Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 31, 2012

Perception Management For War On Syria

Colonel Pat Lang wrote yesterday:

I am told that NATO has decided on regime change using military action if necessary. The Hula thing is the instrument of perception management that has been chosen. Look for a Chapter 7 resolution soon. pl

But as Russia and China have made clear there will be no chapter 7 resolution and without that, the new French president said, NATO will not go to war on Syria.

Russia and China have not fallen for that sentimental perception management, or lies, that the rebels and "western" media put out:

Alistair Crooke points to the real culprits:

[O]ne thing that stands out quite clearly, and which is very important, is that the methodology, this type of killing - of beheadings, of slitting of throats, slitting of throats of children, too, and of this mutilation of bodies - has been a characteristic, not of Levantine Islam, not of Syria, not of Lebanon, but really of what happened in the Anbar province of Iraq. And so it seems to point very much in the direction of groups that had been associated with the war in Iraq against the United States, who have perhaps returned to Syria, or perhaps Iraqis who have come up from Anbar to take part in it…. But this whole process of mutilation is so very much against the tradition of Levantine Islam that I think it’s very hard to see this will have come either from soldiers or even from others who might have been bent on revenge… I don’t think this speaks of soldiers going on the rampage.’

I agree.

The NATO Friends of Syria also have the quite difficult problem that they lost their puppets game with the Syrian National Council. Another meeting with them was supposed to take place in Washington this month but that did not happen because the SNC fell apart. Today it also became clear that the Free Syrian Army in Turkey has no say at all towards the fighters on the ground:

"Nobody has the right to issue press releases, take decisions, or speak about operations in the Free Syrian Army's name, except for the FSA command inside Syria," the group's spokesperson Colonel Kassem Saadeddine told AFP.

He was reacting to a statement by Turkey-based FSA chief Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad who earlier denied that armed rebels gave the Syrian regime a 12 pm Friday deadline to observe a UN-backed peace plan to end the violence.
...
An FSA statement issued from inside Syria earlier had given the Syrian government until noon on Friday to observe the Annan plan.

"If the Syrian regime does not meet the deadline by Friday midday, the command of the Free Syrian Army announces that it will no longer be tied by any commitment to the Annan plan ... and our duty will be ... to defend civilians," a FSA statement said.

"Defend civilians" means to kill more of them.

It is clear that the rebels have used the ceasefire to rearm and to prepared for expanded action. The FSA in Syria now threatens a new offensive starting Friday. Expect to hear tomorrow of some big suicide attacks in Syria and possibly of all out attacks on Syrian government checkpoints.

Their western overlords wanted the FSA to wait with the new offensive until the end of the Annan mission. That would have given more justification for intervention. If full FSA action restarts tomorrow it will quite difficult to blame the Syrian government for breaking the ceasefire. Even perception management can not cover up for too many lies.

Posted by b on May 31, 2012 at 01:48 PM | Permalink

Comments

Well, Robt Fisk actually came out on Lateline tonight and called Shrillary, Obama and Cameron "mountebanks and liars".
“Syria will have long, bloody war: Fisk”.
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3515700.htm

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 31, 2012 1:57:16 PM | 1

4 separate groups of Syrian rebels are negotiating or making believe they are negotiating the release of the Lebanese Shia pilgrims. The problem is that the 4 groups keep contracting each other. They are very disorganized.

Posted by: www | May 31, 2012 2:14:29 PM | 2

It's easy to cover the truth if you never get to know it. And for most of the western population and middle level leadership (that may include governments in 'protectorate states' like many of the small NATO countries) you have very little chance to know anything other than the lies or fabrications from the war-machine.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 31, 2012 2:32:59 PM | 3


Al-Jaafari: Implementing Annan's Plan Requires Political Will from All Those Who Instigate Violence, Smuggle Weapons and Harbor Terrorists


-- excerpt --
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari affirmed that implementing the plan of UN Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan requires political will on the part of all those who instigate violence and provide weapons to terrorists, finance and harbor them outside Syria, and not just on the part of the Syrian government.

He pointed out that the Syrian government and the Syrian people are in a state of shock because of the horrible crime that took place in al-Houla, stressing that none could be more upset over what happened than the Syrians because the victims – the children, civilians and military personnel – are our own people, noting that 26 soldiers and officers were martyred in this incident.

Al-Jaafari said that this crime is heinous, horrifying and unjustifiable, and that those who committed will be brought to justice in Syria, adding that a committee is in charge of the investigation and is due to finish its work by Thursday or Friday, at which point everyone will know the results of the investigation and the identities of the perpetrators.

He noted that this crime isn't the beginning of the crisis in Syria which dates back to almost a year, saying that some of the representatives at the UNSC showed a high sense of responsibility by acknowledging the existence of a "third element" which is the armed groups, something that Syria had been trying to explain for a year and was met by doubt by these same representatives.

He also drew attention to the ship which was carrying weapons from Libya to the terrorists and Syria and was captured by the Lebanese authorities, in addition to the arrest of 26 Libyan and Tunisian terrorists in Syria whose confessions were relayed to the UNSC, while other foreign terrorists were killed and their identities were likewise sent to the UNSC.

Posted by: Alexander | May 31, 2012 3:12:47 PM | 4

Do you really think Obama wants to start a messy war before the election? a war that might / will draw Iran and the rest of the region in plus sky rocket oil prices?
a war where they have potentially just 8 countries on board (counting expelled ambassadors)and stiff Russian / Chinese opposition?

Just as likely the Syrian governement figured it all out, plus there won't be a US / Iranian deal Syria might lose in, so from now on they do as they please?

Posted by: somebody | May 31, 2012 3:40:45 PM | 5

Words to this effect are usually attributed to Mark Twain, but at Freakonomics site earlier versions are brought to light. All so true:

“A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
C. H. Spurgeon, Gems from Spurgeon (1859). An earlier version appears in the Portland (Me.) Gazette, Sept. 5, 1820: “Falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is pulling her boots on.” Still earlier, Jonathan Swift wrote in The Examiner, Nov. 9, 1710: “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.”

Posted by: jawbone | May 31, 2012 3:47:01 PM | 6

The post by 'b' above includes a quote from defected Syrian Colonel Kassem Saadeddine (aka قاسم سعدالدين Qasem Saad Al-Deen) who says that he and his followers in the FSA inside Syria are not subordinate to the putative FSA command based in Turkey. In the following video recorded on 27 may 2012 this defected colonel is physically located in Al-Rastan, dressed in full military uniform, and is meeting with a delegation of UN observers. He pleads for intervention by foreign powers "to strike the regime". The justification is to protect civilians he says. He asks the foreign powers to terminate the Annan plan and bomb Syria with disregard for Russian veto of UN Security Council authorization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9mZD6P3jGI

More videos from rebel sources in Al-Rastan at http://www.youtube.com/user/Rastantwilight/videos

Al-Rastan has had lots of fighting between the government and rebels in the past month. By contrast, Al-Houla has not. The following are some anti-government uploaders with videos from Al-Houla going back over the last five months of rebel activity in Al-Houla. They show only little evidence of fighting.
http://www.youtube.com/user/FreedomAlhoula/videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/nontherful/videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/samerd3/videos

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 31, 2012 3:51:19 PM | 7

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0531/You-can-t-say-it-enough-Syria-is-really-different-from-Libya/%28page%29/2

"All of this points to the fourth option, which Rice did not mention: Assad wins, much as his father did against an Islamist uprising against his regime centered around the town of Hama in 1982, in which around 10,000 residents of that city were put to the sword, ending a major challenge to Syria's Baath regime. That would be a horrific outcome for his opponents, as the country's torture chambers could be expected to be filled to the brim with his opponents in the aftermath, both those who fought him, and those who merely called for change.

