tagged w/ Assad
Without Water, Revolution
By Thomas Friedman
"You can’t imagine the war here continuing for another year, let alone five. But when you feel the depth of the rage against the Assad government and contemplate the sporadic but barbaric sect-on-sect violence, you can’t imagine any peace deal happening or holding — not without international peacekeepers on the ground to enforce it. Eventually, we will all have to have that conversation, because this is no ordinary war.
THIS Syrian disaster is like a superstorm. It’s what happens when an extreme weather event, the worst drought in Syria’s modern history, combines with a fast-growing population and a repressive and corrupt regime and unleashes extreme sectarian and religious passions, fueled by money from rival outside powers — Iran and Hezbollah on one side, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar on the other, each of which have an extreme interest in its Syrian allies’ defeating the other’s allies — all at a time when America, in its post-Iraq/Afghanistan phase, is extremely wary of getting involved.
I came here to write my column and work on a film for the Showtime series, “Years of Living Dangerously,” about the “Jafaf,” or drought, one of the key drivers of the Syrian war. In an age of climate change, we’re likely to see many more such conflicts.
“The drought did not cause Syria’s civil war,” said the Syrian economist Samir Aita, but, he added, the failure of the government to respond to the drought played a huge role in fueling the uprising. What happened, Aita explained, was that after Assad took over in 2000 he opened up the regulated agricultural sector in Syria for big farmers, many of them government cronies, to buy up land and drill as much water as they wanted, eventually severely diminishing the water table. This began driving small farmers off the land into towns, where they had to scrounge for work.
"Then, between 2006 and 2011, some 60 percent of Syria’s land mass was ravaged by the drought and, with the water table already too low and river irrigation shrunken, it wiped out the livelihoods of 800,000 Syrian farmers and herders, the United Nations reported. “Half the population in Syria between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers left the land” for urban areas during the last decade, said Aita. And with Assad doing nothing to help the drought refugees, a lot of very simple farmers and their kids got politicized. “State and government was invented in this part of the world, in ancient Mesopotamia, precisely to manage irrigation and crop growing,” said Aita, “and Assad failed in that basic task.”
Young people and farmers starved for jobs — and land starved for water — were a prescription for revolution. Just ask those who were here, starting with Faten, whom I met in her simple flat in Sanliurfa, a Turkish city near the Syrian border. Faten, 38, a Sunni, fled there with her son Mohammed, 19, a member of the Free Syrian Army, who was badly wounded in a firefight a few months ago. Raised in the northeastern Syrian farming village of Mohasen, Faten, who asked me not to use her last name, told me her story.
She and her husband “used to own farmland,” said Faten. “We tended annual crops. We had wheat, barley and everyday food — vegetables, cucumbers, anything we could plant instead of buying in the market. Thank God there were rains, and the harvests were very good before. And then suddenly, the drought happened.”
What did it look like? “To see the land made us very sad,” she said. “The land became like a desert, like salt.” Everything turned yellow.
Did Assad’s government help? “They didn’t do anything,” she said. “We asked for help, but they didn’t care. They didn’t care about this subject. Never, never. We had to solve our problems ourselves.”
So what did you do? “When the drought happened, we could handle it for two years, and then we said, ‘It’s enough.’ So we decided to move to the city. I got a government job as a nurse, and my husband opened a shop. It was hard. The majority of people left the village and went to the city to find jobs, anything to make a living to eat.” The drought was particularly hard on young men who wanted to study or marry but could no longer afford either, she added. Families married off daughters at earlier ages because they couldn’t support them.
Faten, her head conservatively covered in a black scarf, said the drought and the government’s total lack of response radicalized her. So when the first spark of revolutionary protest was ignited in the small southern Syrian town of Dara’a, in March 2011, Faten and other drought refugees couldn’t wait to sign on. “Since the first cry of ‘Allahu akbar,’ we all joined the revolution. Right away.” Was this about the drought? “Of course,” she said, “the drought and unemployment were important in pushing people toward revolution.”
"Only in the spring of 2011, after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, did the Assad government start to worry about the drought refugees, said Zakaria, because on March 11 — a few days before the Syrian uprising would start in Dara’a — Assad visited Hasakah, a very rare event. “So I posted on my Facebook page, ‘Let him see how people are living,’ ” recalled Zakaria. “My friends said I should delete it right away, because it was dangerous. I wouldn’t. They didn’t care how people lived.”
end of excerpt.
