Saturday, 30 March 2013

Hafez al-Assad burns in liberated Raqqa. photo by AP.

A Subtle Shift

Robin Yassin-Kassab

"Syrians need weapons to finish Assad before the crater of this disaster is too deep to climb out of."

Friday, 29 March 2013

Amman Protesters renew

calls to combat corruption

'Protesters also condemned the escalating violence in neighbouring Syria, and lauded the Free Syrian Army to continue in fighting the revolution of "the Syrian People" until the fall of Bashar Al Assad's regime.'

An Unlikely Jihadist,

Denouncing Assad in Mandarin

'The fighter briefly introduces himself and then lashes out at Mr. Assad. “People have no freedom, no democracy, no security and no respect here, not at all,” he said.
He goes on to speak of 1,400-year-old ties between the Chinese and the Arabs, stretching back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the Tang dynasty, when the Silk Road thrived. “However,” he says, “now the Chinese government has destroyed that traditional friendship between the Chinese and Arab people” because Chinese leaders, along with their Iranian and Russian counterparts, “sell weapons and provide financial assistance to the Assad government.” '

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)

Reasons to remain optimistic about Syria
"Syrians continue their struggle against tyranny. As long as they stand, there is ground for optimism."

Monday, 25 March 2013

Ordinary Man

Jon Snow introed tonight's Channel 4 News on Syria by saying, "Despite the misery, they [the Islamists] are gaining influence." Surely because rather than despite? Report does show the barbarity of the régime, the Syrian jets dropping Russian bombs, the corpses with hands ties found floating down the river.
A young boy now a doctor, said something like, "at first I was shocked, now it's ordinary."

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Syria's Descent

"She ventured back a few months ago, and found her papers scattered, her money stolen, her jewellery thieved."
This is the point where I began to doubt Alex Thomson's report on kidnappings in Damascus. Surely when you do a runner, you take the money and the jewellery?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Noam Chomsky: 'No individual changes anything alone'

Noam Chomsky

Sean Doherty, I think it was, did a meeting on Chomsky about ten years ago for the SWP, where he started by pointing out that Chomsky's influence was orders of magnitude greater, and so it would be better to focus on his excellent critique of American foreign policy than their differences with him. Having said that, I think he's wrong about Syria, and the road of death is that with Assad still in charge.
'Should the west arm the opposition? Should it intervene? "I tend to think that providing arms is going to escalate the conflict. I think there has to be some kind of negotiated settlement. The question is which kind. But it's going to have to be primarily among Syrians. Outsiders can try to help set up the conditions, and there's no doubt that the government is carrying out plenty of atrocities, and the opposition some, but not as many. There's a threat that the country is on a suicidal course. Nobody wants that." '

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Close To The Edge

"Syrian rebels said on Monday they had fired mortar bombs at the presidential palace, the Damascus International Airport and security buildings to mark the second anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Some 70,000 people have been killed over the past two years in a revolt that started with peaceful protests but descended into a civil war after Assad's forces shot and arrested thousands of opposition members."

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

“Hand in hand, we will rebuild" - from Bustan Al Qasr, Aleppo (Syria)
Thanks @lkh0ja

Hand in hand, we will rebuild"

- from Bustan Al Qasr, Aleppo (Syria)
Image result for Syrians trade Khan al-Assal chemical weapons claims

Syrians rebels 'use chemical weapon'
Putting the last three words in quotes doesn't avoid the conclusion that it is primarily the Syrian state's version that is being reported; given that they have missiles and chemical weapons and the rebels don't, one might think a different starting point for this story would be appropriate.

Note 6/4/15, the headline now reads, 
"Syrians trade Khan al-Assal chemical weapons claims".

Monday, 18 March 2013

Nettside til den russiske presidentens representant brutt av syriske hackere

Website of the Russian president's
representative violated by Syrian hackers

In Norwegian.

"Hackers have broken the website of the Russian president's attorneys representative in the federal circuit Russian Far East and laid out where a request to the Russian people, with a request not to support the Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
The group that calls itself the SRES (Syrian Revolution Electronic Suite) urged not to supply heavy weapons to Syria. They asked also apologize for the site's failure."
Repairing the damage caused by two years of fighting could cost up to $80 billion

Syria's economy continues to suffer

“The liberalization of the Syrian economy was always stopped by the mafias surrounding the ruling family,” said Taqi. “The family was never investing their revenues into the country, but mainly investing in the telecoms sector and ‘hit-and-run’ sectors.”

Sunday, 17 March 2013

We need weapons against planes -FSA commander

We need weapons against
planes -FSA commander

"Noting that there were few countries which supported FSA such as Turkey, Asaad said that other countries either preferred to remain silent or adopted the strategy of supporting Assad regime indirectly. 
For instance, Israel has been supporting Assad regime from the beginning, while Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah have been actually fighting against us, said Asaad, adding that the regime would be taken down eventually. 
We need weapons to use against the planes bombing our children, and if FSA reaches the weapons, the problem will completely be solved, he said."

