Saturday, April 21, 2012

For Pride & Freedom!

“This is a Syrian Revolution, a Revolution for Pride and Freedom.” The revolutionaries of Homs City came up with this song months ago, and they have not stopped singing it for all the pounding and all the massacres and all the mayhem wrought by Assad death squads. This revolution will not stop until Assad and his minions are out. Come what may!

Friday April 20, 2012

Death Toll: 57, including 14 in Homs city, 9 in Al-Rami Village (Idlib), 7 in Damascus City (3 in Dafalshawk, 2 in Tadamon and 2 in Midan), 2 in Douma (Rural Damascus), 5 in Elbab (Aleppo Province) and in Albou Kamal (Deir Ezzor) and 1 in Daraa.

Op-Eds & Special Reports
Any Given Friday - How a battle over a Facebook page became a war for the soul of the Syrian revolution.
Alawites are not Alevi, but that could easily get lost in translation unless Ankara pays attention to this delicate issue as it tries to deal with al-Assad.
Editorial Note: At a moment of uncertainty surrounding the relationship between the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Syrian National Council (SNC), the following article by KNC member Hassan Saleh affirms the Kurdish desire for a decentralized federal democracy and their critical role in the future success of the Syrian revolution. The composition of the proposed federal state has yet to be explained in further detail.

The Liar! The Charlatan! The Criminal! The Butcher of Homs! The New Incarnation of the Devil! All Curse His Name. All Sing His Infamy. Let Him Wallow in Shame. Let Him Writhe in the Misery He Brought Upon Us All. Let Him See How Small He Really Is, How Despised, How Loathed, How Abhorred.  Let History Know. Let His Minions and Loyalists See, Whenever They Become Free Enough of Fear To See. Let Him Be Remembered for His Foul Deeds, Not His Self-Righteous Image. Then Let Him Be Buried in the Nearest Sewage Drain, So We Can All Finally Refrain from Any Further Mention of His Unholy Name, for the Rest of Eternity. 

Turning to Syria, Barak had some harsh words for President Bashar Assad. "What is happening there is a tragedy, it's a crime. They are slaughtering their people there by the day," he said, adding that the international community should take action, including sanctions, to stop this. "Anything from providing them with weapons to creating safe areas along the borders" for citizens, Barak said.

Barak singled out the Russians and the Chinese for the failure of the United Nations Security Council to take effective action against Assad.

"Assad's fall would be a major blow to Iran... it would weaken dramatically both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. It would be very positive," Barak said.

Dr. Josef OlmertAdjunct Professor, University of South Carolina writes against military intervention, and for increased effort to coopt Russia into playing positive role in Syria:

“From an American perspective, some loss of prestige as a result of co-opting the Russians in a solution is a price worth paying if that will prove to be the end of the bloodshed in Syria. What may make this option realistic is for the U.S. and its Western allies to tighten significantly and quickly the economic sanctions on Syria, because doing so will confront the Russians with the need to increase their economic aid to Assad, something that they will have difficulties in doing, thus having another incentive to reach an agreed settlement with the U.S.”

The problem with this thinking is that an agreed settlement with the U.S. may not satisfy the protesters unless it ensures the ouster of Assad and his cronies. If Assad’s ouster is not on the table, and so far, the Russians have been arguing against it, then the revolution will continue, and so will the crackdown and nothing will be achieved.

So, the question is how do you get the Assads, whose economic survival relies on Iranian and Iraqi support not Russian one (Russia sells weapons and might provide loans, but they do not provide aid), to cooperate with their ouster? Through Russian diplomatic pressures? Russia does not have the sort of leverage on the Assads that some experts would have us believe, and they are not likely to stop selling weapons and ammunitions to the Assads to please the U.S.

So, eventually, some military action is required, and the opposition’s own six point plan in this regard should be seriously considered by policymakers.

For the man who is doing this to his people will not be removed through dialogs:

But the spirit of defiance lives on despite all the pounding, in the neighborhood of Wa’er in another part of town, locals hold an anti-Assad and chant for freedom , , The inhabitants of Malaab Neighborhood were no less defiant , And Bab Houd Shammas

Even Jouret Al-Shayah and Bab Al-Sibaa People took advantage of a temporary reprieve in pounding to take to the streets.

In the town of Qusayr, Homs province, the pounding leaves many dead and wounded

Uncovering a new mass grave in Al-Rami, Idib ,

In Damascus City, protesters in Dafalshawk neighborhood come under fire leaving several martyrs

In Elbab, Aleppo Province, protesters come under fire but remain defiant, end result 5 dead 

But, and on account of the warming weather, people are taking back to the streets in greater numbers again. The weather is factor that seems to have skipped the minds of many analysts when they examined the situation on the ground, interpreting the smaller size crowds taking part in rallies as measure of fatigue or frustration, but it was simply the cold weather and the various illnesses it caused for people who could no longer afford heating oil, if they could ever find it, nor medication, and often, nor shelter. Now that it’s warming up, its’ heating up.

Homs Province: Talbisseh

Deir Ezzor: Deir Ezzor City (Al-Oummal) (Hamidiyeh) (Jourah) Jarzi

Lattakia: Hiffeh