Saturday, 19 October 2013

Image result for Syria snipers 'shoot at pregnant women,' UK doctor claims

Syria snipers 'shoot at pregnant
 women,' UK doctor claims

"Who were these snipers, which side?"
"I don't really know, but I would imagine, and I was told many times, that it was from the régime side, so presumably it's from the Assad government."
You have to watch the video to find out this bit of the truth, shorn of that, this story can seem to back the narrative that they are all as bad as each other. The people of Syria are fighting to overthrow a horrible dictatorship.

Reporters’ nightmare

The difficulty of reporting in rebel areas has let the regime tell its own narrative"Television footage of the relatively calm centre of the capital, Damascus, makes the regime look more in control, while recent rebel advances in the north are barely reported. The government recently facilitated reports on the presence of ruthless Islamist fighters in Maaloula, a town of Christians, whom the regime depicts as under threat from the rebels. Meanwhile, thousands of Syrian civilians mass in camps in the north, unseen on Western television screens, as they flee from salvoes of regime rockets."

Friday, 18 October 2013

People Are Strange

 Saudi Arabia turns down UN Security Council seat

 It said the Security Council had failed in its duties towards Syria.

 Russia's foreign ministry called the move bewildering, and said Saudi Arabia's criticism of the UN Security Council about its actions over Syria "is particularly strange".


A response to Slavoj Zizek:
Syria a pseudo struggle

"A Marxist treats with contempt the innumerable renegades of the revolution who shout to him: “We are more progressive than you, we were the first to renounce the revolution! We were the first to submit to the monarchistic constitution.” Tony Cliff added to this citation that a revolutionary cannot accept the defeat of the revolution until objectives facts leave no room for doubt. The revolutionaries are the last to leave the battlefield."
aziz cell

Aziz’s StoryRobin Yassin-Kassab
"When I met Aziz Asaad, an activist from Selemiyyeh, across the Turkish border in Antakya, I asked him why the community was so revolutionary, why it hadn’t been scared into fencesitting or even grudging support for Assad by the Islamist element of the opposition. His answer: “We read a lot. We’ve always read books.” "

an improvised weapon in Aleppo

The London Review of Books on SyriaRobin Yassin-Kassab
"I agreed with novelist Hisham Matar when he called ‘shame’ on Hugh Roberts’s very long Libyan piece which at no point attempted to see things from a Libyan perspective. Rather, it cast the Libyans as passive agents, pawns in the hands of the devilishly clever white man. And on Syria, commentary has been statist-leftist, as if this were an amusing chess game between regional and super powers rather than a struggle for freedom and a genocide, with only one side receiving sustained imperialist aid."

New York, New York

 Top Syrian army general killed in battle

 General Jameh Jameh killed in fighting with rebels in Deir Ezzor where he was head of intelligence, state TV says.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Too late for US to win Syrian hearts

"It is not enough; but for now, it will have to do."
General Salim Idris in his office in Istanbul, Turkey (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Free Syrian Army chief on ISIS,
Geneva and Syria’s civil war

"If we were able to neutralize the enemy’s air force, even in spite of his of rocket weaponry and long-range weapons, I think that the field would tilt in favor of the revolutionaries."
Said Mermet with other men and boys in a tent at Bab al Salameh Internally Displaced Persons camp

Syrian sniper says rebels must fight

He says he'll fight until Syrian President Bashar al Assad is gone. He calls on the West to support the Free Syrian Army. "Of course, we don't expect them to fight for us. We are responsible for our country, we can defend our country, we can end the regime," he adds.
But, like rebel military and political leaders, Mermet says the rebel fighters need anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.
"Kalashnikovs, sniper weapons and other small weapons can do nothing," he says. "We need [the West] to support us and we will do the rest. We will finish Bashar al Assad."
Activists in the Muaddamiyyah suburb of Damascus say that seven-year-old Duaa is suffering from malnutrition.Credit: YouTube.

Why the West is Wrong on SyriaRazan Zaitouneh

"The West, from the very beginning, has rejected everything the Free Army asked for, starting by refusing to deliver effective weapons or to create a no-fly zone and safe areas for civilians. Then it blamed the FSA for being divided and weak, and for the spread of the extremists.
What does the West really want from Syria? The wish to destroy the regime’s chemical weapons and to secure Israel’s borders is completely understandable. But the West should also listen to what Syrians want. Turning a blind eye to the Syrian people’s needs will only lead to the failure of all its plans as no unified opposition – as was recognized – can impose what the “superpowers” agree upon. And the rebellious Syrians are not willing to accept half-solutions after all they have suffered."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Image result for Syria's minorities: Caught in the middle?

