Saturday, 21 September 2013

Gilbert Achcar

Image result for UPDATED: Gilbert Achcar: Full solidarity with the Syrian uprising!

Full solidarity with the Syrian uprising!

Putin Massage with Assad

Assad to hand over Syrian chemical weapons after topless massage from Vladimir Putin

They shouldn't cross-post from Russia Today without acknowledgement.

Syria deserves our support. Around 400 people marched today in the centre of London. If you couldn't attend then we hope to see you in the next march. Thanks to all who came and supported the Syrian people.

Can God Save Syria?

This is actually a spoof.
"So what should we do about the chaos in Syria? Well, it's easier to start with what we should not do. We should not lob a handful of cruise missiles and hope that some explosions will snap Syria's leaders to attention. Beyond that, we need to be careful to nurture the fragile foundations of peace. The opportunity is there, but I worry that the path to moderation is so narrow that Syria will have to move down it very slowly. And of course Damascus needs to come to terms with its own history."

Three days later it comes out slightly differently.
'So what should we do about the chaos in Syria? Well, it's easier to start with what we should not do. We should not let seemingly endless frustrations cause the people of Syria to doubt their chance at progress. Beyond that, we need to be careful to nurture the seeds of democratic ideals. The opportunity is there, but I worry that the path to peace is so poorly marked that Syria will have to move down it very slowly. And of course Damascus needs to come to terms with its own history.
Speaking with a local farmer from the large Shiite community here, I asked her if there was any message that she wanted me to carry back home with me. She pondered for a second, and then smiled and said, shad-farin-bin-yamin, which is a local saying that means roughly, "A cat may look at a Queen." '

Members of the “Liwaa al-Sultan Mrad” brigade, operating under the Free Syrian Army, sit together as they rest in Aleppo – “Defeating the regime was actually possible until the first months of this year.”PHOTOGRAPH:  REUTERS/MOLHEM BARAKAT

Syria’s opposition frustrated
by its reluctant ‘allies’

Jihadis would be eclipsed by Assad removal

"What is true is that on one side you have those who want the regime to stay, and on the other you have those who do not want to see it leave. The latter side, the United States – and Israel behind the curtain – has intervened to restrict regional and international forces from substantially helping the Syrian resistance.
Defeating the regime was actually possible until the first months of this year, when all that the Syrian resistance needed was anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry. And they could have perfectly completed the mission, without any direct military intervention from outside powers. Only four months ago, Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah chief, claimed the rebels could have celebrated their victory in Damascus were it not for his militia’s intervention.
The desire of our friends to maintain the untenable status quo has turned the struggle inside Syria into an unending conflict, with vast destruction of the economy, the undermining of the social fabric and the senseless loss of tens of thousands of lives. This increasingly unstable and war-torn environment is the ideal breeding ground for the emergence of radical jihadists, as all precedents testify."

Image result for Syria: Something must be done – I mean, anything!

Syria: Something must be
done – I mean, anything!

Mark Steel makes the conventional lies of the dominant media narrative, such as we'd only end up sending weapons to jihadists in Syria, seem almost funny. Let's call everyone else armchair generals when we're being liberal pacifists for the day.

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Self-organization of the popular struggles in Syria against the regime and Islamist groups? Yes, it exists!
Joseph Daher: "The Revolutionary Left Current in Syria, alongside 5 other socialists revolutionary organisations in the region, have declared their opposition to any possible future Western intervention...
This said, the so-called solidarity with the Syrian people is a joke and moreover an insult from organizations and people that are saying no to Western foreign interventions in Syria, while they have said and say nothing on massive foreign interventions of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and above all not give a shit or said a single word to condemn the more than 100 000 martyred, multiple massacres, millions of refugees and destructions since the beginning of the revolution in Syria and committed by the Assad regime, in addition to nothaving supported the popular movement for democracy and social justice against the Assad regime, on the opposite they have undermined it and / or tried to portray the movement as a conspiracy following the Assad regime propaganda lines most of the time. Solidarity has to be based first of all on the the support of the popular movement in its revolution for democracy and social justice in the case of Syria and elsewhere and on internationalism, in other words support the people in their struggle for emancipation and liberation. Only when this point is clear can you raise such slogans."

