Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 13, 2012

Syria: Insurgents Claim Another UN Meeting "Massacre"

Updated below

Massacre Reported in Syria as Security Council Meets

Syrian opposition activists said more than 200 people were killed in a Sunni village on Thursday by government forces using tanks and helicopters, which, if confirmed, would be the worst in a series of massacres that have convulsed Syria’s increasingly sectarian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Initial reports of an atrocity in Tremseh came as Security Council diplomats were meeting in a closed session at the United Nations to work on drafting a new resolution to force Mr. Assad’s government and its armed antagonists to honor a cease-fire, allow the monitors to resume their work, and carry out a peace plan by the special envoy Kofi Annan.

A UN meeting and a "massacre"? Haven't we seen that before?

January 27, 2012
Violence surges in Syria as U.N. Security Council meets

BEIRUT — Violence surged in Syria on Friday, with government forces using heavy artillery to bombard several towns, while the United Nations debated a resolution on ways to end the bloodshed, intensifying the diplomatic pressure on Damascus.
“In some areas, the shelling has not stopped for three days in a row,” said an activist in the central city of Homs who uses the name Hadi al-Homsi. “The regime is now waging full-scale war against the people.” He described what he called a “massacre” in the district of Karm al-Zeitoun, a focal point of government military operations in the city.

February 3, 2012
U.N. Security Council to meet on Syria as deaths mount

More than 200 people were reported killed in Syria, hours before the U.N. Security Council was scheduled to meet and likely vote on a draft resolution intended to pressure the government there to end its months-long crackdown on demonstrators, diplomats said.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said early Saturday that 217 people, including women and children, had been killed in Homs in what the group characterized as a "massacre."

June 1, 2012
12 Syria workers 'executed' on eve of UN watchdog meet

Syrian government forces summarily executed 12 civilians on their way home from work in a fertiliser factory in Qusayr, activists in the central town told AFP by telephone on Friday.

The reported killings late on Thursday afternoon came on the eve of a special session of the UN Human Rights Council called to discuss the conflict.

June 6, 2012
Syria accused of new massacre as U.N. meets

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stood accused by opponents on Thursday of a new massacre of scores of villagers hours before a divided U.N. Security Council convenes to review the crisis.

If confirmed, the killings of at least 78 people at Mazraat al-Qabeer, near Hama, will pile on pressure for world powers to act, but there is little sign they can overcome a paralysis born of sharp divisions between Western and Arab states on the one hand and Assad's defenders in Russia, China and Iran.

There was and is clearly a pattern recognizable here. Before any big UN event on Syria the opposition sets out to balme the government of committing a "massacre".

The Syrian government denies to have perpetrated the current "massacre" as it did in the other cases. It asserts that there was a big fight in Tremseh with "many" terrorists killed.

Tens of terrorists overrun the village of al-Trimsa in Hama Countryside yesterday, killing or wounding tens of Syrian civilians.
The competent security units, in response to al-Trimsa inhabitants' pleads, clashed with the terrorists, inflicting huge losses upon them, capturing scores of them, confiscating their weapons, among which Israeli-made machineguns.

3 security personnel were martyred during the clashes, according to SANA reporter in Hama.

A first graphic video of the aftermath of the "massacre" uploaded by the opposition shows 14 dead man of fighting age with seemingly typical battle wounds.

The Syrian government certainly has no advantage by committing any mass atrocity before important UN meetings while the insurgency and its western sponsors are clearly using them for their propaganda purpose.

But this UN meeting "massacre" scheme is getting stall as even some journalists finally recognize this scam for what it is.

Liz Sly, the Washington Post Foreign Correspondent on Syria, remarked today:

The pattern of massacres on the eve of UNSC meetings on Syria is starting to look very real. Reports of 200 dead near Hama; UN meets tmrw.

And Paul Danahar, the BBC Middle East Bureau Chief tweeted:

'Massacre in ‪#Syria‬ as UN meets' is headline everywhere....again. This is either an increasingly odd coincidence or it isn't one at all

That was, I believe, a rather rhetorical question.

The Wall Street Journal has some anonymous "U.S. officials" claiming that Syria is moving nerve gas it is alleged to have out of storage. Is such an unverifiable claim a preparation for another "massacre"? One perpetrated with whoever's nerve gas?


AFP now reports:

Separately, two Syrian activists said most of those killed in the Thursday incident were rebels, and that they died in fighting.

"At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven," said Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network.

"The rest were members of the [rebel] Free Syrian Army," he told AFP.

"An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA," he said. "The army staged a counter-attack with the support of [pro-regime] reinforcements from [nearby] Alawite villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated."

An activist at a media center in Hama also said "a large number of rebels were killed in fighting between the FSA and the regular army."

The heavily armed insurgents lost a battle. How this is supposed to be a "massacre" is beyond me.

Posted by b on July 13, 2012 at 7:49 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The Official Journal of Murderous Humanitarian Intervention (formerly know as The Guardian) was earlier reporting

Syria regime kills more than 200 in Hama, say activists
but about an hour later the headline had changed to
Syria regime kills more than 200 in Hama, say rebels
- - and the URL still shows the word 'activists' as anyone can see. It then went on to say:
If confirmed, massacre in village of Tremseh would be single biggest since uprising began

that's 'news reporting' these days - report the unconfirmed rumours put out by some guy sitting in a flat in the UK

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 8:00 utc | 1

The propaganda is overwhelming and the depth of complicity of the media is mind boggling. Here are the results of a search I just did on Google News for Syria (I listed number of articles when available):

Syria unrest: 'Massacre leaves 200 dead' in Tremseh
BBC News - 4 minutes ago
1958 news articles

Russia urges Annan to work more with Syria opposition
Reuters - 1 hour ago
6191 news articles [Look at those numbers!]

Is the Syrian Regime Using Rape as a Tactic of War?
TIME - 1 hour ago
19 news articles

Syria defections raise hopes among Assad opponents
San Francisco Chronicle - 12 hours ago

Israel, US Condemn Syria, Iran over Destabilization
Journal of Turkish Weekly - 29 minutes ago
534 news articles

Evidence exists to bring Syria war-crimes case: French diplomat
Christian Science Monitor - 7 hours ago

Companies accused of Syria arms exports
Financial Times - 13 hours ago
140 news articles

Sunni 'cannon fodder' abandon Syria's Alawite-led military - 15 hours ago

In Syria: Why is Turkey reluctant to take the lead?
Christian Science Monitor - 4 hours ago
76 news articles

David Ignatius: Rising tension over Syria and Iran
Appeal-Democrat - 2 hours ago

And that's just the first page of results. Man, this is an all-out propaganda assault.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 13 2012 8:28 utc | 2

Syrian Revolution is not Syrian • Sibel Edmonds • ©2011 RussiaToday

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 8:46 utc | 3

Linda Juniper @LindaJuniper
Before MSM starts waving lies about Tresmah & its people, they're pro-regime. that's why FSA killed them. #Hama #Syria

here we see locals welcome the army....
the fraudulent MSM using SOHR as a source claims the army did the why do the locals welcome them?

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 8:46 utc | 4

The Official Journal of Murderous Humanitarian Intervention is now carrying this:

Syrian rebels calls for UN resolution after Tremseh massacre

"Government troops and militia loyal to Bashar al-Assad kill 200 in Hama province, [some guy sitting in a flat in the UK] say[s] "

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 9:33 utc | 5

This is another made-to-order massacre...No doubt..When the going gets tough for the fsa on the military and diplomatic front, they commit even more terrorist acts to gain "world attention"..

People should realize by now this conflict in Syria is mainly a media one..I'd say 90% media propaganda...Sad that the real concerns of Syrians have now been hijacked by democratic power houses as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey etc. for their own selfish ends.

By way of deception, thou shall wage war..Who benefits?

Like I said, the battle for Syria will determine the fate of the ME..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 13 2012 9:35 utc | 6

from The Official Journal of Murderous Humanitarian Intervention again:

10.06am: There is a striking consistency to the various narratives of what happened in Tremseh, according to James Miller from EA WorldView.

He said reports that shabiha entered the village and began executing civilian cannot be confirmed, but he added: "The fact that so many sources have published so many narratives which are basically consistent suggests that there is validity to these details."

well yeah - either that or a whole bunch of people are telling the exact same lies

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 9:40 utc | 7

yep, it is nauseating - and it is working, just heard Austrian news, they report without any doubt ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 9:53 utc | 8

Here Martin Chulov of Britain's leading liberal newspaper, the Guardian, claims that a "reporter" called Ghatan Sleiba from Addounia TV (which he spells incorrectly in his article) has "defected" from what he calls the "pro-Assad" channel. In the interests of getting the whole story, why didn't Chulov at least call up Addouniya and ask them their side of the story? Even if he was just to get a no comment?

