• US occupying forces in northern Syria are continuing to plunder natural resources and farmland, a practice ongoing since 2011
  • Recently, US troops smuggled dozens of tanker trucks loaded with Syrian crude oil to their bases in Iraq.
  • The fuel and convoys of Syrian wheat were transported through the illegal settlement of Mahmoudia.
  • Witnesses report a caravan of 69 tankers loaded with oil and 45 with wheat stolen from silos in Yarubieh city.
  • Similar acts of looting occurred on the 19th of the month in the city of Hasakeh, where 45 tankers of Syrian oil were taken out by US forces.
  • Prior to the war and US invasion, Syria produced over 380 thousand barrels of crude oil per day, but this has drastically reduced to only 15 thousand barrels per day.
  • The country’s oil production now covers only five percent of its needs, with the remaining 95 percent imported amidst difficulties due to the US blockade.
  • The US and EU blockade prevents the entry of medicines, food, supplies, and impedes technological and industrial development in Syria.
    • culprit@lemmy.ml
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      Radio Free Asia US government-funded broadcaster in Asia

      my propaganda source says your propaganda is propaganda

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      Media Bias “Fact Checking” RFA is the funniest shit.

      “Non-profit” without mentioning who founded it, and who funds it now.

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            Check out the history section, they mention its founding. The current funding seems to be misidentified in this paragraph:

            Radio Free Asia is a nonprofit 501©(3) organization that is owned by U.S. Agency for Global Media and funded through donations.

            That suggests private donations, but from what I can tell it’s basically just funded by the US government via US Agency for Global Media.

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              You’re proving my point there buddy.

              RFA was created under the directorate of the CIA, and later transfered to the State Department (aka foreign policy influence). The fact that MBFC fails to mention that is huge red flag and shows their own bias.

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                I swear it’s MBFC’s job to not understand that. It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. — Upton Sinclair

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      It looks like most outlets carrying this story are just re-reporting this one from SANA: https://sana.sy/en/?p=329527

      And that seems a bit light on details. And the details it does have seem slanted, like painting the US presence as an occupation, a border crossing as an illegal settlement (I can’t even find any other references to Mahmoudiya in Syria with a quick Google), and the photos just show pictures of random tanker trucks, nothing that would indicate location, direction, contents, or operator.

      My sense is that the US is supporting a rebel faction in the Syrian civil war, and the ruling faction (Bashar al-Assad’s) is trying to paint them as the bad guy, for something that may or may not be legitimate, and may or may not even be happening at all. There’s not enough evidence here to draw any conclusions.

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        like painting the US presence as an occupation

        Explain to me how it is not. Do they have a UN mandate to be there? No? An invite from the sovereign government body of the land? Neither?

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          A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. In this case, that area is under the control of the SDF.

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        painting the US presence as an occupation

        what definition of occupation does not include the deployment of the US military, which proceeded to build a dozen military bases in a territory of another country, which has continuously made filings to the UN about this occupation?

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          The definition in the Fourth Hague Convention of 1907.

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        The US is supporting SDF, a primarily Kurdish group. This is no secret, they have been since 2015 against ISIL (you remember, the guys that were posting videos of beheading people on YouTube).

        The Kurds have lived in this area for millennia. They have just as much right to the natural resources there as the Assad government, probably more.

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          Which is why the Navajo Nation controls land that would have otherwise contained the Hoover Dam, if it were not for the rights that the Navajo held to the natural resources there.

          Oh, wait.

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        This is a good, nuanced interpretation of this, thanks for doing the leg work and summarizing it succinctly.

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      The Syrian conflict is 13 years old. It’s ridiculous to expect every article to give you the whole context every time, especially since anything anyone will write about said context will be extremely biased. This conflict had massive misinformation campaigns from all sides.

      Evaluate the information for what it is, not for whether it gives you a lecture on the history of the conflict.

      SANA is primarily a TV channel, and the articles are usually a summary / transcript of the TV reports. They show videos routinely of the trucks that are very clearly carrying oil through Al-ya’rabiya, which is a border crossing from Syria to Iraq that the US controls.

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      Please avoid citing MBFC as a valid source.

      Dave Van Zandt is a registered Non-Affiliated voter who values evidence-based reporting. Since High School (a long time ago), Dave has been interested in politics and noticed as a kid the same newspaper report in two different papers was very different in their tone. This curiosity led him to pursue a Communications Degree in college; however, like most 20-year olds he didn’t know what he wanted and changed to a Physiology major midstream. Dave has worked in the healthcare industry (Occupational Rehabilitation) since graduating from college but never lost the desire to learn more about bias and its impacts.

