Saturday, June 18, 2011

Syria: They came at dawn, and killed in cold blood

As Syrians flee, conditions worsen in Turkey's border camps

By Kim Sengupta in Idlib province
The Independent

"The houses looked abandoned, windows and doors locked, a broken shutter clattering in the wind. Then, one by one, they began to appear from their hiding places, mainly women and children, a few elderly people. The residents of this village had learned to their cost that being caught unawares in this violent conflict could have lethal consequences.

The raid by the secret police – the Mukhabarat – and the Shabbiha militia had come at dawn. The killings had been cold-blooded and quick, three men shot dead as, barely awake, they tried desperately to get away. A search for others had proved fruitless; they had fled the day before. The damage to homes vented the frustration of the gunmen at missing their quarries.

"They were working from a list. But they made mistakes. One of them was the wrong person. They did not even have the right name of the man they killed," said Qais al-Baidi, gesturing towards the graves on a sloping hillside. "But none of them deserved this. They were not terrorists. They had just taken part in some demonstrations. These Assad people are vicious. They have no pity. They like killing." [One day they will be hauled to the International Criminal Court.]

The three killings were among the many that had followed the ferocious onslaught launched by Bashar al-Assad against the uprising. Two centres of opposition in the north of the country had been taken after bloody clashes, Jisr al-Shughour early in the week, Maaret al-Numan falling on Friday. This village was among a cluster that had been subjected, according to a regime commander, to a "cleaning-up" operation.

The offensive had led to a terrified exodus of much of the local population, with 12,000 huddled in squalid conditions on the Syrian side of the border. Another 10,000 had made it across to Turkey, only to be herded into holding centres, locked away from the outside world, the government in Ankara making it clear that these people will be sent back at an opportune time....."

Gaddafi files show evidence of murderous intent

The Observer has gained exclusive access to thousands of documents which show how the Libyan leader gave orders for the torture, arrest and bombardment of his own people

The Guardian

"The dark green box files are packed closely together in rows that stretch up to the ceiling – as dull as dull could be. But the papers hidden inside them will sink Muammar Gaddafi.

In these boxes, hidden at a secure location in the besieged rebel city of Misrata, lie thousands of documents containing the orders given by the Libyan leader and transmitted by his generals to unleash the torture, arrest and bombardment that have torn the country apart. For war crimes prosecutors, they are pure gold.

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has already filed indictments against Gaddafi, his son, Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. These files provide the proof, according to the Libyan lawyers who collected them, that make convictions all but certain.

The Observer was last week granted exclusive access to view some of the files – documents that even the ICC has not yet seen. A glance at the paperwork is astonishing: on the top of one file is a letter from 4 March, two weeks after Misrata rose up to defy Gaddafi, signed by the general he put in charge of the operation to quell the protest: Youssef Ahmed Basheer Abu Hajar. Addressed to the "fighting formations", which had by then cut all roads into the city, it issues a blunt instruction: "It is absolutely forbidden for supply cars, fuel and other services to enter the city of Misrata from all gates and checkpoints."

Or, to put it more bluntly, he ordered his army to inflict starvation on every man, woman and child in Misrata....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Thousand Syrians displaced by violence

(Click on map to enlarge)

"More than ten thousand Syrians have now crossed into Turkey, as the violence against pro-democracy protesters escalates.

Witnesses have told Al Jazeera that tanks have moved into the town of Bdama, near the Turkish border.There are reports of houses being burned down, and dozens of civilian arrests.

Al Jazeera's Khadija Magardie reports."

Experts Fear Israeli Design to Balkanise Arab States

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Jun 18, 2011 (IPS) - Developments in Libya have raised fears among Egyptian analysts and political figures of the possible break-up of the North African nation into two warring halves. To support the assertion, they point to longstanding Israeli designs - supported by the western powers - to balkanise the Arab states of the region.

"Libya could be split in two, with Gaddafi staying on in the west of the country and a revolutionary government loyal to the western powers in control of the east," Mohamed al-Sakhawi, leading member of Egypt's as-yet-unlicensed Arabic Unity Party, told IPS....

Yet the fact that NATO - despite its overwhelming air superiority - has so far failed to dislodge the Gaddafi regime has led many local observers to question the western alliance's intentions.

"The western campaign against Libya wasn't undertaken to protect human rights or foster democracy," said al-Sakhawi. "It was launched with the aim of breaking Libya up politically so as to prevent the unification of three revolutionary Arab states - Egypt, Libya and Tunisia - which together might pose a threat to Israeli regional dominance."....

Egyptian analysts point to several proposals written to this effect by Israeli strategists, the most well known of which is a 1982 treatise entitled "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s." Written by Oded Yinon, then a senior advisor for Israel's foreign ministry, the essay explicitly calls for breaking up the Arab states of the region along ethnic and sectarian lines.

"The Zionist plan to politically fragment the Arab Middle East so as to keep Arab states in a perpetual state of instability and weakness has been well known for the last three decades," Gamal Mazloum, retired Egyptian major-general and expert on defence issues, told IPS....

According to Mazloum, political manoeuvring in recent years by Israel and the western powers - both overt and covert - appears to conform to this strategy of balkanisation.

"Israel and the U.S. have both helped break up Iraq by encouraging the emergence of an independent Kurdish state and fostering Sunni-Shiite division," he said. "And in Sudan, Israel actively contributed to the war between north and south by providing the latter with weapons and military training."

Southern Sudan is set to declare independence from the northern Khartoum government next month in a move that will officially split Africa's largest country in two.....

"This conspiracy is part of a wider scheme to fragment the Arab states - as has happened in Sudan, is happening in Libya and has been attempted in Iraq - in order to render Egypt so weak that the Zionist entity will be sure to remain the dominant power in the new Middle East," Abbas was quoted as saying by independent daily Al-Shorouk on Jun. 4. "

Click Here to Read Oded Yinon's Proposal (pdf)

أحداث مخيم اليرموك: "موت" الفصائل الفلسطينية..

ماجد كيالي

"ما جرى في مخيم اليرموك يمثل ربما إرهاصات مرحلة يجري فيها القطع مع النظام السياسي الفلسطيني الفصائلي، ويمهد لمرحلة محمولة على رياح الثورات العربية...

