Archive for category Arab Spring
The Red Line
“We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists.”
Failure to heed the warning would result in “consequences”.
What’s going to happen? Bashar al-Bastard has used chemical weapons; the belief held by intelligence agencies in US and Britain gets stronger as evidence is gathered.
Heavily supported by the denial by Syria to allow UN teams to verify, or not. If al-Bastard has nothing to hide, then he should welcome the UN involvement.
POTUS is backpeddling soooo fast.
Another conflict would truly show the financial position of the USA. Literally, it can’t afford another conflict.
And then there are the ramifications of the Russian reaction.
Obama was full of bluster, and al-Bastard has called his bluff.
Todays posting isn’t going to be about some wishy-washy subject. I’m going to write about something important and something which is killing thousands of people every month, the civil uprising and war in Syria. I’m writing because it is important and we CAN do something. Up to 5000 people a month visit this blog, that is a lot of people who can do something. It is also the same number of people who are dying each month in Syria.
Peaceful Civilian marches and demonstrations for democracy and free elections in Syria.
For over 2 years now, the brave people of Syria have been rebelling against their dictator. At first the protests were peaceful and to a degree they were tolerated. The Syrians were enthused by the democratic changes taking place in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya as well as protests throughout the Middle-East as part of the Arab Spring. Their target was the overthrow of the Assad regime who have ruled over Syria for decades. The President, Bashar Assad, was never brought up to be a President (read Dictator), he spent much time in London working to become a specialist optician but his elder brother was killed in a car crash and he was quickly and badly groomed to succeed his father. He was destined to become an eye doctor but now Bashar Al-Assad is simply Dr Death, the first great war criminal of the 21st Century.
via Stephen Liddell Blog – Read more. Warning some photos on this post are not for people with a weak disposition.
Talk, talk, talk, talk. Blah, blah, blah.
Meanwhile Bashar al-Bastard gets away with murder.
The time for talk is over!
The world now has Syrian blood on its hands, poured on by China and Russia when they effectively castrated the UN.
al_Bastard has made the world look like fools.
Syrians fleeing Homs accuse troops of atrocities
People fleeing the central Syrian city of Homs have told the BBC that security forces are committing atrocities there.
One woman told the BBC’s Paul Wood on the outskirts of Homs that soldiers had slit the throat of her 12-year-old son on Friday – a day after rebel fighters withdrew from the Baba Amr district.
She said 35 other men and boys from her area had also been detained and killed.
The government has denied the Red Cross access to Baba Amr for four consecutive days, citing security concerns.
Activists have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.
Electricity, water and communications have been cut off, and in recent days temperatures have plummeted and snow has fallen. Food supplies are said to be dangerously low, and many people are too scared to leave.
On Thursday, government troops backed by tanks entered Baba Amr after the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced a “tactical withdrawal”.
While the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and its Syrian Red Crescent partners have been waiting to enter the district, state television said it had been “sanitised” of “armed terrorist groups”.
But opposition and human rights activists said security forces and pro-government militia had been rounding up men and boys over the age of 14 who had remained Baba Amr, and had tortured and killed them.
The claims could not be substantiated, but people fleeing Homs also told our correspondent that security forces had been committing atrocities, including summary executions and cutting the throats of prisoners.
One woman, who had walked for three days to escape, said that on Friday troops had taken 36 men and boys from one area and killed them.
“My son’s throat was cut,” she said. “He was 12.”
Her husband said he was hiding about 50m away and saw one soldier hold down their son’s head with his boot while another killed him.
“I could hear their screams,” he added.
Several men who said they had defected from an elite army unit last week told our correspondent that civilians were being targeted deliberately by security forces and their prisoners were being killed.
“A lieutenant gave us the order,” he said. “We were told in this operation: ‘You shoot anything that moves – civilian or military – you shoot at it.’
“An old man was arrested. An officer put a gun to his head. He said: ‘This is for freedom,’ and he shot him.”
Source: BBC News
A woman does not make up a painful story about her son. The reports maybe unverified, but I’d believe them before I believed al-Bastard.
All the above simply empower al-Bastard, giving him more time to commit more atrocities.
Both Russia and China have Syrian blood on their hands. Blood that has been and blood that will be spilt by Bashar al-Bastard.
The Russians want a mediated solution, that idea is farcical. al-Bastard has thumbed his nose at the world, he has thumbed his nose at the Arab League, just as he will thumb his nose at the Russians.
al-Bastard is not interested in anything that will water down his megalomania. He is an A-Grade Bastard.
The UN was at least trying to afford a solution, they kow-towed to Russian demands and diluted the message that the Russians still sought to veto.
I am not in favour of the ‘Libyan’ solution, but in the end, if it was necessary, then so be it.
The Bastard has to be stopped.
The Syrian people deserve the chance to make their own future, but they cannot do so without assistance of some form from the rest of the world against the heavy hand of the dictator.
The mainstream media has been saying ‘more than 5,000’ have been killed by al-Bastard since the fighting began. That number has been quoted for nearly two months; in the meantime we daily read of more deaths, 200 in one day, by my reckoning that number should be revised to 7,000+.
al-Bastard cries in desperation, “but 2,000 troops have also died” sorry, I don’t give a shit. They died by the hands of al-Bastard just as surely as the freedom fighters.
