Intellectuals, Help Syrians! (By Yassin Al Haj Saleh)

Introduction by OTW

Yassin
Syrian Opposition Intellectual Yassin Al Haj Saleh, who spent 16 years in the Assad dynasty regime jails as political prisoner.

A few weeks back, I posted a medical report from Yassin Al Haj Saleh, the Syrian intellectual and winner of  Prince Claus Award for 2012, in which he described the chemical weapon attack by the forces of war criminal Bashar al-Assad in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus country side. For a few months, Yassin lived there among the people of the Eastern Ghouta, and he recently summed up his experiences there to cast light on what is happening, and at the same time to issue a last call, or better yet, a plea for decency and humanity to western intellectuals and public opinion makers admonishing them to actively take the only humane and progressive act, which is to support the overthrow of the Assad criminal clan and crime partners and to force the stoppage of importing killers from the regime’s allies in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere. Yesterday, Yassin’s letter was published in the French newspaper Le Monde under the title “Intellectuels, aidez les Syriens !” after being translated from Arabic to French by the Lebanese intellectual and supporter of the Syrian Revolution, Professor Ziad Majed and his colleague Nadia Aissaoui. The letter, written on June, 28, 2013,  appeared earlier today in its Arabic  original in the Republic for Syrian Revolution Studies as well as in the Lebanese newspaper النهار . I tried to find English translation and failed, so I translated the letter from Arabic to English. I do apologize for the rough edges of the translation, and would be more than happy to replace the text with better translation if someone is kind enough to edit it.

Rabi Tawil (AKA Abu Kareem) has kindly offered to edit the translation. The version posted on (8 July, 2013) is the result of his kind and generous help.  It definitely reads much better.

Update: on 10, July, 2013, an official Spanish version of the letter appeared under the title “Carta sobre Siria a los intelectuales y líderes de opinión en Occidente” in the Spanish newspaper ELMUNDO.

Intellectuals, Help Syrians! 

By Yassin Al Haj Saleh

A letter from Syrian writer Yassin Al Haj Saleh to Western Intellectuals and Opinion Makers.

Dear friends

About three months ago, I headed to the “liberated” Eastern Ghouta region, leaving behind the capital city of Damascus where life has become suffocating. My clandestine departure necessitated weeks of prior-arrangements in a city , which had been dismembered by hundreds of security barricades, and which Bashar al-Assad is determined to keep as the center of the rule he inherited from his father thirteen years ago.

The Eastern Ghouta region is now inhabited by nearly half of  out of the two million who lived there before the revolution. It has been transformed during the past three months from a bastion  where the armed revolution was first launched in the capital  into an area besieged from all sides. This reversal is largely due to the military and logistical support of  the regime has received from Russia and Iran and from Lebanese and Iraqi Militia that are connected to the latter state. During that time, I myself witnessed the cruel lack of weapons, ammunition and even adequate food supply on the side of the rebel fighters. Many of the fighters on the fronts barely receive two meals a day. If they weren’t mostly local residents defending their towns and their families and living off what also sustains their families, the situation would have been immeasurably worse

968817_543585005704460_1726781563_n
Destruction of lives and livelihood are the hallmarks of the Assad clan response to the Syrian uprising., The photo was uploaded today (7, July, 2013) showing the aftermath of one of Assad’s bombing raids earlier today in the Eastern Ghouta.

The towns and villages which I visited and lived in during the past months are subjected to daily random shelling from airplanes, artillery and rocket launchers. Every day, victims, a majority of whom are civilians, succumb to the violence.  I spent a month at a civil defense authority site, and there, I saw all of those who were killed. Some of them, including children, were blown into unrecognizable pieces. Among the victims was a fetus of six months whose mother suffered a miscarriage from the the terror she suffered during the shelling near her house. Not a day went during that month without civilians getting killed. Usually it is two or three, but on one day it was 9, 28 on another, and 11 on a third. The numbers killed continue to rise and they are rarely less than half a dozen a day, again including a small fully formed fetus. It was said that he was also six month old, also miscarried by yet another terrorized mother.

In addition to civilians, many young fighters die every day to the weapons of a brutal and more powerful military force that receives  far superior support than they do.

The whole region has been without electricity for 8 months. This has caused a reliance on frequently malfunctioning generators with excessive consumption of fuel, which in itself is becoming increasingly scarce commodity due to the tight blockade. Consequently, cooling and storage of food, vitally necessary in the scorching summers of the region, must be dispensed with. Cellular and landline connections are cut-off;and in recent weeks, flour has become scarce. Two weeks have now passed during which we had barely ate any bread,getting by with crushed wheat or rice instead, or by purchasing our meals from the few restaurants that remain.

For my part, I was content with two meals a day, at least temporarily, as it helped reduce my weight by around 10 Kilos (nearly 21 pounds)

We manage communications via Satellite Internet equipment, smuggled in with great difficulty. We use the equipment to deliver news and information to other Syrians and to the world. Such communication equipment is, however, available to only a small percentage of the population. A shell landed nearby few days ago and disrupted the internet connection for some time. It could have been much worse had the shell  landed on our roof and destroyed two month worth of efforts to secure the equipment. But the ultimate tragedy happens every day to an increasing number of inhabitants. Hastily buried, their funeral processions are joined by few hasty mourners, terrorized by the prospect of another shell falling upon their heads. Such has happened more than once; and in one case, which I witnessed, the martyr was buried within less than an hour of his death without his wife and children taking a final look at him. His body was mutilated and some of his limbs were missing, prompting the elders to decide that this should not be the last sight of him to remain in his  wife’s and childrens’ memory.

We, I and a number of friends, both men and women, are still alive. In Damascus we were threatened with arrest and horrific torture which we may not survive. Here we are safe from that, but not from a shell falling on our heads at any time.

Here, we are partners with nearly a million people having lost complete control of our own destiny, and constantly at the edge of the  abyss of the worst possibilities. Each time I reach the threshold of the house returning from the outside, I feel that I have barely survived death by a shell or a  shrapnel.  And yet  death remains a probability entering randomly through the window or the door.

Today, Friday, June 28, three mortars fell between twelve noon and twelve thirty  on a place not far from where we are staying. The timing is too close to the Friday prayer time observed by faithful Muslims, to be a coincidence. I was most struck in my early days here that calls for Friday prayers in one mosque started about nine thirty in the morning, three hours earlier than the usual time, and this were followed by calls from other mosques each within a half an hour of the next. When I inquired about it, I received a surprising explanation: “The purpose is to avoid gathering large numbers of worshipers in the city’s mosques at any specific time to deprive the regime of the opportunity to kill maximum number of people as it usually desires”. The regime has done this before, in the city where I stayed, there are five destroyed mosques.

More painful is that more than two-thirds of the children here do not attend school, their parents fearing for their safety or  because of the the lack of schools nearby. The few functioning schools operate in underground cellars to avoid bombardment.  But this also prevents the children from playing and running in the open air.

All of the hospitals are also underground.

People engage in this struggle with a sense of desperation because of they realize that a terrible massacre awaits them if the regime succeeds in regaining control. Those not murdered immediately will face arrest and torture that is extreme in its brutality. Their choices are limited to death while resisting the fascist aggression of the criminal regime or death, in the ugliest of manners, at the hands of this same regime if they stop resisting.  The  souls of people shiver, as my own soul shivers from its depth at the mere thought of being ruled by the same regime once again, should the people stop their resistance.

During this long stretch in the life of the Syrian revolution, which has gone through a peaceful phase lasting for more than six months, the outcome of the policies of the influential powers of the world were to let Syrians be murdered at an escalating rate, and to reassure the regime that it can do anything with complete impunity. This is reminiscent of the Western Democracies’ behavior regarding Hitler before the Second World War. The current situation is a direct consequence of the failure of those influential powers to support the Syrian rebels, whilst failing to stop the support for the regime from the powers that provide it with  weapons, money and men, even as they continue to step up their support by intervening more openly and directly. Finally, after it became known to the whole world that the Assad clan regime used chemical weapons, which I myself documented two months ago,  as did other friends on the basis of personal experience, and after the regime was assured that its use of air power and long-range missiles against cities and neighborhoods will result in  nothing but faint and timid protest; after all of this,  Western powers decided to support the Syrian rebels with weapons. However, the objective of this support is to restore balance, a balance that they helped tip in the regime’s favor  in the first place.  Restoring balance means prolonging the Syrian conflict so that both sides lose in ways that have known  precedents in the history of Western Democracies, while what is needed is support that guarantees the overthrow of the regime, or at least force its allies to back-off from supporting its openly criminal war.

Restoring balance is not just a short-sighted policy leading not only to prolonging the conflict, but it is utterly inhumane  as well. There are no two equal evils in Syria, as it is unfortunately portrayed in the Western media, and contrary to what United Nations and international organizations reports, notwithstanding that the Syrian conflict is not one between demons and angels.  There is a tyrannical fascist regime, which has murdered approximately 100,000 of its subjects, and there is a varying spectrum of those rebelling against it. The prolonging and increasing cruelty of the conflict has radicalized some of the rebel groups, whilst weakening the resilience of the Syrian society to extremism. The longer the Syrians are left to their fate, the more likely extremists gain strength and  the moderating logic and rationality among Syrians weakens. From both field and personal experience, this is what is actually happening. At the Civil Defense Authority, and whenever new martyrs fell, especially children, I am met with reproachful looks. These looks are from people  who are skeptical about the value of the calm and “rational” words I usually utter and about their utility in such circumstances.

There is only one correct approach that is in the general interest of Syria and from a humanitarian point of view, and that is to help Syrians get rid of the rule of the Assad dynasty that is acting as if it owns the country and as if Syrians are merely its serfs.  Everything will be difficult in post-Assad Syria, but ridding the country of the public criminal incites more moderate interactions within the Syrian society, and allows Syrians to stand in the face of the extremists among them. It is immeasurably worse to prolong the conflict and extend its human and material costs. Even worse is to watch Syrians being murdered with Russia’s weapons, at the hands of local thugs, as well as Lebanese and Iranian militias. Worse also is to impose a settlement that does not punish the criminals, and that doesn’t seriously address any of Syria’s problems.

I hear American and Western politicians sometimes say that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. But where is the political solution? And when did Bashar al-Assad , after about 28 months of the revolution, and after the murder of about 100,000 people, state that he was actually ready for serious negotiations with the opposition and to share power? When did he refrain, even for a single day, from committing murder  in the past 850 days? The truth is that there is no political solution without forcing the slaughterer to step down, now and immediately, and along with the leaders of the slaughter in his regime. While this may give rebellious Syrians something important, which is what they have demanded from the outset by peaceful means, it strengthens the position of moderates in their ranks, making it possible to isolate the extremists, leading to a fair Syrian settlement, something that is badly needed in the region, the world, and by Syrians  before anyone else.

Dear friends

We would not have called upon you if it wasn’t for the fact that the Syrian issue is one of the major and most dangerous issues of the world in recent decades. It has caused the uprooting and internal and external displacement of about a third of the population. There are hundreds of thousands of wounded and disabled, and up to quarter of a million prisoners are subjected to horrific torture, including the raping of women and children as documented in the reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and by the more reliable of Syrian organizations. The Assad forces have committed numerous massacres, some of which were documented in United Nations reports. All of this so that a ruler, who inherited power without right and without merit from a father who seized power by force and ruled the country with blood,can remain.

Today, we look to you as leaders of public opinion in your countries to pressure your governments to take a strong stand against the killer, a stand that supports the overthrowing the regime of the Assad dynasty. This is the only humanitarian and progressive thing to do. There is nothing more reactionary and fascist in today’s world than a regime that kills its own people, brings in killers from its allied countries and organizations, and incites a sectarian war, which while easy to incite, may be impossible to halt before it it leads to the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

We look forward to your support today. Tomorrow may be too late.

Yassin Al Haj Saleh
June 28, 2013
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

translation by OTW and Rabi Tawil (Abu Kareem)

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139 Comments

  1. Yassin, few hours after issuing this call, wrote on his personal facebook page “little time ago, they were here between us, a warplane came, bombed the location which is in the middle of the city, and killed them all, 4 martyrs. May peace be upon the 14 casualties.

  2. Dear Ali
    My apologies for the delay in releasing your comment. Welcome to 7ee6an. Posts have to be moderated only the first time to avoid spam. You can post in real-time from now on.

    Thanks for bringing up what Yassin wrote after the release of the letter. Please spread the letter, it is important that it reaches as many intellectuals as possible. it is addressed to them.

  3. 20 million Syrians face genocide, I know Assad – and I know it’s time to arm the Syrian rebels and bring him down, says Tory MP who visited dictator’s house for tea

    Brooks Newmark, Tory MP, who visited Assad’s house between 2006-2011, and had one on one conversations with the dictator, describes his answers as “instructive and at times shocking in their directness.”