لم تكن الأحداث المؤسفة والمروعة التي شهدها مخيم اليرموك (يوم 6/6)، بعيد تشييع جثامين الشباب الشهداء الذين قضوا في ما سمي "انتفاضة العودة"، وليدة ظرفها أو لحظتها. ففي هذا اليوم شيّع المخيم شهداءه، في حالة غضب وأسى شديدين، على خلاف حالة الفخار والعزة التي دفن فيها شهداءه الثلاثة، قبل ثلاثة أسابيع، والذين كانوا قضوا في محاولة العودة الأولى (في يوم النكبة 15/5).

معلوم أن هذا المخيم، شهد يومها، نوعا من انتفاضة شعبية عارمة، كان شعارها الأبرز، بين شعارات اخرى، "الشعب يريد إسقاط الفصائل". وما أثار غضب الناس ظهور بعض القياديين بسياراتهم الفارهة، مع مرافقيهم المسلحين، ومحاولاتهم إلقاء كلمات، في هذه المناخات غير المواتية، ما استفزّ المشيعين، الذين عبروا عن مشاعرهم بقذف القياديين بالحجارة، وتوجيه عبارات لاذعة لهم. وقد تفاقم الأمر مع اطلاق بعض المرافقين الرصاص في الهواء، ما زاد النار اشتعالا، وأخرج المتظاهرين عن طورهم، وهو ما تجلى بتوجههم في تظاهرة حاشدة إلى مجمع الخالصة (التابع للجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين ـ القيادة العامة)، للتنفيس عن غضبهم هناك.

المشكلة أن هؤلاء قوبلوا، من قبل حراسات المجمع، بالرصاص (بداية في الهواء وعلى الأرض)، ما أدى إلى وقوع إصابات، أجّجت بدورها مشاعر الغضب ضد "المجمع" ومن فيه، ما أدى الى اقتحامه وحرقه، ومصرع عدد من المهاجمين والمحاصرين (من الفصيل المعني)، في مشهد مؤسف استمر ساعات عديدة، وكان يمكن تفاديه، لو تم تفريغ المجمع من العناصر البشرية، ولو تحلى قياديو الجبهة بالحكمة والصبر والتفهم، لامتصاص غضب الثائرين.

الآن، وبغض النظر عن التفاصيل، ربما من المفيد، والأجدى، النظر إلى ماجرى من زاوية أشمل وأبعد وأعمق،
ومشكلة الفلسطينيين مع فصائلهم، أن هذه الفصائل باتت تعيش منذ أكثر من عقدين من الزمن على رصيدها الوطني السابق، بمعنى أنها لم تعد تراكم إنجازات جديدة، بل إن هذه الفصائل المجدبة، باتت تأكل من الانجازات المتحققة في السبعينيات والثمانينيات، بعد أن تراجعت مكانتها عند شعبها، وبعد أن ضمر حجمها، وأفل دورها في مواجهة عدوها، وفي مجال البناء الوطني.

وفي حقيقة الأمر فإن هذه الفصائل شاخت حقا، وترهلت بناها، وأفلت روحها النضالية، وتبددت قيمها السياسية والأخلاقية، والأنكى أنها لم تعد قادرة حتى على استيعاب الأجيال الجديدة من الشباب، إن بسبب ضعف الحراكات الديموقراطية فيها، أو بسبب هيمنة طبقة سياسية على مقدراتها وعلى التطورات في داخلها.

فوق كل ما تقدم فإن هذه الفصائل حافظت على سلوكات مهينة ومؤذية للمجتمع الفلسطيني، الذي لا يرى قياداته (في أغلب الأحوال) إلا في نهاية تشييع جنازات الشهداء (لا في أولها!)، وفي مهرجانات الانطلاقة السنوية لكل فصيل، ولغرض الاستعراض، وتوجيه الاتهامات، من قياديين أغلبهم يكرّر معزوفته، التي باتت ممجوجة، في كل عام، وفي واقع فلسطيني يسير نحو التدهور والضياع. والأنكى أن هؤلاء القيادات يحضرون إلى المخيمات (كون بيوتهم ومكاتبهم خارجها)، والتي يعيش أغلبية سكانها في حال من الإحباط والبؤس والفقر، بكامل أبهتهم، وبسياراتهم الفارهة، محاطين بعديد من المرافقين الأقوياء والمسلحين جيدا، والمجهزين حتى بوسائل اتصالات حديثة (على طريقة رامبو)، لكأنهم هابطون من كوكب آخر، أو لكأنهم ذاهبون إلى منطقة معادية
والخلاصة فإن ما جرى هو رسالة ذات مغزى وعلى جميع قيادات الفصائل، في رام الله وفي دمشق، استيعابها واستنباط العبر منها، بدلا من العناد والمزايدات والتوظيفات. فما جرى ربما يمثل إرهاصات مرحلة يجري فيها القطع مع النظام السياسي الفلسطيني الفصائلي، الذي انتهى دوره من الناحية العملية، وربما يمهد لمرحلة سياسية جديدة، محمولة على رياح الثورات الشعبية العربية، وآتية مع صعود قطاعات جديدة من الشباب تريد أن تسمع صوتها؛ هذا ما حصل في ميادين وشوارع المدن العربية، وهو ربما ما يحصل في الشارع الفلسطيني

Syria forces storm border town near Turkey

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian eastern town of Deir al-Zour, near the border with Iraq June 17, 2011.


"(Reuters) - Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed a town near the Turkish border on Saturday, burning houses and arresting dozens, witnesses said, in a persistent military campaign to crush popular revolt.

The latest assault followed another Friday of protests, which have grown in size and scope over the last three months, despite Assad's violent clampdown on public dissent. Activists said security forces shot dead 19 protesters on Friday.....

"Bdama's residents don't dare take bread to the refugees and the refugees are fearful of arrests if they go into Bdama for food," Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters.

Another witness said government troops were also burning crops near hillsides in an apparent scorched earth policy.[Hassan Nasrallah must be thrilled with that!]....


Tens of thousands rallied across Syria on Friday, defying Assad's repression and ignoring a pledge that his tycoon cousin Rami Makhlouf, a symbol of corruption among the elite, would renounce his business empire and channel his wealth to charity.

Witnesses and activists said people rallied in the southern province of Deraa where the revolt began, as well as in the Kurdish northeast, the province of Deir al-Zor, which borders Iraq's Sunni heartland, the city of Hama north of Damascus, the Mediterranean coast and suburbs of the capital itself.