Santa Claus.

33 Surreal Photos Of The Civil War In Syria

Does he know where Christmas is at all?

Friday, 20 September 2013

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Christian hostel has own view of Syria rebels

"As social media abound with horror stories of jihadists murdering minorities in Syria, a group of elderly Christians in Aleppo and the rebels who care for them portray a different reality." 

Pablo Casals Plays Bach

"So fierce was his opposition to the dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco in Spain that he refused to appear in countries that recognized the authoritarian Spanish government. He made a notable exception when he took part in a concert of chamber music in the White House on November 13, 1961, at the invitation of President John F. Kennedy, whom he admired. On December 6, 1963, Casals was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom."


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Syrian pro-government troops are seen on the streets of the Christian town of Maaloula

Christian villagers cast doubt
on Syria jihadist ‘threat’

"You've just had Christians murdered by jihadis."
Peter Hain on This Week went on to say that it was a sectarian proxy war financed by Saudi Arabia. Simon Schama suggested there is no moral equivalence between Assad and the forces fighting him.
A sign held by the Syrian Revolutionary Youth in Homs tells Bassel Shahade, Syria's martyr, that the city he was buried in continues to suffer hunger and siege.

"Syrian Revolutionary Youth" returns spotlight to nonviolent resistance

“The military option will not fulfil all the demands of the revolution. It will help us reach a certain point, after which we will have to continue the peaceful struggle to meet the rest of our demands.”

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Syria Rebel Spokesman: It's Not The Chemical Weapons, Stupid (VIDEO)

"As much as the dominating media narrative might lead you to believe there's been a big shift in the war in Syria, with Syria owning up to their chemical weapons, and agreeing to a Russian plan to dismantle them, on the ground the war continues with conventional weapons."

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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Syria: the story of a revolution - video
Cat footage from 7m30s to 7m48s. This does not exclude there being some elsewhere in the film.

Syrian rebels seize Hama checkpoints
"The development came as government forces bombarded residential areas in the city that were protest hubs."

Smoke rises over Homs. (AFP/SNN)

Besieged residents of
Syria's Homs plead for help

Assad's government "has imposed a strategy across the country, whereby they imprison the population in a particular area, and don't allow people out or assistance in.”

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

President Assad

Bashar al-Assad's hometown defiant
amid threat of rebel and US-led attacks

Jeremy Bowen was also talking to militia in Damascus. I saw a report last week that defections were rising again, maybe the government is running out of soldiers.

"If we put our hand on it, the balance of power will be completely shaken. It will be a huge blow to the regime. If he [Assad] can't protect his hometown, the hub of Alawites and the Shabiha, how can he protect the other lands of Syria?"
This is not quite OMG Anything Could Happen:
"Qerdaha residents are confident that the US is unlikely to strike them because there are no strategic military sites within their borders."
This piece of hysteria is familiar though. Assad often talks about attacking Israel, but never does. It's so much harder than attacking civilians, and would be suicide, and I doubt any Syrian officers who wanted to survive would follow such an order. Of course it doesn't look like there will be American airstrikes, at least until the next round of escalation in the crimes against humanity rehabilitate the case for intervention further.
"Everyone knows if the [US] strike happens, our answer will need to be direct and within 72 hours. All indicators confirm that Israel will be our first target. And when Israel is hit, it is going to be a hell, hundreds of rockets are going to fall on it. Neither the Iron Dome or Patriots can foil 400 rockets in a single hour."

Syrian rebels in Deir Ezzor.

Time to aid, not stigmatize,
the Syrian rebels

'The only reasons for not engaging in a massive project of support for moderate armed opposition forces – including ones that could fall somewhere in the taxonomy of "Islamist" – would be either not to care at all about the outcome in Syria, or to implicitly or explicitly support either the long-term survival of the Damascus regime or the indefinite continuation of the conflict.'