    When he asked him what was his most important objective, he replied in two words: ‘REGIME SURVIVAL’. Newmark pointed to the dictator, that this is a complete contradiction between reform and regime survival, but he could not answer this question.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2338170/Brooks-Newmark-I-know-Assad–I-know-time-arm-Syrian-rebels-bring-says-Tory-MP-visited-dictators-house-tea.html

  4. OTW,
    Thank you for taking the initiative to translate the article. I took up your offer and edited the article. It would have helped if I had the full the French Le Monde article but anyway, I think think it looks good. Send me an email and I can send you a copy of my edited version. Rabi

  5. Dear Rabi
    Thank you very much for helping out. I will send you an email soon. In the meantime, I think I may have goofed by including the link to the Le Monde instead of the link to the article also on Ziad’s blog. The full french version can be accessed on this link

    http://vendredis-arabes.blogspot.fr/2013/07/lettre-aux-intellectuels-en-occident.html#more

    This is an important letter, so if you wish to first consult the full french version, I can wait a little more. Again, many thanks for the help.

  6. Dear Friends
    Some of the RSS feeds available on the side bar were causing a slow-down in loading the blog. I temporarily removed all RSS Feeds and will bring them back after some tests. I hope this does not cause any inconvenience.

  7. أشكرك جزيل الشرك ليترجم هذه المقالة يا رفيقنا

  8. الغاليه أم نواس
    أنه مصدر سعادة لى أني قمت بهذا وأنا اشكر كل من وقف بجانب هذا الموقع عندما كانت ظروفي لا تسمح لى بمتابعة العمل

  9. Dear Friends
    Please join me in thanking Dr. Rabi Tawil (AKA Abu Kareem) for tremendously improving the quality of the translation. I would like to ask you to kindly use this, much improved version if you have re-blogged this post.

  10. sigh…. an awfully hard read, that makes my heart ache. And who are these “leaders of public opinion” who will persuade governments to so something? And what is that something…

  11. Dear Zenobia

    1. There is only one correct approach that is in the general interest of Syria and from a humanitarian point of view, and that is to help Syrians get rid of the rule of the Assad dynasty that is acting as if it owns the country and as if Syrians are merely its serfs.

    2. pressure your governments to take a strong stand against the killer, a stand that supports the overthrowing the regime of the Assad dynasty.

    along with

    3. he truth is that there is no political solution without forcing the slaughterer to step down, now and immediately, and along with the leaders of the slaughter in his regime.

    Arming rebels to only restore balance is inhumane
    Arming rebels to overthrow the regime is a better option.

    This is what Yassin is getting to.

  12. I understand, yes. And we reached that place a long time ago now- where politics has failed.
    The United States has already paid lip service to the particular stand stated here, but the problem is actually DOING anything to support that.
    I have never quite understood why the move has not been to stop the ability of Assad to bring any more weapons and arms into the country for himself.
    Maybe it would be WWIII, but why not blockade the country and the air space access to those air bases and everything that is going in to them.
    Because unless there is a limit to their resources militarily, it is very unlikely that enough support will ever be achieved for the rebellion to match it.
    The Russians are not cooperating and playing hardball- why shouldn’t others challenge that. At least- they can take that challenge – and it would be further destroying the land one is trying to save.

  13. I am not sure a blockade is feasible. Contrary to what logic states, the regime which has been a source of malfeasance and interference in its surrounding (what some would call foreign policy), has succeeded in building a big network of clients, Some are its own clients and some are clients of Iran as Yassin stated earlier. In Lebanon you have hizbulla and some other “nationalist” parties and groups, in Iraq you have the government of Maliki itself as well as several shia jihadi parties and groups, in Jordan you have the nationalists and Naserites, among others. Turkey also is not a very friendly place if one considers the composition of the opposition to Erdoghan.

    I would like to recall that in a very early post, (still searching for it), i have argued that support to moderate elements within FSA should be substantive enough to avoid the attraction of jihadi groups. That of course went through a deaf ear, which was one of the reason we now find ourselves in a radicalized situation. There are of course many other reasons for the spread of sharia courts and ignorant fatal practices by some armed factions, whom i can not describe as revolutionary since they are only another face to the regime.

    Bringing down the rotten gang will change the nature of the struggle where the people can then refocus on the struggle against regressive forces. But most importantly, will allow the refugees to return home to rebuild their lives without fear of random shelling. Repopulating the cities and countless villages is a step towards recovery, both from the trauma of destruction, and from the disease called Shaira Authorities.

  14. ‏@THE_47th 5h

    Homs hero Abdel baset Elsaroot, lost his brother yesterday after he was killed by Assad forces & got injured himself 2day

  15. It seems that we have to work in stages,our goal should be to get rid of Assad, once we do that,Iran and HA and Iraqi militia will be gone,they are who are helping Assad,second stage is to return to true democracy,and take care of other enemies,
    Now we have to work with the devil to help us rid Syria of Assad,I wonder what you all think about this idea.

  16. مع قدوم رمضان.. لم اتذكر سوى أخوة وأخوات لنا معتقلين في سجون الأسد..! يعانون بصمت..يبكون بصمت.. يموتون بصمت.. اللهم خفف عنهم وفك أسرهم يارب
    هادي العبد الله

    Ramadan Kareem…

  17. KSA,Imarat,and Kuwait offered 12 billion dollar to Egypt in one week, how much these countries helped the rebels in 2.5 months: 28 million

  18. Dear Majed

    I don’t agree that we have to work with the devil. In fact, from what is happening in Aleppo, Homs, Raqqa, and other places such as Idleb country side, the devil is already there, and it wears Taliban cloths and shows up after the brave Syrians from the real FSA liberate an area paying their blood as the price of liberty. It comes to steal the revolution with its consorts of imbecilic imams whose education was provided by Assad’s religious high-schools that were spread all over syria and were the last resort to deffer military service for those who failed almost in every single subject but managed to score the required 50% minimum score in middle school exams. Tolerating their excesses and clear enmity to the real goals of the revolution of dignity is not different from tolerating the criminal Assad regime. Two faces of the same rotten coin, with links between the two criminal groups being more likely than not.

    I will not work with this devil my dear friend. As for the goal, i agree on the first stage. Without removing the filthy head of this filthy regime, there is no way forward.

  19. Dear OTW
    You completely misunderstood me, The devil I was refering to is not Taliban (Nusra),we should never work with Al Qa-eda,I was refering to US,US is not innocent, in my other comments I said big goverments determine the fate of small goverments, I think we may be forced to give concessions to the US, so as to get rid of Assad, after a while then we will go back to our previous honorable rhetorics.

    US have to choose between arming Syrian rebels or directly interefere in Syria, If Assad defeat seems imminent,US will interfere directly,rather than arm the rebels,The reason is to control the chemical weapons,Assad army,if he loses the battle in Homs ,could collapse rather quickly, a state of stalemate is better choice for the US since they are not yet ready to interfere,for that I believe US will allow limited support to the rebels,just enough to create a stalemate.
    At the end US will send troops and take over Syria, they have to do this to control the chemical weapons,they have no choice.US will never allow the rebels to control Chemical weapons,regardless of any guaranttee.

  20. OTW
    I somehow forgot my password, I have another E-Mail how can I send it to you?

  21. Dear Majed
    Glad that I misunderstood you. But we differ in that I don’t think that the US is the devil here. As for contacting me, my email is modotwblog@yahoo.com

    Of late, I have stopped thinking of military strategy, because it doesn’t seem that there is a strategy on the rebels side. But that is a long story which we could discuss.

  22. Dear OTW
    I wish you explain.
    There is no other way, I feel strongly that there is no political solution with Assad,I don’t understand how anyone can think to keep Assad after over 100,000 Syrian died

  23. Sorry this is not translated, but it is bad news — the djihadist fighters killing a FSA commander…
    Un chef de l’Armée syrienne libre tué par des combattants proches d’Al-Qaida

    Le Monde.fr avec Reuters | 12.07.2013 à 00h44 • Mis à jour le 12.07.2013 à 07h37
    Réagir Classer Imprimer Envoyer

    Partager facebook twitter google + linkedin

    Les groupes islamistes radicaux, dont certains liés à Al-Qaida, ont pris de plus en plus d’ascendant sur les factions modérées de l’insurrection syrienne ces derniers mois.

    Un responsable de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), Kamal Hamami, plus connu sous son nom de guerre d’Abou Bassel Al-Ladkani, a été tué jeudi 11 juillet à Lattaquié par le groupe Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL), lié à Al-Qaida, a annoncé l’ASL. Membre du Conseil suprême militaire des rebelles, il participait à une réunion dans le grand port syrien avec des militants de l’EIIL.

    “Les gens de l’Etat islamique m’ont appelé pour me dire qu’ils avaient tué Abou Bassel et qu’ils tueraient tous les membres du Conseil suprême militaire”, a précisé un porte-parole de l’ASL. “Abou Bassel les rencontrait pour discuter des plans de bataille”.

    Les groupes islamistes radicaux, dont certains sont liés à Al-Qaida, ont pris de plus en plus d’ascendant sur les factions modérées de l’insurrection syrienne ces derniers mois. Vendredi dernier, des combats meurtriers ont opposé une unité proche de l’organisation islamiste à des combattants rebelles dans la ville d’Al Dana, dans le nord du pays, non loin de la frontière turque.

    L'”Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant” cherche depuis plusieurs mois à imposer son autorité sur les zones tenues par l’opposition dans le nord du pays. Ses unités combattantes, prenant le dessus sur le Front Al-Nosra, autre groupe islamique de recrutement plus local, ont commencé à imposer dans les “zones libérées” les règles strictes de la loi musulmane. Des combattants rebelles accusés de corruption ont été exécutés, des partisans d’Assad décapités et les vidéos de ces “punitions” ont été largement diffusées sur Internet.

  24. This is videoed today, from Mount Qasioun, slightly before Iftar!?

    And YES, there is only one strategy, TURNING A BLIND EYE ON SYRIA’S EVILDOER

    THIS IS REAL, what is surreal is the ignorance of those claiming civility and humanity..

  25. I blame the US for this protracting war and causing thousands to die, Humanity and human rights means nothing if the deaths involve Syrians, I don’t agree with achieving balance, it means more Syrian death, Assad will not agree to do any reform,we are not advocate of revenge, we want freedom, and US talk about freedom, but when it comes to Syria, US ignore all the brutalities and crimes and murders, Syrian blood to the US is cheap.

  26. An informative piece by Philip Weiss, on the evil mindset of neoconservatives and their great game. Turn the Middle East into a cauldron of fire, or another Vietnam, for the sake of Israel. Goddamn the neocons. Let us keep in mind that Ass like Saddam before him, do their bidding!

    David Brooks of the New York Times and NPR first called the children of mixed marriages “mutts” and then after a tidal wave of readers protested, insisted disingenuously that he didn’t mean that negatively. And just so we understood his real meaning, a few days later he wrote that Egyptians lack the “basic mental ingredients” to have a democracy– and that Islamists are missing “intellectual DNA” and “mental equipment.”

    ..another Brooks whopper that I missed, in a NYT dialogue about Syria with Gail Collins on June 12 that completely slipped under my radar:

    Brooks: Then there is the pure realpolitik reason to do something. We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client. For all these reasons, I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role.

    And is this the neocons’ version of the great game, ten years after they destroyed another great Arab capital?

    Michael Ledeen in National Review, back in 2002:

    [Brent] Scowcroft… fears that if we attack Iraq “I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a caldron and destroy the War on Terror.”

    One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.

    That’s our mission in the war against terror.

    The most dangerous course of action is Scowcroft’s: Finesse Iraq, and squander our energies fecklessly trying to broker peace between Israel and the terrorists.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/07/the-neoconservatives-are-over.html

  27. The official, professional translation of Yassin’s Letter, appeared in the Guardian on July, 10, 2013.

    Help Syria now. Tomorrow it may be too late
    An open letter to friends and leaders of public opinion in the west: current policy is short-sighted and inhumane

    An open letter to friends and leaders of public opinion in the west: current policy is short-sighted and inhumane

  28. منقول

    النظام من الشعب .. والثوار من الشعب .. والجيش الحر من الشعب .. والشهداء من الشعب .. والحرامية من الشعب

    And on top of that we have individuals and groups from outside complicating things further, as if we needed more complications.

