Syria and the West

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Sertorio
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Syria and the West

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 01, 2021 3:22 am

Syria Regime Change Still on Western Agenda – Ex-Ambassador Peter Ford

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/ ... eter-ford/

Peter Ford was educated at Weston Point Community Primary School, Helsby Grammar School in Cheshire and The Queen's College, Oxford. Having finished his Arabic studies he worked in Beirut, Riyadh, Paris and Cairo before being appointed British ambassador to Bahrain as well as Syria from 2003 to 2006. Retiring from the Diplomatic Service in 2006, he became Representative of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA in the Arab world

Interview

Question: What do you make of the ruling last week by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to strip Syria of its member rights based on allegations that the Syrian government military forces have repeatedly used chemical weapons during the 10-year war? It seems that the OPCW has become extremely politicized by the United States and its Western allies. Do you see a lot of arm-twisting of member states by Western powers to produce OPCW sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: The Western powers are like dogs with an old bone on the subject of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. There is no meat on it but they continue to gnaw away. Why? Because the trope that “Assad gasses his own people” has become a cornerstone of the whole Western propaganda narrative on Syria. Without it, justifying the cruel economic war on Syria, largely through sanctions, would be harder to justify. And with military efforts at regime change having failed, economic warfare is now the last hope for the Western powers of destabilizing Syria enough to topple the government. For this strategy to work the Western powers are more than ready to undermine the credibility of the OPCW by abusing their ability to manipulate it in the Syrian context.

Question: The OPCW’s executive has been exposed in distorting its own reports for the objective of incriminating the Syrian government over alleged chemical weapons attacks. Do you think the OPCW has been turned into a lever to enable Western powers to harass Syria because these powers have been blocked by Russia and China from using the United Nations Security Council as a mechanism for aggression against Syria?

Peter Ford: The United States and the United Kingdom have not hesitated to ventriloquize the OPCW executive to get their way on Syria, stifling whistleblowing even where the cases of misreporting have been flagrant. As a former United Nations official myself, I can say that international organizations are nearly all controlled and used by the U.S./UK, with the Security Council thankfully the one arena where they are unable always to get their own way. This irks them considerably, leading them to go even further in exploiting and debasing agencies like the OPCW.

Question: Three months into a new administration in the United States under President Joe Biden, is there any discernible change in Washington’s policy towards Syria? You have stated publicly before that the whole war in Syria was a regime-change operation orchestrated by the U.S., Britain, France, and others. Is regime change in Syria still on the Western powers’ agenda?

Peter Ford: Regime change is very much still on the agenda. It cannot be openly avowed, of course, but how else to describe a policy of seeking a “transition” under conditions that would guarantee removal of the present government? Those conditions include rigged elections and “justice” against “war criminals”. The economic warfare is as severe as anything that was waged against Iraq to bring Saddam down. It is blatant deceit to pretend this policy is not aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. Biden brings no change. If anything he is doubling down on the policy of his predecessor, without even the pretense of wanting out of Syria, holding on to sanctions, and deliberately hampering reconstruction.

Question: The United States still has troops illegally occupying parts of eastern Syria near the country’s oil fields, denying the Syrian state important resources for national reconstruction. You have described the American forces there as functioning like a “tripwire”. Could you expand on that concept?

Peter Ford: U.S. forces in occupied parts of Syria number around a thousand. The Syrian Arab Army could overrun these forces and their Kurdish allies in a matter of days. What stops them? The certain knowledge that any advance towards the American forces would trigger massive retaliation from the U.S. Air Force operating from its bases in the region. So the function of these U.S. forces is not to help “eradicate ISIS terror remnants” as implausibly claimed, but to serve as a tripwire and thereby deter Syrian forces from recovering territories that hold most of Syria’s oil and grain resources. Denial of these resources is key to bringing Syria to its knees via economic warfare.

Question: Could Biden step up the military intervention in Syria? Or is it more likely that the U.S. and its Western allies will pursue economic warfare through sanctions against Syria?

