In a stalemate, chaos is the sole victor. For stalemate is an illusion behind which reality quietly crumbles, and when it’s finally shed, a million hungry flesh-eating zombies arise out of its fragments. This Armageddon is all too real, all too Syrian, and all too… familiar. Unless something deep inside our minds clicks, this cycle of mayhem will keep repeating. If part of the blame can rightly be ascribed to ill-suited policies on part of regional and international leaders, the situation remains for the most part the product of our own failings.
Did the CIA Betray Syria’s Rebels? Mike Giglio of News week argues that when “Americans didn’t keep promises” the made to opposition leaders, the latter “turned against the U.S.”
True. But the antagonism is not absolute or irrevocable. All depends on whether President Obama will change course soon. Meanwhile, the entire development should be seen in context of the Clinton-Petraeus Plan that was shot down by President Obama. People who made the initial contact with rebel leaders had to halt their activities when President Obama and his closer circles of advisers rejected the Clinton-Petraeus Plan. Rebel leaders are not exactly privy to the complexity of American decision-making processes, and not matter how much, their CIA interlocutors must tried to explain matters to them, rebel leaders would have simply understood that aid was promised, but nothing was delivered. As such, the whole process, the must have concluded, was meant for intelligence gathering purposes only, and American had no intention of actually helping the rebels.
Moreover, I think we should also differentiate here between certain Obama appointees, like Clinton, Petraeus and Panetta, and his inner circle of advisers, people like Thomas Donilon, Obama’s National Security Adviser, and his Deputy and White Chief-of-Staff, Denis McDonough, just succeeded by Anthony Blinken. Even people like Valerie Jarret who carried the official title of Senior Adviser to the President seem to be much closer to the President than other appointees. Indeed, it seems that Obama has relied more heavily on these figures, among others, when it came to formulating his foreign policy stands, than on Clinton, Petraeus and Panetta whose appointment seems to have reflected first term political calculations than ideological affinity. Things might change with the advent of John Kerry and Chuck Hagel whose views seem to correspond to the President’s own, especially with regard to Syria.
Islamist rebels showcase their own home-made missile with a range of up 60 KM, or so they claim http://youtu.be/zvA2SRVzn0w
Leaked video shows pro-Assad militias torturing a detainee in a missile base that was later captured by rebels http://youtu.be/k_Ie2LHnKfo Another video from the same base shows pro-Assad soldiers posing next to a dead rebel http://youtu.be/3CMKvNUAeVk
A third leaked video is even more gruesome, and shows the aftermath of a massacre perpetrated by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/IA9brNT70Ho
The town of Binnish, Idlib Province, has fallen over the last few months under the control of Islamist groups, including Jabat Al-Nusra, whose rhetoric has been getting more and more extreme, as the siege of their town by pro-Assad militias from nearby Shia and Alawite villages continue. The inhabitants of Binnish now call for the establishment of a caliphate. In this video, we see a child singing while waving a dagger (near the end) threatening Shiites and Alawites with slaughter http://youtu.be/-BKUNbDfkxw. Islamist rebels have been organizing themselves more as a local governing body as well providing services, such as garbage collection http://youtu.be/US-thZavg5Q and bread making http://youtu.be/7QHIKB83uEA Moreover, locals have come out quite vocally against the initiative for dialogue by opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib http://youtu.be/Hkyr3TfPfuY
Elsewhere in Idlib, rebels attack ad take control of Al-Shaghar checkpoint, killing many Assad loyalists http://youtu.be/Ewjaq1ZQ2j4
In Damascus City, intense clashes between loyalists and rebels take place in several neighborhoods, including Al-Qadam (Port Said Alley) http://youtu.be/Ewjaq1ZQ2j4 , http://youtu.be/ZIIbfwp_q_U But pounding by tanks continues http://youtu.be/1Oj-bV9dzms , http://youtu.be/NRx5tXz6Enc , http://youtu.be/N7MFwrtuMLw Buildings catch fire http://youtu.be/LUCOMrzUpmo
The battles in Jobar Neighborhood continue, with more tanks coming to support regime troops: http://youtu.be/VGcM5aUoXdE , http://youtu.be/qH-B9hCGgew Survey of some of the damage http://youtu.be/HU4u8D5Bgzc , http://youtu.be/1kTOrQ3AVOA , http://youtu.be/5oblEl39fks MiGs take part in the pounding http://youtu.be/pZKMZbrCC5E
To the West, the pounding of Moadamiyah Suburb continues http://youtu.be/A8nUR5YhyZs And Daraya http://youtu.be/M_8zAbAU7J4
Further west, along the Lebanese borders, the pounding of the town of Zabadani continues http://youtu.be/_lgh57gShRc