    -Sigh-

  29. Lyse Doucet: ‘Homs was a war crime, so we filmed it’

    From a brutal massacre to the fate of ice-cream parlours in Damascus, the senior BBC foreign reporter is treading in some illustrious footsteps. Nick Duerden meets Lyse Doucet

    For those watching from the comfort of their living rooms she does not censor the visceral images of war. She recently witnessed evidence of a massacre outside Homs, not on the battlefields but in village homes. “There were charred bodies, bullets to the head. People shot, then burned alive. It was a war crime, and so we filmed it. Of course we did.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/lyse-doucet-homs-was-a-war-crime-so-we-filmed-it-8707537.html

  30. After over two years and so much written one gets fairly used to all the media shabbiha-tashbeeh encountered after just about any article or report on the Syrian revolution, but the comments in the Guardian after YHJ’s article are getting near record-breaking in their number and ferocity of their libel. It just makes you wonder, are those people paid to do this or do they actually and sincerely believe what they write? Or maybe some are just argumentative and will not desist until they have had the last word. Then one thinks of things like the human conscience and inevitably has to come to the conclusion that it could not be a universal thing. I even start to doubt the humanity of such creatures, just as I do after reading some comments on SC.

  31. Dear mgb
    I did not read the comment, but i can imagine the type of diatribes out there.

    Dear N.Z.
    There are enough evidence by now to tighten the noose 100,000 times around Assad’s head and around the heads of his supporters. Justice will come. But I am working on imagining punishment that does not involve death for these bastards. Death is an easy escape for them.

  32. A very important dialog with Husam Eitani on the Republic’s site.

    Excerpt:

    لم يعد مقبولاً تلخيص الواقع بإرجاعه إلى خطاب معرفي ما، أو «إبستيم»، ثم التعويل على المثقفين والنخب لإنتاج خطاب معرفي مناهض أو مختلف. هناك مصالح ووقائع مادية مُعاشة يجب أن نتعامل معها. كما أنه لم يعد مقبولاً إلقاء جميع أخطائنا وعثراتنا على الإمبريالية أو الماضي الاستعماري. نحن مجتمعات راشدة، علينا أن نتحمل مسؤولية ما ننتجه من استبداد أو عنف، وإلا كيف نكون قادرين على تحقيق الاستقلال الحقيقي لاحقاً؟

  33. Dear OTW,

    My dream is to see Asshead in an open cage, with his Asthma, family and cousins, living in captivity. A life we were forced to live as Syrians under their dictatorial rule.

    I work and pray for the day when all Syrians can dream freely, walk with dignity in their homeland, were justice is equally served.

    Healing and rebuilding what one family was capable to systematically destroy in half a century might take us decades to undo…like our forefathers, we will persevere..

  34. This is really impressive!

    برنامج جسور لتعليم اللاجئين | Jusoor Refugee Education Program

    Dear friends,

    Our Syrian refugee summer education program in Lebanon has now been running for four weeks. The experience has been extraordinary for all those involved – our volunteers that planned to stay one week stayed four; parents who did not want to sign their children up in order for them to work are now praising the program, and the children’s eyes light up every single day at the prospect of having a test and having the chance to learn. It is so incredibly touching.

    Here’s the latest on where we stand:

    What we are teaching: Given that we are the pilot phase, our approach has been to launch multiple programs and iterate quickly so that we can learn where there is most need and the best way to deliver the content. As of now, we are working with nearly 100 students across three programs:

    Basic literacy: this is targeted at children between 6 and 8 years old. Our goal is to teach them to read and write the letters — and full books for those who are most advanced.
    Math and English: For children between 10 and 14 (6th-8th grade level), we are working on basic math skills and English. (English and French proficiency are important in order for them to be able to enroll in Lebanese schools.) Many of these students have not been to school in up to 2 years and so we found that a lot of basic revision was necessary.
    Life skills: For youth between 15 and 20, we are working on English, computer skills as well as key life skills (e.g., teamwork, communication, basics needed to start a micro-enterprise)

    What makes this program so special: our volunteers and our students

    Our volunteers: The energy in the school is incredible. We have had 40+ volunteers take part in the school so far. Their profiles, energy, and passion to help young Syrians is extraordinary. They come in with so many ideas on how to help the children learn and so much fun and enthusiasm. In the literacy class, for example, our volunteer Mervet has come up with a song for each letter to help the kids remember the shape. It is amazing to hear them sing and dance “shakhta taa shakta taa”. In the English class, our Danish volunteer, Anita, taught them the body parts with the “heads, shoulders, knees and toes” song for example. The excitement in the room as the children sang and danced was unforgettable. We have a volunteer who is designing a theater program for the kids, another who recently ran a t-shirt making program with them on the weekend (see picture above). The stories go on and on. The profiles are amazing. Here are just a few. Mervet, who is from Homs and has a full time job in the media industry in Beirut, volunteers in the morning between 8 and noon, working super hard to get these young kids to learn the letters, and then goes to work (and adds extra hours to the end of her day). Luna took off a week from her job in Damascus to come to the school and teach the kids math. Abdul is joining us this week from Houston — when he found about the program, he extended his planned stay in Beirut so he could work with the children. The stories again go on and on. These volunteers bring so much life, love and energy to these students and new perspectives on how to teach them. It is also wonderful to see how this is experience is strengthening ties among young Syrians around the world who want to do good for the country.

    Volunteers at the school represented 9 nationalities one day last week: Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, British, French.
    Our children: It is just so touching to see how thirsty the children are to learn. The enthusiasm over having a test or given them an “imlaa” is just unbelievable. We give them homework and they couldn’t be more excited. It is very clear to us that these kids need an incredible amount of extra attention to get them back on the right track. Discipline especially among the young kids is very lacking given many of them have never been to school. They have forgotten so much and their confidence is lagging. That’s what is so great about the Jusoor program. We are at a point right now where we have 3-4 volunteers per class and we can work with them 1:1. Seeing the eyes light up of these students when they master a concept we are teaching them is priceless. It is amazing to be able to give the joy of learning back to them.

    Here’s a great collection of pictures we have captured of the school to date. Take a few minutes to check it out and let the students’ expressions tell the story much better than we can in words: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.543226819047419

    How you can help

    Please consider a donation to this effort to help us continue the program. With your support, we can continue to touch the lives of young Syrian children who have been so impacted by the Syrian tragedy unfolding around them.

    A donation of $125 feeds the children in our school for one day.

    A donation of $250 will allow us to buy more teaching resources for our classrooms (video, posters, books for the students to read).

    A donation of $500 covers the cost of busses to bring the students to the school for one week.

    A donation of $2,000 covers the operating costs of the school for a month.

    You can donate directly online here.
    In addition, we encourage you to consider volunteering at the school — it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. We will match you with the right opportunity based on your experience and interests — whether it is co-teaching a class, working with kids 1:1, or just reading to and playing with kids. If you are interested in getting involved, please fill out the form here.

    ***
    Next steps: as you know, we have been running this summer program as a pilot to figure out how we can have the most impact at scale. We are still thinking that through. Our current thinking is as follows:

    The best thing we can do for our grade school level children is get them into the Lebanese schooling system. That is very possible but requires some help that Jusoor can facilitate Once they get into Lebanese schools, in order to succeed they are going to need significant amounts of extra support. Our current plan is keep our community center open throughout the year and to continue with our intensive education program as well as 1:1 tutoring to help students get set up for success in the Lebanese educational system.
    There have been quite a few learnings for us about how to teach literacy, math, English etc. Our goal is to codify best practices and get really good at doing it efficiently and effectively We would love to develop apps and computer based programs to do more of this at scale, for example. We are down that path, but it’s something very important that we will need to get right to scale our efforts.
    We will need to develop a particularly strong youth program (15-20) since these young people generally will not want to re-enter the education system and where there is really tragic crisis brewing.

    ****

    Thank you to everyone who has been involved in making this a success. We particularly want to thank our amazing volunteers, who are putting so much love and passion into making the lives of so many young Syrian children brighter and ensuring they get the educational fundamentals they need to safeguard their futures: Mahmoud Khalil, Mervat Atassi, Jina Touchan, Rasha Saba, Ali Habbabeh, Dania Kelani, Eyas Kelani, Azhar Siddiqui, Maged Abd Al Samad, Ahmad Sakkal, Sara Almoubayed, Martin Petersen, Walid Al Ikhwan, Imad Habbab, Anita Marie Glenny and Abdul Barazi.

    We also want to thank Hani Jesri, Jusoor’s Refugee Education Program Director. He has done an absolutely heroic job bringing the program to life and orchestrating the whole effort — from volunteers to students to daily operations. We are extremely fortunate to have Hani on the Jusoor team.

    Sincerely,

    The Jusoor Leadership Team

  35. Assad spent 16 billion dollar on this war to kill Syrians, every Syrian died costed Assad regime 55,000 dollar, the destruction that Assad has caused will cost 60-70 billion dollar to rebuild.
    I say this to show the extent of Assad crime

  36. Sorry, my calculation was wrong, every Syrian get killed cost 110000 dollar, since 16 billion dividen by 150,000 dead

  37. Very thoughtful article concerning Egypt. By Ziad Majed

    عن الشارع المصري و«الإخوان» و… المسألة الديموقراطية

    الأربعاء ١٧ يوليو ٢٠١٣

    حمل الحدث المصري، بفصوله المتعاقبة منذ 30 يونيو، الكثير من الدلالات السياسية والاجتماعية والإشكاليات ذات الصلة بالقضية الديموقراطية وبدور المؤسسة العسكرية وبالحالة «الإخوانية» وتجربتها الوجيزة في السلطة في أكبر بلد عربي ومتوسّطي.

    النص التالي يقدّم خمس ملاحظات على هذا الحدث وعلى ما رافقه ويرافقه من ملابسات ومفارقات.

    الملاحظة الأولى مرتبطة بأبرز التحوّلات التي أحدثتها ثورة يناير 2011 في التعبير السياسي المباشر في مصر، لجهة الاستعداد الجماعي للنزول الدوري إلى الشارع بوصفه مساحة مواطنة وعمل مطلبي وصنع قرار، ولجهة إطلاق الحرّيات العامة وإزالة حواجز الخوف والرقابة. وتبرز في هذا المجال قدرة القوى الشبابية المدينية على المبادرة والتنسيق والدعوة إلى التحرّك بمعزل عن القيادات الحزبية «المحترفة» ومن دون اشتراط التكامل البرنامجي أو الانسجام الفكري لتبرير التلاقي. وفي ذلك ما يظهّر جانباً من جوانب التبدّل في مقاربة العلاقة بالسياسة نتيجة العامل «الجيلي» وقدرة التكيّف والتحرّك السريع للجيل الجديد التي تتيحها الخبرات في «التشبيك» الميداني وفي الإعلام ومواقع التواصل الإلكتروني.

    الملاحظة الثانية متعلّقة بنهاية تقدير ساد طويلاً، ومفاده أن القدرة التعبويّة في الشارع المصري (والعربي عامة) مقتصرة على الإسلاميين، وأن لا حضور شعبياً لغيرهم من الاتجاهات السياسية. وقد أظهرت الملايين التي نزلت إلى الشوارع ضد «الإخوان» تهافت هذا التقدير، ولو أن التمييز يبقى ضرورياً بين القوى المنظَّمة، حيث ما زال التفوّق كبيراً لصالح الإسلاميّين، وبين الجمهور العريض غير المنضوي في تشكيلات حزبية، حيث المزاج العام يرفض كل مغالاة سياسية، بما فيها مغالاة تديين السياسة أو تسييس الدين.

    الملاحظة الثالثة على العلاقة بما يمكن اعتباره تقييماً سياسياً وإعلامياً واجتماعياً قاسياً للتجربة الإخوانية في حكم مصر، فالإخوان لم يتسّلموا السلطة فعلياً لأكثر من عام واجهوا خلاله أزمات جلّها نتيجة أوضاع عقود أو سنوات سبقت انتخابهم. وواجهوا كذلك انتظارات وآمالاً كبرى بالتغيير الإيجابي، كلاسيكية في المراحل التي تلي الثورات مباشرة، أصيب معظمها بنكسة نتيجة التعثّر السياسي والاقتصادي. ويمكن بالطبع القول إن ما بدا على الإخوان من سلوك استئثاري وغرور، ومن ضعف أداء ومقاربات تبسيطية للمشاكل والتحدّيات، صعّبت تقبّل قطاعات واسعة من الرأي العام، لبطء تبدّل الأمور ولتتابع الأزمات، وهذا بالطبع غذّى المعسكر المعارض أو المعادي لهم ووسّعه.

