Saturday, August 13, 2011
"قال مسؤول تركي مساء أمس الجمعة إن أنقرة لا تستبعد تدخلاً دولياً في سوريا بحال لم يتوقف نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد عن استخدام العنف ضد شعبه.
ونقلت صحيفة "حرييت" عن المسؤول قوله "حتى قبل 8 أشهر، كنّا نحاول إقناع الحلفاء الغربيين منح الأسد المزيد من الوقت لتطبيق إصلاحات، وكنا ودودين لعقد اجتماعات حكومية مشتركة ورفع تأشيرات الدخول".
وتابع "ولكن إن كان النظام لا يستمع إلى نصيحة صديقه وجاره ويستمر في فتح النار على مواطنيه، لا يمكن لتركيا أن تبقى صديقة له". وقال إن تركيا لا تستبعد تدخلاً أجنبياً بحال استمر العنف.
وأضاف أن الرسالة التي حملها وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داوود اوغلو من الرئيس عبد الله غول إلى الأسد كانت "إنذاراً أخيراً" وبحال استمر العنف لن يمكنه الاعتماد على صداقة تركيا.
وذكرت وكالة أنباء الأناضول، أمس الجمعة، أن أوغلو سلم خلال زيارته الأسد الثلاثاء رسالة من غول حذره فيها من التأخر بإجراء إصلاحات ديمقراطية والندم لاحقا.
وقال المسؤول إن من الأسباب الأخرى التي أدت إلى "نفاذ صبر" تركيا هو كما قال رئيس الوزراء رجب طيب أردوغان، الدعم المطلق الذي أعلنت عنه الحكومة الإيرانية لسوريا.
ونقلت "هآرتس" النبأ مشيرة إلى أن تركيا لا تنفي إمكانية مشاركتها في تدخل عسكري دولي في سورية.
واعتبرت الصحيفة أن مذكرة الرئيس التركي عبد الله غول إلى نظيره السوري، بواسطة وزير الخارجية أوغلو، إضافة إلى تسريب مضمونها إلى وسائل الإعلام التركية ما يشير إلى قرار إستراتيجي اتخذته تركيا مفاده أن النظام السوري فقد شرعيته، وأنه من الممكن الآن الانتقال إلى المرحلة الفعالة ضد سورية.
كما أشارت "هآرتس" إلى أن مستشار الرئيس التركي، إرشاد هرمزلي، قد أوضح في مقابلة مع الصحيفة العراقية "زمان" أن تركيا لن تتدخل عسكريا في سورية ولن تسمح لقوات أجنبية بالعمل ضد سورية من أراضيها.
وكتبت "هآرتس" في هذا السياق أن مجرد الجاهزية التركية للانضمام إلى ائتلاف دولي يقرر شن هجوم على سورية هو تحول درامي في موقفها، وأن أقوال هرمزلي تشير إلى أنه قد أجريت مباحثات بشأن التدخل العسكري ووصلت مرحلة اتخاذ القرارات.
وتوقعت أن يتم في المرحلة الأولى سحب السفير التركي من دمشق، وبذلك تنضم إلى الإجراءات التي قامت بها السعودية والكويت والبحرين. كما توقعت في المرحلة القادمة أن تقوم بتجميد مشاريع واستثمارات في سورية. وأنه فقط في حال اتخاذ قرار دولي بالعمل العسكري سوف تنضم تركيا إلى القرار.
وتوقعت "هآرتس" أن السيناريو العسكري قد يؤدي إلى فتح جبهات أخرى إذا قررت إيران الدفاع عن النظام السوري وعدم الاكتفاء بتزويد سورية بالمال والعتاد عن طريق العراق. وتوقعت في هذا السياق أن تقوم إيران بفتح جبهة تكتيكية في الخليج، وإرسال قوات إلى البحرين، أو البدء بمناورات عسكرية واسعة النطاق في الخليج."
by John Glaser, August 12, 2011
"Tens of thousands of Syrian protesters shouted for President Bashar Assad’s death Friday in a dramatic escalation of their rage and frustration, defying Syrian forces after months of brutal crackdowns. Eleven protesters were killed during the demonstrations, according to human rights groups.
After Friday prayers, Syrian forces shot and killed another 20 protesters. Yet anti-government demonstrators remained resistant.
The protest movement began in March asking for relatively minor reforms in the Syrian government. Now they are calling for his head, in various cities, chanting “The people want to execute the president!”
The current status of this conflict between the Assad regime and the Syrian people has become a test of endurance. While the Obama administration has imposed sanctions on the Syrian government, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday urging countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas or selling the regime weapons, they have stopped short of calling for Assad’s ouster.
A U.S. diplomatic official told the New York Times the United States increasingly believed that Assad could not hold out indefinitely and that plans were being made for a post-Assad era, without endorsing any direct intervention......"
"Just when you think your contempt for Congress could not get any higher, our elected representatives manage to do something to ratchet it up another notch. After congressional shenanigans helped spark a major market sell-off and sparked fears of a double-dip recession, you'd think every single one of them would be heading back to their districts to figure out what their constituents wanted and to try to explain how they were going to help make things better. Or maybe a few of them would even spend the recess taking a crash course in macroeconomics and public finance, so that they could start exercising their public duties more responsibly.
But what did 81 of them decide to do instead? You guessed it: they are off on junkets to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, an AIPAC spinoff that has been funding such trips for years. That's right: during the August recess nearly a fifth of the U.S. Congress will visit a single country whose entire population is less than that of New York City......"
Friday, August 12, 2011
Martin Chulov in Beirut and Nour Ali
guardian.co.uk, Friday 12 August 2011
"Syria's uprising spread into the country's commercial hub of Aleppo today, where two people died during rare government raids, which also saw at least 13 protesters killed in other towns and cities.
The foray into Aleppo, which remains a stronghold of the regime, came as observers outside Syria began to question whether five months of violence and implacable defiance had now reached a tipping point for Bashar al-Assad and the ruling Ba'ath party.
The mood in the country's second-largest city has long been considered a key barometer of the regime's standing inside the country it has ruled with ruthless control for more than four decades.
"If [Aleppo] turns, the Assads have lost Damascus," said one western official. "It is very important to them. It is the only part of the country where the economy has remained relatively resolute."
Across the country, security forces today were widely reported to have opened fire near people as they emerged from mosques and public gathering places, in a bid to deny them a chance to organise after weekly prayers.....
One western official in Beirut said a point of no return for Mr Assad had drawn nearer this week, with the embattled autocrat unable to convince friend or foe that he had a solution for the instability that threatens to end the uncontested four-decade rule of the Assad clan....."
