Thursday, August 18, 2011

Resistance Regime Shows True Color, Again!

From Lebanon’s Tal Al-Zaatar to Lattakia’s Al-Ramel Al-Janoubi, the Palestinians have more often been victims of Assad regime’s treachery than beneficiaries of its alleged resistance ideology. And many of them know it.

Wednesday August 17, 2011

25 people were killed today by Assad security forces in Lattakia (2), Homs City (21), 1 in Hama and 1 in Idlib. Assad security forces made hundreds of arrests in Lattakia’s Al-Ramel Neighborhood, Homs’ Al-Khaldiyeh Neighborhood and an assortment of Damascene suburbs, including Harasta, Arbeen and Ruknaddine. After that, Assad told Ban Ki-Mun that all military and police operations have ceased.

Meanwhile, Aleppo City witnessed its largest demonstrations since the beginning of the Revolution when thousands of people marched from different neighborhood and converged on Saadallah Al-Jabiri Square in central Aleppo. Security forces used tear gas and electric tasers to disperse the crowds.

Russia says it will continue selling arms to the Assads despite international pressures. Meanwhile Deposed Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, called on Assad to step down.  

Links
Military and police operations against protesters in Syria have stopped, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the world body said in a statement. The announcement comes ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday at which the UN's human rights chief, Navi Pillay, could call for Syria's crackdown on protesters to be referred to the International Criminal Court, according to diplomats.
Syrian troops herded hundreds of people into a sports stadium in the port of Latakia after arresting during raids on homes in the city's Sunni district.
Pointing to political and religious divisions within Syria that make dealing with the opposition a challenge, Clinton said the U.S. was encouraging the opposition to "adopt the kind of unified agenda rooted in democratic change, inclusively.
Iranian snipers have been deployed in Syria as part of an increasingly brutal crackdown on protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a former member of the regime's secret police.
“We have pulled more than 20 personnel out of Syria, all of whom are non-essential United Nations staff,” said UN representative Michael Williams. The UN Security Council will hold a special session on Syria on Thursday, in which UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay will also be participating.
Syrian embassy staffers are tracking and photographing antiregime protesters and sending reports back home, Syrian activists and U.S. officials say. Syrian diplomats, including the ambassador to the U.S., have fanned out to Arab diaspora communities to brand dissidents "traitors" and warn them against conspiring with "Zionists."
The budget deficit has increased due to expanded social expenditure and shrinking tax revenues. The economic and security situation is expected to deteriorate further as the unrest continues to grow. The international community may resort to additional sanctions affecting the private companies and government institutions that form the backbone of the Syrian economy. This could throw the country into an unprecedented economic and fiscal crisis.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has criticized President Bashar Al Assad’s crimes in Syria, advising him to respond to the will of his people and step down, Egyptian newspaper Al Gomhouria reported on Wednesday, quoting a “source close” to Mr. Mubarak. Mr. Mubarak reportedly made the comments from a special wing of the International Medical Center where he is being held during his trial.
Turkey and the United States are now pursuing two mutually exclusive outcomes in Syria. Many in the United States believe that Syria would be a better place without Assad and that Assad has lost his legitimacy. In other words, United States policy is on the verge of calling for regime change, while Turkey continues to hold out hope for a reform program led by Assad, precisely in order to preserve its own influence as an intermediary between Iran, Syria, and Washington.
The administration's diplomatic options with Damascus are few. Despite the fact that the U.S. has not recalled Ambassador Robert Ford from the embassy, there are reportedly no direct interactions between the United States and the Syrian regime.

Yarmouk Camp / Aug 16: As the “resistance regime” goes on a killing spree against Palestinians, the Palestinians of the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus are reminding the Assads that they have not forgotten about their earlier betrayal in Tal Al-Zaatar: “No, we have not forgotten what you have done in Tal- Zaatar” http://youtu.be/-B-vknKXoes

Perhaps David Lesch is right, perhaps there is “conceptual gap” that separates the U.S. and Syria, one that is responsible for so much miscommunication, albeit perhaps not necessarily on the issues he is referring to. Still, in focusing on this matter almost exclusively in his analysis of Syria’s politics, David, who once prided himself on being a personal friend of Bashar Al-Assad and maintaining regular contact with him via email, reflects another “conceptual gap” that so many scholars and experts on Syria exhibit vis-à-vis Syrian realities: Bashar Al-Assad is a dictator and son of a dictator who was selected to be in charge specifically in order to maintain an existing system of oppression and corruption, not to reform it. The fact that the he accepted that role to begin with, then missed every opportunity to reform ever since, should have been proof enough that he is part of the problem and not the solution. But scholars like David Lesch kept on finding excuses for him using such fallacious arguments as the one about a “conceptual gap,” or that Syria’s internal problems are Syria’s own, as though the world is not part of the legitimacy mechanism that the Assads rely on to maintain their grip on power. The international community has a responsibility towards countries such as Syria that it cannot shirk so easily. By refusing to acknowledge that, the international community has been and still is part of the problem for the people of Syria, and this revolution is meant to change that as well. Even at the serious risk of complicating our task and screwing some things up, we need the international community to be involved, because it already is, on the side of the Assads. It’s time it crossed over to our side.