As for al-Bastard bleating that the country’s problems are caused, first by armed gangs, then by terrorists, then by other countries, he just doesn’t know, he’s clutching at straws; let’s face it he will blame anybody but himself. This is the indelible watermark of a dictator. The same as all the other dictators that have existed, they are never at fault.
Damascus on a rainy winter’s evening. The lights are blazing, the traffic flows smoothly, the smart boutiques of the new town and the souks in the old city seem busy enough.
But for all the assurances of the government, life in the Syrian capital is far from normal.
“We don’t work well, we don’t sleep well,” one middle-class woman, a graphic designer in her thirties, tells me. “We are scared.”
She doesn’t take part in street protests herself. Like many others, she thinks it is too dangerous. But she certainly supports their aim.
And those protests – once mainly in towns well away from Damascus – now spring up ever more frequently in suburbs of the capital, creeping closer and closer, it appears, to the well-guarded centre.
Source: BBC News Read more
Syria crisis: Assad ‘gives amnesty for uprising crimes’
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has granted a general amnesty for all crimes committed during the 10-month uprising, state-run media reports.
It would apply to army deserters who turned themselves in before the end of January, peaceful protesters and those who handed in unlicensed weapons, Sana state news agency is quoted as saying.
The UN says more than 14,000 people are in detention.
Source: BBC News Read more
I believe the proposed amnesty is a farce. The same as letting Arab League observers in was a farce.
It changed nothing.
Saturday – The Syrian authorities sent troops and tanks into the town of Zabadani, near the Lebanese border, where one large demonstration took place. (BBC News)
Saturday – The ruler of the Gulf state of Qatar has said Arab countries should send troops into Syria to stop government forces killing civilians there. (BBC News)
Bashar al-Bastard is simply buying time and playing the world for a fool. The amnesty would only guarantee that he has less weapons against him.
He knows he is in the shit, inextricably in the shit. Now that the call has come from the Arab world for armed intervention, he knows the end is near. Like a cornered rat he will spring to the attack.
The countdown fuse has been lit, the Middle East will explode.
”]In an interview with al-Jazeera broadcast on Tuesday evening, Mr Malek said that by allowing in observers the Syrian government had “gained a lot of time to help it implement its plan” to end the unrest.
“What I saw was a humanitarian disaster. The regime is not just committing one war crime, but a series of crimes against its people,” he said.
“The snipers are everywhere shooting at civilians. People are being kidnapped. Prisoners are being tortured and none were released.”
Mr Malek said he had resigned because of what he had seen, and asserted that the observer mission had fallen apart.
“The mission was a farce and the observers have been fooled,” he added. “The regime orchestrated it and fabricated most of what we saw to stop the Arab League from taking action against the regime.”
Source: BBC News Read more
But Malek told Al Jazeera that the government was not assisting observers with their requests.
“The regime didn’t meet any of our requests, in fact they were trying to deceive us and steer us away from what was really happening, towards insignificant things.”
He said that those who were supposedly freed and were shown on TV, were actually people who had been randomly grabbed off the street.
“They were detained for four or five days in tough conditions and later released as if they had been real prisoners.”
Malek also said that he had seen snipers on top of buildings: “On one, there were even army officers in front of the building, while snipers were on the roof.
“Some on our team preferred to maintain good relations with the regime and denied that there were snipers.”
He said that Assad’s government “has gained a lot of time that has helped it implement its plan … Therefore I’ve decided to withdraw from this mission.”
Source: Al Jazeera Read more
In that case, don’t give it to them until they stabilise the country. If the factions that represent the new Libya can’t reconcile their differences, the whole exercise has been futile. Treat them like little children squabbling over a toy, they deserve no better.
Libyan scramble for £100bn in assets fractures the peace at Tripoli airport
Militias and army clash over control of runways after UN decides to fly newly printed currency into the capital
The unfreezing of £100bn in Libyan assets by the UN this weekend has fired the starting gun for a fierce battle for influence being waged by the country’s militias, in which the frontline is set to be Tripoli’s international airport.
The glittering prize immediately in prospect is a consignment of several billion dinars, printed in Germany, which is due to be flown into Libya on board five cargo planes. Whoever controls the airport when the cash arrives will be able to levy a hefty security fee for delivering it to the country’s central bank. But the fight to control the airport is part of a far wider battle for political and economic dominance in the new Libya; one that pits the various factions who united to overthrow the Gaddafi regime against each other, as well as remnants of the dictator’s defeated military.
In theory the decision on Friday by the UN Sanctions Committee and the US to release frozen assets marks, in the words of British foreign secretary William Hague, “another significant moment in Libya’s transition”. Those sentiments were echoed on Saturday by Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, on a visit to Tripoli. But the reality is considerably more complicated.
Tripoli airport is currently held by the militia from Zintan, a mountain town 90 miles to the south, who captured it on the way to liberating Tripoli in August. But the Libyan national army, controlled by Gaddafi-era generals, is determined to take control, in what is shaping up to be a defining power struggle. Meanwhile, amid the growing tension the ruling National Transitional Council has become a target for mass protests across the country and the object of deep suspicion outside its Benghazi power base.
