Sorry alarmists: New research disputes claims that climate change helped spark the Syrian civil war


Another junkscience article by Mashables Andrew Freedman bites the dust. Click for the article.

A new study, published today in the journal Political Geography, shows that there is no sound evidence that global climate change was a factor in causing the Syrian civil war.

Claims that a major drought caused by anthropogenic climate change was a key factor in starting the Syrian civil war have gained considerable traction since 2015 and have become an accepted narrative in the press, most recently repeated by former US vice president Al Gore in relation to Brexit. This study, led by Professor Jan Selby at the University of Sussex, takes a fresh look at the existing evidence for these claims as well as conducting new research into Syrian rainfall data and the experiences of Syrian refugees.

Professor Jan Selby, Director of the Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research at the University of Sussex, says: “Our paper finds that there is no sound evidence that global climate change was a factor in sparking the Syrian civil war. Indeed, it is extraordinary that this claim has become so widely accepted when the scientific evidence for it is so thin.

“Global climate change is a very real challenge, and will undoubtedly have significant conflict and security consequences, but there is no good evidence that this is what was going on in this case. It is vital that experts, commentators and policymakers resist the temptation to make exaggerated claims about the conflict implications of climate change. Overblown claims not based on rigorous science only risk fueling climate scepticism.”

Professor Selby worked on the study with Christiane Fröhlich from the University of Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), Omar Dahi from Hampshire College, and Mike Hulme from King’s College London. Their article is published in a special section of the journal Political Geography, the leading outlet worldwide for the study of climate-conflict linkages. The article is accompanied by three responses from leading US-based academics, and a rejoinder from Selby and colleagues. All are available open access for a limited period.

Selby and colleagues’ article finds that:

  1. Although northeast Syria did experience an exceptionally severe drought prior to its civil war, this drought was not necessarily caused by human influences on the global climate;
  2. Though the 2006/07 to 2008/09 drought did contribute to migration away from northeast Syria, this was on nothing like the scale which has been claimed (most likely 40-60 thousand families, rather than the 1.5 million people often quoted), and was probably more caused by economic liberalisation than by the drought;
  3. There exists no meaningful evidence that drought-related migration was a contributory factor in the onset of the civil war.

Mike Hulme at King’s College London led original analysis of Syrian rainfall data, which showed the precise geographical and temporal limits of the 3-year drought. He says: “The drought in northeastern Syria was undoubtedly very severe, but is not necessarily part of a desiccating trend and cannot unambiguously be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Christiane Fröhlich from the University of Hamburg’s Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) conducted interviews with Syrian refugees in Jordan with experiences of the pre-civil war drought. She says: “We need to bring the lived experience of those affected by global environmental change in to the scientific study of global warming in order to gain a fuller understanding of how its effects impact different parts of a society to varying degrees.”

Omar Dahi at Hampshire College says that: “Many aspects of Syria before and after March 2011 are widely accepted as fact despite little evidence. The climate change thesis is one of them, endlessly repeated without being properly interrogated.”


Note: Mike Hulme is part of the climate change establishment in the UK…

Michael ‘Mike’ Hulme is Professor of Climate and Culture in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. He was formerly professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Wikipedia

…so naysayers really don’t have anyplace to hide on this one.

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September 8, 2017 10:21 am

“Indeed, it is extraordinary that this claim has become so widely accepted when the scientific evidence for it is so thin.”
The claim that the war was caused by climate change served the agenda of those pushing it.
Therefore it’s not in the least bit surprising that nobody pushing the claim saw any need to actually verify it.

Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2017 10:34 am

Conflagration bias.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
September 8, 2017 12:22 pm

Groan! A pun that bad deserves to be acknowledged. 🙂

Data Soong
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2017 10:36 am

If Obama said it, it must be true! Just like some Republicans, who take all of Trump’s statements as truth.

Patrick B
Reply to  Data Soong
September 8, 2017 11:09 am

“Just like…” Ah, got any examples? You know, examples of lots of Republicans defending every statement that Trump makes? Your statement is trying to make an equivalency that I think you will find very difficult to prove.

Reply to  Data Soong
September 8, 2017 11:45 am

I’ve never met any Republicans who believe that everything Trump says is true.
Perhaps you could name some?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
September 8, 2017 11:06 am

The cultural weakness those making claim are exploiting is that it is very difficult (or impossible) to disprove the assertion that changing climate didn’t in some way exacerbate an already horrible situation. We even see where even so-called “climate experts” attempt to invert what is the null hypothesis to support their claims of impact.
On the flip side, there is little evidence to support a climate change role in the Syrian civil war, and even some contradictory evidence that refutes its. Droughts, famines, plagues, wars in the Middle East are literally biblical in their history. But like hurricanes now hitting the US, these things are apparently are anthropogenic in nature when they occur today.
But still there is no way to definitively refute it at some level of ill-defined impact. In science and engineering, we know how to deal with these uncertainties. In science, we apply probability at some defined level based on a characteristic probability distribution. In engineering, we apply over-design principles.
But mainstream climate science and it’s claims of CO2-induced economic impacts have become anything but science. As is so frequently discussed here, the climate science of climate change exists to support or give false authority to political goals. And use of cultural weaknesses in education enables the alarmists with this political authority.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 11:19 am

Except when you look at the history of the civil war, it’s obvious that an alleged drought had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Sunnis have always rebelled, and usually in the same western cities, ie Hama, Homs and Aleppo. It is vital for the regime to maintain control of these major cities, since they connect Damascus with the Alawite coastal homeland, ie Latakia and Tartus. When the rebels were days away from overrunning the coast, Russia sent troops, planes and SAMs to save the regime.
What happened in 2011 is that Sunnis saw the successful overthrow of the Tunisian dictator in December 2010, the start of the so-called “Arab Spring”, which also led to the downfall of Mubarak in Egypt. The rebels thought that this time, they might have a chance, as their fathers and grandfathers didn’t in the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s.
What began as peaceful protests soon turned violent. Then much of the army joined the Sunni revolt, and the civil war was on. Previous rebellions had been put down by Shia elements in the army loyal to the regime.
The civil war was a continuation of long-standing resistance to oppression, encouraged by events abroad. A drought in the countryside, not so much. These weren’t food riots, but demonstrations demanding free and fair elections.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 11:37 am

Islamists, not Sunnis. Most of the Syrians fighting against ISIS, Al Qaeda and all of the other salafist factions are Sunnis. Most of the Syrian government is Sunni. The Syrian conflict is a war of secularism vs. Islamism. It’s only a sectarian conflict from the perspective of the jihadis and their sympathizers..

