Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 29, 2012

Syria: Massacre Likely By Al Qaeda

Currently every "western" country seems to be busy to expel Syrian diplomats. So far Australia, France, the U.K., Germany and Canada have done so. Others will likely follow later today.

I believe that this is happening now to catch the headlines and thereby to cover up different rather inconvenient news item that ran a few hours ago.

After the Houla massacre the UN monitors emphasized that some ammunition debris was found in the area and that this pointed to government guilt in the killing. That was also emphasized in the UN security council press statement. But earlier today the severity of these allegations were seriously degraded:

Most of the 108 people killed in Syria's Houla region on Friday were summarily executed, the UN says.
...
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told journalists in Geneva that initial investigations suggested that fewer than 20 of the victims in the village of Taldou, near Houla, were killed by artillery or tank fire.

"Most of the rest of the victims in Taldou," he added, "were summarily executed in two separate incidents."

Most of the people were killed by throat cutting or by direct gun/pistol fire. The killing happened in an area that is supposedly under the control of the Free Syrian Army.

How could the Syrian government be responsible for this? And why would a government with all its military might resort to such by-hand killing? How would ut supposedly benefit from this?

It is by now well known that AlQaeda like groups are active in Syria. Such are known to have created such massacres, including by beheading, in Iraq and elsewhere.

But as this becomes more clear "western" governments are busy to create some new headlines and to punish the Syrian government for something that was very likely outside of its realm of control.

Posted by b on May 29, 2012 at 08:33 AM | Permalink

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Anna News has spoken with residents of Talda and Alhula in the region of the Syrian city of Homs. These Syrian residents had witnessed the so-called “Hula massacre”. They say that the people had a good relationship with the Syrian soldiers; they even divide food and water with the Syrian soldiers.

The terrorists came from Ar-Rastan or Hama and asked the residents that they have to either kill Syrian soldiers with them or they will be killed.

(Such an action is not unique, this is also internationally known, for example, the Mexican drug cartel “Zetas”, which is led by ex-elite soldier, is known for similar actions)


The pharmacy in the village (it seems they mean the health station of the region, because it is later described as a hospital) was set on fire by the terrorists and was also devastated by the armed group. Just because Syrian soldiers were also treated there.

The residents of this Syrian region call the armed rebels “murder gangs”. These Syrian residents which were interviews by “Anna News” complained further, that these “murder gangs” have also written the cause of Islam on their flags.

These Syrian people are especially angry on the Arab news channel Al Jazeera, because al Jazeera lies – “from the beginning to the end”. A Syrian witness said the whole world would already know that Al Jazeera lies and now, they were able to witness these lies of Al Jazeera with their own eyes.

The Syrian residents, which were interviewed by “Anna News”, demand that the Syrian army uses more forces against the armed terrorists that everything will soon be so peaceful and secure like before.

http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-what-really-happened-in-al-hula-homs-689.html

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 8:46:00 AM | 1

shame on th western regimes..,clearly serving US power in the middle east

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 8:48:19 AM | 2

Particularly vile has been the role of The Guardian, still regarded by the inattentive as an honest "leftish" source of news with some respect for the intelligence of its readers. The Guardian has consistently ignored the very obvious clues that this massacre was unlikely to have been carried out by the Syrian government.
The Guardian's stock in trade is its credibility: once its readers have twigged to the fact that they are being spoon fed neo-con propaganda in order to turn the region into another Somalia, in which gangs of thugs are the only law, and the Israeli/US gang is the best armed of all, it will have become, like the Washington Post, just one more organ of imperialist propaganda.
Had Juan Cole any credibility left the same might be said of him: suffice it to say that when he next applies for a job at Yale, he will be welcomed by the neo-cons with open arms.

Posted by: bevin | May 29, 2012 9:07:36 AM | 3

Interesting. I am hearing some cracks in the reporting. The journalists were starting to provide some qualifications, some reservations about the narrative. Perhaps this most recent story is to accelerate events to prevent more speculation by the press.

That said, there is another possibility; that is that the Alawites and Christians near the besieged town perpetrated these attacks. Alex (maybe Pat) Cockburn was reporting this possibility. This, he suggests could be the sign that a civil war may well be forming. AC's narrative doesn't conflict with b's account, but does present a more complicated, and troubling story

Posted by: scottindallas | May 29, 2012 9:30:17 AM | 4

b, you left out an essential part of the UN report:

>>> Eyewitnesses told the BBC that those who carried out the killings were pro-government shabiha militiamen. Survivors said they had hid or played dead.>>>

I'm not saying I believe any of this, but I'm uncomfortale with this omission. You can't be picking and choosing from the UN report. Whatever really happened or who committed the massacre, the West is intent on regime change in Syria.

Posted by: www | May 29, 2012 9:32:29 AM | 5

'Al Qaeda' is a western-saudi invention.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 29, 2012 9:44:30 AM | 6

alCIAda is an American and Israeli operation to make the world fear alleged terror more than their liberty.
Redrum.

Posted by: dahoit | May 29, 2012 9:57:33 AM | 7

Wow, what a difference a day makes -- on BBC this morning, and admittedly I didn't catch the entire 9AM broadcast, but as of 9:30 it's all government's fault and a supporter of the FSA was calling for No Fly Zones. It's right on track with the Libya plan.

And last night a BBC article had eye witness survivors who told them the killing was done by gov't or gov't supported gangs. One witness was actually named (since they are in danger, the BBC apparently could not give names of all to protect their identities --not that the article says that, btw), but the right details are supplied to continue the West's Narrative.

Most witnesses who spoke to the BBC said they believed that the army and shabiha militiamen were responsible.

"We were in the house, they went in, the shabiha and security, they went in with Kalashnikovs and automatic rifles," said survivor Rasha Abdul Razaq.

"They took us to a room and hit my father on the head with the back of a rifle and shot him straight in the chin."

Of 20 family members and friends in the house at the time, she said only four had survived.

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he hid in the attic as gunmen took his family outside and shot them.

"I opened the door, and I saw bodies, I couldn't recognise my kids from my brothers. It was indescribable. I have three children, I lost three children," he said.

Other witnesses told how they were now terrified in case the regime forces came back to the area. (My emphasis)

So, who spoke to these witnesses? There is no byline naming reporters, so are these stringers hired from...the "activists"? Were these interviews done over Skype or some other telephonic means? Or does the BBC now have reporters on the ground who must remain incognito as they are embedded with the "activists"?

How did the BBC get these direct quotes?

That would seem to be a fascinating paragraph at the least.

And, why doesn't the UN collect names of the dead? Is this how they usually operate in observer roles?

Posted by: jawbone | May 29, 2012 9:59:00 AM | 8

loving their liberty,sorry.

Posted by: dahoit | May 29, 2012 9:59:12 AM | 9

"'Al Qaeda' is a western-saudi invention."

It always has been,The Paper, whether real or concocted: in Afghanistan today,Iraq and Yemen it is a concoction of imperialist propaganda. But where it is fighting secular nationalism, in alliance with imperialism, at the behest of wahhabi playboy cliques and zionists, as in Kossovo, Libya and Syria today it is real enough.

Posted by: bevin | May 29, 2012 10:00:48 AM | 10

www @5 - "Eyewitnesses told the BBC that those who carried out the killings were pro-government shabiha militiamen. Survivors said they had hid or played dead."

