Saturday, 23 February 2013

Image result for Syria’s Agony: Situation and Outlook, Winter 2013

Syria’s Agony: Situation and Outlook, Winter 2013

"The country’s naturally diverse, cosmopolitan culture means that after regime collapse the street crowds will probably reappear amid the rubble demanding the pluralism and non-sectarianism they endorsed in 2011. There are good reasons to suppose that the Islamists and their agenda will swiftly deflate among a people that will have paid so much for a new dawn. The outlook, however, will darken with perpetuation of the agony."

Friday, 22 February 2013

[Syrian filmmaker Bassel Shahade in Turkey.]

London Event: 'Syria Through a Lens' Screening (28 February 2013)

Omar Aziz: Rest in Power

"Freedom for Omar Aziz", in a demonstration for Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi on Feb. 6th in Jerusalem

 'He was not a son of the Facebook generation, but at the age of 63, his enthusiasm, ambition, and swashbuckling energy were matched by none of the twenty-somethings on the scene.

 At a time when many activists were forced to flee, he chose to relinquish his safety in the United States and return to Syria to participate in the popular uprising that has swept through the country.
 At a time when most anti-imperialists were wailing over the collapse of the Syrian state and the “hijacking” of a revolution they never supported in the first place, Aziz and his comrades were tirelessly striving for unconditional freedom from all forms of despotism and state hegemony.'

Syria's strategic stalemate,

made worse by US inaction

"Not only is the Obama administration no longer convinced that Syria's armed rebellion is about to topple President Bashar Al Assad, a rebel military victory does not even appear to be Washington's preferred outcome."
Syrian Assistance

The Interview: A Botched Mass Defection

"There were 23 officers in our unit, and 20 of them were Alawites. The Alawites didn’t consult the colonel, a Sunni, on security matters. They didn’t trust us."

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The country formerly known as Syria

Image result for the country formerly known as syria

Underclass meaning workers and peasants. An interesting point, which it would be nice to have expanded on.

 'A hardened and increasingly sectarian underclass on each side—disenfranchised mainly Sunni rebels and the regime’s mainly poor Alawites—is bearing the brunt of the battle. Middle-class Syrians and secular activists are leaving in droves.

 The uprising, which is now a full-blown civil war between Mr Assad’s forces and the opposition, has brought new freedoms. Young Syrians are no longer afraid to deride the regime openly. Even within the security forces, people discuss politics. “We all say things we wouldn’t have dared talk about in our own homes before,” says Aisha, a mother of four from Idleb province, in the north-west. Neighbourly bonds have sometimes grown strong amid the bloodshed. Altruistic bravery is common. Women risk their lives to smuggle medicine to rebel areas through the regime’s checkpoints, because the soldiers are less likely to search them. In Damascus people sleep ten to a room, welcoming relations who have fled from more dangerous areas.'
Image result for economist The death of a country

The death of a country

"Russia supports Mr Assad in part to frustrate Mr Obama. Europe and America should keep on trying to tempt it to give him up, by promising it a stake in a liberated Syria."
The editors of the Economist want Assad gone which is good; but think the Syrian people aren't capable of making their own choices, and an imperialist carve-up would be a way to go, a strategy with which I can see problems.
Image result for the financial times logo

West lacks will to arm Syrian rebels

"The (understandably) hesitant policy of the west now ensures that the Assad regime it wants out, and the jihadis whose advance it wants to block, are the only ones with a reliable supply of arms, while the more or less mainstream rebels it purports to back keep running out of ammunition.
Russia and Iran provide real support to the Assads, and Saudi Arabia and Qatar channel resources to the jihadis and Muslim Brotherhood respectively. The military council created by the National Coalition as a condition for international recognition has little means to establish authority in rebel ranks – and therefore much diminished ability to attract either regime defectors or fighters that now flock to the black banners of the jihadis."

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Analysis: The myth of

Palestinian neutrality in Syria

"To claim that they are “used by both sides” is a profound insult to the Palestinians who freely chose to protest against the Syrian regime. Such a claim suggests that anti-regime Palestinians have no free will or autonomy."

Syrian couple overcomes sectarian differences

"I'm the only Alawite here, but people don't think I'm different from others, because we are one country, and one nation."
5 Things to Know: Local Family Rallying For Syria

5 Things to Know: Local

Family Rallying For Syria

The face of American imperialism.

From The Onion

Image result for the onion What do you think?

Russia Ends Sales Of Weapons To Syria

“That's pretty inconsiderate. What’s the Syrian army supposed to kill people with now?”

From The Onion

Having Gone This Far Without Caring About Syria, Nation To Finish What It Started

"According to a recent poll, 85 percent of Americans said they actually care less about Syria now than they did at the outset of the country’s antigovernment protests; 57 percent admitted to almost caring after they learned of the systematic rape of thousands of Syrian women by troops, but said they “were still going to see this whole not-caring thing through”; and 30 percent said that while they acknowledge the conflict is a major human rights issue, they will forge ahead with their cold-blooded lack of compassion purely for the sake of consistency, and also because they “honestly and truly don’t give a shit.” "


"The one time I ran into a Syrian state TV reporter in downtown Damascus, she was doing street interviews on the pressing issue of “Which fruits and vegetables do you freeze so you can eat them out of season.” Which was all the more surreal as I saw smoke billowing up on the horizon."

Image result for Syria crisis: Life in battleground town of al-Safira

Syria crisis: Life in

battleground town of al-Safira

"In a pattern familiar across Syria, rebel fighters advanced into the town, the government responded with massive indiscriminate bombardment and those who could get out, did."

Monday, 18 February 2013

Back from hell, back from Syria

' "Assad is going to fall, no doubt. The question is if Europe wants to be on the right side of history in order to limit the killings and play a role in the reconstruction afterwards?"
Today this question remains poignant.
We can still play a role, limit the casualties and help to build a secular/non-sectarian Syria. The task is not even that difficult.
We should give humanitarian aid directly to the liberated areas and we should give anti-aircraft defences to the FSA. It is the only way to support the right people in this conflict and to help non-combatant Syrians to survive.'

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Harlem Shake For Syria

"While thousands shake mindlessly, Assad kills Syrians senselessly."

Fawaz Gerges And Rosemary Hollis In Conversation With Robin Yassin-Kassab

Robin Yassin-Kassab: "Because the word intervention was mentioned, I'd just like to say, in my opinion, that as far as I can see, this has been a massive diversion, it's the hugest red herring of the whole conflict; the Syrian National Council in the beginning seemed to put all its eggs into the basket of a foreign military intervention, leftists vehemently opposed the foreign military intervention, the rĂ©gime spoke in paranoid tones about the military intervention as if that was what it was all about, it wasn't about a revolution; and I think they're all missing the point, because it's a misjudgement of the West, the fact that it's just got into two silly wars in Middle East and Muslim countries, the West doesn't have money; I don't think that intervention has ever been on the cards - it may come in the future, if things get so desperate for the rest of the world, because of what's happening in Syria, it may have to come at some point, but at the moment, and in the past, as far as I can see, it's never been on the cards, we waste time by talking about it, hoping for it, or by dreading it."