Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 30, 2012

How Did This Shelling Kill "60 Soldiers"?

On Friday, Syrian troops shelled a suburb of Damascus, killing an estimated 125 civilians and 60 soldiers.

Dear Associated Press.

Did shelling by Syrian troops really kill "60 soldiers"?


There was noone else involved? Just "civilians" and "soldiers"?


Posted by b on June 30, 2012 at 3:45 UTC | Permalink


The Western press says that the 14,000 killed are either soldiers or civilians and nothing in between; there's isn't a single revolutionary, rebel, terrorist, insurgent or freedom fighter killed by the soldiers as the soldiers so far have killed nothing but civilians.

The Syrian government's press agency says the Syrian army only kills insurgents and terrorists and that it hasn't killed a single civilian since the start of the insurgency and all the civilians killed are by the insurgents that are doing it to pin it on the army.

Which one is telling the truth? Neither.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 5:05 utc | 1

On an average, 1/4 of the killed are soldiers, 1/4 rebels, 1/4 civilians killed by rebels, 1/4 civilians killed by soldiers. I think that is a fair ballpark estimate.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 5:32 utc | 2

President Assad tellis it like it is:
President al-Assad : Syria Built its Policy on National & Popular Compass, We Don't Accept any Type of Solution from Abroad Regardless of its Content
In an interview with the Iran's Channel 4 on Thursday evening, President al-Assad said the Syrian people play the primary role in preserving Syria as a state, since the role of the state institutions and army can't be separated from the people, and that otherwise the state could not have stood in the face of the popular stance, noting that this was expressed through the spontaneous demonstrations in the street.

President al-Assad emphasized that the solid internal situation is the real barrier which prevents the success of any foreign interference, whether this interference is through pumping money or sending weapons, stressing that the internal and external situations are inseparable and that one cannot assign percentages to their role in the crisis.
President al-Assad said that the state's responsibility, in accordance with the Constitution, is to protect all its citizens in all the Syrian territories, and when it takes out a terrorist, it protects dozens and perhaps hundreds or thousands, because a terrorist targets citizens from one place to another.

"We didn't release any person whose hands are stained with Syrian blood; we released persons who have taken up arms as a result of false understanding or ignorance or because of the need for money, but they have not committed criminal acts, and they made a self-initiative and turned themselves in to the state and asked to be allowed to return to the correct position in society… it's natural to be tolerant with those and give them the opportunity to be patriotic people again," he explained....

as for the turks and their dream of a new ottoman empire: IT SUCKS!...they want a empire yet cower before the US and EU and willingly do their way to start an empire

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 5:36 utc | 3

AP like Reuters is not really a press association...its more like a clearing house of state propaganda.... but like all media organisations...people are decived by its professional airs

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 5:38 utc | 4

Although, in my impression, rebels or terrorists seem to be responsible for more of the outright massacres and roadside bombs that kill mostly civilian, And overall probably kill more civilian than the army.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 5:41 utc | 5

Posted by: www | Jun 30, 2012 1:05:01 AM | 1

the syrian govt is telling the truth...WWWs view is like that of those leftists who cry : NO to NATO and NO to Assad....which in the end is always yes to NATO

if you monitor events in syria and can show egs of where syrian forces are killing civilians...Please do so.

If you go to the US embassy FB page you can see all sorts of videos alleging persons esp kids killed by 'assads thugs'...a close examination shows dead people and voice overs claiming they were killed by 'assads thugs' evidence they were

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 5:42 utc | 6

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30, 2012 1:41:41 AM | 5

has the army killed civilians???

lets see what the people say:

the idea is to undermine the syrian army and so defence against the terrorist insurgency by claiming they are killng civilians..the way the insurgency kills civilians...not by accident but design...few if any syrians in syria believe this...

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 5:45 utc | 7

in the meantime in Jordan ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2012 5:50 utc | 8

The army kill civilians, not by design, by accident, rebels kill civilians both by accident and by design. That's how I would differenciate it.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 6:01 utc | 9

Brian #3, I believe him when he says things like that but what he's fighting now are the problems of the past. People are still hurting from past oppression and it will take more than nice words from the president or a new constitution to make people forget. What has really changed with the new constitution?

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 6:03 utc | 10

>>> If you go to the US embassy FB page ... >>>

Brian, if you go to the government press organ, SANA...

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 6:05 utc | 11

>>> The army kill civilians, not by design, by accident>>>

Alexander #9, that's what Israelis say in Gaza and that's what Americans say in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They also have an obscene and dehumanizing word for it, "collateral damage".

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 6:17 utc | 12

Somebody #8, the monarchies have been helping Islamic fundamentalist movements in Yemen, Tunisia, Libya and now Syria to appease them keep them away from their own doorsteps, but it won't work for ever. Sooner or later they turn will come up. The Islamic fundamentalists are just starting to make demands in Jordan and the movement is spreading.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 6:52 utc | 13

it is completely useless to look at this from an ethical point of view, the "rebels" shoot at soldiers, policemen, shahiba, secret police agents, personal foes whoever .. from or within populated areas, basically you can accuse them to use human shields and soldiers, secret service, shahibas are shooting, shelling whom, and there are snipers trying to achieve what?

There is this tweet from a Russia Today correspondent that sums it up:

Maria Finoshina ‏@MFinoshina_RT

@m7mdFOx people die. fact. but it's impossible to determine who is killing who.and why.

Even the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood acknowledges that their decision to take up arms resulting in the Hama massacre was problematic

I think Assad did survive
Al Jazeera explains why

"Despite his government's history of brutal repression, Bashar al-Assad still enjoys support from parts of Syria's business elites, especially in Damascus and Aleppo, and some in minority communities (Christian, Shia and others) whom the regime had long cultivated. The opposition was divided from the beginning over whether massive reform or the end of the regime was their goal. It divided further when part of the opposition took up arms, and began calling for international military intervention. The non-violent opposition movement for freedom and democracy, which still rejects calls for military intervention, survives, but is under extraordinary threat."

And I guess Syria is getting really brutal now because the government will now get rid of the opposition on the ground.

there is also a funny tweet explaining how

Rime Allaf ‏@rallaf

Cancel Geneva, ‪#Syria‬ already has unity gov: Lavrov Foreign Minister, Vahidi Defense, Maliki Oil, Nasrallah Border Patrol, Amin Information.