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 11:55 am

You could not possibly be more wrong.
The Syrian government has been dominated by Alawites since 1970. Naturally the army necessarily used to contain some Sunnis, but not any more. The mass murderous regime is maintained in power only by Russia and its fellow Shia allies, ie Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia militia. It is a sectarian conflict, part of the larger Sunni-Shia war being waged in Iraq, Yemen and the Gulf. In the Holy Land as well, since Iran backs Hamas, which controls Gaza, while Sunnis back the Palestinian regime in the West Bank.
The majority of Syrian Sunni rebels are not Salafists. Naturally, al Qaeda and ISIS were able to make gains as a result of the civil war, but ISIS especially is largely foreign, except for those Syrian prisoners cynically released by Assad in order to weaken the rebels with internecine conflict and to tar the revolt in the eyes of the world, which deceit you’ve bought into.
The vast majority of indigenous Syrian rebels are not Isl@mists, but westernized Sunnis, such as most of those massacred in Aleppo by Russian barrel bombs.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 12:43 pm

Most of the Syrian government leaders are Sunnis. Assad’s wife is Sunni. Most of the Syrian armed forces are Sunnis. Demonstrate that any of this is incorrect.
Most of the Syrian insurgents are Muslim Brotherhood, which is little different that ISIS or Al Qaeda.They’re all Islamists. They all want an Islamic government; they are fighting against secular Baathism, which to them is anathema. Syrian Baathists have been in a state of conflict with Muslim Brotherhood salafis for nearly 7 decades. This war is just a continuation.
Your comment is so backwards it’s funny. I would love to see some of the Syrians I follow on Twitter respond to your comments. It would basically be like my comment to you below.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 12:57 pm

Mrs. Assad is scarcely Syrian at all, having grown up and lived all her life abroad before marrying Assad. She is only nominally Sunni at best.
There is no longer any Syrian national army. What was left of it after the Sunnis deserted it in 2011, rather than yet again slaughter their own people, was destroyed in the early fighting, as only a rump of mainly Alawite officers remained. Damascus was saved from rebel capture by Hezbollah.
Of course there have always been turncoat Sunnis in the Alawite dominated regime. But if Assad thought he could win a free and fair election, he’d hold one. Instead, his regime has used the utmost violence for going on 50 years to stay in power.
If foreign jih@dis were the main enemy, how could a united Syria possibly not defeat them?
There are some indigenous jih@dis, such as most of Nusra, but the majority of Isl@mists are foreign. Nusra was involved in the defense of north Aleppo, but the rest of the city was defended by ordinary Sunni citizens. They may say, “God is great” in the same way that Christians say, “”God help me”, but that doesn’t make then Salafist terrorists.
I’ll see your alleged pro-Assad Sunni Twitter correspondents and see you the many Syrians I’ve known, worked and served with since 1973.
Explain please why, if Assad is so popular, he, his father and uncle have needed to massacre hundreds of thousands of their subjects in order to stay in power since 1971.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 1:43 pm

I’ve seen all of your talking points before made by jihadi sympathizers and western analysts who are funded by either Qatar(Muslim Brotherhood) or Saudi Arabia (Wahhabi), two of the biggest financiers of Islamic terrorism in the world.
btw, Syria did have a free and fair election and Assad won overwhelmingly. Millions of Syrians love the guy. Not every Syrian who hates him is a MB salfist, but most are.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 1:55 pm

No talking points. Just facts. I’m not pro-jih@di. I’ve fought them in two countries. I am however pro-reality.
Free and fair election? YHGTBSM! Talk about talking points.
Maybe on your planet free and fair elections can be held throughout a country by a brutal dictatorship in the middle of a violent civil war, but not on Earth. The elections of 2012 and 2014 are worse than meaningless.
The last reasonably free election in Syria was held before the first Baathist coup in 1963. The Baath Party got 20%, and Assad’s faction was a minority of that.
Please wake up and try to get real. That means no longer taking your talking points from Putin’s propaganda.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 2:04 pm

I met the current presidents father in Syria during the 1970’s on a trade mission sponsored by the UK govt. a reception was held fr him and the young Assad, the current president, was there running around during the early part of the reception.
The current presidents wife is a British citizen born in London and who got a degree there. Her parents were Syrian and she is nominally a Sunni
The Assads were rather secular as a family and indeed Syria as a whole was not especially devout with many of the women walking round in western clothes.
Both the current president and his father were certainly dictators and ruthless enough, but not especially homicidal and very pro western.
Syria was a poor country but developing fast and with a good education system but one that saw its population increase from 4 million in 1960 to around 22 million before the civil war
. The Arab spring undoubtedly gave the population aspirations for freedoms. At first Assad, encouraged by his British wife, seemed to be prepared to liberalise, but a number of vicious gangs and tribal enmities quickly erupted, together with murderous jihadis and he felt threatended and reacted with considerable force exacerbating the civil war that had been sporadically developing in parts of Syria and then spread rapidly
Aleppo was a wonderful place with a crusader castle in its middle. I stayed at the baron hotel where agatha Christine once stayed.
In my opinion the drought was very much a bit player In the scenario.
Overpopulation, scarcity of resources, lack of freedoms and an inability of Assad to adjust to the changing situation all had a part to play all stirred up by murderous jihadi gangs keen to extend their influence,
Undoubtedly a proportion of Assads citizens, especially around Damascus have a positive opinion of him. Others hate him

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 2:06 pm

…taking your talking points from Putin’s propaganda.

On this alone you lose the argument. Identity politics with a side of guilt by association fallacy.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 2:18 pm

CR, nice balanced perspective. I would add that many of those who may have formally hated the Assads, are now grateful for what he has done after experiencing life under ISIS, Al Qaeda and the so-called moderate insurgents. One faction of the latter (Nouradeen al-Zinki; funded by the US) videoed themselves beheading a 14-year-old boy in the back of a pickup truck. I believe that was in eastern Aleppo. That’s appalling to any civilized people.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 2:38 pm

I came I saw I left
Thank you. Context is everything
Here are the series of events unfolding around middle eastern rulers
Do you react violently in order to quash uprisings, do you try and negotiate or do you carry out far reaching reforms?
It’s a fine Line between a ruler/ dictator reacting properly and surviving and reacting in the wrong way and being executed like gadaffi.
Which is not to condone Assad but I doubt he would react in the same way again if he could rerun events..
The trouble is that parts of the middle east is a hotch potch of deep seated enmities and tribal feuds and hatred between sunni and shiite that can go back many hundreds of years which, coupled with a sometimes casual approach to life , a surfeit of weapons and an often corrupt police force or army, means that a strongman is needed to hold everything together.
We might not like it but is iraq or Libya definitively better off now than under its dictator? Both were eventually rather pro western And secular after being brought into line. Sadaam Hussein, in particular enjoyed the west, who again I met on a trade mission, had just got back from his villa on the French riviera.
Encouraging democracy is nice, whether it is going to work when planted in shallow and infertile soul is another matter