As far as I know the BBC doesn't have any reporters in Syria so how did they interview survivors? By 'phone with "survivors" provided by the SNC/FSA?

As for the "shabiha" claims, we're supposed to believe that they fought their way into an area under the control of the FSA to massacre some civilians? The claim that it was elements of the opposition seems more likely as they could just turn up to do the business.

Posted by: blowback | May 29, 2012 10:20:53 AM | 11

In response to commenter 'www' at #5: The BBC news says the UN finds that most of the dead were executed at close range. Then the BBC says "eyewitnesses told the BBC that those who carried out the killings were pro-government shabiha militiamen." The UN's statement is a reliable fact based on inspection of the bodies, whereas the testimonies of the people speaking to the BBC as purported eyewitnesses are highly unreliable, highly unsubstantiated, lacking support from fact findings other than testimonies. 'b' was correct to report the UN's fact finding and to omit the BBC's report about the purported eyewitnesses.

It looks like we're going to have a "battle of the eyewitnesses" over the next few days. Syrian State media (and also the Russian media outlet linked to by Brian in the earlier thread) have loads of local residents saying the killers were rebels. One local woman said she thought the killers came from Al-Rastan (another Homs town under rebel domination), which indicates to me that (a) she felt the killers were local to Homs province but (b) they were not residents of her immediate neighborhood where the killing took place. The Syrian government is today explicitly saying "Armed Terrorist Groups Committed Taldao, al-Shoumarieh [i.e. the Houla] Massacres". They are also explicitly saying "the residents of this area [where the people were killed] were supporters of the Syrian Arab army". (SANA.SY). The government-appointed investigative committee will report in a day or two. But right now the pro-government news media sources have enough info from local eyewitnesses to support what I just quoted you. Meanwhile, however, there are other eyewitnesses speaking to Western media outlets saying the killers were pro-government militias. If this latter claim is true, it would be the first time that pro-government people used deadly weapons in this way, whereas the rebels have done this sort of thing many times before, though not a scale this big.

Of course, we should wait for the investigating committee to publish.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 29, 2012 10:26:20 AM | 12

on 'survivors':

'Throughout the entire length of the Guardian's article, not a single shred of verified evidence was presented. Answering a question as to how the "boy" knew the gunmen were pro-regime militia men, he responded, "why are you asking me who they were? I know who they were. We all know it. They were the regime army and people who fight with them. That is true." Hardly conclusive evidence, hardly fit for print by any reputable journalist, but, however, a textbook example of manipulative war propaganda. '
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/guardians-houla-massacre-propaganda.html
what credibility has the UN? we need to ask how can so many professional bodies
be lined up to carry water for the USrael war on everyone?

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 10:30:12 AM | 13

When are we going to see some evil incarnation of santaclaus assume power in Syria? I suspect never. As long as it's all coming from UISrael, Saudi-Arabia and Quatar, and it's not democracy they want, it's what they absolutely want to prevent, but still no clear agenda or goal in sight, apart from mayhem, why do they keep it up? It's all about preventing democracy. I see no local incentive for Syrians to go along with this madness, and that's why it will fail, even with a outside military intervention.
They can only postpone democracy for so long, and the Syrian government are not about to loose grip in forseable future. Not as long as democracy implies continued Assad rule. Bottom line, UISrael will not get their sunni puppet hostile to Iran no matter how hard they push. In a eventual democratic election after beseating Assad, Assad will get re-elected again, or some other Baath party members. With a thoroughly provoked population, any foreign imposed revolution in Syria won't get hold.

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 10:36:38 AM | 14

re the 'degraded' link, why is the bbc still using the images outed as coming from iraq?

Posted by: annie | May 29, 2012 10:55:11 AM | 15

"Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, insisted that "both sides" in Syria's conflict were responsible for the deaths of at least 108 people in the town on Friday, and that Russia was not interested in trying to remove Bashar al-Assad from power."

Clip from the Telegraph article.

Posted by: ben | May 29, 2012 10:58:48 AM | 16

The best place in English to hear what the Syrian government says about the massacre is of course http://www.SANA.sy/index_eng.html . But, in case you don't know of it, a pro-government site with a lot more news from Syria in English is the following which aggregates several different Facebook news blogs about Syria in English: http://www.facebook.com/lists/247693938657345

The following is a nice discovery I got at that facebook blog. In one of the videos of the massacre that was uploaded to youtube by an anti-regime uploader, one of the murdered children lying on the ground is wearing a wrist band decorated with the Syrian flag -- which proves that the child's family was pro-government. You can see this at time 1:22 in the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mZOTDbUvRMo#t=70s

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 29, 2012 11:02:37 AM | 17

Parviziyi @ 17

wearing a wrist band decorated with the Syrian flag

Good job catching that, good man.

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 11:10:15 AM | 18

"We were in the house, they went in, the shabiha and security, they went in with Kalashnikovs and automatic rifles," said survivor Rasha Abdul Razaq.

so how did rasha survive if he witnessed this?

according to the discredited amnesty international

Sixty-two of those killed were from the Abd al-Razaq family in Teldo. All had been shot dead, except for a few children whose skulls had been smashed, presumably by rifle butts.

Posted by: annie | May 29, 2012 11:19:37 AM | 19

I didn't say I believed the BBC report. In fact, I don't but I also don't believe everything that comes out of SANA. I said it when I got into these discussions here that both sides are not telling the full truth and relying on SANA is no better and no worse than relying on the Washington Post. Both are working from an agenda.

Posted by: www | May 29, 2012 11:23:07 AM | 20

I'm sorry, I made a mistake about that video linked to. The video I linked to was uploaded 25 Apr 2012. It referred to an original video uploaded by the anti-regime uploader Meriem021 on 6 Apr 2012 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r80qrSElmE . It is said to be from Houla, but obviously it's not from the events of 25 May 2012 in Houla. It can be used to show that the 25 May events are not unprecendented in Houla.

Sorry, it was careless of me.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 29, 2012 11:49:18 AM | 21

Still a good catch. Good catch catching the mistake. ;o)

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 11:51:25 AM | 22

There is an old arab saying that says" if you throw mud at the wall it will not stick but the will always leave a mark", poorly translated sorry. But the idea is that what the west and the opposition are doing is using the initial news to blame the Govt and discredit it and by the time the truth comes out, well , by then the stain is still there and no one will go back to what the real issue was.

Unfortunately neither the Russians or the Syrian Govt seem to be good at this game and even if they get the UN to investigate and somehow show the rebels did the killings as obvious if you are killing a specific family this is revenge and not army related.

The only people who will remember after the facts come out are the syrians themselves, the rest of the world will move on to some other news. Sooner or later the rebels will have no more friends and they will be rooted out. Until then many more of these unfortunate massacres are likely.

Posted by: ana souri | May 29, 2012 11:55:56 AM | 23

I read somewhere that there are abut 10,000 videos uploaded on the Internet by the anti-Assad cheering section. Of course, most of those were bogus or choreographed to show Assad's people in an ugly light. Most regrettable is that major Arab news networks have been broadcasting them for over a year as the gospel truth although each time one of these bogus videos was aired, it was preceded with the qualifying "the following video could not be independently verified". A lot of shit was spread about Syria in this manner.

