Saturday, 24 November 2012

Syrian flees war in nick of time,

embraces life in Gainesville

'When he fled, the military and police only tortured and killed those actively involved in opposition. Now, the indiscriminate killing of civilians is commonplace. At least 37,000 people have been reported killed since the uprising in Syria began about 18 months ago. Herakka's hometown of Aleppo is at the center of the conflict.
When people refer to the situation in Syria, Herraka clarifies, "It is not a civil war — it is a revolution." '
Gatestone Institute

More Trouble in Jordan

You wonder if the bizarre idea that the threat of Islamism should be fought by not offering any support will spread on the left from Syria to Jordan. Perhaps not, as Jordan is an acceptable tyranny to be opposed to in the black-and-white view.
'Those interested in keeping Jordan calm, peaceful, and out of the hands of Islamists should either support the king significantly, or find a quiet plan B to support the secular opposition in Jordan. As the active opposition figure Kamal Khoury, a Palestinian Christian, said, "The seculars in Jordan are strong in their numbers and following, they just need financial and media support to dominate the arena." Dr. Khalid Kassimah, an East Banker opposition member residing in exile, stated: "The non-Islamist Jordanian opposition is no more in disarray than the Syrian secular opposition once was; minimal Western support might work wonders here; and I would not be surprised if a Jordanian opposition council is to be established in exile just as was the case in Syria."'

In a Jordan camp, outsiders seek Syrian brides

“We launched a revolution to win back our dignity,” Naimi said. “We are not going to surrender it for a dowry.”
Image result for Condoleezza Rice: Syria is central to holding together the Middle East

Condoleezza Rice: Syria is central

to holding together the Middle East

"Karl Marx once called on workers of the world to unite across national boundaries. He told them that they had more in common with each other than with the ruling classes that oppressed them in the name of nationalism. Marx exhorted workers to throw off the “false consciousness” of national identity." True that, and he wasn't any more in favour of sectarian identity, so Condoleeza Rice's next line is untrue, "Today’s Karl Marx is Iran."

Sabra: Unity, gains will sway Assad allies

"We have historical ties with Russia, and we also have relations with Iran, but we hope both countries would re-examine their stances because it will not be possible for the Syrian people to deal in the same way with those who supported their aspirations for democracy as with those who were supporters of the killing machine."

Samar Yazbek, Branded Betrayer for Embracing Syria Rebels

Image result for samar yazbek branded a betrayer

"One of five brothers and three sisters, she ran away from home at 16 and married at 20. She divorced two years later, taking her toddler daughter to Damascus. She was determined to fight for women’s rights, she said, “to combat their status in the Arab world.” "

Friday, 23 November 2012

Hardliners Slam Hamas Over

Ties with Qatar, Turkey

Et tu, Brute. “Did the leaders of these countries in the war of the past week cry out in support of Gaza?! Were they even ready for the publication of a short statement to condemn the crimes and brutality of the Zionist regime?! Can such countries be trusted and depended upon as a supporter?
bigwinnman's Avatar

Let us feel sorry together

"The mistake made by the Al-Mayadin TV station, which aired images from Syria and claimed they were shot in Gaza, is indicative of this relationship of similarity and intertwining, which is highlighted by the fact that Hamas has exited Damascus, leading to a campaign of criticism launched against it by the Syrian regime’s allies."

Flowers In The Rain

Syrian aid smugglers haggle for flour in Turkey

Thursday, 22 November 2012

All Or Nothing

Some time in 1978 or 1979 I wrote a little essay on current events in Iran. Not very sophisticated, it ended, "maybe there will be a military coup."
I was reminded of that today, when a leftist Friend on Facebook criticised the "all or nothing" approach of offering unconditional* support to the Syrian revolution. If socialists had said thirty years ago that maybe negotiations with the Shah's régime were better than the prospect of Islamists coming out on top after a bloodbath, they'd never have earned the right to criticise when it came to resisting that very eventuality.
Hopefully the Syrian revolution will complete its initial task soon. Anyone who wants to be heard when it comes to suggesting ways to build a society free from foreign domination in which all share the wealth would be advised to show more sophistication than I did when I was ten.
* "But critical", in Lenin's phrase.

