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Syria 3

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Joined: Dec 28 2008

Syrian Referendum on New Constitution Announced for 26 Feb. (and vid)

"Syrian state TV has announced the government will hold a referendum on a new constitution on February 26, in an attempt to end the conflict that has wracked the country for 11 months. The new document reportedly includes a chapter that stipulates an end to the political monopoly of the ruling Baath party...However, opposition groups say they will now settle for nothing less than Assad's resignation..."

M. Spector
Joined: Feb 19 2005

Syria: Slipping into civil war, by Patrick Cockburn

What makes the crisis in Syria so intractable is that three crises are wrapped into one. At one level, it is a popular uprising against a brutal, corrupt police state that started in March when security forces tortured children painting anti-regime slogans on a wall in Deraa in the south. The state disastrously misjudged its moment and an atrocity, intended to intimidate would-be protesters into silence, instead provoked them to revolt. Hatred of a despotic regime and fury at repeated massacres still impels great numbers of Syrians to go into the streets to demonstrate despite the dangers.

There is no doubting their courage, but the struggle in which they are taking part has two other dimensions: it is part of the escalating conflict between Sunni and Shia and the 33-year-old battle between Iran and its enemies. The sectarianism of the Syrian opposition is persistently played down by the international media, but power in Syria is distributed along sectarian lines, just as it was in the recent past in Iraq, Lebanon and Ireland. Even supposing an anti-sectarian opposition, democracy in Syria means a loss of power for the Alawites and their allies and a gain for the Sunni.

Given that Sunni make up three-quarters of Syria’s 24 million population, their enfranchisement might appear to be no bad thing. Unfortunately, many of the government’s most committed opponents evidently have more fundamental changes in mind than a fairer distribution of power between communities. Core areas of the insurgency, where the Sunni are in the overwhelming majority, increasingly see Alawites, Shia and Christians as heretics to be eliminated.

Television reporting and much print journalism is skewed towards portraying an evil government oppressing a heroic people. Evidence that other forces may be at work is ignored. An example of this came on Friday when two suicide bombers struck security compounds in Aleppo, killing 28 people and wounding 235 others. The obvious explanation was that Sunni suicide bombers, mostly operating through al-Qa’ida in Mesopotamia, who have been attacking Shia-dominated security forces in Iraq, are now doing the same in Syria. But, fearing their moderate image might be tarnished, spokesmen for the opposition swiftly said that the suicide bombings were a cunning attempt by the Syrian security forces to discredit the opposition by blowing themselves up. The BBC, Al Jazeera and most newspapers happily gave uncritical coverage to opposition denials of responsibility or said it was an open question as to who was behind the bombings.

Joined: Dec 28 2008

Syria, The New Libya - by Pepe Escobar

"...Who would have thought that what the House of Saud wants in Syria - an Islamist regime - is exactly what al-Qaeda wants in Syria? Who would have thought that what NATO-GCC wants for Syria is exactly what al-Qaeda wants for Syria? The NATOGCC agenda remains the same; regime change by any means necessary..."

The Oil Road Through Damascus  - by Ronnie Blewer

"Middle East oil transit routes are at risk from Islamist revolutions and Iranian threats. Does Syria present an opportunity for the West to bypass the most troubling oil chokepoints? Is that a strong driver behind the West's interest in the Syrian rebellion? Instability all along the oil road is at its highest point in decades and Syria's history as a perennial spoiler and location as a potential energy path cannot have been missed. Is a post-Assad Iraq-Syrian mega-pipeline in the works?

Joined: Dec 28 2008

High-Tech Trickery in Homs (and vid)  -  by Sharmine Narweni

"What wsw surely meant to be a clever display of media-friendly visuals to illustrate Syrian regime violence in Homs, has instead raised more questions than answer..."


'US-NATO Want No Dialogue on Syria' (and vid)

"The UN General Assembly has adopted an anti-Syria revolution that was drafted by the Arab League and backed by the US and the United Kingdom. Webster Tarpley is interviewed.

Joined: Dec 28 2008

Guns and Glory in Syria

"The US spy chief has told the Congress that President Bashar Al-Assad is fighting against Al Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper is the first top US official to acknowledge the US might indirectly support insurgents. Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he calls 'troubling'."

Joined: Dec 28 2008

Iranian Naval Ships Dock at Syria's Tartus Port: Report

"Two Iranian Navy ships have docked in the Syrian port of Tartus to provide maritime training to Syria's naval forces under an agreement signed between Tehran and Damascus a year ago.."

Joined: Dec 28 2008

Humanitarian Corridors in Syria: Way Out of Crisis or Way In for Invaders (and vid)

"The call for supply routes bringing humanitarian aid to Syrian cities first surfaced last November, and is back on the table as of this week. But some are calling the plan a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Asia Times roving correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that installing a humanitarian corridor is akin to telling a government 'Look, you are illegitimate and incompetent - now we would like to take care of your people. And on the ground of this corridor there will be all kinds of things happening like weapons smuggling, intelligence operations penetrating and coordinating with local people,' he added.

'There is already a foreign military intervention going on. Do not forget that NATO has a command and control center in Hatay province, Southern Turkey, very close to the Turkish-Syrian border. This is a conduit for intelligence going back and forth across borders and weapons of course - and these weapons are being financed basically by the GCC, especially the Saudis and the Qataris actively involved.

Escobar concluded that humanitarian corridors or not, the foreign military interference is already there. 'Now this is a shadow war doubled with a civil war, and the only ones to lose here will be the Syrian people." (see interview)

Joined: Dec 28 2008

'US Thinks It Can Use AL-Qaeda Temporarily in Syria' (and vid)

"The US and Al-Qaeda are using each other to topple President Assad, believes Camille Otrakjim editor of online magazine Syria Comment. Otrakji told RT that both sides think they are using the others, happy to control them later. The journalist added that it is important to understand how decision-making takes place in Washington DC, 'Some people really do not care about what will happen in Syria after. For example, there are factions that just want to punish the Syrian regime - I've heard this from someone in Washington - for their help in 1982 when Hezbollah attacked US troops in Lebanon.'

And journalist and peace activist Don Debar said the US has already become allies with Al-Qaeda in Libya. 'First of all, the US is bedfellows with AQ in Libya already. Secondly, if you look at the historyof AQ, actually they are a successor group to the allies that the US had in Afghanistan when it was fighting the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Political analyst Amal Wahdan told RT that the US doesn't mind AQ's harsh tactics in Syria, including the violent explosions that kill civilians, as long as they create chaos in the country and lead to the toppling of the Assad government. ' I think both the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress have a strong interest in starting a war no matter how opposed it would be by the public/ said Jason Ditz of"

France, UK to Command Ousting of Assad?

"The leaders of the two countries spoke of the need to find new ways of getting rid of the 'brutal dictator' Assad, who is 'butchering and murdering' his own people. French President Nicolas Sarkozy believes that the Syrian opposition needs outside assistance in coming together for joint action.

'The Syrian opposition has to unite and organize to help us help them,' Sarkozy said at a peace conference. 'We never could have done what we did in Libya without the NTC taking the initiative."

howeird beale
Joined: Jan 14 2011

DaveW wrote:

an obscene comparison: NYC/London police did not use machine guns against tent cities ...

but then, you and Fidel just continue your dialogue in peace



Real dynamic exchange of idea.

Joined: Jul 6 2008

This is the regime that tortured Maher Arar isn't it? Good riddance to them.

Joined: Nov 28 2001


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