A GOOD PIECE
guardian.co.uk, Friday 12 August 2011
"Of all the millions of words expended in the global media on this year's rash of youth-led revolts across the globe, none are more relevant than those penned by Alex Andreou, a Greek-born blogger who now lives in Britain. "You have run out of ideas," he wrote in June, echoing the message of Greek protesters to their country's political and economic elites. "Wherever in the world you are, that statement applies."....
Two other common motifs run through this year's rebellions. First has been the collapse in authority of traditional institutions; from Mubarak's cult of personality to the seemingly incessant scandals engulfing Britain's arbiters of political, financial and cultural control – bankers, MPs, and the Murdoch media empire. The crumpling is contagious, fuelling rebellions in the most of places.....
The second commonality has been the tools used to mobilise dissent. Although the role of online social media in the Arab uprisings has often been overstated, there can be no doubt that platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have enabled diverse groups to quickly garner broad support for acts of resistance – and that this means of communication has coloured the internal organisation of protest movements.
"One of the most unifying aspects between our own organisation and other movements around the world is that we're relatively non-hierarchical and decentralised," says Steve Taylor, a campaigner with UK Uncut.
"Today there may not be a single unifying ideology of change among global youth protests of the sort that united people in 1968, but there is a common ideology embedded within our shared model of organisation – no egos, no celebrities, no one telling anyone else what to do and no one willing to take orders – one that lends itself to online social media and has captured people's imaginations."...."
Rachel Stevenson, Richard Sprenger and Mona Mahmood
guardian.co.uk, Friday 12 August 2011
A green future?
For some reason, hearing Romney speak these words reminded me of Charlton Heston's famous line: "Soylent Green is people!" from the dystopian sci-fi thriller movie, Soylent Green. Heston screamed the line after realising that the remains of dead people - forcibly euthanised in the horribly overpopulated, polluted and poverty stricken world of 2022 - were being converted into food to be fed to the living.
When the book, on which the movie was based, was published in 1966 - and even when the movie itself was released in 1973 - such a future was a nightmare that could only be imagined and dramatised, because it still seemed far off and so fantastical that it couldn't possibly come to pass. At least not by 2022.
Today, with people like Mitt Romney and his corporate friends - real and fictive - running the country and the world, 2022 seems frighteningly close indeed. Let's hope the real people have the brains to put a stop to it before it's too late."
الحل الاقتصادي الصهيو/أميركي
الذي يريد التحرر من الاحتلال لا يحرص على مستوى استهلاكي رفيع، ولا يحلم بشراء غرفة نوم إيطالية، ولا يُقبل على شراء بضائع عدوه إلا إذا دعته الضرورة الوطنية إلى ذلك
الحل الاقتصادي ليس حلا لمشكلة اقتصادية ضمن منظومة فكرية وثقافية قائمة، وإنما ضمن منظومة ثقافية وفكرية وأخلاقية جديدة تحل محل القديم بحيث يتغير جلد الفلسطيني بجلد آخر
من المفروض أن يتعلم الإنسان أن عزته وكرامته واستقلاله تتحقق بعرق جبينه وبدمائه، وليس بالاعتماد على الآخرين
تطور الإقبال على الاستيراد بشكل مذهل، وبطريقة حرمت العمال الفلسطينيين من الاستمرار في أعمالهم بسبب إغلاق العديد من الورش والمعامل
يجب أن يحرص الشعب على الاستمرار في العمل وتحسين إنتاجه حتى لا يبقى معتمدا على غيره، ودون أن ينسى أن الأنظمة العربية يمكن أن تخل بالتزاماتها في كل لحظة
"....The most significant of trends is probably the more aggressive or assertive role of regional actors, as international players find that they have very limited means of influencing Syrian government actions. This is linked to the slow transformation of Syria from a leading actor that often defined key political realities around the Middle East, into a more passive player whose domestic troubles have suddenly clipped its regional wings.
The third big change is Syria’s sudden vulnerability at home, causing other regional powers to start working more diligently to either protect their interests or to make sure they are well positioned to take advantage of any forthcoming changes in Syria.
All of this has happened in just over four months. However, it is in fact the delayed and inevitable consequence of four decades of autocratic rule where the extended Assad family, security services and business interests badly gutted and corrupted Syria’s governance institutions. This helped expose the hollowness and weaknesses of the ruling edifice once a domestic challenge erupted. Syria’s ruling establishment remains strong and broadly unified for now, but its end is certain if it uses no other means than military force to respond to the populist national uprising that challenges it.....
For now, the most interesting and historically important aspect of the situation in Syria is less the behavior of the top-heavy, security-based Assad regime – an endangered global species – and more the continued awakening of regional powers intervening in Syrian affairs more openly, as major global powers watch the people and regimes of the Middle East (still two different phenomena in most countries) retake control of their destinies."
(Lecturer at the Middle East Centre, St Antony's College, the University of Oxford.)
"The Syrian regime's response to five months of popular uprising was described by a recent report of the International Crisis Group as "slow motion suicide", resulting from a "mix of uninhibited brutality, sectarian manipulation, crude propaganda and grudging concessions".
The regime opted for a survival strategy: responding by violence and threatening the population with chaos and civil war in the event of its demise. The objective was to launch a war of attrition by playing on time to wear out any internal revolt. It chose, however, the wrong combination of brutal repression and gradual concessions. The result was a crisis of confidence which was too deep to be overcome by mere calls for national dialogue and reform....
Few cards to play
In its struggle for survival, the regime has a few cards to play. Syrians are now extremely worried about the fragility of their country and the dangers that lurk around the corner. Being in a web of strategic networks, the consequences of instability and insecurity in Syria would potentially be far-reaching. Events can turn in any direction and the next month will be crucial.....
Plans to reach out to the second circles of power, beyond the immediate ruling family, are also under consideration. Rumours of growing defections in the army are now reaching the news. Speculations on the recent replacement of the minister of defence, General Ali Habib, evoke his presumed inclinations in favour of the revolution. The regime is again playing the sectarian card by appointing a new Christian minister of defence.
If given guarantees for the post-revolution phase, the 1,200 Alawite officers, with hundreds of men under their command, could be drawn into the transitional phase leading to political pluralism and the rule of law; otherwise, they might resist to the bitter end. Prosecution should be sought against the ones who have perpetrated crimes. But the bulk of the army (with approximately 200,000 soldiers and officers) will need to somehow be integrated. All this presumes that control of military and security affairs is effectively handed over to civilian rule in the transition to democracy.
There is still a long way to go, but the road to Damascus has been taken, and there is no turning back."
Thursday, August 11, 2011
"Al Jazeera speaks to Saleh Al Hammawi, a resident in Syria's Hama through a translator who gives us an update on what is happening on the ground.
Al Jazeera has banned from reporting from the country and has to rely on eye witness accounts and citizen footage uploaded to social media sites for information on the ongoing crisis that is currently underway."
