Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Image result for king Argaven to Genly Ai

"But I do fear you, Envoy. I fear those who sent you. I fear liars, and I fear tricksters, and worst I fear the bitter truth. And so I rule my country well. Because only fear rules men. Nothing else works. Nothing else lasts long enough" 
Argaven to Genly Ai in Ursula le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, rather than Assad to Annan as you might expect.

Monday, 9 April 2012

George Galloway On Syria

George Galloway says:
"Assad Must Go."
Now I think this is a change in his position, and that the call for negotiations with Assad are a year too long into a massacre to be feasible or desirable. And there's some stuff on Libya at the start of the video (hopefully this should start about 8 minutes in) that I very much disagree with;still, the website where I found this claimed it shows "once again this piece of shit supports the most murderous and tyrannical regimes in the world and now supports Assad", I don't think they can have watched it.
Image result for hezbollah's syria policy puts it at risk

Hezbollah's Syria Policy Puts It at Risk

"Most of all, Hezbollah won respect by sticking to its principles, even among rival sects and the leftist cafe regulars in Beirut who are skeptical of its religious conservatism. Now it is paying a price for its politics of pragmatism in Syria."
I'm not sure about the subtitle given here:
"Hezbollah could find itself caught up in a sectarian war between Iran, the region’s Shiite power, and Saudi Arabia, a protector of Sunni interests"; the idea that there is a regional sectarian conflagration between Sunni and Shia seems mostly to be a propaganda tactic by those who want to present those opposed to Assad in Syria as being nothing more than Saudi agents. Otherwise the article seems very good.

Having said that, this does seem the way the Saudi monarchy sees it:
"The Saudi stand on Syria, unlike on Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain, is to support the uprising. Lest there be a doubt about its motive in castigating President Bashar al-Assad’s repressive policy, the Saudi Prince, Turki al-Faisal, explained it thus: “The impending fall of Mr. Assad’s barbarous regime provides a rare strategic opportunity to weaken Iran. Without this vital ally, Tehran will find it more difficult to foment discord in the Arab world. Today, there is a chance for the United States and Saudi Arabia to contain Iran and prevent it from destabilising the region.” The quote is an open admission; even an assertion. The Saudi path to Iran runs through Syria."
Image result for Syria Opens Fire On Refugees In Turkey

Syria Opens Fire On Refugees In Turkey

There seems to be a consensus that if the Syrian government pulls its troops out of urban areas, it is now so politically weak that the opposition will take over all those areas. Rational if evil. But this seems like an attempt to drag Turkey into the conflict, or the desperate actions of those whose grip on power and reality are fast loosening.
"Syrian forces have opened fire at a refugee camp inside Turkey injuring at least three people, a Turkish official has said."

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Syria says no pullback without guarantees

"The Syrian government will not withdraw its forces from Syrian protest hubs without “written guarantees” from the opposition, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday."

I've gone with the earliest report, which also seems to give the most detail of the statement.