That option is going to keep the international dialogue about what comes next bubbling along, and could eventually lead to a consensus for international military action. But for now, the fear of a Pandora's Box being opened with consequences stretching well beyond Libya is going to keep the cautious approach front and center."

So if he keeps it slightly more civil, he has won.

Posted by: somebody | May 31, 2012 4:36:16 PM | 8

I seriously doubt that the NATO F/UK/US will want to go ahead with a war - even a limited one - any time soon... the risks that it would go horribly wrong are just too high and Obama is probably too afraid to introduce a risk when the elections are so close.

I think the most the US would be willing to do is launch air strikes and then the Turks would have to be willing to cross the border and create buffer zones - which they would be able to manage - if the price is right!

They can either dress up some FSA in Syrian uniforms - proper ones with proper boots not those give-away white sneakers - and have a border incident in which the Turks were "forced" to respond and to create a buffer zone to prevent further "attacks."

they would then have the buffer zone - but I am sure they would then immediately allow the FSA to come in and they would cobble together a government in exile and now they have a base possibly even a major city - Benghazi or Irbil or Panjshir Valley and complete air superiority and it would only be a matter time until the current regime collapsed.

their would be mayhem and massacres of even greater scale and voila - a new failed state is born!

Posted by: Osama | May 31, 2012 6:01:31 PM | 9

Anna News: First interview with an eyewitness of the Houla massacre

http://www.syrianews.cc/marat-musin-anna-news-syria-report-houla-707.html

Posted by: brian | May 31, 2012 7:12:38 PM | 10

You're underestimating the power of AIPAC and that is a gullible thing.

Posted by: uiju | May 31, 2012 7:37:57 PM | 11

Mitt Romney and the Republicans, along with some Democrats, will be pummeling Obama from now until election day to "do something" about Syria. John McCain will insufferable and on as many Sunday morning political talk showa as he can arrange to appear on.

And when Obama's UN ambassador is raising a hue and cry to punish Assad and "free" the Syrian people, there has to be something coming from the WH allowing her to do so. But it does seem that she is now talking again about a political solution, coming out against arming the "activists" (not her term).

But Obama will have to be seen to be doing something.

Posted by: jawbone | May 31, 2012 8:17:37 PM | 12

Shabiha: The fantasy and reality of Syria's "ghost fighters"
The “Shabiha” in Syria have been getting a whole lot of media coverage that past few days.
I noticed an increased reporting, once again, of their ghostly existence right after the NATO terrorists massacred civilians in Houla.


The narrative of the Shabiha is not a new one. It emerged about a year back. The narrative was given birth to by the “activists”. And, the Syrian Human Rights Council, you know the one based in Britain? The one that has a direct line to the BBC spin department? Yes, that BBC, one of the best known UK propaganda outlets.


I covered the Shabiha in a previous post: Ghost fighters haunt Syria
look at my scary ghostfighter. Boo!

The information for the previous posting came from the BBC. Using the search engine link, here, you can see that the BBC had an article that corresponds with the date of my earlier post and then an updated version. The updated version appears right after the Houla massacre.

So, the Shabiha narrative is being promoted yet again. Like any other fictional narrative it hits all the right notes, mystery, suspense, drama, intrigue. Riveting.

No on really knows who they are. No one knows where they come from.

Like much else out of Syria, it is simply more spin to draw the gullible in and justify the desired for NATO attack.

The Shabiha narrative was created by the “opposition”, and is promoted by the usual lying media to manage your perception on what is really going on in Syria.
The Shabiha, give cover to the NATO backed terrorists and their slaughter of Syrian civilians. They have from the first media mention all the way through to the most recent media mention

Two very telling sentences that give this charade away come from both the BBC and the other lying media outlet The Guardian.

BBC: “There were even reports that soldiers and police who tried to stop shabiha killing civilians in Tell Kalakh and elsewhere had been shot dead”

The Shabiha reportedly kills soldiers and police. Who else kills soldiers and police?


The Guardian. (This one is a real gem!):
”Businessmen, many of them Sunni and not Alawite, who are now quietly passing money to the shabiha, mainly to protect their lucrative business privileges, but also to keep their political sponsors happy.Sunni “business men”, NOT Alawite, are funding the shabiha?! To keep their political sponsors happy.?!
What political sponsors are being referenced? ? Who are the political sponsors these Sunni business men "are keeping happy"? A happiness that requires them to fund the Shabiha?!

Has Saudi Arabia popped into your head yet? Because that’s the nation name that spontaneously burst into my brain.

Sunni “business men” funding the Shabiha, have everything to do with FSA, Alquaeda, NATO and absolutely zero to do with Assad or his government.


The mainstream media is, as usual, lying on behalf of NATO. The deaths squads are real. People are being killed. At the behest of NATO/ GCC nations and Israel.

Additional reading: BBC Wages Propaganda War on Syria
From Steven Lendman

"Anyone can spot the propaganda with a modicum of vigilance while watching the news."
You would think so, but, some persons choose not to be vigilant.

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2012/05/shabiha-fantasy-and-reality-of-syrias.html

Posted by: brian | May 31, 2012 11:46:36 PM | 13

Penny and Brian, there are ghosts but they go by several names, the most common being "mukhabarats". That isn't to say that these are the ones killing soldiers and policemen, these killings appear to be the work in the style of the Blackwater people that are working all over the region from the American-funded and directed police/military academy in Jordan to having being hired by the Abu Dhabi Emirate to help form and train a crack internal security force and in Iraq under a new name. The actual dirty work and suicide missions are most probably being carried out by the Libyan Salafists brought in with their arms for the job. This doesn't exonerate the "ghosts" from being all over the country doing their thing, which is information gathering and vanishing people to one of many jails; hence the name "shabiha". The Syrian opposition is simply capitalizing on existing government spooks that all Syrians know very much exist to keep them looking over their shoulders and using them to blame them for all kinds of fabricated stories.

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 12:57:48 AM | 14

>>>You're underestimating the power of AIPAC and that is a gullible thing.>>>

Uiju, I don't and I wouldn't put it past Israel bombing Syria to take out key people and having the US issue its usual mild reprimands and regrets about it and covering Israel's ass at the UN for it. That way Obama's reelection would not be affected and he'll still continue looking good. Israel hit Iraq's Osirak and nothing happened to it, it hit something or other in Syria a couple of years back and nothing happened to it, it has been assassinating Iranian scientists and Lebanese politicians and nothing happened to it.

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 1:13:13 AM | 15

Israel: even Islamic Jihad in Gaza Strip has got a balance of terror with Israel now. they won't dare. This rocket defense system of theirs is not really rocket proof and very expensive.

Turkey: those "safety zones" would be next to Turkish historically Syrian areas with a population that historically is non Turkish. Go figure. The Turkish army has not been in a war since the Ottoman Empire.