"The security grip is weakening because the protests are growing in numbers and spreading. More people are risking their lives to demonstrate. The Syrian people realize that this is an opportunity for liberty that comes once in hundreds of years," opposition figure Walid al-Bunni told Reuters from Damascus.

The worst bloodshed on Friday was in Homs, a merchant city of 1 million people in central Syria, where the Local Coordination Committees, a main activist group linked to protesters, said 10 demonstrators were killed.....

The International Federation for Human Rights and the U.S. based Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies said in a statement that, according to local sources, Syrian forces had killed more than 130 people and arrested over 2,000 in Jisr al-Shughour and surrounding villages over the last few days.

The number of refugees who have crossed over from Syria has reached 10,114, and another 10,000 were sheltering by the border just inside Syria, according to Turkish officials....."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Al-Jazeera Video: Empire: The new Ottomans?

"Following another resounding electoral victory, Prime Minister Erdogan's 'Justice and Development Party' has been emboldened to further increase Turkey's role on the world stage. Ankara has rediscovered its global ambitions.

This emerging regional power is now the fastest-growing G20 country after China, and has risen to be the 16th largest economy in the world.

What path will this new Turkey take?"

Al-Jazeera Video: Thousands of Syrians demand Assad resign

Al-Jazeera Video: Anti-government protests continue in Yemen

Mossad agent captured in Egypt was involved in pipeline blast

According to intelligence sources, Goren/Grapel/Grappelli had participated in the perpetration heinous massacres, war crimes against Lebanese villagers in southern Lebanon. They also published some of his pictures with military uniform during the second Lebanon war.

The Mossad spy admitted that he was assigned to a variety of roles in Egypt in order to generate trouble and that he had paid money to some elements in Egypt so that they would assist him in the implementation of the plan, which was about causing strife and chaos in the country and repeating rumors that would prevent the stabilization of the situation in Egypt. He also admitted that he had paid some elements for the dissemination of rumors and for exploding the pipeline which provides Israel and Jordan with gas.

Al-Jazeera Video: Al Jazeera's Rula Amin comments on recent events in Syria

Interview: Mazin Qumsiyeh on popular resistance and breaking the spell of fear

David Cronin
The Electronic Intifada
16 June 2011

"In his latest book Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment, Mazin Qumsiyeh counters the conventional wisdom promoted by the Israeli propaganda machine and the mainstream Western media, which conflates the Palestinian struggle against occupation with “terrorism.” Qumsiyeh, a former professor of genetics who taught at Yale and Duke universities, returned to his native village of Beit Sahour near Bethlehem in the occupied West three years ago. He currently blogs at Popular Resistance. The Electronic Intifada contributor David Cronin interviewed Qumsiyeh about his new book and activism....."

The Persecution of Juan Cole

Bush White House targeted Michigan professor

by Justin Raimondo, June 17, 2011

"The revelation by Glenn Carle, a former CIA official, that the Bush White House sought information on Prof. Juan Cole, an academic and critic of the Iraq war, in order to discredit him is hardly shocking, at least to anyone of my generation. After all, I reached political consciousness during the administration of Richard M. Nixon, whose hijinks – the Watergate break-in, the infamous COINTELPRO operation – are well known. Less well-known is the long history of police state tactics by previous administrations, running all the way back to FDR and Woodrow Wilson, two wartime presidents who set the pace for their successors.....

What I want to know is: who’s on Obama’s enemies list? Because, as sure as Washington real estate prices will continue to rise while plummeting in the rest of the country, these very same activities are continuing under the present administration. The heat is off Prof. Cole, at least for the moment – having endorsed Obama’s latest war, in Libya, the prominent lefty blogger probably has nothing to worry about. However, this administration has so far faithfully emulated its predecessors in so many other important ways that one has to assume the heat is still on the rest of us: indeed, given the Obama administration’s record on national and domestic security, one must assume domestic spying efforts and other covert actions have escalated.

In short, the persecution of Prof. Cole is just one example of America’s emerging police state – emerging into the daylight, that is, because it’s been thriving in the dark for quite some time."

Refugees fear a massacre as Syrian tanks advance on border

Amid reports of gang rape and attacks by snipers, Assad regime insists violence has been carried out by 'terrorist gangs'

By Kim Sengupta in Guvecci, Turkey
The Independent

"Forces of the Syrian regime are reported to have attacked and occupied villages near the Turkish border, just three kilometres from encampments where 12,000 refugees have fled in a bid to escape President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown.

Troops supported by tanks and artillery moved into the area as other units closed the circle around Maarat al-Numan, an opposition town in the north. Human rights groups said that at least 300 people had been arrested in a sweep of surrounding villages.

Families fleeing to the frontier with Turkey said the villages of Cenudi, Sigir, Badama and Qalaat Al-Shighour had been damaged by shellfire at dawn, which preceded the arrival of troops, secret police and the feared Shabbia militia. Local people blame the Mukhabarat secret police and the Shabbia militia – which is drawn from the Alawaite community, to which President Assad and many of the Syrian elite belong – for carrying out the worst excesses in the ferocious punitive response to the three-month uprising...."

Our vision for a post-Saleh Yemen

The burning question in Yemen is: what next? This is how the leading committee of the revolution sees the transition

Tariq Aldoais
(An activist in the Yemeni youth revolution and a doctor, heading the revolution's field hospital at Tahrir Square in Sana'a.), Thursday 16 June 2011

"It has been difficult for many to accept the possibility of a peaceful revolution in a country like Yemen, given its tribal makeup and the preponderance of weapons and illiteracy.

But Yemenis have surprised the sceptics by calling for the peaceful overthrow of a regime that had lasted for 33 years, and had isolated them from the modern world. The revolution was able to expand its influence to include all districts. This gained it popular support along with regional and international backing, while it continued to triumph over President Saleh's forces – even winning over a number of his inner circle.

This caused the regime to brutally escalate its repression and violence, targeting the protest squares; barbaric assaults left hundreds dead and thousands wounded, while still more were detained or went missing....

One of the burning questions has been: what next? What happens when the revolution is successful? During these days of protest, and through a continuous dialogue between all the young people and others who gather week after week, the leading committee of the revolution has developed a vision for the transitional stage in Yemen. It is as follows:

After all this bloodshed, there is no going back for Syria

Most Syrians did not want regime change until the state opened fire. Now they will not settle for less than democracy

Robin Yassin-Kassab, Thursday 16 June 2011

".....If the first enemy of Syrian democrats is the Syrian regime, and the second the spectre of sectarian violence, the third is represented by external forces seeking to take advantage of events. The Syrian economy may not be far from collapse. Any future government may be particularly easy to bribe in future years.