Peter Ford: It must be considered unlikely that the U.S. would put many more boots on the ground but many in the Pentagon are straining at the leash to bomb Syria at the slightest pretext. For the moment, the policy planners are counting on economic sanctions and are content to wait for the Syrian government to buckle.

Question: What are the strategic reasons for Western regime change in Syria?

Peter Ford: It’s a way of getting at Russia and Iran, essentially. A little thought experiment proves it. Imagine Assad suddenly said he was ready to get rid of the Russians and Iranians and complete America’s set of Arab powers in return for being left in power. Egypt’s Sadat did something similar in the late 1970s so it’s not unthinkable, and Assad was having tea with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth not so very long ago. Would the U.S. not then cast aside without a moment’s hesitation all the blather about democracy and human rights?

Question: How significant was Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war in October 2015?

Peter Ford: It was a life-saver. Most people do not realize how close ISIS and other terrorist proxies were to grabbing control of Damascus. Naturally, the Western powers never like to acknowledge this awkward truth.

Question: France’s former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas remarked in a media interview back in 2013 how he was privately approached by British officials with a scheme for regime change in Syria two years before the war erupted in 2011. As a former British ambassador to Syria (2003-2006) can you recall noticing any such plot being considered?

Peter Ford: Planning for regime change in Syria only really began when the aftermath of the Iraq war went really sour and rather than blame themselves, the U.S./UK sought to deflect blame on to Syria. It accelerated after Britain’s Conservatives with their anti-Russian and anti-Iranian obsessions, and their support for Israel, came to power in 2010.

Question: Your principled and outspoken criticism of the British government’s involvement in the Syrian war has won you much respect around the world. Do you feel personally aggrieved by the malign conduct of Britain in Syria?

Peter Ford: I feel ashamed for my country’s actions. It really is quite shameful that we have been instrumental in causing suffering for millions of Syrians while hypocritically claiming we are doing it for their own good.

Question: Finally, Syria is holding presidential elections on May 26 in which incumbent Bashar al-Assad is running for re-election. The Western powers disparage Syria as an “undemocratic regime”. How do you view Syria’s polity? Is Assad likely to win re-election?

Peter Ford: Of course Assad will win and of course the Western powers will try to disparage his victory. But I can state with certainty that if you could offer the Conservative party in Britain a guarantee of achieving in the next general election anything anywhere near Assad’s genuine level of support, albeit some of it reluctant from a war-weary people, the Tories would bite your hand off for such an electoral gain. Much of the current Western propaganda effort against Syria is geared at trying to spoil Assad’s victory and deny it legitimacy. But inside Syria itself, the people will see the election as setting the seal on 10 years of struggle, and Assad will emerge strengthened as he faces the next phase in the Western war on Syria.
It could be that Peter Ford, having been a British ambassador to Syria, is now a Russian agent and a propaganda mouthpiece of the Russian foreign affairs ministry, but that's unlikely. So maybe one should take his opinion under consideration...

Ellen
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by Ellen » Sat May 01, 2021 3:52 am

Oh please. I thought you were going to post something genuinely interesting about Syria. This is just twaddle. Assad will win 99.9% of the popular vote the same way his father did. No one even pays attention to elections in Syria.

Assad is a genocidal murderer who is being kept in power by the Russians and Iranians, with the acquiescence of various other powers (including possibly Israel) because the pathetic Sunni Arab majority of Syria cannot come up with a civilized opposition movement that has any competency to run the country. They also cannot be relied upon to refrain from commiting mass murder of Alawites, Christians, and Druze if they should control the army and police state.

Democracy in the Arab world is just as likely to produce a regime that commits mass murder as dictatorship. Therefore, why bother with it in the first place? Look at the PLO, as a case in point. Abbas proclaimed that he was going to have an election for the first time in 16 years, including Hamas, because he thought he would win brownie points from President Biden. Then, all the polls showed that he would lose the election to an assortment of political parties/militias which all advocate violence and war with Israel. Oops. So, he canceled the election and everyone in the so-called international community is breathing a sigh of relief. Back to mumbling about two-state solutions.