Posted by: www | May 29, 2012 11:58:16 AM | 24

ya souri, that's what we thought about Ghaddafi that held on for month after month and he looked like he would last forever until NATO decided to put an end to the misery and killing several thousand civilians in the process. It's headed in the same direction with Syria. Russia may carry the big stick in the SC but the West appear poised to bypass the UN altogether. I wonder how Russia would react if the West promised it it could keep its Tarsus base in a new Syria. There are no loyalties in this game, it's all about interests.

Posted by: www | May 29, 2012 12:11:06 PM | 25

@www #25
I doubt very much anyone whether the americans or the french for that matter want to do a ground assault or air war in Syria. They are cowards and the only reason they went to Libya is because the cost was non existent. The cost in Syria would be far bigger and although the end result would be the same as Libya, many more thousands killed and a cost to the attacking forces, these countries would rather fight a weaker army that can't respond.
Having said that I do agree the Russians would not have much loyalty to Syria if they can reach some agreement with the americans, but i doubt even the most novice analyst think that Russia would get to keep Tartous after a deal. Their focus would more toward the missile system in Turkey and eastern europe and keeping Georgia out.
SInce you seem to know it is all about interest, which i fully concur, you need to know where the interest lies. If Syria is attacked, I would look to Lebanon falling apart and a major civil war taking place there, why, hizballah would know they're next and would not wait til the end. Also Iran would not sit still, not because they love SYrians but again they have an interest in assad surviving. So expect Iran to do major damage in the Gulf if they suspect they are losing Syria which also means they would lose Hizballah and oof course thy woul dbe next. Also, count on Jordan to fall. the domino effect would take the region by storm and the Americans are not ready for this, not yet anyway.

The only thing i see coming is Russia making a deal with the americans for a yemen style change where assad oversees some transition and goes away. Russia is not stupid and the americans do not want another Iraq after having just walked away, at least not unless they calculate a war with Iran and a regional flare up which will include Israel and then all bets are off.

I pray that assad realizes the cost is very high and chooses to leave soon, if the russians, iranians will let him. The sight of these kids dead makes me sick.

Posted by: ana souri | May 29, 2012 12:40:04 PM | 26

Western Media Loses Credibility on Syria


Ja’afari said the 15-nation council misinterpreted the words of the head of the UN mission in Syria, General Robert Mood. He was referring to a part in the statement that condemned the Syrian government for the artillery and tank shelling of a residential neighborhood in Houla.

Ja’afari said it was an interpretation of Western states such as Germany and the UK. He added that General Mood had said it was unclear how the mass killings had taken place and that the events needed to be investigated.

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 12:42:45 PM | 27

my last comment should have gone here: Al Qaeda is gangsterism, pure and simple -- the last bulwark against Communism; than which nothing, not child-rape, jew-hate, planetary destruction is more evil. STALIN! STALIN! STALIN!

Posted by: ruralito | May 29, 2012 12:45:42 PM | 28

I posted this some time ago, but i think we seem to have some new faces on this blog who would benefit from reading this analysis.
http://www.cf2r.org/images/stories/RR/rr11-syria-report-january-2012.pdf

Posted by: ana souri | May 29, 2012 12:47:58 PM | 29

Assad leaving isn't going to stop the violence. That the object is not for the peace-plan to work has been clearly demonstrated. Its all about stopping democracy from reaching Saudi-Arabia and Quatar. The armed insurgency in Syria isn't strong enough to win, unlike Libya. Thats why the appetite in the west for intervention is so low.

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 12:49:51 PM | 30

@Alexander #30
You're right, it won't bring about peace and you're also right, that's not the point. The point is for Russia to shift the pointer to someone else. The Americans and Saudis will be carrying the ball then and Russia will be clear. Their aim would be to take the heat off of them and play their usual role of watching and not being involved like they are now. Their main objective would be to preserve as much as they can and no major change to the policy. You will notice the tone of the media after this changing to terrorist attacks and regime insurgents. The people won't win this one for decades to come.

Posted by: ana souri | May 29, 2012 1:53:45 PM | 31

somehow this here
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria%E2%80%99s-dignity-strike-city-merchants-speak
makes me think that all parties in Syria are trying to terrorize the population into obedience.
Plus Hezbollah here
http://www7.almanar.com.lb/french/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=18&frid=18&eid=65939
states the Syrian army is not in control of parts of the country and suggests the "free Syrian army" tries to get rid of Sunni dissidents in their areas
same as
Ban Ki Moon here
http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=754216&vId=
the Free Syrian area controls considerable parts of the cities ...
plus Alistair Crooke thinks Iraqui Al Queida involved
http://www.rt.com/news/houla-massacre-executed-militia-480/
so, yes b. you are probably right, Nato is trying to distract from the fact that NATO is supporting a group it supposedly has been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: somebody | May 29, 2012 4:07:58 PM | 32

it must be pretty bad to cover up, the US now accuses Iran of the Houla massacre ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/29/houla-massacre-us-accuses-iran?CMP=twt_fd&CMP=SOCxx2I2

The state department said that Tehran was "bragging" about its role at the weekend after the deputy commander of Iran's elite Quds force said the force has units inside Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Victoria Nuland, the state department spokeswoman, said that Iran's hand is clearly visible in the killing of more than 100 people, including scores of young children, by a Syrian militia group, the Shabiha, which closely resembles an Iranian militia, the Basij.

"The Iranians have clearly supplied support and training and advice to the Syrian army, but this Shabiha thug force mirrors the same force that the Iranians use. The Basij and the Shabiha are the same type of thing and clearly reflects the tactics and the techniques that the Iranians use for their own suppression of civil rights," she said.

Posted by: somebody | May 29, 2012 5:09:57 PM | 33

Dang, dingdong, this is getting ridiculous.

Posted by: Alexander | May 29, 2012 5:17:40 PM | 34


Houla Massacre: Lavrov DID NOT Blame Assad for Massacre
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/houla-massacre-lavrov-did-not-blame-assad-for-massacre/


Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 5:37:39 PM | 35

My gut instinct, is that this was the work of "rebels" not the Syrian Army, far too much simply does not add up. Although this has not stopped the likes of the BBC, Sky News and Channel 4 from pushing as fact, with a briefly whispered caveat that nothing they are trying to pass as fact can actually be shown to be the case. Only the "rebels" and the external powers who fund and arm them benefit from this atrocity, which is why it makes no sense for the Syrian Army or Government to have done this. That aside, if my gut instinct is correct, then I fear this will only be the start of such large atrocities, given the desirable MSM coverage the "rebels" achieved this time for their "cause". Does the MSM even stop to think they maybe encouraging such Massacres?

Posted by: Rod | May 29, 2012 5:57:34 PM | 36

The Guardian, Channel 4, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch - all birds of a feather. Witness HRW: There’s no way a Syrian military commission can credibly investigate this horrendous crime when so much evidence suggests pro-government forces were responsible. Annan should insist that Syria grant access to the UN commission of inquiry to investigate this and other grave crimes.

Same old Libyan script. Fake stories, spread to the Liberal elite, swallowed whole.