      The combination of being fascinated by politics, a keen eye to spot bias before he even knew what it was called, and an education/career in science gave Dave the tools required for understanding Media Bias and its implications. This led to a 20-year journey where Dave would read anything and everything he could find on media bias and linguistics. He also employed the scientific method to develop a methodology to support his assessments.

      If you’re going to discredit a source, please try to do the legwork of actually discrediting it. A guy with a Bachelors in Physiology and being “fascinated with politics since high school (a long time ago)” cannot be considered a reliable source, nevermind one who claims to follow the “scientific method” which he, presumably, learned while studying to become an occupational therapist or through his 20-year journey of reading political news.

      If you have photos of this man, any record of interviews with him, records that support his credibility/the incorporation of his company, records of his job in occupational rehabilitation, details about his team, or anything else, please feel free to share them. Please do not confuse him with Dave E. Van Zandt (Princeton BA Sociology, Yale JD, London School of Economics PhD, ex-managing editor of the Yale Law Journal, ex-Dean of Northeastern’s School of Law, ex-President of The New School).

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        I don’t understand. Unless you have a degree in journalism or something similar you’re not allowed to be an expert on media outlets? How many professors of practice at universities don’t have a degree related to what they’re teaching?

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m super put off by this notion that he had a “super keen eye“ and natural aptitude for spotting “bias.” I also object to the way that people talk about bias, but that’s another discussion. The point is yeah there’s a little bit of bullshit in there, but his background does not discredit the endeavor.

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          Professors of Practice tend to have experience in the industry they are professors in. Their reputation is hinged on their achievements, and they don’t cite their degree as being instrumental to their credibility.

          Edit: professors are also, y’know, subject to scrutiny and can’t hide behind anonymity when they get things wrong.

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            The site’s history speaks for itself. Because or in spite of him, it’s a solid way to at-a-glance assess an outlet. It is not the whole story, it’s not even a great story, but it’s a start that’s pretty solid.

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              How would you support this claim? It’s solid because it exists and people read it?

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                  It’s credibility and reliability, which I’ve already done and which you’ve acknowledged.

                  Just do the legwork to critique the source, it’s not that hard. There’s no need to cite bad sources just because they exist.

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        If you’re going to discredit a source, please try to do the legwork of actually discrediting it.

        You have not done any “legwork” to discredit MBFC. Your personal opinion is that the owner/author doesn’t have appropriate credentials/experience, but you haven’t actually demonstrated that he is not credible.

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          A person without credentials, without experience, and without any evidence to prove that their claimed credentials or experience are legitimate… Is a credible source?

          Can you find any evidence, any at all that the person actually has the credentials that they themselves claim? This is trivial to do for pretty much any modern journalist, but I’ve been able to find zero information on him.

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            Nope, you are making the claim that the information presented on MBFC is not credible, it is up to you to substantiate that claim. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

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              Your claim is that… Credibility exists unless disproven? Consider that for a minute.

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                Nope, my claim is that you haven’t substantiated your claim with anything more than your own personal opinion. And look at that, my claim is supported by all of your comments continuously failing to present anything more than your personal opinion. QED.

                Get some sources. Or get quiet.

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                  “[MBFC’s] subjective assessments leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in. Compared to Gentzkow and Shapiro, the five to 20 stories typically judged on these sites represent but a drop of mainstream news outlets’ production.” - Columbia Journalism Review

                  “Media Bias/Fact Check is a widely cited source for news stories and even studies about misinformation, despite the fact that its method is in no way scientific.” - PolitiFact journalists

                  Journalists seem to agree with me, which you’d know if you actually read “all of my comments.” This isn’t the first time I’ve posted these quotes in this thread.

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        MBFC is a good enough source for routine information, and its system is accurate enough to give a general idea of who finances, who writes, and whether the articles are sourced according to journalistic standards. It’s a good tool to help with critical evaluation of media sources. But you’re right: it’s not flawless.

        Your attack on the founder is an ad hominem attack, and I don’t think it’s relevant. Are you suggesting that people can only learn things through a university education?

        Besides, it’s often cited by university sources and experts as being a decent enough indicator of reliability and bias, if not necessarily held up to standards of something like a peer review.

        It’s a tool to be used in conjunction with critical thought and evaluation of the source itself, and for that I think it’s rather accurate and useful.

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          Thing is, even if he is good at media criticism, there’s no stakes for him. Nobody knows who he is, what he looks like, he has nothing on the line, and his credibility in his primary occupation cannot be harmed if he is wrong.

          Nevermind that he lacks the credentials nor any legitimate scientific expertise, and yet claims that his Bachelor’s in Physiology was sufficiently advanced to teach him everything he needs to know about the scientific process.

