreign correspondent for CBS News, she just returned from a reporting trip inside Syria.

From The Reading List

Here is a collection of stories that Ward reported recently from Syria:

CBS News “The Assad regime appears to be making a devastating push to crush the Syrian rebellion once and for all.”

CBS News “The Assad government has banned independent reporting within Syria But CBS News’ Clarissa Ward was able to sneak in and spend time with the rebels fighting to overthrow the regime.”

CBS News “CBS News correspondent slipped into Syria and found the rebels who are rising against the government ever defiant.”

Video: Clarissa Ward Reports From Syria

You can find one of Ward’s reports for the evening news in this clip.

Map: Syrian Unrest

Ward reported from the town of Idlib, in Northern Syria.

View map in a larger map

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  • aj

    ” Few spectacles have been more surreal than senior US officials – starting with the President, the Secretary of State and the US ambassador to the UN – solemnly lecturing Assad and his beleaguered Syrian government on the need to accommodate rebel forces whose GCC sponsors are intent on slaughtering the ruling Alawite minority or driving them into the sea.

    At one grimly hilarious moment last Friday, these worthy sermons were buttressed by a message from Ayman al-Zwahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, therefore presumably the number one target on President Obama’s hit list, similarly praising the ‘Lions of Syria’ for rising up against the Assad regime. Al-Qaeda and the White House in sync!

    The last time the United States faced serious internal dissent was in the 1960s and early 1970s, from war resisters and black and Native American movements. The government responded instantly with a methodical program of violent repression, including a well-documented agenda of assassination. ”

    -Alexander Cockburn
     February 17 2012

    • RolloMartins

      I will grant you this: America appears highly hypocritical in its pro-freedom stance, pushing for greater protests and democracy, while bludgeoning and pepper-spraying protesters at home.

      • aj

        Here, Here.

        And keep in my my good friend, though filled to the gill with Federal dollars, the municipal SWAT-esque para-militaries were ordered into action by primarily Democratic mayors.

        That’s Betrayal, where I come from.  Especially when we in the middle of a depression!!

        Did you hear about how many on the Force, Bloomberg sent to clear Liberty Square at 4 in the morning?!

        It was like 10 blocks deep of Pig wagons!

  • Anonymous

    Tom. If the definitive foundation of this show is P.R. statements by western government officials, that are simply repeated by news outlets, then the whole show is a waste of the listeners time and your time. 
    Just recently from Iraq, to what’s happening in and too Iran and on to Libya we know the truth is out there. Somewhere. It just does not seem to manifest itself from our government officials and the compliant press.                                   
     I would like to know at what level,if any, of any partnership we have with Al Qaeda. (see Libya as a recent example)  I would also like to hear solid questioning and answers as to how a destabilized Syria plays into any plans the U.S. and it’s allies have for Iran. 
    The situation in Syria is not happening in a glass bubble. I believe that what our government is trying to get out of this conflict has very little to do with it’s stated positions. 
    Please try to shed some light on this.

    • aj

      Madame,  I would like to associate myself in total, with your request. And to shadow your eloquent and succinct shot across the bow to Mr. Ashbrook, a decent “journalist” a midst a cess pool of diareah (a.k.a. the obscenely overpaid Mainstream Media -prime example Andrea Mitchell or Mrs. Greenspan-).

      Though I am in heart felt SOLIDARITY with the movement in the back alleys of Deraa, Homs, and Hama. 

      I even contemplated volunteering in the Free Syrian Army, the road to Damascus if you will. Willing to shed blood for the cause, but unwilling to endorse putting in motion the machinations of the Imperial Zionist Hegemonic Colussus.

      Following the giants Orwell and Hemingway and the example they set in 36′ along with the thousands who filled the ranks of the International Brigades. Relieving the Republican’s and their struggle against Franco, against Mussolini, against the Furher himself. 

      Men and women -not native Spaniards- but with full allegiance, and the first to oppose the bloody Fascists, long before Churchill’s phony war in 39′, De Gaulle’s Maginot line in 40′, Stalin’s garrisoning Moscow in 41′, and FDR’s devious and illegal covert Naval action in the Atlantic in early 41′. 