Source: The Guardian Read more
Late one afternoon, a six-year-old boy was shot dead as he played on his front door step.
We joined the family for prayers in the mosque, men standing silently over the body, tears streaming down their faces.
They were in no doubt that a government sniper had done this.
Syria a land as old as antiquity. Truly part of the cradle of civilisation.
What has happened in Syria?
Order of the Ba’ath: The Ba’ath party, which has dominated Syrian politics since seizing power in 1963, was founded in 1947 as a pan-Arab nationalist and socialist “renaissance” movement. Its slogan is “unity, freedom, socialism”. Under President Hafez al-Assad (1971–2000), the Ba’athists consolidated central government and brought a measure of stability to the country – though at a high cost in terms of repression.
President Bashar: Bashar al-Assad was in London, pursuing a career in ophthalmology when his elder brother, Basil – heir apparent to the presidency – died in a car crash in 1994. Bashar was recalled to be groomed for power. When his father died in 2000, Bashar was made head of the army and leader of the Ba’ath party. But at 34, he was too young to become president under the Syrian constitution. The age qualification was hastily revised and he was “elected” president in a referendum. His wife, Asma Akhras, was born in Britain to Syrian parents. She formerly worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan.
Source: The Guardian – 20 things you need to know about Syria
Syria’s economic regime changed from capitalist to socialist and as a result, people were not allowed to buy cars on the open market. Instead, the government bought thousands of cars each year and sold them to the people.
Source: Mercedes Benz Ponton Taxies
A sixth had not made it. “We heard him screaming,” said Mahmoud Ali, one of the defecting soldiers, “but we couldn’t go back. There were too many troops pouring in.”
They had fought their way out of their base, running under fire to reach Bab Amr. Now, people were coming out into the street to embrace them.
Fresh from their flight, rapidly expelling plumes of breath into the night air, they explained why they had changed sides.
Their officers had told them they would be coming to Homs to fight “terrorists” but earlier that day they were ordered to fire on unarmed protesters in the streets of Homs.
The people have had enough.
They want Syria free of the corruption and nepotism of Ba’ath.
More than 4,000 have died since the beginning of the year.
The people are close, but they need help, the same help that NATO gave Libya – a no-fly zone.
The world has to help those that want freedom.
Syria slowly inches towards civil war
“They’re asking for RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) in al Bayadah,” said the young fighter, naming another district in Homs.
“Assad’s armoured vehicles are coming and they have nothing to stop them.”
“Give them five or six of ours. God willing we will find some more,” replied the man in charge, sitting cross-legged on the floor.
This conversation took place in the Bab Amr quarter of Homs.
The man giving the order for the RPGs to be sent had an M-16 automatic rifle, complete with sniper sight. The weapon did not have a scratch on it. It was brand new, just smuggled from Lebanon, they said.
We had entered Syria the same way the M-16 had, from Lebanon, with men running guns to what is a growing insurgency.
Source: BBC News Read the rest (Blue quotes also from the BBC article)
I have been following the Occupy Wall Street progress over the last few weeks like many.
It has been pointed out by people more in the know than I that this protest is different from all the others whereby people protested and went home, however this time they’re not.
I have read many reports, newspapers, seen YouTube clips, heard speeches, etc and have come to the conclusion that the people who criticise the OWS are the ones that myopically are in the wrong. They are, or they support the 1%.
One of the main criticisms is that the leaderless OWS doesn’t have an agenda, a list of demands. I find this quite correct; they don’t need a list of demands, a specified agenda to say that something (in this case many things) are seriously wrong.
The 1%, inc government, inc president, inc etc… know what is wrong. They don’t need a bloody agenda to tell them, they know already, and have known for decades.
OWS is the people simply saying “Fix it!”
The unwritten, unsaid rider is, “Because, if you don’t we will!”
And I do believe the time has come that OWS will; and it won’t be pretty.
The 1% at fault, inc et al, should be quaking in their boots. They should be frothing at bung, their sphincters should be quivering 90 to the minute and they should be sweating as the noose tightens.
Because this is not going to ‘go away.’ The 1% think they are bullet proof because they own the government and the government will be the cavalry that wade in to save the day. But when push comes to shove, the 99% are greater than all the forces the government can muster. Oh, they will try, it will be bloody, but necks will be stretched until the last of the 1% piss their pants on the scaffold of justice.
This is not just America, this is becoming global. In fact this didn’t even start in America, this OWS started in Tunisia and Egypt as the Arab Spring and spread. Even here in Brazil 16 capital cities saw mass protests over corruption this weekend, are we also seeing the beginning of a Latin Spring?
The people do not need to announce an agenda nor a list of demands. The people who are in the wrong already know what’s wrong. The people who can fix it, already know how to fix it. But the big question is, will they?
From what I have seen and read, the OWS is the government, they are the politicians, they are trying to rescue their lot as best they can, because the elected morons are too busy squabbling over their seats to worry about the people.
My view of the global political arena is that it can be compared to a circus… why? Because it’s full of freakin’ clowns!