Friday, 21 September 2012

Understanding The Arab Revolutions - Phil Marfleet

This from the International Socialism Journal 2*33, Autumn 1986; below his meeting from last year.
"The presence of Israel and the expansionary policy that has led to five major wars has allowed the Arab rulers an alibi - they have been able to direct domestic discontent into nationalism, with the Zionists the main enemy. Their ability to produce Palestinian leaders to verify their anti-Zionist credentials has helped to give a whole generation of shaikhs and presidents legitimacy and has weakened the basis for unity between the Palestinian masses and Arab workers. This has been true whether Arafat has been appearing alongside the Gulf shaikhs and emirs, or George Habash of the Popular Front and Nayef Hawatmeh have shared platforms with the 'progressives' - Syria's Assad, Libya's Qaddafi, Algeria's Boumedienne or Chadli. There has been no part of the Palestinian movement not identified with a section of Arab capitalism."
"Elsewhere the communist parties were pursuing the same popular front strategies that had proved so ineffective in the 1940s. In Syria, for example, the party lobbied the Baathists who had seized power in 1963, viewing them in the same light as the Nasser regime. In 1966 they were admitted to the government, being allocated two ministers, and for several years had representation in a ruling 'progressive front'. This did not stop the regime developing a police state in which all dissent was suppressed."

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Important Finds At Tell Sabi Abyad

The Syrian rebels have taken control of a similarly named border crossing with Turkey today.
"In 1997, the team of researchers found parts of grand vizier Assur-iddin's private archive, dating from about 1200 B.C. The texts on the clay tablets prove that the officials of that time took bribes on a regular basis.
"2005 Yet the oldest pottery from Syria
This year the research team found pottery that was older still! The usually polished, sometimes even painted pottery is truly unique: it has never been found at any other site in the Near East thus far."

Monday, 17 September 2012

Image result for Syria crisis: Aleppo's deadly aerial warfare

Syria crisis: Aleppo's deadly aerial warfare

"I want to ask you a question," said the commander I'd spoken to about the FSA's share of the blame for civilian casualties. "Why is the whole world watching and doing nothing? The dead are laying in the streets. We bury people in gardens. Why is the world protecting Bashar?"
Abdullah al-Senoussi

Syria Rebels Down Jets

"All the villages we are in control of now are Sunni. So far, the position of the Alawites in Latakia is ambiguous. We want a clear stance from them. We have sent them many messages telling them that we are not against them or targeting them but when their villages are used as a base for tanks to launch attacks against other part of Latakia, they become like witnesses to the killing of the Syrian people."
Brian Whitaker linked to a piece on Syria Comment [] that linked back to this, but also gave a radically different account, followed by a comment section which I'm sure resolved the whole situation.
Image result for sayyed hassan nasrallah speech 16 september 2012

Sayed Hassan Nasrollah Tonight

Someone who has chosen to be an idiot, "Sayyed Nasrallah also stressed that the incident requires an urgent session of the Islamic conference because it is more serious than what's going on in Syria."

The Revolution Betrayed:

Obama and the Syrian Uprising

'People who bemoan the FSA’s human rights violations from the safety of their couches while remaining mum about the regime’s criminal acts that drove them to arms in the first place cannot comprehend what Malcolm X meant when he said: “sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the gun down.” '
I disagree with Pham Binh's enthusiasm for Western intervention, thinking he misunderstands the effects, but he says a lot of things that are right.

The Sorrows of Syria

"I think the Iranians, and to a lesser extent the Russians, will support Bashar al-Assad until there are no more Syrians left."

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Image result for US says Iran training Syrian militia

US says Iran training Syrian militia

The BBC was just reporting the head of Iran's Quds force as admitting this, but saying they are only acting as advisers. Like the Americans in Vietnam.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander says its troops in Syria.

Volunteers struggle to feed poor in Syria's Aleppo

It can get a little tiresome when it's claimed that the threat to Syrians is American machinations.
"For the regime, we are terrorists because we are helping people in rebel-held areas," he adds. "We don't get anything from anyone, no NGOs -- Syrian or foreign," he says.
"A Saudi came to us two weeks ago. He has promised to help us and send money. We are still waiting."