"Largely overlooked, however, is the history of Hatay itself—a region that, until 1939, belonged to Syria and to this day appears as part of Syria on Syrian maps. Geography, moreover, seems to be on Syria’s side: jutting south from Turkey’s otherwise consistent border along Anatolia’s southern edge, the province is connected to the rest of Turkey by the mountain pass known since the time of Alexander the Great as the Syrian Gates; it creates a narrow Turkish corridor in the Levant that cuts off northern Syria’s access to the Mediterranean.
Indeed, Syria has never officially recognized Turkish sovereignty over Hatay, and as recently as the late 1990s, Syria’s support for separatist Kurds in the disputed region pushed the two countries to the brink of war. Moreover, Hatay’s population has large non-Turkic minorities. There are Christians and Sunnis of Arab descent as well as Kurds; there are also Arab Alevis, a minority religious community that in this part of Turkey follows the same syncretic faith as the Alawites in Syria who dominate the Syrian government and mukhabarat. With this history and population, it becomes clearer why the Turkish government might worry that the arrival of tens of thousands of Syrian Sunnis could cause sectarian tensions to spill into Turkish territory."
http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/jun/24/turkish-syrian-border/

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 1:51:56 AM | 16

from the way Human Rights Watch summarizes witness accounts it is clear the massacre was done from the FSA side (you would not walk the direction of shelling), but not from the local FSA members that had attacked the checkpoints, as witnesses said the massacre stopped when they returned.

http://www.theworld.org/2012/05/houla-syria-massacre/

"Houry: If you had a proper team on the ground they would go meet survivors, gather testimonies. They would go visit the area that came under attack, look at the sort of ballistics, what sort of bullets were used. You can reconstruct a lot. I mean we spoke to a number of people from Houla and what we know is in early afternoon some armed opposition gunmen did try to attack a military checkpoint because that checkpoint had opened fire on a protest earlier that day and after that attack took place the government forces shelled intensely large parts of Houla, and this is what UN moniotrs on the ground were able to confirm. And while the shelling was ongoing, around 6:30 these armed gunmen when in to these homes. And you know, in one family, the [inaudible] family, we obtained more than 62 names of people who were killed from that family, and three survivors from that family believe it was the Shabiha and the killing only stopped when the opposition groups came back. So you know, this is just a preliminary investigation, but what you need, if you had people underground able to operate freely to interview people, to figure out where the army checkpoint was in terms of distance from where some of these cold blooded killings took place, you could answer a lot of these things and we would move away from these generic assertions by the Syrian government that there are terrorists responsible for all of that."

The white shoes with soldier uniforms (confirmed by Humans Rights Watch) hint on who was trying to implicate whom.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/shoes-give-clue-to-identity-of-houla-assailants-in-syria/2012/05/30/gJQANVrI2U_story.html

They are also a hint that this was not planned and executed in a professional way.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 2:21:33 AM | 17

Von Braun
I found this video on youtube where we can see opposition combat casualties, that they will most certainly present in videos and for the UN observers as “peaceful protester shot by the “evil Assad”.

Attention !!! +18 Very Graphic

http://youtu.be/Ritkd7IUtBw

Posted by: brian | Jun 1, 2012 3:45:41 AM | 18

Joud ‏@Hey_Joud
#AJE's interview with Syrian Social Club member Ammar Waqqaf (@ammarman) re: the #HoulaMassacre. #Syria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsubFBW4hEU&feature=youtu.be

2.30...govts who expelled syrian diplomats prematurely will be party to what follows
the shabiha narrative is in play at AJE...nevertheless its good to see the official story criticised

Posted by: brian | Jun 1, 2012 4:28:47 AM | 19

thanks for that link, Brian. It is quite revealing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsubFBW4hEU&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 4:43:36 AM | 20

this here is the view from india
http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=158087


"Once again, there are reports of Info-war Special Forces being inserted into Syria by a key country that was once closely associated with the running of Syria Tanks cannot cut the throats of people, neither can they be used to shoot at close range. As for the so-called “pro-Assad militias” who have been accused by NATO of carrying out the Nazi-style atrocity at Houla in Syria last week, logic would show that such a militia would stand little chance in the midst of a population that clearly was against the regime, as indeed pockets of Syria are, including some locations close to Damascus. Hence attention needs to be paid to those who claim that while about twenty people were indeed killed by artillery and tank fire at Houla, over a hundred were slaughtered by Special Forces operating in the uniform of the Syrian security forces, clothes that any good tailor can stitch in a day."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 5:06:06 AM | 21

Initial Report of Judicial Investigation Committee on al-Houla Massacre:

Victims belonged to Peaceful Families who Refused to Stand up against State

The initial report of the judicial committee investigating al-Houla massacre affirmed that all the victims belonged to peaceful families who wouldn’t stand up to the state and had never joined protests or held up arms, who also had opposed the armed terrorist groups.

The initial findings indicated that the victims were killed by fire at close distance and sharp tools, not by shellfire.

Another proof of the inside job by FSA in Houla, a child wearing the Syrian flag on his hand.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 1, 2012 5:14:06 AM | 22

Main points of the findings of the government's investigation of what happened at Houla:

(1) The massacre happened in a neighborhood where armed rebels were in control.
(2) No Syrian law-enforcement members entered the area before, during or after the massacre.
(3) All the victims belonged to peaceful families who had never joined anti-government protests or took up arms.
(4) Combat between rebels and law-enforcement took place in another part of the town for many hours on the same day. A large number of the bodies of the armed rebels who were killed in the combat elsewhere in the town were brought to the massacre neighborhood and their bodies were intermixed with the bodies of the innocent civilians who had been massacred.
(5) The investigation is incomplete. It faces difficulties due to the presence of gunmen in the area. Further known details are being kept unpublished out of fear for the lives of the eyewitnesses. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/01/422804.htm

The perpetrators of the massacre and their motives are still murky, as far as I'm concerned, though I accept that they were on the anti-government side.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 1, 2012 7:45:39 AM | 23

Alexander, you shouldn't invest too much into that preliminary investigation, that report doesn't really confirm anything one way or another. It was meant only to absolve the army and nothing more and nothing less. For all we know, the crime could have been committed by pro-regime fanatics, just as it could have been committed by the FSA or some of of its associates. Saying that "another" proof is the child's bracelet borders on the juvenile. For me, that preliminary investigation proved absolutely nothing and if you would had heard the journalists' questions that followed the general's presentation and the way they were answered in a wishy-washy manner by the Foreign Ministry spokesman, you too wouldn't be convinced. In short, I wasn't convinced of anything by that report eventhough I doubt very much that the government had anything to do with the massacre.

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 7:50:22 AM | 24

www@14:

"There are ghosts"

Yes. And people are being killed.

If you read from the Guardian and the BBC, it is clear the Shabiha are not associated with the Allawites
Not the Shabiha that are involved in the massacres.

Killing police and soldiers?
Funded by Sunni businessmen to keep their sponsors happy?


Someone left this at my place- Wikipedia

"According to the Arab Organization for Human Rights, the Shabiha were originally concentrated in the Mediterranean region of Syria around Latakia, Banias and Tartous, where they benefited from smuggling through the ports in the area."