Syria's minorities: Caught in the middle?

"I think the biggest threat to minorities in Syria and in general in any country in the world is dictatorship and tyranny - simply because it destroys the social, political and economic ties and relationships that connect the components of society together. We have seen this in many other countries and Syria is not an exception."
Anas al-Abdah, a member of the Syrian National Coalition
Opposition fighters in the city of Deir Ezzor

Who are the British jihadists in Syria?

'But another British jihadist, who calls himself Abu Islam, says Britain has nothing to worry from him: "For me personally I was born and raised there, that's my home.
"If I wanted to do something in UK I wouldn't have come here. If I did want to do something in UK I would have already done it by now, but I'm here. "
Abu Muhadjar also denies they will be a threat: "That's slightly surreal to go back to UK and start a jihad there. I do understand their concern but you cannot paint everyone with the same brush.
"As to the global jihad - I couldn't tell you if I'm going to be alive tomorrow let alone future plans." '

Monday, 14 October 2013

the radishes are at ground level

Revolutionary Gardening

"For a long time it’s been too late for a happy ending in Syria. The longer this process continues, the less we can hope for.
How do you fight a monster without becoming a monster? How, particularly when the monster’s chief strategy is to make a monster of you? How, when the world’s most powerful storytellers depict you as a monster? How, when monsters hiding behind human facades walk by blindly as you are tortured, raped, humiliated, maimed, murdered?
In Atmeh camp I found refugees who’d lost everything growing herbs around their tents. At Hamood’s house in Kafranbul, where I spent a night, a rocket had punctured a wall. Beneath the damage, Hamood pointed to his flourishing radishes. His face lit up in repeatable wonder as he showed me these leaves. Despite the destruction, the people are planting seeds."

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Image result for portrait-of-a-revolution-the-journey-of-faiek-al-meer

Portrait of a Revolution:
The Journey of Faiek al-Meer

"«Where are the secular rebels?» wonders one apprehensive Western «leftist», whose main task has become to emulate his Islamophobic counterpart on the right by counting the number of beards he sees in a YouTube video and the «Allahu Akbars» the fighters and demonstrators shout out.
«Why did Syrians not pack central squares like Egyptians, creating a Tahrir Square of their own?» laments another remarkably keen observer (so keen, in fact, that he managed to miss the huge anti-regime sit-ins in Homs’s Clock and Khaldiyeh Squares and Hama’s Assi Square – to name but three – all of them ruthlessly dispersed by the Syrian regime’s security forces and army).
«The situation in Syria is too complex. It’s a sectarian civil proxy war. Let us just hope for peace and refrain from taking sides», comments he who bombs us with quotes by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King on the duty to abandon neutrality in times of great moral conflict.
- Repeating the basics about the Syrian revolution time and again has become exhausting. And Syrian revolutionaries, the oppressed, should not have to bear the burden to prove the justice of their cause while Bashar Al-Assad continues to enjoy full impunity and treatment as a legitimate president. Nor do Syrians owe explanations and justifications to those who dismiss their sacrifices and insist on supporting and even glorifying armed resistance revolutionary violence everywhere except in Syria."
Michel Kilo

Opinion: Prospects for
Syria are Growing Bleaker

"With these developments, the Syria political arena enters a new stage where neither the people who ignited the revolution nor those who have sacrificed their lives—whether from the civil and democratic forces or the FSA—in defense of Syrians and their values will have any role. Instead, there will be jihadist organizations that, together with their supporters, will be necessary for the survival of Bashar Al-Assad regime.
In fact, Assad’s regime has planned since the eruption of the revolution to establish organization that claim to want to replace him but in fact have not done anything apart from forcing the FSA out of the areas it liberated. The real function of these groups is to intimidate the world into accepting the survival of the Assad regime."
This may be a little pessimistic. The SNC has rejected Geneva II, and the Islamist Army may not be a reality.
Image result for Like Assad, Churchill liked to stockpile poison gas