Saudi Arabia is funnelling cash to Egypt's ruling military council. It remains to be seen what the catch is. Saudi money could play an important role in the new Syria too, and so could a motley crew of exiles – the president's uncle Rifaat al-Assad, organiser of the 1982 Hama massacre, and ex-regime figure Abdul-Halim Khaddam, as well as the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which has an unpleasant sectarian history and agenda. There's also a contingent of US-based liberals, some of whom play into neoconservative hands.

It's easy to envisage a Saudi deal with Syrian Sunni officers and the Muslim Brotherhood, and a partially democratic, "moderate Islamist" regime presiding over tame social programmes, untrammelled economic liberalisation, and passivity over the occupied Golan Heights. Israel and the west may tacitly support such an outcome, because a properly democratic Syria alongside a properly democratic Egypt would constitute the greatest imaginable challenge to Israel's subjugation of the Palestinians.

It's unlikely that Syrians, after sacrificing so much blood, would want to settle for such a deal."

Where the Arab spring will end is anyone's guess

Arab unrest has become a permanent feature of the global landscape, unfinished business wherever it is happening

Ian Black
The Guardian, Friday 17 June 2011

".....But if the politics of the Arab spring are local, many factors are common across: young people angry and frustrated at the lack of freedoms, opportunities and jobs, unaccountable and corrupt governments, cronyism and, in a few places, grinding poverty.

Rich and poor alike lived in fear of the secret police. But Tunisia, one of the most repressive regimes, fell quickly. The decision by the army to dump the president and not crush the protests was a vital lesson for the Egyptian generals. The alternative is the cruelty of the dictators' fightbacks in Tripoli and Damascus. Regional differences were ignored in the chain reaction that followed. Yemen's protests were galvanised by the drama in Cairo's Tahrir Square but they also involved tribalism, elite rivalry and a small but alarming al-Qaida presence against a background of resource depletion and fear of state failure. Sectarian tensions were the key to the trouble in Bahrain, where a Sunni monarchy rules over a restive Shia majority.

Islamists, the bogeymen of the west and the enemies of all autocratic Arab regimes, have not – yet – played a significant role....

Elsewhere in the region, Israel is nervous about the demise of Mubarak. Turkey fears instability in Syria. The Palestinians, eclipsed by drama elsewhere, are trying to learn lessons. Iran's support for the Arab uprisings is sheer hypocrisy given its crushing of democratic protests since 2009...."

Video: Syrian refugee: 'If anyone returns now, he will be executed'

Syrians flee across the border to Turkey to escape the Assad regime crackdown as humanitarian aid arrives, Thursday 16 June 2011

Assad's tycoon cousin to quit business

Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, to channel wealth into charity as a concession to protesters

Reuters, Friday 17 June 2011


No one believes that these theatrics mean anything. This move is just as sincere as the Rabbit's declaration that he "ended the state of emergency" just before he launched a major campaign of slaughter, torture and mass disappearance of tens of thousands of Syrians.

No one will be fooled by such move. This entire regime has to be brought down and the Rabbit and his criminal relatives and cronies, such as Makhlouf, brought to trial.

"Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad and focus of anti-corruption protests, is quitting business [Ha, Ha, Ha.....Sure! And Angry Arab is really Lady Gaga. This is as sincere as Al Capone playing Santa Claus.], state media said, in a major concession to demonstrations against Assad's rule.

The announcement came on the eve of weekly Muslim prayers, which have usually witnessed the biggest protests and the heaviest bloodshed of the three-month unrest, and as army units circled two towns in the north of the country....."

حديث الثورة .. 16 يونيو .. د. عزمي بشاره

حديث الثورة .. 16 يونيو .. د. عزمي بشاره

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Women activists prepare to defy Saudi Arabian driving ban

16 June 2011

"Saudi Arabian authorities must stop treating women as second-class citizens and open the Kingdom’s roads to women drivers, Amnesty International said today, as a group of women prepared to defy a decades-old driving ban.

An online campaign has called on women who hold international driving licences to start driving on Saudi Arabian roads on 17 June. The “Women2Drive” campaign has used Facebook and Twitter to encourage women to drive as part of their normal daily activities rather than converge in one place.

“Not allowing women behind the wheel in Saudi Arabia is an immense barrier to their freedom of movement, and severely limits their ability to carry out everyday activities as they see fit, such as going to work or the supermarket, or picking up their children from school,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Saudi Arabian authorities must not arrest licensed women drivers who choose to drive, and must grant them the same driving privileges as men.

“This is just one example of so many areas of life where women in Saudi Arabia have their human rights and their agency denied.”

Saudi Arabian authorities have clamped down on recent attempts to defy the driving ban by women who hold international driving licences...."

Palestinian statehood and bypassing Israel

Israel breaks international law and UN agreements under the guise of "protecting state legitimacy".

Lamis Andoni

"Israel, backed by the US, has started a campaign to preempt a Palestinian drive to win United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israeli in the 1967 war.

If such a recognition is secured, it will neither lead to an establishment of a Palestinian state nor would it stop the continued Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands. Nevertheless, Israel is mainly concerned that the Palestinian move would restore the United Nations resolution - and international resolutions - as the main reference for solving the conflict.

Israel has been relying on unchallenged US support and its military supremacy to create facts on the ground to prevent the foundation of an independent Palestinian state, and for that matter, any alternative solution based on equality and justice.

If anything, Israel has used the 17-year-old Oslo process to undermine international law and substitute United Nations resolutions with territorial and demographic changes as terms of reference. And it is these final status settlements that determine the permanent status of the Palestinian land and people.

Thus, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has come under tremendous pressure to abandon its campaign and return to negotiations with Israel - under the same terms that have led only to the consolidation of Israeli control of Palestinians lives and lands.

It would be wrong for the PA to buckle to such pressures [But it will, I guarantee that.], but it is more important that it deals with the campaign as part of a serious strategy, and not simply as a tactic to temporarily evade - or resume - the negotiations under new slightly altered conditions.[The quisling PA is the wrong horse to bet on to do the right thing after all these years of abject failure; dissolve this farce entity!]

