Saturday, 2 February 2013

A Rebel Commander in

Syria Holds the Reins of War

“America keeps silent,” he said. “The way we see it as Arabs: If you are silent, then you are agreeing with what is happening.”
Sitting nearby, Abdel-Aziz Salameh, Al Tawhid’s political leader, warned that time was running short for the United States. “All the world has abandoned us,” he said. “If the revolution lasts for another year, you’ll see all the Syrian people like Al Qaeda; all the people will be like Al Qaeda.”
Image result for Leon Trotsky  The Lessons of Spain: The Last Warning

Leon Trotsky

The Lessons of Spain:
The Last Warning

"Civil war, in which the force of naked coercion is hardly effective, demands of its participants the spirit of supreme self-abnegation. The workers and peasants can assure victory only if they wage a struggle for their own emancipation. Under these conditions, to subordinate the proletariat to the leadership of the bourgeoisie means beforehand to assure defeat in the civil war."

1982 Hama massacre

The events of the Hama massacre began at 2 am on 3 February 1982. An army unit searching the old city "stumbled on the hideout of the local guerilla commander, `Umar Jawwad," (aka Abu Bakr) and were ambushed.
"The Syrian army decided to make an example of the civilians of Hama, killing children and adults indiscriminately."


“We meet the fighters of the Free Syrian Army. Of course we meet them. They sit at the sides of the road and come to greet us on our ways. They are grandfathers, fathers and sons. They are cousins and uncles. They too are students, or workers, or shop owners, or teachers or engineers. At least within this city. They are the ordinary citizens of Maarat.
They too are very upset about the image of them being some sort of Al Qaida. “Where is Al Qaida?” they ask. Joking they add that maybe Al Qaida could actually help them out with the fight at the front only two kilometers away.
They, just as people before grab us by the shoulders and intensely demand us hearing that they are not fighting an ethnic or religious war. “We have Alewites with us! No Problem! Christians, Sunni, Shia! We were neighbors, friends and sometimes mixed within one family. Jews! We have Jews in Syria, there is no problem, no problem. Al Nizar (-the gouvernments) that’s the problems. Assad, Iran, U.S.A., Israel, that’s the problem. No problem Alewites or Jewish. No problem people.” ”

Inside Syria: Children

take shelter in Roman ruins

"They must wait for Goliath to be toppled."
International Aid to Syria … they give us coffins for the victims of Assad’s massacre.
Thanks @NuffSilence

International Aid to Syria … they give us

Fuck Assad!

One on One: Miriam Elder

"Their coverage of Syria has been very similar to their coverage of Egypt, to their coverage of Libya, and now starting with their coverage of Mali, that everything that’s happening is part of some greater Western plot to reshape the world in America’s favour. And that’s a friendly view to what Assad would want to present."

With Israel's attack on Syria, a key Iranian ally and the West's growing intervention in North Africa, the geographical reach of war is widening dangerously

Image result for Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York

Lindsey German: 

 "Israel has become increasingly worried at the civil war in Syria and at weapons 'falling into the wrong hands'. Yet the paradox here is that groups have been armed and funded by Middle East and western regimes that want to overthrow Assad in Syria."

 And so she implies that those armed groups (who haven't been funded by Western regimes, the lack of funding forcing them to turn to the Gulf states,etc.) are a bad thing, without having the courage so to say. And to make everything about Iran, about the real threats to it from the West not its support for Assad's repression, as with the illustrative photo, is a further disrespect to those Syrians that have had the courage to take on their government. I could further criticise her for opening with two paragraphs of ZOMG Look At The Coincidence, or say that "The target of the attack was a plant near Damascus and convoys of weapons heading to the Lebanese border", which is to accept at face value the Syrian government claim that there was any attack on a 'plant' (I assume this is the same as the 'research centre'). And then she reaches no formal conclusion, and drifts off to talk about something else. As if she doesn't care about Syria at all.

