Saturday, 29 September 2012

Wind Of Change

"The more enthusiastic parts of the crowd started singing the winds of change have blown". Probably not the Scorpions, but anyway.[…/b…/Our_World_Syria_Descent_into_Hell/]
Our World - Syria - Descent into Hell
Sue Lloyd Roberts looks back on the key events of the Syrian uprising and speaks to people she met while undercover there.

The Syrian people will not submit, nor the permanent popular revolution

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"The big Western imperialist powers, other global imperialist powers such as Russia and China, and regional powers like Iran, as a whole, and without exception, continue to implement in Syria a Yemeni-type solution, in other words, cut off the head of the regime."

When people on the Left say, "the ongoing war in Syria, which is likely to worsen unless the protagonists step back and search for a diplomatic solution"*, they echo this desire to keep the structure of the régime intact. The more outspoken supporters of official intervention are propbably sincere in their desire to see a real change, but a foreign-imposed solution is a recipe for an even less accountable administration.
I see the author of this article, Joseph Daher, member of the Syrian revolutionary Left, is a PhD student and assistant at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Co-founder of the blog Cafe Thawra and founder of the Syria Freedom blog, he is co-author (with John Rees) of “The People Demand. A short history of the Arab revolutions”. He doesn't share Mr.Rees' views on Syria.

Babylon Is Falling

Kurds Prepare to Pursue More Autonomy in a Fallen Syria

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Revolutionary press blooms underground in Syria

"Our goal is to run an objective paper that is open to every Syrian's views," he said. "Right now, while we're being shelled, it's a little hard not to take sides."

Dope For Guns

They're not having to retreat every time the government forces advance now, so victory may be much closer.
"For commanders assembled at the headquarters of Aleppo's main rebel unit, the Liwa al-Tawhid Brigade, the current stalemate in Syria's second city boils down to a lack of ammunition. Their current depleted supply, used sparingly by snipers, is just enough to defend the positions they hold but not to advance, as regime forces and rebels remain holed up either side of the front line."

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Libyan fighters 'return favor' in Syria battles

"It is not jihad, it is a revolution," Abu Abdo insisted, adding that "in Syria there are many foreign fighters as we no longer believe in promises coming from the West."
Firas has his own explanation for why the West is not interfering in the Syrian conflict as it did in Libya.
"In Libya there is oil and gas and the West is still looking for wars from which it can derive economic benefits even if it is at the cost of thousands of lives, as was the case in Iraq," he said.
"The second reason is that Libya is far from Israel, a war out there does not affect Israel as here a large-scale conflict would be devastating."

West complicit in Syria 'massacres': rebel leader

 'A Syrian rebel commander has accused the West of being complicit in the "unprecedented massacres" committed by President Bashar Assad's forces by refusing to arm the rebels with anti-aircraft weapons.

 Rebel officer Ahmad al-Fajj, a brigadier-general in the regular Syrian army before his defection "in the first days of the revolution," spoke in the rebel Free Syrian Army-held village of Atmeh on the Turkish border.

 "The free peoples of the world -- Europeans, Americans -- must understand that their governments are indirectly responsible for the killings in our country," Fajj, 64, said on Tuesday.

 "We asked all the arms dealers and traffickers in the region to sell us anti-aircraft missiles. They told us they needed the green light from the CIA and Mossad, and the light was red," he said.

 "They won't sell us anti-tank weapons for the same reason. All we have to defeat Bashar's tanks are the RPGs we manage to retrieve from the enemy."

 He claimed that with surface-to-air missiles the rebels would be able to defeat the regime forces "in a week, a month at most."

 General Fajj, who bore an odd resemblance to the late Hafez al-Assad, former president and father of Bashar, said he could not fathom the West's reluctance to supply the rebels with the necessary anti-aircraft equipment.

 Western nations fear that such weapons may fall into the hands of militant Islamists operating in the country.

 "There aren't many Islamists, less than a thousand in the whole of Syria. They have no power," he asserted. "We control the liberated areas and I can guarantee you there is no chance they'd get hold of missiles.

