Saturday, 20 October 2012

Prelude And Fugue In A Minor

"Mehmet had deserted the army and fled Westward, but the smugglers had sent him to sea on a dangerous boat. His favourite music was the preludes of Johann Sebastian Bach".
Syrian refugees in Izmir remind the BBC's correspondent of the mess the British and French left in former Ottoman territories.
Abdul Rahman al-Rashed

Why lie to the Syrians?

"Supporting the rebels will secure the downfall of the regime and put an end to the Syrian people’s tragedy, and the time has come to stop the lies about mediators, envoys and promises."
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Syrian rebels make own arms

“Our revolution, as God knows, is a poor revolution. We have arrived at one year and eight months, and our people are being struck by the... highest types of weapons, you know, MiG aircraft, helicopters, missiles, tanks, and artillery,” Abu Hurriyah said.

Tales from a Syrian jail: Filmmaker witnesses regime's 'cruelty'

 'A liberated Syria will swing toward "those who saved the people in need," Nyrabia explains. "Qatar gives us $55 million in humanitarian aid when the US promises to give us only 15. The West says it is preventing the Islamist danger by not intervening, but the result will be the opposite.”

 But what was really striking was that most of his cellmates (65 out of 80) were soldiers in their twenties without any political conscience who had been held for two, five or seven months, suspected of “thinking about deserting” or accused of “criticizing the shelling of their village.”

 For Nyrabia, the confusion stems from the fact that there is no communication among the regime’s four main security entities. Military intelligence, air force intelligence, political security, and state security are even fighting each other for Bashar Al-Assad’s favor.'

Friday, 19 October 2012

The charm of telesalafism

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 "Mr Arour has now paired up with Mustafa Sheikh, a secular-leaning leader of the Free Syrian Army, and has spoken of a need to channel funding through military councils in order to reduce rivalry among the myriad rebel groups. Criticising the involvement of foreign jihadists, he has also denounced suicide-bombings as criminal. His blood-curdling video threat to Alawites is often taken out of context, since he directed his meat-grinder rant only at those Alawites who were actively suppressing the revolt; any of them who stayed neutral, he insisted, should be protected as equal citizens."

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Syria conflict and the Nazi fugitive

"I would hope that as and when the people of Syria find peace and justice they are also able to tell us more of what he did, what happened to him and why."
Michael Rosen

Thursday, 18 October 2012

A Homegrown Arab Alliance

to Settle Global Nerves

Rubbish like this gives support to the enemies of change in Syria.
"As an evolving constitutional monarchy, Morocco is in the unique position of offering political support to transitioning democracies as well as trust to its GCC partners who are at a more junior stage of reform."
Demonstration against the Assad Regime in front of the Syrian embassy in Moscow (photo: AP)

Beyond the Violence

"The liberalization of the economy over the past decade resulted on the one hand in modernization and progress, yet this has also led to the impoverishment of large sections of the population, especially in rural districts. Economic misery in combination with massive corruption and political stagnation developed into an explosive mix that could no longer be diffused with mere rhetoric of future reforms."

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

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Syria Business Squeeze

'Assad has so far been able to keep his head above water with financial support from top ally Iran, he noted. "The question is whether this is sustainable in the longer term and I don't think it is," Skinner said. "What Assad is counting on at present is a bare-bones economy that is able to fuel his armed forces."'

Syrian Rebels Burn Down a Marijuana Field on Facebook

Not helping.
"The incineration of the weed underscores a basic problem for the U.S.’s approach to Syria’s bloody civil war. No, not because the U.S. suddenly decriminalized marijuana. It’s because the Farouq Brigades, generally considered a competent and media-savvy rebel militia, is promoting its willingness to destroy a drug crop. That’s an action usually identified more with Islamic militant groups than secular ones."

From books to bullets: Syria students on front lines

"Abu Abdu Sahari, 20, studying electrical engineering at Aleppo University, at first only engaged in non-violent protests against Assad's regime.
But after he was arrested and detained for a month he joined the armed rebellion."
Image result for Syrian rebels in Aleppo mostly poor, pious, rural

Syrian rebels in Aleppo mostly poor, pious, rural

'The blend of poverty, religious piety and anger could define the future of Aleppo, and perhaps the rest of Syria, if the rebels take over the country's largest city, which is also its economic engine. They may be tempted to push their own version of Islam, which is more fundamentalist than what is found in the city. Their bitterness at the business class may prompt them to seek ways of redistributing the wealth.
"Those who have money in Aleppo only worry about their wealth and interests when we have long lived in poverty," said Osama Abu Mohammed, a rebel commander who was a car mechanic in the nearby town of Beyanon before he joined the fight.'
Spray Man of Damascus, Nour Hatem Zahra.

Syria's revolutionary cartoons

A group of artists, Comic4Syria, are producing comic strips on Facebook in response to the brutality in their country

Sunday, 14 October 2012

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Syria: Rebel fighters capture historical town

of Azmarin in 3-day battle (PHOTOS)

“This was Captain Shardi, a three star commander in Assad’s army,” said the town's rebel commander Dr Hassan Ghnnam as he pointed at the body of a hefty man in a blood stained army uniform that lay in a side street. “He burned many houses in this town. The people were so afraid of him.” 
Dr Ghnnam worked as a urologist in Azmarin before taking command of rebel forces in the town.
The Guardian home

Syria: Gunmen kill 4 on factory bus in Homs

"Syria's state news agency says a suicide bomber crashed an explosives-laden sedan into a coffee shop at a Damascus residential neighborhood, causing damage but no fatalities."
They hate our freedom, they hate our coffeeshops.

Very similar to this tale from August, 'SANA says that an explosive device detonated in a car in Jaramana on Monday killed its driver. It says the device was attached to the car by an armed "terrorist" group.
Another car blew up in the area overnight, also killing the driver.
No further details were immediately available.'

The Song Remains The Same

Cluster Bomb Usage Rises Significantly Across Syria
"Over the last few days there's been a marked increase in the number of cluster bomb remains being filmed in Syria, and until today most were filmed around Maarrat al-Numan, along the main highway that connects central Syria (Hama, Homs, then Damascus and Daraa) to northern Syria (Idlib, Aleppo), which has recently come under opposition control. The concentration of reports from that area suggested at first that the use of cluster bombs was related to attempts to regain an important supply route to Aleppo." 
The more usual way that Salafis capture the headlines

You've got it all wrong, says Salafi Sheikh with the 'moderate' views

To get a balanced view on Hezbollah, you have to go to the Salafists.
“Let Hezbollah explain this strange coincidence: Nobody supports the Syrian regime except the Shia of Iraq, Iran and Lebanon. Explain this coincidence to me. If the Syrian regime considers itself secular, why has it become sectarian in the eyes of political Shiism and Hezbollah?“
Despite his antipathy to “political Shiism,” the sheikh stresses he supports Hezbollah’s resistance against Israel. “Anyone who resists Israel is honorable, and we support anyone who resists this enemy regardless of their beliefs, even if they are Marxist,” he says. “We wish the Lebanese would unite against this common enemy.”
Abdul Rahman al-Rashed

Free soldiers and controlled minds

"Neither the West nor oil has anything to do with the chaos that Syria is in, except what allows all external teams — Arab or Iranian or Western — to support the side that concurs with them politically. It is not strange that the regime promotes its conspiratorial explanations for the conflict. But when senior officers and young soldiers defect, after crossing the border, we hear them repeating the same arguments they read in newspapers such as Tishreen."

And then there was hope…

"It is in our darkest hours that a glimmer of light is noticeable."