Palestinian officials are themselves sceptical that the campaign will succeed in winning General Assembly recognition, since they expect the US to get the Security Council to oppose the move....."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Syrian death squad members force thirsty detainees to shout "Allah Syria Bashar only" in order to give them water

Arab League should expel Assad regime

It is unconscionable that Arab regimes remain silent and impotent as Bashar Al-Assad slaughters his own people

Khalid Amayreh

"Hair-raising reports that keep coming out from Syria speak of the Syrian army, whose raison d’etre is to protect the country from external aggression, ganging up on Syrian population centers one after the other, using T-72 tanks, helicopter gunships and other lethal weaponry that would be used in real war between armies.

Hundreds if not thousands of innocent civilians have been riddled with bullets, children tortured in barbarian gangland style before they are handed over to their respective families for a hasty burial, and women raped by soldiers in order to deter male relatives from taking part in pro-democracy protests against the tyrannical regime in Damascus....

Soldiers refusing or showing the slightest reluctance to shoot to kill are themselves summarily executed by the Shabbiha thugs, or murderous death squads. Hundreds of such soldiers have been murdered and the killing blamed mendaciously on "infiltrators, fifth-columnists, and Jihadi fundamentalists."....

The Syrian regime seems to have exhausted its inventory of shameless disinformation about the popular revolution engulfing the country, but no one is quite sure. It blamed every conceivable and presumed foe, from Wahabbis to Mossad, for fomenting trouble against the regime.However, more and more ordinary Syrians, many of whom previously gave the regime the benefit of the doubt, have now discovered the bitter truth; namely that the regime is lying and killing the people.

There is no doubt that the sectarian regime in Syria is the main enemy of the Syrian people. This Syrian people is as entitled to liberty and freedom from tyranny and the police state apparatus as any other people under the sun, including Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans and Yemenis.So why is the Arab League silent?

In a certain sense, the Arab League, which many well-meaning Arabs say candidly must reform or die, is morally co-responsible for the deaths of every Syrian man, woman and child at the hands of a murderous, merciless and corrupt regime....

Indeed, if the Arab League can’t even speak up against manifestly criminal member states that do to their own peoples more than what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians, then it is obvious that the League loses its raison d'être and should be consigned to the dustbin of history....

Moreover, there should be a total ban on Syrian air flights. In short, the regime of Al-Assad must be made to understand that slaughtering peaceful protesters, raping and killing Arab women in Syria, and torturing children to death, like Hamza Al-Khatib, are not without a price....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand new poll deals with Yemen; it asks:

Which is better for the Yemeni revolution, forming a transitional council or transferring power to the vice president?

With the first 200 responding, 90% favored a transitional council.

Rise of the Muslim Sisterhood?

By Brian Whitaker

"...we started fantasising about what some futuristic Arab novel could be like, and came up with the idea of a Middle East in which the Saudi regime had been overthrown and the country was ruled by women – a militantly feminist bunch who might, for the sake of irony, be known as the Muslim Sisterhood.

Two years on, though, I'm beginning to wonder if the idea was quite as fanciful as it seemed. Is it really so crazy to suggest that women might one day bring down the House of Saud?

So far, the Saudi regime has escaped the kind of protests seen in a number of other Arab countries. It has declared street demonstrations to be un-Islamic and well as illegal, and is well-equipped to deal with them ... assuming the protesters are men. The one thing it is not prepared for, and would probably have difficulty coping with, is a mass revolt by women.

And why bother preparing for that? Women, after all, are expected to obey their menfolk and not trouble their heads with things like politics.

Saudi women, of course, have plenty to revolt about. They are oppressed, discriminated against and kept apart – excluded from many of the activities that for men would be normal. Paradoxically, though, the patriarchal system that keeps them apart from men also gives them a unique kind of freedom to organise and agitate beyond the gaze of male eyes (which inveitably includes most of the state's surveillance system).

During the long years of political stagnation in the Middle East, mosques provided cover for grassroots organisation and agitation because they were one of the few areas where the authorities' writ was limited. It came to haunt them after 9/11 of course, but that's another story.

In Saudi Arabia there's a similar situation with women. The patriarchs, through their own choice, have created a vast no-go area by confining half the population – the female half – to a largely separate and private world, a world which up to now has been treated as being of no political consequence and where any stirrings have generally been disregarded or fobbed off with vague promises.

Tomorrow, June 17, marks the official start of the Women2Drive campaign, with the organisers hoping that large numbers of women will assert their rights by taking to the road in cars. A few brave souls have already done so – and have been arrested. Other women have been queuing outside government offices, demanding to register as voters in the pathetic municipal elections scheduled for later this year.

Whether this will achieve anything in the short term remains to be seen but with so many other avenues for peaceful dissent closed off by the authorities, women could by default become the kingdom's most important force for change. If the authorities fail to heed it, they do so at their own peril. "

Al-Jazeera Video: UN urges Syria to investigate human rights violations

"Turkey's newly re-elected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been holding urgent talks in Ankara with Syria's presidential envoy.

Erdogan has previously urged Damascus to end the repression of anti-government protests.

Earlier, the UN human rights chief reiterated calls for Syria to investigate human rights violations.

Al Jazeera's Nazanin Sadri reports."

Today's Cartoon by the Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat

(Click on cartoon to enlarge....OR ELSE!)

According to the Bloody Syrian Regime, it is Fighting Armed Intruders!
This is One of Them.

“Why is the world silent?” Syrian refugees speak

By Neil Sammonds
(Amnesty International’s Syria researcher on the Turkish-Syrian border)
via Uruknet

"Little is known of the life of the thousands of Syrians who have recently fled to Turkey, and are now living in camps in Yayladagi and Altinozu in the south-east of the country.

Not one civil society activist or journalist is known to have been able to enter the camps. Knowing that, and with Turkey virtually shut down for the national elections today, I chose to head for one of the hospitals in the regional capital Hatay where one can sneak in to talk to injured Syrians.

By all accounts, the Turkish government and people have received, hosted and treated an unspecified number of Syrians extremely well. Officially there are up to 7,000 Syrians now here in Hatay province but many believe the actual figure is much higher.

There are said to be up to 10,000 within a few kilometres of the border on the Syrian side, waiting to be able to go back to their homes or to cross into Turkey if the violence moves further north.

Strangely however, the Turkish government is hiding its hospitability by denying access to the camps and making it a gamble on getting in to see Syrians in hospitals.

I entered the hospital, walked past the security guard as if I was a regular and eventually, in a room with three single beds, I found the people I had been looking for.

