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The lie never serves the listener.

The lie always serves the liar in two ways: to conceal discomforting information or though — material that would be embarrassing, impolite, or shameful if expressed — or to manipulate the listener for gain, emotional or monetary, directly or indirectly.

Perhaps fiction serves for exception, but that entails literary invention in service to the emotional, political, social, and structural truth of a thing in aspects beyond the purview of journalism (for the journalist cannot record, for example, interior monologue).

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A Jew may suggest, and possibly should, that each time the religion was hijacked, more or less, it may have been done with less concern for those inveigled in and by the New Power (two majors and lots of lesser camps in that category).  One gets a lesson, say, about snakes and devils, a fall from grace, but go back and read Genesis 2 and 3 and “The Fall” is not there — and what is there is an awakening in awareness, self-awareness, and conscience, each an aspect of consciousness and knowledge.

And while our Original Couple may “cover” with the fig leaves, it’s God who sews them clothes of skin — and clothed and conscious of their lives as human beings, out into the world they go.

What happened to that telling?

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From Adam and Eve and the charming story of their creation and birth as human beings to Bashar and Maher al-Assad would seem a stretch, but it’s not.  The former emblematically tells a truth about the truth: indeed, humankind is conscious, self-conscious, and possessed of conscience; the latter symbolically tell a story about exceptional evil and how brazen, unconscious, uncaring, unconscionable, and sadistic a human or comparative handful of the same can be.

The initial mismatch involved in flying jets against neighborhoods in response to a guerrilla challenge at the low intensity level signals the delusion of grandeur in which the Assad brothers had been knocking about all of their lives.  Theirs was a kingdom, never mind the exploitation, hunger, and suffering of some fair portion of their constituency.

Damascus, 30 October 2007 (IRIN) – Syria is struggling to reform unsustainable and inequitable subsidies, despite warnings from leading economists that delays increase the likelihood of drastic economic shocks and possible social unrest.

 The question is how to do so without provoking sharp price increases in a country where the average state wage remains little over US$120 a month.

IRIN.  “SYRIA: Economic reforms threaten social unrest.”  October 30, 2007.

Ah, the good old days.

Syrians know how they lived.

Like kings, some.

Like peasants, most.

That is the way of kingdoms — and dictatorships — and they are all happy, are they not?

A more recent article in Al Monitor (“Failure of Economic Reform in Syria,” December 28, 2012) goes more deeply into the from-there-to-here aspect, but suffice it to say: all were not happy and however helped along or joined by fanatics or mercenaries, the seeds for insurrection would seem to have been homegrown.

As much, the Assad brothers would deny.

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Remember: it’s never the narcissist.

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Andrew Tabler: One of the ways the Syrian government defends itself is by obscuring everything that happens inside the country. Right now there’s a huge question about whether or not to intervene. The government can dispute whatever argument pro-interventionists have. This isn’t unusual for these kinds of regimes. Assad is a master at manipulating the press. Often times hardly anyone is even paying attention to Syria, though that’s changed now. At the time they could snow job us, but now it’s a lot harder, especially when so much violence is being captured on YouTube.

Totten, Michael J.  “An American in the Den of Assad.”  Interview with Andrew Tabler.  World Affairs, March 10, 2012.

A false false-flag in which troops dress down to look like rebels and a disinformation industry gins it up to look like “the other guy” tells the character of the primary actor, and it never changes: bullies are cowards and cowards are liars always.

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This may be the last I write about language, integrity, narcissism, and political psychology for a while.  It may take funding or it may be for others to do, but with so much behavioral and cognitive machinery visible, one may pursue curiosity down into the nuts and bolts of child rearing, social grammar, the drama of, say, narcissistic mortification, and experiments with and development of criminal power as the basis for political and social power across large constituencies that will pay a high price for having allowed as much to happen to them.

The civil war in Syria provides the drama of the day; violence in Islam associated with mixed ambitions provides a convenient theme: however, observations proposed or stated here may have more universal qualities.

For certain, for example, Robert Mugabe has held on to power for decades, reintroduced cholera to Zimbabwe, displaced the white farmers, destroyed the nation’s agricultural prowess, watched as adults crawled across borders for work and children sank to eating bugs, and yet, probably, he will pass away peacefully in his sleep, fulfilling the dream of every dictator who ever believed he had actually defended and saved his country, accumulated his wealth legitimately, and arrived on his death bed with as good a conscience as any.

Additional Reference

Anderson, Hans Christian.  “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

BackChannels.  “Syria – Dictators Do Not Negotiate Internal Affairs.”  May 28, 2013.

Debka File.  “Reported Syrian gas attack killing hundreds after first US-trained rebel incursion from Jordan.”  August 21, 2013.

Debka File.  “The sarin shells fired on Damascus – by Syrian 4th Division’s 155th Brigade – were followed by rockets on Israel and car bombings in Lebanon.”  August 24, 2013.

Dow, Nicole.  “Getting to know Syria’s first family.”  CNN, July 18, 2012.

Kahn, Laura H.  “Who would use chemical weapons?”  Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists.”  April 16, 2013.

McIntyre, Douglas A.  “As War risk Falters: Syria’s Economy by the Numbers.”  24/7 Wall Street, September 1, 2013.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Chomsky Think.”  May 17, 2010.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Guilt and Jealousy in Two Lines.”  February 27, 2012.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Israel and the Dark Mirror.”  June 25, 2010.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Not Tolerance: Trust — Cordoba Initiative, Imam Faisal Abdul Raif, and Primary Commentary.  August 24, 2010.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Obama and the Double Story.”  May 20, 2010.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Obama’s Double Story and the Islamic Small Wars.”  July 31, 2012.

Oppenheim Arts & Letters.  “Ye Who Would Wish to Help Man, Write for God.”  February 2, 2012.

RIA Novosti.  “Moscow Concerned about Syria, Not Assad – Minister.”  February 25, 2013.

RIA Novosti.  “Syrian Communists Urge Economic Reforms as Crisis Solution.” February 26, 2013.

Tabler, Andrew J.  “The Day After Assad Wins: The Hard Truths About Post-War Syria.”  Foreign Affairs, August 21, 2013.

The Heritage Foundation.  “2013 Index of Economic Freedom: Syria”.

Wikipedia.  “Gaslighting”.

Zelizer, Julian.  “Obama’s Syria dilemma: Becoming the president he didn’t like.” CNN, September 1, 2013.

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