The US definitively has stepped back

"Doubts Cast on Turkey's Story of Jet
U.S. Intelligence, Contradicting Ankara, Indicates Aircraft Was Shot Down by Syria in Its Own Airspace, Officials Say "

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2012 7:02 utc | 14

the simple fact is that "Terrorist" are Civilians.... now I think we in the west forget that, but Terrorism is just a crime like "murder" or "property damage", the only difference is that it is politically motivated Murder or property damage....

thus if the dead are not 80% civilians on any day, then the Syrian government must be killing all of the western special forces.... the simple fact it also that the police is a CIVILIAN structure....

Posted by: simon | Jun 30 2012 8:13 utc | 15

You have to account for the opposition being comprised not only of sincere freedom-fighters but of gangsters and terrorists and all of them falsely claiming to be part of the FSA while on the other hand, you have the government as well as Brian here claiming that all insurgents are nothing but terrorists, which is equally false. The consoling fact is that the US doesn't want an all-out war on Syria because it's not prepared to see all of the Middle East in a war. Russia may back out of a military intervention to come to Syria's help but Iran and Hezbollah wouldn't. They know that they are next in line as soon as the Syrian regime falls.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 8:17 utc | 16

>>> as for the turks and their dream of a new ottoman empire: IT SUCKS!...they want a empire yet cower before the US and EU and willingly do their way to start an empire >>>

Brian #3, you haven't understood the new Ottoman Empire being preached by David Oglu and Erdogan. They are talking about an empire of a different kind.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 8:27 utc | 17

Undoubtedly you've seen video footage of desolate, ruined war-zone neighborhoods in Homs city. For the sake of seeing the full picture in Homs city, I think you would benefit from also watching boring, pedestrian video footage from some of the peaceful, law-abiding neighborhoods of Homs city, such as this one recorded on 5 Jun 2012:

I agree with Bashar Assad when he said on Thursday 28 Jun 2012 that the rebels very intentionally want to create chaos. The more sheer wanton chaos they can create, the better for them and the worse for the government. A major way to achieve this is to fire guns to disturb law and order, without having a target other than that. In other words, use sniper fire from urban buildings to destroy the mundane commerce you see in the above video.

In other words, the target to be killed is not the civilians, nor the security forces; the target is law and order and normal life. I have collected a bunch of videos showing the rebels doing this -- or, at least, that's how I interpret what I see in these videos -- dated April, May and June of this year:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 30 2012 8:46 utc | 18

Posted by: www | Jun 30, 2012 2:05:52 AM | 11
yes i do go to SANA www... at least there im not dealing with writers with no nom de plums! their articles are accurate as can be determined by other sources..aka syrians on twitter facebook etc...
If you care to you may challenged there articles on this forum:
take this one:
Indonesia Warns of Foreign Interference in Syria Internal Affairs

NOW www is that is that not accurate?

as for the western media..LOL

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 10:19 utc | 19

heres another from SANA:

Foreign Ministry: Armed Terrorist groups Foil Efforts to Evacuate Children, Wounded People from Homs Neighborhoods for 5th Time

is this true? most likely...but the western press wont tell it this way...

the idea that the state media is always lying is a furfy...even Press TV, which lied about Libya is telling the truth about syria...having read them over the past year thats my assessment.

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 10:23 utc | 20

Syria: Who Arms the Gang Called “Free Syrian Army”?

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 11:23 utc | 21

The Jihadists internet forums provide a lot of information about militants and arms flow to Syria to be used against the government. It comes from neighboring countries and Turkey. For instance the Ansar al-Mujahedeen (7) website, an international militants voice (including Russian wahhabi militants videos), started to call for jihad in Syria. One of the forum writers nicknamed Nasr al-Din al-Hosni says emir Abu Usamah al-Mojahar (8) died at the Iraq-Syria border while involved in ammunition transfers. On February 12 Hamam Said representing the Muslim brothers in Jordan also called for jihad against the Syrian government, saying joining the ranks of the «Free Syria army» was an «Islamic duty».

Posted by: brian | Jun 30 2012 11:31 utc | 22

At Syria's border, after months of waiting, the weapons arrive

"True the weapons came," said one Free Syria Army commander, Abdul-Rahman Hallak, sitting in the old police station's meeting room. "There have been around 5,000. That's true too. But it is not enough to win a war."
Weapons are not the only new arrivals. The rebels acknowledged that three days ago an American man, believed to be a government employee, passed through. He had first been shown around a nearby refugee camp and was brought into Syria by rebels who are not from here; his destination unknown.

The rebels, however, disavow any knowledge though of other foreigners, particularly Arab nationals who are reputed to be entering Syria in increasing numbers as the war grinds on. Early on Friday morning, the Guardian witnessed three Libyan men and two Gulf state nationals arrive in the southern Turkish province of Hatay on a flight from Istanbul.

Two of the new arrivals were carrying backpacks and provisions, but it was not clear if they were planning to join an insurgency across the border.

Posted by: b | Jun 30 2012 11:57 utc | 23

Early on Friday morning, the Guardian witnessed three Libyan men and two Gulf state nationals arrive in the southern Turkish province of Hatay on a flight from Istanbul.

Why is the Guardian reporting this, what is the motive behind it? The Guardian gets it's order about Syria from Zionist Israel.

Posted by: hans | Jun 30 2012 12:03 utc | 24

Not sure what to make of all the news that Suadis are massing troops to move south of Syria. I checked online sites and no mention although many satellite stations like Press TV and RT are making all the noise of apending Saudi buildup in Jordan.

Is this a pressure tactic orchestrated by the US during the Geneva meetings or did the Saudis go crazy all of a sudden.

Posted by: ana souri | Jun 30 2012 12:22 utc | 25
"BEIRUT — Activists say Syrian troops have regained control of a rebellious Damascus suburb after a 10-day assault that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local activist Mohammed Saeed say troops recaptured Douma outside the capital late Friday."

"Cengiz Candar, a prominent Turkish analyst of the Middle East, says: “Unless the US changes its position, Turkey has reached [the limit of] its capacity to act.”

Although Ankara rallies against Assad and hosts nearly 30,000 refugees, as well as Syria’s political and military opposition, it wants to stop things spiralling out of control.

Hence the suggestions - increasingly heard from foreign diplomats and Syrian activists - that Turkey is operating several policies on Syria at the same time, some concealed within others, like Russian dolls.

Most visible among these are the country’s call for the UN to act against Assad and its effort to unite the fractious Syrian opposition, much of which is based in Istanbul.

Less obviously, Turkey is taking steps that could reduce the risk of border incidents - and prepare the way for refugees to remain on its soil long-term.