These three Syrian men, all from the Jisr al-Shughur area, have been wounded in the recent clashes with security forces. I sensed their unease each time the door opened but they told me their stories....

“The tanks fired at the houses; once they were destroyed, some 300 shabiha militia soldiers entered. They killed or kidnapped anyone left behind, stole any possessions they could and burnt crops. They have done this in several villages,“ he said.

“Does the rest of the world want the end of the Syrian people? Why is the world silent?” he asked me repeatedly.

Several other Syrians came in and out of the room while I was there. They all spoke of Syrians being united and peaceful, with only the regime wanting divisions between communities."

La Nation Building du Jour

by Philip Giraldi, June 16, 2011

".......And the real irony is that the war party has little to point to in the way of success beyond killing Osama bin Laden after ten years of trying. If American soldiers overseas are truly endangering their lives delivering freedom, the proponents of a huge military to enable constant war should be able to demonstrate exactly how that has occurred, when and where, and what gain has come from it. Iraq? A dictatorship that was stable has been replaced by a corrupt one-party rule. A state that was the Arab bulwark against Iranian expansion is now one of Tehran’s best friends. Afghanistan? Nearly everyone agrees that it is insoluble and it is time to leave, but ten years have gone by and a trillion dollars wasted on a nation-building catastrophe that even the US government concedes has failed. When the US finally does leave the Taliban will return and the only unity in Afghanistan will be that everyone hates the Americans.

Libya, the latest cakewalk candidate, is already a money pit and is showing every sign of a failed policy. Yemen? Somalia? Are they better off due to US predator drone attacks? Are we Americans better off because we have the technology and will to carry them out? Are we safer or has stirring up the hornet’s nest in so many places actually placed us at risk?

If Washington cannot appreciate that we Americans are far worse off and even less safe now than we were ten years ago, there is definitely something wrong with the cognitive process that prevails in the White House and in Congress...."

Real News Video: Thousands of Greeks Say No to Austerity

Michael Spourdalakis: Greek debt caused by tax evasion and lack of investment in real economy

More at The Real News

Real News Video: Strikes put Greece on the brink

EuroNews: Greeks have exercised their democratic right and practically closed the whole country down

More at The Real News

Free Ayat now, Amnesty tells Bahrain regime

The Independent

"Amnesty International last night called on Bahrain to free Ayat al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old student who has become a symbol for those who have taken to the streets of the Gulf state to demand greater political freedoms.

Jailed for a year this week for protesting, Ms Gormezi was convicted after reciting poetry critical of Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the Bahraini regime. She was arrested on 30 March when security forces raided her parents' home and forced four of her brothers to the floor at gunpoint. As previously reported in The Independent, Ms Gormezi was whipped across the face with an electrical cable and held in a tiny cell.

Amnesty's Bethan Cansfield, said: "Ayat's imprisonment is an utter disgrace. The Bahraini authorities ought to release her immediately and investigate disturbing reports that she was horribly mistreated while in detention."...."

Video: Syrian helicopter targets military/state security building in Ma'rrat al Nu'man (10-Jun-2011)


Under cover of darkness, Assad's enemies take up arms as their foe closes in

Kim Sengupta in Syria sees refugees desperately fleeing regime

The Independent
Thursday, 16 June 2011

".....The Independent had chanced across the group north of Ghassaniye after going into Syria through a smugglers' route from Turkey.

More than 12,000 people are now camped in a state of squalor and degradation on this side of the frontier. Another 8,500 had made it across only to be herded into camps and locked away with no access to the outside world, by the authorities in Ankara. Yesterday, these inmates held a protest demonstration during a visit by foreign minister Ahmet Davoutoglu to one of the holding centres.

But, for the desperate travellers on this dusty road, anything was better than the savage retribution they were seeking to escape. The violence, however, was never very far behind. The journey had been a perilous one with gunmen of the secret police, the Mukhabarat, and the Alawite militia, the Shabiha, tracking them and carrying out attacks.

"They had looted all they could and they had burnt our homes. But still they were not satisfied, they want blood," Issa Abdullah shook his head. "These men like killing, they are like wild dogs."....

The watchful man who appeared to be their leader, denied they were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organisation, which has strong roots in this region. He said: "We are protecting these routes because the [regime's] troops and the Mukhabarat had been carrying out ambushes. They are using snipers. We need to get our people away safely and that is what we are trying to do."

"I am a soldier. I used to fight for Bashar Assad, now I fight for the people. There are many of us and more are joining us. But we are soldiers and we are Syrians, we are not terrorists....

United Nations warns of mounting Syria casualty rate

Human rights office says most egregious reports concern use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians

The Guardian, Thursday 16 June 2011

"Syria's security forces have used executions, mass arrests and torture to repress pro-democracy protests, the UN human rights office said in a report that could add to calls for a stronger global response. [No kidding!!]

Entire towns have been besieged, including Deraa, preventing civilians from fleeing and depriving many of food supplies and access to medical care, especially the wounded, it said.

More than 1,100 people are believed to have been killed, many of them unarmed civilians, and up to 10,000 detained since mid-March. The main activist group organising protests said on Sunday the crackdown has killed 1,300 civilians.

"The mounting casualty rate among civilians is alarming," said Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for rights, in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. "I am gravely concerned about the human rights and humanitarian crises."

In a report to the 47-member forum, her office said it had received numerous allegations, including "the excessive use of force in quelling demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, summary executions, torture" and a clampdown on assembly and expression.

"The most egregious reports concern the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians, including from snipers positioned on rooftops of public buildings and the deployment of tanks in areas densely populated by civilians," the report said.

Helicopter gunships were reported to have been used during an assault on Jisr Al-Shughour, driving more than 7,000 Syrians into Turkey, it said......"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Syria: blood like fire

By Dylan Conner

The deceit of ageing Arab regimes won't stop al-Jazeera

Arab regimes' attempts to discredit al-Jazeera only highlight the honesty of the new people's media

Wadah Khanfar
(Director general of the al-Jazeera network), Wednesday 15 June 2011

"When al-Jazeera and other Arab satellite TV services were launched in 1996, the intelligence agencies of Arab regimes began a campaign to create an atmosphere of doubt around us, including the rumour that al-Jazeera was established by a Mossad officer living in the Doha Sheraton. When you deal with this level of distortion, you know you are facing regimes that are too scared to confront you with facts....