In this article Thomas Friedman gets to the heart of the Syrian people and the plight they face. This article intertwines all of the main crises we see globally that we ignore at our peril. At the core, our reticence to give the proper attention to the environmental factors that have catapulted Syria into this civil war.
As we continue to move further away from addressing the root causes of these crises we will see the Earth plunged deeper into this chasm.
The greatest outrage of this is that it did not have to happen. However, this is an all too familiar tale on the global stage where you see the intersection of politics, greed, globalization, terrorism and climate change.
Political leaders need to be aware of one stark truth: People when pushed to the brink because the very essence of their lives is taken from them, WILL rightfully revolt.
To see such suffering amongst the Syrian people or any people because they are denied water, land, food, education is a human rights abuse and in this case a war crime. All parties to this civil war that continue to escalate the downfall of Syria based solely on profit motives and political/religious hatred are also war criminals.
In this age of more frequent drought where water and food are going to be strained as population increases our perceptions and priorities need to shift in order to survive the world we are making. We are leaving an entire generation of world citizens behind and continuing to perpetuate the cycle of war and hatred by placing hegemony over humanity.
These are the stories we need to see regarding this civil war. This is also the reality of climate change.
However, notice the US government also makes no mention of this in their talk of what is happening here. No mention of the drought. The water. Climate change at all. That is because these countries involved in one way or another regardless of what "side" they are on seek the same thing... control of the resources that bring them power and profit at the expense of all of us with the Syrian people now as pawns. The people of Syria deserve better and honestly at this point if revolution is all that is left to make this truth known, then I support it.
Syrian Refugees Hit 1 Million
These people are climate refugees.Without Water, Revolution
By Thomas Friedman
"You can’t... more
In October 2010, just months before a Tunisian street vendor self-immolated and sparked what would become the Arab Spring, a prolonged drought was turning Syria’s verdant farmland into dust. By last month, more than 70,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, had been killed in the brutal and ongoing conflict between President Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial regime and a coalition of opposition forces; just today, the UN announced that over one million refugees fled the country in the last two years. International security experts are now looking at the connection between recent droughts in the Middle East and the protests, revolutions, and deaths that followed, and building a body of evidence to suggest that climate change played a key role in Syria’s violence and the Arab Spring generally.
The possibility that climate change could affect security is nothing new: The US Department of Defense has proven to be surprisingly progressive on planning for global warming. But Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia, co-founders of the Washington-based Center for Climate and Security, argue that if you want to see the connection between climate and conflict in action today, look no further than Syria. The pair contributed to a series of essays released last week by the Center for American Progress, all arguing that the Arab Spring is a textbook example of the link between climate change and social instability. Climate Desk called them up to discuss how lack of rainfall leads into violent uprising, and how the international community can prepare for the future of extreme weather.
Climate Desk: How does climate change play into civil unrest? Where does it rank compared to other violence-causing factors?
Caitlin Werrell: We use the term “threat multiplier” or “accelerant of instability,” in the sense that climate change can exacerbate other threats to national or international security. The way it does that is often through water: You have an increased prevalence of drought or floods or changing rainfall patterns, and what this does is it changes your ability to grow food, it has impacts on food security, it influences your ability to produce energy, it influences your infrastructure.
end of excerpt.
More at the link
Food riots sparked the Arab Spring beginning in Tunisia. However, you don't see this expressed by the MSM in this country which is bought by the fossil fuel industry.
One million refugees, many living in camps designated unfit for human existence, and silence.
From 2006-2011, up to 60% of Syria’s land experienced, in the terms of one expert, “the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.” According to a special case study from last year’s Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), of the most vulnerable Syrians dependent on agriculture, particularly in the northeast governorate of Hassakeh (but also in the south), “nearly 75 percent…suffered total crop failure.” Herders in the northeast lost around 85% of their livestock, affecting 1.3 million people.
From 2009. What is happening in Syria and adjacent regions now is a result of governments ignoring the signs of human induced climate change- much like our own government is doing now regarding the drought here. How high do food prices have to go in this country before people get up in arms? Hunger has stoked many revolutions.In October 2010, just months before a Tunisian street vendor self-immolated and... more
BEIRUT — The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country and are seeking assistance has now topped the 1 million mark, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, warning that Syria is heading toward a "full-scale disaster."