While refugee camps in the Turkish province of Hatay harbour men who say they sometimes cross over to Syria to fight the regime, Ankara is emptying such outposts and moving their inhabitants to sturdier camps on a less porous part of the border.

Then there is the question of arms; the demand for weapons is voiced not only by the FSA officials in Antakya, but almost uniformly by refugees throughout the camps in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have both announced plans to arm rebels in Syria. Turkey has denied reports that it has helped arms shipments reach the border. But some foreign diplomats suspect that Turkey has shifted from a “blind eye” policy towards arms shipments to a policy of more active assistance.

Possible factors are Ankara’s desire to avoid any build-up of arms in its own violent south-east, and its preference for any weapons that reach Syria to end up with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood rather than with more Salafist organisations of the sort favoured by Riyadh.

Any direct intervention in Syria could be risky for Ankara - not least because Damascus could play the ‘PKK card’, allowing the Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan Workers party, or PKK, to attack Turkey from Syrian territory. Turkey, the EU and the US all classify the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Meanwhile, officials in Ankara, and even many of the Syrian refugees, express doubts about the fighting abilities of the FSA officials and their chances of prevailing against Assad."

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2012 12:28 utc | 26

Is Turkey reciting an "entrance ritual" necessary for a full membership in the "Western club"?

It seems everything it's doing it does unwillingly and reluctantly, and often appeals to the Us and Nato to end its misery.

My impression is that Turkey fears of being abandoned by the West, stranded half-way though the course, having aroused hostilities all around and having nurtured uncontrollable forces in its own territory. I hope the whole construction directed at Syria blows instead on Erdogan's face.

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2012 13:46 utc | 27

But that would be fact, the US got cold feet ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2012 14:02 utc | 28

Somebody #27. not cold feet, somebody, but smarts. Any attack on Syria by any party will light up the whole Middle East. The US doesn't want that.

BTW flipping to Egypt for a sec, I just heard that Dr Morsi's wife, Najla, is a Christian Copt. 2 of his 5 children born in the US are American citizens but none of them are at the ceremony. Morsi's wife is there but sitting in the women's upper balcony. At the swearing-in ceremony and at the military parade grounds where authority is being transfered from the army to the President, el-Baradei and Amr Moussa are sitting in the front row of the guests of honor.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 14:43 utc | 29

@ www
"Any attack on Syria by any party will light up the whole Middle East. The US doesn't want that."

Who tells you the US doesn't want that?

Of course, if the assessment of ongoing events is given from the point of view of formal logic, then indeed, it gives the impression that the situation is getting out of the United States' control and in many regions an independent, yet unpredictable scenario begins to develop. But if one uses the basis of those new models which are being implemented today by American strategists, then it is understood that here scenarios are being realized, which include such geopolitical innovations as cyber-warfare and the theory of directed chaos. Whole analytical groups exist, in particular, under the leadership of American theorist, mathematician and physicist Steven Mann, who develops models of non-linear action on processes. The idea is to project only boundaries and the end goal. Tactics, the process of moving forward toward that goal, can develop in the most unpredictable and chaotic manner. Actually, this gives the Americans great credibility in their explanations that they are not involved in these processes. But at the same time, the set goal is eventually reached and turns out to be in the very interests of the U.S., despite all the intermediate, totally unpredictable events. That is the theory of directed chaos.

Posted by: Antifo | Jun 30 2012 16:03 utc | 30

Antifo, the US wouldn't do anything that would jeopardize oil deliveries from the gulf countries. The gulf countries themselves wouldn't want to have a war starting in their backyard. If the oil stops flowing, the first to suffer losses would be the oil Arabs that have over a trillion dollars invested in the American economy. Speaking of gulf Arabs with heavy investments in the West, do you have an idea of how much Qatar has already invested in London and Paris? The Saudis probably have much more invested there and neither of them would want to see a war started in the ME either.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 16:46 utc | 31

Antifo, that is actually a very important point. The US develops their strategies on a lot of parameters, using algorithms in related categories to meteorology and stock exchange prediction, and what might look chaotic and therfore hard to fit to revealing plans in a conspiratorical sence, then only the most blatantly obvious plots are seen, but the US are not limited to those vulgar plans, they pick strategical moves on wholly other levels than what was feasible some decades ago. But a large entity like the US obviously would profit from a coordinated foreign policy that even different administrations have to adhere to, even if single actions contradict their stated policy, they fit overall in a greater strategy that it would be too costly to deviate from. This of course involves some murcu actions, as strategies are laid out without constraints such as international law, or very loosely adhering to such rules. When you look at the big picture, of what patterns US foreign policy follows, it's obviously more to it than their stated political principles at work.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 17:09 utc | 32

there are striking similarities between the current position of Turkey, and that of Israel in the war against Lebanon in 2006

Israel was goaded, reluctantly, into the disastrous ground invasion by Us neocons headed by Condoleeza Rice

Erdogan is in the same position, fears an analogous fate, and pleads for support before plunging irreversibly in the Syrian adventure

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2012 17:33 utc | 33

Claudio, the Israelis didn't need any goading, they had been planning and itching for it for year. The goading or arm twisting happened one week into the war when Israel wanted to pull away from it and the US would not let it. It was as much America's war as it was Israel's.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 17:44 utc | 34

www, exactly, my analogy regards the decision to invade, I wasn't very clear

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2012 18:11 utc | 35

I don't see how it can be argued that the US and Israel are pulling away from conflict. They expect this aggression to pay off because it has been meticulously planned and because the strategic goals against Lebanon, Hezbollah, and Iran are absolutely wedded to the aggression; and there has been no wavering as to goals and projected outcomes. The criminality and hubris at the core of all this represents an irrational mindset.

Nations that play with chaos, as if it were a toy, will get chaos. Sowing the wind, they get the whirlwind.

The psychotics who are orchestrating this crisis feel the confidence that rises mostly in those who believe their own bullshit, who have placed all their faith in the Will to Power, in the doctrine of guile and the overwhelming genius of their plans, holding the high cards of their more numerous and superior weapons, and the belief that they have accounted for every variable and potential mistake or misstep. History is replete with examples of this kind of madness. The same results are to be expected.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 30 2012 19:06 utc | 36

Results of today's meeting in Geneva from Jazeera:

World powers agree to Syria transition plan

Proposed unity government to include members of the present administration as well as opposition by "mutual consent".

Last Modified: 30 Jun 2012 18:17

Kofi Annan told reporters "We must work together to implement what has been agreed" [AFP]

World powers have agreed that a national unity government should be set up inSyria to resolve the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces trying to oust him.

