Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Socialists Support the
War (August 4, 1914) 

The victory of Russian despotism, stained with the blood of the best of its own people, would put much – indeed, everything – at stake for our nation and its future development toward liberty. We must ward off this danger; we must protect our civilization and the independence of our own country"
Today it is the other way around. Those who were once international socialists defend Russian support for reaction and autocracy in Syria by conjuring a non-existent threat from the US and its allies.

Syria proves nothing has changed
since Bosnia and Herzegovina

A couple of years ago, I remember Kevin Ovenden,  then assistant of George Galloway's, promote Davutoglu as a new sort of politician who was going to re-draw the politics of the Eastern Mediterranean for the better. Now Turkey's verbal support for the Syrian opposition has turned that geo-political analysis 180⁰.

Davutoglu doesn't actually propose any concrete support here. States are always better at calling for freedom in their rivals' countries than their friends', and better at providing diagnosis than cure.
Still, I did see an EA World View report* suggesting that the reason the rebels are doing better in the North than the South is that the US has less control over the Turkish than Jordanian border, and so more weapons are getting through the former.

Friday, 2 August 2013

How Obama can stop Syria
turning into another Afghanistan

Stop the War prints more pro-Assad lies.

"What could have turned into an Egyptian-style mass uprising dissolved instead into a series of local insurgencies in which religious minorities, particularly Christians, became targets of fighters sympathetic to or affiliated with Al-Qaida. Ancient communities were cleansed from their homes in the province of Homs. Churches were bombed. Dissenters, in a phenomenon alien to Syria, were beheaded. And women, who had traditionally enjoyed greater freedoms in Syria than in most other parts of the Arab world, were forced into the veil...deposing Assad from power now will not miraculously bring peace. The collapse of the state will instead carry the civil war to an even bloodier phase as the groups that are arrayed against Assad vie for power in post-Baathist Syria."

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Maysaloon - ميسلون

A Rant for Syria

"That's what happens to a nation that is cut off from the outside world and stops reading and asking questions. It becomes inbred and stupid. This is the Syria that Assad is trying to defend, because it is the only Syria he can rule over indefinitely."

Italian priest fighting for peace in Syria
Father Paolo Dall'Oglio:
 “From day one, the Syrian regime chose violence, physical repression and deepening the action of torturing people in jail. They were consistent on their track of repression, that was their style for decades.”

Image result for stunning images of destroyed syrian city

Stunning Images of
Destroyed Syrian City

'The extent of the damage brought to mind the words of a United States Army officer who told the Associated Press correspondent Peter Arnett, as they surveyed the ruined Vietnamese city of Ben Tre, pulverized by American bombardment in 1968: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” '

"In a rare, impassioned response to criticism, he said the UN simply could not tolerate armed groups killing the Congolese people."
I suspect this will actually show what is wrong with boots on the ground interventions, it is because the governments in Kinshasa are exploitative and oppressive that groups like M-23 keep popping up. But this plan has the benefit that it doesn't annoy any Security Council members, and there aren't many Muslims in the Congo.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Homs in 2013 and Homs in 2010.

Homs in 2013 and Homs in 2010


"This is Homs as you are “used” to seeing it each and every single day for almost 2 years. Under a hell-storm of shells and rockets fired by Assad’s forces. The residents and brave fighters of Homs have been able to hold out despite an 800+ day siege. However it seems that they will not be able to hold out any longer against the combined forces of the Iranian Military, Hezbullah Mercenaries, Assad’s regular forces and the ultra sectarian “National Defense Forces” all armed to the teeth with an endless supply of weapons and supplies from the Russian Military.
Yet despite all of the above. Despite the shells and rockets. Despite the massacres, both the ones committed and the ones yet to be carried out against them. Despite the hunger and misery. Despite it all … the people of Homs still come out to do what they did on the first days of this revolution. They came out to protest peacefully and celebrate their eventual freedom. Many of the people below, children included, know they will die, yet they also know that their deaths will not be in vain, that it will have been for the freedom of our country from tyranny few people on Earth have had the misfortune to wittiness and experience."

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Image result for aleppo child nurse

If This 14-Year Old Boy Can't Convince
You to Intervene in Syria, Not Much Will

"We want to get rid of the tyrant and raise babies of the revolution to build a Syria of tomorrow."