If Chulov would have made such contact, he would have got more than no comment. He would have been told, as Addounia has stated in this report below that not only has Sleiba never worked for them but that they have never heard of him before. Then Chulov would have been able to investigate further, by doing something crazy like asking Sleiba for documents to prove that he had worked for Addounia, or simply asked him for a portfolio of video reports he had produced for Addounia.

Have the Guardian's reporters forgotten how to use one of their most important instruments....a telephone? Or their brains perhaps? A skim through the language of Chulov's reports on Syria shows an overwhelming bias against the Syrian government, which suggests that the problem is less innocent, and that this report should be put on the dump of the western media's misinformation reports about Syria.

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 10:22 utc | 9

Syria massacre dead mostly rebels(aka terrorists), activists say
July 13, 2012

Most of the people killed in the Treimsa violence in central Syria were rebel fighters, an activist said on Friday, adding the bloodbath followed a Free Syrian Army attack on an army convoy.

"At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven," Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network, told AFP. "The rest were members of the [rebel] Free Syrian Army."

"An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA," he said. "The army staged a counter-attack with the support of [pro-regime] reinforcements from [nearby] Alawite villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated."

Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that "dozens of rebel fighters" were among those killed.

"Several dozen rebel fighters were among those killed," said the Observatory, adding that only around 40 of the more than 150 dead had been identified.

Thirty corpses were burned and 18 were "summarily executed," said the Britain-based group.

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 12:06 utc | 10

RT: Do you think there can be trust restored between the western media and the Syrian government or will this media war only escalate?
BS: There are hundreds of journalists who came to Syria during the crisis. It is not true that we don’t give access to foreign journalists. Foreign journalists from all over the world came to Syria. But also there are satellite channels that made themselves part of the war on Syria, inciting sectarian violence, fabricating facts about what is happening in our country.

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 12:38 utc | 11

Rebel deaths are reported as civilians..Who're they fooling here??

Because of Syria, respected media organizations have dragged their credibility in the mud... I don't even listen to bbc anymore..Their show of contempt for their audience is just breathtaking..They tell unverified and bold-face lies to their listeners without second thought..They must really believe people are very stupid..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 13 2012 13:05 utc | 12

"They must really believe people are very stupid."

SOME people are very very stupid indeed.

some people will believe the most outrageous nonsense, while at the same time completely disbelieving the simplest of basic truths

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 13:39 utc | 13

The Official Journal of Murderous Humanitarian Intervention now reporting:

Syria offensive 'breaches peace deal' - Under a picture titled "Russian Mi-24 helicopter gunships" the Official Journal of Murderous Humanitarian Intervention ststes

Regime use of tanks and helicopters in Tremseh confirmed after massacre that killed over 200 people

Syria regime 'kills more than 200 in Hama'

"2.38pm: A leading member of the Syrian opposition claims the timing of the Tremseh massacre was aimed at boosting morale of Assad's armed supporters and scuppering attempts to find a political solution.'

Asked why alleged massacres often coincide with UN security council meetings, he said:

From the Assad regime's perspective it is very clear that any political or international solution at this point will mean the end of the Assad regime. I think the Assad regime, in committing all these massacres, is really talking to [its] shabiha, to his forces on the ground. I think these massacres unfortunately increase the morale of the Assad gangs. It is the same thing when they shot down the Turkish airplane. "

which would be funny if we were not talking about dead humans being massacred - b's analysis makes much more sense, obviously - that the massacres are carried out by the NATO mercenaries and are timed to coincide with UN meeting so as to gain maximum propaganda effect

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 14:04 utc | 14

he alos said "The Tremseh massacre is well documented and not being exaggerated by activists, Saleh insisted"

which is just taking the piss to be honest

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 13 2012 14:06 utc | 15

Syria: Terrorists Commit Al-Treimsa Massacre
Al-Manar | July 13, 2012
Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded when terrorists overran the village of al-Treimsa in Hama Countryside yesterday, SANA news agency reported.

“The terrorists, according to eye witnesses who appeared on Syrian TV to narrate the reality of events on the ground, ransacked, destroyed and burned scores of the village houses before the competent authorities arrived to the village,” SANA said.

Abo Arif al-Khalid, an eye witness from the targeted village, stated in a phone call to Syrian TV, that the village of al-Treimsa lived a nightmare when armed terrorist groups attacked it and opened random fire on its inhabitants and houses, killing more than 50 persons, and exploding houses, among which was the house of his cousin, it added.

A woman and her child were killed by the terrorists before the eyes of all the people there, added Abo Arif al-Khalid, regretting the absence of the Syrian Army or security personnel from the village.

”Had the Army or security personnel existed in the village, the terrorists wouldn’t have been able to overrun the village and perpetrate their massacres,” cried al-Khalid.

The security units, in response to al-Treimsa inhabitants’ pleas, clashed with the terrorists, inflicting massive losses upon them, capturing scores of them, confiscating their weapons, among which were Israeli-made machineguns, SANA revealed.

Three security personnel were martyred during the clashes, according to SANA reporter in Hama.

Meanwhile, an information source cited by SANA blasted the news circulated by some bloody media outlets, like al-Jazeera and al-Arabyia, as a bid to manipulate public opinion against Syria and its people and to bring foreign intervention in Syria on the eve of a UN Security Council session.

Posted by: brian | Jul 13 2012 14:11 utc | 16

Advertising and Marketing equals Propaganda, and this strategy works, especially when it's carried out globally. The Syrian people, I'm afraid, are doomed. The West, and their sycophants will not relent. The implementation of the "Global Plantation" continues.

Thanks to b and all, for documenting the Propaganda war against Syria.

Posted by: ben | Jul 13 2012 14:12 utc | 17

>>> The propaganda is overwhelming and the depth of complicity of the media is mind boggling. >>>

So true, Walter, but you are talking about the propaganda of the second kind that is devoted to cheerleading for the anti-Assad teams. But it's not different from propaganda of the first kind that is beating the drums for the Assad apologists and next to SANA, there is no better example of it than with b and most of his moonies here that firmly believe that Assad and his regime are so pure, they are going straight to heaven. You then have people (like me and a few others)in a third group that disagree with the other 2 groups since they don't want to see a foreign intervention happening while they don't absolve the regime of its past sins and these are berated by the 2 other groups, especially at MoA. A couple of days back, the pro-Assad al-Akhbar had a good essay drawing a picture of the 3 groups; here's a small sample from "Assad Apologists: The Ostrich Syndrome: by Hicham Safieddine:

"... early on in during his reign, the “nationalist” in Assad seemingly had little qualms implicitly forfeiting the right of Syria to Iskandarun (Alexandretta) in order appease his then-new Turkish ally. In addition, it took Assad eleven years and the eruption of the Syrian uprising to grant thousands of Kurds their rightful Syrian citizenship, proving the move was a ploy to co-opt them out of the uprising and thus reinforcing the notion of the state is subservient to the power of the ruling elite rather than the ruling elite being subservient to the state. This is to say nothing of how the clique of corrupt networks that increasingly took control of the country’s resources grew bolder under his rule. Claiming Assad was ignorant of this clique’s machinations is too naive and false to respond to.

By ignoring these “details,” Assad apologists fail to see that the Assad regime’s alliance with anti-US forces in the region has not prevented it from exhibiting the essential features of all the Arab dictatorial regimes: family rule; institutionalized corruption: cultish forms of obedience; and the overexpansion of the police state. All these features undermine the anti-imperialist struggle in subtle but deadly ways."

Posted by: www | Jul 13 2012 14:27 utc | 18

The security units, in response to al-Treimsa inhabitants’ pleas, clashed with the terrorists, inflicting massive losses upon them, capturing scores of them, confiscating their weapons, among which were Israeli-made machineguns, SANA revealed.

Why does not the Syrian government show these captured terrorists and foreign fighters? We need proof. Surely Al-Manar, PressTV or RT would be more then willing to beam them.

Posted by: hans | Jul 13 2012 15:17 utc | 19

Syria. High pop. growth, very young pop, youth bulge, low to dismal job growth.

Wiki: 30% live in poverty and 11% live “below subsistence level.”

About 50% of the pop is - was- rural. Important.

About 20% of GDP = agriculture. Serious Problem: severe drought, aka global warming,
and farmers crowding into regional towns.

About 25% of GDP = fossil fuels. Serious Problem: Peaked, Depletion, Sanctions.

GDP per capita declining. How steep nobody knows.

