Monday, June 27, 2011

Hocus Pocus, Assad Style!

An opposition conference in the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus, the intentions and justifications of its direct organizers notwithstanding, comes as a way for Bashar Al-Assad to perform that longed-for trick that can keep him in power.

Sunday June 26, 2011

Assad troops carry out more sweep operations on the borders with Turkey and Lebanon, arresting hundreds, terrorizing thousands and driving more refugees into both countries

The suburbs of Barzeh in Damascus continue to suffer from army incursions and house to house searches since Friday: dozens of arrests have been made and 7 fatalities have been reported. Meanwhile, the Damascene suburbs of Zabadani and Madaya have once again been put under military siege, as Kisweh held a massive night-time funeral attended by over 50,000 in honor of a martyred colleague.  

Links
Turkish source says top officials in Erdogan government meeting with Turkish military and intelligence officials over possibility of Syrian incursion on Turkish territory; Turkey Foreign Minister tells Syrian counterpart Assad's forces must retreat from the border.
Syrian troops have widened a crackdown on towns near the Lebanese border, a day after activists said at least five civilians had been killed during house searches and funerals for anti-government protesters.
Mr. Obama’s reticence reinforces the equivocating policies of countries such as Turkey, to which the United States has ceded leadership on the issue. No doubt it gives Mr. Assad hope that if he can kill his way to stability, the Obama administration will again seek to “engage” him.
I remember my father, Nureddin al-Atassi, who himself had been president of Syria before he was imprisoned in 1970 as a result of Gen. Hafez al-Assad’s coup against his comrades in the Baath Party. I was 3 years old then, and it took me a while to understand that prison was not only for criminals, but also for prisoners of conscience.
WADI KHALED, Lebanon (AP) — When the Arab Spring came to Talkalakh, the little Syrian hill town a few minutes-walk from this border village, it seemed to last barely a moment. Squads of secret police descended on the town within hours of the first protests. Then the army came with its tanks, and the shadowy pro-government militia called the shabiha.

The Assad regime is undertaking a major PR campaign to whitewash its image, one that includes allowing access to international media outlets to “certain” areas of the country under “certain” restrictions, and working with certain hand-picked members of the internal opposition to create the impression of openness, and to allow Bashar Al-Assad to appear as a man trying to rise up to the challenges of reform. The hope is to fool those willing to be fooled both in Syria and across the world. For, if enough of them are around, the regime will use that to weaken the morale of the protesters and put an end to the revolution that threatened its existence.

But just as this revolution was not the product of a magic trick, its end will not be brought about by a magic trick. Much effort and sacrifice have gone into brining this revolution to term, and now that it has been delivered, the courage, sacrifices and dedication of the protesters will ensure that it is not stillborn. This baby is healthy. This baby will live on and will become the foundation of a new Syria.  

The two videos in the box below come from the same sources that have been documenting military operations and terror campaigns carried out by Assad Death Squads in the northwestern region along the Turkish borders. Bear in mind as well that the soldier implicates himself in numerous acts of murder of innocent unarmed civilians.

Confessions of a Soldier: Taha Asa’ad Al-‘Alloush, from the village of Ibleen in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh District, Idlib Province: http://youtu.be/p0JJbQY62w8

“I defected on June 6, because of the injustice that I have seen. They took us to Rastan to protect the demonstrators. But when we arrived there, we didn’t find any demonstrators. All people were staying home. Still, they gave us orders to shoot at the houses and at the people in the streets. By that time, tanks have been laying siege to Rastan for 4 days, they did not allow any supplies to get in, water, electricity and communications, all these services were down. We started going into houses, and kill everyone we see: men, women and children. We spent three days in Rastan doing this: killing and torturing people. The moment I returned to the camp, I defected. I used to serve in the Special Forces, Harasta Unit 41, this is my ID. The dead people that I saw with my own eyes in Rastan only exceed 500.We were positioned in the first line of confrontation, followed by officers, then security forces, Shabbiha gangs and the Iranians. The Iranians were all snipers who operated from a distance. Whenever we left our cars to storm into a neighborhood, the Iranian snipers used to shoot one or two soldiers, so that we see our colleagues die in front of us and believe that indeed, there were people shooting at us. When I see a colleague dying in front of me, I go into frenzy and I begin killing people, without knowing who they are. But when we get close to the people, and we search them to see if they indeed had any weapons on them, we find nothing. This is but a conspiracy by the state, they want to kill half the people, and stay in power and do what they want. They don’t want to leave power. When I saw this, I decided to defect.”

Protester in Lattakia dying after getting shot by a sniper (graphic)

FEATURED VIDEOS

Damascus / Barzeh / June 26: security forces and Shabbiha bludgeoning up unarmed protesters
Bashar militias break into houses
The double funeral that preceded the crackdown
Damascus / Kisweh / June 26: tens of thousands of protesters take part in a funeral ceremony for a martyred colleague who was originally from Tal Al-Kalakh.
Homs / Al-Qousour Neighborhood / June 26: security forces and Assad thugs go on a nighttime rampage
Deraa / Al-Jiza / June 26: Signs of extreme torture on the body of martyred 15-child Thamer Al-Sharyi
Lattakia / Boustan Al-Samakeh / June 25: protesters come under fire from army barricades
Lattakia / Sleibeh / June 25: Shabbiha spreading terror in the streets of Lattakia
Lattakia / June 26: thugs use a bulldozer to attack protesters
Homs / Homs City / June 25: Clashes between security forces and protesters

SUNDAY

Deir Ezzor / Mayadeen
Deir Ezzor / Alboukamal: Banner carried by the kid at the beginning of the video: “Leave so we can have a future”
Deir Ezzor / Qouriyyeh
Idlib / Banash: a vigil
Damascus / Darayyah: “the people want to topple the regime”
Damascus / Zamalka a vigil
Damascus / Al-Qadam: a vigil
Damascus / Kisweh: the suburb observes a general strike
Homs / Homs City: protesters chant the Germ Song, a special song mocking Bashar Al-Assad’s latest speech in which he dismisses the protesters as germs.
Hama / Hama City: protesters defy Shabbiha gangs
Hama /Tayyibet Al-Imam: mass vigil
Hama / Hama City: the inhabitants of this marvelous city show the word that infamous Hama rules of the 1980s are no longer effective, and that today Hama herself rules, as tens of thousands partake in this vigil.