A crunch meeting in Geneva on Saturday agreed that a transitional government "could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent", said Kofi Annan, the United Nations and Arab League special envoy on Syria.

Critics said the breakthrough was a watered down version of Annan's Syria plan that leaves open whether
President Bashar al-Assad can be part of the transition government.

Annan said Saturday "it is for the people of Syria to come to a political agreement".

He said "the hard work starts now. We must work together to implement what has been agreed".

Russia had refused to back a provision that would call for Assad to step down to make way for a unity government.

Asked what the transition plan spelled for Assad, Annan said: "The document makes it clear that we have provided guidelines and principles to assist the Syrian parties as they move ahead with the transition and establish a transition government and go through changes required. The future of Assad will be left to them.

Pressed if members from the regime who have engaged in repression would be part of the interim government, he said: "I would doubt that Syrians... would select people with blood on their hands to lead them."

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said that the Syria plan agreed to by major powers "paves the way for a post-Assad'' government.

She said Assad "will still have to go, he will never pass the mutual consent test given the blood on his hands'.'

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 19:20 utc | 37

Hilary, at first you lol, then you realize she can have you clipped with a word in the right ear, then you shudder.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 30 2012 19:38 utc | 38

@4, AP and Reuters are cordyceps for innocent human minds. But who are these insincere leftists to whom you refer?

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 30 2012 19:41 utc | 39

Copeland, you called it right; the initial 2004 plan to take out Iran is still on but rather than again first taking out Hezbollah and risking another failure à la 2006, this time they're going after Syria first before trying Hezbollah. Same shit but taking a different road to get to it. And trying to get all three at the same time is an impossible task. The one the US wants to really get is Hezbollah. There's nothing in Syria that the US wants. Nobody can move on Iran with Hezbollah at the ready.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 19:50 utc | 40

@ 37

Hillary is a scary goolish creature that you never know quite where stand.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 19:54 utc | 41

>>> World powers have agreed that a national unity government should be set up in Syria to resolve the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces trying to oust him.>>> (Annan Final Plan)

I think the concept is great, but which opposition forces are being talked about? There are parliamentary opposition people in Syria and Syrian opposition groups in Istanbul, a different opposition group in Paris, opposition groups calling themselves the Free Syria Army currently fighting Syria's military, and there are a dozen or so different opposition groups fighting within Syria under the banner of the FSA without having anything to do with the FSA. Which of these opposition were they talking about in Geneva? Apart from this confusing element about which opposition, the idea of having the oppostion sharing in the government makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: www | Jun 30 2012 20:06 utc | 42

background to www’s 36 post:

Today’s and yesterday’s press in CH, radio as well, report that Iran will not participate in the meet today at the UN (Geneva.) Because Obama (aka envoys like Hill) will not sit down with Iran. (see link from Information clearing house.)

So KSA (Saudi) had to be convinced to not attend. They agreed to keep out. So the participants are the big Five (Security Council), Turkey, Iraq, Quatar and Koweit. Lame. Strikingly nobody mentioned that maybe Syria could be present? Not a word...

Negotiations, it was said, are all about how to manage a ‘transition’ - between the lines it is hinted at that Russia is on board. *No surprise*, as I stated before.

Meanwhile, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, violently bashed Syria, in a report published last Wednesday. Quarrels and arguments... about a resolution that will be, or not, transmitted to the International Criminal Court, because the ‘culprits’ are like ...everyone. Their report attributes the Houla massacre to Gvmt. forces, but adds, well one can’t know really, the final words are not out, no ‘bodies / persons responsible’ can really be identified. The Syrian delegate left the room while this discussion was going on. China, Russia, Iran supported Syrian. These countries, in this meeting, supported the Annan plan.

for the result, for now, see www 36.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 30 2012 20:43 utc | 43

Madame Clinton, the lady with the snake hairdo Homer had in mind:

"And thereon was set as a crown the Gorgon, grim of aspect, glaring terribly, and about her were Terror and Rout." Iliad; 11, 35.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 30 2012 21:00 utc | 44

Any declaration from this meeting is null and void - a dead on arrival mission, imo.You'd think since this meeting was about Syria, the Syrian government would've been present to present their view on the way forward..But what do we get? The financiers and backers of the terrorists groups from beacons of democracies like Qatar, Kuwait etc...This will make for a classic comedy if it wasn't that serious..

And these "states" have taken it upon themselves to decide and determine which future Syria must take...The word hubris is not enough to describe this..The worse part is, Annan, the convenient tool of US/NATOGCC/UN, have the nerve to deliver the message and not even acknowleged that there're armed gangs causing chaos with the help of the very countries he's had the meeting with..This must be the joke of the century...

So far, from the way things are going, it's evident the "rebels", whoever they are, will be crush as no country wants to intervene militarily..Don't be fooled by the sudden Turkish troop deployment. it's purely for domestic consumption..Notice how the main incident that brought Turkey to this point has been brushed under the carpet and everyone's now talking about Turkish troop deployment and not the Jet incident???

Plan A, B and C has failed..Looks more like they're seeking a way out to regroup..

Posted by: Zico | Jun 30 2012 22:02 utc | 45

Really nothing has changed after this latest UN decision.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 22:11 utc | 46

Good background article by M K Bhadrakumar in Asia Times Online: "Syria puts double whammy on Turkey"

" ... It is against the totality of this background that the Syrian action against the Turkish aircraft needs to be weighed. Damascus has a reputation for "poker diplomacy". It may have conveyed a host of signals to Turkey (and its Western allies):
Syria's air-defense system is effective and lethal;
There will be a price to pay if Turkey keeps escalating its interference in Syria;
Turkey's military superiority has its limits;
The Syrian crisis can easily flare up into a regional crisis."">">

Posted by: Headache | Jun 30 2012 22:19 utc | 47

re 39

the initial 2004 plan to take out Iran is still on but rather than again first taking out Hezbollah and risking another failure à la 2006, this time they're going after Syria first before trying Hezbollah.

The trouble I have with this, is that Iran is not a vital objective. Many Israelis have admitted this. That Netanyahu is so determined, speaks of an ulterior objective. It must be ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Of course reducing Syria to impotence still plays an important role, as does isolating Hizbullah.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 30 2012 22:20 utc | 48

following on the analogy Turkey 2012 - Israel 2006 (see posts #32-34), we must add Georgia 2008, pushed to invade South Ossetia

it seems there's a price to be paid in exchange for participation in the "permanent war" lobby

Qatar is paying it with exceptional good-will, but far from its boundaries

the Us is sending its allies in the front-line against its strategic rivals (Iran, Russia); only in Pakistan it has to do the hard work itself (but among the Afghan Talibans some groups seem willing to help); probably there's a strategic decision to use Us troops mostly in central and eastern Asia, and disentangle itself from the Middle East; and its allies must prove their worth and fill the void with wars by procurement ...