 "If Western countries had helped us from the beginning, they wouldn't even be here as we wouldn't need them. I assure you that after our victory they will not pose a problem. If they do we'll deal with them. The Syrian people don't support them, they're on our side.

 "I can promise the free peoples of the world that if surface-to-air missiles are given to us, they will not fall into the hands of Islamist groups," he said.

 As the U.N. General Assembly opened in New York Tuesday, Fajj complained: "Democratic countries only support us with words. This is shameful for the world. They can see what's happening, buildings being destroyed by air strikes, and they do nothing."

 Fajj, commander of the rebels on the front line in western Aleppo, had been leading a four-day-old FSA assault on a crucial army post, "base 46," which lies on the main road between the northern city and Turkey.

 "We are surrounding them. Yesterday a helicopter flew past to drop them bread. They can't get reinforcements because we hold all the roads.

 "This base is the only obstacle on the road to Aleppo. If we take it, we can join up with our fighters in the city, which would be a key victory," he said.

 "We have time anyway," he concluded. "We will defeat them by ourselves. It'll take longer and many people, civilians in particular, will die as a result. The French revolution didn't get any outside help. This is our revolution." '

Sectarianism of the Syrian revolution

"The young man was perplexed and said that it was a banner that called for God’s oneness. The older fighter scolded the young man and said, “This is an Al-Qaeda banner; are you Al-Qaeda? Haven’t we had enough of these rumors? Do you like the media to depict us as radical villagers? And that we slaughter people?”
The argument was over in no time. The banner was left behind in the village."
Activist Rodaina Eessa with her sister. Photo: Ruth Michaelson/RH Reality Check.

Report from Syria: Women Combat an Oppressive Regime Online, On the Ground, and Sometimes Armed

Zara and her friend, Rasha (not her real name), were both activists who saw the revolution as an opportunity for social as well as political reform. Having begun to attend protests and to connect to networks of activists locally, Rasha, in particular, found that she wanted her involvement to be personal as well as political. “I stopped wearing the hijab, I cut my hair, and I moved out of home,” she says, sipping lemon and mint juice in a café in Amman.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

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Analysis: Prophet film diverts gaze from Syria

"The crisis over the film also has reinvigorated militant rhetoric that U.S. and Israel are the real enemies of Muslims, taking the heat off of both Assad and his loyal and powerful ally in neighboring Lebanon, the militant group Hezbollah."
Often they are. I was going to make the opposite comment on a League For The Fifth International article that Marcus Halaby linked to, which seemed to promote a slightly simplistic, anti-imperialists good, salafists bad, view.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Jah Is Coming For His Earth And Babylon Falling

"We don't follow any religious or political ideology. Not the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, or any other foreign movement. We are the FSA on the ground," he said. The commanders on the ground share one goal: "That (President) Bashar Assad falls as soon as possible."

Open letter of the Syrian Revolutionary left

Via Bassem Chit, but his link only seems to come in French.
"The Syrian revolutionary process is a real popular and democratic movement that mobilizes the exploited and the oppressed classes against the capitalist elite linked to the global order – very similar to their counterparts across the Arab world. The movement began peacefully calling for reform, but the regime has responded with violence and repression in all directions. Some sections of the Syrian population then decided to organize armed resistance to defend themselves against attacks from security services and thugs, known as the shabihas of the regime.
The Syrian people’s armed resistance expresses their right to defend themselves against the repression of the regime and has allowed for the continuation of the popular resistance in some regions faced with the attacks of the regime. Some revolutionary councils were formed throughout Syria, as well as coordinating committees and armed political action. A code of good conduct, which calls for the respect for international law and against sectarianism, has also been signed by a large number of armed groups belonging to the armed popular resistance against the regime.
Composed of deserters and civilians who took up arms, the armed popular resistance has real roots in the popular insurrection."
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Eyewitness account of war crimes in Syrian conflict

syriastrugglel: "Assad people saying opposition killed them but some have shackles on their wrists. Where we normal people get shackles? Democracy fighters have trouble getting guns and bullets."