The Arab Organization for Human Rights was established by a certain Saad Eddin Ibrahim and he is represented exclusively by Ms Benador from Benador Associates who has been described as following: "When historians look back on the United States war in Iraq, they will almost certainly be struck by how a small group of mainly neo-conservative analysts and activists outside the administration were able to shape the US media debate in ways that made the drive to war so much easier than it might have been… ""

The Arab Human Rights Org is no doubt the sibling to the Syrian Human Rights Council
The Syrian Human Rights Council has been the provider of the Shabiha narrative as massacre initiators. The Shabiha has benefited from the smuggling at the ports? The influx of foreigners? The influx of guns?
Sunni sponsored?

A line can be drawn from these so called human rights groups through to the Israeli/US neocon agenda.

The fact that the Shabiha is also alleged to have been born in the Mediterranean region indicates it is very easily full of foreign involvement.(Lebanese, Turk, Israeli etc.,)

Posted by: Penny | Jun 1, 2012 8:12:02 AM | 25

The AlJazeera clip was telling.

Especially interesting was how hard the "talking head" was trying to keep "on message"

Posted by: Penny | Jun 1, 2012 8:18:48 AM | 26

I just loved the comment made by the Syrian guy regarding opposition funding
She asks do you have any proof of that? What a media whore!

"They are not digging dollars out of the ground"

Poor presstitute, she lost control of the narrative.

Posted by: Penny | Jun 1, 2012 8:21:13 AM | 27

www, just that political actors do not do this, as no constituency would stand for it. Locals must have a good guess what happened, and they would know who was from the area and who was not.
but I agree, the black part of it might have been commissioned by any side and actually by two or more sides as this type of death squad would be under the watch of many interested parties and would be difficult to hide.
an example for the complex alliances behind any Jihadi personality are here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah_al-Islam
and Syria and the US play a huge role in it.


Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 8:49:49 AM | 28

@ 'www': If the massacre had been committed by "pro-regime fanatics" the fanatics would've had to fight their way into the neighborhood against the established anti-government fanatics there. The investigators would've been able to find out about that if it happened. In particular, the news story that the killers came from Alawite villages outside the town would've been pretty easy for the investigators to establish if it were true. The investigators remain "wishy-washy" in answering questions about exactly who the perpetrators were because they haven't been able to solidly establish the answer beyond the findings that the perpetrators were indeed on the anti-government side, and they had control of the neighborhood, and the victims were all pro-government families. A list of the names of the victims has been sent to the UNSC and the UN observer mission.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 1, 2012 9:07:01 AM | 29

has been a characteristic, not of Levantine Islam, not of Syria, not of Lebanon, but really of what happened in the Anbar province of Iraq.

syria sent militants into iraq during the u.s. occupation.

axes were used in houla. who else has been noted for using axes? iranian death squads wielded them against protesters during the uprising in 2009. iran even bragged about sending forces into syria.

Posted by: omen | Jun 1, 2012 10:06:58 AM | 30

1 Jun 2012 (Friday). The Sunni religious establishment in Syria supports the government. In Friday prayers nationwide, prayers were said for the departed souls who were massacred in Al-Houla last week. The mosque preachers expressed condemnation of the criminal attacks committed by the armed terrorist groups, stressing commitment to national unity and resolve to foil the conspiracy targeting Syria. They prayed to God to make Syria vanquish the foreign conspiracy and protect Syria from evil. http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/01/422876.htm

Meanwhile as a separate matter, a draft resolution was presented today by Qatar, the United States and Turkey at the UN Human Rights Council requesting that the United Nations Inquiry Commission set up last year for Syria ''urgently'' conduct an investigation which is ''all-encompassing, independent and unrestricted'' into what happened in Houla. (Ref).

That request by Qatar, US and Turkey is part of perception management and it is not part of getting at the truth of what happened at Houla. The UN Human Rights Council's Inquiry Commission has no presence in Syria, no investigators, etc. It has issued reports in the past that have been very biased against the Syrian government. It is completely independent of the UN observer mission in Syria. The UN observer mission in Syria is both more objectve and more able to investigate and would be the right choice for anyone who actually wants the truth. The Russian foreign ministry has asked for an investigation under the auspices of the UN observer mission.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 1, 2012 10:22:11 AM | 31

Oh yeah,the Iranians did it.Sheesh,talk about Syrial lies.It's all alCIAda all the time.
Why isn't Bob Zimmerman being burned in effigy for receiving from the Masters of War an award for decrying the masters of war?Where's the outrage and melting of his vinyl hypocrisy?
Scratch a sixties Jewish protester and you come up with a tribal Zionist.
Is he George Zimmermans father?
At least Ali had Alzheimers,what about Bob?

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 1, 2012 10:25:06 AM | 32

ooh ooh teacher,maybe it was the Vikings or Saxon Housecarls,I heard they loved the axe.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 1, 2012 10:26:50 AM | 33

Defected colonel Qasem Saad Al-Din (now located in Homs) used to hold the same rank in the Syrian army as the defected colonel Riad Al-Asaad (now located in Turkey). Colonel Saad Al-Din says Colonel Al-Asaad "is far from the battle. He represents only himself.... From now on decisions will be taken from within Syria." http://ansamed.ansa.it/ansamed/en/news/nations/syria/2012/05/31/Syria-Ultimatum-Assad-rebels-split_6964629.html

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 1, 2012 10:33:00 AM | 34

Parviziyi, I'm not taking sides and saying who did it. I'm saying there is no clear-cut proof so far of who did it and I'm also saying that I don't think the government forces would commit such horrors. Everyone here is guessing who did it based on their preference of who they would want the bad guys to be. If things were as easy to prove as you are saying (Alawite village perpetrators), then why isn't the Syrian government going about proving it? Do you have anything to refute about what was said about the moukhabarat or do you concur?

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 10:53:24 AM | 35

If things were as easy to prove as you are saying (Alawite village perpetrators), then why isn't the Syrian government going about proving it?

They know who are the main perpetrators of this hideous crimes are. The will be hunted and killed. Syria cannot give too much away. Look at Iran they always manages to get to the terrorists.

Posted by: hans | Jun 1, 2012 11:02:25 AM | 36

Somebody #28, the alliances of Muslim fundamentalists are from Turkey, Egypt, Saudia, Qatar, Lebanon and Hamas supporting the mostly fundamentalist Syrian insurgents with arms, money and media coverage. Some of those states are themselves fundamentalist and the only difference between them is in the degree of their fundamentalism with some being very moderate.

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 11:39:11 AM | 37

Oh yeah,the Iranians did it.Sheesh,talk about Syrial lies.It's all alCIAda all the time.
Posted by: dahoit | Jun 1, 2012 10:25:06 AM | 32


your grade school level sarcasm doesn't disprove the three specific assertions i made re houla and iran.

Posted by: omen | Jun 1, 2012 12:18:36 PM | 38

www #37 Syria says it is
Saudi, Quatar, Turkey and the US as state sponsors
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-01/syria-says-saudis-sabotaging-un-plan-by-arming-rebels
Turkey and the US are secular

the rest of the states have nothing to do with it, though its citizens might take part on the side of the Free Syrian Army, Hamas I think made the responsible decision to keep Palestinians out of the conflict.

there is supposed a Libyan contingent somewhere, they are bound to be crazed.

this BBC map makes me think attackers might have been after strategic positions opposite to the Syrian army checkpoint
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18274542

the Syrian government can hardly do a thorough investigation if it is true that they do not control the area.

somehow in all this 5000 refugees get hardly mentioned who fled Taldou and are now supported by the ICRC I wonder why they do not get mentioned more, it must be easy to interview them
I also wonder who stayed in Taldou and why ...

