Friday, May 13, 2016

HR 1493: The View from Beirut; Propaganda vs. the Reality on the Ground

Franklin Lamb, a sympathizer of the Assad regime, states in an article he published in April that US Congressional sources told him that Palmyra's recapture by Syrian Government forces helped move HR 1493 forward.  Yet, while Palmyra is a rallying cry for Assad's propaganda machine, Syrian government forces shelled it when it was initially in rebel hands, looted it when it was previously in government hands, and with its recapture, have given over part of the site so that it can be turned into a Russian military camp.  This again begs the question whether repatriation contemplated under HR 1493 to Syria and its government is a good thing.


Unknown said...

What a load of rubbish. Before the western-backed 'rebels' (mostly non-Syrian) and their IS successors took to destroying its monuments, Palmyra was a cherished site that was not damaged in any way by the government of Syria. The propaganda emanating from the US and Europe against Assad is by far the the reason for destruction of Syria's heritage and more importantly, has caused the deaths and displacement of millions of people.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Don't believe me, this from an academics who is hardly pro collecting or pro US:

kyri said...

with the breakdown of law and order of course there is looting from all sides.before the west armed and in some cases trained these rebels in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of a sovereign country there was no looting.Ben Ward is right,your anti Assad rants are a load of rubbish.if only we could turn the clock back 5 years knowing the consequences of their actions,im sure the USA Turkey,Saudis would not have got involved.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Ben Ward claims that Assad's forces don't loot, it's all propoganda. That of course is sheer nonsense based on what we know. You raise a different question. Of course, we could also say there would be no revolt in Syria if peaceful demonstrators were respected rather than gunned down by a dictator who would not be in power if he were not propped up by Putin, Hezbollah and Iran.

John H said...

Hello Peter:

Ward and kyri's comments are typical of the wailing and gnashing of teeth currently in vogue, even de rigueur, in some recesses of archaeology. Despite Syria's human tragedy all these two can find to wring their hands over is the fate of artefacts and ancient ruins. Thier defence of the Assad regime is telling, if only to illustrate their naivety.

Judging from their vibrant defence of Assad, they doubtless wholeheartedly support his latest tactic of deploying sarin nerve gas (again), this time to prevent two air bases falling into Isil hands.


John Howland

kyri said...

hi john,maybe Peter ford the former British ambassador to Syria is also a closet archaeologists,maybe he to is seeking a dig permit from the Assad regime because he is more pro Assad than i what he has to say,a guy that was there on the ground.if you like i can link you to another 50 at least senior civil servants and politicians who say exactly the same thing.personally im not an Assad supporter but i do know syria was a different place before we started meddling gladd you are so saddend by the "human tragedy"and im sure the syrian people can count on your support when the EU try to re-settle 150,000 of them in the uk.

John H said...


I understand your embarrassing predicament in being caught out.

Irrespective of how many civil servants you can muster to bolster your anti-Assad credentials you won't make your candle any brighter by blowing out thiers.

kyri said...

hi john,"being caught out"???again you skip the main issue and talking gibberish.since you dislike civil servants just thought you should know that there are at least as many military figures,some of them generals that believe Assad is the only real buffer against the fact there was a near rebellion my seniour US army staff when obama was pushing for bombing the Assad regime.

John H said...

Hello kyri:

Unlike you, it seems, I don't support any leader or nation state that uses nerve gas against opponents even those as revolting as ISIS. It's illegal in international law and a war crime. I doubt whether these 'many military figures' you have introduced into the discussion to bolster your argument are prepared to stand trial or justify the illegal use of sarin nerve gas.

Caught out? You certainly have been.You really should examine more closely at precisely what Assad is doing.

In the current situation it is infinitely better that all and any artefacts are safer in museums and/or private collections than allowed to remain in situ, or returned.