Friday, 15 March 2013

Syria's DIY weapons

Tackling impossible odds, the DIY weapons of the Syrian civil war

Image result for Local Syrian-Americans rally to help their war-torn homeland Hanadi Alwan

Local Syrian-Americans rally to
help their war-torn homeland

"The Syrian people are not the victims of a natural disaster; it's not an earthquake or tsunami that we're here to address," Ayloush said. "It's an ongoing process of killing and massacres that will not end until the Syrian people are given the chance or the tools to defend themselves."

Image result for Two years later, Syrian revolutionaries reflect on their cause, the costs

Two years later, Syrian revolutionaries

reflect on their cause, the costs

"I know that the choice now is better than if we didn't have any revolution."

Monday, 11 March 2013

Syria: the story behind one of the most shocking images of the war

Why did the bodies of 110 men suddenly wash up in
the river running through Aleppo city six weeks ago? 

"This is a message from the army; every time the FSA will step forward, we will kill more civilians.
Now the families of each victim are going to join the FSA."
Image result for desperate some fleeing syria turn to prostitution

Desperate, some fleeing

Syria turn to prostitution

This guy isn't helping.
' “I insist that the Syrian women in Zaatari and elsewhere are practicing prostitution because they like it or got used to it, not for money, or for the sake of their poor families,” Ghassan Jamous, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army in northern Jordan, says.'

Friday, 8 March 2013

A woman participates in a demonstration in support of the Syrian people on July 7, 2012, in front of the Pantheon in Paris.

Syria's women: Fighting a war on two fronts

"I was with the revolution from the start, the revolution is one line, it's not Islamist, it's for all Syrians, and Syrians are from all sects. At the end, the revolution's original ideals are going to endure because we are here, those that started it will be there at the end," she adds. "If something happens and this changes it means it's our fault because we gave up."

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A group of Syrian men mourn the loss of a loved one

Prospects for Syria's revolution

'On the other side is a traitorous and opportunistic left, part of which takes a centrist position between the dictatorships and the rebellious masses and another part of which openly and brazenly stands with the dictatorships against the popular revolutions.
The pretexts to justify this betrayal of the popular revolutionary cause are many, but all equally bankrupt. There is the tired excuse of "anti-imperialism," as if Russia and the United States are not both imperialist countries. And there is the excuse of the "Islamist danger," as if the revolutionary processes are mere fruit that should ripen according to our whims and mechanically fall into the hands of the left--otherwise, they are not revolutions.'
A boy eats bread as others wait in front of a bakery shop during winter in Al Qusayr

SYRIA WITNESS: Running the

“If we were able to form this council amid all these hellish conditions, there is a very good chance that there will be better days ahead once this regime is no more.”

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Syria conflict: Refugees

number a million, says UN

It wasn't so long ago that apologists for Assad were pointing to the Alawis who'd got out of the country as the real refugee crisis, whereas the truth is that the government supporters who have left have travelled comfortably with money and passports, while those shelled by Assad's forces are the ones struggling and dying.
And still I hear the BBC News tell me that the problem is how to stop weapons getting in the hands of extremists.


Douglas Alexander telling the House of Commons now that the arms embargo against the Syrian opposition shouldn't be lifted, but the Russians should be prevailed upon not to sell arms to the régime. The problem is that there might be some unsavoury types who end up with weapons.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The last thing Syrians need is more arms going to either side

Unrest in Damascus

 "Rather than the combatants' benefactors, 24 million Syrians are victims of the escalating arms deliveries to all sides."

 It is a slander on the Syrian revolutionaries for Charles Glass to compare them with a government that is firing Scud missiles at its own citizens.

 Forming a Non-intervention Committee was a way in the 30s to make sure that the Spanish Republicans didn't get the arms they needed to defend themselves against the fascists.

Monday, 4 March 2013

The message is the same all across the country: “Syria is a Civil State for All Syrians”

 “Syria is a Civil State for All Syrians”

"The message is the same all across the country."
Protesters in Kafr Nabl have become famous in Syria for their posters criticizing the government. Here they pose for a photo that will instantly be posted on Facebook, in front of a building that was shelled by government forces.

'Conscience' of Syrian Revolution

Faces Challenge from Islamists

"Islamists from Jabhat al Nusra stage their own protest in the town. Until recently, the group has been reluctant to appear in public."

Friday, 1 March 2013

Syrian rebel put his dreams

on hold in civil war

"I'm happy with the battles and the people I've gotten to know," Qadi said. "These are the best moments of my life."

Fighting Shortages, Syrian

Civilians Take Reins in Rebel Areas

“The old people think Bashar Assad is very strong and he will never leave,” he said. “But we think they are not thinking the right way, because we see every day that he is vanishing and going away.”