      Never forget!  It was the socialists and their International Brigade volunteers that shed the first blood, staring down the Third Reich and their Italian counterparts, 2 years before Crystal Nacht in 38′, and a full 6 years before Himmler put into motion the Final Solution in 42′. 

      It was the Left.

      In the words of a beloved comrade,
      ” Hasta la victoria siempre. ”
      -Ernesto “Che” Guevara

      • Anonymous


        • aj


          • Anonymous

            Good luck in your travels

      • Modavations

        Che was worse then the detestable Assad.

  • Cory, the Next Generation

    Why the intense interest in Syria from this program?  Syria is covered here at least weekly, and is often mentioned in the “week in review” show.  Lots of tragedy and conlict in the world, what is so fascinating about Syria?  We aren’t going to get too involved, and if Syrians overthrow their government, it will be years before we understand the outcome.  

    • aj

      Particularly so, considering this is the 1 year anniversary of U.S. backed AND supported bloody crackdown in a Pearl Square filled with beautiful Bahraini women and children, both sunni and shia arab.  Solidarity goes out to the Manama resistance! 

      • Cory, the Next Generation

        Why is this special?  Suffering and injustice all over the world.  Why this special emphasis on Syria?

    • Steve

      Iran and Russia

      • Cory, the Next Generation

        This is the best of the replies, but why is Syria geographically important relative to Russia and Iran?  No resources or pipeline routes I’m aware of…  We have other friends (Israel) and puppets (Iraq) in the area…  Why Syria?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Because I want to know what is going on in Libya.

      Because Syria is a vital country surrounding Israel.

      Because the Syrian President is More Brutal Done Kadafi.

      • Cory, the Next Generation

        Explain please why Syria is vital.

        • Ellen Dibble

          What I heard is that Syria gives Iran access to the Mediterranean.  Well, it gave American reporters a way into Iraq a while back, and I don’t know what that means for the country that controls the straits of Hormuz.  But I think a lot of this is Shiite spheres of influence versus Sunni.  There is a term tossed around by intellectuals about minority-ruled regimes in the Middle East, such as the Sunni Saddam Hussein in the majority Shiite Iraq, similar situation in Bahrain; similar situation in Syria, which is why the majority (sunni) in Syria pose a threat if the USA is setting up Iran as an evil empire, and this (Syria) is one of their dominos, so long as it is in the hands of the Assad family (shiite, I believe).

          • Cory, the Next Generation

            Thanks Ellen.  This is what I was looking for.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          Children are being killed. During the uprising in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Did you see any children getting killed almost everyday? Kadafi was brutal but he didn’t killed innocent men, women and children the majority of his the Libyan army were battling rebels but not killing children. Did you see how the Syrian tanks just fired at civilian houses. I watch the Libya uprising but I didn’t see alot of Libyans reporting that innocent children were getting butchered.

          • Cory, the Next Generation

            I respect your passion, but these things happen in so many countries.  We don’t involve ourselves in very many of them.

          • TomK in Boston

            I also find this a little curious. Our corporate media appear to be shocked that a government would use force to resist being overthrown. Isn’t that normal? When one of our pet dictators is challenged, we rush in to aid him. Why do we need to take sides in a civil war?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            So many other countries killing children. I wonder where? beside Syria.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The U.S., Russia, France, Great Britain, China, and other countries have satellites, drones, SR-71 Blackbirds, Aurora, and other means to verify the reports of Syrian government attacks on women, children, and other civillians, from day 1!

    • Cory, the Next Generation

      I’m not sure any of them really care about humanitarian disasters on their own.  They have to have other signifigance tied to the disaster, like resources or geopolitical positioning.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks, Cory!  That’s part of my point!

