Friday, 10 August 2012

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Syria and Jordan troops clash on border
"Syrian forces opened fire on some 300 refugees attempting to flee into Jordan. The Syrians had targeted Jordanian forces by mistake."
You can see how that happens. You're happily taking potshots at refugees when you shoot at someone who has a gun.

In the Shadow of Assad's Bombs

'He was afraid of what might happen if they gave up and the regime survived. “Young men will turn toward fundamentalism and extremism." '

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Daily Star

Do the Assads fear Alawite anger?

"The Assads will continue to be masters of the Alawites for as long as they remain in Damascus. However, once they flee the capital their ability to govern their community will very likely fray severely, or even collapse."
It might also be remarked that as the government increasingly has to destroy areas in order to re-take them, the prospect of it ever ruling normally again recedes.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Quotations Page

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
“Finding myself in the capital,” Tice writes, “made me re-evaluate the rebels’ prospects for a victory soon. The city is huge, just huge, and seizing it will be an enormous undertaking.” It will come as no shock to those aware of CounterPunch that it isn't at its best on Syria.[…/07/stoking-the-syrian-inferno/]
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Syrian rebels feel abandoned, betrayed by U.S.

'When the regime falls, as the rebel battalion spokesman assumes it eventually will, Syrians will not forget that their pleas for help went
unanswered, he said.
“America will pay a price for this,” he said. “America is going to lose
the friendship of Syrians, and no one will trust them anymore. Already
we don’t trust them at all.” '
Men search rubble in Tal Rifaat, near Aleppo

Syria conflict: Key Aleppo district sees fierce clashes

"A Russian general whom rebels claimed to have killed in Syria, has turned up alive and well in Moscow. Rebels said Gen Vladimir Kuzheyev was an adviser to the Assad regime."
Somebody has messed up.
"Photographs published on Facebook appear to show that Syrian rebels have for the first time obtained a heat-seeking, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile launcher, the New York Times reports"
That's nice for them.
"Turkish lawyer Osman Karahan, who defended suspected al-Qaeda militants linked to four Istanbul truck bombs in 2003, has died in fighting in Aleppo, Turkish media reported."
Pity. Of course "suspected", as well as "lawyer", are important words here.
"Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to call for outside military intervention in Syria, similar to the operation he authorised in Libya while in office last year"
Former sounds good.
"Iran's foreign minister said a group of 48 Iranians abducted by rebels in Syria on Saturday included a number of retired Revolutionary Guards and soldiers but denied they played any active military role"
Am on the verge of saying, "pull the other one son, it has got bells on."
"King Abdullah of Jordan suggested Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might try to create an enclave for his Alawite Muslim sect if he loses control of the country"
And epic fail if he does.

"The defection by Syria's prime minister is the most high-profile coup yet in a well-funded programme, though unlikely to signal any imminent regime collapse." This was where I found Seamus Milne to be too biased to be worth reading. []

Syria Analysis: The Local Coordination Committees

Issue a "Code of Conduct" for Free Syrian Army

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Understanding the regime and the revolutionary process

"Opposition to foreign military intervention in Syria is not enough. Such a position is meaningless if not accompanied by clear and strong support for the Syrian people’s movement."
A Syrian leftist wrote in May on the website of the Fourth International, the oldest trotskyist organization. Their British section, Socialist Resistance has nothing on their website. I see another group, Permanent Revolution [Bill Jefferies] don't seem to have anything since this uncertain bit in January,

Monday, 6 August 2012

Abdelbasset Seida

Syrian opposition 'will negotiate with

'What is the context of this quote from Macbeth?
“Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” '*
I think I may have it:…/syrian-opposition-negotiate-gov…
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Syria TV 'hit by bomb attack' in Damascus

I think the desire to stop the régime's propaganda machine is entirely understandable, and may be a good idea, but I am reminded of the American bombing of Serbian TV on the pretext of weakening the state's command and control. On the other hand it's a pity the régime's liars came through unscathed.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Walid al-Muallem

Why Iran needs Assad in power

"Iran may have to find new ways of making friends."James Reynolds seemed like a bit of a fool when he was Jerusalem correspondent, so I'm not sure whether this classic piece of understatement is deliberate.
"Iran appears to be determined to continue supporting Syria. But, in recent months it has also begun to cast an eye to a future in which it may have to do without its main ally." Someone said much the same on the World Service tonight, and this piece now carries a headline that reflects that probability of change more than the one you can see below in preview, "Why Assad's fall would diminish Iran's power".


Here is a short film I made today, with music from Philip Glass and images of the Syrian uprising. Koyaanisqatsi is supposed to mean 'life out of balance' or a state of affairs that cannot continue I think. Unfortunately the pictures from the Syrian Revolution documentary at the end didn't come out quite as wished.
Homs Cemetery

Assad Using Cluster Bombs On Syrian

Civilians, Says Human Rights Watch

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad:
"As my wise leftist friends remind me Assad is engaged in a struggle which is objectively anti-imperialist and his cluster bombs aren't shredding civilians to bits, they are merely protecting Iran from western intervention and thereby advancing the Palestinian cause."