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-30/red-cross-finds-5-000-syrian-refugees-from-massacre-site?r=bloomberg


Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 12:52:36 PM | 39

and this here makes it sound the West is going to get what they want

Syrian Atrocities and the Fog of War

Ali Hashem: Assad regime has been backed in a corner and will fight to bitter end

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8393

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 2:12:41 PM | 40

The Guardian is on the border of lunatic trying to prove that the Syrian government must have done the massacre: The Houla massacre: reconstructing the events of 25 May

According to Ali Sayed, the sole survivor of a rampage that killed his family, the militiamen asked for all the men in his family by name. "They spoke with an Allawite accent," he told the Guardian.

Does anyone believe that the people who lived for hundreds of years mixed in with the Sunni speak a different accent?

That is like someone in Germany claiming he can recognize a catholic by his/her "accent". Utter nonsense.

Posted by: b | Jun 1, 2012 2:12:53 PM | 41

Absolute nonsense, like determining my religious persuation by my spelling-errors.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 1, 2012 2:24:05 PM | 42

Good point b, guess we're expecting too much for the MCM to pick up on that.

Posted by: ben | Jun 1, 2012 2:25:02 PM | 43

yeah, I noticed that one before, the frightening thing is that as to blame soldiers for it fell through because of the weapons used in the massacre and maybe the white shoes in the Human Rights Watch testimony, the media switched to make it sectarian with Allawite accents and Allawite slogans written on the attackers heads.
The stupid agenda being that if this fight can be made Sunni against Shiites and Allawites, Syrian Sunnis will be the majority and win.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 2:31:49 PM | 44

Somebody, the following Tony Cartalucci article explains what's going on with the brothers everywhere, especially with the US:

Muslim Brotherhood Are Western Proxies
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31458.htm

Posted by: www | Jun 1, 2012 2:38:42 PM | 45

look www, this has a history since 1963
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Brotherhood_in_Syria

you might even trace it back to this guy and the 1930's
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Kemal_Atat%C3%BCrk

maybe even this guy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rez%C4%81_Sh%C4%81h

Westernization in the Middle East was forced down people's throat. Democracy might turn the clock back, it will not stop it.

The US first thought the Taliban then Iraqui Shiites could be used at proxies. The Muslim Brotherhood will go the same way.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 3:16:02 PM | 46

Nasrallah seems to call for a reconstitution of the Lebanese state, away from its sectarian make-up

http://www1.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=57559&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=14&s1=1

this will be interesting to watch

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1, 2012 3:39:39 PM | 47

Civil war, said so ages ago.

Obama will not intervene, or not soon, because that means going up against Russia, expect all that to unwind slowly....

Also Syria is a big place and the Syrian army etc. is not like that in Lybia.

But all will proceed apace, nonetheless.

The ‘W’ is determined on its course of destroying ME countries /socialist / nationalist regimes etc., in whatever sloppy way possible, and for what aims remains one of those unknowns. Just because it can, it wants to, manages to excuse itself by stating it has no choice, etc.

Nobody cares about how many Syrians will die in the process.

So the massacre in Houla is now in doubt, in the sense of it being attributed to Gvmt forces, laughable and completely ridiculous at the start, but it does not matter, it is too late, the first spin holds (see page 21 bottom for the disclaimer.)

The ‘W’ recalled ambassadors, is gearing up for more sanctions, is talking about the dreaded no fly zones, maybe bombing, and the usual of all options are on the table etc. They will just wait and see and apply the by now usual pressure - starve the population, publish fake news, get Neskoffee to talk peace, anguish about chemical WMD, and so on - following the mindless playbook, and hesitating, stumbling, prevaricating, all the way.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 1, 2012 4:21:10 PM | 48

That was an excellent response by Nasrallah, imo, on the issue of the Lebanese Shiites abducted in Syria. Thanks to 'somebody' #47 for the link.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 1, 2012 4:28:56 PM | 49

Georgia arms trafficking Syria?
Found an interesting comment in the post regarding the US supplying weapons for their terrorists in Syria...

kaspi June 1, 2012 1:24 AM
Georgia relocates parliament to international hub of weapons trafficking for Syrian rebels.
History may be funny in describing how massive reconstruction works in Georgia was paid for by Syrian Rebels.
(read the rest, please)

The comment is a post from this site
It certainly is a look, from another angle, at who is benefiting by arming the rebel/terrorists in Syria
The writing is suggesting that Georgia has been a beneficiary of arms trafficking. Interesting, indeed
http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/georgias-parliament-moves-from-tiblisi.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 1, 2012 9:59:43 PM | 50

"Might Makes Right" Says Conspirator of Syrian-Iranian Conquest
2005 interview profiles psychology of those behind the Houla Massacre.

"Both the Syrian and Lebanese regimes will be changed- whether they like it or not- whether it’s going to be a military coup or something else… and we are working on it. We know already exactly who’s going to be the replacements. We’re working on it with the Bush administration."

"These guys who came to power, who rule by power, can only be removed by power. This is Machiavelli’s power game. That’s how it is. This is how geopolitics — the war games, power games — work. I know inside out how it works, because I come from a family of politicians for the last 60 years. Look, I have access to the top classified information from the CIA from all over the world. They call me, I advise them. I know exactly what’s going on. And this will happen."

"This Bashar Al Assad-Emil Lahoud regime is going to go whether it’s true or not. When we went to Iraq whether there were weapons of mass destruction or not, the key is — we won. And Saddam is out! Whatever we want, will happen. Iran? We will not let Iran become a nuclear power. We’ll find a way, we’ll find an excuse- to get rid of Iran. And I don’t care what the excuse is. There is no room for rogue states in the world. Whether we lie about it, or invent something, or we don’t… I don’t care. The end justifies the means. What’s right? Might is right, might is right. That’s it. Might is right."

"So Saddam wanted to prove to the whole world he was strong? Well, we’re stronger- he’s out! He’s finished. And Iran’s going to be finished and every single Arab regime that’s like this will be finished. Because there is no room for us capitalists and multinationalists in the world to operate with regimes like this. Its all about money. And power. And wealth… and democracy has to be spread around the world. Those who want to espouse globalization are going to make a lot of money, be happy, their families will be happy. And those who aren’t going to play this game are going to be crushed, whether they like it or not!"

- Ziad Abdel Nour, 2005 excerpts from "Faking the Case Against Syria" by Trish Schuh

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.fi/2012/05/might-makes-right-says-financier-of.html


Original interview from 2005:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/11/18/faking-the-case-against-syria/

Posted by: brian | Jun 1, 2012 10:09:22 PM | 51

how 'syrian' is the 'Free Syrian Army'?

'The Free Syria Army is made up of Saudis, Lebanese, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Libyans, Jordanians, Tunisians, Egyptians and Algerians, among others.

These al-Qaeda-style terrorists are the people doing the killing of children in places like Houla in Syria.'
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/free-syria-army-is-made-up-of-saudis.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 1, 2012 11:37:00 PM | 52

A gang of boys sped bicycles through the streets of Baba Amr and have, as they saw us, immediately “captured” us, and only released us at the end of our stay, of course.