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 3:45 pm

I Came @ 1:43
You are a funny guy. You’re pulling our legs about the Syrian elections, right?
Saddam got 90% in every election, too. You are more amusing tha Baghdad Bob. I guess that makes you Damascus Dan.
You really think that an overwhelmingly popular regime would need to destroy its major cities and call in foreign armies in order to stay in power, killing 400,000 of its subjects and driving four out of 22 million of them away from the country?
Just how brainwashed can one naive nudnik get?
And guess what? Your imaginary Twitter pals reside not in Syria but in the same St. Petersburg Internet troll boiler room that created fake Facebook accounts during the US election.
Bashar the Butcher’s uncle, the Mass Murderer of Hama, also resides in London.
Saddam might have been a happy go lucky, fun loving guy in France, but in Iraq he had the blood of millions on his hands.
And was using “Oil for Food” funds to bribe the UN to end sanctions so he could restart his nuke program. He didn’t care how many kids had to starve. He said all he needed were five million of the 20 million Iraqis.
Can’t compare Iraq now, after Obama’s precipitous departure with what it might have looked like with Saddam still in power, armed with nukes, bugs and gas.
Sunni Arabs might wish Saddam back, but Shias and Kurds, i.e. over 80% of the population don’t.
Libya, I’ll grant you. Clinton and Obama should have left Daffy in power, after defanged by Reagan and Bush the Younger.
But IMO, Syria would have ended up like fellow former French, Westernized Tunisia if Assad had done the right thing and permitted free elections in 2011. It would not be a Muslim Brotherhood state. The Sunni fundamentalist party might have gotten half or more of the Sunni Arab vote, but that’s not enough to offset Shias, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and secular Sunni Arabs.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 3:47 pm

Make that 99%. Fat finger typo on little phone.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 5:31 pm

There is also the gas pipeline play. Europe wants out from under the yoke of Russian gas. Two pipelines were proposed, one from Iran and one from Qatar. Iran was one from Iran through Iraq to a Syria port for a LNG Terminal. The Qatar one was from Qatar through Saudi through Jordan through Syria through Turkey and to Europe. Syria approved the Iranian pipeline and not the Qatar one. The only way rebellions for any length of time is from outside resources. Saudi and Qatar provided this, Turkey also helped and provided the conduit of resources. It takes a great logistics train to provide for war, follow the money and you will understand more deeply. For Saudis and Qatar what is a few billion more for a pipeline and depose someone you don’t like, that is a little too liberal and Shite on top of it? Russia likely got involved because they couldn’t allow the Sunni funded armies to succeed and add a pipeline for cheap gas. Europe supported Turkey through all kinds of bad things they shouldn’t because the carrot of cheap Qatar gas. Now with heavy Russian involvement turning the tables with Russia likely cutting a sweet deal with the Assads, Europe was forced to sign an agreement for a massive pipeline with Russia. LNG isn’t as much of a threat because pressurizing NG is energy intensive (expensive) and not as big of a threat to Russian gas prices.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 5:34 pm

It’s beyond me why so many Westerners buy the lies of the regime and Russia, when the facts are so readily accessible. Of course there are jih@dis among the rebels. The brutality of the regime created most of the Syrian ones.
OK, so don’t believe the UN on Assad’s gas attacks. But are Amnesty International, the UK’s Syrian Human Rights Observatory, Doctors Without Borders and other NGOs also stooges of the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia? I think not.
The Assad regime is not now nor has ever been legitimate, since it has never permitted a free and fair election. It came to power after a series of coups in the 1960s and ’70s, backed by the USSR. It’s a vestige of other authoritarian regimes which seized power in the wake of independence, set up by the former imperial powers. Britain favored minority Sunnis in Iraq, while France favored minority Shiites in Syria, while also carving out Lebanon for Christians, although that hasn’t worked out as planned. That, plus drew absurd borders, in cahoots with the Turkish, Russian and Persian empires as well.
If you don’t like Netflix’ prize-winning “White Helmets” movie, showing that Russia was bombing not foregin jih@dis in Aleppo, but ordinary Syrian civilians, then maybe you’ll trust Doctors Without Borders:
Why would Israel help the rebels, if it expected Syria to turn Salafist after the overthrow of the mass murdering tyrant Assad (no matter how well he and his English wife dress and behave around foreigners)?

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 5:39 pm

Yes, the Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia involvement is not motivated only by political and religious rivalry. Energy is very much in the mix, just as it was in Georgia and is in the Ukraine.
But Turkey and the Gulf States didn’t instigate the spontaneous demonstrations for Syria to have in 2011 what Tunisia got in 2010. They were however quick to exploit the situation.
When it comes to gas, Qatar is strangely in bed with Iran rather than its fellow Arab Gulf States, which is a major reason for the current contratemps between Qatar and its neighbors.
Putin is also motivated by nationalism, which is his stock in trade. While stealing hundreds of billions from Russians, he is using their sense of wounded pride to win their support, despite the harm sanctions have done to their economy.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 5:53 pm

Oh good grief, Gloateus. The White Helmets are Al Qaeda. I could show you scores of pictures of White Helmets supporting Al Qaeda either as jihadists themselves, waving Al Qaeda flags, or hauling off the bodies of infidels murdered by them.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 5:57 pm

I Came,
You have truly drunk the Kool Aid.
The White Helmets are not al Qaeda. They are citizens of Aleppo, trained in Turkey.
Of course they have helped to rescue Nusra fighters, since they’re in Aleppo. They aren’t going to rescue only non-fundamentalist Sunnis.
Is there no Russian lie which you won’t swallow hook, line and sinker?
But please, by all means show me the evidence which you imagine supports this blatant propaganda Bid Lie.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 6:00 pm

Driven out of Aleppo, they fled to Idlib Province, which is nominally under jih@di control, but really protected by Turkey.
Whom do you suppose attacked their office there?

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 6:05 pm

Before you show me your supposed “evidence”, here is another dose of reality for you, to the effect that the organization has been the target of a disinformation campaign by Assad supporters and the Russian propaganda TV station, RT, including claims of links with terrorist activities:
For starters. Hope you’re enjoying having such a thoroughly laundered brain.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 6:43 pm

Just G̶o̶o̶g̶l̶e̶ Goolag white +helmets + al +qaeda. It’s all there.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 6:52 pm

I Came, etc:
Let this be a learning experience for you in how to evaluate information. Maybe had you grown up in the Cold War you’d understand Russian mind control techniques better. The Soviets had agents of influence like KGB controlled I F Stone and KGB funded SDS, led by Mr Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden. The Rusdians haven’t let up since the demise of the USSR.
Your young mind has been bent and warped, but you can recover. When and if you ever have a position of responsibility, you’ll need to be able to evaluate information more critically than you’ve done in this case. Your brain won’t be mature until age 35, if ever.
But I feel some confidence that once you get beyond the Twitterverse and the clutches of RT, you’ll flourish. At least I hope so. As a pathetic dupe of Russian propaganda is no way to go through life.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 6:59 pm