Monday, 16 September 2013

Atif Choudhury Headshot

Syria's Tragedy Could
One Day Be Our Own

'The Syrian Revolution transformed from a campaign of nonviolent resistance to civil war when tens of thousands of Syrian soldiers and police could no longer bear to kill their own neighbors, and when ordinary civilians had no choice but to defend themselves. They united to form the Free Syrian Army as the military arm of the revolution.

Upon winning the latest edition of Arab Idol, Palestinian superstar and national hero Mohammad Assaf defined revolutionaries as "not just the one carrying the rifle, it is the paintbrush of an artist, the scalpel of a surgeon, the axe of the farmer. Everyone struggles for their cause in the way they see fit."
In a truly national revolution, every patriotic and conscientious citizen has a role -- not limited to, but certainly including -- soldiers and policemen. Refusing to shoot your own citizens and instead defending them IS non-cooperation, and soldiers who refuse to follow illegal orders ARE honoring the tenets of civil disobedience. This realization is reflected by the growing international recognition and support of the Free Syrian Army, including the lawful activities of American NGOs such as the Syrian Support Group.'

Group of Syrians Respond to Jeremy Bowen’s “Coverage” of #Syria

Image result for Group of Syrians Respond to Jeremy Bowen’s “Coverage” of #Syria

 "We are appalled by BBC’s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen’s coverage from Damascus the last few weeks especially his coverage from Maloula, the historical Aramaic village. As the Middle East editor, Mr Bowen is seen as the expert who can provide fair coverage and in depth analysis of the situation wherever he travels. But in this very last trip, right after the chemical attack by government forces on Eastern Ghouta took place, we find Mr Bowen’s coverage showing the regime’s line without posing the right questions for the audience."

 I noticed yesterday Jeremy Bowen talking of "a war that Syrians and foreigners can fuel, but can't stop,"* and thought it a wrong opinion, based on the conventional media narrative that nothing can be done to protect the Syrian revolution from Assad's barbarism, and certainly not objective reporting. Or this** from last week, "Syria has become a proxy war, a boxing ring with no rules in which regional powers use Syrians to fight their battles."

*End of the report []

Jonathan Rugman of Channel 4 News on the UN report, "the Russians are still
holding all the cards on how this plays out."
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In Syria, U.N. inspectors find ‘clear and convincing’ evidence of chemical attack
They have not ruled out al-Qaida asking the lizards to get the Israelis to sneak into Damascus and fire the rockets from government positions.


SYRIA: The Rise of Al Qaeda in Syria: Separating Fact from Mythology

Leila Shrooms

"It is too easy to adopt the simplistic binary narrative promoted by states and blanket thinkers that the choice the Syrian people face is between a secular fascist dictatorship or Al Qaeda. As Spanish revolutionaries in the 1930s fought on two fronts against both the fascists and the communists, Syrian revolutionaries have to fight against both the Assad regime and counter-revolutionary militant Jihadi groups. It is clear that militant Jihadism is gaining a foothold in Syria and that as the struggle continues without resolution they will continue to grow in strength. The answer is not to support a regime that holds responsibility for creating this problem in the first place. The answer is to stand in solidarity with those who struggle against it, in the hope that their voices will not be lost for ever."

Assad’s regime in actual demise

I think this is untrue and dangerous. Rather than being a democratic transition, it will leave most of the torturers and murderers in place, those that don't want Assadism without Assad will then be brutalised with the support of the international community. This is one way in which the 'anti-war' movement acts as the alibi of the US in its imperial role, this was the political solution that was always going to be offered as an alternative to the phony threat of a US attack.