 Though crazy mash-up of the day still goes to one Jon Robinson.[…/] I don't think he's noticed that there does seem to be something of a range of opinions in the SWP on Syria, with some like Judith Orr and Alex Callinicos seeming as concerned about Western intervention as about overthrowing Assad. But as someone comments, "I’m not a defender of the SWP leadership in the current debate about its practice, but with this piece you can really hear the bottom of the barrel being scraped."

Friday, 1 February 2013

Golan drinks, Lyse looks on, Nihad eyes me suspiciously

World Service Twice

Robin Yassin-Kassab
"Arms are flowing to the regime from Russia, from Iran. The resistance is liberating arms from over-run military bases. It is impossible at this stage for these people to give up, they're not going to give up. What I'd like to do is get the thing over with a lot quicker. A year ago Jabhat-al-Nusra was irrelevant, until people get anti-aircraft weapons to protect themselves from the savage aerial bombardment, the process of radicalisation will continue."

SYRIA WITNESS: Getting into the Spirit of a Free Syria


 Kenan Rahmani: 'The “free” in “Free Syria” was palpable: talking to kids in the street, or to armed rebels who were protecting the city, or the representatives of the local administrative councils.'

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Syrian refugees: 'Tonight

we died many deaths'

And there, plain as daylight, sat a Russian-built T-72 tank, partly obscured by olive trees. Another lurked close by.
"And here is what he is firing at." The scope-operator scrolled across to the left. "In this ditch there are more than 80 refugees. And here; this is the FSA commander. This is the most dangerous time," he said.

Turkmen in joint battle ‘for Syria democracy’

“We are part of the (mainstream rebel) Free Syrian Army … We want a new country … for all Syrians.”
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Israeli airstrike hits truck convoy in Syria

Rime Allaf:
Many of those outraged, rightly, by Israel's strike on Syria yesterday never said a word while Assad bombed the hell out of the country for the last 18 months.
"Despite its icy relations with Assad, Israel has remained on the sidelines of efforts to topple him; Syria has kept the border quiet since the 1973 Mideast war and has never retaliated for Israeli attacks."
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Why Does Moscow Back the Assad Regime?

'Moscow does not see any serious cost to opposing the U.S. in particular on Syria since it doesn’t see Washington as actually seeking the downfall of Assad. Moscow—which has had long experience in observing American foreign policy—knows that when the U.S. really wants to intervene somewhere, it does not wait for Security Council approval.'

From The Onion

Alien World To Help Out Syria Since This One Refuses To

Thuu'l, an oily, amoeba-like creature held in his pseudopod a U.N. report indicating al-Assad's forces have killed more than 7,500 civilians. "It's unbearable to watch even from the far end of the Triangulum Galaxy, and yet you who dwell upon the same planet continue to tolerate it. How is that possible?"

From The Onion

Paranoid Syrian Man Thinks Government Out To Get Him

"At press time, Yussif could not be reached for further comment."

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

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Moscow must end the deadlock in Syria

"The youths who rose up a year ago to demand their freedom are the future of Syria. They are shaped by the same political culture as their parents, which has always been staunchly nationalistic and wary of foreign meddling...Russia should listen carefully to the Syrian people; their message is simple and clear. They do not want their revolution to be hijacked by any one force or group"
Image result for Syria and the US: The complicity of silence

Syria and the US: The complicity of silence

"Washington’s overt – and covert – support for the rebels is playing into President Bashar al-Assad's hands, allowing him to claim he is fighting foreign intervention rather than domestic dissent, while also giving him space to fight back as brutally as he wants with no immediate threat of military involvement by the US, NATO, or other western powers."
I think that should be 'rhetorical', rather than 'overt' or 'covert'.

President Obama addresses the Syrian people via Video

There's a story, maybe by Arthur C.Clarke, where he talks about sacks of food aid marked "Made in USA", being re-stamped, "From the Soviet People".
No sign of any weapons.

Newlyweds fight together on Syria frontline

"Mahmoud al-Halabi was once the driver of a Syrian minister's wife. Nour al-Hassan was a stylish hairdresser."
What's a hairdresser?
Photo Gallery: Syrian Refugees Suffer Winter Misery in Lebanon

'Don't Forget Your Photo Albums!':

' "On the first floor of the building, a doctor and a veterinarian had their practices," says Rula. Both had apparently treated injured dissidents, and the army took revenge on the whole house.'