The Electronic Intifada
Ramallah11 August 2011
".......The administrative detention policy is used when Israeli authorities have “secret witnesses” such as Palestinian informants, or has obtained intelligence in a clandestine manner which would not stand up in an Israeli civilian court but are par for the course in Israeli military courts.
No fair trial
“It’s a primitive and racist way to hold a trial and no civilized country in the world uses such methods. Needless to say Israel’s legal system could never do this to an Israeli Jew. Even the Israeli settlers who carry out acts of terror against Palestinians in the West Bank are not treated in this manner,” Qadura Fares, the president of the Palestinian Society Prisoners’ Club in Ramallah, said.
“Administrative detainees are not given a fair trial. Basically the Israeli military prosecutor and the military judge are in agreement. It is very rare for a judge to disagree with the military prosecutor,” Fares says....."
"......I wondered about it myself. Could Israel-besieged Gaza really be sending aid to famine-besieged Somalia?
One of multiple Gaza-led charity campaigns to aid Somalia is called “From Gaza: hand in hand to save the children of Somalia”. According to Ma’an News Agency, this latest effort is led by the Arab Medical Union. “The campaign aimed to demonstrate the extent of physical cohesion between besieged Gaza and Somalia and that the Palestinian people are capable to support and stand with the Somali people,” Ma’an reported on Aug. 2. Palestinians in the West Bank are also mobilizing around help for Somalia. The doctors’ union has opened several bank accounts to accommodate donations.
My mother’s generation must be immensely proud. Their endless sermons about the “pain of others” has registered well in the minds and hearts of their children. Somalis, too, I am certain, can fully appreciate the pain of Gaza.
Gaza. Somalia. Even in its darkest moment, humanity somehow lives on."
"BEIRUT, Aug 11, 2011 (IPS) - A wave of mysterious disappearances is befalling members of the Syrian opposition in Lebanon, where Syria’s military and intelligence apparatus had a strong presence during its occupation of the country from 1976 until 2005.
On May 24 at 4:30 in the afternoon, 86-year-old Shibli al-Ayssami, a Syrian former politician and opposition member, left his daughter’s house on the outskirts of the Lebanese mountain city of Aley. He was going for a walk, as he had done every day since he had arrived in Lebanon from his home in Washington five days earlier. Two hours later, the elderly man had vanished without a trace.....
"Lebanon has a painful history of people being detained and illegally transferred to Syria. This issue is too sensitive to be dealt with lightly," said Houry. If members of the security services are involved in the kidnapping of members of the Syrian opposition, they should be prosecuted. Lebanon’s judiciary should open an independent and transparent inquiry to shed light on these disappearances and establish responsibility for them… Only a credible and transparent investigation will put to rest fears that Lebanon’s security services may have acted outside the law and cooperated with Syrian security services in the kidnapping of Syrian opposition members.""
"You might think that 20 percent of the American Congress going on all-expenses-paid, weeklong junkets to a foreign country — paid for by a lobby for that country — would be newsworthy, especially when the top congressional leaders of both parties are leading the trips.
You would be wrong.
Eighty-one congressional representatives from all over the country, led by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are traveling to Israel this month. Most are freshmen congressmen, and the group includes half of all the freshmen Republicans voted into office in 2010.
The weeklong trips are being paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which was created in 1990 as a supporting organization of AIPAC, America’s major pro-Israel lobbying organization, and they are located in the same building. AIEF, which is only one of numerous organizations pushing pro-Israel policies, has an annual budget of over $24 million, with an even larger endowment.
This is an extraordinary situation. No other lobby on behalf of a foreign country comes anywhere near controlling such wealth or taking so many of America’s elected representatives on a propaganda trip to its favorite country.
Not all those going on these trips are enthusiastic. The wife of one congressman who made a similar trip some years ago said that she and her husband had never been exposed to such pressure in all their lives....."
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 August 2011
"It is essential for those in power in Britain that the riots now sweeping the country can have no cause beyond feral wickedness. This is nothing but "criminality, pure and simple", David Cameron declared after cutting short his holiday in Tuscany. The London mayor and fellow former Bullingdon Club member Boris Johnson, heckled by hostile Londoners in Clapham Junction, warned that rioters must stop hearing "economic and sociological justifications" (though who was offering them he never explained) for what they were doing.
When his predecessor Ken Livingstone linked the riots to the impact of public spending cuts, it was almost as if he'd torched a building himself. The Daily Mail thundered that blaming cuts was "immoral and cynical", echoed by a string of armchair riot control enthusiasts. There was nothing to explain, they've insisted, and the only response should be plastic bullets, water cannon and troops on the streets....
Most have no stake in a society which has shut them out or an economic model which has now run into the sand. It's already become clear that divided Britain is in no state to absorb the austerity now being administered because three decades of neoliberal capitalism have already shattered so many social bonds of work and community.
What we're now seeing across the cities of England is the reflection of a society run on greed – and a poisonous failure of politics and social solidarity. There is now a danger that rioting might feed into ethnic conflict. Meanwhile, the latest phase of the economic crisis lurching back and forth between the United States and Europe risks tipping austerity Britain into slump or prolonged stagnation. We're starting to see the devastating costs of refusing to change course."
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 10 August 2011
"The United States is poised to shift its position on Syria by calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down because of the violence he has inflicted on his own people and his failure to implement meaningful reforms for the last five months.
Barack Obama could issue the demand as early as Thursday in a speech that will mark a dramatic departure in the Syrian crisis. Until now US policy — echoed by Britain and its EU partners — has been that Assad must lead a transition or get out of the way. Now, for the first time, the US president will tell him bluntly to go.
In previous statements Washington has described Assad as "illegitimate" or "part of the past". The White House on Wednesday decried Assad's "heinous actions", and spokesman Jay Carney said: "We are all watching with horror what he is doing to his own people."
Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday that Washington had evidence of "crimes" in Syria and was ready to use it to step up pressure on Assad.
"He has lost his legitimacy ... and Syria would be a better place without him," Rice said. "We are looking ... to lend support to the people of Syria who have the same aspirations for freedom and democracy that we have seen in so many other parts of the world."
Syrian opposition sources and western diplomats predicted that an unconditional call for his departure would have far-reaching implications, though it would likely be couched in terms of US support for the aspirations of the Syrian people.
The precise timing and content of a presidential statement was still under discussion — partly because the US wants a full account of Assad's six hours of talks on Tuesday with Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmed Davotoglu, officials said....."
The Electronic Intifada
Melbourne, 9 August 2011
"In the largest show of support for the Palestinian-initiated boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign so far in Australia, more than 350 persons marched on 29 July in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle — and in opposition to an attempt by Victorian Police to criminalize Palestine solidarity activism in Melbourne.
A month earlier, on 1 July, a similar, peaceful BDS action involving 120 persons was brutally attacked by the Victorian Police. Nineteen individuals were arrested.
