Friday, August 26, 2011

Beyond Fallacies, Real Hope Simmers Still!

Even if we left alone, we will come out victorious. The question is: who will be our new friends?

Thursday August 25, 2011

6 protesters were killed by security forces today: 2 in Jisr Ashoughour and 1 in Jabala Al-Zawiyeh in Idlib Province, 1 in Aleppo, 1 in Al-Rastan and 1, a woman, in Deir Ezzor (Al-Shaheel). Meanwhile, army troops continued their sweep operations in Deir Ezzor and northeastern regions, culminating in storming of Al-Shaheel and al-Basseerah, among other local communities, and a new raid on Albou Kamal. In Lattakia Province on the coast, security forces and army troops stormed the city of Jableh and arrested over 150 inhabitants. Several communities in the Hauran/Deraa Province in the south were also raided by army units, including Al-Mseifrah, Al-Jizah, Al-Taybah and Al-Sahweh. Other units stormed the community of Al-Rastan near Homs in central Syria, amidst heavy shelling and machinegun fire and conducted many arrests. Security forces also raided the suburbs of Midan, Zamalk, Moadamiyah and Ruknaddine, killing 1 protester in Midan, and arresting dozens.

In a report by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, more than 80 lawyers have been detained and tortured in the last 3 months alone in Syria for of their efforts to document and protest against human rights violations by Syrian authorities.

Links
Summary:  Iran sees the Syrian government as the front line of defense against the United States and Israel. So Tehran is sparing no expense to help its ally fend off popular protests.
Cutting the head off Syria's Baathist snake can no more create meaningful change within Syria's political system than hanging Saddam did in Iraq or jailing Mubarak in Egypt. The underlying ideology remains in place, reinforced by years of propaganda in the schools and the media. The power brokers in the military, government ministries and major companies tend to retain their sinecures long after figureheads are removed. The Arab Spring has led to personnel changes in Tunisia and Egypt, not revolution. Revolution is the radical reallocation of power and wealth from one whole class of elites to another class or classes. Anything short of revolution is reform; reform isn't enough to fix a broken government.
Unlike in neighbouring Iraq, sectarian rifts have not so far played a big role in Syria’s attempt at regime change. They exist, but Syrians pride themselves on their cosmopolitan history. “We have no problem between us,” has been a common refrain during the protests.
In the early hours of Thursday, masked men seized Ferzat from the street and forced him in to a van. A relative has said that Ferzat's attackers targeted his hands, breaking them both, and told him it was "just a warning" before leaving him by the roadside with a bag over his head.
Ahmadinejad calls on 'states to acknowledge their people's will for freedom', cautions Syrian demonstrators that Western powers only want to protect Israel.
On a recent government-sponsored tour, called "Syria Is Fine," reporters were shown bustling markets in Damascus where Syrians bought clothes, electronics and basic necessities. The tour was arranged shortly after the United States formally called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down and banned the import of oil and gas. American officials acknowledge this will have little impact unless Europe joins in as well. Europe buys nearly all of Syria's crude exports, and those sales account for about one-third of Syria's economy.
Syria's violations would be grave enough if al-Kibar reflected a Syrian attempt to build nuclear weapons for itself. They would be graver if Syria did it to share plutonium with Iran.

Committing massacres while believing yourself to be the victim is the very essence the fascist mentality and of fascism as a psychosis. This is what we are dealing with now in Syria. If there are any experts out there on how such mass psychosis should be dealt with, please get in touch!

