Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh what a difference the Arab League cannot make!

The mission that was designed to fail is failing, the world that opted to watch is watching. Meanwhile, the killers kill, and the protesters protest – all the world’s a stage, and each is playing his part to perfection.

Sunday 8, 2012

Today’s death toll: 32, mostly in Homs City and the town of Douma in Rural Damascus. Clashes were also reported between loyalists and new wave of defectors in the towns of Zabadani and Madaya in Rural Damascus along the border with Lebanon. An Ambush by FSA units left several loyalists dead in the village of Ma’ar Dibseh in Idlib Province. More defections were also reported in Homs City. and in Hama City where announced his defection along with 50 soldiers from his unit.

Saturday’s death toll: 29 + 11 loyalist troops killed in clashes with new defectors in the town of Bosra Al-Harir in Deraa/Hauran Province.

Links
My entire family is featured in this Washington Post article. The real people who deserve to be featured, that is, the protest leaders in Syria, were temporarily unavailable. Today, we speak for them, tomorrow, they'll speak for themselves. Or, to put it differently, they are already speaking for themselves, but their language is that of Revolution, and people like us are occasionally needed as translators. Hope we're doing a good job.

“Only in Syria does the rate of fallen martyrs exceed that of regular rainfall” Kafrenbel – Idlib – Jan 8, 2012 http://youtu.be/yqdquCWM4Zs

The Christian Question

Gregorius Lahham, Patriarch of the Roman Catholic Church in Syria, refused in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat to tie the fate of Christian communities in Syria with that of any ruling regime, saying that Christians are free to choose their political position in the current situation whether with or against the regime.

These statements by Father Lahham, following similar utterances by the patriarchs of other churches in Syria, are neutral only on the surface of things. At the time when the regime managed to prevail on the highest Islamic religious authority in the land, namely the Grand Mufti, among many other Islamic scholars and figures to come out against the revolution, the “neutrality” exhibited by the likes of Father Lahham exemplified the refusal to condemn any Christians taking part in the revolution, not to mention the revolution itself, is pretty courageous, not to mention wise, stand. Moreover, and despite Father Lahham’s denial that the regime has tried to pressure him into condemning the Revolution, it’s doubtless that he, among other Christian religious leaders, are under a lot of pressure to do so. Neutrality in the face of these pressures is indeed bravery, more importantly, it’s a form of participation in the revolution, and constitutes the biggest guarantee that Christian communities have regarding their post-Assad future.

The inability to move beyond these neutral stances into a clear endorsement of the revolution, on the other hand, reflects the concerns of Father Lahham, and others, not only for their personal safety, but for the wellbeing of all Christian communities in Syria, because the real physical threat against the survival of the Christian communities in Syria is not posed by the Revolutionaries, but by the Assads and their loyalist militias. Under the Assads, the Christians are not protected, they are hostages. 

The Truth about AL and UNSC

Meanwhile, the Arab League has stopped short of turning to UN on Syria, but in a press conference, Qatari PM said that the UNSC doesn’t need any referrals from the Arab League, and can interfere whenever it wants. That is, if it wants. Herein the rub. The world wants nothing to do with the situation in Syria, at least at this stage. Still, for all their calls for international military intervention, the revolutionaries are aware of this, they know they are on their own, and they are planning their moves accordingly. They will keep clamoring for international intervention, but they are not waiting for it.

Video Highlights

The Midan Explosion captured on video http://youtu.be/5beNGV_FES8 But on January 8, locals rallies at night in the exact spot – an interesting way of preserving the crime scene. But then, why bother, if the verdict is already in http://youtu.be/3xnbMrw6HyI , http://youtu.be/kkkg5Lc5jSc

New videos of the massacres that took place in Homs City on April 19, 2011 in Clock-Tower Square, redubbed by revolutionaries since as Freedom Square. Despite the overwhelming gunfire, protesters remained defiant even then with some shouting out when they could “fuck you and your President” http://youtu.be/5DvLJxA7qBs , http://youtu.be/8FMQpV3YQ6g
  
Message to Gen. Al-Dabi, head of the Arab League Mission to Syria from the local commander of a unit affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. The commander, Col. Afif Mahmoud Suleiman, complains that AL monitors were unable to meet with them during their tour of Hama City. He demands a meeting, and that AL monitors visit the suburbs that were bombed by loyalists and the sites of suspect mass graves http://youtu.be/f64m-T3Og8Q  

The recent and highest ranking defector so far, Maj. Gen. Mustafa Al-Sheikh, addresses the revolutionaries announcing his defection and says that the army has become an occupation force. Al-Jazeerah had aired parts of the announcement before: this is the full version http://youtu.be/FG9xjNRb0gg

In Qoussour Neighborhood in Homs City, sign says “National Coordination Body, where are your supports in the Street?” http://youtu.be/GCu-_aIK9DM Meanwhile, a sign in Khaldiyeh states “the people want internationalization, they want military intervention” http://youtu.be/9DbiPUf4hrA