The lively boys were not afraid of anything, and spoke openly of their opinion about the terrorists. Afterwards, they moved with us to show us the local “attractions”, also including the robbed food stores, which are located there.

The first interview with one of the boys:

“As the terrorists were here, we could not leave our homes. Every time we wanted to go to school, they shot at us and forced us to return home. They fired incessantly at the houses and at anything that moved, they allowed no one to pursue his work. Once the army came and has liberated our neighborhoods, it became quiet, we went back to school, adults went back to work. Now we are happy again. ”

The second boy:

“We even went to a summer camp that was organized by the Baath Party for the schools. That was when the army was here.”

The third:

“It is again safe and quiet here.”

I asked, “What are you doing now?”

“We walk through the city.”

The boy walks down the street, pointing to the destruction:

“Look what the terrorists have done! May God destroy their homes. As much as they have destroyed everything here. May God destroy their houses! ”

Interview with the liveliest of the guys:

“That’s the wish that Qatar and Saudi Arabia have. Cursed are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, too. What do they want from us? They have destroyed everything. They destroy Syria. Don`t they want, that we can live in peace? They have destroyed our country; we have been living well here before. Syria is a safe country. May God give them no health. They are all foreigners, mercenaries.”
http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-anna-news-syrian-city-homs-732.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 12:49:32 AM | 53

at 2.40:
'when the UN observers came the armed men(the terrorists) gathered the bodies(of fallen terrorists) in front of the observers and claimed that they are civilians killed by the syrian army'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD0PA0BxNAQ&feature=youtube_gdata

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 1:18:48 AM | 54

this here in Huffington post confirms what I suspect -

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcos-barbery/syria-journalists_b_1563454.html

"What is Assad saying to garner support from Alawites? Is he making explicit demands?

The Assad regime is explicitly giving them arms and brainwashing his followers. They are being told that if Assad goes the Sunnis will burn the Alawites. It's either you crush the Sunnis or they're going to kill you. For them, it's an issue of survival. Fueling sectarianism are the sheikhs outside Syria in the Gulf States. When ministers in Kuwait appear on TV calling his government to arm the Sunni in Syria because otherwise they are going to be killed by Alawites is totally insane."

Houla was the sectarian agenda of two sides and that is why it happened. There are many more than just two sides fighting, however it will be won by guys with guns.
It is unlikely the democratic freedom side will win. To pick sides in a conflict like this is insane.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 2:00:13 AM | 55

somebody 55:
Huffington Post is the media that houses Bernard Henry Levy...they have zero credibility on syria and libya

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 2:58:20 AM | 56

brian no 56

I suggest that Marcos Barbery speaks for himself

http://www.threadnews.org/about/

http://www.nationinstitute.org/

last youtube video you referred to was by Marat Musin
who is the Deputy-Chairman of the Russian Committee of Solidarity with the peoples of Syria and Libya
http://tishreen.inet.sy/tishreen/public/read/255261

I agree that Bernhard Henri Levy is French regime propaganda if you admit that Marat Musin is Syrian regime propaganda ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 3:24:57 AM | 57

Here's the story doing the rounds on twitter...
The "Syrian" opposition twist and turn to find more ways to disrupt and discredit Syria's image in the general public.

They say this girl was beaten by security forces in Lattakia.

After a little bit of research, we found out this was false.

This little girl's name is Katie Ann Guttridge who was beaten at a nursery in England in December.
http://www.sott.net/articles/show/242492-More-media-lies-Girl-beaten-by-Syrian-forces-story-exposed
their constant need to lie and deceive is what makes the FSA cause unsupportable

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 3:44:36 AM | 58

Marat Musin hs travelled to syria to interview locals and find out first hand whats happened.
Your attempt to equate him with serial liar and war maker BHL only lowers your credibility
Its really laughable...but thanks for showing us whom you support..clearly not the people of syria

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 3:47:57 AM | 59

i shouldnt but i cant resist...is nameless SOMEBODY suggesting that Musin is lying? that everthing he has presented is a fabrication? because thats what he seems to be suggesting

Now WHO is somebody? noname no identity...while Musins picture and ID is readily found...as Somebody shows in his search to dig dirt on the man...

I will no now to ignore SOMEBODY as a troll serving USraeli/saudi interests

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 3:56:40 AM | 60

60 :-)) I respectfully suggest you might be naive.

The US code word for the situation in Syria is "complex"

There are some converging interests:

1 Gulf states and Syria are trying to keep mafia like family businesses in power against the aspirations of a demographic majority of young people with access to outside information.


2 So Syria does the Algeria - or if you prefer them as bad guys - Israeli strategy of persecuting the decomcratic, moderate, normal opposition whilst allowing space to crazed murderers -

thereby making it impossible for its backers and adversaries alike to switch horses

3. Gulf states are not sincere in supporting democratic change in Syria, but would like to incite Sunni-Shiite conflict to keep Iran in check

- thereby supporting the same crazed murderers, Syria gives space -

whilst Turkey who would profit from a democratic Syria, is influenced by Saudi and Quatari investment in their society, including the mosques, and threatend by the spectre of sectarian conflict spilling over into Hathay province and Syria letting the PKK loose in Kurdistan.

4. throw Israeli interest in in giving Muslims a bad name plus a week Syrian regime.

So yes, the fact that there is nobody to back or switch to against Assad is not a reason to rejoice.


There is a reason Russia blamed both sides initially and there is a reason the Arab League has not come out against Assad.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 4:39:00 AM | 61

on russia:
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/houla-massacre-lavrov-did-not-blame-assad-for-massacre/

Naieve is not what id call myself...mistaken is what id call you

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 6:43:06 AM | 62

err ... why are you not quoting Russia Today? They are official!
Both parties guilty in Houla massacre – Lavrov
http://www.rt.com/news/peace-plan-syria-regime-374/


plus Syrian authorites claim - and probably have - evidence on who did the massacre

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-02/syria-says-houla-massacre-victims-wouldn-t-cooperate-with-rebels.html

"Syria has found evidence that fighters from Libya and Tunisia with ties to al-Qaeda are “already among the rebels,” Haddad said, adding that some of the massacre was filmed."

I wish we all would stop watching those videos there sure would be a few atrocities less ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 9:21:26 AM | 63

Two witnesses to the Houla massacre were on Syrian State TV last night. SANA's summary of what they said is at http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/06/02/422915.htm . Selections from the TV program dubbed into English is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwDsPKfr_pk . Selections from the TV program with translation to English by subtitles is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68TjaXP84wM .

Both witnesses said the rebel gunmen came from several towns in Homs province in addition to Al-Houla town on the day. They both say the massacre was planned days in advance. They both say that the victims of the massacre were well-known to be government supporters, and that houses of known opponets of the government right next door were left unharmed. Both witnesses are able to name the names of some of the men who did the killing and of some of the killed.

Their testimony is very consistent with that obtained from the witness by the ANNA Russian TV a few days ago, which, as already linked to by Brian, is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD0PA0BxNAQ

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 2, 2012 10:20:33 AM | 64

A USA foreign ministry spokesperson said yesterday that the longterm purpose of the Annan plan is a political transition. That is false. There is not going to be any political transition in Syria; Syria already had its political transition with the enactment of the comprehensive reform program, including the new Constitution and the new parliament.

