Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Notes On A Travesty!

Whether Obama’s Syria team failed to predict what was all too predictable in Syria, or simply did not give a damn, does not matter. The result is both a tragedy and a travesty of justice, decency and humanity. Obama might have killed Bin Ladin, but he also gifted Al-Qaeda a new base for its global operations and the potential of making a hundred new Bin Ladins. The brunt of this failure will be borne by Syrians of course, but soon people all over the region and the world, including Americans, will suffer as well. This is the price of indifference in our interconnected world.

Monday October 29, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 115. The Breakdown: Toll includes 7 children and 3 women: 53 in Damascus and suburbs (including 10 in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad and 10 in the Jaramana explosion), 27 in Aleppo (most in Maghayer neighborhood), 13 in Idlib, 9 in Homs, 6 in Daraa, 4 in Hama and 3 martyrs in Deir Ezzor. Other Developments: 416 violations of the ceasefire have been documented, including aerial bombardment in 26 locations mostly in Damascus and suburbs (LCC).

News

Special Reports
Many families that sought sanctuary in Syria are back in Baghdad after escaping for their lives a second time.
The failure to push through a truce so limited in its ambitions — just four days — has been a sobering reflection of the international community's inability to ease 19 months of bloodshed in Syria. It also suggests that the stalemated civil war will drag on, threatening to draw in Syria's neighbors in this highly combustible region such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
A jihadist group prospers in Syria
For more than a year, the Obama administration has been assuring the world that the downfall of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is “a matter of time.” Yes, its own Middle East experts warned, but how much time matters. The longer the fighting goes on, they said, the more likely it is that what began as a peaceful mass opposition movement would be hijacked by extremists, including allies of al-Qaeda. President Obama ignored that advice, ruling out measures that could have quickly brought down the regime — such as a no-fly zone — in favor of a year of feckless diplomacy. But it turned out the experts were right. So now the consequence of Obama’s passivity has a name, one that will surely haunt the occupant of the White House in 2013: Jabhat al-Nusra.

Op-Eds
In their desperation, Syrians have become cynical towards America's true stance on the Assad regime. Still, they have given the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt, telling themselves that nothing will change before the US elections. But as the number of dead steadily increased, the hope of a shift in US foreign policy towards Syria after the elections has faded. This was clearly expressed on October 19, the first Friday since the revolution began to have been given an anti-American name: "America, your silence is complicit in thousands of our deaths."

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

Like so many are willing to say these days, it was only a matter of time: the flourishing of Jihadi groups, Arab-Kurdish clashes, and the breakdown of the state. Each and every of these developments was all too predictable, and was in fact predicted, including by yours truly on this blog, and by many others.

Whether Obama’s Syria team failed to see this, failed to predict the all too predictable, or simply did not give a damn, does not matter. The result is both a tragedy and a travesty. Obama might have killed Bin Ladin, but he also gifted Al-Qaeda a new base and the potential of making a hundred new Bin Ladins.

The brunt of this failure will be borne by Syrians of course, but soon Americans will suffer as well. Soon, someone in the United States will once again have a reason to ask “why do they hate us?” And experts will rush in to provide the same tired answers that conflate ideology with facts. The result will be new and often flawed policies that reflect too many ideological compromises to allow them to be effective, and the world will sputter on towards a new tragedy.

You cannot break this cycle without some honest discussion about America’s real place in this world and without engaging the world in a real discussion about the nature, structure and decision-making mechanisms of the new world order. As things stand right now, we are still standing in the shadows of the Cold War, yet to transition into a new vision of a the world beyond the issue of polarity.

The New Front or the Internal Spillover

Developments in the majority-Kurdish neighborhood of Al-Ashrafiyeh in Aleppo City come as another warning sign of how much worse things in Syria could still get. If the situation is not controlled immediately, spillovers will be felt in the Kurdish-majority towns of Efrin and Kobani in north Aleppo, and Kurdish-majority areas beyond, including the critical province of Al-Hassakeh. A new front will signal what might be an irreversible dissolution process for Syria.

Video Highlights

Children are among the victims as usual: Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Damascus City http://youtu.be/7L_8-4j65Lc , http://youtu.be/bswy3HY-O9Y Idlib http://youtu.be/rW7ezJI1MmM , http://youtu.be/dEIaCSsfkXI Karak, Daraa Province http://youtu.be/bNbhty96FCw

The pounding of Eastern Ghoutah region in Damascus Province by MiGs and Sukhoys continues: Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/ZDhWIksDies Saqba http://youtu.be/4FUE5ATKP7M  Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/H5iBfpqQVm4 Arbeen http://youtu.be/XiEJt9rxfFI Jobar http://youtu.be/njKaxax-UdU  Al-Tadamon http://youtu.be/JjJgTTlwybg Harasta http://youtu.be/jqdoUTmZsbY

The city of Deir Ezzor received its share of the pounding as well http://youtu.be/E-XH6XCGJ8w