Saturday, 24 August 2013

Syrian refugees cross border into Iraq

Syrian refugee jailed in UK for using false papers

'Roudi Chikhi had been secretly filming atrocities carried out by the Bashar al-Assad government and smuggling his footage out to al-Jazeera, YouTube and other media outlets. Then, when someone tipped off the Syrian government about his activities, he was forced to flee.
He arrived at Gatwick airport travelling on a false Canadian passport last December. The 28-year-old Kurd was then put in a police cell, taken before magistrates, convicted of travelling on false documents and given a one-year sentence. His savings of $3,500 (£2,619) were confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Campaigners claim his case is one of many where the British authorities have flouted the law that says refugees who escape from war-torn countries and travel to the UK using fake passports are innocent of crime.
Under the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, asylum seekers have a defence for using false documents if they have no other option. Two years ago, the government admitted that almost 500 asylum seekers had been convicted of false document offences between 2009 and 2011.
Chikhi said he was shocked to find himself in Lewes prison, East Sussex. "I was with all these criminals but didn't think of myself as a criminal. There was a lot of fighting and violence and I was very scared. In Syria I was in danger, but at least I had places to hide. In prison, there was nowhere to hide."
Two months into his sentence, the Home Office granted him refugee status for five years. Yet he was left in jail to serve the four months he was required to and his savings were not returned.'
The truth is, the President of the United States has a major credibility problem, and everyone from Middle Eastern tyrants to the lowliest White House intern knows it.

Syria: Barack Obama's lack of action
has had predicted consequences

' "Bashar Assad crossed your line!" they yelled through a microphone, straining to be heard in the Oval Office a few hundred yards away. "There is only one solution! Revolution! Revolution!'

I don't entirely agree with Peter Foster's assessment of the military options, but from the paragraph before, "It was his usual rhetorical trick – framing any call to act or lead as a demand to wave a magic wand that he does not have,", it is a very astute assessment of where the American presidency has got to on Syria and how it got there.


Statement of the Revolutionary Left Current in Syria on the massacre in the region of East Ghouta resulting from the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime
"For the edification of Syria for freedom, justice, equality and social justice

No to Washington! No to Moscow!
No to Riyadh! No to Tehran!
Glory to the martyrs and healing for the wounded and victory of the popular revolution all the power and wealth of the people"

Image result for alleged gas attack exposes west's limits on syria action

Alleged gas attack exposes
West's limits on Syria action

'Sources among French authorities said possible military options were already well-known: arms deliveries to Syrian rebel fighters; the establishment of a no-fly zone; and targeted air strikes.

"If there is a military option, it will be the minimum," a French military source said.'
Option one then, arm the rebels, without any need for the French military to get involved directly.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Haitham Al-Maleh

Debate: The West never stood
with the Syrian opposition

"All the steps taken so far have not only disappointed Syrians, but have also conspired against them. Syrians have realized this, prompting them to say: “We only have God to turn to.” "

Crossing a red line
From April.

"Mr Obama has striven to keep out of Syria. If it turns out that a red line of his own devising has been crossed, that may become more difficult."

A vigil in Beiruit

Latest attack in Syria should not be used
as a pretext for military intervention

Lindsey German's ability to learn from her mistakes has proved to be zero, while her propensity to repeat the mistakes continues.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Image result for The evidence of chemical attack seems compelling – but remember - there’s a propaganda war on

The evidence of chemical attack seems compelling – but remember - there’s a propaganda war on
Some time last year I asked one of my Friends on Facebook why he didn't seem to care about the atrocities committed in Syria, and was told that they were scare stories, like those about Iraqis taking babies from incubators in Kuwait in 1991.

When the SWP supported Iraq in that war, they were under no illusions and didn't try to create illusions about Saddam ( Hussein, as Anne Robinson insisted a contestant add in a recent Weakest Link re-run). Yes he'd used chemical weapons, yes he'd run a torture state, but in that war he was the lesser evil.
Those who claim they are opposing the struggle to remove Assad because it is some imperial enterprise to remove him, don't seem to be prepared to adopt such an approach. They won't say they support him, but deny the significance of any of his actions, and so tend to enter the world of the conspiracy theorist, where only a version of events that fits the theory is important.
Cockburn says here:
"In June, the US said it has conclusive evidence for the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and would therefore give aid to the rebels."
They didn't, and even Cockburn's link is to an Indie editorial that says:
"The sombre warning delivered to Congress by General Martin Dempsey, the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer, about the risks of increased involvement in Syria’s terrible civil war is a measure of how attitudes have changed in the US."
Back in May he told us:
"Syria has no reason to use chemical weapons."
"Not surprisingly, this has made the public everywhere in the world dubious about stories about the possession or use of WMD being used to hoodwink them into supporting another war."
But there was no attempt to drag us into a war this time, quite the opposite.