Economic reforms since 2000 have increased income inequality - went from somewhat egalitarian (for lower, rural, lower middles, poorer suburbia) to a dual economy - you know, those guys with Rolexes and Porsches, all that.

Not surprising, a common trend in the world.

-Hard to document clearly without a lot of time.

Bashar followed many IMF recommendations, cutting subsidies to the poor and to farmers, getting rid of gas subsidies, etc. (He has put some right back recently to prevent starvation.)

The IMF and the usual suspects (e.g. banking) were real pleased, laudatory. Bashar also centralized the party’s power, his power, and neglected the Party periphery network, e.g. in Homs. Rich towns - devastated country-side out of control ...

Unemployment. 2010 - 2011 in %: Ar Raqqa 7 - 22 (!!). Al Hasakeh 15 - 39. Damascus: 10 - 11. Tartous 14 - 16. link 1, these are official nos, underestimated natch.

Syria has possibly the highest ‘inequality’ in unemployment in the world, maybe with exception of Gulf states, but these are different because of imported labor, which Syria does not use much, which makes the problem more visible, plus pay-offs using oil revenues are not possible.

Unemployment is concentrated on the young (any), poor and uneducated. The grip may be ‘Baath’ but a better description is generational with the youth bulge facing murderous competition and decades of struggle and bowing down, sucking ass, to ‘make a life’ as engineer, school inspector, in with the biz community (Benetton franchise, etc.), head of hospital, etc. For men: marriage if possible at all, late, expensive, then children obligatory. One way sideways: crime, or...rebellion.

Bashar the supposed ‘socialist’ went for a glitzy modernity, towards the ‘free market’ (crony capitalism) and ‘democracy’ (the latest constitution, under pressure that.) I think the meme that he was ‘not allowed to implement reforms’ after or during the ‘Damascus Spring’, a story with Bashar as gallant modernizer and the conservative communistic old crust hanging onto their own power is...questionable.

The Heritage foundation, not my pol. perspective, in its quick chart, evidences similar: Business freedom, Trade freedom, Monetary freedom, UP. And Freedom from corruption, Labor freedom, fiscal freedom (whatever Heritage thinks that is) Gvmt. spending, DOWN.

The Syrian minister of finance fleshes out a similar considerations (June 2012) and lets slip some grisly telling details (e.g. supporting imports with foreign currency, closed factories...)

A recipe for disaster, far worse than Tunisia or Egypt.

What are all the young men supposed to do? Bide their time on a burnt-out farm, consoling their weeping mothers?

Bashar is not an evil green-clawed dictator, nor is he a stalwart socialist defender of his people and/or Syria’s traditional structure. He is a fool. Toast.

Only Russia has a real interest in the status quo, because of links, contacts, economy, etc.

And the W’s attitude and hesitation springs from all the contradictions partly outlined above.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 13 2012 15:34 utc | 20

but, noirette, Bashar is winding down, and the terrorists are certainly, at any moment now....defeated. Almost already always.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 13 2012 15:42 utc | 21

Remarkable article by Jürgen Todenhöfer, a German manager, former member of parliament and writer:Syria: The rebels of the Syrian city Homs

I have asked him about the open letter of "Human Rights Watch" (HRW), which accuses the rebels of torture, taking hostages and killing of Syrian civilians. Omar replied that the FSA only kidnaps people, to have a tool for pressure to demand the release of prisoners.

They normally do not kill civilians, but only traitors. You will not be tortured, but "hard interrogated". Once they are convicted, they are executed. In his presence, 20 Alawite collaborators were "executed". By headshot or by the cutting through the throat.

Although he had heard from relatives that Assad still has 50 to 60 percent behind him in the rest of the country. But he does not care about the majority. Assad is a man of Israel. He will always fight him.
In Damascus, life goes on as usual ? although this can be hardly imagined by anyone in the West. Streets and shops are crowded. The war seems far away. Only occasionally major barriers reminiscent to the four major bomb attacks at the buildings of the security authorities.
The rebels took the wrong track. They have left democracy and freedom, but only for hatred and revenge. Because they have never achieved to bring the whole nation behind them, differently than the Tunisian and Egyptian insurgents. Syria threatens to break up by this increasingly sectarian revolution.

How many Syrians, he still dreams of democracy. But that is what Assad is trying to impose now. Of course, he would have had to start with the reforms much earlier. But better now than never! Syria is significant in terms of democracy, human and women?s rights, and much further than e.g. Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: b | Jul 13 2012 15:43 utc | 22

In Damascus, life goes on as usual ?

Town and the seat(s) of power and ..the badlands outside.

That can hold for a while.

Biz ppl, the politically connected, banksters, the rich, those who control the economy, that is all goods produced/sold/imported in Syria, the Gvmt. deciders and employers, spin about in their circles, they are immune, will, will, triumph, they can face down attacks, aggression, that is the natural order. They eat ice-cream and have mistresses, right?

They can command, order about, repress so many - from the hapless slavish maid to the lowly IT operator to whole segments of the population, like starving farmers.

Good luck with that.

Civil war, I said so ages ago.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 13 2012 16:14 utc | 23

>>> Syria is significant in terms of democracy, human and women?s rights, and much further than e.g. Saudi Arabia. >>> (Jürgen Todenhöfer)

Nothing meritorious in being compared with the last on the list, eventhough it's patronized by the US. Worth mentioning that the US also went along with Syria's occupation of Lebanon and to have the IMF, WB and US Treasury write off over 200 million in loans to reward it for having joined the coalition against Saddam in 1990, the year Lebanon's civil war ended and Syria should have left.

Posted by: www | Jul 13 2012 16:33 utc | 24

FSA using child soldiers

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 13 2012 17:13 utc | 25

>>> Why does not the Syrian government show these captured terrorists and foreign fighters? >>>

Hans, I've been asking that for the past year. The Syrian government keeps saying that it's waiting for the opportune time to show the world what it's got. It's been saying that for almost 18 months and I'm still waiting.

Posted by: www | Jul 13 2012 17:24 utc | 26

Al-Qaeda (Or peaceful Activists) Brings the Fight to Yemen’s Capital

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 13 2012 17:29 utc | 27

>>> FSA using child soldiers>>>

To be starting to use children, the well must be drying up.

Posted by: www | Jul 13 2012 17:35 utc | 28

Hans, www, the foreign networks Syrian secret police know, they are bound to have infiltrated them. Sure they do not wish to talk about that.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 18:25 utc | 29

Syria has some technically impressive heat-seeking anti-air missiles. In the following video demonstration, which was broadcast on Syrian Al-Ikhbaria TV a couple of days ago, the incoming enemy missile is travelling along a path that is perturbed so that its exact forward position is not predictable by linear extrapolation, but the defensive missile has the agile ability to crash into it by pursuing of the infrared emissions of the enemy missile.

This is one of the things that gives comfort to me and my friends who support the Syrian government and the Syrian social establishment.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 19:07 utc | 30

Former Gaddafists Win in Libyan Democracy

I wonder how Islamists will react to this

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 13 2012 19:28 utc | 31

Yep, Parviziyi, I guess that's what the confusion in Turkey is about

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 19:38 utc | 32

Every Friday's anti-government protests in Syria have a brand-name or once-off slogan name. Today's was "Friday of Dumping Annan", جمعة إسقاط عنان . If you search for that Arabic text at Youtube you will see videos of today's anti-government street protests.

Speaking as a staunch Assad supporter, I wish the Syrian government, too, would comit itself to dumping Annan's six-point plan, specifically point two of the six point plan, the point that says the Syrian Army is to be removed from populated areas. The plan expires on 20 Jul 2012. Robert Mood said on 4 Jul 2012: "I received a very clear commitment from the Syrian government on the Annan six point plan" -- renewal beyond 20 July. My comment: It is madness for the Syrian government to commit to renew the constraints it has imposed on itself in fighting the rebellion.

Annan said today in response to the events at al-Treimseh village in Hama: "I am shocked and appalled by news... of intense fighting, significant casualties, and the confirmed use of heavy weaponry such as artillery, tanks and helicopters.... I condemn these atrocities in the strongest possible terms." Annan said this was in violation of the government's undertaking to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and its commitment to Point Number Two of the six-point plan. . Whereas, what in Al-Treimseh village yesterday was a real battle between the Army and armed insurgents, in which the use of heavy weapons ought to be perfectly legitimate and not an "atrocity";

On 11 Jul 2012 Syrian government spokesman Al-Jaafari said that the Security Council should extend the mission of the UN observer mission in Syria. That's fine, the observer mission is not point two of the six point plan. But if the Syrian government commits itself to extending the lifetime of point two of the six-point plan, it will be madness.