I Came I Saw I Left September 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm
You are the gift of hilarity which just keeps on giving! Thanks.
Let’s look at the first hit which I get from doing as you suggest:
It’s Wired debunking your crazy conspiracy theory, which originated with Assad and Putin, just as I said. I’d call it a Krazy Konspiracy Theory if Putin still worked for the KGB.
Then we get Youtube videos of Assad calling the White Helmets “al Qaeda”. My, that’s convincing.
It must be great to live in such a fantasy world.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 7:37 pm

I haven’t researched this thoroughly so I don’t know the real story. I will say that these days, Russia Today, or RT is a far more credible source than a Wired writer quoting Snopes. And even Snopes could only say “inconclusive”.
Let us not forget Flat Fatima.
Or Green Helmet Guy

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 7:42 pm

You really imagine that the Russian propaganda organ RT is more credible than Wired?
What exactly do you suppose is Wired’s vested interest in Syria. Putin has all kinds of vested interests there.
What are the vested interests in Syria of the UN, Amnesty International, the UK Human Rights Observatory and Doctors Without Borders?
Clearly, your ability to separate real from fake news is no better than I Came’s.
I worry about America’s future with such uncritical thinkers among the Millennial Generation.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 7:47 pm

I’m 59 and have watched the left say anything that is either Anti-Western, Anti-US, or Anti-Israel ratcheted up over the last decade. Anything written about the Middle East by the Left is beyond suspect.
The vested interest is in US and, by extension, Israel bashing.
As I said, I haven’t researched this, but I have followed news out of the Middle East for more than three decades and there’s a smell test that goes along with it. RT while absolutely used as Putin’s propaganda arm, is still far more credible on an issue such as this as opposed to Wired, who will believe any peace and love NGO story thrown at it.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 8, 2017 7:50 pm

Oh, and Amnesty International, and Doctors Without Borders routinely push anti-US and anti-Israel propaganda from lying Arab sources. So on second thought I’m leaning more toward RT. Don’t know about UK Human Rights Observatory, but I’m sure they fit in with the others.
I didn’t look up Green Helmet Guy and Flat Fatima to write my response. I’ve been following Middle East propaganda for decades.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 8:01 pm

Clearly you have not researched it, which is why you sound like a nitwit Millennial spewing garbage picked up on Twitter and RT.
Hilarious that you cite anti-American statements by the NGOs which have worked with the White Helmets. Obviously, you’re unaware that the US and many other Western governments support the work of the Syrian Civil Defense units.
But, hey, knock yourself out. There is no greater enemy in the world of the US than Vlad Putin, yet you back his lies against the truthful statements of NGOs which you imagine to be anti-American. Go ahead and side with the regime, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Shia militias against the US, our allies and Israel, whom you claim to support. Russian air attacks killed thousands of innocents in Aleppo alone, including 159 White Helmet rescuers.
I’d urge you actually to study the history of the Syrian civil war before presuming to comment upon it. Another typical Millennial trait. Just know that your brain has been bent. At least it’s by the best propaganda machine in the world.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 8:14 pm

Strange that you fell qualified to weigh in when you’ve not researched this thoroughly, as in at all.
You didn’t read all the other articles debunking Assad and Putin’s propaganda against the baby rescuers. Nor obviously do you know anything at all about the history of Syria in general and the civil war in particular.
How bizarre that you don’t trust the NGOs but do trust Russia, which has killed so many Syrians. And you claim to support America and Israel, which have backed the rebels.
Just whose side are you on? Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, enemies of America and Israel, or the US and Israel?
You seem very confused, which isn’t surprising, since you are admittedly ignorant of the topic upon which you’ve chosen to comment.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 8:29 pm

To anyone with a functioning brain, to include Romney, Bolton, Ralph Peters, etc, it’s obvious that Putin’s goal is to weaken if not destroy the US in order to strip us from our alliances and rule the “World Island” as Russian geopolitical thought regards Eurasia and Africa. He’d prefer to wipe out the US, take back Alaska and give CONUS to Latin American socialists.
Yet dupes like CTM and I Came trust him over America and Israel. We had Blame America Firsters in the Cold War too. Thank God that Reagan defeated those Commie stooges along with the Evil Empire.
The bizarre thing is that CTM regards Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Observatory and all the other NGOs working with the White Helmets as more anti-American and anti-Israeli than is Putin, the arch enemy of the USA, whose minions seriously investigate the possibility of using geologic warfare at Yellowstone to destroy the whole country.
Putin funds CACA mouthpieces around the world. Nothing serves his interests better than for Europe to decarbonize its energy system.
The media concentrate on Putin’s attempts to help Trump, without pointing out that Clinton benefited from corruption with him far worse than anything Trump might or might not have done. In any case, Putin’s interference in the election didn’t elect Trump.
I contributed to Trump in both the primary and general elections not because I liked him, which I don’t, but because Clinton was worse. Trump might prove a bribe taker and traitor, but Clinton already is one.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 8, 2017 8:36 pm

In fact, as I reflect on CTM’s pro-creationism and pro-Putin positions, I realize that this blog is no place for me, a loyal American with honorable and decorated US Army service from age 18 to 56, an active genetic engineer and retired graduate biology professor.
I’m outahere. History, as will be the USA if Putin’s media goons continue their success in warping the ill-informed, uncritical minds, if they may be so dignified, of the denizens of this anti-scientific, if anti-CACA, blog.
You and your favorite media outlet RT deserve each other.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 9:32 pm

And as usual, you do not understand my points. I can explain it to you but I cannot understand it for you.
I am not pro creationism. I am pro-respecting people of faith.
I am not pro Putin. I am anti-leftist media. I hadn’t even followed the discussion. I just saw your one comment, read the Wired article and was disgusted. Followed a few of its debunking links and was even more disgusted.
Do I trust the US’s geopolitical foe Putin? No.
Do I trust him to tell the truth more often than Leftist media or Leftist NGO’s that swallow any anti-US propaganda they encounter? Yes.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 12:13 am

Guys, guy, guys, guys, guys.
It’s a tragedy to see friendships lost over whether our enemies are our enemies’ enemies or merely our friends’ enemies’ friends.
you “millennial” whippersnapper, you ;-), perhaps we could all do with the healing power of mirthless laughter? They say bitter chuckling is the best medicine.
Have you had a chance to re-scan the thing I emailed?

