Saturday, 8 February 2014

Image result for Syria Op-Ed: It’s Time to Destroy Assad’s Air Force

Syria Op-Ed: It’s Time to Destroy Assad’s Air Force"Destroy Assad’s airpower, and you destroy his ability to project his power beyond the lines he currently holds, and you destroy his ability to support and aid his ISIS allies in the east of the country. The moderate opposition can roll back ISIS, while a homegrown political movement can come into existence, and possibly offer the country a way out of its horrendous situation.
But first, Assad’s air force has to be obliterated, down to the last plane and helicopter."

Friday, 7 February 2014

The truth about the criminal bloodbath in Iraq can't be 'countered' indefinitely

babt pilger

John Pilger

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.”

‪#‎Kafranbel‬ Demonstration Feb-7th 2014
Humanitarian Aid rather than The Humanitarian Aids. Reminds me of the South Park episode, Jared Has Aides. []

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Return To Homs

"He is enthusiastic and stubborn by nature, found his voice in the early protests, and led thousands singing and chanting for the dignity of the Syrians and their freedom. As the protests were met by force, and with Saroot on the run after losing family members under their demolished apartment in Homs, the former goalkeeper abandons his soccer gloves for good, and embraces the armed fight. His attachment to his rifle is that of a kid to a new toy, it also embodies the evolution of the Syrian uprising and its transformation into an armed conflict."

Let My People Go

"Insurgents in Aleppo have declared the prison “fully liberated”. About 300 prisoners have been released, but evacuation of others has been impeded by fortified stairways and other barriers, some of them booby-trapped. There are still sporadic clashes.
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

People flee areas under attack in Aleppo. 4 Feb 2014

Syria crisis: US condemns
Aleppo barrel bomb raids
Rajesh Mirchandani: "The Assad government has been accused of using barrel bombs."
When you have pictures of them doing it the qualification may not be necessary.

Image result for UK storms: Dawlish sea wall collapses under the railway line

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.

Volunteers play piano in rubble of Yarmouk

View image on Twitter

"Yarmouk is one of the worst sites of the starvation facing Syrians in areas besieged by the government. But amid the devastation, musicians with a battered piano are making music for their neighbours."

In the Shadow of the Krak des Chevaliers

Krak des Chevaliers

 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."

Image result for 'Children among dead' in assault on Aleppo

'Children among dead' in assault on AleppoThe wanton assault on Syria's very being continues."
Barrel bombs on Aleppo leads Channel 4 news.

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

Eiad Charbaji and daughter

Meet One Of The Few Syrian Refugees
Who Made It To The United States

“I think we need political action, not aid,” he said. “The Syrian crisis isn’t just a humanitarian crisis. [...] If Bashar Assad is gone, Syrians can come back to Syria and you will spend less money for that.”

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

 "Owners were given one hour to 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."