“Autocracy” Vs. “Democracy”: Stunning Before and After Pictures of Syria’s Largest City

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Top Tier Gear USA


As we documented last autumn in “Syria Showdown: Russia, Iran Rally Forces, US Rearms Rebels As ‘Promised’ Battle For Aleppo Begins,” Syria’s largest city has been among the hardest hit of the country’s urban centers over the course of the last five years.

Newsweek documented the destruction in a series of stark and profoundly indelible images in 2012, perhaps the most striking of which was this:

Recapturing the city is critical to restoring Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power.

If Aleppo is liberated, the rebellion will be all but crushed. The Alawite government would once again control the country’s urban backbone in the west and, more importantly from a big picture perspective, Iran would have scored a major victory in the effort to preserve the Shiite crescent not to mention its supply lines to Hezbollah.

Likewise, a victory at Aleppo would invalidate US claims that Vladimir Putin was destined to get Moscow into a “quagmire” in Syria and the Russians would score a major geopolitical coup by effectively replacing the US as Mid-East superpower puppet master.

As for the Gulf monarchies, the demise of the Sunni insurgency in Syria would be a bitter blow. The effort to roll back Iranian influence would be forever remembered as an abject failure and Tehran would score sectarian bragging rights over Riyadh just as international sanctions are lifted and Iran ramps up crude production.

So important is the battle for the city that Quds commander Qassem Soleimani himself supervised the initial stages of the push north from Latakia before disappearing into thin air in November only to resurface two days ago at a rally celebrating the Islamic Revolution.

Now that the eyes of the world are on Aleppo which may well go down in history as the site where World War III began, we thought it an opportune time to bring you the following before and after images which depict what life was like in the city under the “brutal dictatorship” of Bashar al-Assad and what life is like now that the US has exported democracy to Syria.











“Yes we can”… destroy the entire Middle East…

h/t: @BBassem7 and @lika__333

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  • lilred

    Wasn’t Libya looking like the before pictures as well, before the us govt took out ghadaffi (sp)?
    I also heard that he gave his people 1000$ a month for school or something. But , since he was part of the axis of evil (aka not in debt to the imf) , the us went after him

    • He stopped selling oil in dollars, big no-no unless you got major back.

    • BigGaySteve

      Libya had the highest human development index on the entire continent of Africa (after SA and Rhodesia fell). The first thing the juice attacked was the largest water project in the world. Kaddafi shared the oil wealth and blocked the borders. He dealt with dissidents by giving them cash for a foreign education.

    • Kathleencflores

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    • Witness

      You are correct. Libya was Debt free country!!! Here’s a really good 1 hour documentary that reveals few things about this guy and the amazing benefits he, as a head of state, he provided for his fellow citizens. Benefits that none of us, Americans have by the way!!! Absolutely starteling. Worth the time in my book .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THlaMUq6MKU

      • lilred

        Thank you for the follow up!

  • lazWbiPdit

    I wonder if American cities will some day look like these after photos, or worse if hit with nuclear explosives.

    It is so sad to see the real results of war. The winners are corporate
    weapons manufacturers and contractors.
    The arms industry is one of the most profitable and powerful industries in the world–6 of the 9 most powerful weapons companies are located in the U.S.

    “This is why some people don’t want peace: they make more money from war…”

    Cheney’s Halliburton Made $39.5 Billion on Iraq War