          The dataset is seen in academia as being accurate enough to train machine learning models for or to make aggregate claims on. Machine learning models are not the bastions of truth, nor are their datasets.

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            Thing is, even if he is good at media criticism, there’s no stakes for him. Nobody knows who he is, what he looks like, he has nothing on the line, and his credibility in his primary occupation cannot be harmed if he is wrong.

            This reads like an argument against open source projects in general lol

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              You can trivially verify that an open-source project works. Good luck verifying a subjective rating.

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            Machine learning has nothing to do with this. I am referring to academics who study journalism, communication, political science, or sociology.

            And it’s doesn’t really matter who he is at this point, the product he created works well and continues to be a reliable source to interrogate media sources.

            I am happy that a person is able to create such a useful product, maintain it and continue to prove reliability in the product, and maintain anonymity. I certainly would want to remain anonymous if I was creating something that actively worked to check people’s information bias.

            But it’s an irrelevant discussion: who he is doesn’t really matter when evaluating the work of the site itself.

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              “[MBFC’s] subjective assessments leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in. Compared to Gentzkow and Shapiro, the five to 20 stories typically judged on these sites represent but a drop of mainstream news outlets’ production.” - Columbia Journalism Review

              “Media Bias/Fact Check is a widely cited source for news stories and even studies about misinformation, despite the fact that its method is in no way scientific.” - PolitiFact journalists

              MBFC is used when analyzing a large swathe of data because they have ratings for basically every news outlet. There, if a quarter or a third of the data is wrong, you can still generate enough signal to separate from noise.

              It absolutely matters who is running a site because there’s an inherent accountability for journalism. There’s a reason you don’t see NYT articles from “Anonymous Ostrich.”

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                I accept your point about why it matters who runs the site. I would just argue that in this case, it’s not as relevant because the goal seems to legitimately be information transparency, which is consistently delivered across its work. Its findings are at least generally reproducible. But no it’s not scientific. I believe I’ve stated that already, however it’s a good indication of reliability of a source.

                Yes, human bias creeps in, hence my point of using it alongside general media literacy and critical thinking when evaluating media.

                It aggregates and analyzes a ton of sources, and gives generally accurate information about how they are funded, where they are based, and how well the cite original sources. These are all things that can be corroborated by a somewhat systematic reading of the sources themselves.

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                  An LLM also “aggregates and analyzes a ton of sources, and gives generally accurate information about how they are funded, where they are based, and how well the cite original sources.”

                  That doesn’t make an LLM a useful source.

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        That’s the same argument that the (presumably) other poster is making.

        The founder is relatively anonymous. Why does that impact the demonstrable work his creation does?

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            If I’m being honest, I don’t have time to read through all of you other, linked comment, that doesn’t at all contextualize it into this current conversation.

            I will try to do that, though, and appreciate the seemingly good faith post that I didn’t see in your other comments.

            Edit: you have ranted and offered links to Wikipedia. It’s clear that you don’t know how to use this particular tool, as it’s designed primarily for US media, and adheres to North American and European journalistic standards, with an inherent and sizable bias towards the United States political and media climate.

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          So multiple posters are giving you logical fact based arguments and that’s somehow supposed to make your point more credible? You are a deeply unserious person.

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      Yeah, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for BBC to cover Western atrocities in the developing world, let alone any US outlet (or rather frame it as justified in response to retaliatory attacks to violence initiated by US intervention in the first place). The issue with over relying on sites like MBFC is that they inherently have a western bias. The US exploiting Syria for its oil isn’t even news at this point, this has been ongoing since 2011.

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            I’m a critical thinker and student of public policy and global society and political discourse?

            I have a deep and lasting dislike of authoritarianism, no matter the political orientation?

            I value media literacy and critical thought?

            I dislike the exploitative trend of capitalism, it believe that ny ultimate purpose is to use my own privilege to try and soften the blow for humanity in whatever small way I can, thinking globally in scope while emphasizing engagement with my own immediate community?

            But really, I’m just weirded out by the attack on critical thought around here, when all I did was question a questionable source. I’m also wondering why the fuck my political orientation is relevant here, and why you think you’re able to condescend to me in such a childish way.

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              I have a deep and lasting dislike of authoritarianism, no matter the political orientation?

              You’re literally the one appealing to the authority of MBFC here, irony is truly dead.

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              This conversation is entirely being driven by you saying irrelevant things and using garbage sources like mediabiasfactcheck.com

              Nobody is stopping you from finding sources that contradict the original posted story. Nobody is stopping you from explaining why the original posted story is wrong.