Wise comment by Xinhua today 13 Jul 2012: "As the crisis grow more militarized with each party determined to vanquish the other by force, prospect of a dialogue is a far-fetched dream."

Another commentator who understands the opposition's position: The Syrian opposition’s message is: "No negotiations; we want power now; this is a revolution."

Meanwhile at the UN, and in the Western governments and indeed even at the foreign ministry of Russia, there is a sustained illusion, or else a pretense, that constructive civilized dialogue can somehow be created between the regime-change proponents and the Syrian establishment. In the West the underlying basis for this state of mind is another illusion, or pretense, that the Syrian establishment is poised to crumble under pressure and surrender the governance of Syria to any and all of the opposition factions.

The reality is that the Syrian establishment is much stronger than the Syrian rebels both politically and militarily, and will remain so.

Last Friday, 6 Jul 2012, the anti-government protests were branded جمعة حرب التحرير الشعبية = "friday of war of popular liberation". War.

The government can and must vigorously crush this armed rebellion. This means dumping point two of Annan's six-point plan.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 19:44 utc | 33

Jürgen Todenhöfer is a schmuck.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 19:45 utc | 34

@ somebody #33: 12 Jul 2012. "The Turkish Armed Forces found no petroleum-like residue or trace of any organic or inorganic explosive matter on the surface of the pieces from the downed jet," said Turkish Armed Forces in a written statement today. . This implies the plane wasn't shot down by a missile. It implies the plane was shot by an old-style anti-aircraft gun. Since anti-aircraft guns don't have a range beyond a few kilometers, it implies the plane was shot down in Syrian airspace.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 19:47 utc | 35

I am sure, Parviziyi, an anti aircraft gun would have to leave some trace, to be able to shoot an airplane down ...

I think, they said that most of the debris was still in the sea ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 19:52 utc | 36

@ somebody: You speak of "some trace", I ask you "some trace of what?" We're talking about a trace of petroleum or other explosive matter on the general surface of the wreakage. The Syrian government says it shot down the Turkish plane using an old-fashioned anti-aircraft gun located on the shore. From extensive experience at this point, I trust the Syrian government to be truthful. I'm no expert on weaponry, but I don't think getting shot from an old-style anti-aircraft gun would leave a trace of explosives on the general surface of the wreakage.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 20:05 utc | 37

what I am saying is, if there was a trace of anti aircraft gun, why would the Turkish army not say so? if they do not want to confirm that the plane was shot down in Syrian air space, why say something at all? Or say something along the lines "we need more parts of the plane?"

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 20:09 utc | 38

actually the Turkish army definitively states that the plane was not shot down by anti air craft fire

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 20:14 utc | 39

It seems to me Kofi Annan's role is to buy time for the rebels to rearm, re-plan and regroup..The first ceasefire was clearly in favor of the rebels..They used that ceasefire to launch several massive suicide bombings in Damascus and other quite cities and also conducted lots of assassinations..Annan didn't condemn them but rather kept stressing the need for "all sides" to stick to the plan.

It appear the plan is for the rebels to gain some ground so that it will be easy for NATO or whoever can use that as the launchpad for war against Syria..They desperately need a Benghazi moment but their men on the ground keeps getting routed at every turn.

According to sources, most of the dead in Hama were rebel fighters - some from different Arab countries and even Turkey..The Syrian army gave them an ultimatum to lay down their weapons but they foolishly refused and chose to fight. I think the Syrian army must pursue them until they're either wiped out or chased backed into Turkey or where ever they came from. There will never be peace if these rats are still in Syria.

Posted by: Zico | Jul 13 2012 20:16 utc | 40

Sounds like we will find out how good those missiles really are

Israel Preparing for Action in Syria, Says Former Mossad Chief
Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom: Israel is preparing for military action in Syria, if its chemical weapons end up in the hands of Hizbullah.

Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom said on Thursday that Israel is preparing for the possibility of military action in Syria, in case its chemical weapons were to end up in the hands of Hizbullah or other terrorist organizations in the region.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13 2012 20:39 utc | 41

Mossad is already operating in Syria, they killed a hamas operative in Damascus, and supposedly a few Hezbollah operatives.

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 13 2012 20:44 utc | 42

Nikon, Mossad is not in Syria but their hired hit men are..The Israelis are no fools to get killed in an Arab fight..There're plenty of Arab sell-outs that will be happy to do the deed for them if they're provided with the right information and equipment..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 13 2012 21:04 utc | 43

I've found previously I can't agree with the overall perspective of Noirette, and once again I can't agree with his interpretations at #21. But I found it instructive to look at the following data table from the Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics that I got indirectly via Noirette's links: Rate unemployment by age group in Syria, year 2011 and year 2010. More data tables are at

It reminds me of something posted on this board a few weeks ago: "The vast majority of rebel fighters in Syria are young men who were still in primary school when Bashar Assad came to power 12 years ago. They themselves disagree about what will happen when Assad is deposed."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 13 2012 21:09 utc | 44

Didn't the Račak massacre that served as the excuse for the Kosovo War turn out to be an attack by the Serbian army on KLA fighters?

Posted by: lysias | Jul 13 2012 21:30 utc | 45

syria: the true story:

'What are the forces at play in the world today? A question that remains unanswered by those entrusted to communicate to us, the truth.

Yet we ourselves fall short from attaining it, not for lack of access, but because of an unbroken fear that has obscured our vision.

This documentary is the true story behind Syria.'

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 0:05 utc | 46

Looks like the muslim brotherhood has failed everywhere: failed in Syria, failed in Libya, failed in Jordan, even in Egypt, Morsi has his hands tied and can't do anything without saudi/SCAF approval even after he promised Saudis that he will not try to export egyptian revolution

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 14 2012 0:09 utc | 47

Dylan.johnsons ‏@dylan_johnsons
A Libyan fighter fled ‪#FSA‬ after witnessing how they sold the body parts of their injured fellows & burnt the dead to hide the origin.‪#Syria‬
Retweeted by Linda Juniper
this recalls another US backed terrorist group: the KLA are also into the body part are an assortment of ghoulish this Libyan terrorist was is squeamish!

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 0:50 utc | 48

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 13, 2012 8:09:37 PM | 48

MB failed? this sort of thinking is applied to the US and its fact the goal may be something else...they succeed by destroying violable social/secular states

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 0:51 utc | 49

Now the BBC is backtracking on its initial incendiary reporting. It now says:

Up to 200 people are reported to have died in an army attack on the village, which would make it the bloodiest single event in the Syrian conflict.

However, reports suggest that a large number of the casualties were rebel fighters.

The Syrian army admitted killing a "big number of terrorists" but no civilians.

Posted by: FB Ali | Jul 14 2012 0:57 utc | 50

This has to be good news I suppose. The Western press has been in a proWar (against Syria) propaganda mode for over a year. Now they seem to be acknowledging that the Syrian opposition has been lying to them. Maybe this means the threat of all out war is lessened.

Certainly in Libya last year and with Iraq in 2003 the Western press did not admit that they were disseminating lies until well after the damage of their propaganda had achieved its desired effects.

I still think that Syria is in dire straights and that the propaganda war against them could still work.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 14 2012 1:17 utc | 51

HAMA, (SANA) – Two members of the terrorist groups that were active in the town of al-Treimseh said that the terrorists – who included non-Syrians of Arab nationalities – spread across the town before the army entered it, and that this was based on orders they received to attack law-enforcement forces and prevent civilians from going to work.

In confessions televised by the Syrian TV, terrorist Hikmat Shihadeh al-Mustafa al-Younes, a local of al-Treimseh, said that he joined a group of 16 gunmen led by Manhal Darwish, and that they gathered in town along with around 250 gunmen.

He said that orders were given to them to attack law-enforcement forces checkpoint, preventing state employees from going to work, and forcing people to strike, but they were surprised when security forces arrived and they were ordered to prevent them from entering the town and fighting them.

Al-Younes said that he and his cohorts had assorted weapons including automatic rifles, sniper rifles, RPG launchers, and hand grenades, and that snipers were stationed on rooftops.

He said that the leader of his group was killed along with many gunmen in the clash with security forces, which lasted about an hour and a half, which is why he turned himself over when security forces instructed them to surrender via loudspeakers.

For his part, terrorist Sa'ed Darwsih, another local and a policeman, said that while he was spending vacation time in his home, several gunmen including a man called Saleh al-Sabaoui came and threatened to kill him and all his family if he returns to work, and they coerced him into joining them.

Darwish said the gunmen had been gathering in town for around 20 days, and that their numbers were between 250 and 300 and that they had planned to attack law-enfrocemtn checkpoints, block roads and impose a state of strike by force.