And so in today's revolutionary atmosphere, with so much to play for, the people are our most valuable assets. We have our Twitter and Facebook followers, and we have the people on our side – people who marched in the liberation squares, people who risked their lives to send us pictures and videos – and we cannot let them down. We must stay close to the people and never let these glorious revolutions turn into a tool of dictators and murderers."

Syrians vow to overcome violent crackdown by Assad's troops'

The violence is keeping many at home but it is not breaking the movement' – demonstrators refuse to bow to government pressure


Nidaa Hassan in Homs, Wednesday 15 June 2011

"....The brutal suppression of protests has left more than 1,400 people dead, including soldiers and security men, since Syria's uprising started, according to estimates by human rights groups.

But rather than deterring demonstrators, the violence has bolstered their determination, adding to their anger at the government that they say offers them no hope.

The crackdown has been particularly intense in Homs, Syria's third most populous city about 100 miles north of Damascus....

All around the country protests are dominated by young men such as Ahmed, lacking in work opportunities and dealing on a daily basis with corruption.....

His views are echoed by others of his age. Dressed in jeans and a checked shirt, a 50-year-old manual worker sitting on the balcony of one of many sandy-coloured block of flats in Homs says he has started a committee in his neighbourhood, trying to give a backbone to a spontaneous uprising not sparked by Facebook or any organised opposition. The committee draws posters and caricatures to take to the street and draws up slogans to emphasise unity between the religions.

The founder is trying to reach out to other small committees he knows have popped up in other areas of the city and in cities and villages beyond. "By showing we have a plan, more people, including doctors and professors, have come out," he says. "The violence is keeping many at home but it is not breaking the movement." Instead, he says, people are angry at citizens being shot dead.....

From towns and cities across the country come reports of doctors moving round houses and setting up field clinics to help people too afraid to go to hospital, and religious leaders who have spoken out and tried to smooth relations between Syria's sects. Families have opened their houses to protesters fleeing from security forces, who are bussed into areas where protests break out.....

Computer experts have been helping protesters upload videos to YouTube, which has become the primary way of getting out information. They have also made short films and cartoons mocking the regime. And, of course, activists have supported protesters by liaising with media and publishing information. This support is bolstering resistance to the regime and allowing protesters to go out on a daily basis....."

A GREAT VIDEO: طفلة تهتف لإسقاط النظام في ساحة العاصي بحماة 15-6-2011

Contributed by Yasmin

طفلة تهتف لإسقاط النظام في ساحة العاصي بحماة 15-6-2011

Israeli spies target Egypt

Israeli spies target Egypt

It is incumbent upon us to alert the world that the Israelis are playing a major role in the counter-revolution in Egypt.

Abdel Bari Atwan
The Egyptian revolution launched from Tahrir Square in Cairo surprised the world not only with its victory and the efforts and patience of the youth, but also in the changes it brought to the political landscape of Egypt. It has altered the balance of power and allies in the Arab world and, more importantly, is starting to reshape the relationship with Israel.

Hence, it would be naive not to expect many parties to conspire against the revolution to take it off track. Top of the list of suspects would be Israel alongside those Arab regimes which oppose democratic change and wish to see Egypt remain subject to US domination.

It was not surprising, therefore, to hear that an Israeli has been arrested and accused of spying by the Egyptian authorities. Ilan Chaim Grapel is, it is claimed, an officer in Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and he has been charged with trying to recruit young Egyptians to carry out sabotage operations and sow the seeds of sectarian strife. Spending time in Tahrir Square under a number of aliases, Grapel is accused of inciting Egyptian Muslims to attack Coptic Churches and escalate clashes between the faith groups. All, it is alleged, with the intention of destabilising Egypt and destroying the nascent national unity of purpose.

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt lifts nightly curfew

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrians seek refuge at Turkish border

Real News Video: Austerity in Greece Meant to Break Workers' Resistance

Leo Panitch: Greece will default on its debt, banks want to make Greek people pay a heavy price

More at The Real News

آخر كلام .. د. عزمي بشاره

Don't Miss it!

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Wikileaks documents allege deep regional enmities and a surprising alliance

Al-Masry Al-Youm

"....According to the cable, Aboul Gheit felt it was a matter of honor not to improve relations with Qatar and that in fact, Egypt would “thwart every single Qatari initiative that Doha tries to put forward (during its current term) as president of the Arab League,” boasting that that had already been done.

Additionally, Aboul Gheit contended that former President Hosni Mubarak was himself adamant that Egypt should thwart all Qatari initiatives, even if they were in Egypt’s own interests....

Other cables involving Qatar dispatched from Tel Aviv in March 2009 in a meeting between US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman (he was the acting assistant then, officially assuming his role six months later) and Israeli Foreign Affairs Deputy Director General for Middle East and Peace Process Division Yacov Hadas-Handelsman and other Israeli officials.

The cables contained details of the Israeli relationship with many Arab countries, and at one point Hadas told Feltman that Qatari-Israeli relations were affected by the Qatari belief that Israel has secret and powerful ties with Saudi Arabia. Hadas admitted that communication between the two countries were through other channels.

Saudi Arabia has always been cautious not to have any direct communication or ties with Israel because of its position in the Islamic world. In 2002, Saudi Arabia proffered an initiative that it would normalize relations with Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The initiative was reaffirmed in 2007, but no headway has been made in that regard.

And because the initiative had never been overtly welcomed by Israel, Hassan discounted the notion that Saudi Arabia would open direct channels of communication with Israel, even if they were kept secret....."

Egyptian activists say No to military trials

From Hossam El-Hamalawy

"Anti-torture activists hold press conference following the meeting with SCAF representatives…"

Yemeni Deputy Governor: 130 Killed by US Drones This Month

More Than 15 Drone Strikes Confirmed

by Jason Ditz, June 14, 2011

"Officials with Yemen’s Defense Ministry have confirmed that the US has been launching drone strikes on a daily basis against the nation in June, with more than 15 confirmed strikes already this month. The deputy governor of Abyan Province reports at least 130 killed in those attacks.....

The announcement comes in the wake of several reports that the Obama Administration is looking to dramatically escalate its drone presence in the country, launching attacks against targets in the nation’s tribal dominated regions. It appears, however, that those strikes had already begun.

And may get worse yet. The Associated Press has a report that the US is building a secret CIA air base from which to launch drone attacks across the region. The site of the base was unclear, but reports that officials are concerned that the Yemeni regime may fall suggest it may be outside of Yemen.