The Annan plan intends to be a framework for National Dialog, but, all things considered, dialog is impotent.

The USA foreign ministry spokesperson also said: "The opposition cannot possibly be expected to come to the table while the violence is intensifying, escalating, and the government is lying about it." http://www.state.gov/p/io/rm/191431.htm

The government is not lying. The government's policy is to comply with the Annan plan, the terms of which the government deliberately negotiated and signed itself up for.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 2, 2012 10:45:45 AM | 65

What the US should be saying: "The opposition cannot possibly be expected to come to the table while they are busy killing regime soldiers, policemen and civilians."
Recent days the death count have been higher on the regime side than the rebels.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 2, 2012 12:21:00 PM | 66

A USA foreign ministry spokesperson said yesterday that the longterm purpose of the Annan plan is a political transition. That is false.

Absolutely. Annan is trotted out for peace talks to show that ‘peace failed’, or for the slightly more sophisticated, that diplomatic efforts have been implemented in good faith with all the weight of the UN and International Community. (Well well!)

There is no question of ‘transition’, only, of ending violence, which cannot be accomplished without the parties sitting down together, which here seems out of reach.

Annan knows this, but he is only one person, moreover he (aka the W) has a plan, and demands, a road map, etc. an *in vacuo* proposal, (see e.g. Israel now for decades...) and that is not the way forward, although he personally is flexible, willing, on the face of it.

Annan may talk ‘stiffly’ to Assad but he has no interlocutors on the other side, so he is not promoting compromise and negotiation, it is just made to look that way. Imagining the ‘rebels’ or FSA or whatever would invisibly and silently agree to a cease-fire (or similar) is frankly at best illusory, at worst utterly mendacious.

Assad cannot implement a ‘peace plan’ on his own, as he has lost control of the country.

Anecdotes

-from Le Temps, newspaper:

Half (?) of the inhabitants of the Djebel (aka Jebel) have fled to Turkey, they are in camps. In Reyhanli, the Syrians have erected symbolic tombs, funereal monuments, for China, Russia, the Arab League, and Kofi Annan.

From France 24 (in eng.) About Syria’s singing revolutionary, Adham, in Jebel.

http://tinyurl.com/c5nlvb7

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 2, 2012 12:49:40 PM | 67

somebody @39

Something strange with that BBC satellite image - they claim that the Syrian army had an artillery position (Point H) to the south-east of Al Houla. If you look on Google Map, it is quite easy to find this "artillery position" with all the tracks matching those shown on BBC close up. I don't know how old the Google Map satellite imagery is but this means that the Syrian army have achieved the impossible. They fired their artillery weeks before the shells landed. On the otherhand, Bing's satellite imagery shows no signs of the "caterpillar tracks"

Alleged artillery position:

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=34.827345,36.556755&spn=0.00325,0.004726&t=h&z=18&vpsrc=6&lci=com.panoramio.all

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=34.82760079499656~36.55718704371452&lvl=18&dir=0&sty=h&eo=0&where1=Syria&form=LMLTCC

Futhermore, if you look at the alleged Syrian army base (Point G), you will see that Google Maps shows a number of dark blobs in the courtyard of this establishment. But from the nature of the blobs, I would guess that they are small objects with long shadows (meaning the images were taken in winter) rather than large objects.

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=34.860303,36.53368&spn=0.001624,0.002363&t=k&z=19&vpsrc=6&lci=com.panoramio.all

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=34.86011306361168~36.533458143472686&lvl=20&dir=0&sty=h&eo=0&where1=Syria&form=LMLTCC

This report about a previous massacre has an "activist" claiming the Al Houla is the only Sunni village in Homs District and that the other villages are Alawite. Without a political map of Homs District, it is difficult to work out what he means by the other villages but it makes me wonder if he regards Taldou as a separate village to Al Houla in which case this suggests that Taldou is an Alawite village.

http://observers.france24.com/content/20111103-syria-al-houla-town-uncovers-11-killed-factory-workers-assad-promises-end-violence-crackdown

As to how you can identify the sites of massacres that took place within buildings from satellite imagery, I have now idea. I wonder if the military analyst spoke to an "activist" on Skype to obtain this information and if he did who exactly provided the contact. It couldn't have been the FSA/SMC/Ikwhan by any chance?

Posted by: blowback | Jun 2, 2012 2:39:58 PM | 68

After the corruption scandal at the UN 7 0r 8 years back involving Annan, is he trustworthy? He's into this Syria thing to buy time for the West to prepare its invasion. Contrary to Bouros-Ghali's position, Annan was favorable to the NATO bombing of Kosovo.

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 2:49:39 PM | 69

>>>What the US should be saying: "The opposition cannot possibly be expected to come to the table while they are busy killing regime soldiers, policemen and civilians.">>>

Alexander, a journalist at al-Akhbar made an astute comment (and Asaad Abu Khlali picked it up and mentioned it, that in the press, it's always reported that the opposition in its fights against the army always kills soldiers and policemen but never any civilians, but in the reporting about the army fighting the rebels, it's always reported that the army killed civilians, never any insurgents.

So if you go by the Western and Arabic pro-US press, since the insurgency started over 15 months ago, not a single opposition fighter has been killed by the army and the 10,000 or so killed by the army since the begining were all civilians. Absurd.

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 3:03:48 PM | 70

>>>The government is not lying. >>>

Yes, it is, Parviziyi. The Annan plan is a gimmick to buy time for the West and the Syrians know it very well but they too are playing for time and pretending they believe in the plan.

The plan was sort of stillborn when introduced. If you remember, a while back, Assad offered a general amnesty to all that would lay down their arms and within a few hours, Secretary Clinton made a public appeal to the insurgents to NOT lay down their arms but to keep the fight going to the end. Not long after that, Koffi Annan came on the scene with the bogus plan and during this time, the West and the Gulf States announced that they would be arming the insurgents.

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 3:15:52 PM | 71

>>> err ... why are you not quoting Russia Today? They are official!
Both parties guilty in Houla massacre – Lavrov>>>

Lavrov said that both parties bear responsability for the Houla massacre; he did not use the word "guilty".

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 3:19:06 PM | 72

Syrian clashes spill into Lebanon as seven die in gun battle


GUN BATTLES BETWEEN pro and anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon killed at least seven people and wounded 22 on Saturday, security officials said.

Activists reported fresh shelling in a region in central Syria where a massacre last week left more than 100 people dead.

The clashes were the latest to hit the Lebanese port of Tripoli. Repeated outbreaks of violence in the city, the country’s second largest, are seen as spillover from the conflict in neighboring Syria and have raised fears of an escalation in sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

So, the US strategy of facilitating the flow of weapons to sectarian factions is taking effect in Syrias neighbouring countries.
The fighting in Tripoli started shortly before midnight on Friday and intensified today, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Clashes in Tripoli last month killed at least eight people.

The conflict pits Sunni Muslims who support Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad against members of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam of which Assad is a member.

Smoke was seen billowing from several apartments near the city’s Syria street, the dividing line between the mainly Sunni Bab Tabbaneh neighborhood and the adjacent, Alawite-majority Jabal Mohsen.

