Saturday, 10 May 2014
'A senior UN aid official accused the Syrian government on Friday of blockading medical supplies from convoys bound for opposition-held areas.
"Medical supplies are being removed from convoys as part of a strategy to deny the wounded medical care. This is an abomination," John Ging, the UN director of Syria aid operations, told reporters in Geneva.'
"Al-Hosni, recently awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, an important international human rights award, blames Brahimi for the international community’s failure to stop the killings.
“The reason Brahimi was chosen by the major powers as a mediator for Syria was that throughout his professional career he had favoured peace over justice."
Friday, 9 May 2014
Nice middle-class boy becomes Islamic
militant after eating Halal sandwichI've found a chicken salad sandwich, so perhaps the government should confiscate my passport, just in case I hotfoot it to Syria to go on jihad. Because that is the sort of country we live in, where the greatest concern about Syria, is that people might go off to fight a dictator and become radicalised.
Thursday, 8 May 2014
Arm the rebels, pleads Syrian opposition'Jarba also stressed Syrians were not calling on the United States or the West “to send their sons to Syria” to fight as in past wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. “We do not want Americans to die in Syria,” he insisted. But “we do have a problem with the air forces, the air raids and the barrel bombs. This is making our lives a nightmare." '
I think Ian Black is noticeably unfriendly to the opposition. From his opening line, 'Ahmed Jarba, president of the Syrian opposition coalition (SOC), is in Washington this week, flattered by the official "foreign mission" status accorded to his office,' as if Jarba were some tin pot exiled monarch. Black's initial assessment of the next Friends of Syria meeting, " No-one is holding their breath," just doesn't fit into the same jigsaw as, 'Kerry flies to London to join William Hague and other ministers to discuss "how best to significantly step-up.. support to the Syrian opposition, make urgent progress on improving the deteriorating humanitarian crisis and reinvigorate a political process that has stalled due to regime intransigence." (Weapons deliveries are unlikely to be mentioned publicly). It's an ambitious agenda.'
'Bashar al-Assad will stand for a third term as president, re-election guaranteed - despite western criticism of a "grotesque parody of democracy." ' In this case, accurate criticism, Western or otherwise.
"Meanwhile barrel bombs rain down on civilian areas with terrible consequences." No, they rain down on civilians in opposition held areas. Dropped by the government.
"Thursday's bombing of an Aleppo hotel used by the army by the Islamic Front shows that the battle for the city is not over." Or the battle for the city has been going the rebels' way. Whenever they has been a mix of gains for each side, it is presented as evidence that Assad is immovable, rather than that there is a majority of the country he can never win over no matter how much force he uses, and so it is really a question of whether the country is destroyed before he goes, not if.
"The publicised delivery of US-made TOW anti-tank missiles to one carefully-vetted Saudi-backed brigade has raised the prospect of more significant military aid to anti-Assad forces and a counter-weight to support from Iran and Hezbollah." And it could change the balance completely. If the cannot bomb people into surrendering or fleeing, the régime forces are left without a strategy.
'Intriguingly Assad spoke this week of facilitating aid deliveries (though without "compromising national sovereignty) - perhaps to counter international condemnation of his "surrender or starve" policy.' Because he might need to make he's not doing it for a while, to prevent the US 'intervening' by providing anti-aircraft missiles. As happened after the August sarin attack, when the supposed threat of a Western invasion of Syria was more important than the actual attack.
"Probably the most important thing, from the perspective of all opposition forces, is reaffirmation of the western-Gulf line that "Assad and his close associates...who have blood on their hands will not have any role to play in the future of Syria" - just as he prepares to start a triumphal third term."
Again dismissing the opposition as a Western creation, to which the policies of the West are more important than whether they provide the military materiel that would enable Syrians to determine their own destiny.
"Talk is rife of who may replace Brahimi." He's done no good for Syrians, I think it is those who see Syria's future decided in the high councils of the UN that are more interested in the progression of UN mediators.
"Whoever does take over will need to think very hard about what do next — and first of all decide whether the Geneva process or some other route to a negotiated political solution can be revived."
There is no negotiating with Assad, except for when he might leave.
"Syria's bloody crisis continues to pose lots of questions. But few of the answers are satisfactory."
I can think of one.
Mohammed Alaa Ghanem
"As few as 20 MANPADS distributed to moderate Syrian rebel groups would make Assad regime pilots think twice before agreeing to decimate civilian areas through barrel bombings. And the added risk to civilian airliners would be extremely small, especially if the MANPADS were outfitted with the technological fixes under discussion.
For the sake of the thousands of Syrians killed or injured by barrel bombings — including schoolchildren in Aleppo who believed in the United States — we ask the American people to assume this risk and support the provision of MANPADS to carefully vetted elements of the Syrian opposition."
One U.S.-Backed Rebel Group
Cooperates With Al-Qaeda in SyriaThis is what happens when journalists rely on government officials for their stories. If al-Nusra got control of the weapons pipeline through Jordan, there wouldn't be any pipeline. This is scaremongering to keep the rebel forces in Syria from being supported, much like the people who whinge about the Gulf Co-operation Council and the threat of al-Qaida, while ignoring the real threats that Syrians face.
' "Naimeh's arrest signals that Nusra feels emboldened in the south," said a Western official in Istanbul monitoring the Syrian civil war. "Nusra may be wanting to assert its dominance in the south by controlling the support pipeline from Jordan" to the FSA, this official added.'
The LevellersAleppo hotel used by Assad forces 'levelled'*
The AP report ends with a couple of paragraphs of standard untruths about the revolution turning into a sectarian war dominated on the rebel side by foreign fighters.
"Syria's uprising began with largely peaceful protests and has evolved into a civil war with sectarian overtones, pitting largely Sunni Muslim rebels against Assad's government, which is dominated by Alawites, a sect of Shia Islam.
Islamic extremists, including foreign fighters and Syrian rebels who have taken up hardline al-Qaida-style ideologies, have played an increasingly prominent role among fighters, dampening the west's support for the rebellion to overthrow Assad."
'American, Saudi and Jordanian intelligence have been working on creating a "southern front" around Daraa, the southern city where the Syrian revolt began, a front supposedly made up of moderate, secular fighters, who are both anti-Assad and anti-jihadi. This is deceptive, since an important force in such operations would be Jabhat al-Nusra which, on this front, is reportedly acting in coordination with a Jordanian, Saudi and US intelligence joint operations room in Amman.'
Shorter Patrick Cockburn, supporting revolution in Syria will lead to more 9/11s. He ignores the way the mainstream rebels have forced ISIS out of much of Syria, that Jabhat al -Nusra only exists because of the failure to provide support to secular rebels, that al-Nusra aren't a part of the unified Southern command*, indeed anything that doesn't fit Bush's message that either you are for the terrorists against them.
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
"Those torturing methods include:
Pulling off nails, especially fingernails.-
-Beating and punching directly on the face; especially on the eyes.
Quenching cigarettes on the detainee's body, especially on the back and hands.-
-Whipping all over the body, especially on the back.
-Depriving the already tortured detainees of medicine which is already rare, so that they wouldn't be able to cure bruises and injuries caused by torture.
-Beating detainees while going to the toilet, which forced some detainees to stop eating at all, or eat some food only, so that they wouldn't have to go to toilet.
Pouring hot water on detainee's body, mostly on the back and shoulders.-
-Using 'Bisat Alreeh' (wind carpet) by forcing the detainee to lie down on two wooden boards and then tie him to these boards and bend his body brutally by raising his feet to the head while beating the feet."