They should have had their election, in my view, and let Hamas win, and let them start another war with Israel. That will be their last war, and they will be driven into Jordan. And then, there will be peace in the Holy Land. Isn't that what the so-called international community wants? Let them have their democracy and let's see what the end result will be. The same as in Syria. So, upon reflection, Western liberals have learned to love Arab autocracies that can be bought off and subdued rather than plunging into a democractic system that might actually yield "the will of the people." In the Muslim Middle East, the "will of the people" means JIHAD.

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Sertorio
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am

Ellen wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 3:52 am
Oh please. I thought you were going to post something genuinely interesting about Syria. This is just twaddle. Assad will win 99.9% of the popular vote the same way his father did. No one even pays attention to elections in Syria.

Assad is a genocidal murderer who is being kept in power by the Russians and Iranians, with the acquiescence of various other powers (including possibly Israel) because the pathetic Sunni Arab majority of Syria cannot come up with a civilized opposition movement that has any competency to run the country. They also cannot be relied upon to refrain from commiting mass murder of Alawites, Christians, and Druze if they should control the army and police state.

Democracy in the Arab world is just as likely to produce a regime that commits mass murder as dictatorship. Therefore, why bother with it in the first place? Look at the PLO, as a case in point. Abbas proclaimed that he was going to have an election for the first time in 16 years, including Hamas, because he thought he would win brownie points from President Biden. Then, all the polls showed that he would lose the election to an assortment of political parties/militias which all advocate violence and war with Israel. Oops. So, he canceled the election and everyone in the so-called international community is breathing a sigh of relief. Back to mumbling about two-state solutions.

They should have had their election, in my view, and let Hamas win, and let them start another war with Israel. That will be their last war, and they will be driven into Jordan. And then, there will be peace in the Holy Land. Isn't that what the so-called international community wants? Let them have their democracy and let's see what the end result will be. The same as in Syria. So, upon reflection, Western liberals have learned to love Arab autocracies that can be bought off and subdued rather than plunging into a democractic system that might actually yield "the will of the people." In the Muslim Middle East, the "will of the people" means JIHAD.
I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.

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dagbay
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by dagbay » Sat May 01, 2021 5:05 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am
Ellen wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 3:52 am
Oh please. I thought you were going to post something genuinely interesting about Syria. This is just twaddle. Assad will win 99.9% of the popular vote the same way his father did. No one even pays attention to elections in Syria.

Assad is a genocidal murderer who is being kept in power by the Russians and Iranians, with the acquiescence of various other powers (including possibly Israel) because the pathetic Sunni Arab majority of Syria cannot come up with a civilized opposition movement that has any competency to run the country. They also cannot be relied upon to refrain from commiting mass murder of Alawites, Christians, and Druze if they should control the army and police state.

Democracy in the Arab world is just as likely to produce a regime that commits mass murder as dictatorship. Therefore, why bother with it in the first place? Look at the PLO, as a case in point. Abbas proclaimed that he was going to have an election for the first time in 16 years, including Hamas, because he thought he would win brownie points from President Biden. Then, all the polls showed that he would lose the election to an assortment of political parties/militias which all advocate violence and war with Israel. Oops. So, he canceled the election and everyone in the so-called international community is breathing a sigh of relief. Back to mumbling about two-state solutions.

