Saturday, 11 January 2014

An Interview With Abou Maeb

 "Well, there’s something really beautiful about Manbij and many other cities like it in Syria in that the people have a sense of responsibility that has been pushing them to organize the city for almost- Manbij has been liberated for a year and three months almost - right now. And you find people in local councils, people in the police force, for example, the brigade and other organizations that are working completely without pay, without any form, not even a political agenda
. It’s just that feeling of duty towards the country that’s keeping them there. Manbij has changed in many ways; we’re free. For the first time ever, the Syrian people are experiencing this freedom where they’re allowed to be politically active, where they’re allowed to look at the future from a completely different angle. And uh, I mean, specifically Manbij is a very unique city because we’ve maintained the old government organizations that the regime left. They’re working again in Manbij. So, it’s very hard to explain how hard this is in the revolution because in Syria, you’re not only dealing with planes and scuds, military, the brutal military force of the regime, you’re also dealing with a lot of factions inside the Syrian army, inside the revolution that are placed there by the regime, that are trying to bring down any effort to build a true organization that is really there for the true purpose of the revolution."

Friday, 10 January 2014

Syria’s Sunnis against Sunni extremists
"There is no doubt that Syria has witnessed the most untarnished and most civilized of Arab revolutions, until it was invaded by extremists and was abandoned by the international community. Groups raising black flags thought that digging up history and spreading hatred would provoke the deceived Syrians. They thought that inciting hatred against the Alawite regime would ensure them absolute allegiance. However, despite barrel bombs and starvation, Syrians turned against the extremists."


Syrian Revolutionaries Resist
Violent Fundamentalists
Raed Fares: "When there were discussions of airstrikes happening, there was hope among the Syrian people. However, most of the American population stood against the strike - they didn't want the US to be involved in another war against another country. What they didn't know or understand was that this would have been a good thing for the Syrian people to remove a killer from power. It is not an operation of war, it is an operation to end a war.

The most preferred method at this point is supporting and providing weapons to the Free Syrian Army.
If you are going to talk about Geneva II, it is a political solution. Any solution that comes out of Geneva II is one that will only please the Assad regime; we will go back to Square One and the revolution will continue. We would rather that the international community strengthen the Free Syrian Army on the ground and provide the military support so that they can become stronger and equal to the force of Assad. Then we will be able to go to the negotiation table for peace talks."
Image result for stand up 4 syria global day of solidarity
Global Day of Solidarity with Syria and the Syrian Revolution
Lions at Surabaya zoo

Lion found hanged
in Indonesian zoo

George Galloway MP, who had been hoping to benefit from the publicity associated with the lion's imminent release, said that it had illegally entered the country and had to expect the consequences.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Culture of Rebellion in Syria
"The principle that people have a say in how they are governed—most dramatically embodied in the bravery and conscientiousness of civilian protests against ISIS—is what ultimately lends justice to the rebel cause, however much it has been tainted by sectarianism and factionalism. That this principle has survived both the regime and ISIS means it may well outlast whatever other hardships the war inflicts on the Syrian people. Amid the seemingly endless stream of horrific news from the country, this alone is cause for hope for a Syria free from tyranny in all its forms, religious or secular."

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bashar Assad’s enormous ‘anti-extremist’ con

Bashar Assad’s enormous
‘anti-extremist’ con

The New York Post is a trashy paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, but this seems pretty accurate.
"For those who truly care about preserving stability in the Middle East, the time has come to stop letting a dictator dictate the rules of the game, and to start empowering Syria’s moderates while they still exist."

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad.
The US and the fight for survival

of Assad: Obama’s strange allies

A somewhat racist view in Israel's main right-wing paper.
"What if for Arabs and Muslims ‘good’ is only whatever advances the cause of Islam to fight the infidels and to control the world, and ‘evil’ is whatever resists the cause of Islam and enables the existence of the Kuffar (non-Muslims)? What if Islam teaches war in the name of peace, and hatred in the name of love? What if the Jewish-Christian Golden Rule of what is morally good or bad is totally different in Islam, as it is the rule of Allah only that determines what is good or bad?"

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Islamists, Salafists, and Jihadists: Friends or Foes of the Revolution?
"Any effort on their part to outline a coherent, detailed vision of a future Islamic state in Syria would not only lead to serious discord between its component groups but create frictions within each group since their rank-and-file fighters often come from a variety of political perspectives: nationalist, secular, socialist, liberal, conservative. They fight under the banner of Islam despite their personal ideological inclinations because that is where the money, guns, ammunition, and effective organizations are. Pragmatism trumps ideology when revolutionary victory is a matter of survival."

Russia condemns Adra massacre  calls on world community to react — RT News

The Massacre in Syria That Wasn’t
"The Syrian people have become skilled reporters because they have witnessed perhaps far more than 130,000 deaths and many groups, such as the Violations Documentation Center (VDC), have documented tens of thousands of those deaths, or at least the bodies of the deceased. If 80 people were brutally murdered in a single town nearly a month ago, we should have seen the evidence by now."
True in reverse of the chemical massacre in August, and indeed what makes denial of that ridiculous is also here, "In order to accept RT’s narrative here, we therefore also have to believe that even the moderate groups of rebels, formed to serve as a hedge against Al-Qaeda-linked groups, would permit such a massacre without raising the alarm."

Monday, 6 January 2014


Syria's Age of Revolution: Peaceful Protest to Armed Struggle
Toby Dodge: "They are two separate conflicts, one driven by the incompetence and repression of the government in Damascus, one driven by the incompetence and repression of the government in Baghdad."
On tonight's Newsnight, attacking the view that they are all part of some region-wide sectarian war.
I wasn't planning on going out anywhere on Monday, but this might tempt me:
"Professor Yezid Sayigh will explore the nature of Syria’s revolution, its armed rebellion, and its opposition. He will reflect in particular on the drivers and dynamics of armed struggle and its impacts, placing this in comparative perspective with other historical experiences and anticipating likely trajectories going forward."

You Can't Be Missed If You Never Go Away

 "One of the most surprising developments of the offensive was the reappearance of the FSA, which was largely seen as a defunct after the creation of the Islamic Front. The United States and Great Britain had suspended aid shipments to the group in December after ISIS overran its warehouses at Bab al Hawa, just inside the Syrian border, and Ahrar al Sham, another Islamist fighting force, failed to return the warehouses to the FSA after it took control of them.

 But as rebels recaptured bases from ISIS, the flag that was raised was that of the FSA."


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Spilling The Spanish BeansGEORGE ORWELL
"Yet in England, in spite of the intense 
interest the Spanish war has aroused, there are very few people who have 
even heard of the enormous struggle that is going on behind the 
Government lines. Of course, this is no accident. There has been a quite 
deliberate conspiracy (I could give detailed instances) to prevent the 
Spanish situation from being understood. People who ought to know better
have lent themselves to the deception on the ground that if you tell the
truth about Spain it will be used as Fascist propaganda."

Imperial Presidencies

Image result for c-span Imperial Presidencies

 "What restrains Putin [and his Chinese equivalent] from supporting Iran is the fear of being seen as international pariahs."
 Just seen on Washington Journal on the BBC Parliament channel. Instinctively sounded more plausible than the school of international relations that tells us that Russia will start WW3 to defend its interests in Syria, and the US is trying to invade the place.

 In response to the first question he says he wishes that there were some way for the 'international community' to remove Assad, but that we are not there yet. I don't think outside imposed rĂ©gime change is the answer, but then Andelman doesn't spell out the means he would prescribe, and in fact is more in the can't do anything camp, and is not an offence to Syrians the way those who want to stop attacks on Assad are.