    على أن قضية أخرى تمكن إضافتها إلى قصة تقييم فئات من المصريّين للأداء الإخواني، وهي قضية على صلة بالأبعاد الطبقية وبالأصول الريفية لأكثرية الإخوانيين التي ينظر إليها بعض الجماعات المدينية بريبة تلامس حدود الاحتقار. ولعلّ جوانب أساسية من السخرية التي ووجه بها مرسي ارتبطت بسلوكه الشخصي وبركاكته اللغوية وبـ «تنميط» اجتماعي طاوله وزوجتَه، وطاول أيضاً نخباً إخوانية انتقلت من السجون ومن الخطابة في مساجد قرى وأحياء شعبية إلى نوادي سلطة سبق للمظاهر «الحداثوية» (وأحياناً البورجوازية) أن احتلّتها لعقود، وهذا كلّه قدَّم لعدد من البرامج الترفيهية ومواقع التهكّم مادةً دسمة تخطّت في كثير من الأحيان السياسة وتقييم أداء
    مرسي ضمنها، وخلقت مناخاً عاماً يرى في الرئيس مصدر مهانة لموقع الرئاسة نفسه.

    الملاحظة الرابعة تضعنا في قلب السجال حول ما يسمّى «الفشل الإسلامي في السلطة». وقد تزايدت الكتابات في هذا الاتّجاه، على اعتبار الانتفاضة الشعبية العارمة ضد مرسي والإخوان دليلاً على وصول مشروع الإسلام السياسي إلى حائط مسدود. لكن يفيد في هذا السياق التوقّف عند مسألتين:
    الأولى هي اعتبار أن ثمّة مشروعاً فعلياً للإسلام السياسي. والثانية هي المدى الزمني الذي يسمح بإبرام حكم على هكذا مشروع، إن وُجد.

    في المسألة الأولى، لا يبدو الكلام على مشروع سياسي مستنداً إلى معطيات دقيقة أو إلى برامج ورؤى اقتصادية تتيحه. فالإخوان -وهم المقصودون هنا- لم يقدّموا مشروعاً اقتصادياً، وليس لهم، ولا لغيرهم، برامج مالية وضريبية مختلفة عن السائد، كما أنهم لم يعرضوا فلسفة للحكم تختلف عن الفلسفة الدستورية (رئاسية أو برلمانية) المعتمدة، ولم يبلوروا سياسة خارجية أو علاقة بالدول والمؤسسات المانحة عميقة الاختلاف عن السياسات القائمة، وجُلُّ ما يحملونه ويحمله غيرهم من الإسلاميين من تمايزات يرتبط ببعض التشريعات الاجتماعية وبالهاجس المركزي عندهم: المرأة، وهذا -في أي حال- نقاش يستحق الاستفاضة، وليست وظيفة هذا النص الخوض فيه. بذلك لا يبدو أن مشروعاً إسلامياً فعلياً نُفّذ (أو هو موجود) ليُتاح الحكم عليه. وحتى لو أن المقصود هو ادّعاء الإسلاميين ملكهم لحلول وبدائل عمّا ساد في الحقبات السابقة منذ الاستقلالات الوطنية، وحتى لو قالوا إنهم في سيرة الأسلاف يجدون زادهم القِيَمي وثقافة حاكميّتهم، فلا يمكن اعتبار وجودهم في السلطة عاماً واحداً كافياً لإطلاق الأحكام بالفشل أو بالنجاح، ولو أن المؤشّرات بأكثرها تميل إلى احتمالات فشلهم في إدارة مصر لأسباب موضوعية وذاتية، كون الأوضاع والظروف معقّدة، وكونهم قوى معارضة متمرّسة وليسوا ذوي خبرات حكم تؤهّلهم لحسن الإدارة السياسية والاقتصادية.

    الملاحظة الخامسة متّصلة مباشرة بالقضية الديموقراطية وبالانقلاب الذي نفّذه الجيش وعزل على أثره رئيساً منتخباً واعتقله. ولا ينبغي هنا الهروب من التشخيص ومن اعتماد المصطلحات المناسبة لهذا التشخيص، فالتظاهرات الضخمة التي قامت والحشد الشعبي غير المسبوق في أي من التواريخ المصرية السابقة، ضد حكم مرسي لا تغيّر من كون إجراءات الجيش (بدءاً من توجيه وزير الدفاع الجنرال السيسي إنذاراً إلى مرسي والى جميع القوى السياسية للاتفاق خلال 48 ساعة، مروراً بتحليق الطيران الحربي والمروحيّات وانتشار الدبابات في مفاصل المدن الكبرى، وصولاً إلى اقتحام مقرّ الرئيس وعزله واعتقاله ثم إقفال بعض الوسائل الإعلامية وتوقيف عدد من العاملين فيها ومنع قيادات إخوانية من السفر و «الطلب» إلى القضاء التحرّك ضدها) هي انقلاب عسكري موصوف ولو تذرّع بالتجاوب مع الهبّة الجماهيرية وهلّل له بعض الحشود. على أن ما هو أهمّ من الاستمرار في السجال حول التوصيف، هو المسار الذي ستتّخذه الأمور في المقبل من الأسابيع والأشهر، وموازين القوى التي ستفرض التسويات والمقايضات وحدود الدور الذي ستلعبه المؤسّسة العسكرية في تحديد ذلك وشكل المواجهة المقبلة مع «الإخوان».

    في المحصّلة، يمكن القول إن «جمالية» المشهد الشعبي في 30 يونيو ودلالاته التي احتُفي بها لا تكفي لتغطية مشهد آخر شديد التعقيد. مشهد سياسي يحتلّ العسكر جانباً منه، ويحتلّ الإخوان المسلمون الجانب الآخر، وكأنّنا في ذلك نعود إلى تلك المعادلة/ الثنائية الابتزازية التي لطالما استخدمها الاستبداد الحاكم لتبرير ديمومته ومنع التغيير، على أنها هذه المرّة تأتي في ظروف مختلفة تماماً ليس فقط لما يرافقها من حراك شعبي هو من أبرز إنجازات الثورات العربية، بل أيضاً لأنها تأتي بعد انتخابات برلمانية ثم رئاسية حرّة نسبياً هي الأولى في تاريخ مصر، وفاز فيها «الإخوان». وسنجد أنفسنا قريباً أمام سرديّة «مظلومية إخوانية» تستعيد سوابق مصرية وعربية (جزائرية وفلسطينية)، ويمكن إن اشتدّ النزاع معها واستمرّت حالة شيطنتها ونزع الأنسنة عن معتنقيها (بما يبرّر أحياناً العنف والقمع ضدّهم) أن ينحو بعض مكوّناتها نحو المزيد من التطرّف والتشدّد ونبذ العملية السياسية، فيتهدّد استقرار مصر برمّته.

    المسار المصري إذاً مسار قد يزداد في المقبل من الأيام تعقيداً، وضمانتا بقاء «الشارع» مؤثّراً وقادراً على التعبئة والضغط والتغيير السلمي هما عدم توسّع الصدام بين الجيش والإخوان، وعدم نسيان أن سيطرة «العسكر» على السياسة لا تقلّ خطورة على الديموقراطية من تجاوز أي حكم منتخب حدودَ التفويض الممنوح له، إنْ باسم الدين أو باسم الدنيا.

    * كاتب لبناني

  38. Samantha Power, US President Barack Obama’s nominee for ambassador to UN, calls Syria inaction a ‘disgrace’. Silence is complicity.

    “We see the failure of the UN Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria – a disgrace that history will judge harshly,” Power said in testimony that also praised the New York-based world body.

    Under questioning from senators, she called Syria one of the worst “cases of mass brutality” that she has ever seen.

    Power, 42, a former White House national security staffer and journalist won a Pulitzer Prize for her study of US failures to prevent genocide and is seen as an advocate of an activist foreign policy.

  39. Here’s a link to the video of a discussion between Andrew Tabler and Marc Lynch (@abuaardvark) at the Washington Institute about U.S. policy towards Syria. Two consultants, two experts working w/ senior officials..

    AndrewTabler: How does US avoid mission creep? Leadership, willingness to ignore domestic political pressure & pursue policy on merits.

    AndrewTabler: After 1982 Hama massacre, Syria saw baby boom. Those children now make up rebel forces.

    http://www.c-span.org/flvPop.aspx?src=60days/e062813_syria.flv&msg=You+are+watching+the+C-SPAN+Networks&start=10.385&end=-1

  40. @ArarMaher:

    Obama must have obtained a PhD on Syria as he keeps studying his options.”

  41. Yes, Obama has taken a very long time,meanwhile the revolution is evolving because of his inaction,but the truth is there is no going back,at the end US will get involved militarily

  42. A courageous voice in an often craven White House press corps.

    The grand dame of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas has died at age 92. May she rest in peace.

    Thomas, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was born in Winchester, Kentucky, on August 4, 1920. She was one of nine children. Thomas was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended Wayne State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1942.

    Helen Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first female member of the Gridiron Club. She wrote six books; her latest, with co-author Craig Crawford, is Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do (2009).

    Mrs. Thomas began covering the White House for United Press International when John F. Kennedy became president in 1961 until her forced retirement in 2010. “I paid a price, but it’s worth it to speak the truth.”

    “I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive.” She added that she issued an apology because people were upset, but that ultimately, she still “had the same feelings about Israel’s aggression and brutality.”

  43. Helen Thomas was at the forefront of women’s achievements in journalism. She was one of the first female reporters to break out of the White House “women’s beat” — the soft stories about presidents’ kids, wives, their teas and their hairdos — and cover the hard news on an equal footing with men.

    She became the first female White House bureau chief for a wire service when UPI named her to the position in 1974. She was also the first female officer at the National Press Club, where women had once been barred as members and she had to fight for admission into the 1959 luncheon speech where Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev warned: “We will bury you.”

    The belligerent Khrushchev was an unlikely ally in one sense. He had refused to speak at any Washington venue that excluded women, she said.

    Thomas fought, too, for a more open presidency, resisting all moves by a succession of administrations to restrict press access.

    “People will never know how hard it is to get information,” Thomas told an interviewer, “especially if it’s locked up behind official doors where, if politicians had their way, they’d stamp TOP SECRET on the colour of the walls.”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/pioneering-journalist-helen-thomas-dies-at-age-92/article13331752/

  44. On SC, where i have been posting lately, so called zoo, and in a distasteful remark after the kidnapping of Youssef Abdelki, wrote

    Has Ali Farzat made anymore direct anti-Bashar cartoons since he is in exile?

    Then he linked to a page about Ferzat on Otrakji’s fraudulent “nationalistic” site creative syria.

    Here is my answer to zoo , slightly edited

    smarty zouzou

    Such low taste gloating is expected!… Sinking further to this level of callous repulsive distasteful comments.

    However, the answer to your distasteful question is YES . Ali Ferzat has been doing a lot despite of your thugs breaking his hand, because as you have just demonstrated they are barbarians, low class, who hate art and fear artists. He also detests the owner of the site that uses his name to make himself appealing to people while he is in fact nothing more than a cheap bootlicker like most of regime propagandists on this blog.

    Ali Ferzat is alive and kicking and his work is even more damning to bootlickers and to d-p athad.

    So now that you have shown yourself belonging to a class of people who detest real art, and favor the low class screeches of Ali- deek and the cheaply painted portraits of the d-p and its dead family, along with the fat nus-lira, much like kind of paintings one may find in athma’s bedroom next to her spike studded shoes.

    oops, I forgot..
    Here is one

    May be this one also

    You are in this one

    Granted Ali is still working under pain, and his pen-strokes are a little lighter nowadays as his hands have not yet regained their dexterity after the criminal incident you sound so proud of, but he still is able to greet d-p athad and its hyenas, exactly as his friends have imagined. It is after all the greeting low class, low taste, and criminal repulsive minds; Ali is so fund of exposing, deserve. Congrats, you may just have earned a greeting from Ali Ferzat. Not many get that honor.

    d-p athad; dog-poop athad.

  45. N.Z
    Obama’s Ph.D is not on syria, it is on procrasti-national options.

  46. This has to stop. I disagree with the word “Arrest” used by the writer, what this thug Hayyani and his gang are doing is mafia-style kidnapping . And they are no different from the regime, but also think that they are connected to the airforce intelligence, much like ISIS is and I believe that their leaders, and many of their thugs are in fact Shabbe7a.

    ((تقرير خاص لــأحفـــــاد الكـواكبــــي))

    تقرير عن ما يحصل من انتهاكات وإساءات في المعتقل الموجود داخل مقر خالد حياني قائد لواء شهداء بدر

    تم إعداد هذا التقرير بناءً على شهادة لمعتقل سابق ضمن سجون خالد حياني، شاءت الأقدار له أن يخرج حراً لينقل ما يحدث من انتهاكات وإساءات وتجاوزات بحق المدنيين والأبرياء العزل المعتقلين ضمن معتقل خالد حياني.

    نضع هذا التقرير بين أيدي الثوار الشرفاء وأخواننا الرجال المخلصين في ألوية وكتائب الجيش الحر ليتم الإفراج عن المعتقلين داخل المعتقل وإغلاقه وملاحقة ومحاسبة المسؤولين عنه وتقديهم للقضاء الثوري العادل.