“Ideologies” and “national interests” have long become rhetorical tools that our dictators used to justify their oppression and detract attention from their abuses and their misrule, academics and experts should stop given so much weight to these issues when talking about authoritarian regimes. For the Assads, everything gets eventually examined not through the filters of ideology and national interest, but through those of their own narrow interests as a criminal gang, and their own desire to keep control over that to which they have no right, regardless of what their minds tell them.

No, it’s not easy dealing with countries that have been taken over by armed gangs that can set their armies against their own people, and set different parts of the population against each other, but trying to ignore this situation is no less problematic, and has historically only facilitated the further retrenching of these gangs. For a long time, international leaders ignored this situation by claiming that the people seem to be content, but now that several revolutions are under way, that excuse can no longer be used. It definitely cannot be sued in Syria. So, leaders of the free world, meet your responsibility: the Syrian people need your help getting rid of the Assads, and transitioning to democracy, and they are already doing their part. Now do yours.


ALEPPO

Protests continue to grow in frequency and size in Aleppo city. Today witnessed the largest demonstration to reach the Saadallah Al-Jabiri Square in downtown Aleppo http://youtu.be/vjZnFrTtIG4 , http://youtu.be/a8cFeR5B1No , http://youtu.be/SDrTOY-sr4M , http://youtu.be/VD9AEkftwMc with thousands of participants converging from different neighborhoods, including Al-Jamiliyeh http://youtu.be/cTW2FsXvyjY Al-Ismailiyeh http://youtu.be/O-NQDUvuEz0 Salaheddine http://youtu.be/EDG9UAsy0lc , http://youtu.be/4R75ObMUE3A Bader Neighborhood http://youtu.be/W7bMZF0ilvQ , http://youtu.be/wMjmRUf_R80 , http://youtu.be/O-NQDUvuEz0 But the Square, security officers were waiting http://youtu.be/jTrni8FetCM and they used tear gas and Tasers to disperse protesters http://youtu.be/RKQb863Vx-c , http://youtu.be/TaqQH03wpLU , http://youtu.be/E64XR3k3y2I The cries of “the people want to topple the regime” have finally reached Aleppo City. Now, it’s all about maintaining momentum.

HOMS

Some of the coolest and bravest protesters on Earth come from this city in Syria: Homs. The people in Homs are not holding protests but daily and nightly celebrations of life and freedom. In Talbisseh, there were fireworks and cheerful songs amidst a military siege, continuous crackdowns, episodes of shelling, mass arrests, and martyrs http://youtu.be/b7j1mMVGrHM The inhabitants of Baalbah are no less brave, especially considering that 1 of their number shad been killed earlier in the day http://youtu.be/iiX0WMzxfpg Nor are the inhabitants of Tadmor http://youtu.be/myhZxxPyYFw Or Rastan http://youtu.be/iitmB2zIYkQ , http://youtu.be/MQZ6dNM_Ayw

In Homs City itself, and while security forces patrol the streets during the day (Al-Khaldiyeh) http://youtu.be/5-GSSxpYCyM snipers take up positions http://youtu.be/_kM8vRvULxY and tanks roams around the neighborhoods http://youtu.be/WiOh_UCVtJI the nights belong to the protesters and to festivities celebrating freedom: Al-Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/KV_Qphvp55k , http://youtu.be/4GbpOag1LDg Al-Bayadah http://youtu.be/xoagXX0F9Y4 , http://youtu.be/OQmgdWDBZfU Bab Houd http://youtu.be/VgM-C49Nlbg , http://youtu.be/0Es5StGbBWU Bab Dreib http://youtu.be/hLebiOApXEY Stadium Street http://youtu.be/7IxMNceIUsY Baba Amr http://youtu.be/9Rpqw31bp00 Al-Qoussour http://youtu.be/P_L-gM-0YC4 Bab Tadmor http://youtu.be/nSOnmjUqPtk Al-Warsheh http://youtu.be/ELnVyN7yohk Some protesters insist on making their point in full light of day, numbers notwithstanding (Jouret Al-Shayyah) http://youtu.be/O2XN_VwC-kk

Elsewhere, army units patrol the streets of Agrab in Al-Houleh District, where 4 people were killed today http://youtu.be/Q7SfJ6JIBjw But at night, even a small demonstration is enough to send a message that the people are not intimidated http://youtu.be/bsPodnxHXU8

LATTAKIA
As Assad thugs dress the bodies of martyrs in military uniforms and film them on stat-run TV claiming they were army troops killed by armed gangs, activists were busy capturing the unadorned reality on their cell phones.

