Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Scholar-Rebels of the
Free Syrian University

“I burned my life in Syria when I left,” says al-Jamal, eliciting nods of agreement from Syrian academics around him. “It was the suppression of the educated. It was the suppression of the arts. And the suppression of all those outside of the regime over the last decades—that is our reason for being a part of this.
We have these new ideas,” he adds. “That is why we started this.”

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What is left for us from the Syrian revolution?
"But at least it will be a new Syria."

Syria's Rebel Press Are Fighting
Back Against Jihadists
'Our revolution was one for Freedom, Dignity and Equality,
those are three qualities we will not negotiate for.'

Syria's horrors are unimaginable – and largely beyond our control

Ironic that Daniel Hannan, who I think made his name telling American TV he wanted to privatise the NHS, should be warning of the dangers of intervention. Of course, sending actual weaponry to the FSA isn't the same as an Iraq War Re-enactment Society, but so is the debate framed by those who can't see empowering Syrians as the solution.
"Every refugee we met wanted Western strikes against the Assad regime; it would have been bizarre if they hadn’t. But it doesn’t follow that Anglo-American military intervention in Syria would do more good than harm."
One of the comments puts the counter-argument to those who claim that any Western intervention can only make things worse; it is doing nothing to help, and even bullying the opposition into accepting Assad, that will make Western intervention more likely down the line.
"Eventually the West will have to get involved and if that means creating a scotched earth policy just to put out the fire then so be it."

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A Sad Morning Every Morning

 When Syrian musician Kinan Azmeh walks on to the world's most famous concert stage alone on Monday night, he will only be carrying his clarinet.

 His solo lament, A Sad Morning, Every Morning, will be dedicated to the children of his homeland who are caught up in the brutality of the rebellion that has become a civil war.

Image result for Iran and the Wrong Allies in Syria Read more at:
Iran and the Wrong Allies in Syria

Tom Rogan puts the US national interest the other way from Pat Buchanan.
"Only last week, an alliance of Salafi-nationalist rebels began a campaign to challenge ISIS and its affiliate allies. Their rejection of unrestrained extremism is heartening — it speaks to the popular fury that ISIS’s havoc has induced. At the same time, the Free Syrian Army is showing tentative signs of revival.
However, were the United States to ally with Iran, we’d be opening the door to their hardliners’ broader scheming. If we loosen up on Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Iranian-intelligence officers, those individuals would almost certainly use that space to harass the more moderate rebel columns. In essence, Iran would use the U.S. as a force multiplier — enabling their greater support of Assad’s regime."

The enemy of our enemy

"The greatest threat to U.S. interests there is not autocrats, Sunni or Shia, interested in getting rich, but radicals with the mindset of suicide bombers taking over a state and spreading revolution down the Gulf.
War is the clear and present danger, and peace the necessary condition of securing those interests.
The defeat of ISIS in Anbar and Syria and peace in the region should be our primary goal. And if Iran is willing to assist Damascus and Baghdad in defeating al-Qaida, Iran should be treated as a temporary ally in a common cause."
Pat Buchanan puts US interests one way.


A Widow of BayadaRobin Yassin-Kassab"Two months before I met the family, a missile hit their temporary home in Wa’er. The widow (whose arm is still in plaster) bribed a soldier so she wouldn’t be stopped at checkpoints, and travelled with three of her children to Turkey. In her refuge, she showed me her teenage son’s arm and shoulder, tattooed with one extended burn scar.
The widow’s eight-year-old daughter shivered out of shot, hearing the tale recounted for the hundredth time. There’s nothing special about this experience, and she knows it. Everyone has a story."

Monday, 13 January 2014

Image result for Save Yarmouk Camp-Freedom Qashoush Symphony

Save Yarmouk Camp-Freedom Qashoush Symphony
With classical music by Malek Jandali, or film music as it is now known.

Image result for syria's-conflict-told-through-a-caustic-wit

Syria’s Conflict Told
Through a Caustic Wit

"We can see now that people really are more confident, if they can reject ISIS like that. They won’t accept any kind of tyranny and they will push back against it, whether it is the tyranny of the regime or the tyranny of ISIS. But the regime is definitely the bigger enemy. In the end, we got ISIS out of the town in two minutes. The regime is harder."

Sunday, 12 January 2014

GUEST APPEARANCE: When freedom brings hope and trouble
"With the atrocities of the regime as well as the ISIL, demonstrating, continuing the sarcastic banners like those of Kafer Nebbul town and revolutionary rap songs — these are what remain for the Syrians to show that their revolution has started peacefully and will continue, along with armed resistance."
Some people commenting on the Syrian revolution will ignore the last bit. Or see a comment like, "It is true that use of military force has gained the rebels advances on the ground, but this is not everything that Syrians are looking for," and conclude that the question military support for the rebels is not important, when it is what stands between the Syrian people and the abyss.

Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp close to the centre of Damascus (September 2013)

UN concerns mount over besieged Syrians

Valerie Amos. Was just telling the world service about "people besieged [in Syria], whether by government or by opposition sources", and it is just a lie that the opposition has been doing this. Many Syrians are on the brink of starvation because their own government denies them food (Amos had just been to see some of them, in the Palestian refugee camp in Yarmouk). She repeats a few more of the international community's excuses for maintaining Assad in power in the interview here.
"The security situation is becoming worse, now that you have fighting between some of these opposition forces." No, now that the al-Qaida types who did nothing to fight Assad have been cleared out, the simplicity of the struggle between an autocrat and the sizeable majority of Syrians can re-assert itself.