Saturday, 1 September 2012

Devastated communities in Syria

Syria: Is there an alternative to the developing civil war?

"The fall of Assad could also strengthen pro-US Sunni Gulf regimes, while weakening Shia-based Hezbollah in Lebanon and Russian imperialism's position in the region."
There is a lot you could object to in the crudity and vagueness of Niall Mulholland's piece on Syria; but for someone from the Socialist Party to acknowledge that there is such a thing as Russian imperialism is a pleasant fact to focus on.

Annie Get Your Gun

"When our partners say that the government must stop first and withdraw all its soldiers and weapons from cities -- and only then call on the opposition to do the same -- well, this is a completely unworkable scheme," said [Russian foreign minister, Sergei] Lavrov.
"Either people are naive or it is some sort of provocation,"

Friday, 31 August 2012

No sheikh-up here

Luke O'Sullivan "notes that no-one seems to have told the UAE about the so-called 'Arab spring'. And it's now less likely they'll be hearing about it in future"frown emoticon…/american-professor-suddenly…]
"In one sign of twitchiness, the government in February punished some 60 Syrians who had protested outside their country's embassy by cancelling their residency permits, a harsh move considering conditions in Syria. Officials explain that foreigners so outnumber native Emiratis—by six to one—that the UAE cannot afford to let them practise politics."
Political rights might make immigrants think they live there.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Image result for star witness top syrian media host abandons assad for the truth

Star Witness: Top Syrian Media Host Abandons Assad for the Truth

'She drove to work every morning through downtown Damascus to the state television building. "I often sat crying in my car. The thought of having to read Bashar's messages every day almost broke my heart," Abbas says. She spent more than a year telling Syrians that there was no uprising, that the rebels were merely armed terrorists determined to sow chaos, that there was an Israeli-Saudi-Western conspiracy against her country, and that Assad was the protector of the country's sovereignty.'

Which Side Are You On?

"George Galloway has signed up to present a fortnightly show for al-Mayadeen, a new Arab television channel said to be linked to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad."*
Two questions occur as relevant ones for him to be asked:
1. You said earlier this year that Assad must go now. Are you going to put this point on your new show, every time you talk?
2. If the politics of this station are pro-Assad, do you really think it is appropriate to be appearing on such a station?
Syria is not Iran. At first when I saw people compare this to his work with Press TV, I was tempted to care no more about this than I did about that (which did include objecting to the station allowing a Holocaust denier to propagate his views, but not to get worked up that they employed Galloway). But Iran is still a country targeted hypocritically by the most powerful countries, while Syria is a country where politically now there is only one over-arching question; and if you are financially tied to the wrong side of that as a propagandist you deserve to lose Respect.**
**I'd still tend to say that if he was working for the Hezbollah TV station that would be reasonable, depending on what he actually said on there, as Hezbollah is not the Syrian government.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian president, Bashar Assad, performs Eid prayers in the Hamad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Assad prayed early on Sunday at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The last time he appeared in public was on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 when he gave a speech in parliament. (AP Photo/SANA)

Robert Fisk: The Syrian army is far from squeaky clean

"Our very own beloved Free Syria Army has actually advertised its own murders in Syria. Chucking policemen off roofs and shooting shabiha to death after torturing them doesn't burnish the reputations of La Clinton or the messieurs Fabius and Hague."
That's some shitty opinionating, but the rest of the article is fine.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Those struggling for freedom in Syria "must not sell out their revolution to foreign backers", writes Barkawi [EPA]

Democracy and the nation-state in Syria and the world

"The challenge in Syria is to make use of its violent opportunity to create a new national people and with it, a new republic. Democracy in the Middle East was never going to be implanted by foreign powers and their occupations. But it can be seized by a politically alive and mature people, who come to collective awareness in and through struggle."