This looks like it's developing into a fullblown sectarian meltdown in all but Israel.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 2, 2012 3:20:43 PM | 73

FWIW the "caterpillar tracks" appear in imagery that dates from February 22nd 2012.

Posted by: blowback | Jun 2, 2012 3:20:51 PM | 74

>>> SANA's summary of what they said...>>>


SANA is the regime just like Pravda was the regime in the days of the USSR.

Speaking of the old Pravda and perception management, some here are into it themselves with the deluge of links all about the same subject and same conclusion. Repeating the same story 50 times wil not make it more true.

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 3:40:36 PM | 75

68 yes I know the map is silly, as silly as in other news satellite images now show a mass grave in Houla. The intent is to keep it in the news.
As reporters (well I know of one) and the UN were there after the massacre they would know the places of the massacre and the army checkpoints.

No, of course Kofi Annan's plan is completely unworkable as it asks the Syrian government to share the monopoly of power.

Nato intervention is also unworkable. US conservatives reactivate Henry Kissinger of all people to warn
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syrian-intervention-risks-upsetting-global-order/2012/06/01/gJQA9fGr7U_story.html

So expect a summer of hand wringing as I suppose everybody will continue to do what they have been doing ...
http://www.voanews.com/content/clinton-syria-russia/1145895.html

Posted by: somebody | Jun 2, 2012 3:41:38 PM | 76

>>>Syrian clashes spill into Lebanon as seven die in gun battle >>>

Number of dead now 12, 40 injured, 6 in critical condition. The fighting is on the outskirts of Tripoli between the Sunni anti-Assad Lebanse ghetto and an Alawite pro-Assad Lebanese one that have been having skirmishes between them for decades. The Alawites are saying that the Sunni militia has been put under the command of Riad el Assaad of the FSA, but this is still unproven. The army and Internal Security forces as well as politicians are on the scene trying to stop the fighting but not succeeding so far.

Posted by: www | Jun 2, 2012 4:02:16 PM | 77

somebody 39

has a naievely charming fascination with western media

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 10:06:12 PM | 78


Syria: The mythic Shabiha as useful tool for BBC

Whenever one is not able to prove that the Syrian army and security forces are behind anything, then a new straw man is needed, on which you – including an organized existence – also can prove nothing on, but where one is able to spin convenient legends around this straw man
etc
http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-mythic-shabiha-tool-bbc-736.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 10:20:57 PM | 79

Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 2h
Guardian hackery on #Houla: killers spoke w/ "Allawite accents," shouted "Imam Ali" & killed...regime supporters. Huh? gu.com/p/383en/tw

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 10:54:29 PM | 80

Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 3h
@jessradio @con_agius Alex's story from Houla ws unverifiable from start to finish. All hearsay & conjecture. "Victim says" is not proof.
--------------------------
Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 3h
@jessradio @con_agius I actually can't think of two worse violators. Chulov just quoted 9 "defectors" in Turkey saying govt did Damas bombs.
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Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 3h
@jessradio @con_agius Because "citizen journalist" is a whitewash for "activist." That enters the zone of propaganda, not prof journalism.
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Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 4h
@ayedaltomi Are you saying the regime killed the children? How do you know that? Al Arabiya?
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Sharmine Narwani @snarwani 4h
@ayedaltomi Are you saying that the majority of Syrian people are participating in a revolution?
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Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 11:09:08 PM | 81

Addounia TV - Media Disinformation; Lies of Al Jazeera & other Medias
Translation:
The "Syrian Forces" have committed a barbarian crime in the night till the morning. They were killing, cutting and massacring the people.
This was seen by the Syrians on 26 may 2012 when they turned the TV on.
Pictures of dead childrens were seen on TV.
Till the first hours in the morning TV Channels were saying, that who have committed this crime were the Syrian Army and the Shabiha (so called regime thugs).
And in the morning the Syrian Television said, that armed terrorist groups burned Houses in al-Shoumariyeh village in the countryside of Homs province and committed a massacre against two families including childrens.

So the Syrian Viewer has two stories, to watch foreign media like Al -Jazeera or the Syrian TV Channels. After that they beginn to discuss about that issue.
This was a call to Al-Arabiya Channel at 1:00 am
One of the Leaders from the Opposition called and said, that "regime forces" shelled at Houla in Homs.

Syrian Opposition member "They are firing shells since 12 hours at us and until this moment...They are falling like the rain. 88 people had been killed till now".

....
etc(see link for rest)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2_owegdPms&feature=share

Posted by: brian | Jun 2, 2012 11:18:18 PM | 82

next step on managing perceptions:


DAMASCUS, (SANA) - The National Media Council (NMC) on Saturday condemned the Arab Foreign Ministers Council's unjust decision on asking Arabsat and Nilesat to stop the broadcast of Syrian satellite TV channels.

The Council described the decision as a "flagrant interference in the Syrian internal affairs and unprecedented violation of the media freedom in the Arab nation,"

The NMC stressed that the decision is a media terrorism against the Syrian people, calling on the Nilesat and Arabsat to commit themselves to the contracts with the Syrian channels and refuse to be a political tool in the hands of some Arab governments.
etc
http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/06/02/423057.htm

Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 1:00:12 AM | 83

A Blowback: Good catch on the satellite imagery of the tracks. I caught the same thing today. A friend with Google Earth tells me the tracks were there by Feb. 22 this year (app. the date of the current imagery), but not in the last image, app. Aug. 20 2010. The Bing map has a 2010 copyright, so probably images of that date. The trees in this small tree farm weren't ready for the extraction roads, I guess. F*%#ing liars.

As for the blobs and winter, I don't get that. Long shadows mostly suggests early morning or late afternoon. But no, it's southeast, almost south-origin light, so mid-morning. The objects must be fairly tall, if those are shadows or, since they don't all point the same way, dark objects, like black trailers on white truck cabs. Whatever, they've got nothing.

A Brian: Yes, cutting out the voice box of the target nation is standard precursor to all-out war. Their screams and protests get dimmer and quieter. Was done with Yugoslavia, presumably Iraq, Libya, and now Syria and next Iran, if all goes "well."

To the MoA staff, great site! I've been reading it off and on for a while and am consistently impressed.

Posted by: Caustic | Jun 3, 2012 2:08:41 AM | 84

capital As should be @ or at symbol as in "hey"

Posted by: Caustic | Jun 3, 2012 2:09:49 AM | 85

the 'arab foreign ministers council' reads like the arab equivalent of the EU...only even less democratic

Posted by: brian | Jun 3, 2012 2:49:54 AM | 86

Another #witness of Al #Hula #massacre

http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-anna-news-witness-hula-massacre-746.html

Posted by: brian | Jun 4, 2012 2:24:56 PM | 87

Free Syrian Army rebels abandon Annan ceasefire


Spokesman Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters news agency the FSA had begun attacking soldiers to "defend our people".

At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by rebels over the weekend, an activist group said.

Meanwhile, the formation of a new opposition coalition - the Syrian Rebels Front - was announced at a news conference in Turkey.

Spokesman Khaled al-Okla said the new group represented 12,000 fighters, and that it had been formed in part as a response to Arab and international "failure" to "rein in Assad from his crimes".


That signals the formal end to the UN Annan 6. peace-plan, and a new round of bloodshed with soldiers, terrorists, rebels and civilians. At least Assad no longer has his hands tied.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 4, 2012 5:06:14 PM | 88

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