Posted by: felix | May 29, 2012 6:29:01 PM | 37

The Guardian, Channel 4, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch - all birds of a feather. Witness HRW: There’s no way a Syrian military commission can credibly investigate this horrendous crime when so much evidence suggests pro-government forces were responsible. Annan should insist that Syria grant access to the UN commission of inquiry to investigate this and other grave crimes.
================================

funny thing then because AMNESTY wanted NATO to investigate the killing of civilians BY NATO! if any one likes they may want to reproach Amnesty for its double standards

Nato must investigate civilian deaths in Libya, says Amnesty
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/19/nato-civilian-deaths-libya-amnesty
where we find in addition:

'This content has been removed as our copyright has expired.'

thats a new one! why did the Guardian REALLY remove ths story?

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 6:37:23 PM | 38

Amnesty has no worries with NATO investigating itself over massacres BY NATO in LIbya:



It is deeply disappointing that more than four months since the end of the military campaign, victims and relatives of those killed by NATO airstrikes remain in the dark about what happened and who was responsible.

Source:
Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International
Date:
Mon, 19/03/2012

NATO has so far failed to investigate the killing of scores of civilians in Libya in airstrikes carried out by its forces, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing paper released a year after the first strike sorties took place
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/libya-civilian-deaths-nato-airstrikes-must-be-properly-investigated-2012-03-19


whats really disappointing an laughhable is the idea the REAL villain should investigate itself! right AMNESTY?!

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 6:41:51 PM | 39

My letter to AMNESTY:

FYI AMnesty
this has come to my attention:

The Guardian, Channel 4, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch - all birds of a feather. Witness HRW: There’s no way a Syrian military commission can credibly investigate this horrendous crime when so much evidence suggests pro-government forces were responsible. Annan should insist that Syria grant access to the UN commission of inquiry to investigate this and other grave crimes.
================================

funny thing then because AMNESTY wanted NATO to investigate the killing of civilians BY NATO! if any one likes they may want to reproach Amnesty for its double standards

HOWEVER:


It is deeply disappointing that more than four months since the end of the military campaign, victims and relatives of those killed by NATO airstrikes remain in the dark about what happened and who was responsible.

Source:
Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International
Date:
Mon, 19/03/2012


NATO has so far failed to investigate the killing of scores of civilians in Libya in airstrikes carried out by its forces, Amnesty International said today in a new briefing paper released a year after the first strike sorties took place
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/libya-civilian-deaths-nato-airstrikes-must-be-properly-investigated-2012-03-19
whats really disappointing an laughhable is the idea the REAL villain should investigate itself! right AMNESTY?!

Please explain this contradiction

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 6:47:22 PM | 40

CBS Evening News led with the announcement that the Obama administration places the blame for the Houla massacre squarely on the Syrian government -- the "Assad regime." And the coverage of the killings, complete with videos of children and a few adults with bullets in their heads (none of slashed throats), did not mention at all that it was not clear who had done the killing or which side the killers were on.

It appears that the ever so slight mentions of alternate stories was squelched. And they got with the Narrative.

Isn't the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) news filter grand?

And, now, dragging Iran into the atricity? Wow, Obama et al must be desperate to get some more war going. And Obama must think it's "absolutely necessary," as he said during a Memorial Day speech that he would not take the nation into war unless it was "absolutely necessary."

Posted by: jawbone | May 29, 2012 6:52:47 PM | 41

language by amnesty and its ilk: craven, fawning wheedling toward NATO, arrogant and swaggering toward Syria.

As for Obama:
US drone killed afamily of 8....with the media being quite silent on that atrocity


See if you can spot BBC ABC NBC FOX SBS reports o this

link

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 7:12:07 PM | 42

Re: 41 -- BTW, I think that CBS used video of shelling of Houla which was dissected by someone (I can't recall where I found the video) to show that the explosion featured was from an "activist" holding an RPG launcher, a guy who, when others ran, just walked calmly away from the smoke, etc.

Then, on PBS NewsHour, using video and voice overs from Britain's Ch. 4, the reporter said the massacre took place in a Sunni neighborhood and that survivors said they saw men in soldiers' uniform and others dressed all in black.

Posted by: jawbone | May 29, 2012 7:21:09 PM | 43

now the telegraph is showing a video supposedly of the Hula massacre
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9297878/Syria-Houla-massacre-captured-in-amateur-video.html

whilst this youtube video points out there is a guy with an rpg in it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81V5SP0Aj_k

Posted by: somebody | May 29, 2012 7:25:03 PM | 44

Help! Spill (over right margin) in #42 -- When you have time, b, can you please fix it?

Brian! Please, embed long URL's -- they break the margin making it harder to read comments. B has the best directions on how to embed a URL of any I've seen on the web. It's so helpful, as well as margin saving. Pleeeeeze?

Thank you, somebody for the link to video.

An AP story appearing the the Washinton Examiner also states that the massacre took place in a part of Houla that was mostly Sunni.

"It's very hard for me to describe what I saw, the images were incredibly disturbing," a Houla resident who hid in his home during the massacre told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Women, children without heads, their brains or stomachs spilling out."

He said the pro-regime gunmen, known as shabiha, targeted the most vulnerable in the farming villages that make up Houla, a poor area in Homs province. "They went after the women, children and elderly," he said, asking that his name not be used out of fear of reprisals.

Assad's government often deploys fearsome militias that provide muscle for the regime and carry out military-style attacks. They frequently work closely with soldiers and security forces, but the regime never acknowledges their existence, allowing it to deny responsibility for their actions.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said there are strong suspicions that pro-Assad fighters were responsible for some of the killings, adding that he has seen no reason to believe that "third elements" — or outside forces — were involved, although he did not rule it out.

So now that is important aspect of the attack is up in the air.

Posted by: jawbone | May 29, 2012 7:37:38 PM | 45

Re: 41 -- BTW, I think that CBS used video of shelling of Houla which was dissected by someone (I can't recall where I found the video) to show that the explosion featured was from an "activist" holding an RPG launcher, a guy who, when others ran, just walked calmly away from the smoke, etc.
================

yes there is a video showing just this...i posted it around on facebook but dont have access to FB at the moment!

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 7:48:16 PM | 46

SYRIA - Truth Behind the Houla Shelling - (Terrorist with ... - YouTube
1 day ago ... The Video lies uploaded by Radical Terrorist Extremists being paid by the west to
cripple Syria and its people. **Syria does not communicate ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=53ZoKFbkSKU&feature=relmfu

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 7:51:55 PM | 47


In the following video, we see a Syrian terrorist with an RPG launcher firing into the buildings at Houla.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ijsGZiIqS4

http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/29-05-2012/121255-syria_massacre-0/

Posted by: brian | May 29, 2012 7:57:33 PM | 48

Wouldn't it be easy to put some mercs in stolen Syrian Army uniforms and send them off to the races? Any eyewitness would be unimpeachable, and if there's video, so much the better.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 29, 2012 9:43:16 PM | 49

Keep an eye on the Russians.

Their initial reactions when this "news" broke was very revealing i.e. they insisted that the security council be briefed in person via video link with the head of the UN observer mission.

That sounds to me as if the Russians weren't just hedging their bets, but that THEY had heard different news to what everyone else was claiming and, simply put, they are not willing to sign on to it without solid proof.

So keep your eye on the Russians, because if they get that proof then they'll shift.