In the suburb of Zamalka in Rural Damascus, protesters carry a banner “National Council, no more mistakes, so beware!” http://youtu.be/MhY0coBl01Q In Shoueikeh Neighborhood in Damascus City, protesters chant “O Ghalioun (head of SNC), O Manna (NCB Spokesman), the Syrian blood is not for sale” http://youtu.be/xfVLE1kE-mo

So, how bad are things for Assad in Damascus? This video was made by an activist during a pro-Assad rally in the Seven Fountains Square in Central Damascus on Jan 4 for the benefit of AL monitors. This crowd according to Syrian TV number s million strong! The speaker is shouting in the background: “he who loves Assad let him come closer.” Obviously, the takers are few http://youtu.be/MtOgZUyRoPY Tic Toc.

HOMS – THE CITY

Baba Amr One of the local sniper takes out a child by shooting him through the right eye (Jan 7) http://youtu.be/7toQ0-uuDrs

Impact of overnight pounding of Jib Al-Jandali http://youtu.be/6cgg8C0UBiM , http://youtu.be/nLaHY0OQ79w Impact of overnight pounding on Asheerah Neighborhood http://youtu.be/GSfxjlyGIYQ , http://youtu.be/oDgW1g8yGpo

A Martyr http://youtu.be/SdrO5kL6Ofc A mother’s grief. She says “he didn’t have breakfast before he left” http://youtu.be/nuZdgkjv94A The wounded include a baby http://youtu.be/eu6tItLcYSM

Jouret Al-Shayah A sniper claims his daily kill http://youtu.be/zZs5OSZ1ye0

Smuggled out video shows the “living” conditions inside one of the cells in Central Prison of Homs not inspected by the AL monitors http://youtu.be/pSitwqiYK1k , http://youtu.be/zTBF7uATFGY

Al-Rifai Street (Karm Al-Zeitun Neighborhood) comes under fire http://youtu.be/klM16FqlT9c , http://youtu.be/T1DzEKoDuOo , http://youtu.be/nr0WcwiecXI Rescuing the wounded http://youtu.be/WSl9K1-YBEs A baby among the victims http://youtu.be/-ropuQ2W1sw Another martyr http://youtu.be/Vqq0MVHqrF4 A nighttime funeral http://youtu.be/M44IYFjpVJ4

Martyrs from Deir Baalbah http://youtu.be/Gp4Eyo6gnyo , http://youtu.be/-K3aQ0zCXVE A funeral http://youtu.be/qQ2J289ActI , http://youtu.be/uNe8XC2lW9M Another one at night http://youtu.be/oTX4DooVIEo The neighborhood comes under fire at night http://youtu.be/S3KsmA5yNjo

Khaldiyeh a funeral for yesterday’s martyrs http://youtu.be/JGdjBJVAKgc , http://youtu.be/wLH9wSXlH88 A new martyr (gruesome) http://youtu.be/JnGRXCStPcY

A rally in Malaab is dispersed by loyalists (near end of clip) http://youtu.be/gvi3C_VFsgA

Hamidiyeh the new loyalist checkpoints http://youtu.be/seMPBdTAn-4


HOMS – THE PROVINCE

A Martyr from Talbisseh http://youtu.be/lIF_0x6N4ZM Signs of torture on his body http://youtu.be/46L_jcLvuDc His Funeral http://youtu.be/2xo2fa35iWM

Qseir A mother says goodbye http://youtu.be/mUGKEiiQJjY to her son http://youtu.be/9nrozLQ9iw8


HAMA – THE CITY

Choppers overfly the city http://youtu.be/pjn3LuWc8VI


HAMA – THE PROVINCE

Locals in Karnaz stage their own mock visit by AL monitors in which they mock the monitors http://youtu.be/ylrpjBg4gms Khattab the havoc wrought by loyalists http://youtu.be/QcZLVMswY5Q


DAMASCUS – THE CITY

In Kafar Sousseh, locals rally at night in support of their detainees chanting “the people want to execute the president” http://youtu.be/3b2D9b1ASGY

A martyr from Doumar Al-Balad http://youtu.be/Df-0pLGwNMc



DAMASCUS – THE NORTHERN SUBURBS

The town of Dmeir comes under fire at night http://youtu.be/sCMrCfjxM4M The last minute in the life of Bandar Moadamani http://youtu.be/oQnD09cG7ck

Rallies Ma’arrat Yabroud (Jan 7) http://youtu.be/It6ltUIc9qU  

DAMASCUS – THE EASTERN SUBURBS


Student rally in Saqba http://youtu.be/JPT6aRka4BA as choppers overfly the restive suburb http://youtu.be/ccvBm2Sfk7A  Another in Zamalka http://youtu.be/s6Qvr2wuROE