He said that on Thursday, they heard that the army was encircling the town, so they tried to escape but couldn't, and then they received orders to attack the army and several of the gunmen died in the ensuing conflict while others were arrested, including Darwish.

Darwish confirmed that the terrorists had RPG launchers, machineguns, snipers, automatic rifles and explosive devices, adding that the leaders of the armed groups received money from Turkey and that there were Turks and Libyans among the ranks of these groups.

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 1:19 utc | 52

For those who think Russia will sacrifice its relations with US axis for Syria's sake:

Posted by: pratt | Jul 14 2012 1:42 utc | 53

what relations?

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 14 2012 3:09 utc | 54

>>> The government can and must vigorously crush this armed rebellion. This means dumping point two of Annan's six-point plan.>>>

Parviziyi, point 2 is what has been keeping the salivating hyenas from jumping Syria and doing a NATO-Libya number on it. Calling for its removal serves nothing other than the likes of the Brookings Zionist think tank that has been beating the drums for another vicious humanitarian assault on Syria. Keep in mind the 100,0000 civilians killed by NATO in Libya; can't you see that this would happen with the removal of point 2? Maybe you're putting too much faith in Russia looking out for Syria. I don't trust the Russians remaining loyal to Syria any more than I trust Annan's sincerity about Syria.

Part of what was said yesterday by Salman Chaikh, Qatar bureau chief of the Brookings:

"... History will not judge kindly this latest episode of inaction by the world’s powers in Syria. For months, they have bought time by settling on the efforts of Kofi Annan, even as these efforts have failed. In the days ahead, developments on the ground will continue to set the agenda in Syria. The slaughter of civilians, rape, torture and the forced movement of populations, which is being labeled as ethnic cleansing, as well as the clear dangers for Syria’s neighbours as a direct result of the conflict should be clarion calls for international action. What is most disturbing is that the methods used to perpetrate the recent massacres in Houla, Qubeir and Tremsieh are frighteningly similar to those that Assad’s father, Hafez Al-Assad, used in committing the Hama massacres in 1982. One fears that there is much worse to come in Syria, especially as we enter the holy month of Ramadan.

For the UN, Syria is shaping up to be another horrific episode of failure and ineptitude. To Rwanda and Bosnia, we must now add Syria. It is a collective failure, first and foremost of the UN member states who “said never again” and who in 2005 unanimously passed a doctrine of the “responsibility to protect” populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” That summit also endorsed the role of the international community to “take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

For the rest of the war-mongering piece by the Brookings:

Posted by: www | Jul 14 2012 3:25 utc | 55

On July 5, the Wikileaks website (which the US National Security Agency could cripple within minutes if it so chose) announced a two-month summer offensive against the Baath party government of President Assad based on the release of some 2.43 million e-mails by Syrian government officials, politicians, and companies doing business with the Syrian government, generated between August 2006 and March 2012. About 400,000 emails are in Arabic, and some 70,000 are in Russian.

arabic and russian....suggests the syria-russia connection is being targeted

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 4:19 utc | 56

>>> I still think that Syria is in dire straights and that the propaganda war against them could still work.>>>

It still could, Toivo, Arabs aren't very good at this game.

Posted by: www | Jul 14 2012 4:35 utc | 57

Syria 24 English
2 hours ago
#Syria #RealSyria #Hama - HAMA COUNTRYSIDE, (SANA)- A military source on Friday stated that some of the armed forces units on Thursday morning carried out a "qualitative operation" in al-Treimseh town in the countryside of Hama province that targeted the gatherings of terrorist groups' members as well as a number of their leadership's whereabouts and dens which they used as a springboard for their criminal acts and a base for torturing kidnapped citizens.

The operation, the source said, came in response to the pleads of the inhabitants of al-Treimseh town who had been exposed to various forms of criminal acts at the hands of armed terrorist groups including acts of killing and terrorizing in addition to exploding a number of houses.

The operation was carried out after a process of monitoring and accurate information gathering in cooperation with the residents, the source added.

It said the terrorist groups' dens were destroyed and a big number of their members were killed in the operation, while scores of them were arrested. Large amounts of weapons and documents, including IDs for non-Syrian persons, one of them Turkish, were seized.

The military source mentioned that the seized weapons included 45 machineguns, 13 Nato sniper rifles, 9 RPG launchers, 7 BKC machineguns, 3 mortars, 3 hand-made rockets, 14 pump-action rifles, 10 military pistols, 24 mortar shells, 32 RPG shells, 53 machinegun chargers, 30 sniper rifle chargers, 8 explosive devices, 10 grenades, 150 detonators, 1500 sniper rifle bullets, 5000 BKC machinegun bullets, 4200 machinegun bullets, 500 pistol bullets, 7 gas masks, 5 prism binoculars, 25 satellite wireless devices, 30 shields, in addition to materials for making explosive devices, explosives and large amounts of gunpowder, TNT templates, highly explosive C4 material, a field hospital and an amount of military equipment, stolen cars and registration licenses.

The source said that after the armed forces successfully dealt with the terrorists without casualties taking place among the citizens, they searched into the terrorists' dens where they found the dead bodies of a number of citizens who had been abducted and killed by the terrorist groups.

The source stressed the armed forces' full preparedness and permanent readiness to intervene to protect the citizens and confront the terrorists and their criminal acts against the safe citizens wherever necessary.

It also expressed the forces' thanks to the residents who cooperated with the authorities in specifying the terrorists' whereabouts and thus contributed to restoring security and safety to the area.

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 4:55 utc | 58

'Wherever the American eagle strikes, the vultures of Al Qaeda soon follow. Scheuer’s contention that the US is objectively, albeit unintentionally empowering Al Qaeda by intervening in the Muslim world was one thing, but this is something else. The campaign to win "hearts and minds" has become an attempt to coopt Sunni radicalism, neutralize Al Qaeda, and use the Sunnis as a battering ram against Washington’s real target in the region: Iran.'

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 5:28 utc | 59

fort those with arabic:
What happened in Tresmeh.................

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 5:41 utc | 60

NOTE the following google translation,i guess, shows us a jihadi who admits he had been lied to about events in syria:
'hen we went to Syria to Pena call of jihad and we believe that the Syrian army rapes women and kills children, but what we have seen is quite different from the news that we received, and the Islamic religion prohibits us from killing Muslims,'

A terrorist goes back home to Libya........... I entered Syria two months ago for jihad against the regime of Bashar al-Assad to the brothers in Djij Walker, through Turkey and when I arrived discernible my passport officer Turkish Log me some honest people into Syria (infiltration) and I met many of the groups that are fighting all faith in victory, and worked within the sectors bombing and training and equipping of improvised explosive devices that were planted to kill al-Assad. " The firm "was our headquarters city of Homs, having intensified the fighting there and I moved some groups to the city of Hama, to work alongside a battalion Ammar Ibn Yasser, and was surprised by what I saw there where the battalion was of all congeners of Arab, African, and created the largest victories, but what made me leave the battlefield is a way of thinking that began working with sparkling there, when falling carcass in our ranks, burn or sold also its members by nationality, if the fighters Africans who burned the body of Alaftysh , and when asked why he told me Abu Hamza, a military commander of the city of Hama, the reserve so as not to take advantage of the system and there are different nationalities and say we are fighting fighters is Syrian. " completed "the beginning it did not comment because I know that Alaftaas buried in Paradise, but when Afts us Aba Mohammed, a Kuwaiti citizen they did not burn his body, but they put in place an enhanced contact after his or her relatives and ask for the amount of money and say to his family that forces the system caught body of their son and demanding ransom money, and that's what made me objected very strongly to this approach and style, and when he was Aafts one of the Mujahideen Alsorran are buried without burning, the piece left Syrian territory to Turkey and from there I received my passport from the Division of Relations of the Mujahideen of Syria, I and some brothers from Libya and nationalities of the other Arab, and I call on all the Mujahideen in Libya and the Arab states, not to enter into Syria, because what is going on is not a spree popularity when we went to Syria to Pena call of jihad and we believe that the Syrian army rapes women and kills children, but what we have seen is quite different from the news that we received, and the Islamic religion prohibits us from killing Muslims, and runs boom armed they are, in my view just gangs have asked me several times bombing hospital civil, and I refused to do so after prayed istikhaarah God Almighty and we discovered later that she was with children and people living with the cancer is hospital care in patients with cancer of the children, I thank God for the blessing of returning to the territory of Libya and invite him to return Syria to the security and safety and return of majority and religion and the mind to these groups. " "The image of the Libyan fighters in Syria"