But the corrollary is also true i.e. if the Russians don't shift then it's going to be a solid indicator that the west can't back up the accusations that are being flung at Assad.

Posted by: Johnboy | May 29, 2012 10:10:47 PM | 50

this here by Martin Chulov would sound very convincing if his witnesses did not invent an Allawi dialect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levantine_Arabic
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/29/syrias-houla-massacre-qanda?newsfeed=true

look Guardian I studied languages and whilst in Britain pronounciation follows class lines there are no sectarian dialects ever .... not in closeby villages.

what happened to the blood donations from Allawi villages? and why were they not asked?

actually it is far from clear who did it:
the Syrian regime might have done it to ensure discipline in the army, I guess the family mainly hit was the family of a defector
the Syrian regime might be interested in making this sectarian, to frighten Allawis and Christians into obedience
Syrian regime might have staged it in a way to look like al Queida

obviously a non local faction of the Free Syrian Army might have done it to spark Western outrage and intervention.
and obviously it might have been done under cover of war for personal revenge

it would not have been done by local as somebody would have recognized them masks or no masks.

there remains the question why this could have been done for hours in Free Syrian Army controlled territory, as everybody agrees that it happened after the shelling


Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 1:46:55 AM | 51

this here is the view from China

"But the regime is not rootless. Half of the Syrian population remains loyal to Assad, and eradicating this support will cost the Syrians dearly. The West's strategy is built upon Syrians' flesh and blood. It is a political kidnapping of the destinies of over 20 million people.

If a country is allowed to intervene in another country's domestic affairs at will, our world will be plagued by a long series of wars driven by subversions of regimes. No matter how history judges them, it will be a nightmare for people of this age.

The West should not expect China and Russia's cooperation if it insists on dictating its own values and mindsets to the world by any means it can. It will instead find China and Russia standing in its way.

The West has not really tasted any victory in the post-Cold War era. Although it managed to overthrow a few powerless regimes, the gains were only short-lived, as resentment against the West still exists in these countries. Afghanistan and Iraq are left with no solutions, while Egypt and Libya's futures hang in the air. In these already escalated circumstances, China and Russia should both persuade Assad to refrain from using heavy firearms and prevent or delay the West's militarization of the opposition. China and Russia never expect any compliment from the West. But both China and Russia know from their heart that their efforts will benefit the Syrian people and the international community's pursuit of peace."

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/711995/China-Russia-offset-Wests-actions-in-Syria.aspx

Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 2:09:35 AM | 52

#51:

there remains the question why this could have been done for hours in Free Syrian Army controlled territory, as everybody agrees that it happened after the shelling

So, goes like this, maybe:

1) Local villager rats out the FSA
2) Army shells the FSA hideout
3) FSA administers 'collective punishment' to villagers
4) NATO and friends try to spin the incident into something useful

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | May 30, 2012 2:10:08 AM | 53

Flags can be useful! one here serves to identify the family of the dead boy was pro-assad

#HoulaMassacre, This video was shot by "opposition" to accuse the government of committing the massacre, in this video there are some proofs that the massacre was done by FSA:

1- The murdered family is the family of a Syrian army officer (Mohammad Sawwaf) from Houla NOT FSA officer.

2- The dead child shown in the video was wearing a Syrian flag on his hand, not the FSA flag with 3 red stars.

3- You can hear voices shouting "Where is the Syrian Army??!!", of course they want the Syrian army to be there to protect them.

4- We realize that the cameraman was standing taking the video, while the man beside him was begging for help to rescue the wounded. Why was taking the video more important than rescuing the wounded, knowing that this video was first loaded on opposition youtube channels.

5- The cameraman only hinted about the Syrian army being involved in the massacre but didn't say that clearly because he was afraid that the people around him who know that the FSA did it, would go after him as he becomes involved in the crime.

The FSA armed "opposition" bombed the house and killed the families of Syrian loyalists, and filmed it to use it against Assad.

-A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mZOTDbUvRMo&skipcontrinter=1

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 3:04:25 AM | 54

Von Braun
I just saw this video on youtube and I am completely shocked.
A radical islamic cleric giving permission and inciting the terrorist group FSA to murder women and children. See for yourselves.
http://youtu.be/TeRTJi29ktk
(not that they have needed permission!)
heres one time we can thank MEMRI!

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 3:39:34 AM | 55

>>> there remains the question why this could have been done for hours in Free Syrian Army controlled territory, as everybody agrees that it happened after the shelling>>>


Shades of Sabra and Shatila that lasted about 48 hours while the Israelis kept the gates to the camps tightly shut and provided the lighting and other logistics to facilitate the slaughtering by the Phalangists.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 3:46:16 AM | 56

The fight in Syria now seems to be about convincing the population where the power is.
I expect atrocities from all sides.

human rights watch says it was mainly the Abdel Razzak family - you can google the guy.

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/05/27/syria-un-inquiry-should-investigate-houla-killings

Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 3:57:01 AM | 57

>>> Half of the Syrian population remains loyal to Assad...>>>


Somebody #52, what about the other half, does it have any rights and say? When it started, we heard talk of a "few dissidents". Then in time we started hearing about foreign mercenaries and terrorists but now this Chinese article talks about half the Syrian population. Apart from the acts of terrorism, there appears to be more to this uprising than any of us are realizing.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 4:00:54 AM | 58

Joud @Hey_Joud 21h
I only tweeted @CarlosLatuff once asking him why he doesnt make a cartoon to show revos crimes against Syria's army&guess what?He blocked me
HYPERLINKSyd Walker @SydWalker 22h
============
Carlos has taxied to the dark side? he of all people should be aware of being manipulated by propaganda

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 4:26:11 AM | 59

Irina Kurtovic 30 May 06:18
The letter to the Sergey Lavrov about Syria.

Collection of signatures.

Nikolay Sologubovskiy

Distinguished friends of Syria!

In brotherly Syria there is a collection of signature depending on this letter. The collection started in Russia. If you agree for it please sign this with your name and surname.

To the Management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Russian Federation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Dear Sergey Lavrov