    لواء شهداء بدر المعروف بسمعته السيئة والذي يديره خالد حياني يستقر في مقره الموجود في منطقة حريتان , وهذا المقر يحوي على معتقل لايفرِّقه عن معتقلات فروع أمن النظام غير أنه في المناطق المحررة.

    الغرفة بأبعاد 4×6 أمتار واضح أنه تم إعدام شخصين فيها على الأقل لأن السقف والحوائط مغطاة ببقع وآثار الدم, و تحوي هذه الغرفة في الأحوال العادية 35 معتقل ووصلت مرات ل90 معتقل, أغلب تهم هؤلاء المعتقلين هي لاشيء. تم اعتقالهم إما من حاجز السفينة المعروف أنه من حواجز خالد حياني في المنطقة والموجود على طريق الكاستيلو الذي يتوجه من الريف الشمالي إلى داخل أحياء حلب المحررة, أو من الأحياء التي دخلها لواء شهداء بدر للسرقة بحجة التحرير.

    الاعتقال يتم بصورة تعسفية حيث أن عناصر الحاجز يفعلون مايحلو لهم في إيقاف هذه السيارة وتلك وأخذ خوّة أو أتاوة منهم أو مصادرة بعض بضائعهم, أما بالنسبة لسيئي الحظ فيتم أخذهم إلى المقر حيث يتم إدخالهم إلى المعتقل بدون حتى أن تنظر إليهم محكمة مختصة أو قاضي أو أي جهة قانونية, ممكن أن يتم إدخالهم إلى المعتقل لأن لمبة سيارتهم معطلة أو لنقص ورقة في الأوراق أو بلا سبب على الإطلاق. دخل أحدهم المعتقل بلاسبب إطلاقاً ولم يعلم أحد ماهي تهمته وخرج بعد ثلاثة شهور ونصف بدون أن يعرف لماذا خرج أيضاً!

    أكثر من معتقل سرب أنه تم اعتقال بعض الشبيحة في هذا المعتقل ولكن تم الإفراج عنهم في أيام معدودة!
    داخل المعتقل يوجد جميع أنواع التعذيب من “البلنكو” والتي هي حلقة في السقف مربوطة بجنزير حديد, تتم كلبشة المعتقل من يديه خلف ظهره ويعلق خطاف الجنزير في الكلبشة ويرفع المعتقل إلى السقف ويديه إلى الوراء بحيث يمكن أن تؤدي أحياناً إلى خلع كتفيه, ثم يتكاتل عليه عناصر خالد حياني وينهالون بالضرب عليه بالعصي الحديدية أو الأكبال أو السلاسل المعدنية أوبأي شيء يتوفر لديهم, ويحصل هذا كله في فسحة أمام باب المعتقل على مرأى ومسمع جميع المعتقلين الآخرين. بالإضافة لطريقة التعذيب بالدولاب المعروفة واستخدام الكهرباء أينما كان في جسم المعتقل مباشرة من مقبس الكهرباء. يرافق هذا كله سيل من السباب والشتائم والكفر برب ودين الشخص تحت التعذيب. ولا يوجد منهجية في التعذيب وإنما متى ما يحلو لهم أو متى ماشعروا بالملل فإنهم يخرجون أحدهم ليتسلون به.

    إهانة مستمرة لجميع المعتقلين وهم أغلبهم من البسطاء إما سائقي سيارات شاحنة أو بائعي خضروات أو مصلّحين. وإن وجد أي شخص مسيحي أو كردي فالسخرية تزداد وتصبح إهانات جارحة مباشرة في الدين أو القومية.
    لواء شهداء بدر غير مسؤول عن إطعام المعتقلين أبداً, وممكن أن يؤمن لهم بعض الدخان فقط. ويقوم المعتقلين اللذين يتم إخراجهم كسخرة بسرقة الطعام من المطبخ الملاصق لغرفة الإعتقال وإدخاله إليها ويتم الأكل في الخفاء لأن وجود رغيف خبز بين يدي المعتقل يعد جريمة, أحياناً يمر يومين في المعتقل بدون دخول أي رغيف خبز أو لقمة طعام.
    غير مسموح لأحد أن يقوم بأي اتصال لتأمين ما ينقصه في حال كان النقص في الأوراق, ولايمكنه أن يتصل بأهله ليعلمهم بمكان وجوده تماماً كما يحدث في المعتقلات التابعة للنظام.

    لدى دخول خالد حياني المقر فإن المقر بالكامل يستنفر ويقف الجميع إستعداداً, ولايمكن لأحد أن يتفوه بكلمة على خالد حياني مهما كانت صغيرة وإلا فعقوبته لايعلمها إلا الله تماماً كما بشار الأسد في فروعه.

    أحد الأشخاص المرعبين في هذا المقر هو أخو خالد حياني واسمه يوسف, وهو شاب عمره 17 عام بمجرد أن يدخل المقر بجعبته وسلاحه ترى جميع العناصر تحيطه و تداهنه, كثير من الأحيان يمكن أن يخطر له أن يفتح باب المعتقل ليدير عينيه في المعتقلين وينهال بالصفع على وجه هذا أو إهانة ذاك أو ركل من يجلس أمامه على الأرض.

    مقر لواء شهداء بدر هو مقر للشبيحة والمجرمين اللذين يعيثوا فساداً في الأرض ويجب إغلاقه فوراً. وطالما أنه مستمر في عمله فإنها جريمة يشارك بها جميع كتائب الجيش الحر والمحاكم الشرعية اللذين يقفون صامتين ولا يقوموا بإغلاق هذا المقر وتحويل المجرم خالد حياني إلى القضاء.

    ملاحظة هامة:
    للمهتمين بمزيد من التفاصيل حول الجرائم التي تحدث ضمن معتقل خالد حياني، بإمكانهم التواصل معنا على البريد الخاص بصفحة أحفـــــاد الكـــواكبـــــــي

  47. Is it true that Facebook has closed down almost all the main Syria revolution pages. Over 15 in total and they were the most trustworthy for news?

    I am sure OTW and Syrian Hamster do follow? Any feedback?

  48. Dear N.Z.
    First, sorry for the delay in responding to your question. Yes, quiet few pages were closed by Facebook recently. Here is what Dlshad Othman, a Syrian Kord activist and a key resource for activists on computer and internet security wrote about that on his own FB page:

    Dlshad Othman
    Friday
    انحظرت صفحات سورية كتير على الفيس بوك خلال الايام الماضية, السبب كان صور بروبغندا السلاح , بغض النظر عن اي طرف هني.

    التصرف برايي كان سليم لان هيك بتنصف أتفاقية الفيس بوك , الحل الأمثل لاي جهة انها تعمل لنفسها موقع على الأنترنت و تديره بنفسها و بقوانينها هي.

    بالنهاية الفيس بوك يمتلك الأحقية الكاملة بتطبيق الأتفاقية الي انت ” وقعت عليها ” و بتمنع نشر صور السلاح او الصور العنيفة

  49. In Egypt General Sisi called for demonstrations in the streets to entitle him to crush the terrorists, I assume he is refering to the demonstrations by MB,this is not democracy as we know it in the USA,this is better called Baltajeh, what is wrong with people go to the voting booths and cast their votes? why risk violence and bloodshed by calling for demonstrations?,there is a civilized way of pursuing democracy and know what the majority of Egyptians really want

  50. Majedkaldoun, this is not the intention, to the contrary, the Coup d’Etat is ultimately intended to manipulate the protest movement and prevent the accession of a “real people’s government”. Period.

    The overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian Armed forces was not carried out against US interests, it was instigated to ensure “continuity” on behalf of Washington. Defense Minister General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi who was behind the Coup d’Etat directed against President Morsi was in permanent liaison by telephone with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel from the very outset of the protest movement. Press reports confirm that he consulted him several times in the days leading up to the Coup d’Etat. It is highly unlikely that General Al Sisi would have acted without a ‘green light” from the Pentagon.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-protest-movement-in-egypt-dictators-do-not-dictate-they-obey-orders/22993

  51. Dear NZ
    Publicly the US seems against the coup, yet general Sisi was consulting with Chuck Hagel on a daily basis, did General Sisi staged the coup against US advise?
    So what is the next step,arresting the demonstrators? they are huge in number.
    Is that means democracy is not for Egypt?
    I think Egypt على كف عفريت is for long time trouble,Egypt will be weaker.

  52. It is a long struggle between foreign powers who are preventing the emergence of a sovereign national government, and protesters who are demanding “real people’s government” free from outside meddling. Only we, the people, can bring an end to colonialist powers, when we take control into our own hands,

    The younger generations needs NOT to be sidelined!

    Same old faces still in Egypt and other semi liberated Arab countries.

    Sisi spoke today from behind his dark sunglasses and a hat covering half his face, he cannot look directly into the eyes of his people. What a joke. What a Coward.

  53. Sisi dressed like Qaddafi and his logic like Qaddafi
    The message of Hisham Qandeel seems reasonable but I believe Sisi is not telling the whole truth,he staged the coup before the parliament election that was scheduled,and I doubt he is sincere about running an election,a transparent one.
    BTW how come there are many FARIQS in the egyptian army, which was not involved in any war for 40 years?
    BTW how come there are many many Fariqs in the egyptian army,who has not

  54. Saraqeb Walls

    حيطان سراقب

    حيطان سراقب
    حكاية أمل
    حكاية الجدران التي تفيض حبا بسوريا وشعبها الثائر الحر
    حكاية ثورة تأبى أن تموت رغم كل القتل والخراب
    رسائل حب لكل الثوار في كل بقاع الوطن الحبيب
    حكاية سراقب …. وحيطانها

  55. Samar Dahmash Jarrah ‏@ArabVoicesSpeak

    من كثرة اكتشاف خداع استخدام جملة الحرب علي الارهاب، اوقف اوباما استخدامها ويادوب نحن اكتشفناها!

  56. @NuffSilence

    Revered Muslim scholar sheikh George Galloway shows his concern for the “Umma”

  57. The engine of horror: Assad and his security apparatus.

    By William Harris, the writer is a professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

    The immensity of death, flight and destruction in Syria, with these refugees being among the more fortunate flotsam, has not been a natural catastrophe. The all-encompassing criminality of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the clique around him remain the central reality of the evolution in Syria since March 2011. Unfortunately, this truth has been obscured, even sidelined, by the standard “post-modern” impetus in the West to equalize parties to conflicts and to indulge virtually any self-serving narrative or conspiracy theory. The West can thereby walk away from what has become the crime of the 21st century.

    ,,,

    As time has passed, responsibility for the ongoing devastation of Syria has become somewhat diffuse. Islamist financiers in Arab oil principalities buttress jihadists. Iran is determined to salvage Assad as a satrap, Persian-imperial-style. The West has sat by watching and left its friends to twist in the wind. Nothing, however, should blur the cardinal criminality of those who created the whole mess and who have been the engine of horror: Assad and his security apparatus.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/assad-is-responsible-for-the-carnage-in-syria/2013/07/28/c2d8d5fe-f57e-11e2-9434-60440856fadf_story.html

  58. ..Father Paulo to be captured in Raqqa province by “Islamist” after being expelled by “Ass”!!!

    Al Qaeda group kidnaps Italian priest in Syria: activists
    Mon, Jul 29 17:39 PM EDT

    AMMAN (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked fighters in the rebel-held eastern Syrian city of Raqqa on Monday abducted a prominent Italian Jesuit priest who championed the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, activists said.

    Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant kidnapped father Paolo Dall’Oglio while he was walking in the city, which had fallen under the control of militant Islamist brigades, the sources in Raqqa province told Reuters.

    Syrian authorities expelled Dall’Oglio from the country last year after he helped victims of Assad’s military crackdown from a monastery in the Anti-Lebanon mountains north of Damascus.

  59. هلأ جاي تحكيني بفلسطين

    Nadim Koteich, on Sayed Nasrullah speech. The Sayed for the first time ‘ever’ speaks in sectarian terms!! His audacity is alarming to say the least. Yet, it will raise awareness and certainty among his followers. His intentions are very clear. Disgusting.

  60. Among defections from the Syrian army, today we hear defection from HA members who were sent to kill Syrians

  61. “أولادكم في القبور و أولاد بشار الاسد في القصور ..ماذا تنتظرون”

    How true!!

    Praising the parents who are willing to send more of their children to die for him and his family.. ” regime survival is my number one priority”.

    I wish him and his family during these blessed days of Ramadan a spectacular ending for all the UNBEARABLE PAIN they’ve inflicted on every Syrian soul.