              Dying on a hill about the usefulness of a glorified amazon review ass source isn’t critical thinking.

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                “Nobody is stopping you from explaining why the original posted story is wrong.”

                Breaking news: There is a teapot orbiting Mercury.

                Use your sources to prove it wrong.

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                  I don’t need sources to “debunk” a statement used for demonstrations. But you do need some argumentation to combat claims made by the original story. US troops have been known to engage in questionable behaviour in the past (vast understatement) and in terms of stealing oil, the US government has openly seized oil tankers from other states as well

                  The Suez Rajan was carrying more than 980,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil last year when it was seized and the oil confiscated in the U.S. sanctions enforcement operation.

                  We also know that various parts of the US security aparatus have peddled drugs and weapons around the world, both to raise money that can be used without congressional approval and to sow instability. For this point, you can find the stories yourself, it is an extensively covered topic.

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            Like a tool in a media literacy toolbox?

            You’re showing your own bias. It’s not the resource. It’s one that does an awful lot of legwork in checking bad sources of news, very often accurately.

            So. Don’t call me a “lib,” pal.

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              If you ever bother looking who funds the tool it will become clear to you whose biases it promotes. It’s incredible that there are people so gullible as to genuinely believe that this is some sort of an altruistic project.

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                I’ve been watching you for years dude, you don’t have room to talk about biases.

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                  I’m pretty open about my biases dude, and never pretended otherwise. The point here, is that western mainstream constitutes a bias just like anything else. All you’re complaining about here is that my biases are different from yours. There’s no such thing as unbiased content. Deal with it.

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                You are making the claim about its funding. Please provide your argument, rather than making oblique references to things.

                I haven’t had time to watch and contextualize the long video you sent me to respond to it.

                But if you have concerns about the bias of a well known and widely respected source of fact checking (not even first hand news), then please expound and cite it.

                Otherwise, I have to assume you are making a bad faith argument, and cannot source your assertions, so I don’t have any need to engage with you.

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                  I mean it’s right on their site, the fact that you can’t figure out how to find basic information on the internet says a lot about you. It’s funded in large part by ads. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/funding/

                  There are also plenty of criticisms of the site and the methodology that are well known. For example, The Columbia Journalism Review has described MBFC reviews as subjective assessments that “leave room for human biases, or even simple inconsistencies, to creep in”

                  https://www.cjr.org/innovations/measure-media-bias-partisan.php

                  There is an obvious inherent bias given that what’s considered centre is liberal mainstream centre in the west. That’s what’s known as anchoring bias, being to the left of what’s the current mainstream in the west doesn’t make something extreme in objective sense.

                  MBFC has also rated US propaganda outlets such as VoA and RFE as being “least biased”. Even wikipedia considers these sources unreliable https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Potentially_unreliable_sources

                  Just a few examples for you there. Hopefully that’s enough expounding and citing for you to get a picture.

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        They often state that western sources use less biased language and more often provide evidence, but always acknowledge when they are a part of a government.

        Which, by the way, was the gist of my critique of the source that I highlighted in my OP. This news agency is literally funded by governments that are opposed to the US in Syria, and are quoting another Syrian government owned source.

        I don’t know what an “Anglo nationalist” even is.

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      I’ve been on quite a few military installations, lived on one, worked at two, and even those permanent bases didn’t have a refinery on-site. I supremely doubt that there’s equipment on a foreign base or forward operating base.

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        I’m former military, I’ve deployed twice, but none of that qualifies any statement towards the US routinely exploiting countries like Syria for their natural resources.

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          The other poster is making the point that they did not observe any ability, at large military installations or small, to refine or store oil or unprocessed wheat.

          Did you during your service?

          Edit: changed “he” to “they”

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    So who’s growing the wheat? As I understand it, it’s an ongoing practice for over a decade. So someone is growing wheat every year only for the US military to swoop in and harvest it? Or do they ambush trucks with already harvested wheat? Article doesn’t seem to mention the hows, focusing on oil. But oil is a bit different from wheat

  • BigPotato@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Look, this article runs every few months from the Syrian regime. To be blunt, the trucks bring in Wheat and probably arms or something else they shouldn’t. The SDF (formerly called the YPJ and YPG) runs oil refineries and sells the oil as a means of finding themselves. The US… Well, ‘Coalition’ supplies them with the refineries.

    Why all these steps? Turkyie hates the YPJ/YPG but Turkyie is part of the Coalition against ISIL. The ‘SDF’ gets bombed by Turkyie but the SDF also runs the largest ISIL prison in the region. So Turkyie and Syria don’t team up against the SDF, the SDF doesn’t get full US support, and resupply trucks have to ‘sneak’.

