There is method to Assad’s madness and only shame in western dithering. At one point, western leaders need to come to their senses and realize that ignoring the genocide unfolding in Syria will not make it go away.
Saturday June 10, 2012
Today’s death toll: 66, mostly in Homs (26), Lattakia (10) and Idlib (31, including 26 in Ma’arrat Al-Nouman).
Op-Eds & Special Reports
Syria's 'Ghost' killers: Steroid-mad thugs who keep tyrant al-Assad's murderous regime in power are terrorising civilians
My recent trip to Lebanon and Qatar made clear a dismal truth about Syria’s future: The regime’s brutality, along with Russian blindness and U.S. hesitation, is pushing Syria toward a disaster. Syria is sinking into a sectarian war that will produce a regime controlled by Islamists. It didn’t have to be that way, and that ending could still be avoided. But unless Moscow wakes up, and Washington takes a more active role, that outcome looks all too likely, with dangerous repercussions for the entire Middle East.
Et Tu Benedict?
The reasons for the ultimatum ordering Christians to leave Qusair “remain unclear,” the Vatican agency said. “According to some, it serves to avoid more suffering to the faithful; other sources reveal ‘a continuity focused on discrimination and repression.’ Still others argue that Christians have openly expressed their loyalty to the state and for this reason the opposition army drives them away.”
The Vatican News Agency falls victim again to the Assad propaganda machine. The explanation is simple: they keep relying on reports from the official clerical establishment representing Christian interests in Syria. But the problem here is the fact that the Christian religious establishment, very much like the Sunni one, is quite corrupt and hence pro-regime.
Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, the Jesuit priest named in the report, is not of the establishment. He came to Syria close to 20 years ago and has been very active in building trust between Muslims and Christian populations. More importantly, something that the report fails to note, he came out on the side on the revolutionary movement early on which earned him plenty of affection in revolutionary circles.
A few days ago, Father Paolo paid a visit to Qusayr where he was warmly received by local fighters. He spoke of future Syria where freedom of expression will be respected, called on doctors to provide succor to all people irrespective of their religious backgrounds, donated his own blood to the cause and criticized the regime noting that “no one wants it anymore” http://youtu.be/mbwDARff8Ok , http://youtu.be/Dh1uOTLdSXA.
The visit by Father Paolo led to a temporary halt in the shelling, which gave an opportunity to some local families, Christian and Muslim, to leave town, in a continuing exodus that has little to do with religiosity and more to do with the monstrosity of pro-Assad militias who keep shelling everything that moves. Perhaps this exodus is what gave birth to the report. As usual in these cases, the Vatican News Agency soon began retracting its earlier version of things. Soon after, the local coordinating committee in Qusair issued a statement belying the report, and noting that the continuous pounding have been driving local families from both grounds out of the city for close to two months now.
Meanwhile, the article below provides a more detailed refutation of the Vatican report.
Claims of straightforward ethnic cleansing by Islamist militants do not add up, because that is not how jihadist groups deal with Christians.
In addition to the explanations provided by the article above, it should be noted that local fighters actually benefit more by having Christians stay in their midst than by having leave, because every Christian death as result of the continuing bombing undermines Assad’s own image as protector of religious minorities.
As for Father Paolo, Facebook status updates by different internal activists indicate that he will be leaving the country within the next couple of days, having been designated as a persona non grata by Assad officials.
I, Rebel Leader
According to the experts at The Voice of Russia Radio Station, I am a rebel leader coordinating NATO involvement in Syria.
… last month, a self-proclaimed rebel leader or opposition leader Syrian born Ammar Abdulhamid, who has been living in Washington and was a former visiting scholar at Brookings Institution until recently, came to the United States as head of a delegation of opposition figures in Syria to visit with U.S. officials, government officials. And immediately afterwards he flew into Pristine, the capital of Kosovo, to meet with leaders of the government to a former KLA fighters, such as Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and others, and quite bluntly told Associated Press in May that he was studying the Kosovo example to be replicated in Syria even stating that he was particularly impressed with how the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army able to integrate various armed groups. From which we can understand many instances are nothing more than criminal underworld militias into a fighting force, which was then coordinated with the United States and NATO during the bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999.
