Thursday, May 31, 2012

Abandoned!

Symbolic gestures cannot save us from real slaughter. Words of sympathy do not shield us from mortar rounds. Sanctions do not stop marauding gangs of thugs and killers. In Syria, our sense of abandonment is as areal as the war being waged against us.  

Wednesday May 30, 2012

Death toll: 39.

News
Op-Eds & Special Reports
What the Hell Should We Do About Syria? FP asked five smart observers to offer their solutions for the quagmire in Damascus.

Obama & the Russians


the Syrian revolution is as much about ending an apartheid-patronage system as it is about creating democratic state, yet Russia relies for its own commercial and military interests on preserving the former. Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid, freshly returned from Moscow, smartly observes:

What the “regime” means to the Russians is Alawite control of security and military apparatuses. If regime survival under this formula is not possible, than the powers-that-be in Russia would not be too opposed to the fragmentation of Syria so long as coastal areas remain under Alawite control, which is the likely outcome in this case. To ensure getting their desired outcome, the Russians will continue propping up the regime by supplying it with arms, which they claim are not meant to be used against protesters but against future western intervention, and by continuing to be a stumbling block in the way of any meaningful UN-led action or condemnation.

So Russia will, in the end, accept nothing less than the balkanization of Syria. So much for the insistence of countless Security Council statements that the country’s “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity” be preserved.

The administration hopes that it is possible to appeal to the better angels of Moscow’s nature and that Houla compels them to change their position on Assad. Instead, the Russians are sending more arms to the regime. It’s hardly surprising, then, the Russians won’t even admit that Assad is behind the massacre. Russian deputy U.N. ambassador Alexander Pankin “rejected the idea that the evidence clearly showed Damascus was guilty.” ... Moscow is simply playing the spoiler and thereby enjoying the sort of international prestige that it has not been afforded since the end of the Cold War. The Russians are not going to engineer a coup against Assad, or in any way work to resolve the issue, because it is precisely the conflict that has given them influence in Syria—the conflict, that is, and Obama, who for no good reason has handed Moscow the reins.

Video Highlights

In Houla, pounding by pro-Assad troops resumes after departure of UN monitors leaving many dead and wounded: treating the injured http://youtu.be/jBPjhJnjuMs , http://youtu.be/7evsmN41-YQ Martyrs http://youtu.be/eb5D7Z3XzQo Crops catch fire http://youtu.be/C3pWlKx9d9I The pounding http://youtu.be/2AUE2io4tbw , http://youtu.be/2AUE2io4tbw The gunfire http://youtu.be/PnsxuLJ1vp8 , http://youtu.be/vsjp5WIJ9ko Locals running away from town across the fields http://youtu.be/Z3Z7mCYuphM Earlier in the day, UN monitors visited some of the local houses where entire families were slaughtered http://youtu.be/c1txS0LPPq8

Assad officials keep insisting that no condemnation should be made until their investigation of the events is concluded, but their methods of investigations, which involve random pounding of the town, are a bit… unorthodox.

Some of those Russians anti-aircraft missiles, not intended for use in the current crackdown, if we go by the assertions of Russian officials, get used in the pounding of the Old Homs neighborhoods, setting entire buildings on fire: Hamidiyeh http://youtu.be/OmeexzSs1aE Local activist is almost killed while filming http://youtu.be/JZI-C-1zY9g Bab Al-Sibaa: pulling the bodies of the dead from the streets while under fire from snipers http://youtu.be/AK1i4jnG1sg Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/3275Rb8nrbg The pounding http://youtu.be/P5YE7A8Lygk , http://youtu.be/QurkSJrrnj0 , http://youtu.be/wMmOHpVkubA , http://youtu.be/wBc0IAGqrvY , http://youtu.be/qJB6FoVLrZo

In Rastan, the pounding resumes at night http://youtu.be/RKW7NuJb8TQ

In Idlib Province, chopper fires rockets on the village of Mar Shammareen http://youtu.be/5Y8ZBI32QMs

In Anadan, Aleppo Province, chopper fires rockets on the town http://youtu.be/pVhC15D8Fm0

In Damascus, the pounding of the town of Douma continues http://youtu.be/pnZqu73h5ps