“The gains of four decades of rule by the al-Assad dynasty ought not be dismissed: the country has, without dispute, the most secular State institutions and culture of any Arab State today; women occupy positions of influence; minority rights are scrupulously protected. The fact though is, that the accompanying absence of democracy has pushed more people to the religious right — threatening to sweep away these gains. Even though the uprising of 2011 has been crushed, thus, Syria remains on the edge of the abyss: an abyss that black paint cannot obscure.” The Hindu

The willing to accept such fallacies as highlighted in the above passage seem to reflects India’s own experience with Jihadism, which makes them quite susceptible to Assad’s fear-mongering in this regard, as well as her own natural aspirations to emerge as global power, which often manifests itself in an effort to simply block what they deem to be the plans of some more established powers. Both these trends seem to inform India’ experts and policymakers analysis of the situation in Syria, making the adoption of such tropes as expressed above, at a time when their western inventors seem to recant them, a natural fallback position.

Two points need to be clarified here: 1) the uprising has not failed, we are still in the thick of it all, and 2) the true legacy of the Assads is that they undermined both secularism and minority rights. The true champions of secularism and minority rights, the liberals, majority of whom are actually Sunnis, will now need to plan their comeback on the political scene in Syria, to save from the clutches of criminal gangs, corrupt officials, and worn-out ideologies. Our tragedy in the region is that, the Cold War, the American Decade that followed, and the ongoing transition to a multipolar world, have all unfolded in a manner that had an adverse effect on us, the peoples of this beleaguered Muddle East, and have so far come at the expense of our desire for freedom, justice and development. But there is no way for us to rise up without going through the painful throes of this nightmarish birth. If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the way out of it, when you’re in the thick of it, is to go through it.

Meanwhile, some experts in the U.S. are advising the Obama Administration to stay out of the Syrian crisis. These are the same experts who have been advocating engagement with the Assads not a few months ago. In both cases, the essence of their advice is to leave the Syrian people alone in the face of insurmountable odds. This is a contemptible position. For indeed the U.S. has been invested in this region for decades, and so long as most of its oil supplies come from there, it will remain invested there, whether we like it or not, and if its involvement in the past has often been manifested in fucking things up for the peoples of the region, it’s even more imperative now that it becomes party to ongoing popular efforts to fix things and to put them back in an order that makes some moral sense.

Bear in mind that advocates of realpolitik in the U.S. were on side of engaging Hitler and not taking part in WWII, I, for one, don’t relish the thought of living in the kind of world their policies would have fostered. The world cannot afford not to stand up to fascists, and a quick look at the venomous propaganda currently being spewed by Assads and their cronies makes clear that we are indeed dealing with fascists.

FEATURED VIDEOS

A major demonstration in Damascus’ Midan District on August 24 http://youtu.be/6nJpOOrRklo

For those still doubting that helicopter gunships have been used in the crackdown against unarmed protesters and local populations, we offer this leaked video shot by loyalist soldiers. The city below, where the machineguns are clearly pointing is that of Tal Kalakh on the border with Lebanon http://youtu.be/FewN9SdFe2s Today the city is teaming with security officers http://youtu.be/7hnkcM6Yw_w This is another leaked clip showing army soldiers shooting randomly in the air and apartment buildings in Homs City http://youtu.be/eTXIBeN3myE

The inhabitants of Al-Rastan City in Homs Province receive the Turkish Council who came to pick the body of a Turkish truck driver killed during an accident that took place near the city http://youtu.be/4ojEbTXxJrM Inhabitants took this as an opportunity to plead their case to Turkey, chanting “the people want to execute the President” http://youtu.be/nw8izEJwNfc One of the local leaders then read a statement describing how loyalists troops attacked defecting soldiers hiding in Al-Rastan and killed them http://youtu.be/iQfynDVnNm0 The Turkish Council then joined the inhabitants in holding the special funeral prayer http://youtu.be/JUQNfKISwzQ In the evening, the people of Rastan carry on with business as usual http://youtu.be/9UY2pf9x8M4 , http://youtu.be/XM6MK1Gt3zM

In the town of Ankhel in the Hauran/Deraa Province, inhabitants enter into a shouting match with army troops, each side chanting for its cause. I guess, this was one battle won by the protesters, since it was fought with words http://youtu.be/EOt9QSp0J-w unlike the one that took place in the same place on August 19 http://youtu.be/Ae2-x2vfwXM or the incident back on April 1 http://youtu.be/nw40pDrcNAc Today, security is omnipresent in Ankhel’s main square on http://youtu.be/hCj7_DBqCDM  