    • Modavations

      You said that verbatim a few days ago.Should I give this speel a Bleat #

  • Ellen Dibble

    Click on Mike Pesca (above, link, he’s covering for Tom Ashbrook) and think so he’s mainly a sports broadcaster.  Then consider one guest, Clarissa Ward, who, granted, has done some notable reporting from Syria.  She wasn’t saying, on CBS, that the city was Idlib, but I was speculating she was near Aleppo.  Now consider the import of their topic.  There is Iran — I heard somewhere on the media that this so-called modern country has enough radicals (or had) to deploy 100,000 on suicide mine-clearing missions in mined territory during the war with Iraq.  Perhaps I-phones have modernized Iranians, plus the switch of Iraq from a Sunni-governed state to one largely Shiite.  
       So, item A, Syria as a Sunni majority country (as I understand it) with the Assad government non-Sunni, supporting minorities like the Christians, and liable to be torn from the aegis of Iran, destabilizing the Persian sphere of influence.
       Then, item B, there is the  Israeli sense of being existentially threatened by Iran, wiped off the face of the earth in a preemptive threat, 200 nukes in arsenal of no use to them in such a small territory, and you’ve got a powder keg, given American understandings about standing behind Israel, no matter what Israel may do.  All of that sense of threat tied up with the balance of power.  (By the way if al-Zawahiri and Al-Quaida are beginning to take the side of democracy, offering supportive videos and guidance rather than explosions, what can I say?  Congratulations to them.) 
       The gears that are grinding in Syria go way beyond the view from one city, but certainly that’s part of it.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If someone wants to discuss sanctions here or another day, feel free.  It seems to me to squeeze the populace and more or less fuel the rebels’ fire –not just against the government but against the sanctioners.  Think of Iraq.  Compare the sanctions against Iran and Syria — I don’t know the answer.  But if Iran was imposing on us that we should not have any oil from them, I think we’d take that as a hostile act.  When we do the imposing, we expect them to learn to become more friendly and accommodating.  Syria, likewise, supposedly “diplomacy” constitutes making the people miserable and unruly (sanctions).  Sanctions can hit the children first, and result in ever more intransigent leadership.  (I’m thinking of North Korea now, but I don’t know what sanctions are in place there.)

  • Samer

    The case of Bashar Al-Assad is that of a good man who, for circumstances beyond his control, ran out of time trying to lead his country to a better place.  Under his 10 year rule prior to the current unrest, Bashar had lead the country to unprecedented level of economic prosperity, this in the face of a tremendous outside pressure imposed by powerful neocons such as the likes of Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton, who wanted nothing more than to destroy Syria.  In spite of all their effort Syria prospered and Bashar developed a high level of popularity among his people.  Then, came the Arabic Spring which started in a distant country (Tunisia).  This concept of uprising against “dictatorship” has captured the imagination of the uneducated and ill-informed people with false promises and misconceived visions of democracy, visions that ignore the essential democratic concept of respecting the wishes of the sizable number of fellow countrymen who still support Bashar but don’t take up arms in his support.  As a result Syria, like many of the other Arabic countries, is now destined to be ruled by islamist who will not only undo all the civil, social and economic progress that Bashar did but will also take the country back to the dark ages. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      What do you say Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Bolton did to exert “tremendous outside pressure… to destroy Syria”?  
          And also, where would that fit in the neocon agenda?  

    • aj

      He and his goons have no one to blame but themselves.  He could of began an electoral process after Mubarak syepped down, but what did he do instead?

      He legalized Facebook, at first people thought it was a goodwill gesture at reform, but it was a sick and twisted ploy to track down peaceful reformists like dogs, shove them in the trunk, and then drop their lifeless and tortured bodies off at their mothers front steps 2 weeks later.

      Talk about dark ages??

      Let’s not forget how this all started.  Deraa, Samer, Deraa.  The boy, Samer, the boy.  How old was he 10, 12 yrs olld maybe?  Slaughtered like a lamb, for doing nothing more than a little grafitti.

      And what did that grafitti on the side of a small school in the middle of nowhere say, Samer.

      It was no less than the very Mantra of his PEOPLE, Samer, The Arabs, Samer.  And while that scum Bashar has lived years off of proclaiming to be those same Arab’s protector of the RESISTANCE, the game is up now.  Your man is toast. 

      The minute that innocent boy from Deraa, turned up at his mothers house, swollen beyond recognition to his own MOTHER, Samer, is the moment the clock started ticking for that scum Assad and his whole bloody family!

    • Cory, the Next Generation

      It may be inflating the importance of Syria to suggest anyone in the US government was actively trying to destroy them.

