Thursday, September 20, 2012

Never Say Never Again!

Some promises were never meant to be made, because people seldom have the audacity to keep them. To kill with impunity will always be a normal part of our lives. Somewhere they will always be a massacre that we are willing to ignore. What’s happening in Syria is not unique: it’s just history, and after so many decades of living outside of it, it has finally broken through to us, with a vengeance.

Wednesday September 19, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 161. The Breakdown: 72 in Damascus and suburbs (including 30 in Hajar Aswad, 20 were slaughtered in Jobar and 3 were field executed in Qadam), 32 in Aleppo (most in Manbej), 25 in Hama (most in Huwaija village and Masha’ Arba’een neighborhood), 10 in Deir Ezzor (most in Almouhassan), 5 in Daraa, 3 in Idlib, 2 in Latakia and 1 in Homs (LCC).

News

Special Reports
There's growing unease about the security of Syria's undeclared chemical weapons, which is reputed to be the fourth largest stockpile in the world.
On the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, the teachers just stayed home. The schools had been transformed into shelters for residents displaced by fighting, and in any case, one teacher said, there were more “more pressing concerns” than school.
(Reuters) - An explosion of separatist violence in Turkey's Kurdish southeast is fuelling criticism of the government's bellicose rhetoric on Syria and dampening what little public appetite there is for intervention in its crisis-torn neighbour.
In a war in which the antigovernment fighters have sought outside support and been disappointed by what has been offered, especially from the West, the society that produced the fighters has also undertaken the production of matériel for guerrilla war, a social project of such a scale that it has contributed to the armed opposition’s momentum and confidence this year.
The Syrian government has always blamed the uprising on foreign terrorists, despite months of peaceful protests by ordinary citizens that only turned violent after repeated attacks by security forces. The transformation of the conflict into an open war has given an opening to the foreign fighters and extremists.
Faced with a glutted market for its liquefied natural gas, Qatar eyes development of Syrian gas fields as a huge opportunity, if Assad can be forced from power.
As fighting drags on, Aleppo has gone from Syria's affluent business hub to an edgy, apocalyptic city where life and commerce have yielded to homicidal mayhem.

Op-Eds
Focusing on Al Qaeda’s potential for exploiting the Syrian conflict distracts from the rapidly mounting costs of US inaction. If the US continues to sit on the sidelines as the human toll rises, it could face a decidedly anti-American government in Damascus, jihadists in power or not.
The only way to turn the tide against the Assadist forces is by both equipping the FSA with heavier weaponry, and providing the FSA with greater support in the form of eventual intervention by aerial and some ground forces.


Ammar Abdulhamid & Khawla Yusuf: The Shredded Tapestry: The State of Syria Today

Why the Surprise? Of course Iran has been supplying weapons to Assad through Iraq. Who else would do it? How could Assad making the ability to maintain his troops without such support? Why is that news?

While human rights organizations are busy documenting the war crimes in Syria, they should bear in mind that adding few rebels to the list does not complete the picture, not by a long shot. They should include as well, the names of Russian, Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese officials as well. We may never be able to bring all of them to justice, but it’s always good to have these names for the history books. We should never forget the names of those who are actively facilitating, profiting from or perpetrating the crimes currently taking place in Syria.

Video Highlights

More deaths and slaughter in Damascus City, as regime militias keep pounding restive neighborhoods: Al-Hajar Al-Aswad http://youtu.be/vu3hpIIK5kk , http://youtu.be/dC_kteVy2YQ MIGs take part in bombing the suburb of Mleihah http://youtu.be/QU9DYQUV6ZQ and Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/xRlONccFgK4 and Saqba http://youtu.be/L4vt0XfqTG0 and many other neighborhoods and suburbs in the southern and eastern parts http://youtu.be/Xyd_t6Xqn_U , http://youtu.be/z__7juHUy4o Helicopter gunships were involved as well http://youtu.be/duqHiprl_xQ Black smoke covered the skies over Damascus http://youtu.be/Rr89TrsfcVw , http://youtu.be/ED5i_FuKdK8 , http://youtu.be/br9ZyDOjuHA , http://youtu.be/3dQHXtYjPec

In nearby neighborhood of Jobar, the bodies of summary executions’ victims line the streets http://youtu.be/OVBAlH4Dt58 Some were killed in their home http://youtu.be/H0fcyqyFXtk Locals come to identify the bodies http://youtu.be/hpE21soJxBI , http://youtu.be/GWLBwK0Niio

In Aleppo Province, fighter jets bomb the town of Manbij http://youtu.be/D-R-K1_3XDA

The inhabitants of the town of Tal Abyad, Raqqah Province, and nearby villages undertake a mass exodus http://youtu.be/OowAvp7Qu5g , http://youtu.be/IjASc1ynNFQ as Assad’s fighgter jets begin to target their communities following the “liberation” by armed rebels of the border crossings with Turkey http://youtu.be/r3g59jadR5E , http://youtu.be/0poh-F44l4U Destroying Assad’s posters http://youtu.be/PoeTEaAzjnE

The pounding of restive neighborhoods in Aleppo City also continued: Kallassah http://youtu.be/3uKBAjhqXiw , http://youtu.be/I-SnKjxvZec

The ethnic cleansing of the last remaining Sunni villages in Sahel Al-Ghab Region continues with an attack on Al-Huwaijeh Village in Hama Province: The pounding http://youtu.be/QiO3S65a3lY , http://youtu.be/iBXmDueJ5UU A father grieving the passing of his family http://youtu.be/Urpr4UzaL6c Retrieving bodies from under the rubble http://youtu.be/h1zhEr9m8kA Rescuing the injured http://youtu.be/J7mcI6QCp-o Saving two children from under the rubble http://youtu.be/IU5XnrIGHLc Rescuing another little girl http://youtu.be/lXTTOTKj7BE But not all children made it alive http://youtu.be/rf4SkggOyt4 Saving a woman http://youtu.be/VfR3goh4HQo One of the helicopters that took part in the pounding http://youtu.be/OlyNE-Kr0Ww Some of the martyrs http://youtu.be/A2zCbQrjt1M The nearby village of Hawash was also targeted http://youtu.be/G2U4vkadlK8

The pounding of the town of Almouhassan, Deir Ezzor Province, http://youtu.be/9lrngyZ5emg , http://youtu.be/Xc1f1YUQ15M