The announcement came as government troops and rebels fought street battles in Syria's strategic northern city of Raqqa. The Syrian military dispatched reinforcements in an attempt to push out opposition gunmen who now control most of the city, activists said.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said in Geneva that the 1 million figure is based on reports from his agency's field offices in countries neighboring Syria that have provided safe haven for refugees escaping the civil war.
"With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling toward full-scale disaster," Guterres said. Syria's population is about 22 million.
end of excerpt.
A humanitarian disaster of immense proportions and yet, silence. Why? Because once again the politics takes precedence over the human. Based on all media sources and the actions of Syria's government, Assad is an unfit and cruel leader who wields absolute power and we have seen that as exhibited by the accounts of those living there. Unfortunately, the "rebels" taking up arms are no better. Composed of entities seeking only the same power (and face it, probably backed by the CIA and other covert organizations) the people continue to suffer. And the announcement by new SOS John Kerry that the US is giving support to these "rebels" does nothing to end this suffering.>
This is a scenario being played out all over the Arab world and the similarities leave one who can connect the dots wondering just what and who is at the crux of it. Ghadhafi in Libya is gone, but now we see instability and war in Mali as arms from Libya made their way conveniently into these other countries which brought in the very elements now needing "cleansing" by the same Western powers that always seem to be in the forefront as well as the same alliance (Iran, China, Russia) on the other side. There is much money to be made in arms dealing and in fomenting wars just like this and banks (that state they are "too big to fail") that deal in it for governments and contractors make huge money from it as well. It is literally the buying and selling of humanity for profit.
For those who are not aware there is also a geopolitical race going on for resources due to new technologies (drone warfare as an example,) climate change (particularly drought in this region of the world affecting agriculture, prices and water,) terrorism and competition between developed powers and those emerging like China. This is making a battlefield out of the world as they compete using any means necessary to thwart the progress of the other. And make no mistake about it, climate change is also playing a part in this geopolitical battle. In Syria as in the entire Fertile Crescent drought and water shortages have been causing people in the thousands to be displaced as food and water become scarcer and deserts expand. This leads to the people rising up to demand action and in places in the Arab world that see strong footholds over power, this then leads to civil war and what we now see culminating in Syria with alliances aligning to take advantage of the circumstances to achieve their own geopolitical agenda at the expense of the people caught in the middle.
Syria is endemic of the failure of humanity to care for its people.
As far as the political end to this Assad is not a leader that the people of Syria deserve. Nor do I see these "rebels" as being much better. Perhaps and I know this is idealistic, but perhaps if just once we looked at these humanitarian disasters from a humanitarian point of view rather than a political one we just might be able to find a way to heal people instead of making the rift wider. We must beware of all sides in this because it would seem none of them are truly looking out for the human solution to this. I fear many more will die as people continue to be used as pawns on this geopolitical chessboard with the US a cautious yet frontline player. As an American I find it disgusting to see that these crises continue to kill so many innocents all due to the fact that greed, ideology and religious intolerance have overcome common decency.
Historic Syrian Antiques Plundered Amid Civil War
This is truly sad. Such a rich culture being destroyed.
Timeline: The Syrian Revolt
Six decades of this with the US and Russia taking turns at destabilization. Where does it end?
1 MILLION refugees (really more when you consider those not registered) living in conditions that MSF calls, "inadequate for human existence" and total silence. I know I am seen as a pariah here by some for speaking my mind but this is ridiculous. Should I have added more hate and gore to it? Climate denier trolls (the same one putting idiotic tags in my posts) and other disruptors get more responses here than legitimate posters who give a damn it would seem. Or is it that the moderators control the content here and it isn't "politically partisan" enough? Or are those who post thirty or more entries a day that monopolize this site keeping information like this off? Or does it go deeper: Do people not like seeing themselves in the mirror? Because this is truly a reflection of the human race and it is not a pretty picture. Perhaps that is too much for some to take.BEIRUT — The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country and are... more
Syrian TV journalist shot dead while reporting on explosions in Damascus
A corespondent for Iran's Press TV was shot dead on Wednesday while reporting from the scene of devastating twin explosions in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Maya Nasser, a 33-year-old Syrian national, was killed after being hit by "insurgent" sniper fire, Press TV said.
