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30 April 2011

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par4

Any idea how all of the Iraqi refugees are doing there?

bth

The CSM article is very interesting especially its ending, "The document, dated March 23, when the protests were just beginning, lists propaganda, security, and political measures to be adopted by the security forces. The validity of the document could not be confirmed.

The document said, “It is acceptable to shoot some of the security agents or army officers in order to further deceive the enemy, which will further help the situation by provoking the animosity of the army against the protesters.”

“These shootings are the second stage of the intelligence document,” says Ziadeh. “Maybe we will soon see the third stage, which was the bombing of churches and mosques to stir up sectarian tensions. The regime’s message is either stability with us, or chaos.”

William R. Cumming

How much do you think ASSAD is influenced by his father's action in HOUMAS (sic) in early 80's (?)???

Apparently that massacre did buy the regime time including ASSAD's time out of Syria!

Sam Will

WRC,

I agree with PL assessment and i would add this:
Hama was pre-internet and satellite TV channels. To pull a "Hama" today would be impossible, hence the jittery nature of the Assad Mafia nowadays. They know that their days are numbered because they have reacted so badly to legitimate demands by the Syrian People. Do they have contingency planning to redraw the map and create their own Alawite State on the Mediterranean around Lattaquiah and the surrounding Alawite mountains...? Suffice it to say that the situation is very fluid to say the least, and internal divisions within the Assad Clan do exist and could provoke a house Coup D'etat by the likes of Asef Shawkat and his wife Bushra Assad... They have been jockeying for power for years and positioning themselves at home and abroad....

William R. Cumming

Thanks SAM! HOw could one forget HAMA! But of course I did! Dates? Totals massacred?

Farooq

It seems to me that people are completely helpless and no hope of any international intervention. I guess the only thing that can put regime on back foot is a military rebellion. Colonel's estimates and analysis of M.E situation have been impeccable. I am in awe!

Charles I

WRC Hama 1982, maybe 80 but i think not I think usual press was 20,000 killed, town "bulldozed"

Charles I

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama_massacre

Feb 82. 20,000 " Robert Fisk;

40,0000 : Syrian Human Hights Committee

TamBram

Col.,
I assume you are joking about an Israeli invasion, but--they should go for a Christian/Kurd coalition gov't. The Alawites hung on for 40 years, so why can't other minorities? Since Turkey isn't pro-Israel anymore, the Israelis can max-out on their pro-Kurd dimension!
Yeah, I feel like a Brit. diplomat during WWI! ;-)

TamBram

French will support the Christians (in fact, Lebanon can reunite with Syria, to increase Christian influence in Greater Syria) and the US-armed Kurds in Iraq can supply the Kurds. The plan coalesces.

Sam Will

WRC, Charles I,
No one has a good handle on the numbers of civilians massacred in Hama in 1982, it ranges from 10.000 to 40.000. The hypocrisy in all of this saga, is that the mastermind and the executor of the Hama massacre is none other than Rifa't Assad, brother of late Hafez Assad and uncle of Bashar, has been living in the West since 1984, between Marbella Spain, London UK, Saudi Arabia etc. together with his sons, flourishing and doing business in Media, construction, trade, etc. No one in the West or elsewhere ever thought about indicting this man in any way shape or form, and he is now one of the voices of the "opposition" in Syria..., courted by the West and the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. It is astounding that we hear so much garbage and lies about Sabra&Shatila over the years, decades since 82, which happened in the fog of war and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon with 150.000 soldiers, and the total occupation of Beirut by IDF, and we heard nothing about Hama for 4 decades until today, and still nothing about the main known culprit living openly in the West ever since. Where is Judge Balthazar Garcon and his indictments against Pinochet and others? Where is the ICC? Where are all the Human Rights organizations?
Simply baffling and Pathetic.

William R. Cumming

Terrific info and thanks Sam Will because I had heard info to that effect and that US was complicit in making sure this guy did not get taken to the ICC. Perhaps many only avoid the ICC when US chooses to resist their arrest by others. So maybe a book with a little list (or a very long list) of leading "alleged" authors of crimes against humanity in last period of time since WWII? Or would that list contain too many American names? We do know that George W. Bush and Henry Kissinger travel to Europe is somewhat restricted. Perhaps the real reason SCOTUS majorities fight against adoption of International Law norms 9even when US is signatory to treaties and conventions) may be because despite the history that US adopted international law norms throughout its history (see Professor Launrence Silberman (sic) various versions of his definitive history of "American Law") was SCOTUS understanding that it might cause them to create new crimes just as it periodically accepts new rights not mentioned in the Constitution as for example "privacy'! The law and societal norms do evolve domestically and internationally although clearly not always coordinated or in some sequence that can be predicted. I will predict on subject that will evolve over time and that is "drone" strikes in countries not at war with those conducting the strikes. That in fact may be the really major development coming out of the US effort in Libya. Are drone strikes in Libya humanitarian intervention?

robt willmann

I went to a wedding last night and also in attendance was a couple I know who have developed a successful business; the husband's family is from Syria and they are Christian. He and I talked a little about the Syrian situation.

The thing he said which surprised me the most was that the economy has gotten bad in Syria the last few years. Previously people could make a living there and not starve, but now the age-old problem of a large disparity in wealth between a few the many is occurring. He compared it to Mexico in the sense that people allied with the government are using that connection to enrich themselves.

He discounted the idea that palace intrigue might lead to a politically ambitious person in Bashaar al-Assad's inner circle dethroning him and taking over.

On the subject of "outside agitators" encouraging the protests, he said that external actors are there trying to promote the protests, but he thinks that the large number of internal people involved means that it is internally driven and that the outside people are not controlling it.

He remarked that Assad has not interfered with Christians practicing their faith or honoring their religious holidays, although of course a Christian is not put in charge of things politically, except that a Christian was prime minister one time in the past. Christians are a relatively small minority compared to the Sunni Muslim majority and the other Muslim sects, such as the Alawites.

We were not able to discuss the subject much because of people coming up to talk at the festive occasion. But the impression I got was that the discontent that has allowed the protests to grow in size is based on the deteriorating economic situation there.

Not a new cause at all, and destined to further raise its ugly head here.

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