Friday, 19 July 2013

Image result for press tv logo

Al-Qaeda state in Syria

"It did not take long for the extreme bigots of the French Revolution (1789) to point a finger at anybody and send them to the guillotine. So it is with the Takfiri whose blood lust is such that they long to be surrounded by the blood of the dead and dying."
If the 'takfiris' in Syria are much the same as the Jacobins, I may warm to them.
Syrian opposition questions Taliban rebel role

Syrian opposition questions Taliban rebel role

"This Pakistani Taliban claim comes as the Syrian civil war has become a Sunni-Shiite proxy battle of sorts."
Hmm. Or there is a claim that it has sorta become a sectarian battle, or a proxy battle, or sometimes both at once.
Image result for syria cracks down on assad's non-violent opponents

Syria cracks down on
Assad's non-violent opponents

Let me draw you a picture.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Daily Star

Syrians learn to trust
the U.S. at their own peril

"The moderates are trying to hold on as the country crumbles. In the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, a Free Syrian Army commander named Abdel-Jabbar Akidi has tried to prevent extremists from blockading food supplies to civilians who have supported the regime. He’s also trying to stop a war between rival Shariah courts in the northern suburbs of Aleppo. This is a commander who has been pleading for almost two years for serious help from the West, apparently in vain."

Ten Fundamental Issues to
Understand the Syrian Revolution

This is aiming quite high:

"Require all capitalist governments of the world, including the U.S., Europe and the Arab League, to send heavy weapons (tanks, planes, anti-aircraft missiles, etc..), without imposing any condition, for the Free Syrian Army."
The website I've taken this from is of the International Workers League - Fourth International. Quite how that differs from all the other Fourth Internationals, I don't know.
General Sir David Richards

Syria crisis: no option off
the table, says Hammond

'Last week British spy chiefs warned that Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons could fall into the hands of al-Qaida militants if Assad was toppled, with potentially "catastrophic" consequences.'

How much more catastrophic than Assad using them? And if you want them under responsible control, give arms to those who will most responsibly control, and hopefully, get rid of them. It might be remarked that most ex-Soviet countries have got rid of their nuclear weapons.

Blowin' In The Wind

 I think it's a good idea to demand of states, including the UK and USA, that they give the Syrian rebels sufficient armament to get rid of Assad and his régime.

 Most people won't understand why if you want the rebels armed and the West is best placed to do it, why you wouldn't want the West to do so, but having read for example, William Blum's* account of the many, many countries the CIA have turned over I can appreciate the reluctance, but I don't think Syrians have the luxury of waiting for a more kind-hearted arms supplier. I wish they could make or take all the weapons they need, but if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

 I think many of the specific arguments are misplaced. Arguments that we don't know who the rebels are/the weapons will fall into the wrong hands/they will promote instability are either generally wrong, will have the opposite effect from that intended, or are exaggerated (not necessarily in that order).

 The idea that America is always going to be a bad thing, is similar to the one socialists often have of, do we ever call the police? And the answer is often yes, if there is no other way of dealing with the threat, your job or your insurance demands it, and it isn't going to bring greater problems in its immediate wake. On an international scale that is a trickier proposition, but still, the debate is framed in such a way that seems to encourage some of the best outcomes if the hurdle of helping the rebels at all is overcome.

 You do get idiots in the pro-Assad camp saying that this is Iraq all over again. But they aren't the only ones who've noticed that Iraq was a blow to the case for foreign occupations. So those from the military, like Mike Jackson on Newsnight the other night are talking about making Western involvement as much about giving weapons to the FSA as possible, and not putting Western troops in. There isn't noticeably any slippery slope, the West has done well enough not bothering to intervene so far, weapons that help turn the tide of battle are not then going to have anyone saying that the West is not doing enough.

 Will America be more popular in Syria if they help the FSA? I think so, even if the help comes very late, because desperate people are grateful for help. Do I think this will give American corporations a head start in exploiting Syrian workers in the future? Yes (despite the Syrian people's antagonistic relationship with America's ally Israel), but that's inevitable when their state does good things.

 The left would be advised to be practical over Syria, because if it cannot answer what can be done to improve their lot, the suspicion will be that it has nothing to say to anyone living in a non-Western backed state, and may well prefer totalitarian dungeons to any sort of democracy. And that would be a small, sad, cranky left for the foreseeable future.
The story of the world champion of bodybuilding: “We are not terrorists”

The story of the world champion of bodybuilding: “We are not terrorists”
"Firas Saied was the world champion in bodybuilding in
 2010. He is Syrian, and comes from the city of Homs, a city that has suffered gravely under the Assad regime. Saied, like many other youth in Syria, joined the revolution early on. He joined peaceful protests with his friends and athletes before he was detained and tortured in 2011."

Janet Ellis: "Apparently the strongest support for the rebels is now coming from the Taliban."


Checkmate in Syria?

 "If this conflict were a chess match, Assad has resources remaining all over the board. Checkmate seems only a few moves away. Assad is willing to be the king standing at the end."

 What resources? The economy has collapsed, he relies on Hezbollah to do his fighting.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A message from Syrians in Kafranbel

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Even In Syria, Trayvon Martin Ruling Causes Stir*
Though Syria has more than its own share of problems, the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin caused a stir even in the war-torn country.