  62. Mennigh airport is under rebels hands, this is wonderful news,the northern state is becoming reality,

  63. from twitter:

    حكمة اليوم: كل ما خطب الحمار بيطير مطار

    #مطار_منغ

  64. The importance of Mennegh airport fall is that Nubl and Zahraa may fall soon,

  65. If the Alawis take revenge from Sunni,after some rebels took over few towns, it will spark civil war,the Alwis has no place to go except to the coastal cities, the mountain is not fortified except around Qurdaha,the rebels attacking the suburb of Latakia are only 2000,to take Qurdaha they need at least 25000, this could be a bargaining act,their price is to pull out of Homs.
    The mountain is perfect for guerilla fight
    Napoleon said the best defence is offence

  66. The rebels attack on Alawi mountain is very good idea,
    1-It will attack the idea that Alawi state can be established.
    2-Assad airforce will be reluctant to bomb the area discriminately.,as the Alawis will complain against Assad.fire will endanger the Alawis
    3-the area is perfect for guerilla warfare.

    4- It is bargaining maneuvre.
    5- The Alawis will have to flee to Sunnis area
    6- Cut the supply to the regime through the coast,as it becomes threatened
    7- demoralizes the troops who are from that area,as they become worried about their families.

  67. “Giving equality and getting rid of apartheid gives a beautiful chance for amazing things to happen.”

    The BBC has released this video of the much anticipated 8 August performance by world-renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy with Palestine Strings and members of Kennedy’s Orchestra of Life, at the 2013 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

    The innovative performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons included both classical and Arabic-inspired improvisations.
    The entire performance – not to be missed – can be heard online from BBC Radio 3 for only 5 more days.

    The Palestine Strings performers, including the brothers Mustafa, Omar and Ghandi Saad, range in age from 12 and 23 and study at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Following the performance of Four Seasons, Kennedy introduced Mustafa Saad, 15, who joined Kennedy to play the slow movement of Vivaldi’s A Minor Concerto for Two Violins.

    The performance closed with one of Kennedy’s own compositions titled Falling Forest.

    Kennedy has refused to play in Israel citing its violations of Palestinian rights.

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-nigel-kennedy-and-palestine-strings-play-vivaldi-2013-bbc-proms

  68. Maybe I should not post this, especially after having been silent for quite a while, but I will anyway.

    When your (western) friends smugly tell you “Arabs are not mature enough for democracy, you guys need another hundred years at least. Look how long it took us to get to where we are today!”, you feel like screaming back, but you check yourself because you know that there are millions of Arabs cheering for their soldiers and policemen as they shoot their fellow countrymen.

  69. Then your anger and indignation get the better of you and you start digging around for material like this * to show those smug westerners that their system is still pretty imperfect, even corrupt, though in its own covered-up way, only to remember with sadness that so many of your fellow Arabs would gladly and in a instant agree to give up their Arab citizenship and take up residence in any western country that would deign to offer it to them.

    *They come for the politics, but stay for the money.
    Washington transforms political believers into members of the get-rich club, says Jacob Weisberg.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/08bf184a-ff9c-11e2-b990-00144feab7de.html#axzz2c6fDYjV1

  70. Something I just received on my fb page,

    then a guy pipes بس بشار الأسد انضف منن
    which he then repeats, just in case we didn’t hear it properly.

    !برافوعليك عمو so why did you leave your country, brother, forcing yourself on the dirty Kuffar in Italy? why didn’t you go and demand to be the guest of your “cleaner-than-them-Bashar” in Malki or Muhajireen, Surely he would have received you with open arms and opened his home to you, maybe gave you some spending money, too.

  71. Fairuz Abdallah recites an awe inspiring poem about the meaning of being Syrian. (with english subtitles)

  72. The Sissy of Egypt is NOT an enigma, but an opportunist army personnel, an AssSadism.

    Why is Canadian director John Greyson and doctor Tarek Loubani detained in Egypt, while on their way to Gaza?????!!!!!!!
    =====================================================================
    General Abdel Fattah Said al-Sisi is an enigma. He’s even more inscrutable because he is not — to misquote Churchill — an enigma wrapped in a dogma. He’s too slippery to be filed under any kind of label. Depending on where you sit, that’s either alarming or reassuring.

    A devout Muslim, he deposed a devoutly Muslim president. The boss of a military that slaughtered some 1,000 Egyptians in the past few days, he gave a speech on Sunday in which he said there was “room for everyone” in Egypt. Having smashed the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government, he appeals in the same speech for its supporters to “help rebuild democracy.” He isn’t even officially the ruler of Egypt — he retains his old post as defense minister, and is “only” first deputy prime minister. But the president, Adly Mansour, is “acting,” and the prime minister, Hazem al-Beblawi, is “interim.” Sisi put them there, sustains them there and as head of the armed forces, he’s as close as you can get to permanence. He’s the government Egypt has.

    The short thesis he wrote while at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania in 2006, called “Democracy in the Middle East,” has been much commented on for its view that democracy can only be developed in the Middle East using a Muslim model. He makes clear, though, that it would be a “moderate” kind of Islamic government, requiring support from the West, with the mission both to sharply raise educational standards and to liberalize the economy. He thinks that properly elected governments, even of extremists, should be allowed to govern — a savage irony in light of his recent actions. In another ironic observation, he wrote that the media should be free to publish diverse points of view. Does he still hold to any of this?

    Fascism isn’t a word to be thrown around: it can’t just be a synonym for nasty. Those who led the fascist movements in the first half of 20th century Europe did have a dogma. It was composed of extreme nationalism, imperial conquest and (more in Adolf Hitler’s case) racial purity — with these ends justifying all means. Their speeches and writings were clear on their views and on their likely policies. Neither had much time for religion; they saw their job as remaking their peoples into new men and women, inspired by nationalism, by conquest and, of course, by their supreme leaders.

    Mursi was an incompetent politician who also had a dogma — that of a caliphate inspired by Allah’s teachings and laws, uniting all Muslims, or at least Muslim Arabs. But neither he nor the Brotherhood had any notion of how to achieve it. Left in power, he would have continued to try to Islamize the state, but his inability to reform the economy and its continued collapse would have stimulated a revolt from below. The Brotherhood was, to be sure, a hierarchical organization contemptuous of moderate Muslims and non-Muslims alike. But the Nazi Party it wasn’t.

    …his remark “we (the army) are cautious about every drop of Egyptian blood” is nauseating. There is too much evidence of the contrary. Security forces have at times abandoned any attempt to contain the protests without violence. He may yet, in the future, have to be arraigned for his stewardship of the military at its time of murderous shame.

    But for now? Which Sisi — the brutal or the sweet — is the future Sisi? Has the brutality been a sign of more to come, and of a military dictatorship at least as repressive as that of Mubarak? Or will Sisi still be impelled by the ideals he laid out seven years ago while at war college? Back then he claimed, “It is important that these [Arab] democracies demonstrate a better way of life through representative government.”

    http://blogs.reuters.com/john-lloyd/2013/08/19/general-sisi-an-enigma-without-a-dogma/

  73. Discovering the Real Story Behind “Insurgents Kill Christians”

    In a separate feature this morning, we took apart the scary media presentation — based on rumor and unsupported claims by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights — that insurgents had deliberated targeted Christians, nine of whom were among 11 dead in an insurgent attack on a regime checkpoint west of Homs.

    An EA correspondent, with excellent sources inside Syria, gives us an explanation which fits our evaluation of the incident:

    Checkpoints in the area shell besieged areas of Homs City and parts of Homs Province — one of the checkpoints, targeting Zarah village and Krak de Chevaliers [a 12th-century castle], was targeted by the Free Syrian Army.

    In the battle, many regime troops were killed. The FSA cannot guarantee that no civilians were casualties of stray bullets.

    Because of the high number of regime forces, the FSA did not intend to hold ground. This was a hit-and-run attack to stop shelling on civilians in “liberated” areas.

    The fact that the checkpoint was manned mostly by Christians and is located in a Christian neighborhood is irrelevant — the FSA targets the regime from wherever it is carrying out attacks.

    Bottom line, it was just a legitimate battle, with no sectarian motives.

  74. “He’s probably the most principled person I know,” Naomi Klein on John Greyson

    Watch some of, John Greyson’s, videos

  75. بشار الاسد ‏@bashar__asad

    حزب الله بدأ بالاستعداد لارسال عناصره لمصر لحماية مقامات الفراعنة

  76. My message to president Barack Obama
    Dear Mr. President
    The crimes of Assad today,as he used chemical weapons against innocent civilian, including children , women and young men, requires from all of us to act so we can prevent another chemical use again.
    Our hearts ache, we can’t sleep,look at those kids dying from such heinous act, shouldn’t that move you?
    Thank you Mr. president

  77. Forgive me for seeming flippant but I am sure the Butcher Bros. (Maher and Bashar)’s business advisers stepped in and convinced them to go chemical instead of bombing towns to smithereens: “it is all valuable real estate and this way it will be ready for sale and occupancy once the present owners have been ‘processed’. Just send in the clean up teams and voila! you’ve got an instant vacant Ghouta real estate ready to be given as rewards to your loyal followers, but we’ll keep the prime sites for the family, of course.”

    Folks, what difference does it make how those poor souls have died, except that the Butcher Bros. managed to kill a huge number in a shorter time. They were and still are determined to never let go no matter the number of dead. Have we forgotten what one of the Baathist honchos said about winning even if a million Syrians had to be sacrificed? And another’s declaration that when they came to power Syria’s population was 8 million and they were quite happy to return it to that level if need be?

    Obama and the West will not lift a finger. Their hand rubbing and the glee have not stopped. They want Syria to become worse than Iraq. IT IS WRITTEN.

    ولك عم يضحكوا بعبون… ياجماعة فيقوو

  78. No need to mention that the other Arabs, especially those that have been sending $$$billions to the soldiers in Egypt will be just as impotent by choice as the West. Don’t expect them to be putting their soldier’s lives on the line for the sake of 23 million Syrians. All the advanced arms bought with hundreds of billions of $$$ are for show, for pride, and for putting down any internal rebellion if it ever happens.

  79. Burhan Ghalioun on facebook:

    أراد النظام السوري المحاصر أن يوجه من خلال هذه الهجوم غير المسبوق بالاسلحة الكيميائية على ريف دمشق عدة رسائل أساسية.
    رسالة للثوار ومقاتلي الجيش الحر الذين أثبتوا تصميما اسطوريا على الاستمرار في القتال، ومقدرة لا تقارن على مواجهة المصاعب وتحمل مشاق لا يتحملها بشر، مفادها أن كلفة الاصرار على المقاومة وهزيمة النظام ستكون عالية فوق ما يتصور أي إنسان، وأن آفاق التصعيد في العنف عند النظام لا حدود لها، وأنه مستعد لحرب إبادة جماعية لا يمكن لأحد ايقافها وأن الجيش الحر مهما حصل عليه من سلاح وتحلى به من شجاعة لن يستطيع ان يحسم الحرب.
    رسالة للشعب السوري الذي فشل النظام في استعادته لصفه بالرغم من كل الاستراتيجيات والحيل التي استخدمها من أجل ردعه عن الانفكاك عنه، وتخويفه، ومن ضمنها بث الفوضى وتسعير النزاعات الطائفية والاتنية، وإطلاق يد حركات التطرف والتكفير العالمية، وتخوين المعارضة وتشويه صورتها، ونشر أفلام العنف والتمثيل والقتل الوحشية. رسالة تقول للشعب أنه لا المعارضة ولا الدول العربية الداعمة لها ولا تجمع أصدقاء سورية ولا المجتمع الدولي قادرين على حمايتهم، أو منع انتقام الأسد وأنصاره منهم وتهديده لحياتهم وحياة أبنائهم.
    رسالة ثالثة لمجلس الأمن، ولجنة التحقيق الدولية في الاسلحة الكيماوية، ليبين لهما عبث عملهما وتمسكهما بإجراء التحقيق الذي فاوض مطولا على حصره في موقع واحد، والبرهنة لهما على أنه يستطيع أن يقوم بمجازر أعظم، أمام اعينهما، وعلى بعد كيلومترات من إقامة اللجنة في فندق في دمشق، من دون أن يكون لديهما أي امل في إثبات أي تهمة على النظام، بعد أن نجح في تحديد مواقع عمل اللجنة وضبط تحركاتها وتقليص صلاحياتها.
    ورسالة رابعة لأصدقاء سورية وداعمي ثورتها، مفادها أن كل الضغوط السياسية والاقتصادية والقانونية التي مارسوها ويمارسونها عليه لن تؤثر في قراره وتصميمه على الاستمرار في الحرب، وأن أحدا لا يملك الحق في أن يتدخل في شؤونه، ولا القدرة على الحد من سيادته على الشعب والبلاد.

