Thursday, May 17, 2012

No Action No Peace!

As the Assads and their militias continue to kill with impunity, irrespective of the presence of UN monitors, it’s about time world leaders began consulting their own conscience for guidance on what needs to be done. For now, their inaction speaks louder than their words of support and condemnation. Moral support is greatly appreciated when it comes from a former President, but for those currently in office, only their actions carry any meaning.

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Death toll: 35 including 20 in Shammas Neighborhood in Homs City. Meanwhile, the pounding of the nearby town of Rastan continues in preparation for an invasion expected to take place within the next 48 hours.

On Tuesday, Assad death squads perpetrated a massacre in the town of Khan Shaikhoon, in which 28 locals were killed. The massacre took place even as a team of UN monitors led by Robert Mood was in town.

Other attacks on Tuesday left 10 dead in Homs City, 6 in Tartous, 6 in Rural Damascus, 6 in Hama, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 2 in Daraa and 1 in Quneitrah.

Syria's Assad: Nations that sow chaos will suffer (Questions: does Bashar Al-Assad listen to his own words? Well, if did he wouldn’t accuse Al-Qaeda if anything, because to him it does NOT exist)
Family wins $323 million against Iran, Syria over terrorist attack (And guess who will end up paying for it, not to mention all of Assad’s crimes!)
Op-Eds & Special Reports
A useful study of the various Syria opposition groups, coalitions and key independent figures by Swedish researcher Aaron Lund.

Two massacres in the bag, another to come!

Having executed a massacre in the town of Khan Shaikhoon in Idlib Province on May 15, pro-Assad death squads perpetrated a new one in Shammas Neighborhood in Homs City on May 16, and are now said to getting ready to storm Rastan to repeat their feat on an even grander scale.

The Khan Shaikhoon Massacre: Protester come under fire, bodies get strewn in the streets Some of the martyrs More victims ,  People clean up and remain defiant   Shortly after the massacre, the regime accused locals of kidnapping the monitors, but one of them is seen here saying that this was not the case  In response to the massacre, the local unit of FSA attack and destroy the loyalist checkpoint responsible for the attack  Today, the UN monitors left the town after spending the night under the protection of the locals They take their damaged vehicle with them

Shammas Neighborhood’s Massacre: executed by pro-Assad death squads ,

Kosovo Fallouts

The fallouts from our trip to Kosovo, with Bashar Al-Assad himself now weighing in. In an interview with a Russian TV station, Assad says (below is an English translation of in French original):

President Bashar al-Assad confirmed reports that rebels had attended training Syrian military camps in Kosovo.

"We have information confirming that a Syrian opposition group traveled to Kosovo to gain experience in the field of armed intervention in a step to bring NATO to Syria," said the head of the Syrian state in an interview with the Rossiya television channel 24.

Mr. Assad says that he has obtained this information from reliable sources (probably my blog).

Regarding my part in the affair, the report went to note that:

In late April, the Serbian news agency, Tanjug, referred to an announcement by Syrian exiled Syrian opposition member, Ammar Abdulhamid, that the rebels would use the experience of the Liberation Army Kosovo (KLA) to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad. According to Mr. Abdulhamid, members of the opposition have promised to recognize Kosovo's independence in case of coming to power in Damascus. Pristina confirmed to be in contact with the Syrian opposition, but refuted allegations of training fighters.

In related news, Al-Hayat published the Arabic translation of Veton Surroi’s article “Lessons from Kosovo,” here.  For her part, Asharq Al-Awsat refers to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s objections to the visit here. But Asharq Also notes that Russia’s arms supplies to Syria continue, quoting assertions in this regard by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.

President Bush: “America does not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East, or elsewhere. It only gets to choose what side it is on,” he added.

Well, President Bush, already showed us what side he is on, I just hope President Obama chooses the right side as well. No, not by offering meetings and words, one looks for more from the Acting President, but by adopting more proactive approaches to dealing with this deepening crisis, and we have already presented our own plan in this regard, and we can help flesh out each one of the points it contains. We just hope that the Obama’s Administration’s policy on Syria “matures” in time to save the country, and perhaps the region.

We were also proud to have join us via Skype Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

When Suu Kyi appeared on the big screen above the stage, she too offered her support to Abdulhamid’s home country. “I would like to say to the people of Syria, we are with you in your struggle for freedom,” she said. Asked if she had a solution to the violence in Syria that has claimed more than 12,000 lives in the last 15 months, Suu Kyi replied, “If there was an easy answer, I think Syria would be at peace now.” But Suu Kyi said she’s hopeful about peace abroad and at home.

ABC also noted that I have actually been invited to introduce President Bush and speak about the situation in Syria:

Abdulhamid, founder of the Tharwa Foundation and one of the earliest dissident voices behind the Syrian uprising, introduced Bush today, emphasizing the importance of fearless activism. “The price of activism could be the death of the human body. But the price of silence could result in the death of human spirit, a far greater price to pay,” Abdulhamid said. “All of us here today join you in hoping and praying for the end of violence and the advance of freedom in Syria,” Bush told Abdulhamid as he took the stage.

He singled out Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad has killed thousands to squelch opposition. “All of us here today join you in hoping and praying for the end of violence and the advance of freedom in Syria,” Mr. Bush told Ammar Abdulhamid, a prominent Syrian opposition figure invited to speak at the event.

More Coverage:

Here is a link to my page in the Freedom Collection.
Here is a link to the full text of my speech.

Video Highlights

In Deir Ezzor City, locals manage to trap a tank and turn it upside down

Towns and suburbs across Syria come under fire at night: Kafar Batna, Rural Damascus Aleppo Road Neighborhood, Hama City Daraya, Damascus

Martyrs: Daraya, Damascus Ghanto Ma’ardis, Hama Ghuweiran, Hassakeh (funeral) Eltaman’ah, Hama Khaldiyeh, Homs City Al-Karameh, Hama City Kafrenbel, Idlib Shaghour, Damascus City Midan, Damascus City (funeral) Rastan, Homs Province

The pounding of Homs City continues: Hamidiyeh Jouret Al-Shayah

The nearby town of Al-Hosn also come under heavy pounding The sporadic pounding of Rastan continues

Tanks pound their way into Khan Shaikhoon, Idlib

UN monitors pay a visit to the town of Courine, Idlib Others visit Daraa City And others Al-Hraak, Daraa under the protection of the local unit of the FSA