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 5:55 utc | 61

US is officially at war with Al Qaeda rebels in Yemen and Somalia

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 14 2012 6:13 utc | 62

He should add Mali

Posted by: somebody | Jul 14 2012 6:15 utc | 63

The backtracking is part of the media game. Most people do not care enough to follow up things. They hear the first part of the news and their opinion is set. Then the media kind of saves their reputation by backtracking, however they do not have to backtrack completely, as obviously the news did exist and someone did report it.
If and when western powers intervene public opinon is set now in favor as long as the costs of war do not turn out as too high. If the costs get to high people will begin to question the war. So Syrian defense capabilities better should be good otherwise there will be intervention, maybe Israel "saving chemical weapons from terrorists".
If air defense turn out to be really good, Russian (and Iranian I suppose) arms dealers will have won a huge market share.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 14 2012 6:32 utc | 64

Parviziyi | Jul 13, 2012 3:45:06 PM | 35

do you really want to say "schmock"? :-))

Posted by: somebody | Jul 14 2012 7:26 utc | 65

how to overthrow a 'regime'(State Dept tested!)
1. Identify some minority and/or opposition group and "help" it (in the name of democracy and human right, of course) by providing it with money and visibility
2. Try to foment some civil unrest and/or violent incidents
3. Encourage and assist the minority and/or opposition group to denounce any governmental reaction to the unrests/incidents
4. Spread rumors about all sorts of atrocities already committed or soon to be committed
5. Back up these rumors by making sure that atrocities are actually committed against the minority/opposition, against the regime and against civilians, bystanders and random people
6. Initiate phase one of a strategic psyop campaign in the corporate media which will present a simple narrative explaining that the minority/opposition are "innocent victims who only want freedom, democracy and human rights" while the "hated regime" in power is "bloody" and "dictatorial"
7. Begin sending special agents tasked with unifying the various minority/opposition groups and take control, via typically via exiles, of the top echelons of the opposition
8. Initiate phase two of the strategic pysop campaign in the corporate media which will present the unified opposition as the "sole legitimate representative" of "the people"
9. Demand negotiations between the "sole legitimate representative" of "the people" and the regime and create some "troika", "quartet" or "action group" composed of vassal states to participate in the "negotiations"
10. Declare that the regime has lost all "credibility or "confidence" and therefore reject any and all offers of negotiations or cease-fires proposed by the regime as "not credible"
11. Create one or more false flag atrocities against the minority/opposition
12. Initiate phase three of the strategic psyop campaign in the corporate media and flood the public with outraged statements about "crimes against humanity" and even "genocide"
13. Demand an arms embargo on all the parties to the conflict and immediately initiate a large scale deliveries of weapons and "foreign fighters"
14. Seize the assets of the regime and its officials and use it to covertly finance the insurgency
15. Respond to any military success by the regime by demanding the "protection" of civilians, preferably under Chapter VII of the UN Charter
16a.If a Chapter VII UNSC Resolution is adopted, make sure that NATO countries provide the bulk of the military forces engaged
16b.If a Chapter VII UNSC Resolution is not adopted, vehemently denounce the UNSC members which vetoed it, and create a "coalition of the willing" justified under the "Duty to Intervene" (“le devoir d'ingérence" in French) theory
17. Send special operation forces, including forward air controllers, to coordinate the insurgency and the upcoming air campaign
18. Apply the Combined Joint Task Force doctrine to send enough troops (and mercenaries) to secure key facilities and objectives in the country
19. Hunt down ex-regime officials and send them to the Hague
20. Declare victory, built a few military bases and let the corporations take over the resources of the country

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 9:00 utc | 66

Brian, it is all there - the blueprint for overthrowing a "hostile" government - in the US Special Forces' Unconventional Warfare manual:

"The Syrian demographic landscape is reflected in the UW manual: “In almost every scenario, resistance movements face a population with an active minority supporting the government and an equally small militant faction supporting the resistance movement. For the resistance to succeed, it must convince the uncommitted middle population…to accept it as a legitimate entity. A passive population is sometimes all a well-supported insurgency needs to seize political power.”

To turn the “uncommitted middle population” into supporting insurgency, UW recommends the “creation of atmosphere of wider discontent through propaganda and political and psychological efforts to discredit the government.”

As conflict escalates, so should the “intensification of propaganda; psychological preparation of the population for rebellion.”

First, there should be local and national “agitation” – the organization of boycotts, strikes, and other efforts to suggest public discontent. Then, the “infiltration of foreign organizers and advisors and foreign propaganda, material, money, weapons and equipment.”

The next level of operations would be to establish “national front organizations [i.e. the Syrian National Council] and liberation movements [i.e. the Free Syrian Army]” that would move larger segments of the population toward accepting “increased political violence and sabotage” – and encourage the mentoring of “individuals or groups that conduct acts of sabotage in urban centers.”

Now, how and why would an uncommitted – and ostensibly peaceful - majority of the population respond to the introduction of violence by opposition groups? The UW manual tells us there is an easy way to spin this one:

If retaliation [by the target government] occurs, the resistance can exploit the negative consequences to garner more sympathy and support from the population by emphasizing the sacrifices and hardship the resistance is enduring on behalf of “the people.” If retaliation is ineffective or does not occur, the resistance can use this as proof of its ability to wage effect combat against the enemy. In addition, the resistance can portray the inability or reluctance of the enemy to retaliate as a weakness, which will demoralize enemy forces and instill a belief in their eventual defeat.

And so on, and so forth."

Posted by: Sharmine | Jul 14 2012 11:23 utc | 67

"There are many versions of this conflict. They are all true, just as they are all false. No one accepts the government's insistence that its opponents are all foreign mercenaries. Too many Syrians in Homs and Idlib have died for the internal dimension of the conflict to be denied.

But opposition claims to have honoured the Annan plan's ceasefire do not stand scrutiny. They have allegedly attacked security offices, checkpoints, buses and barracks, to cast blame on the government for responding.

They claim further that theirs is an entirely home-grown uprising, even as they receive weapons, training, advice, transport and funding from foreign governments and intelligence agencies.

The role of outside actors is as clear as it was when Britain used the so-called "Arab awakening" to expel the Ottomans from Syria in 1918. Just as those rebels discovered two years later, freedom and independence may not suit their powerful backers.

If the friends' sanctions, arming of the opposition and dispatch of spies and supplies fail to settle the outcome in Syria, the friends will rely on the armed oppositions' narrative to demand that the US launch an invasion.

"Whenever we engage in a war or move in on some country," Edmund Wilson wrote in Patriotic Gore, referring to America's seizure of many lands from Mexico to the Philippines, "it is always to liberate somebody."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 14 2012 12:31 utc | 68

yes sharmine...its by now a well tried and tested method./..but its also wearing thin....russia is now alert:

resident Vladimir Putin is expected to sign into law a bill adopted by Russia’s parliament today which labels many foreign-funded, non-governmental organisations operating within their country as “foreign agents”.

The Kremlin has stated that it believes such a bill is appropriate for protecting Russia from external attempts to influence internal politics.

The new law has also been given some financial teeth. Human rights activists are already enraged by the legislation, as the Duma also voted to impose fines of up to 5m rubles ($153,000) and a potential two year prison sentence for any organizations or individuals found to be in violation of the new law.

Lyudmila Alekseeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, believes that their new ‘foreign agent’ status will force the organization to fold as a result of having to refuse foreign grant money. Alekseeva explains, “The non-wealthy are not used to donating money to non-profit organizations, while the rich fear they may lose their business [by doing so]”.

In response to his government’s critics, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has assured those affected that state funding will be increased for any NGOs whose activity “as a whole is deemed useful and positive for our country”.

Russia latest move mirrors that of Egypt earlier this year, where the Egyptian government, then under the control of Egypt’s SCAF military command, expelled hundreds of NGO employees and later charged 43 people for ‘instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies’ in the wake of Arab Spring protests in Tahir Square and elsewhere, including citizens from the US, Germany, Norway, Serbia and Jordan. Egypt then warned NGOs not to work inside their country without a special license.

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 13:37 utc | 69

@ Parviziyi at 45.

I actually support Bashar, aka the present constituted Gvmt. of Syria, and am against xzy forms of foreign intervention.

I wrote he was a ‘fool’, maybe that was a bit over the top, but see the context of the post. I tried to paint a little bit of the economic backdrop from 2000 on, as I think it is neglected in favor of lost pilots or a downed plane and so on. Sure the econo. pic can be cherry picked/slanted, emphasized one way or the other, other facts/povs may be very germane...

Certainly moving towards lesser Gvmt. organization, control or payments/the economy, with more scope for the private sector is very disruptive?

Under the guidance of the IMF, banks?