    • MasterOfPuppets

      Interesting, however

      “This concept of uprising against “dictatorship” has captured the imagination of the uneducated and ill-informed people with false promises and misconceived visions of democracy,”

      That’s a dicey proposition, playing with freedom/dictatorship line. I hope we never give up our spirit of independence here under the guise of being too “uneducated and ill-informed for our own good”.

  • Ellen Dibble

    From BBC’s site (their radio program today put forth that there is no way for the international community to intervene with any success; and that Bashar Assad is not killing on a broad enough scale — very intentionally — to cross the red line):  (This quote is in re China’s response; Russian diplomats have also been to Syria): 

    “President Bashar al-Assad is pressing ahead with his plan to hold a referendum this Sunday on a new constitution for Syria.China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun held talks with Mr Assad in Damascus at the weekend and backed his plans for the referendum.”Mr Zhai called for all sides to end the violence immediately.”Opposition groups have called for a boycott of the referendum, saying it cannot be held while violence continues.”On Sunday, the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that the international community’s ability to prevent a civil war in Syria had been constrained by Russia and China vetoing the recent UN Security Council draft resolution.”

    Also: “Hadi Abdallah told the AFP news agency that residents of the suburb were living in cold and “unsustainable” conditions, and that they were “awaiting death”.”

  • Ellen Dibble

    History in my family:  brother-in-law’s grandmother was a Christian in Aleppo whose whole family, as Christians, was “put to the sword” — and so she fled to the USA (if I recall right), but I note Armenians have settled in Aleppo and that area, and reports seem to suggest minorities feel protected by the oppressive tactics of the regime.  And therefore any interethnic or inter-racial hostilities have been festering in Syria, “protected,” but likely to bubble up, the way these hostilities bubbled up in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, or the way things bubble up in Libya — there are no traditions or institutions for resolutions of differences, where the method has been to attack any differences as if “germs” were at play, as Clarissa Ward is quoting Bashar Assad’s TV speech from last summer.

  • Sam

    Not to take the focus away from whats going on in Syria, but is there a plan to discuss/bring focus on what is going on in the camps in Afghanistan? With children dying because of the cold?

    Where is red cross? Where is US army?
    Why can’t we just take some blankets and drop them off there?!

    I know it’s not “JUST” that simple, but why does it have to be more complicated than that?
    A pile of blankets can save some lives and it seems that there isn’t ANY initiative.

    Thank you

  • MasterOfPuppets

    Never could have expected?

    Seems like a naive foreign policy/outlook, given the historical realities of the region.

    How often do dictators who are sons of dictators work out?

    How can we legitimately be using the “who could have known” excuse again?

    We seem to be doing that alot lately.  Who are these foolish or naive “who’s” that never learn from history, from foreign policy to economic scandal.

    I find it hard to believe that we act or fail to act out of naivety in this day in age, and makes one wonder how much of these things are part of the “plan”.

    Otherwise, we need more sense of reality in our “leadership”.

    And of course the current conventional wisdom we are hearing here is, “we don’t need to worry about the islamic factor…”

  • Ellen Dibble

    The caller is talking about unintended circumstances. 
    Of what?  What’s on the table?
    Corridors of safety for those fleeing the Assad regime, maybe in Turkey.  
    Arming the rebels.  Well, China and Russia are arming the other side.  Why not engage the arms manufacturers and profit, let the aid organizations pay for it — I mean, this is probably going on anyway.
    Third — I think I had something else in mind.

  • BarbaraEvans

    Saturday:  Syrian Military fired upon thousands of people who were innocently gathered in a funural that was next to the Presinent place in the Capitol…meaning absolute massacre

    Then it turned out to be reportedly/allegedly one person has died.  Something is wrong here.  Who is behind this “regime change” crap.  Is this the first time we are seeing this?

    Question for the quest:  Is it true, at the beginnig of this armed/violent overthrow of government event … is it true that more than 150 goverment soldiers were ambushed and their heads were cut-off.

    Likewise… try showing your middle finger to a police officer and see what happens to you.

  • Sharlee Thomas

    The question is:  If Arabs kill each other, from Libya to Syria… is it a good thing for Tel-Aviv? 
    This show is brought to you by the War-Drums playing in Israel; and by Karen Shiffman and Charles Kravetz … just to show their loyalty to Tel-Aviv.