Charged with “trespassing” and “besetting,” those arrested are now facing fines of up to AUD $30,000 (approximately US $32,300). The 1 July action, organized by the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, had sought to highlight the complicity of two Israeli companies, Jericho and Max Brenner Chocolate, with Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies. The action was the fourth protest against both companies since December 2010.....
Building on the success of 29 July, Melbourne activists will continue to campaign in support of Palestinian rights and oppose the criminalization of Palestine solidarity activism. The next Melbourne BDS action is scheduled for 9 September, the same week those arrested will plead not guilty to the charges against them. The defense campaign in support of the arrested activists has gained wide attention, with well-known public figures such as filmmaker John Pilger, author Norman Finkelstein and radical thinker Noam Chomsky supporting the campaign.
In a media release issued immediately following the success of the 29 July BDS action, Melbourne activists said the Victorian Police “thought that by attacking the BDS demonstration they would put an end to our movement. They were wrong … [we will] not be silenced” (“BDS returns to Max Brenner in spite of police intimidation,” 5 August 2011)."
"Dozens of Arab and international organizations and leading personalities have joined an urgent call from Gaza to permanently re-open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which remains tightly restricted despite the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February. Here is the accompanying press release and the full text of the statement in English and Arabic and the list of endorsers....."
"يتحدث هيثم مناع عن شقيقه الذي كان ينتمي إلى جيل يلعب دورا إرشاديا وتوعويا خلال هذه "الثورة السورية"، ويقول معن كان من بين قادة الانتفاضة من الجيل الثاني الذين قرروا أن يكون دورهم في هذه الاحتجاجات دور الحكمة والتهدئة لشباب ثائر.
ويضيف إن "ثورة الكرامة" في حاجة إلى جيل معن، الذي يقبع أكثر من 3000 شخص منه في السجون لا لشيء إلا لأنهم أرادوا أن تكون هذه "الانتفاضة والثورة" مثالا لكل دول الجوار بكل ما حملت من قيم ومبادئ.
ويضيف مناع أن هذا الجيل تم تغييبه لدفع "شباب" هذه الانتفاضة إلى التطرف ولإبعاد "الاحتجاجات عن منطلقاتها الأساسية".
ويقول مناع إن أخيه معن عاش الخمسة أشهر الأخيرة بين السرية والملاحقة والسجن، وذلك منذ اقتحام الجيش السوري لمدينة درعا. وقد رفض معن فكرة مغادرة سوريا ومغادرة الميدان والمتظاهرين، وكان دائما في الصفوف الأولى للمظاهرات وتشييع جنائز المتظاهرين وحريص على أن يشارك في كل حدث.
يعتقد هيثم مناع، أن قرار قتل معن العودات "هو قرار سياسي من أعلى الهيئات وليس مجرد رصاصة أطلقت". ويؤكد أن عملية القتل كانت عمدا وتم استهداف الناشط شخصيا، كما لم يتم تقديم أي اعتذار ولم يتم فتح أي تحقيق في مقتله.
ويؤكد هيثم أن السلطات السورية حرمت معن من حق اختيار مثواه الأخير، فقد كانت له رغبة في أن يدفن في "مقبرة الشهداء" في درعا التي حوصرت من قبل قوات الأمن، واضطرت عائلته ومجموعة من أصدقائه إلى دفنه في أم المياذن "مؤقتا" في انتظار أن يعود إلى "مقبرة الشهداء" كما رغب في ذلك معن قبل مقتله.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
"....Washington would be wiser to allow Syria to fill its own power vacuum. Once a united leadership emerges in Syria, it will be able to win the confidence of the majority and topple the regime on its own [Has Landis changed his tune? He used to stick with the regime, and this is a good sign that the tide against the Rabbit is now unstoppable.]. There are dangers to short-circuiting that painful process. Doran and Shaikh argue that the U.S. should hasten both the destruction of the old regime and construction of a new one - in short, that it can nation-build and help guide the emergence of a new Syria. This will save Syrian lives, they project, because it will prevent a drawn out battle.
But by helping to "fast forward" the Syrian revolution, the U.S. could be creating a Frankenstein. If the opposition doesn't have time to produce a leadership that emerges organically out of struggle, Syria may never unite. The U.S. may cause more destruction and death, not less. To be truly successful, the opposition must come together under one set of leaders who win the confidence of the people by their intelligence, canniness, and most importantly, by their success.
As Haytham al-Maleh, a respected elder statesmen of Syria's human rights leaders, said in urging Syrians to eschew foreign intervention: "If we want to own Syria after the revolution, we must win this struggle on our own." "
A GOOD COMMENT
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 9 August 2011
"One of two eye doctors are determining the future of Syria. The first is alive and kicking: son of a brutal military dictator; heir to a corrupt family junta that has ruled the country for 41 years. The second is a long-dead private citizen, buried at the bottom of his family's modest garden.
Dr Hikmat Khani was head of Hama's national hospital when, in 1982, his city was besieged and bombarded on the orders of Bashar Assad's father Hafiz and his uncle Rif'at. To rout 1,500 armed Islamists there, the Assads killed 25,000 innocent civilians. Tens of thousands were rounded up and tortured. Young girls were gang-raped and women had their hands chopped off so their bracelets could be stolen more quickly after their men had been murdered.....
What will the Assads and their extended family be remembered for? Their prisons, mass graves, scorched earth policy; their denaturing of Syrian society into a place of suspicion and fear; and their ugly creation of a North Korea without the bomb? Their illegal enrichment, corruption, arrogance and vindictiveness?
Syrians deserve better and will win their freedom the difficult way, as other peoples have. Perhaps, judging by the mysterious reported death of Ali Habib, the recently sacked minister of defence, widely believed to have clashed with Bashar's lunatic policy; the increasing defections from the army; the no-show of 10,000 reservists at least; and the falling away of all the regime's friends, bar Hugo Chávez and Hassan Nasrallah, the end is nearer than we dare to hope.
Of the two eye doctors that Syria has produced, I believe it is the late Dr Khani – and millions like him – who will make our country the place we want it to be."
Ian Black and Nour Ali
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 9 August 2011
"Syrian security forces were reported to have launched another wave of violence against pro-democracy protesters on Tuesday as President Bashar al-Assad rejected a Turkish appeal to change tack or meet the fate of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi.
Human rights groups recorded at least 40 civilians dead on the day that Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, met the Syrian leader to issue what was billed as a "final warning" to end the five-month crackdown, estimated by the US as having claimed 2,000 victims.
Syrian's state news agency, Sana, quoted Assad as telling Davutoglu that he would "relentlessly fight terrorist groups" – the terminology used by Damascus to describe anti-regime protests. Davutoglu returned to Ankara without speaking to reporters but was expected to hold a press conference later......"