"What's expected is that the “Yemeni solution” will be suggested and that Assad and his comrades will be ousted. In this case, current institutions, particularly the army, along with the political and military opposition leaderships, will be assigned to manage the country. This is a good option that ends with gradually toppling the regime without destroying the country. Maintaining institutions means maintaining the state, not the regime."That alibi in detail.
"Obama’s speech to the nation last week was a pillar of sanity.
He referenced our ten years of disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan. He acknowledged that while Assad is a terrible dictator, there’s no guarantee what follows would be any better. And he conceded that the attempt to use force could lead to costs we cannot predict.
He also made it clear that he was facing down the firewall of an overwhelming public and Congressional demand for peace that would not be denied.
A decade ago, George W. Bush deceived just enough of the American public to go to war.
This time, no deal. Whatever it proves to be worth, a treaty has been signed. We have a precious moment where bombs aren’t flying. We’re a few steps back from the nuclear brink. And our economy is not spiraling down into another senseless military firestorm.
It may prove a small respite…but it’s a victory by any reckoning.
Now the SuperPower of Peace—all of us—-must make it stick."
Obama meets on Syria

Some Syrians in Maryland wanted
military strikes to punish Assad

“We should act now. The situation is really bad,” said Hadin Kouki, a Rockville resident who was once a political prisoner in Syria. “I don’t believe that troops should go there, but maybe strike.”

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Syrian Rebels Express Disdain For Obama And Other World Leaders

"The United States and Russia are playing with Syria; we mean absolutely nothing to them. The same is true of the United Nations, which accuses the regime of crimes against humanity and keeps talking and talking, as if that would solve anything. They have been talking for 30 months and done absolutely nothing."
A man standing nearby, interjected: "Obama is a liar. He won't keep his word. He said he would attack if Assad used chemical weapons against the civilian population. What more does he need to intervene and put an end to this slaughter."
Hassan al-Mara, a former school teacher turned fighter, agreed with the man.
"You are right, the West has let us down again. America and Europe have shown that their threats were no more than cheap propaganda."
Sirkus Magenta

Clowning about proves good therapy
for Finland's disaffected youth

Finns are using the circus as a tool to help disaffected youth and even exporting the concept to Syrian refugee camps.
Sirkus Magenta's 20 trainers also teach juggling, unicycling and stilt walking as well as some valuable life lessons.
"Circus is as much about failure as it is about success and this is one of the first things we tell students," said Hudson. "There's a lot of falling over but you also learn when you fail and that's really important."

Sleeping with the Enemy: The Global Left and the 'No to War' Discourse

[Protesters in New York City opposing US military strikes on Syria]

"It was the same imperialist trap that pushed other leftists to switch over to the call for peace. Theirs is an auspicious call, yet surprising in that it comes directly after the moment chemical weapons were used, as if whoever wielded them is asking the victims to embrace Sarin gas after inhaling it. The sense of surprise does not last long upon realizing that these are peaceful calls of despair from all that moves on Syrian soil. Perhaps those who sounded this call do not see a need for a conflict to begin with, so long as those fighting in it do not match the profile according to the imperialist catalog, itself.

The danger of the global left’s discourse in its many permutations is not only that it dons imperialist garb in making its supposedly anti-imperialist argument, but that its logic betrays its opposition to any sort of interference whatsoever—whether imperialist or otherwise, under UN auspices or not, in or out of line with international law. Those who have built this discourse oppose military intervention not because of the intervening power’s identity, but because of the people on whose behalf that power would be intervening. They oppose intervention not because of the objectives of the former, but because of the lacking qualifications of the latter.
The issue here is not one of sorting the “good leftists” from the “bad leftists.” I do not think that such a categorization is possible, anyway. However, I am haunted by a question: What makes a sincere leftist discourse slip into becoming a retouched version of the Islamophobic right?"

U.N. Panel Accuses Syria
of Attacking Hospitals

When a government fights its own people you don't call it a war, you don't call it a sectarian proxy war.
“Government forces deliberately target medical personnel to gain military advantage by depriving the opposition and those perceived to support them of medical assistance for injuries sustained,” the panel said.

British Syrians & Friends in Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution

Where were the loud voices of those calling for no intervention when other countries were and still are intervening to help a dictator massacre civilians?!?! Their ideology reeks of hypocrisy!!!