  80. برنامج عنزة ولو طارت anzehWalo6aret

    لك النظام السوري بريء تماما من قصف الغوطة بالكيماوي.. بس الشعب الشريف المحب لثيادتو احتفل بقصف الغوطة من قبل الإرهابيين.. جحش يحلل وجحش يصدق

  81. ‏@lamoosh_82 22h

    يا أغبى و اندل خلق بهالمعمورة ، اذا المعارضة الي ضربت الكيماوي كيف لسا معتبرين عندكم نظام ؟؟ كيف معتبرين عندكم قائد

  82. Nader ‏@DarthNader

    After every massacre by Assad, Syrians have to deal with same BS: “Yeah, but who benefits?” “Strange timing.” “It’s probably photoshopped.”

    I mean, we should really ask ourselves, who benefited the most from white phosphorus attacks against Gaza? Why would Israel do such a thing?

    There’s many ppl who think that a reasonable reaction to a massacre of 100s by chemical weapons is to comment on the “strange timing.”

    Even with all this, even with 100s of videos & eyewitness accounts from CW attack, some have the gall to say it may be an orchestrated plot.

  83. تنسيقية حي العمارة
    ‏@AmaraaBaghdad 3h

    #Syria عـاجــل : المكتب الطبي في الغوطة الشرقية : عشرة الاف إصابة و 1466 شهيدا حصيلة نهائية في #الغوطة_الشرقية من كارثة الكيماوي البارحة.

  84. Breaking News:
    Resignation of all heads of fronts of the Free Syrian Army from the Supreme Military Council. Exposing so called Arab and Muslim friends whom voluntarily promised to help. Saudi Arabia at the helm..

  85. Thomas Pierret
    @ajaltamimi I didn’t say they’re nationalists, only that they’ve been increasingly stressing the Syrian character of their struggle.

    Joshua Landis ‏
    @ThomasPierret @ajaltamimi @Charles_Lister Hard to call even FSA nationalists when they call Shiites, “Majous”, ie, Crypto-Iranians.

    Thomas Pierret ‏
    @joshua_landis Syrian Shia are minuscule group. Rebels r mostly faced with Shiites that are Iranians or Iran-backed Lebanese/Iraqi militias

    Joshua Landis
    @ThomasPierret The term Majous is indiscriminately used to refer to Shiite linked groups: Alawi, Druze and Lebanese Shiites.

    Thomas Pierret ‏
    @joshua_landis All the material I’ve seen/heard suggest that Syrian insurgents don’t consider Alawites/Druzes as “Shia”

    Joshua Landis ‏
    @ThomasPierret But don’t they call them #Majous or Crypto-Iranians, denying both their religious and ethnic belonging to the Syrian nation?

    Thomas Pierret
    @joshua_landis I’ve never heard ‘Majous’ for Alawites; as for the Syrian nation, RIP, alas

    Thomas Pierret
    @joshua_landis Asad supporters cheering #CWattack on Ghuta r not exactly sign of healthy Syrian nation either

    Joshua Landis
    @ThomasPierret Very true

  86. Syrians do not differentiate between a Syrian Alawite accomplice or a Syrian Sunni accomplice. Joshua Landis must stop playing the referee.

    Read the comments below about a Syrian Sunni elitist who is cheering the CW attacks, asking for more. The bastard: Louay Mardam Bey..

    لؤي مردم بيك المقرب من رئاسة الجمهورية وصديق أسماء ومستشارها في شؤون المشتريات والديكور .
    هذا ما كتبه اليوم علي صفحته وهو سعيد باستخدام الكيمياوي

    3 Comments

    رد
    علي
    Posted أغسطس 22, 2013 at 7:32 مساء

    ياشباب هذا الكلب اللي كتب هيك—سني ابن سني—وعند ابوه مرعة في الغوطة تمتد على مساحة 300دونم من الاشجار المثمرة—اهالي الغوطة يعاملونهم بكل احترام وطيبة ولم يبدر منهم اي اساءة لمعاذ مردم بيك ابو هالكلب لؤي وبالعكس عندما مات بشر اخو هالكلب من شي 8 سنين تقريبا لم يجد الا اهل عربين والنشابية والغوطة ليحملو نعشه ويدفنوه في مقبرة الدحداح————لؤي الكلب انسى ان لك مزرعة في الغوطة وانسى محلاتك في الحميدية وانسى شركة الديكور تبعك —-والله لنحولهم لوقف لضحايا الكيماوي اللي تتغنى به ياكلب لعنة الله عليك—–
    رد
    هاني
    Posted أغسطس 22, 2013 at 6:26 صباح

    أوغاد و حثالات و من أقذر ما خلق الله على مر التاريخ, , يباركون لربهم النجس بشار و كلابه قتل الأطفال و النساء و الشيوخ و يشمتون و يحتفلون, محال أن هذه الضباع النتنة تنتمي إلى الجنس البشري. أسأل الله أن يذيقهم ما يتمنون أن يهربوا منه إلى جهنم نفسها, فهؤلاء جهنم قليلة عليهم .
    رد
    نبيل السوري
    Posted أغسطس 22, 2013 at 6:22 صباح

    هذا هو مثال الدمشقي القذر الذي وضع عنقه ببسطار السلطة وأمثاله أوصلونا إلى ما نحن عليه
    هذا السافل وأمثاله لا يطيب لهم المقام إلا تحت البسطار
    لكن بسطار الثورة سيدعس رقبة هكذا أوغاد
    وبالنهاية لن يصح إلا الصحيح
    http://www.all4syria.info/Archive/93983

  87. Young Syrian children are experiencing firsthand the stressful times their parents are living.
    SO CUTE!

    The daughter of a Syrian television anchor suddenly showed up on camera while her mother was presenting the news to give her a mobile phone.

    Presenter Lina Alloush, who works for the Morocco-based Medi 1 TV, reportedly didn’t hear from her family in Aleppo for days. When she finally received the long-waited phone call, her daughter couldn’t resist but take the phone hastily to her mother.

    A surprised Alloush paused for a second and continued presenting the news.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/videos/2013/08/23/Daughter-surprises-news-anchor-on-air.html

  88. Dear OTW,

    I saw this video and thought to share it with you, may Tamer and all of Syria’s nobel martyrs rest in peace.

  89. لو ابقينا جورج صبرة رئيسا للمجلس الوطني ورفعنا ميشيل كيلو لرئاسة الائتلاف ٫ وعينا جورج كاسوحة رئيسا لهيئة والاركان ٫ وكلفنا ميشيل سطوف بتشكيل الحكومة ٫ فلن ننجح في اقناع البابا بحسن نوايانا اتجاه كل مكونات وطيوف الشعب السوري ٫ فقد اثبت تاريخ العالم انه يستحيل ان تقنع من لا يريد ان يقتنع

  90. Are you for or against military intervention in Syria after ASSad horrendous crimes against his own people? Very few selected Tweets. They are very telling..

    *A regime that used Scud missiles, cluster bombs & knives to slaughter children will use anything to survive!

    *Those who denied Syrians weapons & no-fly zones for 2.5 years will never act in the interests of Syria or Syrians.

    *Any military intervention on the ground will hijack the revolution, protect what’s left of Assad gangs & divide Syria

    *Half the people in the West don’t even know what Syrians want. They think the FSA want NATO soldiers on the ground. They just want weapons.

    Amal Hanano, tweeted this:

    *For the record, it’s the last place we wanted to be (re: intervention) 2 1/2 years ago. But we also didn’t want our children gassed.

    Followed by this:

    *Dear US: we welcome your help, just don’t pretend that it’s about saving Syria and not face.

  91. In Lebanon two pro Assad regime criminals were arrested, obviously Assad is behind the crime bombs in Tripoli, and may be in Dahiyeh

  92. Jihad Makdissi interviewed on BBC Radio..

    Is he speaking as an ordinary citizen, now?

    His recommendations for both sides to come together to the negotiation table in light of the hideous crime, Gassing Syrians, NO longer an option. Today, 1300 perished in seconds, tomorrow..?

    The use of WMD in full daylight puts the International Community under real pressure to take a stance. Ignoring this hideous crime will take the World back to the dark ages.

    ASS-SADISM has already taken Syria back to the dark ages, and he is ready to put the whole planet on fire, merely for his survivor and Nations’ dirty games.

    Syrians are not the only ones taken hostage by Assad, the whole world is!

    Ordinary citizens must demand an immediate action.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fq3ws

  93. Hussain Abdul Hussain: “World moves to punish Assad because he threatens world peace with his chemical weapons, not because he kills Syrians with them.”

  94. The American-led attack being contemplated should not be done as punishment for the Syr. Regime’s CW use. It needs to be an ultimatum to the regime and to all the other parties to stop the violence, the killing, the destruction. In other words, they should say -to the regime mostly- “unless you stop waging war on your people we will destroy your ability to make war.”

    We have no need or use for punishment strikes, but ultimately the west will do what is in their (and their ally, Isreal’s) interest, and not because Syria threatens world peace, either.

    BTW, all this noise about strikes against the regime might lead to (intended?) consequences in the form of vicious attacks on the opposition forces between now and the time the strikes eventuate. It is like telling the Assadist murderers to strike really hard while they can!

  95. You can be sure that in case of attack on the regime in Damascus, its retaliation and revenge attacks will mostly fall on the weakest people in Syrian society, such as communities with suspected loyalty in the coastal region, mainly but not limited to Sunni ones. Homs will be another focus. The planned attacks need to be strong enough to sap the regime’s strength and leave it unable to continue its murderous campaign against the people. Otherwise we will be left with a wounded mad, rabid dog that is going to bite anything that is anywhere in the vicinity.

  96. MGB, well said.

    ..but, do you really think the Americans will leave us a rabid wounded dog? Are they as heinous as Ass**?

    Are we their real enemy or is Assad the defiant theirs?

  97. Ming Holden ‏: “This is my 1st time supporting a US military strike. Not a position I take lightly. There’s no bloodless end to a CW-wielding dictator’s war”

    Me too?! From all places, Syria!

    Paradoxical..so sad..

    To our Syrian Martyrs…..

    …forgiveness..God

  98. limited attack is just like taking the knife from the thief but let him free,Assad is bent on killing the opposition, CW can defeat the rebels, he will get help from persia, money, arms and more aircrafts, he will quickly repair the airports, soon back to killing Syrians, he must go

  99. Obama and Cameron and Hollande, along with Harper and Rudd, keep telling us that Assad’s use of chemical weapons must not go unpunished. Fair enough, but this punishment they are planning, will it really fall on Assad and his gangsters, or mostly on the Syrian People and the country’s infrastructure and installations paid for with their blood, sweat and taxes. True, the ruling mafia has been the chief financial beneficiary of whatever is publicly owned in Syria, but the loss of such infrastructure will surely set the country back generations and cement into place decades of dependency on foreign (Arab and non-Arab) charity.

    Syrians do not want or need punishment of this sort. They want and badly need their country free from the clutches of the Assadist mafia and dictatorship: they need help with regime change. They can accomplish it themselves without the need for Western cruise missile attacks if they are given the proper weapons and the backing to wrest control back from the oppressors. A no-fly zone in the south and another one in the north also would be great help. Most of all, a solid, serious unwavering commitment from the West to the revolutionaries, similar to the one that Iran and Russia had given the regime, would assure the people fighting for freedom that they will not be abandoned mid-way through. Let the Syrians fight their own fight, but give them the means to make the fight a fair one. Bombing a few targets here and there over a couple of days to show the West’s displeasure at Assad’s naughty toying with chemical weapons will achieve nothing.

    This leads one to ask the question: does the West really want the Assadist regime to go and be replaced by a new Syria controlled by the will of the people?

    I see that NZ has posed the question already; the answer will be known probably in a week’s time. I cannot say I can free myself of my cynicism and expect the answer to my question above to be in the negative.

    And btw, according to posts on fb, the regime has already made another cw attack on Jobar just a few hours ago, so the rabid dog is already lashing out as we expected.

  100. It is more like taking the knife from the hand of the murderer and letting him go free with a hatchet and a gun under his coat, AND the key to a weapons store!

  101. كتب برهان غليون Burhan Ghalioun says the same thing we are saying :

    أود أن أحذر قادة الدول المجتمعة اليوم في عمان لتقرير ما يمكن عمله، من التفكير بضربة – حتى لو كانت موجعة – لا هدف لها سوى تبرئة الذمة من دم السوريين، أو تقليم أظافر الأسد للحد من أذاه. لن يكون نتيجة مثل هذه الضربة الاستعراضية سوى إعطاء حجج جديدة للأسد كي يزيد انتقامه من الشعب السوري واعتبار نفسه طليق اليدين في استخدام كل الوسائل الأخرى لإبادته وتدفيعه ثمن هذه الضربة.

    ينبغي أن يكون ماحدث من جريمة مروعة منطلقا لتحرك دولي شامل من أجل إنهاء المأساة السورية برمتها، وفي أساسها وجوهرها، سعي نظام الأسد الفاشي والفاسد إلى البقاء في السلطة مهما كان الثمن.