August 9, 2011
"(New York) – The United Nations Security Council should press Syria to comply with the council’s demand to end attacks against peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. Syria should comply with the Security Council’s August 3, 2011 statement, which also called on Syria to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which has been investigating the abuses in Syria.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the council on Syria on August 10, as requested in the Security Council statement. At the August 10 meeting, the Security Council should escalate pressure on the recalcitrant government by considering targeted sanctions, an arms embargo, and the appointment of a commission of inquiry, Human Rights Watch said.
“Not only has Syria ignored the Security Council’s demands, but it has responded to the international community’s demand to halt the violence by intensifying its bloody crackdown,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “President Bashar al-Assad needs to hear loud and clear that the Security Council will not tolerate such contempt for its united call for Syria to change course.”...."
Prominent Syrian liberal poet and writer Adonis urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but called on the opposition to adopt a strict secular ideology, in comments published Friday.
"President Assad should do something. If I were in his place, I would leave the presidency," Adonis said in an interview with Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper.
"The least he can do is to resign from his post," the Beirut-based secular intellectual said.
Adonis, whose given name is Ali Ahmed Said, is a member of Assad's Alawite minority. The poet has been criticised by Syrian and Arab writers for not taking a clear position on the bloody crackdown on Syrian protesters.
However, he criticised the opposition for being fragmented and dominated by religious groups, adding the appropriate solution for Syria is to establish a civil state where religion and politics are separated.
Firm's First Report Condemns Doctors Without BordersAntiwar.com
Backed by invading Saudi troops, the Bahraini regime quickly and violently crushed pro-democracy protesters earlier this year, and has continued with a campaign of repression against those who were involved. It seems to be keeping large portions of the population off the streets, but all that brutality, even if it hasn’t been widely publicized, looks really bad, right?
Undaunted by this the Bahraini government decided to avoid doing anything rash, like allowing free elections or ending the torture of detainees. Instead they just decided to hire a PR firm.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
"World leaders must take immediate concrete action to respond to the crisis in Syria, Amnesty International said today, amid reports that the death toll since mass protests began in March had risen to more than 1,600 people.
The call came ahead of a key UN Security Council debate set for Wednesday at which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to deliver a report on Syria.
Some 53 people are said to have been killed across Syria since Saturday, bringing the total number of reported fatalities to over 1,600 people.
At least five civilians were reportedly killed in the central town of Hama on Tuesday.
“Any honest examination of the facts of the horrific situation in Syria should be more than sufficient to persuade the Security Council to come up with a legally-binding resolution, not just a meek statement. A mere diplomatic appeal to the Syrian authorities to end the ongoing violence against civilians will fall far short of what the situation demands,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for Middle East and North Africa.
“The UN must also impose a complete arms embargo on Syria as well as freezing the overseas assets of President Assad and his senior associates,”....."
فنانون لبنانيون تضامنوا مع السوريين ونددوا بوحشية النظام مارسيل خليفة: جئت لأقول لا للدكتاتورية العربية
"لندن ـ 'القدس العربي': اثر نداء اصدره المثقفون والفنانون اللبنانيون والذي يتصادى مع ما قام به الفنانون والمثقفون السوريون قبل اسبوعين، تجّمع المئات من المثقفين والفنانين والطلاب الجامعيين في ساحة الحرية في بيروت، مطالبين دول العالم والأمم المتحدة بالتحرك الفوري لوقف القمع والقتل الذي يقوم به النظام السوري ضد شعبه.
وشارك في هذا التجمع الفنان اللبناني المعروف مارسيل خليفة الذي أشعل شمعة عن روح 'الشهداء' في سوريا، قائلا 'جئت إلى هنا كي أقول لا للدكتاتورية العربية'.
وكانت هناك مشاركة لافتة للشاعر شوقي بزيع في التحرك التضامني وقد اتضح أن ما قيل عن انسحابه من التوقيع على البيان الذي دعا إلى هذه الوقفة لم يكن صحيحاً، بل الصحيح هو أنه تحفظ على خلو ذلك البيان من الاشارة الى ضرورة التنبّه على مخاطر انزلاق الوضع السوري نحو المذهبية أو الاتجاهات السلفية، وضرورة التركيز في المقابل على البديل الديمقراطي والعلماني.
واعتبر بزيع أن 'الظلم والقهر أشبه بقنبلة موقوتة، ستنفجر ولو بعد حين، وقد حان وقتها الآن، نحن هنا لنقول لا للظلم ولا للتعذيب، الشعب السوري يستحق الحياة بكرامة وعزة'.
من جهتها، لفتت الفنانة حنان الحاج علي التي حضرت مع زوجها المخرج روجيه عساف إلى أنها 'مقاومة مع كل مظلوم، أنا مع المقاومة ضد إسرائيل، وأنا مع الشعب السوري ضد ظلم الأسد، لقد شاركت في مصر مع المتظاهرين في ساحة التحرير ضد نظام مبارك، المقاومة هي بكل شيء وليس فقط ضد دولة عدوة'.
وشدد الفنان أحمد قعبور أنه 'آن الأوان للمنظومة العربية أن تزول نهائياً وتحل مكانها أيديولوجية تداول السلطة، يكفي قتل العزل والأطفال'.
من جهته أكّد المخرج روجيه عساف أنه 'مع الإيراني ضد الشاه ومع الروسي ضد القيصر ومع السوري ضد الأسد، لأنه لا يقل بطشاً وظلماً عن هؤلاء، عندما ننتقد شخصاً ليس معناه أننا ننتقد دولة أو شعباً، نحن مع إخوتنا في سوريا حتى الوصول إلى الحرية القريبة.
أما الإعلامية مي شدياق فقد أكّدتأنها 'أكثر شخص تأذى من النظام السوري وكان الثمن حياتها'، مضيفة 'الجميع يعرف ما قام به ذلك النظام الدكتاتوري في لبنان من أعمال تعذيب وقتل، كيف كان يقتلع الأظافر من الأصابع، ويبيد الأجساد بالأسيد، السيناريو نفسه يكرره مع أولاد شعبه، هذا النظام الوراثي قام عام 1982 بإبادة أهل حماة ولكن وقتها لم يكن الإعلام فاعلاً كما اليوم، الشعوب استيقظت وأصبحت أكثر وعياً، هذا النظام يجب أن يمحى كلياً عن وجه الأرض'.
Amer al-Sadeq has moved house three times over the last four months. The 27-year-old Syrian activist stays online late into the night – every night – in his job as spokesman for the online group Union of Coordinators of the Syrian Revolution (UCSR).
"It's tantalizing to indulge the conspiracy theories surrounding the downing of a Chinook that claimed the lives of 19 United States Navy SEALs from the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden. More constructive is to realize that the Taliban missile that brought down the helicopter underscores the harsh truth that the "new" Afghan strategy is a failure...."