Anne Applebaum: U.S. is
behind the curve on Syria
"In every instance, the timing is wrong. The moment to throw support behind “peaceful activists” was right at the beginning, before most of them were killed or imprisoned. The moment to train fighters was soon after that, before the fighters were radicalized by years of violence and the assistance they’ve ­received from Islamic extremists...With the United States on the sidelines, no one else seems able to create a “coalition of the willing” to engage, lethally or non-lethally, in helping to end the Syrian conflict.
It’s odd: After the end of the Cold War, some thought we’d live in a unipolar world. Others thought we’d live in a multipolar world. Instead, we now live in a nonpolar world — and it’s every bit as stifling as a bad week in a Washington summer."

Assad is responsible for the carnage in Syria
"The West has sat by watching and left its friends to twist in the wind. Nothing, however, should blur the cardinal criminality of those who created the whole mess and who have been the engine of horror: Assad and his security apparatus."

Monday, 29 July 2013

Image result for islands business logo fiji

Fijian troops leave for Golan
Heights peacekeeping mission

"Fiji's ties with Russia in organising the deployment will also pose a risk to Fijian troops." Actually the biggest risk to them is the Assad régime lashing out as it has before, in the hope that any response can lend support to their claim of fighting a foreign terrorist conspiracy.

Jordan Syria May 15, 2011.

When women joined the jihad in Syria
"The Daughters of al-Walid train each other to use weapons to fend off Assad “gangs” and the sexual crimes that they perpetrate. Rape, not shelling and air raids, is the main cause of flight for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, according to the International Rescue Committee, a lead relief and development organization. The heightened shame in a society where modesty and honor are paramount has even led some families to marry off their daughters to “protect” them from rape. But for women fighters, a rifle, not marriage, is their safeguard."

homs alkhalidiyah syria neighbourhood destroyed

Homs, Once The Capital Of Syria's Revolution, Pictured In Tatters

"Startling images of Homs have shown the extreme devastation of the Syrian civil war, with buildings crumbled to dust and whole neighbourhoods where all the homes, cafes, stalls and businesses are gone."

It does look like Assad cannot re-capture the country, only destroy it.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Image result for worries-mount-as-syria-lures-wests-muslims

Worries Mount as Syria
Lures West's Muslims

"More Westerners are now fighting in Syria than fought in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or Yemen, according to the officials...Classified estimates from Western intelligence services and unclassified assessments from government and independent experts put the number of fighters from Europe, North America and Australia who have entered Syria since 2011 at more than 600."

5000 people are dying each month in Syria. Isn't that a slightly more relevant figure to worry about?

Image result for Michael Doran c-span U.S. Assistance to Syrian Rebels

U.S. Assistance to Syrian Rebels

I think we are due 45 minutes of this on the BBC Parliament Channel from 2.15 pm.

9:15 am ET
Approx. 45 min.
C-SPAN | Washington Journal
LIVE War in Syria
Michael Doran; Paul Orgel
Michael Doran talked about the Obama administration’s plan to provide military assistance to rebel forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad and his military supporters in Syria.He responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.
"No high-level official rolled out the policy [of "arming the rebels"]. It's more symbolic than real...The president is clearly reluctant to get involved in Syria...he's reluctant to start another war...he sees a potential quagmire."
On his own account, Doran says, "I see inaction as more dangerous than actions", and proposes safe zones in Syria, arming vetted sections of the opposition, becoming 'the brain' of the opposition, which sounds a bit overbearing, as well as 50s SFish.
The first caller says that all US policy is to benefit Israel, and also that the people "we" are supporting in Syria are jihadists who want to chase Christians out of the country or kill them. A Republican.
"If you're concerned about jihadists in Syria, what's your plan for stopping them?"
I might also remark now that the idea that Israel and Russia might go to war over Syria may be partly based on the misapprehension that Israel wants to see a change in Syria, when most statements from politicians and analysts suggest that their stance has been that they were happier with Assad who never threatened them, than the possibility that Islamists might.
Obama is not being criticized [for his inaction over Syria] by the libertarian Rand Paul tea party element dominating both young Republicans, and among Republicans in Congress.