    • Ellen Dibble

      What do you mean?  If Arab and Persian countries are more democratic, regardless of neonate democracies, they are less susceptible to manipulation by the likes of the United States.  So Israel has opportunities as well as challenges, is the way I see it.  But I don’t see Syria being “destroyed,” any more than “Israel.”  There could be a nuclear flattening, but then the country would be uninhabitable, I suppose, for decades.  The destruction of Syria would surely mean emergence of something else.
          I don’t see Israel as fomenting Arab unrest; it destabilizes a very fragile balance.

      • Sharlee Thomas

        What Balance?  Would you move to West Bank and get yourself an Arabic name?

        What Balance?  Balance of Occupation?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      Israel doesn’t care if Syria blew up and erase from the map.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me the Syrians came to see their future as increasingly being a population being plundered (and oppressed) by the regime, son upon son, decade upon decade.  And I think once a population gets that impression, there is big trouble.  And there may be no going back.  (Some Americans may resonate to the idea that the plutocrats seem to be pulling all the strings, and for their own benefit.)

  • Ellen Dibble

    Did Clarissa Ward have interpreters from CBS?  “All the people I was traveling with,” she is saying, I suppose videographers, etc.  Also, what is it like as a woman in an Arab — in Syria?  I saw where she was in a bunch of fighters being shot at, and one was shot, retrieved, and soon died.  Whew, she didn’t happen to get hit.  But beyond that…

  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard the UN is ceasing to verify the death counts — I believe that was it — a couple of weeks ago.  Too dangerous. And so we hear such radically different reports.
        And no reports about the economy, the jobs, the currency, the food, the energy…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Where is Richard Holbrooke when we need him… (I’m thinking of Bosnia.)  The question is how can people talk talk talk.
     Sometimes the right people need to get together and talk, and try not to get too sick about the violence as they talk.

    • SharleeThomas


      You want Richard Halbrooke be involved in the Middle East policy.  One word: Wikipedia … find out which suburbs of Tel-Aviv his relatives are residing.

      You are way too naive to know the ethnic/religious reasons the cheer for the Cancer of the World, Israel.

  • Samer

    You are only takinging calls in support of the uprising.  Please take some calls that voice the otherside point of view.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    There is nothing strategic about Syria. China and Russia are always opposed to the United Nation sanctions whatever country is involved. China and Russia are just playing hard balls with the United Nation which is nothing new. I DONT EVEN GIVE A DAMN IF THEY FOR THE SANCTIONS OR NOT. I just want us to be involved.

    if you are asking repeatedly why Syria? Because if you watch every You Tube videos, News or social media. The Syrians who are reporting about the war in Homs ALWAYS MENTIONED CHILDREN.

    If you don’t see and hear those cries. There is something wrong with you. Stop pushing for any other reasons in your mind. I mean what is the first thing you think if you see 2 year old Syrian kid without eyes or limbs? Do you have to think about any other reason for the world to get involved with the war in Syria. The President of Syria is butchering everyone in Homs. 

    That is the Reason we are going in to save human lives especially Children.

  • Sharlee Thomas

    When you have Cancer and are also in a sinking ship in the Arctic, the only thing you concentrate on is the life jackets and freezing to death in a few hours.
    Since the Libya “regime change” has started (Egypt was unintentional), do you remember when we have talked about Israel’s (Cancer of the World) occupation of West Bank and Gaza- which have been under illegal occupation for 64 years.
    Arab counties are being destroyed one by one, and Ari Cohen in Israeli Army says: “Look Ma, I did not even have to fire a single bullet”.
    Get it, Ellen???

  • Moorebjb

    Please Tom take away this callow twit sitting in for you today – he’s not ready for prime time.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Mike Pesca is a sports commentator.  This is NOT  his normal assignment.

      • John

        We really need Tom back, or to have someone else fill in for him while he is out.  Mike’s great on his beat but this is way over his head.  His affectation smacks a bit of sensationalism, rather than that of balanced, thoughtful discourse.  I am very disappointed :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Israel hasn’t been attacking anyone for quite sometime now.

    Almost 5 years of peaceful Israel. except for Mossad who is doing the killing. 