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 11:07 am

You seem deeply confused.
Which alleged anti-American and anti-Israeli statements by MSF do you have in mind? That they originally charged that Israeli attacks on their hospitals in Gaza were deliberate? That they accused the US of deliberately attacking their hospital in Konduz in 2015? Investigations showed that attacks in both places were accidental, certainly so in the Afghan case. I don’t know if you’ve ever been rocketed, strafed or bombed, but it does tend to make on a bit edgy, even accidentally. OTOH, don’t save lives in a war zone if you want to play it safe.
But what makes you appear confused is that you prefer to trust America’s greatest enemy over medical personnel working in war zones, people who are neither pro- nor anti-Israel and the US in their professional capacities, but just want to save lives.
Putin has every reason to lie about the Syrian Civil Defense groups, as of course does Assad. It’s hard to see why you would believe them or trust them more than humanitarian groups.
And, as pointed out above, your support for Assad and Putin is not shared by either America or Israel, countries which you claim to back. Israel in particular is far more worried about Syria remaining under Iranian puppet Assad than about having a new government there which might include the Muslim Brotherhood. It knows that most of the opposition are not Isl@mists, but are against Shia minority domination, tyrannical rule by 13% of the population.
Israel has gotten more involved int he civil war since your hero Putin road to the rescue of Assad. They just attacked a regime chemical weapons factory set up by Iran to supply both Assad and his ally Hezbollah.
So I don’t see how you can trust Putin while at the same time claiming to be for America and Israel.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 2:26 pm

Here is how much you can trust Putin. In order to draw attention away from Stalin-made mass starvation in the Ukraine, the Holodomor, in which five to ten million peasants were starved onto state farms, Putin had Pravda publish this totally bogus pack of lies about Depression era America:
Naturally, Alex Jones picked up the fake history story and attributed it not to Pravda, but to “university studies”. He routinely regurgitates Russian propaganda. No lie against America is too preposterous for Putin and his Western agents of influence.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 5:24 pm

But then, maybe I’m just less inclined to trust a former KGB colonel over Western doctors because my parents and grandparents were refugees from a KGB-backed Communist coup.
So call me crazy because I find Putin less trustworthy than MSF.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 5:45 pm

OK, technically NKVD during the Communist-made famine of the 1930s.
Anyone who trusts Putin hates the truth.
The thieving slime ball blames America for the Nork ICBM and missile programs, because Saddam. Neatly overlooking the fact that the Nork nuke program began in 1962.
Sorry, Charles and I Came, but the best thing I can say about your opinions is naive.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
September 9, 2017 6:33 pm

Charles and I Came,
Explain please why Israel, along with the US and European nations who support them, doesn’t think that the White Helmets are al Qaeda, as so falsely claimed by Putin and Assad:


September 8, 2017 10:27 am

At least we’ll always have Khartoum….
New York Times, June 10, 2032
‘For Darfur, justice. For Northern Africa, a chance to heal?’
THE HAGUE, Netherlands—Twenty years late, a war crimes tribunal has given Sudan’s most celebrated genocidaires their freedom again. The conviction of the ‘Darfur Four’ over a spree of atrocities between 2002 and 2003 was overturned today after courts finally accepted the science that blames regional violence on climate change.
“In rendering [the original verdict in 2012], His Honor erred by treating traditional peoples and Earth’s systems as independent. This led to a significant overestimation of the free moral agency of the appellants, who are black,” said an appeals court judge this morning, his voice hoarse from sobbing.
The acquittal brings closure not only to decades of hell for the four men, but to a test case in international climate-legal theory.
Amid jubilation in the pro-government neighborhoods of Khartoum, the released rapists and torturers held a conference this evening to thank the scientists and climate ethicists who “never gave up” on them. They closed by imploring the crowd of thousands not to forget or forgive the real culprits, “who sit in the air-conditioned boardrooms of America’s great oil companies.”
Alcohol is dangerous according to traditional knowledge-holders, so the revelers had to make do with firing assault rifles into the warm night air.
But justice comes too late for Muammar bin Skaf al Khartoumi, one of the original Darfur Five, who died behind bars in 2022. The tragedy was a complication of the HIV infection blamed on one of his victims, a child prostitute who gave him the disease while being raped in the bloody summer of 2003.
Col. al Khartoumi told interviewers on his deathbed that his greatest comfort was having lived long enough to see his killer pay for his crimes against Allah in 2015. (Shari’a does not permit the throwing of deviants from tall buildings until they’ve “attained manhood”—a threshold most scholars interpret as the age of 18.)
Sir Julian Assange, a leading advocate for the rights of the innocent, reminded the international community that today’s news was no excuse for complacency.
“Hundreds of men and women still rot in UN dungeons for ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in the heat of wars they didn’t start, no pun intended.
“Remember: people don’t increase the frequency and severity of regional conflict; global warming increases the frequency and severity of regional conflict.”
Sir Julian is no stranger to legal trials—or at least tribulations—himself, having spent years on the run from one embassy to another. His own nightmare began on an “unseasonably balmy night” in 2010 when he allegedly penetrated a sleeping colleague, only to be prosecuted for an act of microaggression.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
September 8, 2017 10:36 am

Sadly, might prove prophetic.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 10:44 am

Dude, that story comes from the same climate-modeling clusterfarms which have yet to get a single 50-year forecast of the state of the Earth’s atmosphere verifiably wrong.
Are you promoting doubts as to the reliability of today’s Forecasting the Facts technology?
For shame! Remember, folks: FUD.
Fear uncertainty and doubt.
For they are the Top 2 mind-killers.

Another Doug
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 10:53 am

Brad, I’m worried about your nutrition. It must be terribly difficult to eat, what with the tongue/cheek thing.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 11:17 am

Another Doug,
Thank you for your concern. It ain’t easy being green.
I’ve lost 32kg in the decade I’ve been woke (thanks to An Inconvenient Truth).
On top of the obvious linguistic problem, I’m also minimizing my footprint by keeping my feet in my mouth 17-18 hours a day.
Still, I know my children’s children’s children’s children are going to thank me for my sacrifice one day.
First, though, I need to trick someone into reproducing with me.

sy computing
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 11:44 am

“Brad, I’m worried about your nutrition. It must be terribly difficult to eat, what with the tongue/cheek thing.”
Hrumph…not likely given some silly fool is always coming ’round and feeding him…
*sheepish look*

Phil R
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 6:06 pm

Brad Keyes,
I don’t know what goes on in your crazy mind, but keep it up. And you even went more children’s children’s children than the Moody Blues!

