Saturday, 16 November 2013
Syrians place their faith in Geneva II talksThis is just not true. The vast majority of Syrians reject any compromise with Assad. The independent opposition group* that is the subject of the piece is not representative, and the decision of the SNC to consider attending Geneva II is hedged around conditions that would hope to ensure a transition away from Assad, and even that has been rejected by those in Syria.
*I can't find any other English-language reference to them. There is a group called we are all Syria on Facebook, but they seem to be FSA fans.
Friday, 15 November 2013
"When societies cannot be bothered by mass murder occurring elsewhere, then a perilous threshold has been crossed. Americans and Europeans are not obliged to empathize with Syrians, but somehow when room is left only to debate the economy, health insurance, and gay marriage, it doesn’t say much about a society’s commitment to its stated humanitarian values. One cannot in the same breath loudly lament the killing of some 3,000 civilians on Sept. 11, 2001, and yet say that nothing can be done at all about a regime responsible for the death of an estimated 36 times that number since 2011."
U.S. condemns Syria rocket
attacks into Lebanon
"One source also said that two Syrian gunships fired salvoes of rockets at a residential area on the outskirts of Arsal, northeast Lebanon.
Lebanon officially adopts a policy of disassociating from developments in Syria and in 2012 rival political leader agreed to the “Baabda Accord,” a pact that calls for neutralizing Lebanon from regional crises, particularly the neighboring Syrian war."
Robert Ford: Syrian regime
blocking aid is ‘criminal’"What I can tell you is that lines of control have only shifted a little bit week to week. The regime has made some advances outside of Aleppo, but the regime also lost a very big supply depot in Homs and they have also lost ground in Dera’a. And so this war continues without either side being able to deliver a decisive blow. It is a bloody war of attrition, and that is why we and the United Nations and other countries are urging that there be a negotiation to try to find a political settlement and stop the bloodshed."
If there is a stalemate with a massive inequality of arms, then the rebels could win if the Americans allowed the gap to be redressed. They would rather stitch up a deal with the Russians.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Stop The War has an anti-war conference coming up, featuring a nun who supports the Assad régime, and has even done some dirty work for it. So some supporters of the revolution in Syria were talking about picketing the event. I think this is a good idea, but don't feel much like doing it myself. I haven't been to any other demonstrations regarding Syria, and didn't want to make my first a demonstration against other people on the Left, however misguided they are about Syria. Having said that, it would be an opportunity for the media to picture someone holding a placard reading:
"THE ONLY WAY TO END THE WAR IN SYRIA IS TO ARM THE FREE SYRIAN ARMY"
[or "END THE WAR IN SYRIA - ARM THE FSA" for brevity]. One that other people on the Left should be taking, but are not. Talking of people on the left, I saw this on the STW page[https://www.facebook.com/events/227171110774591/] for their conference. I don't believe in guilt by association, but this is evidence of an association.
David Rose: Here is a picture of Kevin Ovenden who has worked with the STWC for over a decade, in Syria, being greeted by Syrians, on the Viva Palestina convoy. You will note that there are SSNP flags flying.
"How can you be opposed to a country and an organisation like the SSNP that has been in lockstep all the way with British campaigners against Zionism, against imperialism, and for the Palestinians?"
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Syrian activists flee abuse
in al-Qaeda-run RaqqaJeremy Paxman, introducing this report just now: "It has been the fond hope of Western governments that rebels would overthrow Bashar al-Assad and introduce secular democracy." If that were the case, why haven't those governments helped the rebels at all?
The Colourful Yarn That
Binds Me to Syria
"I remember how the children of Atmeh understand Syria. I remember how, while the world remains disconnected and paralyzed by the tragedies, the children remain focused on their bright, hopeful and colourful future, which will soon pave them a street back home to their childhood. This time, inside a Free Syria."
Monday, 11 November 2013
Battle for strategic Syrian town shows
why war has displaced millions" “What happened in Ariha is a small version of what is happening everywhere in Syria,” said Abu Ahmed, a 46-year-old former Ariha government official who’d fled to Reyhanli, Turkey, on the border with Syria, and who asked to be identified by an Arabic nickname that means “Ahmed’s father.” “The army goes in, attacks the people, kills the people who stay behind, then fires on the people who are fleeing. Then it takes control of everything in the area. It destroys everything.”
Rebel participants in the battle in Ariha say it was fought not by the foreign extremists who increasingly dominate the anti-Assad movement, but by residents who were prepared to die to defend their families and bring down the Assad government. It came against a backdrop of more than a year of rebel harassment of Syrian military convoys on the highway and deadly attacks on government checkpoints that had begun to take shape as early as the middle of 2011."
Again, the jihadis may dominate the news coverage (and be increasing in significance), but that doesn't mean it isn't this less reported structure of a revolutionary people's war that is what the conflict in Syria is actually still mostly about. An al-Jazeera correspondent, a couple of days ago, talking about the relationship between the FSA and the Syrian National Coalition, said, "It's the fighters who are creating the revolutionary reality on the ground."
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Syrian Revolution Media Demonstration Report 11/8/2013: “No to Iranian Occupation of Syria”Many #peaceful #anti_government demonstrations happened again yesterday in #Syria, despite increased military operations. The Independent Syrian Statistic Center of Demonstrations counted 41 demonstrations in 39 area points, rallied across Syria, on the weekly Friday Nation Wide call action named: “No to Iranian Occupation of Syria”, democratically voted on weekly at The Syrian Revolution Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Syrian.Revolution
In Syria, Where Burials Have Become A Luxury"Funeral processions once served as a rallying point for thousands of people to renew their pledge to topple the regime and follow the path of the revolution. The ceremony would start with a prayer at the neighborhood mosque, and then attendees would carry the coffins to the cemetery and bid the fallen their final farewell.
All of that changed when a funeral procession was infiltrated by the shabiha and ended in the killing of 17 people, with dozens of others missing. That would be the last public procession.
Sometimes, the ferocity of the bombardments take away any need or hope for burial. Attempts to retrieve the dead are futile when the army drops TNT-laden barrel bombs or fires surface-to-surface missiles, capable of leveling four-story buildings. Their bodies are left where they have fallen to decompose."