Ghayath Naisse: Syrian Revolution, current status and prospects

 In Arabic.

 "Certainly the popular armed resistance plays an important role in the battle of the Syrian people for liberation from the yoke of dictatorship junta, but it needs to unify its battalions already under Syrian People's Revolution program and not under any other program."

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Oakville MD risks murder, torture to treat wounded in Syria

Oakville MD risks murder, torture to treat wounded in Syria

"When the war began in March 2011 the government tracked down protesters in hospitals and identified them by bullet wounds received in demonstrations. Then doctors caught treating them were imprisoned or threatened, said Elder. Now it is an “all out assault,” on physicians, he said."
Al-Nusra fighters

Inside the war for Syria's mountains

"We have a very big problem with this town," said the leader of the military council in Idlib province. "These Christians are our friends. We have lived with them for a long time, and we respect them. But the regime has put weapons in the cathedral there. We don't want to attack it but we know we must."
Damaged buildings in Homs (25 January 2013)

Syria crisis: Solidarity amid suffering in Homs

“Warning A Cross Eye’d Sniper (Ahead)” A sign from Homs, Syria.
'Despite all the horrors that Assad has inflicted on Homs, it’s residents can still laugh and share a joke, even for something as dangerous as Assad’s snipers, who have killed hundreds in Homs alone.' 
Posted 22 hours ago
"Homs was the place in Syria where jokes about the uprising used to be made. Its residents were an inspiration to others in the way they mocked their reality: a heating pipe was used to mimic a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, an aubergine a bomb, and lady's fingers bullets.
That was the spirit of Homs. But today, it is almost deserted and lies in ruins."

France Says Syrian Rebels

Need Aid to Fend Off ‘Chaos’

“Facing the collapse of a state and society, it is Islamist groups that risk gaining ground if we do not act as we should,” said the minister, Laurent Fabius. “We cannot let a revolution that started as a peaceful and democratic protest degenerate into a conflict of militias.”
[Nabil Maleh. Image from Alia Yunis]

A Leopard in Winter: An Interview

with Syrian Director Nabil Maleh

“You have to fight for the better always,” he says in his usual mix of joviality and intensity. “I’m always against the regime. I never believed in one party. For example, I consider that I was a Marxist but I hated the Communist Party. I believe in Marx’s justice for the common man, but not in one party rule as that inevitably leads to a Fascist/Nazi system.”

Monday, 28 January 2013

Uprising’s first Druze defector declared dead

'We advise you to not stand in our way, but rather aid us, as we confront this tyrant,” he said. “Do not aid the regime as it seeks to stoke sectarianism.”
“Our revolution is for all Syrians, and for all sects,” he concluded.'

Palestinian icon Leila Khaled denounces Syrian opposition

Image result for Palestinian icon Leila Khaled denounces Syrian oppositionGraffiti of Leila Khaled on Israel’s separation

 "I have a say for the regimes, which are being danced like chess pieces by the USA, do not forget the uprisings [that] Egyptian and Tunisian people launched."

 Bad chess metaphor.Pretty rubbish comments all round.

 David Renton posted this again recently.' "Learning from the World anti-imperialist movement". What does that mean in practice? Elitism, moralism, and the politics of police action. The newspapers tell us that fat pants are back, so why not Chairman Mao? Am I the only person not clapping, in the room?'

Blame It On The Boogie

"Boogie-trapped cars were sent to Amman in the mid-1970s and 1980s."
In Revolutionary Syria, Galleries Become Refuges and Artists Turn Dissident

In Revolutionary Syria, Galleries Become

"Being a part of the revolution wasn’t about being political. It’s our life now, it’s a matter of survival, it’s our country, our people and everyone was participating."

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Beautiful Boy

Assad's chances of survival shrinking by the day: Medvedev
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Interview: I'm an FSA Battalion Leader

“A lot of people want to defect. We have a lot of [supporters and would-be defectors] inside the regime now. The Syrian Army, they don’t like to kill Syrians. It’s the shabiha.”