We are the Russian people who live in Syria. We are writing to you to ask you for our protection. What is going on in Syria- there is a fierce of information war that threatens to turn into real war.
What happens in Syrian village of Hula- is nothing but carefully planned provocation designed to bring new sanctions on Syria up to foreign interference. You say: The incident is to blame both sides. It is not. In the tragedy in the village on Hula there is not the fault of the Syrian army. Hula village under the terms of the armistice was under the control of the armed opposition and the army was not there. Around the village where five checkpoints of Syrian army. Around 2’oclock in day time these checkpoints was attacked by the armed militants. The opposition to the Syrian soldiers where unable to help residents of Hula and they were forced to keep defence. Soldiers fought bravely but the forces were not equal and they captured and brutally tortured by the militants. During this time terrorists massacred and killed dozens of people in the Hula village. There were killed civilians, men, women and children belonging to the three large Syrian families. These families are cut entirely. We assume that these families were killed during the shelling. Can shelling kill so selectively? We believe that these peaceful civilians are configured to the loyal Syria’s legitimate government. All the victims have gunshot wounds or knife wounds. About what kind of shelling or tank shelling can be said? Can you please understand than it is pointless to try to put pressure on the Syrian authorities? They do carry out Kofi Annan plan. The government of the Syria and personally the Syrian President Bashar Assad are doing everything to implement this plan. We people of Syria are giving confirm to this. The armed oppositions are doing everything to break the Kofi Annan plan. With the announcement of the armistice of the opposition gangs have committed more than three thousand crimes.
The Syrian army who carry out the Kofi Annan plan was considered in its actions and cannot always give an adequate response to terrorists and to the insurgents. Please take a note that no crime of armed opposition caused any condemnation from the West. The West has never have victims of these crimes and they are not sympathetic to the militants. Not one in the Wet did not require the convening of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council when on the 10 of May in Damascus was made a terrible terrorist attack which killed over than 60 people including children. Only one slender alleged “involvement of the Syrian army” to murders in the Hula urgently convened at the request of Britain and France meeting of the UN Security Council. The Syrian and the country’s leadership declared “culprits” of than happened although there was no investigation about it. We support your claim to conduct a though investigation of the tragedy in Hula. All the people of goodwill require punishing criminals and those who stand behind them who empower them and give them orders for new attacks and bombings. These forces are trying to derail the Kofi Annan plan. The people of Syria have got big hope on Great Russia. The fact is that Russia will not allow repeat violent scenarios of NATO which led to the death of Yugoslavia and the Libyan Jamahiriya. We urge Russian Government to achieve the investigation of crimes committed in the village of Hula. Not join the chorus of Western voices against the Syrian Republic and its leadership. To provide the Syrian people and their legitimate representatives of all possible support in the fight against the terrorist groups infiltrated in to Syrian land and protect Syrian sanctions from the West.
We are asking you to take all measures together with other peace-loving nations to stop the escalation of NATO’s military preparations against the Syrian Republic which can lead to the disaster and to the death of innocent people.

Your Sincerely Russian people who live in Syria and those people who sympathize to the people of the brotherly country.

Damascus
Elena Gromova

Moscow
Nicolay Sologubovsky

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 6:30:02 AM | 60

RE: The Shabiha or the "ghost fighters" and claims of their involvement in the massacre especially as being pro-assad or pro-government fighters

Way back when the legend of the Shabiha first came out of the Syrian narrative, it emanated from the opposition.

It seemed a tall tale created as a cover for killings of civilians.

Of course, it can't be ruled out that loyal Syrians have taken matters into their own hands.....but, the Shabiha story emerged a bit to early in the destabilization narrative, so I have my doubts that they were ever associated as a fictional narrative with loyal Syrians or the Syrian government.


Posted by: Penny | May 30, 2012 8:52:37 AM | 61

To bad about Carlos Latuff.

Posted by: Penny | May 30, 2012 8:53:14 AM | 62

Brian @ 60, got a link for that?

Posted by: Cloned Poster | May 30, 2012 9:05:16 AM | 63

I was just checking out Carolos Latuff's cartoons, and he has done a few concerning the Syria situation. I wonder if the banning was an error?

His site has a link to another blogger's take on the kerfuffle, along with part of the post on his site.

Posted by: jawbone | May 30, 2012 9:47:23 AM | 64

Brian @ 55 -- I tried to view the YouTube you linked to, but it requires registration (for proof of being 18 or over), and I haven't decided whether I want to give Google any more access to my info... so didn't watch it. I appreciate that you offered a brief summary.

Posted by: jawbone | May 30, 2012 9:49:46 AM | 65

shabiha....ive never heard of any such thing....but i do notice the tendency for the terrorists and their supporters to lie and lie and lie

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 10:07:27 AM | 66

Syria: Hula massacre - massive propaganda machinery against the truth.
http://www.syrianews.cc/syria-state-shock-after-houla-massacre-696.html
Amnesty is part of this propaganda machinery: its goal is to put an end to Russian resistance and open Syria up to invasion...An Obomination...where a so called human rights organisation prepares the ground for mass murder

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 10:43:28 AM | 67

no58 www look there is bound to be, government does rarely get inherited from father to son, when people have got some say in it (yes I know George W. Bush but that is a different story ...)
my experience of authoritarian regimes is limited to the GDR, people's decisions living in these frameworks tend to be complex, and surveillance systems have vastly improved since GDR times. you only join an uprising in these circumstances if you think you have got support and a chance.
all I know is that massacres like the one in Houla are not done by political actors, nor by normal humans in a village fight or vendetta, but by secret service organisations with trained, drugged, brainwashed, pre-tortured, psychopath operators. It is not easy to kill a small child with your hands. And it is difficult to keep your mouth shut after you did it.
so killings "90's Algerian style" was the best analogy I read, and that implicates it might have been either side (and there are many more than just one side).


Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 10:57:44 AM | 68

The Russian foreign ministry has said today or yesterday regarding the Houla massacre, "At this stage, there should be an objective and impartial investigation conducted under the auspices of the UN monitoring mission in Syria." The Syrian government's own investigation of the massacre is due to be completed within the next day or so. I trust the Syrian government's investigation to be objective and impartial. But of course most of the world outside Syria doesn't trust the integrity of the government as I do. So an objective and impartial investigation under the auspices of the UN monitoring mission would be good for helping to bring the truth about this massacre to the world outside Syria, on condition that all due caution is used in handling untestable testimonies of partisans.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 30, 2012 11:45:10 AM | 69

I agree with Alistare Crooke that the killing was done by AlQaeda in Iraq forces. There were many such killings in Iraq with throats cut and beheadings.

The "style" is easily identified and no other force is known to use it.

Kudos to the Daily Mail which today has an OpEd that has a mostly correct take on the issue: Yes, Syria is a tragedy but it would be madness for Britain to intervene

The expressions of outrage over Houla and the consequent threats of military action all feed into the conventional Western narrative of the Syrian crisis whereby Assad is portrayed as a bloodthirsty tyrant and the rebels as heroic freedom-fighters trying to liberate the Syrian people from oppression.

It is a picture that has been sedulously cultivated by the anti-Assad opposition, who are masters of manipulative propaganda aimed at gullible Western politicians, broadcasters and protest groups.

But the truth about the violence in Syria is far more complex than Assad’s enemies would have us believe.
...
While the uprising began as a series of peaceful demonstrations by ordinary Syrians, the simplistic notion of good versus evil no longer reflects the reality.

Even on the most basic level, we do not know what actually happened at Houla. ‘Truth is the first casualty of war,’ goes the wise old dictum, and all we have at the moment are the contentions of either side.

The rebels are blaming Assad, while the President’s regime strongly disputes any responsibility for the killings at all, pointing out that most of the victims seem to have been shot at point-blank range, whereas the Government forces at the time were using heavy mortar fire against the rebels.

Self-serving propaganda? Perhaps, but in this most bitter of conflicts, tales of atrocities have often been exaggerated and exploited.

Only in February, for instance, just before a key UN vote on Syrian sanctions, we were told that more than 200 civilians were killed by Assad’s forces in the bloody shelling of Homs, a rebel stronghold.

But it subsequently turned out that the real death toll was 55.

Moreover, it should be recognised that the rebels stand accused of barbarity matching that of the Assad regime.
...Some try to explain the absence of mass rallies by claiming that the tyrannical nature of the government prevents them, but this will not wash. In Egypt, the police, army and security forces under President Mubarak were far stronger than those under Assad in Syria today, yet they still could not prevent huge popular protests.