    Why so oppose with Israel. Did the Jews supported Heroine production in Afghanistan that is destroying the Iran and other countries around the world. Is Israel supporting Hamas and Hezbollah? No!!!!

    How can Israel be the Cancer of the world when they are not the one who blew up the the Twin towers, who strapped themselves with bombs all over the world.

    • aj


      Stage 4 Cancer; Prognosis? likely fatal.  If you really want to know, just watch this 30 minute video. 

    • Modavations

      Fax,you don’t know that.The Iranians might “off”their own then point at Isreal and elicit world sympathy.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        I haven’t seen any report on tv or news of Israel attacking the Palestinian again.

        • aj

          Dear Fax,

          Here’s a small example of the terror unleashed on Palestinean Christian and Muslim Arab women and children on virtual daily basis.  All are in the past week.

          However, indigenous Arab blood must be worth less per kilo than European and American Jewish Colonists blood.  Because the Mainstream media (ex. Andrea Mitchell, Mrs. Greenspan) in the US. never mention’s it.

          Can someone say Genocide in slow motion?

          February 12

          A Palestinian man has been killed and four others have been wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip last night.

          Abdel Karim Zatuniya, an elderly security guard working at a barracks in the Zeitun area, south-east of Gaza city, was killed in the attack, the Agence France Presse reported. His adult son was also wounded.


          February 16, 2012

          Israel launched airstrikes on the northern and central Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday, injuring six people.


          February 19, 2012

          Four people have been injured in two Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

          In the early hours of Sunday morning, three civilians were injured in an Israeli airstrike targeting the al-Tufah neighborhood of Gaza City.


        • Modavations

          I’m saying it’s a Machiavellian(?) world.Just because Iran says the guys were “assassinated” by Mossad,does not mean they themselves didn’t set it up to shed a bad light on Isreal.Palestinians make up 15% Isreali State. and have more rights then they do in the Pal.territories.If you vote incorrectly in the Territories you’ll be killed and so will your family

          • Terry Tree Tree

            SOOO many wild possible scenarios exist!  Just check out the ‘Political Thriller” section of a bookstore?

  • Anonymous

    The West Is Losing The Chess Game With Iran

    Read more: http://www.wallstreetexaminer.com/blogs/winter/?p=4574#ixzz1mwOXBq6C

    • TomK in Boston

      “Losing”, LOL. We conceded the game when W overthrew Iran’s #1 enemy, Saddam, and turned iraq over to pro-iranian shiites. Nice work, spending a trillion or so to make iran the primo ME power.

      Do you think W could have been an Iranian secret agent?

      • aj


      • Terry Tree Tree


        • Modavations

          Bleat # 5:

          Yes.yes I agree.You’re right.Yes,so right.Coooo,Cooo.What college did you go to Terry?.How many languages do you speak?

        • Modavations

          Bleat #3
          Bush did it.It’s all Bush’s fault

    • John

      Chess game? I wouldn’t call a lunch time bullying episode a chess game.

  • Samer

    The case of Bashar Al-Assad is that of a good man who, for circumstances beyond his control, ran out of time trying to lead his country to a better place.  Under his 10 year rule prior to the current unrest, Bashar had lead the country to an unprecedented level of economic prosperity; this in the face of a tremendous pressure from the outside imposed by powerful Zionist neocons such as the likes of Dick Chaney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton, who wanted nothing less than the total destruction of Syria (the arch enemy of Israel).  In spite of all their effort Syria prospered and Bashar developed a high level of popularity among his people.  Then, came the “Arabic Spring” which started in the distant country Tunisia.  This concept of uprising against the “dictators” has unfortunately captured the imagination of the uneducated, prejudice, ill-informed and short-sighted people in Syria with false promises and misconceived visions of democracy; visions that ignore the essential democratic concept of respecting the wishes of the sizable number of fellow countrymen who still support Bashar but don’t take up arms in his support.  The end result is that Syria, like many other Arabic countries, is now destined to be ruled by extremist islamist who will not only undo all the civil, social and economic progress that Bashar did, but will also take the country back to the dark ages.

