Friday, 7 February 2014
John Pilger'The truth about the criminal bloodbath in Iraq cannot be "countered" indefinitely. Neither can the truth about our support for the medievalists in Saudi Arabia, the nuclear-armed predators in Israel, the new military fascists in Egypt and the jihadist "liberators" of Syria.'
Actually, I just heard Paul Wood do a report where he claimed that jihadists were doing most of the fighting against Assad in Syria, and before that Fiona Bruce called al-Nusra an al-Qaida terror group. It is the voices of those trying to free their country that are overlooked, and undermine Pilger's credibility when attacking other targets.
Novelist Khaled Khalifa on
breaking the barrier of fear“The regime thinks it has always been in control,” he says. “The reality is that the regime lived outside the homes of the Syrians because it was unable to offer them anything of value. It only got inside the homes to conduct sabotage.”
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Sayfullakh Shishani, leader of a mainly-Chechen faction fighting alongside Jabhat al-Nusra, was killed in the final assault on the prison.
Jabhat al-Nusra called in Liwa al-Tawhid, a leading group in the Islamic Front, which provided enough tanks and troops to complete the takeover of the prison."
Geneva 2: Crossroads for the U.S. and the Opposition
"The past three years of U.S. Syria policy were wasted, stuck on autopilot: passive policy pronouncements asserting “Assad must go” while saying “no” to everything that would help him go. This led to the following results:
- Syria’s revolutionary war expanding into Lebanon and Iraq in the form of sectarian strife.
- An unprecedented refugee crisis.
- Not one but two Al-Qaeda affiliates setting up shop in Syria.
- Last but not least, Saudi Arabia threatening to go off the reservation."
I'm not sure I agree with Nott George Sabra's unrestrained optimism about the shift in US policy, when it has been a series of false dawns rather than a beacon in the night, but certainly those who thought that the Syrian opposition would use Geneva to accommodate the régime were wrong.
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
UK storms: Dawlish sea wall
collapses under the railway line
We don't respect the ancient Dawlish culture by advocating Western intervention. While it can be an unpleasant shock to our ears to hear demands that they "fuck off back to Middle Earth", a solution to this tragedy may require some sort of stability, rather than the growing influence of proxy forces in Cameron's fight against Owen Patterson.
Patrick Cockburn, embedded with Assad's forces, gives the impression that there are roughly equal levels of sectarian atrocity on each side. Or worse on the rebel side, with supporters of the government those who voice concern at barbarism. It's just not true. The arbitrary killings by Assad's forces are a systematic war policy, those by the opposition isolated and condemned.
"Syrian army officers said that these worsened recently when two Christians, a man and a women, had a late dinner at a hotel called the Alwadi and were stopped by armed men as they drove home. “As soon as they said they came from a nearby Christian village called Marmarita they were killed,” said an officer. In another sectarian killing a Muslim from al-Hosn village was reportedly killed by Christian militiamen."
If the rebels are so shit, how come the government has only one military victory to speak of, that required thousands of Hezbollah soldiers to achieve. Compare these two quotes from Cockburn, and wonder if the Free Syrian Army are winners more than is often allowed.
"The rebels are fragmented in organisation, lack heavy weapons and are too short of ammunition to launch big offensives."
"Last June the government and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, had one of its few clear cut victories when they captured the rebel town of al-Qusayr a few miles east of Tal-Kalakh."
And the idea that the government is the one - we don't hear from the revolutionaries of course - that wants to stop destruction to Syria's heritage is a lie. "Bashar, or the country burns" has been their slogan all along, literally.
Tuesday, 4 February 2014
The Syrian Opposition Is Disappearing From Facebook
"In a country where foreign and independent Syrian journalists are barred, and the regime’s expansive network of citizen-spies makes public discussion of the revolution dangerous to this day, Facebook was one of the first refuges for Syria’s dissidents—and now it has become one of their last."
The Vilification of Foreign
Fighters in the Syrian ‘Conflict’
"Hypocritical as this may seem, the approach of the European and American ‘friends of Syria’ is that they would prefer that their citizens stuck to opposing Assad and assisting the Syrians with their rhetoric only. If they go to fight and protect them, they’re ‘terrorists’, and are arrested and ostracised as such."
Mirroring the West's general approach to Syria.
Monday, 3 February 2014
evacuate their homes. I saw people throwing their belongings from the windows.
I wanted to help but I was afraid because the Syrian army was there."
This is one of a number of such accounts on the Human Rights Watch site. I guess the neighbouring district of Yarmouk is the location of the Palestinian refugee camp currently being starved by the Syrian government.
Sunday, 2 February 2014
Series 7 Episode 5 of 21
"Where the dictators have been in power, as long as they keep their heads down, Christians have been alright."
Nadim Nasar says,
"The suffering of the Christians is not more important than any Syrian."
The truth is that the vast majority of refugees are Sunni Muslims, fleeing the attacks of Assad's forces. That's why if Britain only takes 500 refugees, and prioritises Christians, it is failing to address the problem.The biggest clap was for the audience member that said, "I think we should be ashamed that we are only taking five hundred."