    ليس المطلوب عملا عقابياً أو انتقامياً من هذا النظام الذي يستخدم الجريمة وسيلة للحكم منذ عقود، وإنما خطة لتغيير الوضع القائم، والذي لم يعد يحتمل، لا من قبل الشعب السوري ولا من قبل الشعوب المرعوبة المحيطة بها.
    Lik

  102. The rush to kill and destroy before the cruise missiles start raining down is already turning into action in Homs

    حمص- المنطقة المحاصرة / 28-8-2013 /
    حالة حرب حقيقية تشهدها المنطقة حيث قامت عصابات الاسد بإستهداف حي جورة الشياح بصاروخ ارض ارض وسط قصف عنيف بمختلف انواع الاسلحة يتزامن مع اشتباكات بالاسلحة الفردية و المتوسطة بين مجاهدين حمص الأبطال و بين عصابات الاسد التي تحاول اقتحام المنطقة و تقوم برمي الإسطوانات المعدلة المليئة بمادة ( tnt ) الشديدة الانفجار لتدمر ابنية المدينة بالكامل

    ——————————————-
    ….. الخالدية …..

  103. david frum ‏ 22 Aug

    “Syria problem more hideous but no easier than before chemical gassing: Assad is a murdering brute; plausible alternatives, no better.”

    The fact that his parents’ generation were gassed makes his babbling as hideous as ASS** brutality!

  104. Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria
    Ramah Kudaimi on August 27, 2013

    There are 100,000 Syrians dead, majority killed by conventional weapons. So there are a million and one excuses for the US to intervene and faking chemical weapons attacks is not needed.

    There is also no basis I believe in claiming al Qaeda has access and uses such weapons. Al Qaeda fought the US for a decade in Iraq and not once deployed such weapons. But all of a sudden they’re using them in Syria? And if the rebels had these weapons, the regime would’ve fallen a long time ago.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/08/dos-and-donts-for-progressives-discussing-syria.html

  105. Has Iran’s Position on Syria Changed?

    Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani
    Iran gives notice to international community to use all its might to prevent use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world, esp. in #Syria

    Iran expert Suzanne Maloney tells me that while we shouldn’t interpret too much from one statement, Rouhani’s words could indicate a “remarkable shift in the official posture of the Iranian government on the role of the international community” and “even on the sensitive issue of Syria” — but let’s backtrack for a moment.

    For starters, it doesn’t appear like Rouhani tweeted this message by his mistake. Look at the tweets preceding it:

    Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani

    Iran suffered chemical weapons attacks by Iraqi forces during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war 2/2

    Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani

    We completely & strongly condemn use of chemical weapons in #Syria because Islamic Republic of Iran is itself victim of chemical weapons 1/2

    Read more..

    http://www.lobelog.com/has-hassan-rouhani-endorsed-force-in-syria/

  106. Whenever I listen to the leaders and foreign ministers of the US, UK and France I am reminded of the utter frustration one experiences when trying to solve a Rubick’s Cube puzzle:t you get a couple of lines of squares matched up only to have two others you had matched up get out of whack. Hague said he was thinking about helping the opposition by giving them advanced weapons, Fabius and his boss agree strongly, but Kerry and Obama don’t seem to want to play ball. Then it is Kerry and Hague that seem to agree on doing something but then the French raise some concerns about this or that group among the armed opposition fighters, telling us indirectly that France is not in line with the others now.

    Then this military response to the use of CW comes up and they all seem gung-ho, raring to go kick some ass-ad, but all of a sudden the French seem to be climbing down, the British are a bit more further ahead but not quite ready and the Yanks are talking tough but hedging their bets with all sorts of caveats. No wonder the menhebakjieh are saying “let them talk until they exhaust themselves before actually doing anything”.

  107. ..and the prize go to ASSad, the indispensable king of the jungle!

    “Israel’s security is tied to Syria”. Rami Makhlouf.

  108. Members of Cameron’s party voting against him, huh? Well, that takes him and Hague off the hook, dont it? Very convenient indeed. What lame excuse will they come up with to not give the revolutionaries the weapons they now need to stand up to Besho the butcher’s criminal militias and armed thugs? There is nothing that can convince me that the West wants this conflict to end: they want it to go on and on for years with the ass staying in place but considerably weakened. Shame on the British Parliment! Shame on the British People for co-signing the death warrant of freedom, dignity and democracy in Syria!

  109. Arwa Damom, one of the most sensitive, most comprehensive reporters on Syria’s struggle for freedom from inside Syria, on the ground..
    Damon graduated from Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, with honors in 1994, where her father, Dr. George H. Damon, was a teacher and middle school director from 1988 to 1998. An American, her father went from there to Isıkkent School in Izmir, and is presently headmaster of the American Community School at Beirut. Damon’s mother, Joumana, is Syrian and grew up in Damascus.She is the granddaughter of Muhsin al-Barazi, the former prime minister of Syria who was executed in the 1949 military coup.

    Damon graduated with honors from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1999 with a double major in French and biology and a minor in international affairs. She is fluent in Arabic, French, Turkish, and English, having grown up speaking all four languages. She spent her early childhood years in Wayland, Massachusetts, and then moved to Turkey until her graduation from high school. She then spent a year in Morocco before moving to the U.S. to attend Skidmore College. Impressive!

    Recent Tweets:

    man from area hit in attack says “i am not w/US strike bc its going 2 hurt us more than regime & US has given them warning 2 clear bases”

    most #syria activists am talking 2 say strikes r going 2 harm them bc regime will retaliate against ppl & extremist grps will grow stronger

    many also say that regime has detainees in bases & airports, potential sites in missile strikes & R moving their own ppl & leave detainees

    as one man in #syria said “we R stuck between russian & american and Iran & saudi and we are the victims”

    #syria is not #iraq & to assess #syria through the #iraq prism is detrimental & disregards the critical differing nuances in both nations

    syria child refugees reaches 1 million, most under age 11…impassioned plea by UN envoy, says thats more children than in LA

    Syria lost youth: One million child refugees flee brutal civil war http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/23/opinion/syria-million-child-refugees-beals/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

    Many red lines crossed in Syria—death toll of 100k & mounting, refugee crisis of epic proportions—all under global leaders’ watch -@ArwaCNN

  110. Forget the red lines and political egos; we need to save lives
    Yvonne Ridley

    I am a peace activist but at the moment one wrestling with her conscience because, in truth, if someone gave me a gun and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad strolled into the crosshairs I think I would struggle not to pull the trigger. The former eye doctor is a monster who has no boundaries when it comes to killing his own people. I have known this for many years and so has America, Britain and their allies.

    In fact, until recently, the US has been more than happy to hand over people to the Assad regime in the full knowledge of what would happen to them in the notorious torture dungeons hidden across Syria. As a craven partner in the war on terror, Britain will also have been kept in the loop.

    These same dungeons were set up by Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad, a man who ordered the massacre of 20,000 Syrian citizens in the city of Hama in 1982. It was a brutal operation supervised by younger brother General Rifaat al-Assad. It seems that the apples do not fall far from the Assad family tree.

    As such, for Obama to talk about red lines and for David Cameron to try and do a Blair, please forgive me for gagging with the stench of hypocrisy.

    A red line was crossed way back in February 2011 when 18 schoolboys were “disappeared” by the Assad regime for daubing some harmless graffiti on a wall in Dera. ; another red line was crossed when the 11-year-olds re-emerged three weeks later with all of their finger nails missing, some of them castrated and every single one with at least one broken bone in his body.

    A red line was crossed when, after six months of public rallies demanding justice over the treatment of the Graffiti Boys, more than 1,000 civilians had been killed; that was the breaking point for ordinary Syrians who had, until then, resisted calls to join the Arab Spring.

    A red line was crossed a few weeks ago when the civilian death toll exceeded 100,000 and millions of Syrian men, women and children were listed as refugees in squalid camps in neighbouring countries.

    The world is now confronted by a humanitarian disaster on a rapidly unfolding scale which can barely be compared with any other in recent times, man-made or otherwise. That the West thinks it can drop some bombs and cure the problem speaks volumes in itself and reveals that nothing has been learned from the mess that is Iraq.

    Nevertheless, the reality is that chemical weapons are being dropped on the Syrian people and they do need help from somewhere; anywhere. So what is a person of conscience to do or think?

    If the US and Britain are really to be taken seriously both need to show more even-handedness, for there is another state in the region which has chemical weapons and has already used them in recent times; step forward Israel.

    I never knew my maternal grandfather; he was gassed during World War One and died prematurely at the age of 50 never having recovered from the mustard gas attack launched on him and his comrades in 1916 as they fought in windswept trenches in France. In Vietnam in the 1960s chemicals called Agent Orange and Agent Blue s well as napalm were dropped by wave after wave of ugly American B52 bombers and the impact is still being felt today.

    Despite knowledge of the horrific consequences, chemical weapons were deployed by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s and in 1988 Saddam unleashed mustard gas and other nerve agents on the Kurdish population of Halabja in Northern Iraq. All of this was with the full knowledge of the CIA and US government.

    In 1993, though, the Chemical Weapons Convention was signed, outlawing all uses of chemical weapons in war, but that didn’t stop Israel using White Phosphorus rounds against Southern Lebanon in 2006 and on a civilian population in Gaza on January 3, 2009. White Phosphorus is an indiscriminate killer, as gas released from the explosion burns exposed flesh and the lungs of the victims, whichever way the wind blows. It is supposed to be used to provide a smokescreen for ground troops; when it is used against civilians, as it was by Israel, it is not only extremely lethal but also extremely illegal.

    So when Obama talks about red lines being crossed, he is right; they have been crossed many times in recent years by friends and foes of the West, but red lines are meaningless if they do not draw a meaningful, uniform response from the international community.

    While the Labour whips were punching the air and cheering on young Ed Miliband in Parliament after voting down the British government on the Syrian issue, Assad’s army used napalm on a school with all the consequences you’d expect from such an evil action. Talk about dancing on the graves of babies.

    What is the solution? Intense diplomatic lobbying, not in the West but in the Arab world accompanied by some serious arm twisting must be done. This is the same Arab world which falls on its knees whenever Washington demands favours for Israel, which has to keep well out of this. Not everything is or should be focused on the Zionist state.

    In the meantime Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other kingdoms in the region need to realise that democracy is not the Devil’s spawn. China and Russia need to start showing some compassion and maybe it is time to revisit the Syrian National Coalition’s (SNC) Moaz al-Khatib’s 16-point initiative to help ensure a peaceful transition of authority and an end to the violence in Syria.

    This is no longer about presidential or political egos, red lines, special friendships, uneasy alliances, revolution, democracy, dictatorships or saving face; this is about saving lives. And that is something that most people seem to have forgotten.

  111. Dear OTW,
    Chris Hedges wanted a clearance from the UN investigative team. I think that is fair. No? If I recall, he never mentioned the mass murderer by name, more importantly, he has no doubt who committed the crime, he simply wants a confirmation -from my understanding.
    He was mainly criticizing the timing the US chooses in every conflict. After so much death and destruction, and three years into the conflicts with millions of refugees, Obama decides that a strike is needed!? Phew..

    A hit and run? Is not in any Syrian interest. For all the obvious reasons. It will embolden the regime and achieve further death, destruction..this scenario will lead to a divided Syria.

    Never thought will i ever support a US strike anywhere in the world..will the outcome be different? I guess it will all depend on its swiftness, what are their targets.

    In my humble opinion, his role has ended and now comes the time to destroy what his regime cannot destroy. Important military targets. Whoever comes next has to start anew.

  112. أيلول ٢٠٠١: اعتقال المعارض السوري رياض الترك الذي سجن ١٨ سنة في عهد حافظ الأسد، وذلك بعد مقابلة نعت فيها الرئيس الراحل بالديكتاتور.

  113. The basics of emotional care for children after trauma. Available as iBook.

    Description

    This manual is an introduction to crisis intervention especially for use with children in the context of OperationSAFE child trauma camps. It is meant to give volunteers a basic understanding of crisis intervention, critical incident stress, PTSD, and how to apply interventions to children.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/operationsafe-child-trauma/id679665701?ls=1

  114. All of a sudden everyone is talking about chemical weapons in Syria!

    Non of the Arab dictators has CW. Not because of fear they’ll use against their people, to the contrary, from fear they might use them against Israel.

    Saddam used CW in Halabja during the Iraq-Iran war. Once.
    His supplier were the Americans, 2-3 decades later his heinous crime came back and ‘hunted’ him. He should have been brought to the Hague then. Moral credibility?

    Ass, like his predecessor, used CW twice, supplied, used, done.

    Let no one hide behind these false flags.

    Will America’s morality shine?

    The world is watching, so are the six million refugees.

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