Syria's new opposition in race

to convince skeptical Islamists

"Islamist fighters say it is only fair they assert their power after months of being ignored in political squabbling abroad while they fought Assad's forces on the ground.
Some put their frustration on display earlier this week when they announced the creation of an Islamic state in a video rejecting the National Coalition.
The immediate backlash from most rebel leaders and Syrian activists pushed many fighters in the video to retract their remarks the next day. But it laid bare the deep mistrust which the coalition has to overcome."

Syrian Kurds have to pick a side in the
revolution: SNC leader Abdulbasit Sieda

“Today, Syria is revolting and asks for democracy. In order to achieve your rights, you have to be part of this revolution.”
Syrian rebel fighters' homemade rocket launcher

Syrians may be better off without cheerleaders

Interesting piece. To fight a war, you do need to get your guns from somewhere.
'The head of the Free Syrian Army's military council, Mostafa Al-Sheikh, was clear. "The international community need Syria for the stability of the international system. They don't give us any support, and what support they do give us is corrupt or not worth having. What they're giving us isn't big enough to liberate one city, never mind the entire country." '
Hugo Chavez (left) has chosen to steer the Syrian-Venezuelan community into his own corner while jettisoning any notion of a human-rights oriented foreign policy [EPA]

How Hugo Chavez botched the Arab Spring

The Syrian revolution is the most significant alteration of power for twenty years, more significant for the Western Left than economically more significant Egypt because it is harder to work out how to relate to the fall of régimes outside the Western sphere of influence.
A test many on the left are failing which is unfortunate for them, and may be unfortunate for Syrians, who will be faced with the problem of how to create a society in which the mass of people have real control over their lives, and if most of the best answers would come from those who bemoan that their revolution might be taken over by al-Qaida or the State Department rather than offer any actual solidarity, who pretend that the struggle of the FSA is a Western take-over of a peaceful revolution, then I don't see post-revolutionary events working out for the best.
The last Kozloff piece I saw […/…/2012/10/201210975353819725.html] had some noticeable deficiencies which I mentioned at the time. This one seems to the point, and have general application.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

"Seen at a protest in Hebron in the West Bank earlier today, the flag of the Syrian opposition."

Syria's Spray-Can Revolution

I don't think "almost as bad" is the right way to compare torture and allowing kids to help fight the torturers, but there you have it.
"In June, a United Nations special representative returned from a fact-finding trip with tales of horrific abuses against children. She relayed testimony from children who'd been tortured by the regime, or placed on tanks and used as human shields. The rebel Free Syrian Army was almost as bad, she noted in her report, frequently recruiting children to help out on the front line."
The image of Dana Bakdounis posted on Facebook

Unveiled Syrian Facebook post

stirs women's rights debate

"I want to take another picture, but from inside Syria, just to show that I could be a fighter against injustice and power. With my camera, I can help the people and support the Free Syrian Army."
Increasingly, reports from inside Syria highlight the presence of fundamentalist Islamist factions within the anti-regime movement, hijacking the struggle.
With the influx of these non-Syrian jihadi fighters, there are growing fears for the future of women's rights in the nation and the region.
Dana and those like her want to see a new Syria.
"[A Syria] full of rights, with justice between men and women. I want justice because I already have my freedom, and I'm not afraid of anything now, now I can do whatever I believe it is right to do."

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Image result for For Syrians Enduring the Harsh Conditions of War, Turkey Acts as Lifeline

For Syrians Enduring the Harsh Conditions

MARGARET WARNER: Yet even this idealistic attorney dismisses talk from the West of a negotiated end to the conflict.
Do you think there's a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria?
AHMED HASSOUN (through translator): I don't think so. Dictators don't have a midpoint. It's either they stay or no one else does.
MARGARET WARNER: So, what is it going to take to solve this conflict?
AHMED HASSOUN (through translator): I think the only solution is arming the organized Syrian opposition.

Bayan Ra2am Wa7ed

Syria's rap revolution song, translated into English.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hamas and the Arab Spring: positions and repercussions

Hamas and the Arab Spring:

positions and repercussions
"The Islamic Resistance Movement also knew that it would lose the support of the Syrian people if it backed the regime. Hamas realised that people last, whereas regimes fall, so maintaining that support was essential."

Brazil's Syrians divided on Bashar al-Assad

"The group that supports the Assad government in Brazil is born from fear and worries that Syria could turn into an Islamic state, which could harm the interests of the Christians, most of whom are the early immigrants to Brazil," Daaboul said. "The opposition to Assad is coming from recent immigrants who know more about the current socio-political situation, and who don't believe the argument about sectarian violence.”