    Everyone in the region has stakes in not letting them break out. Iraq doesn’t want it, Syria doesn’t want it, the US and Coalition don’t want it but, outside of the US, no one can publicly back the SDF and save face with their regional counterparts. The US makes sure the SDF has food and funds, everyone gets to keep the ISIL and Refugee camps ‘running’ and no one has to support the SDF and lose face with their local parties.

    I’d call it shades of gray but it’s more like shades of blood…

    • ☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆@lemmy.ml
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      3 months ago

      There is absolutely no difference between what US is doing in Syria and what Russia is doing in Ukraine. Yet, all of a sudden it’s a shades of gray.

    • Cyclohexane@lemmy.ml
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      3 months ago

      There have been many videos posted before that clearly show oil-carrying trucks

      • BigPotato@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        SDF has extraction, not refining. Crude has to be shipped out.

        Imagine thinking the existence of oil tankers in the middle east is somehow evidence of a grand conspiracy.

        • Cyclohexane@lemmy.ml
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          3 months ago

          Ahh, it’s only crude oil? That makes it all legitimate then /s

          It’s not a grand conspiracy. It’s an occupation and illegitimate military intervention. The US has a long track record of doing it, and your people have a long history of supporting it :)

          • BigPotato@lemmy.world
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            3 months ago

            I’m not saying it’s legitimate or illegitimate and, yeah, there are US assets (likely other countries too but they ‘need’ more discretion) in Syria. Not just ‘force projection’ but troops on ground, patrolling with the SDF.

            So, yeah, you’re not wrong but US assets are supporting SDF assets who are keeping detained ISIL under lock and key and, when they get uppity, hellfire missile.

            But, at the end of the day, The Syrian Government could simply roll out into the country and take back the oil fields from the Kurds that everyone in the region loves to oppress and ship it out themselves. I’m against Iraqi oppression of the Kurds. I’m against Turkish oppression of the Kurds. Guess what? I’m also against Syrian oppression of the Kurds. If that makes me a US (and Coalition by proxy) shill then by all means, think me a shill. The Kurds have held their lands since the beginning of written history but you think that the Syrian Dictatorships of the last fifty years have more right to that land then go off, friend.

            • Cyclohexane@lemmy.ml
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              3 months ago

              who are keeping detained ISIL under lock and key

              Yeah I am not going to excuse a US occupation with ISIS as pretext when it was the US that sponsored ISIS’ creation.

              I’m completely lost about your last paragraph. It sounds like you’re assuming I have some stances that I do not. I support Kurdish autonomy and independence. Tying that into letting more people in non-US-occupied regions fight for a drop of heating or cooking oil is ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

              • BigPotato@lemmy.world
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                3 months ago

                Turkyie doesn’t like the Kurds, maybe for a good reason in their eyes. Syria doesn’t like the Kurds and again they probably think that’s a good idea too. Iraq gives them autonomy but that’s who knows what will happen if Sadr continues to expand Iranian influence.

                The US has on multiple occasions used the Kurds and left them out to dry, so they’re not some blameless paragon, but they didn’t at Al Sina’a and they continue to keep food shipments moving in despite Russian aggression raising the price of wheat and Syrian shelling the White Helmets.

                There’s no angels but at least the US isn’t bombing whole towns for the crime of being “rebel held”. They keep their collateral down to whomever might be standing near their targets…

                Or, in the case of their Task Force 9, merely precision bomb their civilian targets.

                I think we can both agree that US actions in the region have been abhorrent. Though, the Coalition at least attempts to maintain an air of legitimacy (and aid funding) and the Kurds by and large don’t have many other friends.

                • Cyclohexane@lemmy.ml
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                  3 months ago

                  maybe for a good reason

                  There’s literally no good reason

                  The US coalition’s bombings has been far more cruel than even the Syrian regime and ISIS. Just compare the size of the destruction, the number of destroyed buildings between the liberation of Raqqa vs the battle of Aleppo. Despite Aleppo being a much bigger city, and the fight being far more fierce, Raqqa had far more destruction and was raised to the ground.

                  I agree with you that the SDF does not have many friends, and I support them in milking as much US aid as they can. But selling off the oil when most Syrians are struggling for a drop of oil is cruel, and we should not accept this.

  • Granite@kbin.social
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    3 months ago

    Oh great, we’re the space Nazis from the awful rebel moon movies. Go figure.

  • kandoh@reddthat.com
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    3 months ago

    If I go digging, am I going to find out that this is an anti-Kurdish hit piece trying to manufacture consent so Assad can use chemical weapons on Rojava?