There has been nothing like that in Syria, for the reality is that the opposition does not represent the will of the people. Instead, it is a largely Islamist force that wants to end Assad’s attachment to secular rule, under which — for all the regime’s other failings — the rights of religious minorities are respected.

The opposition’s co-ordinating body, the Syrian National Council, is dominated by the hardline Muslim Brotherhood, which supports the imposition of Sharia law. The council is strongly supported by armed jihadists on the ground who want to create an anti-Western Islamic state in Syria.

These zealots have been provided with both arms and financial backing by the fundamentalist Muslim regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as both want to promote ultra-conservative Islamism across the region.

It is grotesque that our own Foreign Secretary thinks that we have a duty to take up the cause of these fanatics in Syria who have no interest in negotiation or democracy.

Posted by: b | May 30, 2012 1:18:30 PM | 70

Avaaz has been lying about its "journalists" and actions in Syria:

The Great Escape: Has One NGO Been Lying About Its Role in Syria?

On the morning of February 28, the activist organization Avaaz reported that it had coordinated Conroy’s escape to Lebanon and that 13 activists within its network had been killed in the effort. “This operation was carried by Syrians with the help of Avaaz,” read the press release. “No other agency was involved.” By the end of the day, Avaaz founder Ricken Patel had been interviewed on CNN and the BBC, and The Guardian had published a short profile titled, “The activist organisation behind Paul Conroy’s rescue in Syria.” Admiring profiles in Time and on NPR soon followed.

A week after his escape, I called Conroy, who was recovering in a London hospital, to ask him about Avaaz’s role. “I can sum it up in one word,” he said. “Bollocks.” Conroy had never heard of Avaaz, he told me, until he “saw them on television, saying how [they] helped me get out.” Has Avaaz, a group that quickly became a darling among Arab Spring sympathizers in the West, been lying all this time?
...

As the piece proves, it has.

Posted by: b | May 30, 2012 1:20:13 PM | 71

b @ 70

Finally some mainstream sense. Lets just hope he keeps his job.

Posted by: Alexander | May 30, 2012 2:05:52 PM | 72

The BBC has a news ticker running quoting Reuters that the "rebels" have issued an ultimatum to Assad to abide by the Annan ceasefire agreement within the next 48 hours or face the consequences ...

"The joint leadership of the Free Army inside Syria announces that it is giving the regime a final 48 hour deadline to implement the resolutions of the UN Security Council,"

"It ends on Friday at 1200 (0900 GMT) then we are free from any commitment and we will defend and protect the civilians, their villages and their cities."

really? Thats the commitment they have stuck to religeously? .. I don't hold with sland but in this case, WTF?

Posted by: Rod | May 30, 2012 2:12:16 PM | 73

B #71, nothing perplexing about that, Ricken Patel of Avaaz and Eli Pariser founder of Avaaz' sister organization, MoveOn, are both founding members of J Street that as you know is "AIPAC light". It should explain what's behind all this funny business. Avaaz and MoveOn have over a million subscribers (that's a lot of people)that receive their smoke signals by email when they want to move public opinion about something or other. It seems they have branched out into something more sophisticated like propagating disinformation.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 2:38:14 PM | 74

73, something must have happened then, as 3 days ago the Free Syrian Army declared the Annan peace plan dead
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCA1XpFABNw

the Syrian regime is suspiciously quiet about the Houla massacre, by the way, so I suggest they know who did it, they have proof and they are using it ...

Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 2:48:14 PM | 75

somebody @ 75

Mah, Assad himself has indeed condemned the massacre. And Sana ha had several pieces on it. The real test is when they conclude on the investigation in a few days.

Posted by: Alexander | May 30, 2012 2:57:34 PM | 76

Rod #73, the US has issued the same ultimatum and Australia is willing to use force. Big meeting in Paris in the coming days to decide what to do about the regime they want gone by any means. If these countries that want a regime change by force think they will have another Libya cake walk, they are going to be very unpleasantly surprised.

Somebody #75, Syria has claimed to have proof every other day since over a year and is waiting for the opportune time to expose it. Your guess is as good as mine as to when that time will come.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 3:17:24 PM | 77

www they are not telling us, that is the advantage of being undemocratic and not having to compete in elections :-)), democratic regimes have to say something, even if it is a lie ...

I would be surprised if all that surveillance gear Siemens supplied was useless http://www.mdr.de/fakt/siemens106.html

the massacre story as told does make no sense at all 6 o'clock in the evening and returning 2:30 in the morning? in opposition controlled territory?
http://www.cnbc.com/id/47618732

Alexander, they are very quiet about it, considering that this is supposed to spark the huge sectarian explosion of the Middle East. I did not say they are silent.


Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 3:49:55 PM | 78

Somebody #78, my translator is not working. What's that Siemens phones-Syria article about?

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 4:16:41 PM | 79

Siemens supplying phone-surveilance system to Syrian gov.

Posted by: Alexander | May 30, 2012 4:31:22 PM | 80

Siemens has sold and serviced phone and internet surveillance technology to Syria up to 2009 possibly longer. Syrian activists that had been arrested in Syria and fled to Germany reported that Syrian authorities were informed of every step /upload they did.

Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 4:32:18 PM | 81

Problem is, the rebels has gotten a lot of sattelite-phones from the US, and they are not as straight-forward to tap as GSM mobile-networks.

Posted by: Alexander | May 30, 2012 4:32:53 PM | 82

Alexander, if you want to keep something secret do not use any - repeat any - phone
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/satphones-syria-and-surveillance


The massacre story is beginning to fall apart ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/shoes-give-clue-to-identity-of-houla-assailants-in-syria/2012/05/30/gJQANVrI2U_story.html

read the comment section - I did not know the comment section of the Washington Post is so good

"In Syria, shoes give clue to identity of Houla assailants ....ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The men who stormed the Abdel Razzaks’ home while carrying out a massacre in the Houla district of Syria were dressed like soldiers except for one potentially crucial detail, said a 10-year-old family member: They wore white shoes.

Hidden in a nearby barn, the boy watched as the thugs left the house and shot dead his 13-year-old friend Shafiq, who was standing across the street.


Analysts say the white shoes are one of several indicators that the slaughter of more than 100 people in this central Syrian cluster of villages was more than just another killing spree by the army of President Bashar al-Assad.

Nadim Houry, of Human Rights Watch, said the running shoes were one of the details cited by witnesses as evidence the people carrying out the attacks were not soldiers but members of the shadowy and much-feared group of pro-government militiamen known as the shabiha, who are playing an expanding role in the country’s deepening conflict."

this is my favourite comment:
"This story makes no sense. 1. Attackers dressed as soldiers. 2. Attackers wore white shoes. 3. Attackers were supporters of Assad. Questions? If they were supporters of Assad and didn't want to show it, wouldn't they have worn, say, ordinary civilian clothes? But they wore soldiers uniforms with white shoes? Does't that imply that they were not supporters of Assad who wanted someone to believe they were? Doesn't that mean that the opposition carried out the massacre and are now trying to make it look like supporters of Assad did? Why didn't the person who wrote this or an editor recognize what nonsense the story is? Either somebody is really dumb or the paper is willfully parroting the official Western propagandish view. In either case, you should know better."