The town of Talbisseh in Homs Province lived through “a crazy night” by holding a demonstration under pitch black skies, heavy rain and heavier machinegun fire. Heavy machinegun fire is heard at the end of this clip http://youtu.be/KKnWmfLihSA This clip makes the situation a bit clearer: protesters praying, their voices drowned by gunfire http://youtu.be/_6jkGDvJhKo They even burn a poster of Assad http://youtu.be/86XAZEdxYOw The town witnessed episodes of shelling earlier in the day http://youtu.be/ukiLw_Th0H8 , http://youtu.be/7jzvcwLW2LE , http://youtu.be/2s942OpsrM4 which left a few casualties http://youtu.be/tE5S6unUicw including this 12 year-old boy http://youtu.be/Rwswdd0_N1c This was the scene on August 24 http://youtu.be/MZDMi_v4Ryc which was repeated every day for the last 4 months.

Lattakia / Jableh: army troops storm the city http://youtu.be/R00q9yg-FTQ Black smoke rises above the city, as sounds of gunfire are occasionally heard http://youtu.be/xi8h5dUuhp4 Gunboats were present during today’s crackdown, but were not used http://youtu.be/QK3x9o3Agw0 Troops said to have dug up the grave of a local martyr http://youtu.be/SwR9RBH8O-c

A mother of three in Idlib City, one a martyr, another detained and the third exiled, takes part in the protests http://youtu.be/abbHTOwZUdQ

An all women protest in Homs City’s Neighborhood of Al-Dablan http://youtu.be/3O_Me9JMVWg the women are soon joined by their menfolk http://youtu.be/IKlyFO9cZEY Meanwhile, this video shows effects of shelling on the neighborhoods http://youtu.be/2mUXXsWIWSs

Another defector from the army admits that he killed 5 protesters in the Damascene suburb of Douma, before defecting and going to his hometown in Homs, where he is now a member of the Free Officers Movement http://youtu.be/noj7aZ3Bkxo He says that he was commanded by Colonel Muhammad Mahmoud Shaheen. Meanwhile, Colonel Riyadh Al-Assad, leader of the Free Syrian Army, congratulates the Libyan people, and addresses his comrades in the Syrian army calling ion them to heed the Libyan example and to defect http://youtu.be/L_zccbmSLP4 More defectors http://youtu.be/c6bXtr4s4m8

Midan: laying the body of Shady Al-Irq killed during a funeral to his final resting place http://youtu.be/XvjI4wxh3u4 Shady’s colleagues took him on a 3-KM tour of Damascus before saying goodbye http://youtu.be/vl5gHbxamcc They definitely made sure that people heard their chants http://youtu.be/305-Af70JFw And made sure to curse Bashar Al-Assad as they passed near the security headquarters http://youtu.be/GPTr6sWM4Og “Death is better than humiliation” http://youtu.be/6VbwA9kzOK8 “The people want to execute the President” http://youtu.be/5dhi0dXYwAY “We’re going to heaven as millions of martyrs” http://youtu.be/9cNa1OniXro The Entrance to the cemetery http://youtu.be/YBacUmi-xqY

Protesters in Bab Houd in Homs City carry banner demanding a no-fly zone and international monitoring of the situation http://youtu.be/CIJ0DUAQC44 Protesters are beginning to demand a more active international involvement every day.