And if it seems to go in the direction of crony capitalism for lack of a better short description, it is alarming?

All depending on how it is is done of course, but the split in Syria between rich town and poor rural areas is striking.

The rural ‘poor’ cannot live with changing rules / stipends / support, and need not only a guaranteed safety net, but dignity, stability, proper prices paid, and a future for their numerous children, advancement.

The presence of masses of idle, fighting at the bit, pissed off, marginalized young men is uncontroversial.

Bashar can be read as trying to please all parties and making compromises, moving gingerly in one direction or another, negotiating very difficult waters, extreme foreign pressure (sanctions...), etc. and maybe all this was inevitable and he did the best job he could in the position he was in (yikes i typed was rather than is.)


i read somewhere, just a news article, nothing solid/documented, that young men in Syria can buy their way out of military service, obtain an exemption, for the sum of five thousand US dollars. does anyone know if this is true? or whether some other type of arrangement exists, if so, what?

> thanks in advance
Posted by: Noirette |

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 14 2012 14:02 utc | 70

WWW19;I don't believe anyone here backs Assad as the best form of governance for Syria.We'd all like to see a peaceful democratic Syria,but we know that is not the Ziomonster and their puppet dupes intention.Look at all the thugs around the planet that do our bidding and have no light of opprobrium shone on their depredations and crimes against their peoples.
The hypocrisy of it all is our enemy.
Let the Syrian people decide their fate alone without our bad intentions,that's all.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 14 2012 14:20 utc | 71

@ Sharmine

I'm assuming that you are Sharmine Narwani. Just a quick note to say keep up the good work. Was following you for awhile on Huffington Post before your articles got censored and picked up a few of your interviews with RT (really the only news channel I watch on TV). Keep on tirelessly battling the stupidity that passes for intelligent debate on Middle Eastern issues.


Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 14 2012 14:23 utc | 72

yes it is shamine Narwani

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 14:39 utc | 73

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 14, 2012 10:20:13 AM | 72

well surprise Dahoit...but i do support president Assad: and he is the best form of governace..which is why syria is under attacl...The fact the terrorists are terrorising syrians is to get them to stop supporting Assad...why else arent the jihadis going to israel to help the palestinians...cause their handlers want them in syria

Posted by: brian | Jul 14 2012 14:42 utc | 74

Hey, good to see Sharmine Narwani here.

Thanks for the link. Good article.

I especially found this interesting:

Last July – as I wrote in this article - the technology arm of the Department of Defense, DARPA, announced a $42 million program to enable the U.S. military to “detect, classify, measure and track the formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes)” within social media.

Wired magazine calls the project the Pentagon’s “social media propaganda machine” because of its plans for “counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.”

In order to “allow more agile use of information in support of [military] operations” and “defend” against “adverse outcomes,” the project will enable the automation of processes to “identify participants and intent, measure effects of persuasion campaigns,” and ultimately, infiltrate and redirect social media-based campaigns overseas, when deemed necessary.

But I doubt these operations are limited to "media-based campaigns overseas." I'm sure they are active within America as well. It's a global based propaganda system. Plus, aren't most internet connections done internationally even if one is "communicating" with those within the country? Can the spooks legally post comments and promote propaganda on a website like this, for instance? I don't doubt they do it anyway though . . .

Also, I doubt the veracity of Wikileaks cables. In this case I suspect truthful information was released in an effort to establish Wikileaks bona fides as a whistle blower organization (I assume lots of Wikileaks scoops are true but some critical revelations are false). Here, the U.S. doesn't lose much by admitting to via the cables it was involved. It's obvious. They will not be able to escape the historical judgment so they might as well be the one to tell the truth about it so they can benefit from it. Plus, no one is going to do anything about the revelations so might as well do it. And, they will not be widely known. Sure, people that actively follow the news will know, but many people just see headlines about the regime raping people or slaughtering civilians and they won't hear about the Wikileaks cables re Syria.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 14 2012 16:18 utc | 75

Upon further reflection . . .

The new $42 million 'meme patrol' Sharmine references in the article is probably a way to gradually condition Americans to accept more overt propaganda efforts domestically.

If we think they are only reading and watching what we are doing, as opposed to actively posting comments or creating propaganda, they claim it's legal. But this distinction previously didn't apply; the CIA can't legally surveil a person in the U.S., right? Of course it can't assassinate a person in the U.S., legally and theoretically at least. But now they are trying to say, "ok, we can't assassinate or run active operations on domestic soil, but we can run surveillance operations now."

And now the politicians have proposed getting rid of any prohibitions on domestic propaganda.

Btw, watched the movie Network (1976) recently and wondered if this helped advance a false meme that networks got rid of their news staff because of financial considerations. The movie really played this up as an excuse why the news is less truthful nowadays and I wondered if this was a meme they planted so we would accept crappier news.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 14 2012 16:27 utc | 76

The NYT comes out with an actual report of the Tremseh "massacre".

No massacre at all, just a battle and the FSA lost.

New Details of a Battle Challenge Reports of a Syrian Massacre

New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.
A combination of videos, televised confessions of numerous captured fighters and reports from activists outside the area all indicated that a battle on Thursday between the military and local fighters in Tremseh, a village of 11,000 people about 22 miles northwest of the central city of Hama, resulted in a slaughter of rebel forces.
Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account. But Syrian officials colored that account with their usual terminology of blaming “foreign terrorist gangs” for all violence. The government said the Syrian Army had inflicted “heavy losses” on the “terrorists.”

The picture emerging is that there was a large group of fighters from the town and the local area bivouacked in Tremseh. The Syrian Army moved in early Thursday, blocking all exits and blasting away with machine guns, tank shells and rockets fired from helicopters, laying waste to the town.

“Whenever the Syrian Army knows there are fighters concentrated in an area, they attack,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the Observatory activist who collects statistics from a network in Syria. “The majority of people killed in Tremseh were either rebel fighters from the village or from surrounding villages.”

Syrian state television paraded several captured fighters on television on Saturday who said Tremseh had been a regional center of operations for the past 20 days. The captives said that 200 to 300 fighters had gathered there to plot attacks on checkpoints and other military targets.

Posted by: b | Jul 14 2012 16:45 utc | 77

Good job by the NYT then.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 14 2012 16:56 utc | 78

Seems like there's been a subtle policy shift. We'll know for sure when the UN report on Tremseh comes out.

Posted by: dh | Jul 14 2012 18:06 utc | 79

Noirette, the $5000 buy-out out of conscription is correct, but this applies only to Syrians living abroad and wishing to stay abroad but would like to visit Syria in the future without getting thrown in jail when they do because they did not serve the conscription period of 18 months. Syrian in Syria have no way of avoiding the conscription. Male children born in and living in a foreign country if the father is Syrian are still subject to being drafted.

College and technical male students 18 and over can get a temporary postponement to finish courses but must eventually serve after graduation. "only-sons" in a family are excused from military duty. Most Syrian draft dodgers are hiding out in Lebanon because there are no visa requirements between the countries and no special work permits are required; there are about 200,000 Syrian labourers in Lebanon.

Posted by: www | Jul 14 2012 18:27 utc | 80

>>> Let the Syrian people decide their fate alone without our bad intentions,that's all. >>>

I agree, Dahoit, I wasn't being critical of Assad's admirers, but of those arguing up and down about Syria without realizing it's a police state. Not all opponents of Assad are necessarily terrorists; there are some with valid beefs against the regime. I don't have anything personal against Assad, but his regime is not as innocent in this conflict as much as the Syrian guys here and b are depicting it.

Posted by: www | Jul 14 2012 19:04 utc | 81

It seems safe to say that Those-pulling-the-strings-in-the-background bribed, cajoled, brow-beat, or otherwise coerced some lumpen types to go shoot up a Syrian town, telling them something like, "Don't worry, when the Army fires back NATO will ride over the hill to your rescue."

Typical gangsterite methodology.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 14 2012 20:07 utc | 82

Walter, you're watching too many old movies and chasing too many ghosts. If a budget of $42 million for dirty tricks knocked you off your feet, what would a bilion dollars do to you if you found out that it was spent over a little more than 3 years by the State Dept to disparage Hezbollah in the eyes of Lebanon's youth? In Assistant-Secretary of State for Near-Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman's words on June 8, 2010 to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and south and Central Asian Affairs, page 8:

"... Moreover, the United States provides assistance and support in
Lebanon that work to create alternatives to extremism, reduce Hizballah’s appeal
to Lebanon’s youth, and empower people through greater respect for their rights
and greater access to opportunity. Through USAID and the Middle East
Partnership Initiative (MEPI), we have contributed more than $500 million to this
effort since 2006. These robust assistance programs represent one facet of our
unwavering support for the Lebanese people and a strong, sovereign, stable, and
democratic Lebanon. Since 2006, our total assistance to Lebanon has now
exceeded $1 billion. If we let down the millions of Lebanese who yearn for a state
that represents the aspirations of all Lebanese, we would create the conditions by
which Hizballah can, by filling a vacuum, grow even stronger.

