Saturday, 6 July 2013

There's No Other Way


Damon Albarn joins new supergroup for Syria fundraiser
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[http://www.guardian.co.uk/…/damon-albarn-fresh-touch-franz-…]
I see that he was born in Whitechapel Hospital, I've got a feeling that he worked in the one that used to be on the corner of Goldsmith's Row and Hackney Road, as a nurse once told me a story about watching someone tell a group of kids "and Damon's coming back in next week."
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TARIQ ALI ON SYRIA


"What this war is increasingly becoming is a war that is increasingly targeting Iran, and trying to remove Iran's only Arab ally from the reckoning...Without assigning blame or responsibility..."
"We've heard that the rebels in Qusayr are using civilians as human shields [sic]. Could we see the government being blamed for civilian deaths?"
"It could be, the situation is so confused."
Tariq Ali's brain has left the building.

Friday, 5 July 2013

In this June 27, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Lens Young Homsi, shows a Syrian standing in the rubble of a destroyed buildings from Syrian forces shelling in Homs. The Syrian National Coalition has urged the international community to take action to protect civilians in the cities of Homs and Daraa.

Syrian National Coalition

urges world to protect Homs


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Face-to-face with Abu Sakkar,

Syria's 'heart-eating cannibal'


' "This guy had videos on his mobile. It showed him raping a mother and her two daughters. He stripped them while they begged him to stop in the name of God. Finally he slaughtered them with a knife... What would you have done?"
Well, perhaps not make a meal of my enemy, I think. At the time, Abu Sakkar's men greeted what he did with cries of "God is Great". Now the fighters looking after him while he recovers from an injury just seem a bit embarrassed.
"If we don't get help, a no-fly zone, heavy weapons, we will do worse - you've seen nothing yet.” '
Russian soldiers walk past a burning T-34 tank

Kursk legacy: Will there ever

be another massive tank battle?


"The tank, like the battleship, was suddenly a sitting duck without control of the skies."
I always tended to think that a no-fly zone in Syria wasn't the best idea, as the action to destroy air defences took control from the insurgent people and put it in the hands of Western air forces, but this made me think a little.
There is military analysis of Syria at [http://brown-moses.blogspot.co.uk/].
A poster against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Photo courtesy of Shadi Latta.

Activists Preserve a Part of Syria’s Revolution


' "We are just peaceful protestors who are fighting against oppression," Fares said. He doesn't identify himself as a rebel or a fighter but emphasises that the people of Kafranbel are on the rebels' side.'

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

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Can you bear to look at this image for more than a second?
Can you bear to look at this image for more than a second?

Are you horrified? Disgusted? Outraged? Terrified?
Did little Wadak Aghi ruin your day? Let me tell you about her day, that is the last day of her life. Assad’s forces targeted her home with a monstrous shell which ripped her face off. She was taken to a clinic where doctors tried in vain to save her. They were then forced to transfer her to the only decent hospital that could have a chance in saving her life in Assad controlled territory. However she had to cross the infamous “Checkpoint of Death" in Deir Ezzor, Syria manned by Assad’s forces. That is where she died as she never crossed it.
Thank you for caring dear world. The children of Syria will never forget you …
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Seven Reasons Why Islamists May Now Be Losing Ground Among Syria’s Rebels (A roundup post)

REGIME MAY BE FACING A MILITARY CATASTROPHE IN ALEPPO
Yallah Souriya reports panic, shock and rage on pro-regime facebook pages over the performance of regime defensive forces in Aleppo—a reaction which tends to confirm reports of major rebel advances there.
[http://iranian.com/.../post/16841/jumpto/idcomment-27456]

US interference

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Russia reports pullout from small base in Syria


Will the last American out of Saigon please pull the rope up into the helicopter. About the following quote it could be said that the Russians can see the writing on the wall, or that Syria just isn't that important.
'Given the Assad government’s gains, the Russian decision to pull out of Tartus might represent a calculation about potential intervention, either from the United States over the regime’s alleged chemical weapons use or from Israel, which has said that it will strike if advanced surface-to-air missiles are delivered to the Syrian regime, according to Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute.
“It would explain something that otherwise seems counter­intuitive,” Tabler said. “If the regime is doing well, you don’t close your base.” '
From a week ago. Also suggests they won't be bankrolling an Assadite mini-state on the coast.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New Texts Out Now: Thomas Pierret, Religion and State in Syria

[Cover of Thomas Pierret,

 Thomas Pierret: "The conclusions I draw from my book lead me to take issue with widespread narratives about the current rise of Sunni Islamism, and in particular of Salafism in Syria. This phenomenon is usually perceived in a negative way, that is, as an expression of sectarian radicalization against religious communities. There is undeniably some truth in that, but it is a partial view of the problem. There is also a "positive" dimension to it: the expression of an identity that has been suppressed for decades, notably, as I show in the book, by imposing severe restrictions on religious practices and symbols that are considered as perfectly harmless in most other Muslim countries."
More precision comment from the author can been found via [http://pulsemedia.org/…/thomas-pierret-on-the-syrian-revol…/]

Zaytoun and his little Syrian brother

Videogame: Zaytoun, the Little
Syrian-Palestinian Refugee


'In the words of Mokha, a Syrian-Palestinian designer, the Syrian revolution has reconciled many Palestinians with their Syrian identity.
“We are not only Palestinians, we are also Syrians and we suffer what Syrians suffer. For many years I wondered why Syrians did not rise against their tyrants, and now that they have, I feel proud of my Syrian people, just like I do of my Palestinian people.” '



Russian Troubles in Syria


"It is tempting to watch American foreign policy and Russian foreign policy and assign all the naiveté and sloppy thinking to one and all the clever, chess-playing skills to the other. But that would be wrong.
Instead of being a loyal friend to an Arab leader, as opposed to the fickle United States, the fact is that Russia is now mired in support for a genocidal bastard in a war that has led to more than 100,000 deaths, the apparent use of chemical weapons, and the decided use of artillery, helicopters, and aircraft to bombard civilian centres.
No one in the Arab world wants to be Putin’s friend."


