Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Stain!

At least we are not going gently into that good night. Ours is a well-documented public crucifixion, and while world leaders will keep trying to wash their hands of it, the stain of it is already set in, and the stench overpowering.  

Wednesday October 24, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 150. The Breakdown: Toll includes 18 women and 13 children: 84 in Damascus and Suburbs (including 30 field-executed in Douma), 30 in Idlib (most in Kafrouma), 9 in Aleppo, 9 in Daraa, 7 in Homs, 5 in Hama, 4 in Deir Ezzor, 3 in Raqqah, and 1 in Hassakeh (LCC)

News

Special Reports
VICE commissioned renowned war photographer and videographer Robert King to embed with the ragtag troops of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, smack dab in the heart of a conflict that is ripping Syria apart. He returned with footage that has made us very scared and very sad for the future of the country.
Trying to identify corpses, digitally documenting destruction, the activists want to be sure that 'one day no one can say a piece of our history is missing.'
If the conflict in Syria continues unabated, leading to full-blown sectarian war between Alawites and Sunnis, and violent ethnic tensions between Arabs and Kurds, the scenario that is more likely to unfold now is more along the Iraq model of de facto zones of semi-independent control. Aleppo and Damascus would still likely be connected, though they would be pulled in different directions thanks to countervailing trade links. There would be a middling Druze enclave in the south. Alawites, or at least those who survive the impending and unfortunate cataclysm, would retreat to their traditional stronghold around the Mediterranean port of Latakia… Syria's Kurds would likely turn to Turkey for support. They would appreciate Ankara as a balancing force against Arab nationalism, a lesson they would fast learn from the Iraqi Kurds, who have made Turkey their protector against Baghdad since 2010.
NATO's conundrum is simple -- protect its most Eastern member whilst simultaneously taking a stance on crimes against humanity, or remain dormant and cater to the insular view of two countries that place the resolution of Syria well and truly second to their own national interests.
United Nations Syria envoy Brahimi said both the Syrian government and rebels agreed to a cease-fire for Eid al-Adha, but major disagreements could foil its chances of success.
Syria's rebels share some of those misgivings. But they also see in the foreign extremists a welcome boost: experienced, disciplined fighters whose battlefield valor against the better-armed troops of President Bashar Assad is legendary.
More than 100,000 Syrians have already fled westwards, including 7,500 Palestinians who had been refugees in Syria. In northern Lebanon, the Free Syrian Army battling President Bashar al-Assad's regime enjoys cross-border tribal links, and finds respite, medicine and weaponry. The danger now is that Lebanon's state, always a tenuously negotiated compromise, falls apart under this strain.” Lebanon is also a microcosm of broader sectarian and strategic rivalries. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran jostle for influence, and pro- and anti-Assad factions often live adjacent to one another in combustible cities like Tripoli.

Arabic Press (Prepared by Steven Miller, FDD Research Associate)
Syrian authorities approved a $20.07 billion budget for 2013, an increase of 4 percent from last year, and Syrian Finance Minister Mohamed al-Jalilati said that the budget reflects increased expenditures on salaries and wages for 36 thousand new public sector employees. He explained that government support for citizens includes subsidies on petroleum products, electric power, and cooking supplies like flour, sugar, and rice. Al-Jalilati did acknowledge that the economic growth rate in Syria is now negative due to the ongoing conflict.

Russian Army Chief of Staff Nikolai Makarov revealed information that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is using American-made Stinger missiles in its fight against the Assad regime, but he noted that he has not determined who delivered them to the FSA. The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevic warned Washington last week that sending missile air defense systems to Syrian fighters would be equivalent to arming international terrorists. It is noteworthy that Russia sold the Assad government $1 billion in weapons last year, has made it clear that it will oppose any UN Security Council arms embargo, and has used its veto 3 times to oppose resolutions to put pressure on the Syrian regime.

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

Secretary Clinton has gotten it wrong: Syria is not trying to exploit instability to Lebanon, Syrian under Assad is doing it can to export instability to Lebanon.

Video Highlights

Massacre in Harasta, Damascus Suburbs http://youtu.be/BoKM1LM_KqI And in Douma http://youtu.be/-g4go0LFS3s , http://youtu.be/tzqllFOYllQ MiGs pound nearby Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/x8IERIPhPDI and Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/Lkh8HuvcnfY and Madirah http://youtu.be/uHzsi7TnEq0


A massacre in Kafroumah, Idlib Province http://youtu.be/et3NE-ZGkes , http://youtu.be/R_FA_KpLH68 Children among the dead http://youtu.be/Rul7zqq0pMo Pulling bodies from under the rubble http://youtu.be/LTMlSJSXsgQ

In Hawash, Hama Province, a mother and her two daughters killed in the pounding http://youtu.be/hLXKK325Y8A

A new coalition under the leadership of Lieutenant Qais Al-Qatana, is formed in Al-Lajat region, Daraa Province, with the name Al-Omari Brigades. http://youtu.be/ttq6GNfZESU

In Damascus, more rebel groups come together under the name of Moujahidi Al-Sham http://youtu.be/JUHiyKF85p0

Leaked video showing abuse of detainees http://youtu.be/oRMCR94IxX8

Scenes from the battles in Turkman Mountains in Lattakia http://youtu.be/vIIWgjlnf4o , http://youtu.be/ukeL2xPn1Mc , http://youtu.be/rZORp0C7evk