The Electronic Intifada
Ramallah, 8 August 2011
"Few Palestinians are as closely identified with the struggle against Israel’s wall in the West Bank as Jamal Juma’. The coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign since its establishment in 2002, Juma’ has suffered because of his political activities. He was imprisoned in late 2009 and early 2010 but following his release, he has worked relentlessly against a project that has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice.
Juma’ spoke to The Electronic Intifada contributor Ida Audeh about the dearth of popular resistance in areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, the UN statehood bid and the role of the Palestinian diaspora in national liberation....."
"The Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC), the steering group of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, has issued further guidance in the run up to the Palestinian Authority’s effort to gain UN membership for a “State of Palestine” in September.
The BNC statement today implicitly warns that recognition of any “state” that did not include full recognition of all Palestinian rights and the right of all Palestinians everywhere to be represented, could violate or negate those rights.
The statement further warns that governments around the world cannot use symbolic recognition of a Palestinian “state” to evade their responsibilities:
States that offer recognition of Palestinian statehood and continue business as usual with Israel are beyond hypocritical; they betray their own basic legal and political obligations to end Israel’s grave and persistent violations of international law and Palestinian rights......"
"...The Mubarak trial has done much to restore protesters' faith in the SCAF," Abdel Rahman Abu Zaid, founding member of the leftist-oriented Egyptian People's Party (as yet unlicensed), told IPS. "But the use of force against peaceful protesters is absolutely unacceptable in post-revolutionary Egypt."
Many protesters contend that the long-awaited trial never would have materialised without the intense popular pressure that manifested itself in Tahrir Square.....
Ayman Salamma, international law professor at Cairo University, described Mubarak's appearance in the steel-meshed defendant's cage as "a watershed for Egypt and the Arab world."
"This is the first time in modern history for a head of state to be tried by the people in a conventional court," Salaama told IPS, noting that the trial of overthrown Iraqi president Saddam Hussein - which culminated in the latter's alleged execution in 2006 - "was conducted not by the Iraqi public but by an occupying power."...."
"WASHINGTON — The website of Syria's Ministry of Defense was offline Monday after being defaced by the "hacktivist" group Anonymous to protest a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Repeated attempts to connect to the site, www.mod.gov.sy, were met with an error message....
The page included pictures of bloodied protesters and a message to the Syrian people predicting that President Bashar al-Assad will fall.
"To the Syrian people: The world stands with you against the brutal regime of Bashar al-Assad," the message said. "Know that time and history are on your side -- tyrants use violence because they have nothing else, and the more violent they are, the more fragile they become.
"All tyrants will fall, and thanks to your bravery, Bashar al-Assad is next," it added.
In a message to the Syrian military, Anonymous said "You are responsible for protecting the Syrian people, and anyone who orders you to kill women, children and the elderly deserves to be tried for treason.
"No outside enemy could do as much damage to Syria as Bashar Al-Assad has done," it said. "Defend your country -- rise up against the regime!"....."
By Robert Fisk
"Words, words, words. Bashar al-Assad knows his Hamlet, and he is not impressed.
Yes, his isolation grows daily. A day after King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia pulled his ambassador out of Damascus, the Kuwaitis and Bahrainis – we shall naturally ignore, here, Bahrain's own bloody internal suppression – have dutifully followed his example.....
The trouble is that everyone has been running out of patience with Syria since the spring, and no one has done more than turn up the rhetoric as the statistics of innocent dead ticked up from 500 to 1,000, to more than 2,000. And of course the absence of journalists inside Syria means that the full story is not known....
And the Assad family, cynical as it is, enacting legislative reform while killing those who might benefit from the new laws, fully understands the hypocrisy of the Arab and European reaction to the Syrian bloodbath....
Any sane Arab, Muslim – "or anyone who knows that this has nothing to do with religion, ethics or morals", in the words of King Abdullah – knows that spilling innocent blood leads to hopelessness. We might be more impressed were it not for the fact the Saudis and their tame imams remained resolutely silent when a million and a half Muslims were slaughtered on the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war battlefields. Back then, of course, the Saudis – and the West – were on the side of that nice Sunni Muslim dictator Saddam Hussein against the horrible Shia theocrat Khomeini. Now the Sunnis of Syria are fighting the Shia – for which read Alawite – dictator of Damascus. Having convinced themselves that his survival would only embolden Shia Iran, however, the monarch of Riyadh has come down on the side of the Syrian people – for now, at least.
Assad is almost certainly doomed. But he's more like Macbeth, "in blood stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go'er". "
Ian Black Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 August 2011
"Syria defied Arab isolation and mounting international anger on Monday as President Bashar al-Assad's security forces continued attacks on pro-democracy protesters across the country....
Reports from Deir al-Zor described artillery and heavy machinegun fire and snipers on roofs as troops and intelligence agents carried out mass arrests in the north-eastern city. On Sunday, 42 people were killed there, nudging the death total during five months of the uprising to more than 2,000.....
Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is due to meet Assad in Damascus on Tuesday and will be carrying Clinton's message to Assad to release all detained protesters, establish a new government and send his army back to barracks, Turkish media reported....
Condemnation of the Syrian government spread to the internet, where the hacking group known as Anonymous claimed credit for vandalising the Syrian military's website. The site quickly became unavailable, but screenshots circulated online showed the group's trademark headless suit and a message addressed to the Syrian people saying that "the world stands with you against the brutal regime.""
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 August 2011
"....Which brings us to Syria and the question of Saudi intentions there. King Abdullah's call for swift reform and an end to the killings is unlikely to be heeded, but perhaps it is not meant to be. Perhaps it's meant to do nothing more than distance Saudi Arabia from the Assad regime, in preparation for its fall.
Saudi Arabia has no interest in promoting democracy or human rights in Syria; it does have an interest in promoting Sunni Muslim influence and combating Shia influence (as embodied at the international level by Iran). Considering the Assad regime's ties with Iran, this suggests a motive for Saudi Arabia to become involved now – in the hope of driving a wedge between Iran and a post-Assad Syria."
Ian Black in Sitra
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 August 2011
"....Bahrain is far quieter now than during its brief exposure to the winds of the Arab spring in February and March, but unrest continues. Every night cries of "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) echo through the villages of a Shia underclass that has chafed under the Sunni Al Khalifa dynasty since the country's independence from Britain in 1971.
"We go up on to the roofs and shout and then try to march to the entrance of our village," said Abu Ali, a thirtysomething accountant and former prisoner from Karzakan who supports al-Wifaq, the Islamist movement demanding democracy and equal rights for all. "The repression is getting worse."....
Dismissals of some 2,000 people who stayed away from work during the unrest began at the same time. The destruction of around 30 Shia mosques has sharpened the sense of sectarian polarisation......