  • Guest

    We all remember seeing the Iraq invasion air raids and the first thing we bomb are the utilities, electric, water,etc. and you shut the infrastructure down quick, the problem here is what Ned Betty said in the film NETWORK ” the world is a business” and that most slippery utility, money. If you can clamp down, hard with that, everything will stop.I would not be surprised that the disagreements at the UN were monetary and not humanitarian.

  • RLS – AK

    Vice-President Cheney was excoriated for predicting we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq and met with flowers when we removed Saddam Hussein. Because of a complex of reasons, newfound dignity for one, it didn’t happen that colorful way.  But the Arab Spring is inconceivable without the example of Iraq’s liberation. Ms. Ward talks about seeing Iraqi soldiers crossing the border into Syria to help the opposition forces. There’s your flowers!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What a stretch!

      • Modavations

        What will you say in twenty years when Bush is hailed as the Liberator.The father of the free mideast.

        • TomK in Boston

          Sure, that could happen…when pigs fly, and when the bush tax cuts create jobs and balance the budget.

          But hey, aren’t you supposed to say that Clinton really started the iraq debacle? Isn’t that the Party Line? In that case, you’ll have to hail WJC as the liberator. Oh well, plenty of time to change your script in 20 years.

          • Modavations

            Ahhh that ole leftist clairvoyance.Pick me a stock please

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Ask me in twenty years?  I’ll say I didn’t think ‘W’ was that good, as I do now. 

          • Modavations

            My boy,you bring Bush Derangement syndrome to new heights.

          • aj


  • Dee

    The American media –including NPR is not giving Americans the real deal on US /Isrraeli/ British aggression in the Middle 

    I am amazed how those in the American media including Mike Pesca sitting in for Tom Ashbrook this morning and those re-porting from inside Syria today totally dismiss Assad claims as they did Gaddahi’s claims prior– that their country were being “infiltrated” by thugs and terrorists. 
    Anyone who knows the history of the region will recognize  
    repeated themes of aggression by those in the West looking to overthrow those Reime and capture –and in this case -recon-quer those countries’ oil reserves…

    Their rhetoric alone carry familiar demonizing themes of Arab
    leaders such as  ” a murderous regime” or “a suicidal regime” attacking their own people or sacrificing their own people for personal gain. See the url below on this…..Dee

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29234 (see latest commentaries at website)

    Neocons, not Mullahs would blow up the Middle East

    The same with Iran,Accusing Iran , Ignoring history T. Snider,

    Everyone should read the Israeli Lobby, Mearsheim & Walt

    • Samer

      you are right on Dee.  Thanks for the good links.

  • Mmaaaxx

    Not a big fan of Mike Pesca when compared to good ole’ Tom Ashbrook :( He just doesn’t have quite the nuanced perspective.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I’m sure Mike is ok with that.  He’s usually a sports-commentator.

      • Modavations

        Mike!!!Are you on personal terms with Mike?

        • aj


        • Hidan

           prob about as personal as you are with blacks and vouchers.

          • Modavations

            Listen to Farakhan,forget Jesse and Al

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NY4VHIS3V742MHY2AAKH6FX2TA truthseeker

    I have been reading alternative media outlets and this is not the whole story. Clarissa Ward is giving us what the Dept of Defense want us to hear. In some outlets I have been hearing that at most 50% of the populace supports Assad. I am no fan of this horrible man and he should step down and let the people decide their future.
    If people want to know what happens when you arm crazy extremist rebels just read about what is happening in Libya. Amnesty Int’l just declared that the Libyan rebels whom the US and France armed are now massacring men, women and children. They are torturing and hanging black Libyans. There are decapitations and bodies being quartered by rebels armed with swords. This is exactly what will happen in Syria if we arm the rebels.
    Towards the end of the show Ms. Ward said that she has not seen so much violence by a government against its own people (something to that effect). Ms Ward the ultimate human rights violator is the US of A. In the past 10 years its military has murdered about 1 million Iraqi’s and has displaced 5 million (many who fled to Syria by the way). We have also killed tens of thousands in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What about Egypt? Why isn’t the US saying anything against the military killing its own there? What happend to their ARAB SPRING?
    There were uprisings in Bahrain which were quickly silenced with the help of the Saudi’s. What about Saudi Arabia? they still stone women to death and recently beheaded a women who practised alternative medicine.
    Why doesn’t Ms Ward sneak into Saudi Arabia and report on the horrible repressive regime of the Saudi King and the status of women there? I’d like to know why it is that there is no uprising in Saudi Arabia? How does the Saudi military deal with dissent? How is it that the USA seems to turn a blind eye to the killings and injustices there?