Nighttime Rallies Saqba http://youtu.be/smWTbXZHmU8 Fireworks & A big a screen “We say Freedom, All the world Says Freedom” http://youtu.be/3czoDFQBDqE Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/x9IBMItVaHs Arbeen http://youtu.be/WXZh90GAk-I , http://youtu.be/hZa8c3T50-8 Zamalka Banner says “we want international protection to protect the monitors” http://youtu.be/xMbYvYuLIXA Douma “Long live the FSA” http://youtu.be/F_iKImWVBxM , http://youtu.be/Sbuz9BwhlOo

DAMASCUS – THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS 

Loyalist checkpoints around the town of Qatana http://youtu.be/DyFsL66br-I

DAMASCUS – THE WESTERN SUBURBS

Zabadani A shop shows bullet holes in its walls as result of loyalist firing http://youtu.be/9LIIhKJnTgQ A defector’s dead body is left in the street http://youtu.be/vwznI8gKxyY Rescuing the body is a risky undertaking http://youtu.be/rwvuuRxbslE Martyrs http://youtu.be/AoNOMXyTdAc , http://youtu.be/id2AYIDZ8DY Impact of nighttime gunfire http://youtu.be/1Kb_pBYdEyA , http://youtu.be/AUX5pYZg-nE

An injured man from nearby Madaya http://youtu.be/Qq-A_9az6tY

Rally in on road between Qudsaya and Hameh (Jan 7) http://youtu.be/yJStlzp0od0 , http://youtu.be/-eJDkV7fcGs Rally in Wadi Barada http://youtu.be/1HN9LdSan04

IDLIB PROVINCE

Haass A funeral for one of the policemen killed in the Midan District bombing. The locals categorically blame the regime for the bombing made “by the terrorist Syrian regime,” as the sign carried by the child says http://youtu.be/9vIaIKuCv4Q , http://youtu.be/mqWGQw9RiZg Later, loyalists storm in and open fire http://youtu.be/KkIYh0vwd7g

Kafroumah In the northern parts of town, loyalist troops http://youtu.be/tuXSZA-tGGI In the town center, a mass rally where protesters chant “we will hunt you down Bashar” http://youtu.be/Z4X8EVGAuJ4 The view from within the crowd http://youtu.be/DG8M94z-2X0 One of the banners says in reference to the alleged terrorist attacks: “The 1st Attack to cover up Kafar Ouaid Massacre. The 2nd Attack to cover up Deir Ezzor massacre. What massacre will the 3rd Attack cover up, you traitor?” 

A funeral in Idlib City http://youtu.be/TLKQXnOhHcE A mother’s grief http://youtu.be/TXuFwCdAyyU

The inhabitants of Ihsem meet with AL monitors http://youtu.be/AXYehdbd72w chanting “the people want to execute you Bashar” http://youtu.be/r34HwY0Y63g But in the town of Joseph, tanks and loyalists occupy the local scene http://youtu.be/1Q0C7ZwGto8 Elsewhere in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, mothers and other locals explain what happened to their sons to AL monitors http://youtu.be/we3ePnvaHN8 , http://youtu.be/VgcZxhUf-Ec Others tell he monitors where the tanks are hidden http://youtu.be/LM_BmMjGAVQ In Al-Rami, a tanks gets derailed as it tries to hide from the monitors http://youtu.be/Fp-yAPcnBs4


DERAA – THE CITY


DERAA – THE PROVINCE (AKA HAURAN)

Locals welcome the arrival of AL monitors into their midst in Taybah http://youtu.be/mg-3z4L4ah4 , http://youtu.be/QKUoQDWP1QA , http://youtu.be/_brv1lXxZjo Meanwhile, the locals in Namar stage their own mock-visit http://youtu.be/4Is7pS0Ko_Q

A funeral for a local in Mhajeh http://youtu.be/DG2zCSEG8Wg


DEIR EZZOR PROVINCE

Deir Ezzor City (Takaya Street) Sign “We demand an urgent military intervention” http://youtu.be/L28L3HGpbsc (Hassan Taha) http://youtu.be/4E2X49xX5SE



HASSAKEH PROVINCE


ALEPPO – THE CITY

Rallies Seif Al-Dawleh (night) http://youtu.be/GRIfg4el-ww Bellirmoon http://youtu.be/chZj7I7_w4w

ALEPPO – THE PROVINCE


LATTAKIA & TARTOUS PROVINCES

Jableh (Lattakia) Student rallies like this one compensate for the inability of the adults to stage their own large rallies in this mixed and highly explosive town. It is the Sunnis who are a minority here, the Alawites are heavily armed and emotionally charged http://youtu.be/lUeN_CV2JHA In nearby town of Tartous (Tartous Province), another mixed community, a smaller student rally is quickly broken up http://youtu.be/cN7oCsoQzKk