Snipers take up positions on rooftops throughout Al-Ramel Neighborhood http://youtu.be/Hr_f2ZXQvN4 Tank column advances through the narrow alleyways http://youtu.be/aGMNe85M9XA treating the wounded http://youtu.be/gxi-ZVp2oVY , http://youtu.be/xCIKL4t0epA , http://youtu.be/LTPsXT2jV10 , http://youtu.be/7jYzN8Fs-Aw , http://youtu.be/L5P9o40x2Xg which include children http://youtu.be/OjOtGv69IZA Meanwhile, the nearby city of Jableh observes a general strike http://youtu.be/o7CneM5sd88

IDLIB

Protests took place in Jabal Al-Zaiwyeh (Karaweed) http://youtu.be/I5ZOC3Ki6mA Ma’arrat Al-Nouman http://youtu.be/pgVvcLiOcyM Idlib City http://youtu.be/rRILXyL3uDo Kafar Takhareem http://youtu.be/2B1yKzn2KV8 Sarmeen http://youtu.be/_HCl_ZawJhU Gilli http://youtu.be/jd_Us80Tmgo Hzano http://youtu.be/K5sVbmL4UPA Haass http://youtu.be/mtI8xdlcgXc Ma’arrat Hourmah http://youtu.be/V4ocBIHeBzM Khan Shaikhoon http://youtu.be/-KMOx6wEjBg Idlib City http://youtu.be/5DtAS9GC4UM , http://youtu.be/CLzJ9gmgd-o , http://youtu.be/09ZHoUUPcq0 Saraqib: a wounded little girl http://youtu.be/0sy5Cz01g0M Kafar Nabbol  http://youtu.be/hlKvjNaQ9fM Kafroumah http://youtu.be/OU0OV9K4HI0 Most of these communities are separated by tanks and military checkpoints, just like these ones outside Sarmeen http://youtu.be/FxTm9AXJzDE

DAMASCUS

Mass protests took place in Douma http://youtu.be/K5qf60YoyfU , http://youtu.be/jSRbneaT-Lc , http://youtu.be/So9CLhvwWcI Harasta http://youtu.be/J44TrcSrFv8 , http://youtu.be/dtshVMw0f6M Al-Kisweh http://youtu.be/gs0sHwxNVyM Arbeen http://youtu.be/cMNmcHlp_2E Zabadani http://youtu.be/UAgpEOedCWY Qaboun http://youtu.be/8sgR8D-r1Q4 Zamalka http://youtu.be/zunnEHTUe2c Rankous http://youtu.be/K_GWYwd0aPg Dmeir http://youtu.be/cZIsgokK_0c Al-Qarrah http://youtu.be/Ib_BZb96aGQ Flash protests (small short lived demonstration staged where security forces can gather in large numbers on short notice) were staged in Naher Eisheh http://youtu.be/bBmJDwItmjQ Al-Hameh http://youtu.be/0NQJ4BdaelQ Arnous http://youtu.be/LIFODmPeZ7I

HAURAN


DEIR EZZOR

Despite ongoing siege and a mass detention campaign, Albou Kamal perseveres in its rebellious ways http://youtu.be/VfyFazQD2Ko , http://youtu.be/HI8SelThyaA Al-Qouriyeh http://youtu.be/5AMlsgvCo5I Army troops patrolling the streets of Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/UUmn7pQIxIA Syrian TV’s coverage of developments in Deir Ezzor included interviews with “inhabitants” praising the army, all of whom looked and sounded anything but Deiris. The lying continues http://youtu.be/nSO8wyDf2sU But this funeral is true http://youtu.be/kglMDqaQgWs And this was the martyr, killed on the previous day http://youtu.be/wdecvhXk5Pk

HAMA

Hama City: army units and militias patrol the neighborhoods at night http://youtu.be/8TmQdm8iUuw But where security is absent, protesters to the streets to voice solidarity with Lattakia http://youtu.be/RSQlTFMulVs Small protests still take place in the morning as well http://youtu.be/_KRmVT2HIbg Elsewhere in the province, Hilfaya http://youtu.be/60drZduFJKk , http://youtu.be/HGS2L2uPQ_k  Karnaz http://youtu.be/yHg3d_YvE9Q

AL-HASSAKEH