Nasser, reportedly a Christian, was one of the few correspondents based in Damascus to have reported on Syria's brutal war in English.
His blog had been sympathetic to the Syrian government, and blamed the conflict on the "west and al-Qaida". But it also gave a vivid portrait of life under fire and the perils of driving through checkpointsSyrian TV journalist shot dead while reporting on explosions in Damascus
Player of the Great Game and Zionist Jew Bernard Henry 'Lévy' is angling for the overthrow and destruction of another nation in the path of the Greater 'Israel' delusion.
Levy is the French-Algerian Zionist Jew who pushed former President of France, Zarkozy to bomb Libya to establish a Central bank and IMF debt slavery.Player of the Great Game and Zionist Jew Bernard Henry 'Lévy' is... more
Russia said on Monday it would work with other countries to ensure that the rebel Free Syria Army stops making “unacceptable” threats, following the announcement on Friday that the FSA now views Syria’s two biggest civil airports as “military targets,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
“These kinds of threats are absolutely unacceptable,” the Foreign Ministry commentary said.
“They are a gross violation of international law, first and foremost the Chicago Convention of 1944 governing international civil aviation,” it said, and called on countries that have influence with the FSA to put an end to the threats.
The FSA earlier warned airlines to suspend service to Damascus and Aleppo, saying rebel forces could begin attacking airports in the two cities as early as Tuesday, the London-based daily Asharq Alawsat reported on Friday, citing the FSA's high command.Russia said on Monday it would work with other countries to ensure that the rebel Free... more
George Galloway warns against western intervention in Syria.
http://youtu.be/uTuZeHYABaYGeorge Galloway warns against western intervention in Syria.... more
I hope that this will lead to an end to the bloodshed. I have reservations about this, for I wonder whether the radical revolutionaries, pumped up and armed by Western backers will so easily give up their campaign to institute an Islamic State in place of the secular Assad regime.I hope that this will lead to an end to the bloodshed. I have reservations about this,... more
Could this be why Syria is being handled with kid gloves as opposed to the hammer used on Libya?
From the article: "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria may last far longer than his opponents believe – and with the tacit acceptance of Western leaders anxious to secure new oil routes to Europe via Syria before the fall of the regime. According to a source intimately involved in the possible transition from Baath party power, the Americans, Russians and Europeans are also putting together an agreement that would permit Assad to remain leader of Syria for at least another two years in return for political concessions to Iran and Saudi Arabia in both Lebanon and Iraq."
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-western-agreement-could-leave-syria-in-assads-hands-for-two-more-years-7897087.htmlCould this be why Syria is being handled with kid gloves as opposed to the hammer used... more
From the Guardian: The bodies of children killed in al-Qubair, Syria, in what locals say was a massacre by militia loyal to Assad’s regime. Photograph: AP
The Syrian regime has "lost its fundamental humanity" and no longer has any legitimacy, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said on Thursday as he described a massacre of around 90 villagers as "shocking and sickening" and demanded that the killers be brought to account.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/07/assad-regime-unFrom the Guardian: The bodies of children killed in al-Qubair, Syria, in what locals... more
12 months ago
The United Nations security council has unanimously condemned the Syrian government for using heavy weapons in Houla where more than 100 civilians, including dozens of children, died last week.
An emergency council meeting in New York on Sunday accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of unleashing havoc in the town, calling the bombardment of residential areas "an outrageous use of force" which violated international law.
"The security council condemned in the strongest possible terms the killings, confirmed by United Nations observers, of dozens of men, women and children and the wounding of hundreds more … in attacks that involved a series of government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighbourhood," the non-binding statement said.
Russia, which has resisted previous western-led condemnations of its Damascus ally, signed up to the declaration, signalling the extent of revulsion over images of infant corpses lined side by side after Friday's slaughter, one of the worst incidents in the 14-month conflict.
Britain and France had pushed for immediate condemnation but Moscow requested a briefing by General Robert Mood, the head of the unarmed UN observer mission in Syria, which took place behind closed doors at Sunday's meeting.
Moscow was prepared to chastise its Syrian ally for using heavy weapons but resisted attempts to blame pro-regime forces for point-blank shootings and stabbings which appear to have caused many of the deaths.