"Hezbollah's snipers are much better than the régime's. They are very accurate and kill everything that moves - EVEN THE CATS. But their presence has united my men. We all want to fight Hezbollah."
[http://www.thetimes.co.uk/…/w…/middleeast/article3805203.ece]

Killing The Dragon


“The shelling of Homs rebel areas continues, and it is fierce,” Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman said. “But the army has made no advances. They haven’t been able to take any new areas back.”
[http://www.dailystar.com.lb/…/222250-homs-rebels-resist-syr…]


Interview With Colonel Aqidi Of The FSA On Qusayr, Jihadists, And The Supreme Military Council

Interviewer: What about the execution of the fourteen-year-old boy in Aleppo?
Aqidi: Once I arrive in Aleppo, I am going to investigate it. I am sure Islamist groups are not behind this act. Some groups claim to be Islamist or FSA but in fact, they are regime-made and consist of secret police and shabeeha. Last week a brigade commander was trialed and executed because his acts were doing harm to the reputation of the FSA. His name was Mahmoud [.........], he headed the Unified Army of Muhammad, and his deputy’s name was Abu Taleb.
(When asked about the latest call for Jihad in Syria)
Syria does not need foreign fighters because this will make it another Afghanistan, what we need is arms and money. We prefer arms to money because the latter is spoiling the revolution.

President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Monday, June 17, 2013. Obama and Putin discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria during their bilateral meeting. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Putin Toys With Obama as Syria Burns and Snowden Runs Free


Garry Kasparov has something to say.
"The G8 statement on Syria that came out from the summit was a triumph for Putin and also a victory for what I would call “consensus through cowardice.” Getting rid of the murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad is not one of the document’s pledges. Incredibly, al-Assad is not even mentioned—no doubt at the insistence of his greatest supporter, Putin."



EMERGENCY: Dire Conditions
in #Aleppo Central Prison Today!

"Due to extreme lack of food, diseases widely spread among the prisoners, Scab, all types of allergy, Undernourishment, Anemia, and the most dangerous is TUBERCULOSIS. More than 225 were infected by Tuberculosis, 6 were dead and the number is escalating dramatically."
Like Nelson Mandela, who contracted TB on Robben Island.
100g of bread a day isn't much compared to the 550g that Solzhenitsyn told us In One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was promised to prisoners in Siberian labour camps.

The Destruction Of The Syrian Air Force

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 They will lose , but will kill a lot of people doing it.

 "An air attack was considered successful whether it hit armed rebels or the unarmed civilians that supported him. Several air force defectors reported that pilots were often instructed to go after bakeries (bread is a key element of the Syrian diet) and apartment buildings, in order to maximize the suffering among civilians.
 The air force is rapidly disappearing because of combat and operational (accidents and poor maintenance) losses. At this point the government has nothing to lose and simply regards the remaining aircraft as similar to diminishing ammo supplies. Use it or lose it to advancing rebels."

Monday, 1 July 2013

Self-organization in the Syrian people’s revolution

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Ghayath Naisse


 "This is a genuine popular revolution; the driving social forces are the workers and more broadly the impoverished urban and rural social strata. These forces have been able to create, despite the outrageous violence of the regime, a popular armed resistance, in the cruelly felt absence of a revolutionary political leadership. They have created structures of self-organization and coordinating bodies, as well as embryos of self-government, local councils and civil advice bureaus. These forms of control and administration from below are more developed in the Syrian revolution than in any other process in the countries of the region."

Sunday, 30 June 2013



Mulham Al Jundi

Graffiti on a destroyed building in Taftanaz, Syria: "It doesn't matter when or where I die. What matters is that revolutionaries remain with their voices filling the earth until there remains no oppression for the poor and wretched."

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

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 "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented 100,191 casualties since the beginning of the uprisings in 18/3/2011, from the first casualty in Dera'a, up till 24/06/2013."

 Patrick Cockburn claimed in his most recent Independent/Counterpunch piece that these figures show that Syria is six of one and half a dozen of the other. He does recount the figures accurately, but this comment puts them in a more complete context.

 "All these unsubstantiated declarations of large numbers killed in rebel massacres, ignoring the massacres by regime and pro-regime forces, as well as the long-standing systematic tortures of civilians by the regime, is effectively propaganda in favour of one of the (if not the) most brutal regimes in the planet. The larger number of soldiers dying results from the generalised opposition by the population, including by rebel soldiers, and probably counts many soldiers killed because they were (at least suspected of) attempting or wanting to desert. Without inside knowledge, we can't know why they died, but there have been numerous reports of recent deserters being summarily executed. The rebellion contains fighters from all religious and ethnic communities, any of which could have killed soldiers. Another factor is unsure. Only some essentially Alawite units are trusted to fight the rebellion. The units are constantly in battle against the rebels. With fatigue, they are more likely to make fatal errors."