Two things seem certain: repression without reform will not solve Bahrain's problems and its citizen journalists will keep the story alive. "They are doing our job for us," said a local photographer who works for international news agencies. "They set up webcams in the villages where there are clashes. It's hard to get in and if you do you risk being arrested or hit by a tear gas grenade or worse. If the police catch you they make you erase your pictures. It happened to me once. After all, they are the ones with the guns.""
"Two Bahraini MPs jailed during anti-government protests might still be facing criminal charges despite being released from prison this weekend, Amnesty International has warned.
Matar Matar and Jawad Fairouz, who were reportedly tortured in detention, were among at least three opposition figures freed on 7 August.
"The release of these government critics is welcome, if overdue, but the Bahraini authorities must ensure that all charges based on their legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or other human rights are also dropped, so that the threat of re-imprisonment is not left hanging over Matar Matar, Jawad Fairouz and others," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme....."
"منذ اللحظات الأولى لانطلاق الثورة الشعبية في سورية لجأ النظام الى لغة عسكرية بدت من خارج السياق. وبدا وكأن مخزون الكلام السياسي نفد فجأة، فتراجعت الثعلبة الكلامية ليحل في مكانها التنمّر العسكري. وانطلقت ابواق النظام في عملية فبركة لاحداث لا وجود لها، كي تتطابق لغتها العسكرية مع تلفيق معطيات الواقع عبر الكلام عن امارات سلفية وهمية. وقد وصلت الوقاحة وقلة الحيلة الى حد اتهام الطفل الشهيد حمزة الخطيب بأنه ينتمي الى العصابات المسلحة! ما استدعى قتله وتشويه جثته وقطع اعضائه!
ومع كلّ تحوّل كان النظام مضطرا الى تغيير خطابه. فتم سحب الامارات السلفية لصالح تعبير غامض هو العصابات المسلحة، التي احتار النظام كيف يفبركها عبر الصورة، فوصل به الأمر الى رمي الجثث في نهر العاصي!
منذ بداية الثورة السورية في 15 آذار/مارس، بدت الصور القادمة من مدن سورية ودساكرها محيرة. والحيرة ناجمة من انفصال لغة الصورة عن كلام السلطة في شكل جذري. الصور التي يلتقطها المتظاهرون بهواتفهم الخلوية وتبث عبر شبكات التواصل الاجتماعي والفضائيات تشير الى مظاهرات سلمية تتعرض لرصاص رجال الأمن وقطعان الشبيحة، بينما يتحدث كلام السلطة عن صدامات عسكرية لا وجود لها الا في مخيلة اصحابها، وان وجدت فهي لا تتعدى الحالات الهامشية والمعزولة.
الثورة السورية خلال الأشهر الخمسة الماضية اثبتت نضجا استثنائيا، عبر رفضها اللجوء الى العنف واصرارها على طابع الاحتجاج السلمي، وهو اصرار كبير التكلفة، ويغطي سورية اليوم بدماء ابنائها الشهداء. هذا الاصرار المجبول بالنبل والشجاعة افقد النظام لغته في شكل كامل، فتحولت خطب قادة النظام وتصريحاتهم الى آلة بكماء لا تقول شيئاً، فلجأ النظام الى اللغة الوحيدة التي يتقنها وصار صوت هدير الدبابات في الشوارع والرصاص الذي يمزق الاجساد هو لغته الوحيدة.
رسمت الثورة الشعبية في سورية الحد الفاصل بين اللغة والبُكم. الشعب يملك اللغة والنظام اخرس، لذا كان الحوار مستحيلا. استحالة الحوار ليست ناجمة عن اصرار النظام على تجاهل المطالب الشعبية او عن اصرار المعارضة على هذه المطالب، انه ناجم عن طبيعة النظام البكماء الذي فقد اللغة في شكل كامل.
البُكم الذي وصل اليه النظام هو نتاج عملية طويلة عمرها من عمره، بدأت بتعهير اللغة وانتهت بقتلها. فلقد استنفد هذا النظام جميع الحيل الكلامية. بدأ في البداية، اي منذ انقلاب الحركة التصحيحية، بافراغ شعاراته نفسها من اي مضمون، ثم استنسخ النظام الكوري الشمالي، على ما بيّن عمر اميرالاي في فيلمه 'طوفان في بلاد البعث'، قبل ان يصل الى استهلاك خطابي المقاومة والممانعة، اللذين تحولا اداة لهيمنة المافيات العائلية على الاقتصاد السوري.
لعب النظام باللغة السياسية وقام بترميمها في الظروف المختلفة التي طرأت على المنطقة، حتى انه مع عهد الوريث اشهر خطاب الحداثة والانترنيت قبل ان يعود الى خطابي الممانعة والمقاومة.
مع الانفجار الشعبي الكبير الذي اعلنته الثورات العربية الممتدة من تونس الى مصر، بدأت لغة النــــظام تترنح، الى ان تهاوت دفعة واحدة في درعا، وتمرغت بالجريمة المروعة في حماه. الشعب السوري يواجه اليوم ما هو اشد وحشية من القمع الوحشي، انه يواجه صمت النظام وانحلال لغته، واستخدامه للعنف العاري والعبثية السوداء التي يصنعها الديكتاتور في خريفه الحزين.
كانت حماة هي التعبير عن دخول النظام في البُكم المطلق. فالمدينة التي تحولت رمزا للألم بعد مذبحتها الشهيرة عام 1982، قدمت خلال الثورة السورية الكبرى اليوم نموذجا للارادة الشعبية. نجحت حماة وبعدها دير الزور في احداث تحول كبير في المسار الثوري السوري، اذ استطاعت شجاعة الحمويين كسر جدار القمع وشهدت المدينة الشهيدة اولى المظاهرات المليونية في سورية، ما اضطر النظام الى تبديل المحافظ قبل ان يقرر اجتياح المدينة.
خلال مظاهراتها المليونية لم تشهد المدينة حادثا امنيا واحدا، اسقطت حماة جميع ذرائع النظام، واعلنت انها طليعة ثورة سلمية ديمقراطية تنبذ العنف وترفض الانجرار الى منطقه.
فماذا كانت النتيجة؟
هل فهم النظام رسالة حماة ودير الزور وحمص ودمشق، وبدأ في اعادة النظر في ممارساته؟
يبدو النظام وكأنه لم يفهم ان لغته السياسية سقطت، وحين تفقد فئة طاغية استولت على السلطة لغتها فهذا يعني ان ساعة الرحيل قد دنت. غير ان نظام الجمهورية الوراثية قرأ بكمه عبر المزيد من البكم. فلجأ الى لا لغته، واغرق المدينة الشهيدة في حمامات الدم، وحول مدينة العاصي العاصية الى مدينة اشباح لا يسمع فيها سوى هدير جنازير الدبابات. قطعت المياه والكهرباء عن المدينة وبدأ قصفها المدمر، وشاهد العالم بأسره دبابات تقصف بيوتا!
