Friday, June 15, 2012

The Revolutionary Imperative!

When our people demonstrated peacefully, they were shot at by snipers and attacked with tanks, when they finally began fighting back, they were pounded with heavy artillery and helicopters, when armed fighters withdrew from towns and cities after they ran out of ammunition, pro-Assad militias went in and perpetrated massacres, and yet, and yet, somehow, the resistance continues, and the revolution spreads. With light weapons, and little help from the outside world, the Syrian popular resistance is taking on a criminal consortium that stretches from Russia and China to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. Add in Venezuela and Belarus for good measure. We don’t plan on being defeated, and we’re no longer waiting for help. While geopolitical imperatives continue to trump the moral ones in policy circles around the world, the only thing that counts for us is staying the course, bitter be the end or sweet. Backing down is a breaking of our spirit, something we cannot live with anymore. We've been there, we’ve done that, and it didn’t feel right. So we rebelled. And that’s that.

Thursday June 14, 2012

Death tolls: 78. The Breakdown: 28 in Damascus, 19 in Homs, 13 in Daraa, 5 in Lattakia, 4 in Deir Ezzor, 2 in each of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Hassakeh, and 1 in Raqqah.

9 of the dead in Damascus were executed in the town of Hammourieh by pro-Assad militias. Some were shot, others had their throats slit , , ,

The town of Anadan in Aleppo is undergoing intense pounding , Pro-Assad militias put fire to the crops

In Daraa Province, 5 were killed in the pounding the town of Heet and many were injured in the pounding of the town of Nasseef near the border with Jordan. The Martyrs of Heet , Impromptu funeral 

Meanwhile, Jordanian authorities continue to deny entry through its airport to Syrians trying to get to Amman. Refugees in Jordanian camps complain of restrictions on their movement, and of poor living conditions.

'Stench of dead bodies' in Syria's al Haffe (My Comment: No bodies were found, because they were all taken by pro-Assad militias to hid traces of their crime. We will not know the full extent of the massacre that took place for a while to come.)

The overnight barrage from nearby hills followed the withdrawal of hundreds of troops backed by tanks that had entered the city on Wednesday to root out rebels, the sources said. About 200 people were wounded in the shelling, they said.

Op-Eds & Special Reports
The creation of safe havens will save civilian lives and reduce the influence of Islamists in the Syrian opposition. It will show the Syrian elite that the Assad regime is finished. And it will end Putin’s perverse free ride.
Syrian opposition activists tell me that the Russian Embassy in Washington has scheduled several meetings with different factions of the external opposition. "The Russians offer power-sharing with Assad," says a leading Syrian human-rights and pro-democracy activist, Ammar Abdulhamid. "They want to push the opposition to talk to the regime." Abdulhamid said Russian Embassy officials "told opposition activists: 'The Americans won't help you. You had better come to us.' "Syrian activists regard the Russian proposals as a mere face-saver for Assad. Indeed, the Kremlin firmly believes the Assad regime can survive the current upheavals.
Syrian oppositionist Ammar Abdul- Hamid and the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, for example, first detailed the use of attack helicopters against civilian protesters in Syria on June 15, 2011.

In Syria, life goes on despite violence (A report on daily life in Al-Qusayr, Homs Province)
Sign this petition by Amnesty International: “Stop the Assault on Syria's Civilians

Videos from my participation at “From glasnost to the Arab Spring: the moral foundation of anti-authoritarian revolutions,” an 1-day conference organized by the American Enterprise Institute, on June 13, 2012 Unity of Expectations Death but not Humiliation Entire Panel

Statement from the People of Houla

We write this letter in the name of the residents of the four cities of Houla (Taldo, Kafarlaha, Taldahab, al-Tiba al-Gharbiya), in response to a disgusting slur published in the weekend in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung German newspaper, which shamefully presented lies as facts in the report written by reporter Rainer Hermann and published on June 7, 2012. The report cast the 108 people who died here at the hands of the regime as conspirators instead of victims.  In almost four weeks since this dreadful act of savagery was brought to our village, we have been contacted by numerous reporters from many countries, all of whom have been in search of the truth. None of us recall being contacted by a German or non-German reporter that works for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. We most certainly have not been contacted by Rainer Hermann or any representative of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The least that can be said about the claims of the newspaper that the families killed were Alawite and that the FSA is responsible for the massacre, is that they are ridiculous. Everyone who is involved with the Syrian issue knows that the four cities of Houla are exclusively Sunni, and all the families who lost members to this slaughter are identifiably Sunni.

To anyone foolish enough to doubt this we invite you to look at the Sunni burial rituals, which are there for all to see on videos posted on YouTube.

The FSA is an essential part of Houla. They are our brothers, fathers, uncles and sons. Any reporter suggesting that they are in fact the villains in this plot are woefully blind or lying.

To conclude we say without reservation that this reporter spoke to no one from Houla before compiling his disgusting report from Damascus. If he has spoken to anyone at all it is stooges put up by the regime in an attempt to deceive. Despite the renewed anguish that this reporter has caused our community and the shame he has brought to himself and his newspaper, we invite him to come to our village to interview survivors and meet the community he has defamed. We guarantee him protection from justifiably angry residents here but wonder whether he first has the courage to slip from the grip of his masters in Damascus.

Video Highlights

It should be borne in mind that the peaceful pro-democracy rallies continue throughout the country, despite my inability to keep reporting them.

Deir Ezzor City: funeral

Aleppo City: Boustan Al-Qasr Sukkari

Aleppo: Manbij Protesters come under fire

Daraa: Daraa City (funeral)

Homs City: Wa’er (funeral)