Posted by: somebody | May 30, 2012 5:03:53 PM | 83

The regime claimed that satellite phones were supposedly provided by an Arabic news network and that most of the "unverified" clips recorded by camera phones were being satellite-phoned to the broadcaster. From a pro-Assad source:

http://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/al-jazeera-channel-smuggled-thuraya-communication-devices-into-syria/

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 5:16:30 PM | 84

Thanks for the translation, Somebody and Alexander

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 5:18:22 PM | 85

www @84....

its interesting that aljazeera and its lie think they can commit crimes with inmpunity: The Syrian people according to Lizzie Phelan back in january are aware of aljazeera criminal behavior:

'And of course there is also a lot of anger toward Qatar in particular because of the coverage actually of Aljazeera, with many people accusing Aljazeera of fabricating reports of violence by the army against the Syrian people'
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/220651.html

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 5:41:36 PM | 86

b @71
Those who tell lies to support their cause..prove their cause is not to be supported

Parviziyi @69:
'But of course most of the world outside Syria doesn't trust the integrity of the government as I do'

i presume by most of the world outside Syria you are referring to politicians....aka the 'international community'! Noone knows what most of the world thinks as noone has asked us!

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 5:46:33 PM | 87

NATO’s death squads responsible for Houla massacre: Analyst

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/243821.html

NATO behind Houla massacre'
Wed May 30, 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/243861.html

remember?
May 30, 2012 2:2 PM
"A few days ago Mr. Boutros Ghali informed me that the projectile which hit the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo was an act of (Bosnian) Muslim provocation". President Mitterrand of France, 1995. Innocent people had to die in order to justify the NATO attack on Serbia

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 5:57:06 PM | 88

The child that got away said something more important than the white shoes; he mentioned that the men had shaved heads and beards. Sounds to me like a description of some very religious people.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 6:06:54 PM | 89

Patrick Cockburn was on BBC and says he heard that it was done by Alawis villagers and that to him it seems plausible. I had an exchange on Twitter with BBC journo @fulelo who reported it but in a more tendencious way.

Posted by: Sophia | May 30, 2012 6:39:07 PM | 90

@ 'somebody' #83: I didnt't go to the link at the WashingtonPost.com to read their story, whatever it was, about the shoes allegedly worn by the killers at Houla. But in any case I'll mention that some Syrian soldiers dressed in army uniform do wear running shoes (including white-colored) instead of heavy black boots and it makes sense if you think about it. Here's a video example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0D_MbbALtFs#t=115s

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 30, 2012 7:17:19 PM | 91

Journalists as terrorists

West's Houla Syria Narrative Crumbles, Expels Syrian Diplomats Anyway"

Remember the original Official Story, told in lockstep by all the western mainstream media, was that the atrocity had to have been committed by the Syrian army as the deaths were caused by artillery shells and the Syrian army was the only player with artillery shells. After the initial wave of lies, it is now clear that the great majority of, if not all, the deaths were caused by execution by small arms and knives.

This killing makes no sense for anybody working for the Syrian government (in fact, Syrian military response to immense provocation has throughout been very restrained). Reading between the lines of the account by the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, it appears there may have been an encounter between Syrian government forces and an organized anti-government militia. After this encounter, some group set up the false flag by murdering a large number of civilians, including a lot of children. The group that would do this is known to Americans as 'al Qaeda', and the 'journalists' who perpetrated the lies are the propaganda arm of 'al Qaeda', and thus on any definition are themselves terrorists. The plan of the conspirators was to set up a false flag attack on civilians that would lead to the planned UN condemnation of the Syrian government and the planned expulsion by western countries of Syrian diplomats.

The long-term plan is to force a breach between Syria and Russia, and thus remove the Russian military base from the Mediterranean, a plan that has not yet worked: "Syria: Russia refuses to change stance despite William Hague's efforts". There is no plan to put troops on the ground in Syria.
http://xymphora.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/journalists-as-terrorists.html

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 7:18:17 PM | 92

The child that got away said something more important than the white shoes; he mentioned that the men had shaved heads and beards. Sounds to me like a description of some very religious people.

Posted by: www | May 30, 2012 6:06:54 PM | 89

yes indeed....but the media will overlook that momentary revelation

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 7:19:27 PM | 93

@ Brian #87 : Most of the world believes what they're told in their newspapers. They find their newspapers to be generally trustworthy on most other subjects. They don't have other knowledge to lead them to distrust what they're being told by the newspapers about Syria. What the politicians in foreign countries say about Syria reflects and reinforces the beliefs of the generality of voters who read the foreign pages of the newspapers in those countries. A couple of days ago the governments of all the larger Western countries expelled the Syrian ambassadors from their countries because of the Houla massacre. The vast majority of citizens in those countries have to be believe that the expulsions were justified; unlike us, they don't have a knowledge basis for doubting it was justified and they don't have the time to acquire it.

Posted by: Parviziyi | May 30, 2012 7:32:16 PM | 94

Parviziyi 94

most governments claiming to be democracies are really autoctratic...the minimal democratic element is controlled by the media..but many people are aware the media lies...it makes no difference tho as the govts act as if we the peoplee dont exist.

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 9:16:17 PM | 95

Here is an interesting clip of rebels fighting in Syria. We can note the following...many have shaven heads and beards, they wear white tennis shoes, and they are wearing black protective vests.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubaFuTmoehc&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: Jim Steel | May 30, 2012 9:58:44 PM | 96

will we ever see rebels fighting in the US to bring freedom and democracy? or does that only happen in other countries?

Posted by: brian | May 30, 2012 10:03:28 PM | 97

Maybe I'm too old but it sounds like the work of School of the Americas graduates, Salvadoran, Honduran or Guatemalan right wing hit squads. Anyone see John Negroponte lately?

Posted by: Biklett | May 31, 2012 12:35:51 AM | 98

Jim Steel #96, your video doesn't have anyone with a shaved head and a long beard, which is a characteristic of the Nejidis (Wahibis) or people of the Nejed. But a shaved head coupled with a beard could also be just about anyone masquerading as a Salafi to put you on a false track just like anyone can masquerade as a soldier by simply wearing the uniform of one, so we really can't blame a particular group from the sketchy testimony of a child that could have been easily coached into saying these things.

You still have to take into account the reported many fighters that had been brought from Libya to fight on the side of the Syrian insurgents and those Libyans are of the most ferocious and ruthless kind having cut their teeth on fighting Americans in Afghanistan and pardoned by them in Libya when they joined the fight against Gaddafi. A lot of things are blamed on less friendly Syrians, but nobody ever said anything about them turning people into headless corpses. This barbarous butchering is the signature of religion-driven foreigners and not of Syrians.

Today there are another 9 or 13 civilians found executed with their hands tied behind their backs at Deir al-Zour. With so much happening and blackening Syria's reputation, it's absurd to be thinking that the regime could be committing these horrors.

Posted by: www | May 31, 2012 1:13:37 AM | 99

93 brian, you probably would not say "shaved heads and shaved beards" but "shaved heads and beards", so presumably that was what was meant as they were trying to look like Syrian soldiers I suppose ...

Posted by: somebody | May 31, 2012 2:00:51 AM | 100

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