Tom Halla
September 8, 2017 10:59 am

As global warming caused the population of Syria to vastly increase, global warming is responsible. As global warming caused Syria to have a succession of fascist governments, AGW again. As global warming caused the end of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War caused the civil war==>AGW. AGW is omnipotent./s

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 8, 2017 11:09 am

Global warming surely caused the Syrian government to be taken over by the Assads’ Shia Alawite sect, with 11% of population, in a country 74% Sunni. Just as it caused the Sunni majority repeatedly to rebel against this violent, repressive regime in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, each time bloodily put down by mass murder of tens of thousands.
Just as global warming made Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia militias come to its aid, after its army rebelled and its remnant defeated by the rebels. And of course, global warming, or maybe climate change, made the Gulf States and Turkey back the Sunni rebels. Except for Turkey not backing the Kurdish faction. That was AGW, too.
And had to be AGW that made Assad release radicalized Sunni prisoners and Russia send thousands of its own Isl@mist jihadis to Syria in order to bolser ISIS, to divide the opposition and tar all rebels with the Salafist brush.
It’s obvious to any true CACA believer. Clearly, it is no accident that the Assad regime was able to seize control of the Baathist Party and of the government in the same decade in which global warming accelerated, the 1970s.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 11:47 am

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 12:12 pm

Clearly I know infinitely more than you do. Which is not surprising, since I’ve served in three wars in the Near East and visited the region on business in every decade since the 1970s.
Was this prior genocidal atrocity by the Assad regime a massacre of innocent Sunni civilian protesters by the mass murderous, oppressive Alawite regime or a suppression of foreign jih@dists, as in your imaginary universe?
You have everything to learn, but appear not be inclined to do so, preferring to get your misinformation and disinformation from Putin’s propaganda machine.

sy computing
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 12:40 pm

“Clearly I know infinitely more than you do.” (emphasis mine)
But if one already knows “infinitely”, how does one know “infinitely more”…

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 12:42 pm

Because knowing anything is infinitely more than knowing nothing. Or less than nothing.

sy computing
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 12:49 pm

“Because knowing anything is infinitely more than knowing nothing. Or less than nothing.”
It couldn’t be possible to “know” a thing in the set of all “nothings”…there’s nothing in there!

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 12:56 pm

The Hama massacre was against the Muslim Brotherhood. If you are an apologist for them, so be it. Unfortunately, it can take brutal repression to subdue an intractable enemy, and that’s what’s been going on in Syria for decades. We have seen how the Muslim Brotherhood conducted themselves when they came to power in Egypt. And that underlies the dire imperative among the many, many Syrian Sunnis who are fighting with Assad to destroy that influence in their country. They do not want an Islamic government.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 1:29 pm

Gloateus says:
…”preferring to get your misinformation and disinformation from Putin’s propaganda machine.”
C’mon man, still with the Russians ?
Not sure they are smarter than our average bears, that are reading here.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 3:59 pm

I agree, Gloat must have gotten his information from Gore or Mann. Little chance of any of it being true or based on truth.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:10 pm

sy computing September 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm
Not sophistry. Math.
As comments here demonstrate, it is certainly possible to know nothing.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:11 pm

None from Gore or Mann, but from reality.
All true. Please specify that which you find not to be true.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:13 pm

u.k.(us) September 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm
Not smarter, necessarily, but better at exploiting the Internet, thanks to long centuries of expertise in intel and counterintel, and in making good use of useful idiots in the West.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:16 pm

I Came I Saw I Left September 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm
Very few Sunnis are fighting for Assad. If they were, he wouldn’t need the Russian army and air force, the Iranian army, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia militias. Far more Sunni Arab Syrians are fighting ISIS than are fighting for Assad.
Do you seriously imagine that, if any substantial number of Sunnis were on Assad’s side, he would have to destroy his country in order to maintain control of it?
As I said, please try to get real. Thanks.

September 8, 2017 12:03 pm

“Overblown claims not based on rigorous science only risk fueling climate scepticism.”
That pretty much covers most of their claims, if not all.

September 8, 2017 12:13 pm

That was another Brexit from reality.

Joel Snider
September 8, 2017 12:13 pm

But what about AGW causing cannibalism, prostitution, rape and giant spiders – those are all true, right?

Reply to  Joel Snider
September 8, 2017 12:36 pm

All true. And then, all the ice melts, followed by Earth turning into Venus.
Leading scientists say so, so it must be true!

Leonard Lane
Reply to  Joel Snider
September 8, 2017 4:02 pm

These things could be just as easily attributed to the radical leftists.

September 8, 2017 12:31 pm

Overblown claims not based on rigorous science only risk fueling climate scepticism.

That’s thing one.
Thing two is that, if you get the facts of the situation wrong, your response will be wrong.

September 8, 2017 12:56 pm

Climate change continues to harm science.

sy computing
Reply to  Resourceguy
September 8, 2017 1:08 pm

Speaking of that…maybe the tables could be turned on them.
I’d love see a clever individual publish a “paper” arguing that AGW is responsible for an individual’s belief in AGW.

Reply to  sy computing
September 8, 2017 1:17 pm

Well, it definitely helps if your brain is overheated.

Reply to  Resourceguy
September 8, 2017 1:30 pm

The prophecies of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global whatever are all very selective, unprincipled, and opportunistic. That is, they are Pro-Choice, where selective-child was the first step of so-called “secular” societies into the twilight fringe a.k.a. penumbra, where logical domains are conflated, and the scientific domain is extended to an absurd frame of reference in time and space, past, present, and future.

Gary Pearse
September 8, 2017 1:05 pm

“Overblown claims not backed by rigorous science only risk fueling climate scepticism”
There is an unintended, but true statement by a cli doom follower! The implication is scepticism is only fueled by claims not backed by rigorous science. Indeed it is the lack of rigorous science in cliSci that has a minority of what, 3% to use their own figures (fools!) , able to stave off the whole edifice of a climate putsch not supported, not defended by logical argument, but rather by the employment of name calling and other insults.
Ya see folks Harvard, Oxford and the other once greats who have been pushing Alinski’s rules in the service of the science climate doom, are perhaps slowly beginning to learn that they only work on useful idiots.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 8, 2017 3:10 pm

Overblown claims not backed by rigorous science only risk fueling climate scepticism
“There is an unintended, but true statement by a cli doom follower! The implication is scepticism is only fueled by claims not backed by rigorous science.”
I see no reason for the ‘only’ there (in your comment). Such “overblown claims” fuel skepticism, naturally, and so does pointing them out as that. I’m not at all sure we are looking at totally convinced “cli doom followers” here . . and suspect these are skeptics, who believe somewhat tentatively, and do not rule out the possibility that the doom part is also overblown . .

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 8, 2017 4:12 pm

PS ~ For instance, it seems quite plausible to me that someone might believe that moderate global warming due to our emissions is likely, resulting in significant “climate change” . . while thinking that overall this will not be a devastating development for all, or even most people. Yet, be thinking it will be devastating for some people, who draw the short end of the climate change stick, so to speak.
Such “believers” might be concerned about over-hyping and overly broad generalizations of doom (possibly even hoping that the “net” changes will be beneficial to mankind), while still being concerned that shifting weather/circulation patterns will leave some people in need of significant help they otherwise would not need.

September 8, 2017 1:27 pm

Obama’s premature evacuation from Iraq, followed by his social justice adventures (a.k.a. elective wars) from Tripoli to Cairo to Damascus, were first-order forcings of the Syrian war, as well as other elective regime changes (all the way to Kiev) and catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform (a.k.a. refugee crises). So, Libya was about oil. Somalia was about uranium. Ukraine was presumably about natural and Russian resources. And CAIR, as well as the trail of tears, was about gerrymandered districts and redistributive change in Europe and America.