Posted by: www | Jul 14 2012 20:56 utc | 83

I assume the $42 million is just the tip of the iceberg. I'm sure the black budget for this stuff is endless. One week of opium sales from Afghanistan probably does the trick for a decade.

I assume it was mostly done for PR purposes or to prepare the people for further revelations.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 15 2012 0:35 utc | 84

Juniper Banks
A terrorist bombing in ElSaqa school in Elbaath #Hama, while children were inside playing, killed 2 & injured other children. #Syria

and WWW every state is a police state...try starting a revolution/insurgency in your state and see what happens

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 0:53 utc | 85

however: NYT true to form writes this: 'But Syrian officials colored that account with their usual terminology of blaming “foreign terrorist gangs” for all violence. The government said the Syrian Army had inflicted “heavy losses” on the “terrorists.”'....'colored'? there are foreign terrorist gangs...theyve been reported, interviewed and admit they go to syria to fight Assad!...its the NYT doing the coloration...using white paint

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 1:35 utc | 86

That's like when a carbomb goes off in Damascus, and western media report that "the Syrian regime blame what they call "terrorists" for the bombing", as if it would be appropriate to call it anything else.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 15 2012 1:50 utc | 87

Linda Juniper ‏@LindaJuniper
Ahmad ElShahat climbed 23floors to replace Israeli flag with the Egyptian, with little editing he became a Syrian rebel

here is what really happened back in 2011

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 2:09 utc | 88

made one comment on Aussie PM Facebook page and FB admin quickly banned me and removed post (about syria and alqaeda)...all in about 10 seconds

is this 'democracy'

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 2:44 utc | 89

No kidding, you didn't read the disclaimer:

Politician This is the Official Facebook Fan Page of the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. It is maintained by her Office.


Posted by: Alexander | Jul 15 2012 2:51 utc | 90

Somehow the formatting broke,
was supposed to be on a line of its own.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 15 2012 2:52 utc | 91
See twitter feed from Dutch journalist Sander van Hoorn
Sander van Hoorn ‏@svhoorn

Impossible now to say how many civilians got killed in ‪#Tremseh‬ but at first sight (!!) it does not appear to be another Houla. ‪#Syria‬
4:52 PM - 14 Jul 12 via Twitter for Mac ·

8:54 AM - 14 Jul 12 via web ·

Sander van Hoorn ‏@svhoorn
@Alexblx Sure. I do read that too. I just tweet what I observed and what people told me.
5:02 PM - 14 Jul 12 via Twitter for Mac

Sander van Hoorn Sander van Hoorn ‏@svhoorn

@evaBS That is what I observed. Shelling? Yes? People killed? Certainly. A massacre a la Houla? I did not see anything suggesting that

>>So: Yes, there was fighting here. ‪#Tremseh‬ got shelled and a lot of people died. But I did not see clear signs of a massacre ‪#Syria‬ >>

>>There are rumors about ambulances removing bodies. Nobody said anything to me about that, even when my questioning was leading >>

I was taken to a graveyard. I counted 30 graves. A man told me some 40 ppl were buried here. I did not see a mass grave. >>

However, I was shown a lot of AK74 shells, only proving shots were fired from within the town. Not clear by whom since both sides use them>>

>>Some people told me about gangs from neighboring Alawite villages. Others just talked about the Syrian Army. No signs of FSA-presence>>

>> Where blood could be seen, I also saw impact holes of artillery. People talked about execution stile killings. Saw no traces. >>

>> Damage on clusters of houses by shelling from multiple sides. School, used as refugee shelter, also hit. Remarkable lack of blood >>

Some observations after my afternoon visit to ‪#Tremseh‬, ‪#Syria‬. Clear marks of intensive shelling. People died here. No signs of massacre >>

Entering ‪#tremseh‬, ‪#syria‬ ‪#syrie‬

Compare with this crap from the Guardian:
Martin Chulov ‏@martinchulov

‪#Tremseh‬ witnesses said many bodies burned & others taking away by attackers. ‪#Syria‬
8:54 AM - 14 Jul 12

Martin Chulov ‏@martinchulov

Spoke to 2 ‪#Tremseh‬ residents present during massacre. They said some attacking soldiers tried to defect & were executed ‪#Syria‬

Cosmo Shield ‏@CosmoShield

@martinchulov hi Martin, cld u email me if u can do a BBC radio interview about Tremseh?

10:18 AM - 14 Jul 12 via web

I doubt the BBC will want an interview with van Hoorn. Stand by for personal attacks on him.

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 4:01 utc | 92

alex 90

i guess its for fans only!

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 4:02 utc | 93

part of a long debate at Willyloman rebuking an writer on syria:
willyloman, on July 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm said:
Ah jeez…
You have been presented scores of examples and the corresponding links proving that you and various writers at antiwar continuously repeat proven disinfo as fact. I showed you where jason took “activist said” journalism and reported it as fact. You claim to justify your previous call to remove Assad from power because you’re an anarchist. And your comment justifying Jason’s article was downright dishonest. And of course you continue with your trollish debate tactics.
And you pretend to be proving yourpoint?
It’s not a civil war
Syria is not responsible for the escalation with Turkey
Assad is not a fascist
Assad is not the one commiting atrocities in Syria
This destabilization capaign is run by the West
The obvious task of antiwar is to support the NATO propaganda while opposing involvement. That way even the dissidents will believe the lies.
If you think for a minute that you have “won” this little debate you need to post your own “headshot” on your cognitive dissidence page.

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 6:53 utc | 94

>>> and WWW every state is a police state...try starting a revolution/insurgency in your state and see what happens.

That's absurd, Brian, it stands to reason that no country is going to roll out the welcome mat to any group trying to start a revolution. It was once estimated that at any public gathering anywhere in the country and for any reason, 10% of those attending were actually observers (snitches) the Syrian secret services. Being so far away, you wouldn't have been exposed to this sad and frightening fact about day-to-day life in Syria or under Syrian control. The regime had everyone leery of every street vendor or shoe shine boy and had everyone speaking in low voices lest one of the neighbors or a passer-by would hear a word of dissent being spoken and report it to the regime. Leave your virtual FB world and visit Syria to experience some of first-hand spooking experiences of living under the regime, but first, send your cheque for not having served in the army or you will be thrown in jail when you land there. The conflict didn't spontaneously erupt at the hand of the CIA; there were real sufferings for decades. Hadn't the uprising happened, the Kurds would still be stateless and 2/3 of the parliament seats would still be reserved for the Baathist socialist party. What is different about this country from pre-Soviet era police states Romania, Bulgaria, Albania etc etc etc? I'm against military or any other kind of intervention in Syria, but I'm also against the false picture being drawn here about how life was in Syria before this uprising started and is now being nurtured by the US and the Gulf Arabs.

Posted by: www | Jul 15 2012 8:05 utc | 95

That should have been "Soviet era": instead of "pre-Soviet era" police states. Sorry.

Posted by: www | Jul 15 2012 8:10 utc | 96

www 95

please stop using phrase..'police states'..for reason i gave

Posted by: brian | Jul 15 2012 8:15 utc | 97

Dr Jihad Makdissi, spokesman for Foreign Affairs just held a press conference to refute Annan's report letter on what happened at Tremseh. He said all of Tremseh covers barely 1 sq km so it's absurd for the anyone to be saying that 150 tanks were used by the army when attacked such a small area. The only attacks happened on only 5 buildings comprised mostly of arms warehouses and nothing else where insurgents were located and nothing but small arms and RPG were used. A total of 37 rebels were killed as well as 2 civilians. Makdisi denied any planes were used in the attack, other that during reconaissance before the actual attack.

Posted by: www | Jul 15 2012 9:25 utc | 98

>>> please stop using phrase..'police states'..for reason i gave>>>

Brian, it's not my words that were making it so, it was the government's actions. Whether or not I call it a police state, nothing will change the reality of the situation. When people can't even criticize a regime, that should tell you that it's one of the signs of a police state. People in the US, Canada, France and so many others can criticize their governments without fear of reprisal. That's the difference.

Posted by: www | Jul 15 2012 9:34 utc | 99

maybe you believe this guy, Brian

"The detention facilities I was taken to were human slaughterhouses," Kaileh said.

this guy did nothing but speak his mind ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 15 2012 10:31 utc | 100

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