Goodfellas Diner Scene

"They come to you when you are weakest and in most need of your help."
The more of a hellhole that Syria becomes, the more likely that any intervention will be one with Western military force, rather than by providing the weapons Syrians need to determine their own destiny.

Syria toxic massacre shocks world
I wonder what Hezbollah will have to say. I don't think even they signed up for this sort of shit.

Letter: Syrian rebels wouldn't
back U.S. interests

"Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides," Dempsey said in the letter Aug. 19 to Rep. Eliot Engel. "It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not."

The FSA not American puppets. Who'd a thought it?

'The SNC’s relationship with Crosby Trexor, and potentially the British Government, should again remind us that it is not a rag-bag group of disorganised rebels, but already permeated with foreign funds and support. The fact that it is able to put a £180,000 commercial PR contract out to tender illustrates the size of the resources available to it and that it is engaged in a media, as well as a ground, war.'

Counterfire scraping bottom of barrel when it comes to anti-revolutionary propaganda. Has John Rees' funding from Russia Today run out?

When US turned a blind eye to poison gas
'US Secretary of State George Shultz chose to say only that interviews with the Kurdish refugees in Turkey and 'other sources' (which remained obscure) pointed towards Iraqi use of chemical agents. These two elements did not constitute 'conclusive' evidence. This was the verdict of Shultz's British counterpart, Sir Geoffrey Howe: 'If conclusive evidence is obtained, then punitive measures against Iraq have not been ruled out.' As neither he nor Shultz is known to have made a further move to get at the truth, Iraq went unpunished.'

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Syrian activists inspect the bodies of people they say were killed by nerve gas in the Ghouta region, in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus, on 21 August, 2013.

Syria crisis: Rebels claim hundreds killed in government chemical weapons attack - Wednesday 21 August

Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late

Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system

 Yassin al-Haj Saleh:

 "There is only one right thing today, from a Syrian and a human standpoint: to help the Syrians rid themselves of the Assad dynasty that acts as if Syria is their fief and Syrians their serfs."
 There was a major chemical attack in Damascus today, though obviously not major enough to cross Obama's line of red, or probably to worry the UN chemical weapons inspectors.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Too Much Information

 The Massacre of Al Kalaseh, Aleppo (Syria)

 Aug 17, 2012 - This massacre will not receive any media attention. This massacre will get no sympathy. This massacre will be forgotten. This massacre never happened. The people never died. The world has already written the people of Syria off as dead.

 This is what a major city would look like after fighter jets bomb a densely packed neighborhood. Only this is not some hypothetical situation. This is real. This is in Aleppo. The neighborhood is Al-Kalaseha and the airforce jet that bombed the neighborhood is part of Asasd’s forces. 30+ human beings are dead. Crushed under thousands of tons of concrete. As with almost every single airstrike in Syria, all of the victims would have been civilians.

 A full report on the massacre here. 

 Moments after the airstrike. Then the gruesome aftermath.
Image result for Violence is one thing, but what causes real terror is the threat of kidnapping

Violence is one thing, but what causes real terror is the threat of kidnapping
"People are more terrified by an ever-present risk that they, their children or other relatives may be kidnapped than they are by a more momentary fear of being hit by a shell, a bomb or a bullet."

If you re-define 'people' as 'supporters of the Assad régime', as Patrick Cockburn seems to do here.

“I told you so”, Arab cynic says as
the hopes of millions are dashed

' “I said this from day one, you can’t have a revolution by ignorant people who don’t read, go to the theatre or do yoga. They are intellectually and spiritually not prepared. And now you see what the result is,” elaborated Mr Kamel, who often walks around carrying a book by Kafka and an emergency vegan meal pack. He is also, predictably, a fan of The Smiths. Encouraged by Mr Kamel’s statements, thousands of Arab cynics, misanthropes and chronic pessimists took to social media to show their support and express their derision towards the revolutions and people who believed in them.'
KarlreMarks does a great Robert Fisk:

Robert Fisk: Reporting from Syria ‘with sensational quotes in the headline’