Massacre behind closed doors - photo report.
Massacre behind closed doors - photo report.
Won't be long now..
Yesterday we reported that the Arab League (with European and US support) are preparing to institute a no fly zone over Syria. Today, we get an escalation which confirms we may be on the edge. Just out from CBS: "The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart "immediately," and Turkey's foreign ministry urged Turkish pilgrims to opt for flights to return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria." But probably the most damning evidence that the "western world" is about to do the unthinkable and invade Syria, and in the process force Iran to retaliate, is the weekly naval update from Stratfor, which always has some very interesting if always controversial view on geopolitics, where we find that for the first time in many months, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush has left its traditional theater of operations just off the Straits of Hormuz, a critical choke point, where it traditionally accompanies the Stennis, and has parked... right next to Syria.
- Friends of the Irish Environment, 28.04.2003"The land Coillte Teo is now selling for development was given to them by the State in 1988 to ensure that our woodlands were run commercially, not to enable them to sell the family silver to service bank loans".
I daresay they have their eyes on Egypt too and don't mind beefing up their presence in the Med.
France24 is reporting MI6 and French covert support to the Free Syrian Army, via Turkey.
Could be true or could be an attempt to get some kudos and an "in" with any new regime.
Arab League votes for sanctions on Syria.
The decision is the first of its kind by a body which is often perceived as divided and indecisive, and some members are skeptical. Iraq, Lebanon and Algeria abstained from the vote.Halting dealings with the central bank will make international trade more difficult, said Chris Phillips of the Economist Intelligence Unit, as will the ban against commercial flights between Syria and Arab countries, which could impact on the business community that has benefited from Assad’s liberalization measures and has thus far remained largely supportive of the government.Within Syria, anti-government activists said they welcomed the action taken by the Arab League, but some sought more international involvement, calling on the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone on the country and support the group of army defectors and armed dissidents known as the Free Syrian Army.
As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. Benjamin Disraeli
Secrecy is for losers. For people who do not know how important the information really is.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Secrecy: The American Experience (1998)
It is reported by the BBC this evening that Arab dictators are about to impose economic, trade, and travel sanctions against Syria.
No doubt Qatar will be financing a change of regime strategy as they did in Libya.
Syria signed an agreement with the Arab League today to allow several hundred observers in to monitor protests.
Ironically, it was signed in Egypt where another 10 protestors were killed in the last 24 hours.
From the reports from Syria over the last couple of weeks, there are now far more defected soldiers and there is increasing armed resistance. At least 5,000 people have died so far, the vast majority of them unarmed and peaceful protestors. The demands appear to be for democratic rights and better living standards and for an end to Assad's regime.
I got the above link from this throught-provoking article:CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war. The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. The Agency has refused to sign off on the claims. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.
(That ATOL piece is attributed to an Aisling Byrne of "Conflicts Forum", an organisation I had never heard of. Googling around, it seems Ms Byrne is the partner of the founder of the organisation, one Alastair Cooke, an ex-MI6 spy who has been accused of "going native" in Beirut. It's an interesting angle nonetheless. )What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime "more compatible" with US interests in the region.
The blueprint for this project is essentially a report produced by the neo-conservative Brookings Institute for regime change in Iran in 2009. The report - "Which Path to Persia?" - continues to be the generic strategic approach for US-led regime change in the region.
"In Syria, we see the exact opposite: the majority of Western mainstream media outlets, along with the media of the US's allies in the region, particularly al-Jazeera and the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV channels, are effectively collaborating with the "regime change" narrative and agenda with a near-complete lack of questioning or investigation of statistics and information put out by organizations and media outlets that are either funded or owned by the US/European/Gulf alliance - the very same countries instigating the regime change project in the first place."
Curiously the US did not seem to see Al Jazeera as a media ally when it bombed its Kabul and Baghdad offices.
One could also argue that the same people saw Mubarak as a key asset in their desire to reshape the Middle East.
And yet nobody is arguing that the US brought down Mubarak.
Just because a situation conforms to someone's wishes does not mean it is a byproduct thereof.
That is not to say that there will be a great temptation to assist the situation in unfolding in the desired manner.
The issues that people raised in interview were jobs, livelihoods, basic political freedom and democracy. It doesn't matter who comes in to that situation and tries to pull strings, that is what the heart of the thing is about. The same in the Yemen and in Egypt. In the very oil rich states, it is a little different, with more traction in the issue of political freedom and democracy, much less, for obvious reason, on the price of food, health, housing and so on.
Once it is happening, the "outside influences" try to get to work, but they didn't fabricate the situation, nor can they necessarily decide how things will turn out.
The US agenda can be complex and bets can be hedged.
Syria moving towards civil war. Many thousands have died and tens of thousands are in detention. There have been a lot of defections. It is very likely at this stage that a number of different outside states are providing arms and cash, in the hopes of having influence in the outcome.
Something big and bad going down tonight
Hundreds dead, according to Al Jazeera and to a number of tweeters.
Live streaming from Homs (now about an hour old) - sound of gunfire. There is fighting in a number of towns and reports of the army poisoning a town's water supply.
Large-scale coordinated attack on three largest 'FSA-held' areas in #Syria. Just off the phone to #Homs. 'Two hours shelling.' #UNSC #R2P
Many Egyptian tweeters are calling for a mass raid on the Syrian Embassy in Cairo.
Last time the Assads went in like this they killed 30,000
BREAKING: We've just realized AlRastan is also under attack and we've had no reports from there. God knows what is going on. #Syria