"It still remains unclear what happened and what triggered what," said Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Alexander Pankin. "We understand that the village … was not under the control of the government forces. We understood that there was a lot of demonstration in one of the districts of this village and allegedly firing and shelling started afterwards."
He said it was unlikely government forces would have killed civilians at point-blank range and suggested there was a third force – terrorists or external agents – seeking to trigger outside intervention.
Syria's envoy repeated official denials of responsibility and said terrorists were attempting to sow confusion.
Opposition activists said army troops shelled Houla after a protest and members of Assad's Shabbiha militia slashed, hacked and shot victims at close range during an ensuing clash with rebels.
European envoys, speaking after the council statement, insisted the evidence incriminated pro-regime forces.
Britain's UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, told reporters that the council statement was "important" but not sufficient and that the council would meet again in the coming days to discuss Syria. Germany's envoy said Berlin wanted the massacre referred to the international criminal court.
The Houla bloodshed has shredded confidence in a six-week-old international peace plan. The UN put the death toll weeks ago at more than 9,000. Hundreds have been killed since.
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has said the perpetrators of the Houla massacre must be held to account, and she vowed greater international pressure would hound Assad from power.
Speaking before the UN council statement, Clinton accused Assad's government of ruling by "murder and fear", adding that the regime must "come to an end".
The comments came amid reports that President Barack Obama is preparing to push Russia to back the departure of Assad under a scheme modelled on the transition of power in Yemen.
According to an article in the New York Times, Obama hopes to enlist President Vladimir Putin's support over a transition of power in Syria during a meeting next month, the first between the pair since Putin's return to the Kremlin.
Under the reported plan, the international community would broker a settlement in which Assad would leave, but remnants of the political structure would remain intact.
It is seen as a variant of the scheme under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh handed over power in Yemen following widespread unrest last year.
White House officials have indicated that Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev was receptive to the scheme when he met Obama at Camp David on the sidelines of the G8 summit.
More at the linkThe United Nations security council has unanimously condemned the Syrian government... more
Apparently the words Cease Fire no longer have the meaning they once had. Much like a "Civil War" is anything but Civil the whole concept of a Cease Fire has become like wise a contradiction in terms. Rather than an opportunity to resolve a conflict through less violent means it has become an opportunity to re-load. Perhaps the only thing that it is good for is the opportunity it gives civilians to flea the war zone if they can or dig deeper holes to hide in. Perhaps if we started calling it what it really is people might have a stronger reaction to the mindless slaughter that is going on.Apparently the words Cease Fire no longer have the meaning they once had. Much like a... more
A massive plume of thick, black smoke billowed from the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday, punctuating the chaos that has plagued the opposition stronghold for months.
According to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition activist group, government war planes flew over Homs and blew up an oil pipeline.
But Syrian state-run TV blamed a "terrorist group" for the assault.
Under the opaque cloud of smoke, sounds of sustained attacks -- including artillery fire and automatic machine gunfire -- echoed through the city of 1 million people, CNN's Arwa Damon reported from inside Homs Wednesday.
Opposition activists say government forces are set on flattening every neighborhood that might hold dissidents calling for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Three bodies were recovered from Idlib province; a 16-year-old student was killed by gunfire in Daraa province; and another person was killed in Aleppo, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
And military forces stormed the city of Hama, where explosions rattled two neighborhoods, the group said. The Observatory said landlines, cell phone communication and Internet access in Hama were cut off.
While residents across Syria grappled with the turmoil, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said al-Assad has set a date of February 26 for a referendum on a draft constitution.
Members of a committee tasked with drafting the document "reiterated their keenness on a constitution that allows ... public freedoms and political plurality in a way to lay the foundation for a new stage that will enrich Syria's cultural history," SANA reported.
Al-Assad has previously said Syria planned to hold a constitutional referendum, but reports of bloodshed at the hands of his regime have only intensified since his statement.
Meanwhile, after repeated U.N. failures to formally denounce the Syrian government, the latest U.N. draft resolution condemning Syria could go for a vote in the General Assembly as early as Wednesday.
Though a General Assembly vote would not be binding, it would mark the strongest U.N. statement yet on the violence. Russia and China have vetoed attempts to condemn Syria for the crackdown by the U.N. Security Council, whose resolutions are binding.
The draft resolution calls on Syria to end human-rights violations and attacks against civilians immediately, and condemns "all violence, irrespective of where it comes from."