The conflict in Syria: A revolution, not a civil war

Image result for The conflict in Syria: A revolution, not a civil war Coty Giannelli

"The international community’s lack of intervention leads many Syrians to believe that the world is “condoning” al-Assad’s actions against his people.
 The revolution has touched everyone in the country in some way, from the child who lost a father, the military leader who lost his two brothers and 36 of his cousins, to the old man whose sons paid the ultimate price during the fight for their village’s freedom.

 Helal, a frail-looking, elderly man suffering from a heart condition sits on a stone. He is wearing traditional Syrian garb, with a red scarf around his head. He takes a sip out of his tea. Within arms reach, hiding behind a curtain is an AK-47. Because of his age and his heart condition, he is unable to fight, but he keeps his rifle near him, hoping that the regime will return to Benoun, an area under FSA control, so he can have his revenge.

 “[The regime] is a bunch of criminals, they chose to fight us. We are only defending our village and ourselves,” Helal said. “When we win against the regime, I will feel like I have my children with me again.

 As the revolution continues and the first few nails are hammered into the regime’s coffin, a vibrantly painted phrase can be seen painted on walls around northern Syria. This phrase describes the feelings of the Syrians people like only they can:
“It’s important to be free, but it is more important to know what freedom means.” "

Aleppo, Syria. March 20, 2013. A bombmaker working for the rebels mixes quemicals in a makeshift bomb factory in a rebel-held district of Aleppo.

How War in Syria Turned These Ordinary
Engineers Into Deadly Weapons Inventors

"Yassin initially volunteered as an ambulance driver, which let him witness firsthand the human sacrifice the rebels were making. His first ambulance was hit by a mortar shell just seconds after he got out of it. His second went up in flames after its gas tank was shot while he was driving."
Image result for Blood money: UK’s £12.3bn arms sales to repressive states

Blood money: UK’s £12.3bn
arms sales to repressive states

"The report by the Committees on Arms Export Controls found there were 62 licences for selling to Iran, again overwhelmingly cryptographic equipment. This also features heavily in the 271 licences for Russia, along with biotechnology equipment, sniper rifles, laser weapons systems, weapon sights and unmanned air vehicles (drones).

Both countries have been involved in large-scale supplies of weaponry to President Assad, and members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been on the ground, supporting regime forces, in Syria."

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


Syrian rebel leader: Britain betrayed us
Free Syrian Army commander outraged after UK abandons plans to arm opposition.
"I have not had the opportunity to ask David Cameron personally if he will leave us alone to be killed," Idris said. "On behalf of all the Syrians, thank you very much".
He may not have any guns, but he still has sarcasm.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Hussein Shobokshi

Opinion: Syria is dying
"It seems that the silence of the international community is something deliberate to allow the criminal regime achieve as many gains as possible on the ground."



Angry Syrians

The Game that's Bombing who needs to be

"The revolution in Syria started over a year ago* and every days hundreds die.
Countries don't believe the stakes are high enough to risk an intervention. So Assad is doing what he wants in Syria without anyone daring to make an intervention."
Apple rejected it because "We found your app contains defamatory or offensive content targeted at a specific group, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines." (the defamed and offended group in question is the brutal Assad regime and its supporters).[…/07/14/apple-rejects-angry-syrians.h…]
*Two years ago now.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Ashgabat: No Turkmen Fighting in Syria

Ashgabat: No Turkmen Fighting in Syria
They must have been quite thorough to have given him four different nationalities of trainer.
"Gazakov said that he travelled from Turkmenistan to Istanbul and then to borders with Syria where in an al-Qaeda camp he was trained on how to professionally make bombs by trainers from the former Soviet Union, Europe, Jordan and Qatar."

Slightly more lunatic version, but shows how the same arguments are deployed for other conflicts.
"In Bosnia the Bill Clinton administration gave the go ahead for international terrorists, covert security agencies, Iran and many other forces to unite together, in order to massacre Orthodox Christians in the name of democracy. "
Image result for Hidden hands of old regimes did not go away

Hidden hands of old
regimes did not go away

Wanker, that Patrick Cockburn.

"Commanders of the Free Syrian Army, absurdly denominated as "moderate" rebels by David Cameron and Senator John McCain, are calling for the swift dispatch of arms by their Western and Arab backers so they can fight their own intra-rebel civil war against the al-Qa'ida-affiliated fundamentalists."

Protest urges U.S. to intervene in Syria
"A handful of people, outnumbered by Army personnel and security forces, held posters that read: “Help the Syrian Revolution" and "America's credibility at stake" near the embassy in Awkar.

The adviser for the student coordination section in the party, Hussein Zeineddine, criticized western policies “that only encourage the Syrian regime to oppress its people while neglecting rightful demands by the people who has been suffering for more than two years.” "

Associated Press

Syrian opposition: 200
civilians trapped in mosque

Protest in Homs, Syria: Are These
the Bravest People on Earth?

'The Times has every right to say they think Homs will fall in a few days but to tell the world that the fighters in Homs are saying that it will fall in a few days and that they are now prepared to "sacrifice" it is an out and out lie.

When The Times does that, it is not stating its editorial opinion of the military situation, it is reporting false facts in an effort to promote the current Assad-Russian-Iranian and now Western Media narrative that the tide has turned and Assad is on a roll.'