Reply to  nn
September 8, 2017 1:42 pm

Agree that Obama’s premature departure without a status of forces agreement led to disaster in Iraq. Had even a brigade of US troops remained, ISIS couldn’t have captured Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul. It would have had to stay in Syria.
So Obama isn’t primarily to blame for the civil war in Syria. The Islamic State in the Levant would have existed in Syria anyway, with jih@dis from all over. What he did do to make the situation worse however was the worst possible reaction to the fighting there, ie to say “Assad must go”, then not follow through on such a declaration. The repeated use of banned nerve agent against his own people was sufficient justification. But Putin took advantage of his natural unwillingness to fight and suckered him with the false promise of controlling the ex-Iraqi sarin.
Had Obama acted when he said he would, the approximately hundred thousand lives lost since 2015 could have been saved (including those murdered in Assad’s prisons and innocent women and children killed by Russian bombs, rockets and artillery), a million or more refugees would still be in their homes, and the millions of others could have come home.

Bruce Cobb
September 8, 2017 1:31 pm

“Global climate change is a very real challenge, and will undoubtedly have significant conflict and security consequences,”
They just love pulling fact-free statements like that out of their arses.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 8, 2017 2:17 pm

Well even more balanced authors have to genuflect before the climate change altar in order to be published.

September 8, 2017 1:34 pm

The inhabitants of the Middle East have been warring among themselves continually for about 44 centuries – on the record. Records don’t go back much before that.

Reply to  tadchem
September 8, 2017 1:48 pm

Warfare has been constant not only in 5000 years of history but in five million years of prehistory as well. During the latter, you were however more likely to be eaten as well as killed. Not that that hasn’t happened in historic times too.
Since chimps wage war, it’s likely that our australopithecine ancestors did too. For the past 50,000 years, we have evidence of fully modern human warfare.
I;m not sure that the Middle East is really congenitally more warlike than other regions. It just has a good historical record.
Isl@m was able to make such rapid inroads because the Ar@b army took advantage of the Christian Byzantine Greek and Zoroastrian Sassanian Persians having exhausted each other with constant fighting. Similarly, Visigothic in-fighting made Spain vulnerable.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 2:57 pm

The machine gun changed things.

September 8, 2017 2:52 pm
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was invented by the Western pack-hunting animals who disarm nations them destroy them, in conjunction with Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Or so says they U.S. Department of Defense ina document declassified years ago for Judicial Watch, but fervently ignored the establishment media and all supporters of the slaughterhouse party we created in Syria.
It was obvious from the very first day of the propaganda campaign.
“They took the babies from the incubators (sniff) and left them die on the cold floor”
(Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it)

philip middleton
September 8, 2017 2:53 pm

Syrian population 1960=4.9 million
2017=22.5 million
No population can grow at that pace and not have big problems.
Despite all of the killing the population is still growing…..
No country with that population growth and with their urban density (mostly a desert country) with different branches of Islam squashed together could ever expect anything else.

September 8, 2017 2:58 pm

I thought it was started during the “Arab spring”, when people were protesting against authoritarian governments.

Robert B
September 8, 2017 3:52 pm

Bjorn Lomborg’s scepticism was on par with this paper and he was the first person I saw get tagged with the denier tag some 15 years ago.
Hulme, you’re history, mate.

September 8, 2017 4:11 pm

The Syrian Civil War is a struggle by those who want to install Sharia Law and the rule of Islam over the authoritarian dynastic rule of the Assad Family and its clan supporters in the country of Syria. It is a struggle of two evil forces against each other, and climate has played no part in it at all. The quadrupling of the population over fifty years has certainly added to the country’s woes but was not the main driver.

Reply to  ntesdorf
September 8, 2017 4:21 pm

You’re right about everything except the nature of the struggle. It began as yet another peaceful protests by largely non-fundamentalist Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen and other non-Shia groups against the oppressive Shia (Alawite) regime. Same as in every decade since the 1970s. This time the vast majority of the people thought they had a chance, having seen what happened in Tunisia. But Assad is not like the ex-dictator of Tunisia.
Were Assad not backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shia militias, he wouldn’t have been able to stay in power after most Sunnis deserted his army.
Some of the rebels of course are Salafists, but most of the jih@dis are foreigners, exploiting the situation. Assad and Putin cynically bolstered ISIS to tarnish the reputation of the opposition and to cause the rebels to have to fight each other and foreigners instead of his regime.
Most native Syrian rebels are not jih@dis, anymore than they were in Tunisia, which shares Syria’s history of Westernization under the French.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 7:03 pm

They are Islamists who prefer to implement an Islamic society via political means rather than through violent jihad, But if that fails, then through violence. Thus the situation we have in Syria.

Reply to  ntesdorf
September 8, 2017 7:22 pm

I Came,
That’s so easily shown false that I would have thought that even you could have done so.
Do you actually believe that the tens of thousands of Sunni officers and men of the former Syrian Armed Forces who deserted after Assad butchered their co-religionists during demonstrations in 2011 were all proponents of Sharia Law? Really?
Do you similarly imagine that the tens of thousands of citizens who took to the streets after the Tunisian Revolution were all members of the Muslim Brotherhood? Or were they the overwhelming majority of ordinary citizens tired of being oppressed for fifty years by a tiny minority regime kept in power by blood and torture?
When you have lived and worked in the Muslim world for over 40 years, get back to me.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 9, 2017 4:26 pm

“Or were they the overwhelming majority of ordinary citizens tired of being oppressed for fifty years by a tiny minority regime kept in power by blood and torture?”
To me, nobody special, there is sort of schizophrenic quality to your descriptions/accounts, wherein sometimes it’s about great big discrete entity-like players that did this and that (Isl@m, the Christian Byzantine Greek and Zoroastrian Sassanian Persians having exhausted each other, etc.) and sometimes (as here) you seem to recognize that for the most part it’s really just some ruler types that we’re actually talking about having engaged in various struggles for power and wealth and so on, when we speak of historical matters.
We can attribute what is done to a religion or ideology or whatever, but the ruler types involved might not even believe what sincere believers in such “philosophical” things ascribe to . . It’s not like they are going to announce they are just after wealth and power if they are, anymore than the Hillary was going to announce she doesn’t give a damn about “breaking the glass ceiling” for the woman of America if she didn’t.
The “Christian Byzantine Greek and Zoroastrian Sassanian Persians” you spoke of, might have lost ground/power because the ruler types involved were foolish or chose crappy generals, and not because of anything having to do with what “the overwhelming majority of ordinary citizens” believed. And the “tiny minority regime” problem you speak of in Syria, is just you pulling some SJW style BS in my eyes, by conjuring up the (to me) silly notion that some ruler types who (ostensibly) believe what the majority of citizens (ostensibly) believe are somehow magically bound to not themselves oppress the citizenry.
Just the other day, after all, you wrote this (to a Christian);
“It’s precisely because religions pretend to help the poor that they need them.
“The poor ye will have with ye alway”, and many religions want to keep it that way, rather then helping the poor become rich.”
So what’s with this spiel about “the overwhelming majority of ordinary citizens tired of being oppressed for fifty years by a tiny minority regime”? Are you suggesting that (ostensibly) Sunni ruler types have some sort of stellar track record of serving the people or something? Gonna break the glass ceiling for the wee folks, you figure?
I think your pushing a “regime change” agenda, and are saying whatever you think will serve to advance it.

