Saturday, 15 September 2012

Barack Obama’s Courtship of Bashar al-Assad

"Donate to Wikileaks. They deserve and need your support to make projects like these possible."
In a 31 March 2011 Stratfor [1154727] memo obtained by Wikileaks:
Since Mubarak has gone and Gaddhafi is under fire, Assad has more than enough reasons to be concerned about Syrian regime’s survival. Regardless of what our Syrian contacts tell us about Assad’s confidence, we know and Assad knows that he is on the thin ice and needs US/Saudi support for survival. US/Saudi (and by proxy, Qatar) back Assad not because they fear things may get worse in Lebanon. Indeed, they think this is the best time to put pressure on Assad to give concessions in Lebanon due to his current weakness. Don’t you really find it a bit unusual that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United States did not even hesitate throwing their support behind Assad at the very beginning? Washington could have easily sent a warning to Damascus by saying that “Libya-like treatment for Syria is one of the options”. France was already willing to get engaged in Syria. But US did the contrary.
Less than a month later, Clinton was trying to strike a different tone without changing anything. Assad had greatly intensified the crackdown and people were demanding action so the leaders of the “free world” had to at least look like they were doing something. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

Image result for Tamer Awam syrian-conflict-claims-life-of-film-maker

Syrian conflict claims the life of another young filmmaker

Tamer Awam, a Syrian documentary filmmaker, died Sunday of shrapnel wounds in the northern city of Aleppo, according to friends and activists.

'Awam helped organize sit-ins in Germany supporting the Syrian rebellion. During one protest, he took issue with the Qatari monarchy, which has provided aid to the Syrian rebels.
"To the Qatari government I say, first liberate your own people," he declared.' 
He had earned the right to criticise.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You

If you click on the Next Blog button at [a very pro-Israel site], you get to The Angry Arab News Service making almost as stupid a connection as I'm doing:
' "The man who controls the FSA's operations around the border with Turkey then handed the designer $300 (£187) and a flash drive full of footage and photographs of the conflict. These included interviews with senior FSA commanders and images from the frontline; even gruesome footage allegedly showing a soldier from the regime's forces being decapitated with a chainsaw. "Sell that to CNN or the BBC and you can keep the profits!" the commander told the designer." '

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Syria funeral is focus of Kurdish anger

"The four coffins, draped in Kurdish flags, were taken to the cemetery in pickup trucks and then carried to the graves. Loudspeakers played songs celebrating Kurdish "martyrs" of past struggles. A speaker who was no more than 12 years old used a microphone to lead antigovernment chants."
It obviously breaks the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (which I recall all governments other than the US and Somalia have signed) to allow a twelve year old to be chanting.