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2012 22:21 utc | 49

The output of today's international meeting in Geneva is the following "Final Communique" text:

The text includes "principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led transition". In a comment after the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, echoing what the Final Communique itself says, "I wish to emphasize here that the political transition process in Syria should be led by the Syrian people and truly owned by the people of Syria. As for the specific issues as the composition of the 'transitional governing body' and its operation, they should be agreed on the basis of a dialogue among Syrian government and other relevant parties of Syria." . And I add that if no such agreement is obtained among the parties (and there won't be) then that part of the Final Communique isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Echoing the Chinese foreign minister, the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov commented after the meeting: "We consider it to be of key importance that there is no attempt in the [Final Communique] document to impose upon the Syrian side any [specific] kind of transitional process." . (By the way the day before the Geneva meeting Lavrov said: "I felt Hillary Clinton’s position has changed: She said she understands our position." ).

In the Final Communique the participant countries reiterated that they "are opposed to any further militarization of the conflict".

Kofi Annan in a comment after the meeting stressed that the political process must be implemented in a secure and quiet environment, which requires the disarming of armed groups.

Here's one of the Final Communique's sentences that was probably written by Kofi Annan: "The conflict in Syria will only end when all sides are assured that there is a peaceful way towards a common future for all in Syria." That sentence is not just froth, it is a falsehood. Both the rebels and the government are on record agreeing with each other that it's a falsehood. The truth is that the conflict will only end when the armed rebels are assured that they are going to be hung, drawn, and quartered.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 30 2012 22:22 utc | 50

The west giving false hope to the rebels only prolongs this bloodbath, at the expence of the Syrian people, and is totally irresponsible, when considering the west really isn't going to change the outcome in the long run, they will only draw out the battle in time and blood. If not for the precedence set in Libya, the Syrian rebels wouldn't have taken up arms with the expectation of the west backing them up with airpower (no-fly-zone), so the Russian and Chinese position is really important to reset the standard for future conflicts, that outside meddling will not be tolerated.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 30 2012 22:56 utc | 51

>>> background to www’s 36 post: >>>

Thanks for the helping hand, Noirette.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 5:43 utc | 52

48, claudio, you can add Libya, where France and Britain did it, and it needed Sarkozy to get it done (who was preesumably blackmailed as some people must
have known about him being financed by Gaddafi.)

I agree, that is the plan. It is unworkable though, as everybody pushed will jump the fence when they can. Quatar will, Turkey will. Israel probably is unable to.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 5:45 utc | 53

Zico #44, Qatar are not the bad guys in this story. I don't agree with what it's doing in Syria, but its intention is not evil.
If you add up its plusses and the minusses, you'd find a heavier leaning towards the positives about it.
The Syrian regime was being constantly reminded for a year that it must change things but it didn't take any of these seriously.
Of course Qatar needs to improve itself too, but I don't think that things are that bad there.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 6:03 utc | 54

>>> The west giving false hope to the rebels only prolongs this bloodbath>>>

Have to disagree with you, Alexander #50, the West and the East have unlimited funds and can keep the carnage going fo decades and I wouldn't be surprised
if it did. On the other hand, you have a regime that is adamant about staying in power while refusing to make meaningful changes that would stop the carnage.
The West and the East are responsible but so is the regime.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 6:10 utc | 55

www @54

On the other hand, you have a regime that is adamant about staying in power while refusing to make meaningful changes that would stop the carnage.
The West and the East are responsible but so is the regime.

The "regime" is now a legitimate government, it has more support then most NATO/USA. There is no regime but a elected government.

Posted by: hans | Jul 1 2012 6:39 utc | 56

Zico #44, Qatar are not the bad guys in this story.

On the other hand, you have a regime that is adamant about staying in power while refusing to make meaningful changes that would stop the carnage.

So suddenly Qatar is an angel and has good intentions re Syria...Even to the point of funding terrorist groups to kill the very Syrians he's so concerned about..Try this twisted logic on some high school kids because it won't fly here.Well guess what? By your logic, so is Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups..From their point of view, they all have good intentions..I can't believe you're out here shilling for the criminal thani family whole deposed his own father in a US backed coup and painting his rule/policies as some sort of noble cause..It's taken you a while to expose yourself for who you really are but slow but surely, your own postings give you away.

I guess you're one of them quasi-leftist liberals who for some strange reason, support Western imperial aggression under the guise of "humanitarian intervention"..They often say stupid things like, "we don't support war but there needs to be an interventions to stop the bloodshed" - forgetting that this same "intervention" kills far more of the same people it was meant to save.

And also, who're you to determine whether the "regime" is adamant or not? Do you say that because Syrian government policies don't agree with your views? Will you agree if the Syrian president tells the al thani family to step down because they're not democratically elected?

What next? That Saudi Arabia will be championing democracy all across the region?

I'm really assuming what you said was your attempt at sarcasm but if not, then your hypocrisy leave much to be desired.

Posted by: Zico | Jul 1 2012 6:43 utc | 57

oh the good guys against the bad guys ... again ...

look, if the map of the Ottoman empire had survived Middle Eastern resources would have been shared among Middle Eastern population making the region a power house to be reckoned with.
As is the US guarantees the safety of tiny Gulf monarchies where the riches are ahared in a small population. That makes those Gulf monarchies rich but dependant and weak.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 7:45 utc | 58

ap definitively has gone partisan

Syrians brand world talks on crisis a failure

"In the single most serious incident, mortar fire killed 30 civilians at a funeral in the
town of Zamalka, 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Damascus, the Britain-based watchdog said."

And this is China`s take

"A booby-trapped car went off in the suburb of Damascus on Saturday evening, pro-government radio and activists reported.

The blast was reported by both parties, but great disparity clouded the details with the absence of official comments.

The pro-government Sham FM radio said the car was meant to go off at a military checkpoint in Zamalka, adding that a number of armed men preparing the explosion were killed.

While the oppositional network, Local Coordination Committees ( LCC), said more than 20 people were killed by the car blast, which ripped through a funeral procession of a man killed recently.