They should have had their election, in my view, and let Hamas win, and let them start another war with Israel. That will be their last war, and they will be driven into Jordan. And then, there will be peace in the Holy Land. Isn't that what the so-called international community wants? Let them have their democracy and let's see what the end result will be. The same as in Syria. So, upon reflection, Western liberals have learned to love Arab autocracies that can be bought off and subdued rather than plunging into a democractic system that might actually yield "the will of the people." In the Muslim Middle East, the "will of the people" means JIHAD.
I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.
Interesting Sertorio, did you get tired naming the international players in Syria halfway? How about the Russians (of course "invited" but acting as puppet masters) and Iran (also "invited" to supply Cannon fodder militants) and what about KSA's mercenaries? The Kurds (not a national entity but certainly involved, not to mention ISIS). But of course in your mind Assad is the great unifier...
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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Sertorio
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 01, 2021 5:31 am

dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:05 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am

I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.
Interesting Sertorio, did you get tired naming the international players in Syria halfway? How about the Russians (of course "invited" but acting as puppet masters) and Iran (also "invited" to supply Cannon fodder militants) and what about KSA's mercenaries? The Kurds (not a national entity but certainly involved, not to mention ISIS). But of course in your mind Assad is the great unifier...
You are right that I did not mention everybody involved. But both Russia and Iran are not trying to overthrow anybody, they are assisting the UN recognized government of Syria. The Kurds are the usual victims. Syria would probably recognize them some degree of autonomy but Turkey objects to that. Everybody else on the ground are just somebody's pawns, and would be removed once the government of Syria has effective control. But one thing is sure: neither the US nor the European countries involved are doing anything to bring peace back to Syria. Is Assad the great unifier? He is at least the only one with any chances of keeping the country united. That should be enough for us to be willing to help him.

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dagbay
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by dagbay » Sat May 01, 2021 5:45 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:31 am
dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:05 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am

I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.
Interesting Sertorio, did you get tired naming the international players in Syria halfway? How about the Russians (of course "invited" but acting as puppet masters) and Iran (also "invited" to supply Cannon fodder militants) and what about KSA's mercenaries? The Kurds (not a national entity but certainly involved, not to mention ISIS). But of course in your mind Assad is the great unifier...
You are right that I did not mention everybody involved. But both Russia and Iran are not trying to overthrow anybody, they are assisting the UN recognized government of Syria. The Kurds are the usual victims. Syria would probably recognize them some degree of autonomy but Turkey objects to that. Everybody else on the ground are just somebody's pawns, and would be removed once the government of Syria has effective control. But one thing is sure: neither the US nor the European countries involved are doing anything to bring peace back to Syria. Is Assad the great unifier? He is at least the only one with any chances of keeping the country united. That should be enough for us to be willing to help him.
Nah, I would not dance with that devil. Assad will not prevail and Syria is gone never to be reunited. It's people have been deported by war never to return (no UNRA for them).
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

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Sertorio
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 01, 2021 7:15 am

dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:45 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:31 am
dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:05 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am

I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.
Interesting Sertorio, did you get tired naming the international players in Syria halfway? How about the Russians (of course "invited" but acting as puppet masters) and Iran (also "invited" to supply Cannon fodder militants) and what about KSA's mercenaries? The Kurds (not a national entity but certainly involved, not to mention ISIS). But of course in your mind Assad is the great unifier...
You are right that I did not mention everybody involved. But both Russia and Iran are not trying to overthrow anybody, they are assisting the UN recognized government of Syria. The Kurds are the usual victims. Syria would probably recognize them some degree of autonomy but Turkey objects to that. Everybody else on the ground are just somebody's pawns, and would be removed once the government of Syria has effective control. But one thing is sure: neither the US nor the European countries involved are doing anything to bring peace back to Syria. Is Assad the great unifier? He is at least the only one with any chances of keeping the country united. That should be enough for us to be willing to help him.
Nah, I would not dance with that devil. Assad will not prevail and Syria is gone never to be reunited. It's people have been deported by war never to return (no UNRA for them).
Sadam Hussein was worse, and people are already sorry they kicked him out. That's how good we are at foreseeing the consequences of our actions...