In Albou Kamal, a soldier who tried to protect the local population was killed by his loyalist colleagues http://youtu.be/eD_ksewMCHo

Hama City: videos of the babies who died in their incubators when troops cut off power to local hospitals http://youtu.be/5XR_p229eXY , http://youtu.be/B9FCFvGRPWo , http://youtu.be/Gp6xrZedUss

DAMASCUS

In Kisweh, protesters held a mourning ceremony for a child martyr http://youtu.be/GmEVtugdRuM , http://youtu.be/-L6xwBJUzLo

Al-Qarrah http://youtu.be/ZW15fVrNrls , http://youtu.be/XEzbUZWQIpA Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/C_2sxDt9QEc Midan / Hassan Mosque http://youtu.be/mb2jZCMTngM Zamalka “where is the loyalist? This is a peaceful revolution and our demand is freedom” http://youtu.be/dkpOez1FfM8 Kafar Sousseh http://youtu.be/bWxFT2SJnJw In Darya, protester demand “a new president for the Eid” http://youtu.be/weqZLzb3YjQ Zabadani http://youtu.be/2eScSVEOccg , http://goo.gl/eeksN Al-Qadam http://youtu.be/2ttUKI0RViA

HOMS


Elsewhere in he province, Palmyra/Tadmor http://youtu.be/a2cuyvfhzPk Al-Houleh http://youtu.be/83kjK6euen0 Deir Baalbah http://youtu.be/aBQ5v0m9Rlk And again after dawn prayers http://youtu.be/yFlAYwKS74o

IDLIB

In the refugee camps in Turkey, people, originally from Jisr Ashoughour come out in support of all besieged communities http://youtu.be/GZ6RoTfn_qg , http://youtu.be/1PRAT4R3_Ds


HAURAN

Basr Al-Harir http://youtu.be/tTNzvzc3dhI Earlier in the day, nearby Ataman witnessed an all-women protest http://youtu.be/b2P61oe_eUo Abtaa http://youtu.be/dHhxcWhYj0c Jassem http://youtu.be/OX59y5khRII Tafas http://youtu.be/bYkzU2A4CjY Despite the mass detention campaign, the inhabitants of Al-Taybah organize a small demonstration to show their defiance http://youtu.be/XTBBEBb7p1A , http://youtu.be/SIWYcxOgk24 In, Da’el protester carry a sign addressed to the cartoonist Ali Farzat: “be brave Ali Farzat, they might break your hands, but they will never break your spirits http://youtu.be/6qbSIZhvpaQ , http://youtu.be/Ch_aETaaxcY Kafar Shams http://youtu.be/pTaSjwQa9-E Ankhel http://youtu.be/xq98dIcHJ6Y Khirbet Al-Ghazaleh http://youtu.be/KzINaxFBozw Tseel http://youtu.be/VHQ6EvafU9s Namar http://youtu.be/gZx6kuXxLmM Sanamein http://youtu.be/6txFqrAExG4 , http://youtu.be/VIlnnwOD1A4

A leaked clip showing the army units that stormed Al-Hraak on August 19 http://youtu.be/BsxyVex9OPw In Tafas security checkpoints are omnipresent http://youtu.be/SUT1B53VldI , http://youtu.be/OHLTj3ncQzI

Pre-dawn demonstrations: Deraa City http://youtu.be/35vcDMvN1uY , http://youtu.be/bZ4CMpe5blU

ALEPPO

Dar Azza http://youtu.be/7YR9upBUk3g , http://youtu.be/YtuqbLwcK_I , http://youtu.be/yMNDm828gwA Izaz http://youtu.be/jokrDlCfUts Aleppo City (Rahmeh Mosque) http://youtu.be/5lCBOhbq-Kcb , http://youtu.be/_Q2ztUCB4PE Protesters write “Down with Bashar” on a big poster of his on the City’s entrance http://youtu.be/FinriEe27_4

DEIR EZZOR

In Al-Qouriyeh, people take to the streets at night http://youtu.be/1HCaUf-Fh5s despite the daytime crackdown http://youtu.be/EOAH9kpg_6c Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/LivE47WVfsk

HAMA


ELSEWHERE
Baniyas / Al-Baydah http://youtu.be/ND6R2yozp9c