The activists report couldn't be verified, because customarily, no funeral processions would be held after sunset in Muslim countries in general."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 10:06 utc | 59

www @ 54

You've got to be trolling man.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 1 2012 10:06 utc | 60

>>> The "regime" is now a legitimate government, it has more support then most NATO/USA. There is no regime but a elected government.>>>

Hans #55, don't get tied up in knots over the word, the Syrian government itself uses that word to describe itself in both English and Arabic.
Nobody here is questioning the legitimacy of the government or its popularity. It's a fact that the majority is satisfied with the government
they have and dreads what would come in its place. Nonetheless, it doesn't mean that most Syrians are enchanted
with the continued granting of government jobs and other favours to party loyalists by the entrenched Baathists in spite of promises to the contrary and a new
constitution that had promised a change. If you're into popularity contests, walk into a room of Syrians and ask for a show of hands of those that
would jump on the opportunity of getting a green card and you'd be surprised with the results.

Back to the regime issue, you probably remember the chant that started the ball rolling in Tunisia and later spread to other countries:
"Ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam". "Nizam" is the Arabic word for "regime". "Ash-Shaab is "people", "yurid" means "wants" and "isqat" is "downfall"
The people wishes the downfall of the regime. It was used in Tunisia, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Jordan and now in Syria and all these countries
had elected governments.

Rachid Khalidi said of the slogan: "The people want the fall of the regime." They are not only referring to their corrupt governments; they also mean the
old regime that has prevailed for decades in the entire Arab world, from the Atlantic to the Gulf"

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 10:15 utc | 61

>>>I'm really assuming what you said was your attempt at sarcasm but if not, then your hypocrisy leave much to be desired.>>>

Keep on guessing, Zico.

Alexander, looks like you guys can't tolerate a different opinion.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 11:13 utc | 62

yeah, and that shows the whole weakness of it,why I am suspisious of the hype surrounding it and why I would not call it revolution.

Compare that slogan to

"Fraternite!, Egalite!, Liberte!"
"Peace! Land! Bread!"
or if you prefer
"Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic"

the difference is, these slogans say in a very simple way what the revolution is for ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 11:18 utc | 63

>>> oh the good guys against the bad guys ... again ...>>>

It's not so much about good and bad guys, somebody, but about interests and Qatar's interests are with the Americans.
But it wasn't always so and not too long ago that Qatar's money was welcome in Syria, but something broke between them.
Following article taken from al-Bawaba of a year ago:

Syria threatens Qatari investments

Published May 17th, 2011 - 07:40 GMT

Al-Assad blames Qatar for a "bad" media coverage of the ongoing popular unrest in Syria

Syrian President Bashar Assad has reportedly threatened Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim with
the loss of his country’s investment in Syria which amounts to US$ 6 billion.

The threat was made during a recent meeting in Damascus when the embattled Syrian leader protested the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV’s
coverage of the ongoing popular unrest in Syria.

Political sources described the meeting between Assad and Sheikh Hamad as “bad.” Assad also said during the heated exchanges of words
that Qatar “bought” the hosting of the 2022 Football World Cup in return for about US$ 100 billion and “this was not the way to approach
the situation in Syria.”

In the past year, the Syrian media reported that the National Electricity Company, Water Company and the Syrian-Qatari Holding Company
– established by the two countries in 2007 with a total capital of US$5 billion – will build and operate two power stations working on gas.
The total investments in these two 450-megawatt projects in Syria were put at US$1 billion. It was expected to be built in Dir Azour town
in northeastern Syria and in the industrial area of Adra, near Damascus.

Recently, Qatari Diar, the real estate arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, has announced it stopped investment projects in Syria until
the security situation clears up. Diar is developing the Ibn Hani Bay Resort project in the port city of Lattakia which will cost around US$ 350 million.
The luxury real estate project began in January 2010 and stretches over 244,000 square meters on the Ibn Hani coast. Source:

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 11:51 utc | 64

esp for those who think turkey is not involved:
Syria: Saudi admits "protesters" had weapons from the start

Posted by: brian | Jul 1 2012 12:01 utc | 65

The headline and the accompanying photo is typical of the coverage. :

Posted by: georgeg | Jul 1 2012 12:07 utc | 66

>>> the difference is, these slogans say in a very simple way what the revolution is for ...>>>

What was it about in Egypt, in Libya, in Yemen, in Syria? Nobody really knows.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 12:08 utc | 67

Georgeg, the actual explosion was filmed and put on a Youtube. Awful scene of body parts everywhere.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 12:25 utc | 68

"But it wasn't always so and not too long ago that Qatar's money was welcome in Syria, but something broke between them."
www, same story with Turkey, what happened?

Let me guess, Assad was offered investment and trade for cutting ties with Hezbollah and Iran, and Assad wanted Lebanon and the Golan, then he might consider it?

I guess the number of atrocities would decrease considerably if you could not film them and post them on Youtube.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 12:41 utc | 69

www this is the number of Cairo inhabitants in 2008

this is the estimated number on Tahrir Square
"On 1 February, Al Jazeera reported that more than 1 million protesters peacefully gathered in the square and adjacent streets.[9] However, such media reports that so many people congregated in Cairo’s largest public square are believed to be exaggerated for political purposes and, accordingly to Stratfor analysis the real number of gathered protester never exceed 300,000 people.[10][11]"

lets assume 1 million, it does not matter for my argument

this is the 2008 estimation of the population of Lebanon


and this is the number of a nation wide pro unity government/Hezbollah demonstration

On December 1, 2006,[10] a day after Hassan Nasrallah in a televised address had called on people from "different regions, thoughts, beliefs, religions, ideologies and different traditions" to take part[11] "for the formation of a National Unity government", because they "want to preserve Lebanon's independence and its sovereignty, prevent Lebanon from falling under any foreign tutelage, to strengthen the foundations of security, stability and civil peace, to cooperate in addressing the suffocating social and economic crisis, to address the political crises through true representation of all Lebanese movements and groups, to give real participation in the country's administration and to deal with various crises and face various existing challenges local, regional and international",[12] hundreds of thousands of demonstrators amassed peacefully in downtown Beirut.[13] Police estimated the crowd to number approximately 800,000, while Hezbollah claimed it was larger.[13] By nighttime, several thousand protestors remained to begin a sit-in, setting up tents and vowing to not leave until Prime Minister Fouad Siniora resigns.[14][15]

so tell me, what was special about Tahrir square, except the press coverage?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 13:01 utc | 70

the right margin has gone, so this is all short lines.