But any U.N. action is long overdue, say opposition activists, who reported 49 deaths across Syria on Tuesday. The dead included three Syrian soldiers who defected, the LCC said.
Deaths took place in Idlib, Homs, Daraa, Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Damascus, the Damascus suburbs and Latakia, the group said.
Bracing for war in Syria
Child rescued from crossfire in Syria
Increased intelligence activity in Syria
UN to vote on new Syria resolution
Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said Monday most of the wounded avoid going to public hospitals for fear of being arrested or tortured. Instead, they are being treated in underground hospitals where hygiene and sterilization conditions are rudimentary and medical supplies are scarce, she said.
Pillay denounced the Syrian government's "ongoing onslaught" against its citizens.
"The nature and scale of abuses committed by Syrian forces indicates that crimes against humanity are likely to have been committed since March 2011," Pillay said.
Syria posted a banner on state TV Tuesday saying its Foreign Affairs Ministry "absolutely rejects all the new allegations in the new report by the human rights high commissioner."
The Syrian regime has consistently blamed "armed terrorist groups" for the violence in Syria.
"What is happening has nothing to do with reforms, with the spread of democracy. This is the work of armed terrorist groups that are being funded from outside," said Syria's ambassador to Russia, Riad Haddad, according to Russia's RIA Novosti state news agency.
He added: "Damascus will not let international peacekeepers into the country. Syria does not need peacekeepers. Syria has categorically dismissed that option."
More at the linkA massive plume of thick, black smoke billowed from the Syrian city of Homs Wednesday,... more
“Western politicians and media are not yet fighting World War III, but they are talking themselves into it.” What if pollsters put this question to citizens of the United States and the European Union : “Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?” ----------- I’ll bet that there might be a majority for avoiding World War III. ----------- But of course, the question is never framed like that. ------------ Who are Obama&Clinton's advisers? US&allies trying to destroy Syria&create a failed state.Whose interests do they repr?--- Media tends to depersonalize Syrians, unless they're opponents of "brutal Assad regime". Hope my images correct this. Know faces of Syrian people being targeted by militia,Al-Qaeda,Brit & Qatari forces http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/43055-road-to-damascus-and-on-to-armageddon-know-faces-of-syrian-people-being-targeted-by-imperialists-“Western politicians and media are not yet fighting World War III, but they are... more
1 year ago
As the protests throughout the Arab world increase and Dictators try to hold on to power by any violent means possible it's amazing how people can still maintain hope. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad like many leaders before him may have not actually signed a deal with the Devil but with his actions against his own people resulting in over 6000 deaths he might just as well have. In the long run he will not prevail and history will add him to the long list of Tyrants that have tried to repress the human spirit. The challenge facing the rest of the world is how to intervene without ending up in a Third World War. With an Election Year taking top priority in the United States and a suspicion of U.S motives concerning any action in the Middle East, the actions or inaction of the Arab League and China and Russia strongly opposed to almost anything that they have no say in, the solution to the Syrian situation will most definitely be a messy one. I'm always cautiously optimistic about most things so I have to rely on what little faith I have that things will not continue to escalate until a Third World War breaks out. Even in our darkest hours we sometimes manage to prevent the worst from becoming the apocalyptic. History will tell if my optimism pays off. I HOPE....As the protests throughout the Arab world increase and Dictators try to hold on to... more
The Gulf Arab states have today announced that they are withdrawing from the Arab League's observer mission in Syria.
The Gulf Co-operation Council also called on the UN Security Council to put new pressure on Damascus to end a violent crackdown against protests.
It came after Syria rejected an Arab League plan for President Bashar al-Assad to step down and hold elections.
Syria's foreign minister said some Arab states had joined a foreign conspiracy to destabilise the country.
Speaking after the GCC's announcement, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said "a new phase of their plan against Syria" included the West and Arab states.
He said they were supporting armed groups in Syria that were carrying out attacks and acts of sabotage.
Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16698754The Gulf Arab states have today announced that they are withdrawing from the Arab... more
The Arab League has outlined a series of reforms it wants Syria to undertake to end the violence in the country.After a meeting in Cairo, the league called on the Syrian authorities to form a national unity government to include the opposition in two months.
link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16674796The Arab League has outlined a series of reforms it wants Syria to undertake to end... more
Tuesday, December 13, 2011Following similar reports by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, Israeli intelligence sources confirm that US Special Forces are massing in Jordan on the Syrian border having been transferred from Iraq.