Tom Judd
September 8, 2017 4:19 pm

It requires little study to see Syrian civil war for what it is. In fact, the causes are right before our very eyes – plain as day. And, it affects almost all of the ME. Simply stated it’s political systems based on tribalism, nepotism, and secrecy; rampant misogyny; antisemitism; and a primitive, vicious, and unyielding religion which both results from the misery yet waters it to harvest more of the same.
There’s lots of nuances, and details wrapped around the perpetual intrigue and internecine warfare; and the nuances and details are worthy of examination. But, until the former cultural failings are addressed, and that ghastly religion tamed, the ME turmoil will continue.
The Middle Ages are thankfully dead and rotted away – everyplace but one.

Reply to  Tom Judd
September 8, 2017 4:26 pm

Unfortunately, it will take a long time for the Middle East to return to Christianity or Judaism. Zoroastrianism is probably even deader there.
However, some recently liberated citizens of Mosul are so turned off by ISIS that they now no longer go to prayers when called. Some of the young, however, might remain indoctrinated in militant Isl@m.
At the very least, we should insist that the Gulf States stop funding the madrases in Pakistan which spawn the Taliban.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:44 pm

Who is this “we” of which you speak ?

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:45 pm

The West, were I assume most of us reading reside.
Or, Christendom, if you prefer, although that entity might not be long for this world.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 4:54 pm

OK, now define “the west”.
I’m sure the divisions must stop somewhere ?
But where ?

Reply to  Gloateus
September 8, 2017 7:17 pm

That’s easy. The US and its allies.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 9, 2017 4:16 am

For Gloateus, the wise monkey:
From U.S., the ABC’s of Jihad</B.
March 23, 2002
In the twilight of the Cold War,
the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.
=============comment image

Reasonable Skeptic
Reply to  Gloateus
September 9, 2017 4:40 am

Are you telling me that the US spent millions on making a monster and that monster cost a trillion to tame? Why didn’t they just spend millions on books of peace to fix it? That was sarcasm by the way.
People have to take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming it on mistakes by foreigners from 50 years ago. All that demonstrates it a lack of intellectual capacity of the “victims”, something that obviously isn’t the case.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 9, 2017 5:26 am

Reasonable Skeptic,
Gloateus lied and tried to blame the Soviets for the origin of the Taleban and their militant Islamic culture, even thought historic records show quite the opposite to be true, that the U.S. was to blame (Soviets ran a secular society that didn’t force women to wear veils): hence my posting a brief extract from WaPo, “The ABCs of Jihad.”
Reagan called them “freedom fighters”, in case you forgot.
Sylvester Stalone celebrated them in Rambo III, in case you forgot.
Zbigniew Brezinski said, “Your cause is right, and God is on your side”, in case you forgot.

Are we supposed to simply forget, just because Gloateus wants to fabricate his own fanciful version of history? Or if we can’t forget–and I have a remarkably good memory–should we just pretend to forget?
“But how do you stop people remembering things”, said Winston, forgetting the dial.
And as I demonstrated with that confession from the military horse’s mouth yes (yello highlighted text above), ISIS R US too.
Not many humans care about the truth. Not too many humans have integrity
I’m starting to think the misanthropes have a point.

Reply to  Gloateus
September 9, 2017 7:25 pm

Khwarizmi September 9, 2017 at 4:16 am
You have forgotten that the USSR overthrew Afghan government after government, then invaded, forcing millions to flee. Without Soviet aggression, there would have been no war from 1979-89 and hence no Taliban.
You seem to think that the US helping Afghans liberate themselves from genocidal Soviet domination was a bad thing.

Reasonable Skeptic
September 9, 2017 4:30 am

This paper will not be received. The lie will continue.
As well this only confirms that alarmists and their colleagues will take any bait.
I knew from the outset it was ridiculous as Logic>Data>Science and clearly logic said it was silly.

David Blackall
September 9, 2017 7:18 pm

In his book, ‘Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity’ (Hulme 2009) the case is put for Post Normal Science to be used (deployed) when there is an emergency, and so, science must change to meet the political agenda. As a former director of the Tyndall Center, once Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Mike Hulme collaborated on influential reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His well-written book demonstrates how the political realm overwhelms other realities held in science and journalism, especially if these alternative realities convey facts disapproved by the dominant culture. A famous quote from his book illustrates how journalism and academic inquiry failed to notice and give the deserving analysis of the coordinated efforts to construct public belief in anthropogenic global warming and the inevitable catastrophe to follow.
. . . the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs. (Hulme 2009 p. 326)
The climate change debate in the minds of Post Normal Science alarmists is that the debate about climate change needs to become more political, and less scientific. Hulme would argue that articulating radically different policy options in response to the risks posed by climate change is a good way of reinvigorating democratic politics. But his latest collaboration seems to have taken a turn for the better, in the principled approach for science as Popper meant it to be.
Despite many journalists being well endowed with an education that is humanities based, postmodernism with plastic realities as central, few have seen how this reality has been socially constructed.
Directly observed experience can, we argue, have a powerful influence upon belief, but always requires some explanatory frame of reference provided by, inter alia, science, the media, conversation with friends and acquaintances (cf. Kempton et al. 1995).
. . . floods and extremely hot and dry weather were directly, intersubjectively, experienced by large numbers of people. In effect, we bring the social construction of reality down to the social construction of daily reality and experience for the average member of a society and its compounding effects on belief. (Bray and Shackley, 2004)
Bray and Shackley of the Tyndall Center are widely published. Their paper of 2004 (a Tyndall work in progress in 2004 that remains unpublished) cites Berger and Luckmann’s book of 1966, which outlined the use of public relations to create theatrical “fronts” for “Dramatic Realization”. This technique produces public discourse for generating pre determined social, political and economic outcomes. “We need to understand and simulate the point at which related perspectives and beliefs concerning the issue coalesce” (Bray and Shackley p. 3). The result of this is that student journalists and junior reporters are left in little doubt on what they can easily get away with when writing news about climate change. They soon learn that required attribution and source triangulation is unnecessary when the news is written in keeping with this dominant narrative. Meanwhile, peers, lecturers, and senior journalists will happily approve such lazy journalism.

Reply to  David Blackall
September 9, 2017 7:26 pm

Yes, the consensus “climate change” sc@m has corrupted all of science.

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