Syria reminds me of corporate take-overs and ‘fusions‘..

There are endless stressful meets, power plays, lots of discussion about pay-outs and share offerings,
lawyers with three trolleys of docs, etc.

However, in corp. negotiations the two (or more) parties meet and go at it hammer-heads.

When it is a country, outside forces or supposed deciders (UN? no...Koweit? behave in the same way.

As if countries were corporations.

(We are all part of a corporation now but we just don’t realize it yet ;) )

Remember, the US has sought to disturb, corrupt, defang, negate, any International org. for a long time now, with the UN in first place.

Sending Hill to this irrelevant meet is part of the same strategy.

She is there, so it is SERIOUS, which creates an illusion of importance and power,
which keeps ppl running around in circles, mouthing the agreed platitudes, etc.

(Of course they all want to keep their jobs.)

Lybia was more of a Mafia type op - kill the Capo and exile (judge, imprison, get rid of) the family and see what happens next!

- Lybia will be cut into at least two, possibly more, pieces.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 1 2012 13:13 utc | 71

the only reason we see chaos in libya and syria is because dumb muslims, unwilling to fight the israels, are ready to fight fellow arabs/muslims in the cause of great must be they were so persuaded by theri handlers it was for islam!But what we see is that islam is indeed a religon of violent jihadi terrorism. It will harm muslims elsewhere

Posted by: brian | Jul 1 2012 13:19 utc | 72

To make it clearer @65, The headline referred to the Funeral procession, the photo to a previously published attack at a financial institution.....

Posted by: georgeg | Jul 1 2012 13:47 utc | 73

@ 71
Nah, Islam is only used as a cover and abused as a justification for violence, no more a violent religion than judaism with their justification of ethinc cleansing, or cristianity with their crusades.. or any other religion in areas where ethinc conflicts or quarrels over resources are being justified by the actors belief-system. In number of lives, christianity is the prime ruler of violence.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 1 2012 14:01 utc | 74

>>> so tell me, what was special about Tahrir square, except the press coverage?>>>

Nothing special, somebody, people were there in the square because they had been told to not be there. Other than asking for the fall of Mubarak
there weren't any serious demands. The number of participants in events is always boosted to make it appear more important than it actually is.
Hassan Nasrallah talked about the numbers games at rallies; he said it was so easy to play with numbers using the zoom-in,
zoom-out feature on TV cameras that would make a few hundred protestors appear as if they were a few thousands and that although Hezbollah's opponents
played these games, his party didn't have to. That zoom-in, zoom-out game was evidently true of many mass rallies although Hezbollah played a few games
itself. When others claimed that Hezbollah had an astronomical number of participants at its rallies, it simply didn't confirm or deny these numbers and left
everyone guessing.

About the coverage of Tahrir Square. About a year or so back, I read an essay somewhere, sorry can't find it anymore, about how Jazeera's coverage of
Libya had been part of its long-term program to dupe its audience that began with its comprehensive coverage of the 2006 war on Lebanon, followed by its
equally damning-of-Israel coverage in the December 2008 war on Gaza after which the Arab audience began to totally trust Jazeera with the news. When the uprising
started in Tunisia and Jazeera was there was there with its usual good coverage, Arabs developed a super trust in Jazeera. After Tunisia, Jazeera went on to cover
Tahrir Square in the same great way but when Jazeera got to Libya, that's where the bouquets to Jazeera stopped in the essay and it went into a conspiratorial mode.
The essay said that Arabs and the West bought into all the false Libya stories being broadcast by Jazeera because of its established credibility from its
coverage of Lebanon 2006, Gaza 2008,Tunisia and Tahrir Square. After its false reporting in Libya, Jazeera moved on to Syria for more of the same. In short,
the essay said that Jazeera built up its credibility with its excellent past coverage of events in preparation for what it did down the road in Libya and Syria,
which is very hard to believe. It is a far-fetched conspiratorial scenario but what is not far-fetched is the night and day difference in coverage by Jazeera
between Tunisia/Tahrir and Libya/Syria. In Tunisia and Egypt, Jazeer was simply reporting the news as it was happening but in Libya and Syria, Jazeera's
involvement became much more. Although I don't like its coverage of Syria, I still think Jazeera is a good network.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 14:31 utc | 75

Since Syria, I have no room for other than contempt for Al-Jazeera.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 1 2012 14:46 utc | 76

www, al Jazeera's methods have not changed during any of the coverage, i.e. attracting viewers with dead babies, shock videos and action, plus expressing views that are taboo in Western media (that is Al Jazeera English, Arabic would be a different matter anyways). So I guess their coverage was doubtful through all those events. As any media corporation Al Jazeera's goal would be to attract as many viewers as possible.
Throughout all events they have consistently supported events to the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood, if you look at the outcome (I do not think their Lebanon 2006 coverage was in support of Hezbollah, would have been more in support of Siniora, I suppose) ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 15:01 utc | 77

I'm still hopeful of seeing the conflict end in Syria to have Jazeera getting back to serious reporting.
It has the talent and the money to do it.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 15:04 utc | 78

Somebody, Jazeera's staff from what I read is wall-to-Wall Brothers, but its 2006 coverage was anti-Israel much more than pro-Hezbollah.
This was probably due to its Beirut chief, a Tunisian-Lebanese and very much against Israel. That journalist and a few others resigned
last year because they couldn't go along with Jazeera's script on Syria. He had been at the network from the days it was still the BBC; his own
Arabic news network opened a couple of weeks back, called it "Mayadeen", which is the plural of maydan like in Maydan al-Tahrir.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 15:27 utc | 79

Dagnabitall! Who broke the margin?

Please, have consideration for those without monster wide-screens (if that helps; I don't know).

Please use embedding tags, as necessary.

Please use preview to see if your URL is breaking the margin.


Posted by: jawbone | Jul 1 2012 15:52 utc | 80

could be that some people woke up after the 2006 Lebanon war, seems it was not just Al Jazeera reporter who could not stand the bombs but Western reporters, too ...