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dagbay
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by dagbay » Sat May 01, 2021 8:54 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 7:15 am
dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:45 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:31 am
dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 5:05 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 4:12 am

I thought that the opinion of a recent UK ambassador to Syria was of some value, even if it is not coincident with your own opinion. As far as the ME is concerned, Bashar al-Assad is probably one of the most decent Arab leaders, and one which will not allow any segment of the Syrian population being exterminated by any other segment. With all its shortcomings, Assad probably enjoys the support of the majority of the Syrian people and, without the US and Turkish illegal intervention, the country would by now be unified and pacified, with some measure of freedom being allowed to the opposition. But rather than helping Assad moving towards a more representative form of government, the US prefers to foster local chaos and contribute to the suffering of the Syrian people. All because imposing the American will on the ME is preferable to any peace formula.
Interesting Sertorio, did you get tired naming the international players in Syria halfway? How about the Russians (of course "invited" but acting as puppet masters) and Iran (also "invited" to supply Cannon fodder militants) and what about KSA's mercenaries? The Kurds (not a national entity but certainly involved, not to mention ISIS). But of course in your mind Assad is the great unifier...
You are right that I did not mention everybody involved. But both Russia and Iran are not trying to overthrow anybody, they are assisting the UN recognized government of Syria. The Kurds are the usual victims. Syria would probably recognize them some degree of autonomy but Turkey objects to that. Everybody else on the ground are just somebody's pawns, and would be removed once the government of Syria has effective control. But one thing is sure: neither the US nor the European countries involved are doing anything to bring peace back to Syria. Is Assad the great unifier? He is at least the only one with any chances of keeping the country united. That should be enough for us to be willing to help him.
Nah, I would not dance with that devil. Assad will not prevail and Syria is gone never to be reunited. It's people have been deported by war never to return (no UNRA for them).
Sadam Hussein was worse, and people are already sorry they kicked him out. That's how good we are at foreseeing the consequences of our actions...
Re Saddam Hussein - agreed that people who wanted him gone didn't consider the consequences. Hardly anyone but locals could understand the effect of the leadership vacuum on the local tribal society. However that doesn't make Saddam Hussein or Assad for that matter good leaders as both are directly responsible for killing millions of their people and many others as well..
Arabs are not ready for any type of pluralistic government as they are stuck in the tribal age. But there are non-murderous forms of government see the Emirates....
I'd rather be diving or flying alas for now I am on terra firma.

neverfail
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Re: Syria and the West

Post by neverfail » Sat May 01, 2021 8:41 pm

dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 8:54 am
Re Saddam Hussein - agreed that people who wanted him gone didn't consider the consequences. Hardly anyone but locals could understand the effect of the leadership vacuum on the local tribal society. However that doesn't make Saddam Hussein or Assad for that matter good leaders as both are directly responsible for killing millions of their people and many others as well..
Arabs are not ready for any type of pluralistic government as they are stuck in the tribal age. But there are non-murderous forms of government see the Emirates....
Kingship as a feasable alternative to murderous tribal infighting?

America rejected kingship at the end of the 18th century. Can you comprehend why Americans fail to understand the Arabs?

Jim the Moron
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:51 pm

Re: Syria and the West

Post by Jim the Moron » Sat May 01, 2021 11:48 pm

neverfail wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 8:41 pm
dagbay wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 8:54 am
Re Saddam Hussein - agreed that people who wanted him gone didn't consider the consequences. Hardly anyone but locals could understand the effect of the leadership vacuum on the local tribal society. However that doesn't make Saddam Hussein or Assad for that matter good leaders as both are directly responsible for killing millions of their people and many others as well..
Arabs are not ready for any type of pluralistic government as they are stuck in the tribal age. But there are non-murderous forms of government see the Emirates....
Kingship as a feasable alternative to murderous tribal infighting?

America rejected kingship at the end of the 18th century. Can you comprehend why Americans fail to understand the Arabs?

Arabs? What's to understand? Arabs of today are a bunch of layabouts living off proceeds from fossil fuel extraction and guided by vicious primitive Islamic clergy.

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