مشهد يشير الى استعداد الاستبداد لانتهاك كل شيء وهتْك الجميع. مشهد مروع يثير في النفوس الغضب والأسى، ويدعو الى التأمل في استعداد السلطة الاستبدادية لارتكاب اي شيء من اجل ان تحكم اللاشيء.
الاستبداد يخيف الناس اليوم ببكمه وفقدانه اللغة، لكنه ينسى ان من فقد الكلام سوف يفقد قريباً قدرته على الاستمرار.
لكن النظام يستعد اليوم لتكرار حماة الثانية في مدن اخرى، ولن تكون النتيجة سوى المزيد من الخرس والدم والجنون، وهي عناصر سقوط مؤكدة.
غير ان ما يحيرني ليس خرس النظام بل الصمت الشعبي العربي الذي اذا استمر سوف يكون كارثة تهدد مستقبل الربيع العربي في كل مكان.
اما انتم، يا ابطال سورية وبطلاتها، يكفيكم فخرا انكم كنتم الأشجع والانبل، ترسمون اليوم بدمائكم وتضحياتكم وصبركم واصراركم مستقبل العرب. لكم لغة العرب، وامام تضحياتكم ينحني الشعر والنثر.
اعرف انكم تعرفون ان لا مجال للتراجع في قاموسكم، وانكم قادرون في النهاية على ان تبرهنوا ان لغة الحرية سوف تنتصر على بُكم الطغاة.
Monday, August 8, 2011
"The Egyptian revolution can count a number of huge successes: most notably, ousting former president, Hosni Mubarak, from power and putting him on public trial. But the revolution is far from over. The struggle for governmental reform, civil liberties and economic and social justice is being waged everyday. And there is one issue that affects all others: the media. Whether it is newspapers, television, radio or the Internet, the media is a central component of the revolution in Egypt. And while the press has opened up in a number of ways in the wake of the revolution, it is still very much an uphill battle. Journalists still face government repression and state media still largely acts as a government mouthpiece. Democracy Now! correspondents Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have been looking at the issue of media reform in Egypt. They filed this video report from Cairo....."
".....Two passages (the first a one-liner) shout out their applicability to U.S. misadventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, and — God help us — where next?
“If they ask you why we died, tell them because our fathers lied.”
“It is not wise for the Christian white
To hustle the Asian brown;
For the Christian riles,
And the Asian smiles
And weareth the Christian down.
At the end of the fight
Lies a tombstone white
With the name of the late deceased;
And the epitaph drear,
A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East.”"
"World leaders continue to condemn Syria's government for brutally suppressing protesters across the country.
Saudi Arabia has withdrawn its ambassador from Damascus, and traditional allies Russia and Turkey have also now strongly criticised the government.
Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi reports."
"...Halving the Pentagon budget would only take it back to pre-9/11 days. Wars and vast buildup of internal and external security forces under President George W Bush left a budget deficit of $6.1 trillion, just about equal to the combined deficits of all US presidents since Jimmy Carter to Obama.
But no one has yet come up with a way to halt this military-industrial juggernaut. While benefits of the poor and elderly are to be cut, the Pentagon is trying to forge ahead with its $1 trillion F-35 fighter purchase. Why not just call up Moscow and Beijing and say, “hey, if you don’t build any new generation stealth fighters, we won’t either.”
Fat chance. The military-industrial complex and Wall Street supply the lion’s share of political contributions. Jobs in every state depend on continued military production.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is already warning the nation’s security is in danger if Pentagon budgets are cut. From whom, we must ask. Are Red Chinese troops about to land in Los Angeles? Are the Russians going to grab Hawaii?
Well, there are always the lurking Muslims whose nefarious plans to impose a caliphate over the USA can only be stopped by new stealth heavy bombers."
"Since the start of the Arab uprisings in January, Palestinians have been hotly debating how they can break out of their own political impasse and rebuild their national movement.
This resulted in some direct action on the ground – such as the March 15 calls for protest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
There’s also little doubt that the Nakba Day marches by Palestinian refugees in May drew inspiration from the uprisings in other Arab countries.
But the burning questions remain unresolved: should Palestinians try to reform or rebuild the PLO and if so how? If not, how can they reconstitute an inclusive national movement and what should it look like?...."
"CAIRO, Aug 7, 2011 (IPS) - Six months since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the state media organs that once glorified the dictator's policies and glossed over his failures have new leaders. Yet the mindset of decades of authoritarian rule remains intact, say media experts.
"The state media is very set in its ways; all it knows how to do is to sing the praises of the guy on top," says Rasha Abdulla, a professor of journalism and mass communications at the American University in Cairo. "And now that Mubarak is gone they are looking for the next closest thing, and to them it's the (ruling) military council."....
Disturbingly, say rights groups, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) reinstated the information ministry last month. It also warned that any reporting concerning the military or its leadership must receive prior approval from its morale affairs and intelligence directorates. Journalists and bloggers who failed to heed the warning have been harassed and arrested.
"In many ways (government oversight) is worse now than under Mubarak," says Amin. "Before, they never checked our scripts. Now there is a lot of scrutiny. Everything has to go through army affairs."....."
by Jason Ditz, August 07, 2011
"As the massacres in Syria get bigger and more frequent — one today killed 59 in an eastern city — a number of factions the world over have turned against the Assad regime on the matter, with everyone from the Vatican to the Arab League calling for an immediate end to the violence. The latest came today, when the Saudi King demanded “comprehensive reforms” in the Ba’athist country.....
Having eagerly taken in the first dictator ousted by protests, Zine el-Abidine bin Ali of Tunisia, the Saudi government followed up with an invasion of Bahrain to violently put down pro-democracy rallies there, while taking a very Syrian tack in their own crackdown on protesters in Qatf. Mass arrests and accusations of “sedition” were and are the order of the day for reformists within the Saudi Kingdom, and it eagerly facilitates crackdowns by neighboring regimes......
Of course backing the protesters is also a recognition of the reality that the protest movement is growing by leaps and bounds despite of, and in many cases because of, the violent crackdowns. The US also jumped on the protester bandwagon a few months in (and reiterated their stance today), as did al-Qaeda’s new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Though the Assad regime still exudes confidence about its position, it seems that the knee-jerk moves toward heavy-handed violence reveal a growing fear that the pro-democracy movement is simply growing too big to stop."
Sunday, August 7, 2011
"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has demanded an end to the bloodshed in Syria.
He has also recalled the country's ambassador for consultations.
King Abdullah's comments came in a statement which urged Damascus to stop the killing machine - before it is too late.
Syrian security forces killed at least 60 people on Sunday.
Al Jazeera's Nisreen El Shamayleh reports from Ramtha on the Jordan-Syria border."