"One Australian expert on counterinsurgency, now on loan to the State Department, Colonel David Kilcullen, agreed. “It’s now fundamentally an information fight,” he explained. When insurgents ambush an American convoy in Iraq, he said, “they are not doing that because they want to reduce the number of Humvees we have in Iraq by one. They’re doing it because they want spectacular media footage of a burning Humvee.” He then gave another example: “If bin Laden didn’t have access to global media, satellite communications and the Internet, he’d just be a cranky guy in a cave.”4 Maybe, but in fact bin Laden does understand the enormous power of modern communications. Whenever he has a message for the world, he simply tapes it and gives it to Al-Jazeera. He knows it will be broadcast throughout the world. When bin Laden wanted to help tip the 2004 presidential election in the U.S. to the incumbent, George W. Bush, he criticized Bush in a taped message delivered to Al-Jazeera. In Washington, such an approach would be called “media manipulation,” and it works there as it does in the Middle East."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 16:00 utc | 81

Sorry, Jawbone, I probably just did it again, maybe use Mozilla Firefox, it does not break the margin ....

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 16:02 utc | 82

Somebody #81, the stretch probably came from Headache's super long link in #46. As to the Brookings, mostly everything that comes out of it has an Israel
angle to it no matter how banale it may seem such as the story about the burning of the Humvee. The Iraqis wanted to see one burning because their
asses were burning from what was done to their country, not because they wanted attention from the press. That was just another Zionist-inspired subtle message
on how Iraqis like the rest of the Arabs are sub-human. BTW, Brookings has a branch in Doha, Qatar; its manager was invited to explain the "Arab Spring" to the
attendees at Herzliya this year.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 17:31 utc | 83

yeah and poor headache actually tried to cover it in HTML

Researching on the way Al Jazeera was started, I think it actually could be argued that it was Al Jazeera who started the Arab spring :-))

"How Al Jazeera Was Born

Luck played a big role in Al Jazeera’s creation and expansion. In 1995 Qatar’s Crown Prince Hamad bin Khalifa overthrew his father and immediately set to reforming the country’s media and governance. His aim was to transform Qatar into a Persian Gulf version of Switzerland. He thought good publicity would help. So would opening up the emirate’s media. An Arab version of CNN would attain both objectives. The BBC in 1994 had started just such a station in Qatar, with Saudi money. The Saudis soon discovered that the BBC’s independence wasn’t what they were paying for. The venture dissolved, leaving 250 BBC-trained journalists unemployed. Qatar’s emir swooped in, hired 120 of them, and Al Jazeera was born.

“The result,” The New York Times’ John Burns wrote in 1999 , “has been a sensation in the 22 Arab countries where Al Jazeera’s broadcasts can be seen. In Algiers’s Casbah, in Cairo’s slums, in the suburbs of Damascus, even in the desert tents of Bedouins with satellite dishes, the channel has become a way of life. In its 30 months on air, it has drawn viewers in droves from the mind-numbing fare offered by the region’s state-run networks, whose news coverage often amounts to little more than a reverential chronicle of government affairs.”

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 18:14 utc | 84

Antifo | Jun 30, 2012 12:03:34 PM @ 30.
Re: 'directed chaos'
Yep, that seems to be the plan.
However, there's a world of difference between 'directed' chaos and 'controlled' chaos. The blather from the chaos-istas quoted in your extract overlooks the fact that no matter how many mathematical algorithms ones builds into a (successful) plot to produce chaos, the result will be too "chaotic" for the perps to micro-manage (control) the outcome.
What's nice about chaos theory is that while the US's Chaos and other Depts are engaged in wishful thinking about how they hope their aimless, half-baked plots might unfold, state actors with logical, linear, and coherent plans seem to be well on the way to outmanoevering them.
Here is a couple of examples...
1. Putin offering Pakistan a practical alternative to its pointless, destructive and counter-productive alliance with the US.
A Russia House on the Indian Ocean (MKB atimes)

2. Peter Lee taking a closer look at the dream vs the reality of the wishful thinking behind the Iran sanctions.
Who will Iran sanctions really cripple? (Peter Lee atimes)

So while the Yankees sit around congratulating themselves on the mathematical precision of chaos theory, and generally Fiddling While Rome Burns, everyone else is getting off their asses and DOING clever and uncomplicated things to trump them.

Also Headache's @ 47's link to Syria/Turkey (which wouldn't work for me) helps illustrate the differnce between a half-baked plot and a coherent plan.
Syria puts double whammy on Turkey (MKB atimes)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 1 2012 18:55 utc | 85

Somebody, the story of Jazeera is close but it's missing one of its stepping stones. When BBC's attempt at creating an Arabic BBC became a total failure,
the Saudi king decided to buy it and it became Jazeera. After the Saudis bought it, one of the first documentaries Jazeera aired was on the corruption
within the Saudi royal family, the station's owners. That didn't go off too well and the enraged Saudis were about to shut the station down and fire everybody
when the Qatari Emir decided to buy it from the Saudis. Qatar's emir put up the initial $200 million to get it going and the station has been flying
high since. After the fall of Libya, the US gave it a license to operate out of New York and other than English Jazeera, there is a Jazeera-Balkan that covers
most of countries of former Yugoslavia. It already has a monopoly on all pay-TV-sports for the Middle East as well as the beIn sports network in Europe and
another in the US and a couple of sports channels of its own as well as stations for children's programs and a documentaries channel. The network's annual shortfall
is paid from the Emir's personal account.

Posted by: www | Jul 1 2012 19:24 utc | 86

jawbone | Jul 1, 2012 11:52:57 AM | 80

Would you care to explain precisely what you're talking about (preferably not in computer-speak)?
I haven't had a problem (which wasn't of my own making) with the way any aspect of this site works since my arrival here about a year ago.

Are you suggesting that commenters should hide links behind a word, as in the last line of 'Allowed HTML Tags' in the comment section?

I thought any link address cut and pasted from the top line of the browser was OK unless it occupied more than (say) a line-and-a-half in the comment box.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 1 2012 19:25 utc | 87

Hoarsewisperer it works differently in different Browsers, like it breaks the margin in Google chrome but does not in Mozilla Firefox.

Yes, if you want to avoid it for all browsers you have to use the a href like described in the Allowed HTML Tags above and write something short and meaningful in the linktext,
however the effect gets worse when you misspell the HTML command.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 1 2012 20:44 utc | 88

Thanks somebody.
I assume I can cut and paste MoA's HREF line and use it as a template with appropriate substitutions in the URL and label fields?
If so I wonder why somebody (else) didn't just point that out and say so...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 2 2012 7:15 utc | 89

somebody @ 80 -- Thanks for the Firefox suggestion. Now, why didn't I think of trying that?

Much appreciated, as I do want to read what commenters here have to say and contribute, but
I hate having to slide the whatever its called down at the bottom of the page back and forth,
trying to not lose my place in the long, stretched out line of type....

Woot to somebody!

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 2 2012 17:36 utc | 90

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