  • Mmaaaxx

    Wow, this is blind, left-leaning hawkishness! Havn’t we leaned anything? Stay out of these conflicts!! Unless it is a situation of direct national security, we have no place meddling over there. Yes…let’s arm the “freedom fighters” just like we did with the Taliban, since that has worked out so well…
    We can begin to right our mistakes of history by not repeating them and slowly pulling back and following the principles we would have others follow.

  • U.S. Vet.

    The U.S. should support the Assad regime.  Assad has always protected the Christian Church in Syria.  If the rebels take control of Syria, most of the Christians will flee the country out of fear of being persecuted by Muslim extremists.

    • Émile

      What a rubbish comment, supported by a disingenuous logic.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OSPH4SFQY5PIZDL4HGHLXYZWRU Heisenberg

    I guess NPR brought in their Neo-Con Hawk for this show?  His monologue sounded like Sean Hannity.  Why doesn’t NPR invite Michel Chossudovsky (1) for a more nuanced view of the situation?  I’m joking of course, NPR for all their “progressive” claims gets right into line when it’s time for globalist war. NPR would never invite Chossudovsky (2) because this would greatly displease their globalists masters.  NPR’s staff pretends to be “anti-establishment,” or “against imperialism” or “for human rights” but when it comes down to it, NPR is no different than Fox News when it’s time to support globalist, corporate, and/or Zionist wars. 

    (1) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28254 

    (2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj5QMJrHQEE

    • aj

      I completely agree, but is it really suprising.  Just look at their funding.  Uncle Sam himself, and also a handful of extremely wealthy American Zionists.

      Especially the Washington D.C. headquarters of NPR, they are under the thumb of an Israeli Government proxy (the U.S. Congress) and some rich Zionist philanthropists.  Just Follow the money.

      NPR’s Jerusalem correspondent, Linda Gradstein’s husband is a Goddamn sniper for the Israeli Army!!!!!

      How’s that for fair and balanced?  Just like Fox News indeed, my good friend. 

      Thank you for speaking the truth.

  • Ashley Yoshida

    My heart is breaking for all of the women and children who are living in terror today. The women and children who are being raped and murdered. The women and children who are watching loved ones being raped and murdered. Children who’s adrenaline levels are wreaking havoc on their little nervous systems today. Mothers who are helpless to protect their children.

    • aj

      Your compassion for “others” is inpiring.  Thank you.

    • Samer

      I share your feeling Ashly and pray for an end of this tragic situation.

  • Ashley Yoshida

    Some photos of children caught in war zones.  Whatever is going on over there, please somebody think about the children.

  • Ashley Yoshida


  • Dee

    “If people want to know what happens when you arm crazy extremist rebels just read about what is happening in Libya. Amnesty Int’l just declared that the Libyan rebels whom the US and France armed are now massacring men, women and children. They are torturing and hanging black Libyans. There are decapitations and bodies being quartered by rebels armed with swords. This is exactly what will happen in Syria if we arm the rebels.” Truth seeker

    I agree–the neocons along US special forces and the Zionist war mongers are eager to repeat the same disaster in Syria today..

    I saw John Mc Cain and Lindsey Graham urging the US to do this 
    on CNN last night. Those lawmakers should be arrested for support-
    ing an insurgency and destabilization of another foreign power. 
    Of course,, the great hypocrisy there–they both supported a recent 
    bill to arrest and detain Americans who aided or supported “terrorists groups” opposing such a criminal US policy in the Middle East while 
    they want a free hand to arm such an insurgency in Syria and create 
    a humanitarian disaster….

    Well, the good news today the Anti-War groups have already started across the country and in capitals around the world

    I imagine the protests will be massive in scope if anyone touches  iran. Indeed, I would question the general safety of the Zionist apologists /
    institutions and indeed Jews in general in a climate of public outrage. 
    It will be very nasty. Dee

Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

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A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

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