There are several problems here of course: not in my entire have it ever proclaimed myself a rebel leader, our delegation did not meet with the Prime Minister, I have lived in the U.S. since September 2005, and finally, I actually visited Moscow for a week in late May, gave interviews to the press and met with the real policy expert there. So, unless Russia is taking part in the Cosmic plot against Assad, our expert at the Voice of Russia, have some explaining to do.
UN Monitors document their own visit to the Damascene suburb of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and their visit to the Prime Minister’s Office in Damascus City where a mortar shell landed in the park nearby http://youtu.be/HZXCYf5vkwo
In Talbisseh, a home receives a direct hit by a mortar round, as people rush in to save the family inside, including a woman and two children that we can see, another round comes http://youtu.be/eJu1f4_VnCs Treating the wounded http://youtu.be/N_cZ5poMe4s And the pounding continues http://youtu.be/q0x2hjpWuDY , http://youtu.be/wfigJ3eBH7E A martyr http://youtu.be/E6wGGmsnyqE
In Ghanto, the 743 Brigade of the regular defects as a unit with its missiles aimed at Talbisseh http://youtu.be/c8Xj0ymjswA , http://youtu.be/cW1WNTN90dw , http://youtu.be/FGiclVC8jEE , http://youtu.be/0IAZJlYE90U This is the largest defection to date. But the Brigade comes immediately under fire from nearby loyalist units http://youtu.be/KY4oyiyUGYU One of the choppers taking part in the pounding http://youtu.be/7PJnjdGjBwc
In the town of Qusayr, local fighters take over and blow up the municipality building that was used by pro-Assad militias as sniper position http://youtu.be/TeFRbb5k0rU , http://youtu.be/QatHcM9zuCI Treating the wounded of today’s shelling http://youtu.be/U_rVMdWucQk Martyrs http://youtu.be/WtbSz-Z_zIE , http://youtu.be/ODQbonRoWu0 , http://youtu.be/AMZ-8nLtOb4 , http://youtu.be/JjQO42ok-CE The shelling continues http://youtu.be/-eJQE9elt7Y Seven martyrs http://youtu.be/4IjSnS7r8Ts
The nighttime pounding of Rastan http://youtu.be/25xRFulQGhE , http://youtu.be/melaTMw5kd0 Martyrs http://youtu.be/isETx38PrEc An during the day http://youtu.be/vpEfyYuQjak The dead and the wounded http://youtu.be/loVMbba5N50 , http://youtu.be/Er80LEBbP7g , http://youtu.be/PEwyH-AelWU , http://youtu.be/CF01_Qc2bmA
Meanwhile, the pounding of the old neighborhoods of Homs City continues: Qoussour http://youtu.be/52DS8WGTPJE Ghoutah http://youtu.be/vsLQoXsT3p4 Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/97s8BBvXPW0
In Ma’arrat Al-Nouman, continued shelling leaves many wounded: treating the wounded http://youtu.be/KzmsJBsp4Ws , http://youtu.be/2ya2Fz7gIVc
Choppers take part in pounding the village of Hardateen http://youtu.be/E5Pf4dPi-lE
In Al-Atareb, local scramble to street the victims of continuous pounding http://youtu.be/AZUBwPFvUzY , http://youtu.be/aWwXVhyGEBI
The nighttime pounding of Bayanoun http://youtu.be/4CD4EUHBtUs of Hayan http://youtu.be/q08veDKsGso And during the day http://youtu.be/ZzqQV1xtVI4 , http://youtu.be/zNcvns6fH2U
The pounding of the town of Haffeh continues http://youtu.be/_4V5GaC6nqE The entire mountainous region, including Jabal Al-Akrad, and Jabal Al-Noubah village, is set on fire http://youtu.be/2N0to2MEzjA
In the nearby village of Bkas, the pounding leaves 10 children dead http://youtu.be/WmS5ARn-dEc
A rally in front of the central police headquarters http://youtu.be/feyV2rPcNLA
The suburb of Douma is pounded: the injured fall in the streets http://youtu.be/zX4kqIeskXo