On Sunday Edmonds reported that hundreds of foreign troops were witnessed near the Jordanian border village of Al-Mafraq, having moved back and forth between King Hussein Air Base of al-Mafraq and villages adjacent to the Syrian border.
After interviewing an employee in the London-based office of Royal Jordanian Airlines, Nizar Nayouf also reported that, “At least one US aircraft carrying military personnel landed in the Prince Hassan Air base located about 100 km to the east of the city of Al-Mafraq.”http://www.israelifrontline.com/2011/12/us-special-forces-mass-on-syrian-border.html... more
HOMS, (SANA) - An armed terrorist group on Thursday opened fire on a crude oil transfer pipeline in al-Soltaniyeh area to the northwest of the Refinery of Homs, causing a huge fire. About CIA propaganda video one Sirian said - The narrator should learn how to communicate and to speak the Arabic language properly - what a clown! How much was he paid to use his thoraia line in order to broadcast his idiotic ideas. There have been excesses, but nothing at all like what is being propagated to the world - who, naively soak up whatever unverified garbage is sent their way. A vast majority of the Syrian people want evolution – not revolution ------------ read all http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/43039-syrian-oil-pipeline-blown-up-syrian-people-want-evolution-not-revolutionHOMS, (SANA) - An armed terrorist group on Thursday opened fire on a crude oil... more
1 year ago
By RUSSELL GOLDMAN | ABC News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad defiantly denied any suggestion that he has ordered a bloody crackdown against protesters who are demanding that he resign, and claims instead that most of the people who died in the unrest were his supporters and troops.
Assad, whose regime has been condemned by the West, the Arab League and former allies, dismissed suggestions that he step down and scoffed at sanctions being imposed on Syria.
His defiant stance was on display in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters who confronted the Syrian dictator in Damascus with stories and evidence of civilians being tortured and killed, some of them children.
"People went from house to house. Children were arrested. I saw those pictures," Walters said to Assad.
"To be frank with you, Barbara, I don't believe you," Assad said.
Walters asked Assad about the case of Hamza al-Khateeb, a 13-year-old boy detained by Syrian forces after a protest whose lifeless body was returned to his parents shot, burned and castrated. The boy's death galvanized protesters, and photos on the internet inflamed world opinion.
Assad Tells Barbara Walters Violence Is By Terrorists, Not His Troops
Assad denied the boy had been tortured. "No, no, no. It's not news," he insisted. "I met with his father, the father of that child and he said that he wasn't tortured as he appeared in the media."
The tide of pro-democracy protests sweeping the Arab world reached Syria in mid-March and news of violent clashes between protesters and government agents have leaked out of this tightly controlled dictatorship and on to the Internet. The bodies of the dead, some of them children, have been found bearing the marks of torture.
According to a United Nations report released last week, more than 4,000 people have been killed and the country is embroiled in an undeclared civil war, an assessment Assad dismissed with the question, "Who said that the United Nations is a credible institution?"
In an unprecedented condemnation of a fellow Muslim nation, the Arab League recently threatened sanctions, and last month one-time ally Turkey called on Assad to resign the presidency, an office he's held since 2000.
In his interview with Walters, his first sit down with an American journalist since the protests began, Assad denied he ordered a crackdown and blamed the violence on criminals, religious extremists and terrorists sympathetic to al Qaeda he claims are mixed in with peaceful demonstrators.
He said the victims of the street violence were not civilians protesters battling decades of one-party rule, he insisted.
"Most of the people that have been killed are supporters of the government, not the vice versa," he said. The dead have included 1,100 soldiers and police, he said.
Assad conceded only that some members of his armed forces went too far, but claims they were punished for their actions.
"Every 'brute reaction' was by an individual, not by an institution, that's what you have to know," he said. "There is a difference between having a policy to crackdown and between having some mistakes committed by some officials. There is a big difference," said Assad.
"But you have to give the order," countered Walters.
"We don't kill our people… no government in the world kills its people, unless it's led by a crazy person," Assad said.
At another point he said, "There was no command to kill or be brutal."
More at the link/full video.
By RUSSELL GOLDMAN | ABC News
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad defiantly denied... more