Like Assad, Churchill liked
to stockpile poison gas

"It is one of the extraordinary twists and turns of the war in Syria that the alleged use of sarin against civilians in rebel-held districts in Damascus on 21 August should turn out to be to the advantage rather than to the disadvantage of President Bashar al-Assad. The most immediate effect seemed likely to be foreign military intervention against Assad. In the event, the United States and Britain balked at the idea of another war in the Middle East, particularly one that might put in positions of power al-Qa'ida-linked groups such as the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
Alleged use. You might think that's put right by the headline, or that we are being told by Patrick Cockburn that if Churchill was prepared to do it, it isn't so bad. "People from Eastern Ghouta in Damascus complain that nobody has objected strongly to the fact that they have been shelled and bombed," I think they are harder on those who equivocate about who attacked them.
To those who weren't left wondering why Assad would do such a barbarous thing, it was clear from the beginning that he was expecting an advantage to flow from their use, to frighten more people into fleeing seeming like the main one, but given the unlikelihood of any "foreign military intervention" against Assad, it was hard to see the downside from his point of view. Again the last bit chimes with the régime view that it is them or the terrorists; it is the lack of funding for the FSA, not the threat of action against Assad that has given the jihadists opportunity. When the Syrian people are being brutalised, abandoned in part because of such distortions, it is understandable that Syrians would not feel at all civil towards their purveyors.

Hungry Like The Wolf

 WHAT DID YOU EAT FOR DINNER LAST NIGHT? THESE CHILDREN ATE NOTHING. THEN DIED. Damascus (Douma): Oct 11, 2013 - Qasem Barakat is 15 days old he was born into starvation and later died from it. He’s one of an increasing number of children in the suburbs of Damascus that are dying from malnutrition. There is no milk to feed him, so his parents had to watch him die like this.

 Duaa Al Sheikh is 7 years old. She’s form Madamiyet, also in the suburbs of Damascus. She too died from malnutrition. Assad’s forces will not let anything into the suburbs, no food, no medicine, nothing. As the world cheers and congratulates themselves on “solving Syria” by destroying Assad’s chemical weapons, the cause of death and misery for the other 99% killed is still left, forgotten and unresolved.


Local Coordination Committees
Messages to the world

"Syrian Regime continues shelling and besieging the cities, trying to suppress the popular revolution that Syrians started. It is applying a severe siege in Mouadamiyeh Al-Sham in order to make it starve and  keep it away from the revolution, but the Syrians refuse to retreat whatever the cost is. So in ( Our Weapon Are For the Fronts Not For Liberated Areas) Friday, coordinating committees activists raised signs of solidarity with Mouadamiyeh Al-Sham in each of Douma, Zabadany,and Madaya in Damascus Suburbs, Tadef in Aleppo,and  Jableh in Lattakia  in demand of decoding the siege and taking immediate action to provide food and medicines to the people, also they raised slogans insuring what they have learned in the revolution  of the importance of team, organized work in achieving the revolution objectives, and the importance of showing the revolution moral ethics and  that what distinguishes the real rebel is his work and morals."

Syria: socio-economic changes,
impacts and consequences

In French."The absence of democracy and the increasing impoverishment of large segments of Syrian society, in a climate of corruption and increasing social inequality, have paved the way for the popular uprising, no longer waiting for a spark."

Will the jihadists overreach?

This might require foreign money and arms to be delivered.

"In Iraq, when al-Qaeda-linked groups overreached themselves, they provoked a successful sahwa, or uprising, by Sunni tribes backed by foreign money and arms. The same could happen to ISIS in Syria."

Whose Problem is Syria?

'Last month, CBS 60 Minutes ran an interview with recently departed deputy director, Michael Morell who said the agency had an interest in pressuring Syria’s regime, but it did not want for the regime to collapse. He argued that Syria’s security services should be left intact so they can confront al Qaeda and other jihadists who are fighting along side other less extremist militias against the regime.
When asked about Morell’s remarks, Mudd said, “I don’t get it.” He warned that the choice of what to do about Syria should not be reduced to “doing nothing” and an Iraq style invasion.'

Abdel Bari Atwan joins the chorus telling us Assad is here to stay. With the usual distortions - half the rebels are now 'global jihadists', the SNC wants to negotiate with Assad. Ignoring all the long-term trends, the collapse of the economy, the alienation of the population, which point towards Assad never ruling Syria again, short of international acceptance of the murder of millions.