The US has a history of launching strikes against Yemeni targets, with President Saleh shrugging off such attacks and even helping the US cover up past civilian casualties. Those attacks were major, but extremely intermittent. Now that the attacks are a daily part of life in Yemen, the concerns about the unreliablility of US targeting is bound to again become an issue."

Why the Pentagon Papers matter now

While we go on waging unwinnable wars on false premises, the Pentagon papers tell us we must not wait 40 years for the truth

Daniel Ellsberg, Monday 13 June 2011

"....In other words, today's declassification of the whole study comes 36 to 40 years overdue. Yet, unfortunately, it happens to be peculiarly timely that this study gets attention and goes online just now. That's because we're mired again in wars – especially in Afghanistanremarkably similar to the 30-year conflict in Vietnam, and we don't have comparable documentation and insider analysis to enlighten us on how we got here and where it's likely to go.

What we need released this month are the Pentagon Papers of Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan, Yemen and Libya). We're not likely to get them; they probably don't yet exist, at least in the useful form of the earlier ones. But the original studies on Vietnam are a surprisingly not-bad substitute, definitely worth learning from....."

Angelina Jolie seeks to visit Syrian refugees

"Angelina Jolie wants to visit Syrian refugees who have fled violence and are camped out on the Turkish side of the border, Turkey said today.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said an application to visit the refugees has been made on behalf of the Hollywood actress, who is a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.....

More than 8,500 Syrians are said to have fled to Turkey to escape a crackdown on an anti-government uprising.

In April, Jolie travelled to Tunisia during its refugee crisis as thousands fled from its war-torn neighbour, Libya....."

Bahrain 'to sue over Independent reporting'

"The government of Bahrain claimed yesterday to have commissioned a UK-based law firm to file a case against The Independent for its reporting on the crackdown on protests in the country.

Nawaf al-Mawada, a representative of the Information Affairs Authority, told Bahrain's state news agency that the action was being taken because The Independent had "deliberately published a series of unrealistic and provocative articles targeting Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". A correspondence from the Information Affairs Authority to The Independent cites an opinion piece by Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk (posted here), in which he criticises the Bahraini government for putting 48 surgeons on trial, as being "based on slanderous hearsay". It also claims that "using columns, features and news to publish misinformation in repeated attacks on our people and rulers amounts to libel and will be treated as such in accordance with the law".
At least 31 people have died in demonstrations against the 200-year rule of the Al Khalifa family, which began in February."

In Syria we need a revolution in our heads

It's not just the regime; Syrians need to change the intellectual culture that bolsters tyranny

Imad al-Rasheed, Tuesday 14 June 2011

"...The problem is not solely the repression by which the Ba'ath party has governed the Syrian people for nearly half a century. Syria's problem, shared by the whole Arab region, is represented by the Arab intellectuals who – either through conviction or surrendering to fear and torture – philosophised for oppression and were used to make dictatorship part of Arab political culture in the postcolonial era. They supplied all kinds of excuses for the regimes such as "facing the external threat is the only priority" or "the people are not ready for democracy so backward elements will win". They adopted the notion of "it's either the regime or chaos".

However, the course of the Arab spring offers a solution to this problem. The people are taking the initiative, leaving the intellectuals to follow. It places before all Arab intellectuals the task of reassessing the ideas that underpin their theories on dictatorship.

The revolution against oppression must achieve two things; changes of regime, and changes in the mindset that led to acceptance of dictatorship, in order to prevent revolutionaries from themselves turning into new dictators. The latter change must be the duty of genuine Arab intellectuals.

The Syrian regime disregards all demands for reform, whether from the people themselves, or from friends who have offered sincere advice. As far as the regime is concerned, it is the homeland, the state and the republic. This idea is rooted in the 1973 constitution, which states that the Ba'ath party is the "leader party" of the state, and that the president holds executive authority, has absolute power and can dissolve parliament when he so desires.....

With the exception of the republic – the symbol of national unity for Syrians – you will not find any other institution that Syrians feel represents them and their interests. Neither the presidency nor the ministries and the security services are real national institutions; on the contrary, they are rather like farms whose managers treat them as though they are their personal property.

However, it would not be far-fetched to say that if the brutal behaviour of the regime continues, this may lead to the fracturing of the republic and its eventual downfall......"

Arab League issues first condemnation of Syria violence

Comments 'unbalanced and politically motivated', says Syrian representative, as army's onslaught continues

Martin Chulov in Beirut, Tuesday 14 June 2011

"The Arab League has publicly criticised the violence in Syria for the first time, saying Arab states are "angry and actively monitoring" the crisis.

The comments from the outgoing secretary general, Amr Moussa, drew a bitter response from Damascus. Syria's representative at the league described them as "unbalanced and politically motivated".

Mounting international condemnation, however, has done little to slow the onslaught of the Syrian army as it pushes through northern border villages...."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

التوق إلى الحرية ما بعد الثورات العربية..د.عزمي بشاره

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Emad Hajjaj's Cartoon in Al-Quds Al-'Arabi

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Mass Grave Discovered in Syria; Buried in it:


"Secular" Syria Under the Butcher, With Help From.....The Ayatollahs!

By Tony Sayegh

One of the central lies of the bloody Syrian regime of the Rabbit is that it, and it alone, is the only guarantee that Syria remains secular. The regime blames the broad uprising on assorted "armed gangs," "outside conspirators," Al-Qa'ida-related Islamists, the Muslim Brothers, and what have you.

Yet, only two forces currently strongly support the Syrian butcher: the "Republic" of the Ayatollahs in Iran, and its proxy, the openly sectarian Hizbullah. Don't you find this a bit ironic? The Ayatollahs preserving a "secular" republican monarchy in Syria!

Turkey has distanced itself from its former ally and now is condemning its horrendous and brutal crimes against its own people. France (which hosted him at Bastille Day Parade, July 14, 2008) and other European countries, which not long ago were receiving the butcher as a hero and as a "reformer," are also beginning to speak out (albeit timidly) against the despot.

Needless to say, the vast majority of Arabs abhor the crimes of the Syrian regime. In a current poll by Al-Jazeera (Arabic), more than 85% of the respondents support condemnation of Syria by the UN.

Al-Jazeera Video: Syrian opposition speak to Al Jazeera

Video: Yemen protesters demand transitional council

Demonstrators in Sana'a threaten to take matters into their own hands if vice-president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi does not hasten moves to form a transitional council, Tuesday 14 June 2011