At BBC News, Adam Curtis has a compelling look at how the US intelligence and military services have botched regime change and justice-by-bombs in Syria, over the past 65 or so years.
What is happening in Syria feels like one of the last gasps of the age of the military dictators. An old way of running the world is still desperately trying to cling to power, but the underlying feeling in the west is that somehow Assad's archaic and cruel military rule will inevitably collapse and Syrians will move forward into a democratic age.
That may, or may not, happen, but what is extraordinary is that we have been here before. Between 1947 and 1949 an odd group of idealists and hard realists in the American government set out to intervene in Syria. Their aim was to liberate the Syrian people from a corrupt autocratic elite - and allow true democracy to flourish. They did this because they were convinced that "the Syrian people are naturally democratic" and that all that was necessary was to get rid of the elites - and a new world of "peace and progress" would inevitably emerge.
What resulted was a disaster, and the consequences of that disaster then led, through a weird series of bloody twists and turns, to the rise to power of the Assad family and the widescale repression in Syria today.
I thought I would tell that story.
Read/watch/listen to the entire multimedia feature: BBC - Blogs - Adam Curtis - THE BABY AND THE BAATH WATER.
Once it became clear that a US-backed militia coalition was going to chase Isis out of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, Isis planted at least 14,000 mines, boobytrapping refrigerators, onion-baskets, rocks, appliances, tea-kettles, “everything.”
A British woman of Muslim descent was detained and questioned by police under terror laws after a flight crew member noticed she was reading a book about Syrian art while flying to Turkey. The Thomson Airways attendant reported her for “suspicious behavior,” which amounted to reading a book.
Former Syrian National Council vice-president Nour Al-Ameer fled to Turkey after being arrested and tortured by the Assad regime — that’s when someone attempted to phish her and steal her identity with a fake Powerpoint attachment purporting to be about the crimes of the Assad regime.
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