Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 15, 2012

Tremseh "Massacre" Was A Legitimate Military Operation

This is what the foreign supported insurgency in Syria first claimed:

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.
...
Activists in Hama posted a video on YouTube accusing the government of “ethnic cleansing in Hama,” and said the killings in Tremseh were “unlike any massacre that has previously occurred in Syria.” Tremseh

The massacre accusations came just in time for another UN meeting on Syria. But according to the Syrian government the incident was much different from what the insurgents claimed. It had received some intelligence about specific places in Tremseh where foreign supported FSA insurgents gathered and prepared for new attacks. It took the initiative and in the early morning of Thursday raided those places and captured or killed most of the insurgents and their weapons there.

The Syrian government version is largely confirmed by the UN observers who later visited the place:

"The attack on Tremseh appeared targeted at specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists," the spokesman for the U.N. observer mission to Syria said in an emailed statement.

That storyline is also confirmed by statements insurgency supporters made to AFP:

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."

Identifying herself as Mariam, she told AFP by Skype that the incident occurred when government forces stormed the village in a bid to retake it and the rebels withdrew when they found themselves outnumbered.

Government troops "resorted to excessive force against around 30 members of the FSA inside the village," she added.

Thus far, amateur videos purportedly documenting the killing have shown the bodies only of men.

An NYT analysis of various videos and names of casualties also confirmed the government version:

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.
...
Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account.
...
The picture emerging is that there was a large group of fighters from the town and the local area bivouacked in Tremseh.
...
“Whenever the Syrian Army knows there are fighters concentrated in an area, they attack,” said the leader of the Observatory, who goes by the pseudonym Rami Abdul-Rahman for safety reasons. “The majority of people killed in Tremseh were either rebel fighters from the village or from surrounding villages.”

The Syrian government, the UN observers, activists, the available facts and even a spokesperson for the insurgency all seem to agree on this case. This was no "massacre" but an ordinary military surpirize attack on an enemy redoubt. The causalities were combatants.

But the truth does not hinder the usual suspects from spewing their lies. Clinton:

There was "indisputable evidence" that the Syrian regime had "deliberately murdered civilians" in a massacre in the central village of Tremseh in which more than 200 people died, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.

Erdogan:

"This inhuman massacre, this attempted genocide, are just early signs pointing to the demise of this regime," Erdogan told a meeting of his Justice and Development party in the north-western town of Kocaeli.

"Why care for the facts when you have a bully pulpit?" those hypocrites may think. They want to create a fake democracy in Syria with their puppets in control. Just like in Libya where human rights are now worse  than under Gaddafi.

But in the end the facts will matter. The Tremseh operation shows that the Syrian government has significant intelligence about the insurgency. It also has the ability to decisively move troops against its enemy when such intelligence comes up. This was not always the case but these days the Syrian army's performance seems to be improving.

Four weeks ago the insurgency distributed maps of allegedly FSA held areas. All the battles of the last days, including the one in Tremseh, took place within the areas the FSA claimed to hold. That fact plus the successful operation in Tremseh seems to support a view that the tide has turned and that the insurgency is, for now, in retreat.

Posted by b on July 15, 2012 at 15:47 UTC | Permalink

Comments

It also suggests that if Tremseh was a Sunni village and only FSA areas were targeted in the government attacks, that ordinary Sunni civilians are starting to inform the government on the precise locations of the Sunni/al Qaeda fighters.

Posted by: johnf | Jul 15 2012 16:20 utc | 1

Thanks b, for staying on top of this attempt to expel Assad. In the end, as long as he has the backing of the majority of Syrians, he'll probably remain.

Posted by: ben | Jul 15 2012 16:47 utc | 2

But according to the Syrian government the incident was much different from what the insurgents claimed.

Yeah, no doubt. Importantly, this version of events accommodates your general narrative.

One thing is for sure, b, you'll always be able to find something on the internets to confirm your necessary delusions.Marshall on, brother.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 15 2012 17:12 utc | 3

"One thing is for sure, b, you'll always be able to find something on the internets to confirm your necessary delusions."

I've noticed that one thing sloppy never does is provide actual evidence to support his points.

Posted by: rkka | Jul 15 2012 17:45 utc | 4

the sad thing is that with instances like these, it does NOT matter whose "story" is more correct, but it matters only whose is believed by who...

so, so long as Russia keeps blocking US intervention, and Assad keeps the majority of the country stable.... we wont have to think if 1000 dead due to nerve gas is worse than 1200 by drones....

Posted by: simon | Jul 15 2012 19:08 utc | 5

as humanitarians are prepared to pay for bombs but not for food Syrians may starve anyway ...

http://tribune.com.pk/story/408610/un-worried-about-funding-for-syria-aid/

“We have used the terminology ‘appalling’, ‘desperate’ and ‘deplorable’. We have run out of language to describe how it is for the civilian population. It is physical and it is psychological,” Ging, who will chair Monday’s meeting, told reporters.
A senior UN humanitarian official said that if more money is not offered, people will die in Syria. Activists say more than 17,000 people have already been killed in the conflict.
“If the money doesn’t come lives will be lost and the suffering will accelerate,” the senior official said on condition of anonymity.
The Syrian government has eased some of the obstacles it had placed on humanitarian deliveries and eight non-government agencies are now able to work in the country where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting off an increasingly bitter uprising.
Aid is mainly delivered through the Syrian Red Crescent, which has seen five workers killed since the start of the conflict in March last year.
The senior official said that aid was now getting to every province in Syria though not in regular amounts.
The UN has estimated that more than one million Syrians are now affected by the conflict and the official said the number is growing as the fighting worsens.
The United Nations is also concerned that Syria’s wheat harvest this year is likely to be cut to two million tonnes, below the 3.6 million tonnes the country needs, the official said."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 15 2012 19:21 utc | 6

ah, the latest nerve gas hoax. sigh...
We already had the babies deceased in incubators hoax recycled from Irak campaign, so it's not like they intend to refrain recycling hoaxes of mass media destruction...

Posted by: rototo | Jul 15 2012 19:22 utc | 7

Erdogan: "this attempted genocide"

Is this guy for real? Erdogan the same Turkish President who flipped out when the US Congress called the deaths of 1.5 Million Armenians "the Armenian Genocide" is now claiming that 200 deaths equals a genocide. Has he gone completely mad? Would Erdogan call the deaths of 100,000 - 1 million Iraqis at the hands of America "genocide"?

I'm telling you the man has lost it. Most world leaders would be to embarrassed to get up in front of a mircophone and call the deaths of 200 people an "attempted genocide". The guy has lost it.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 15 2012 20:04 utc | 8

"Humanitarian intervention" is the last refuge of politicians who, having promised reform and protection of the people against the rich and powerful, lack the courage necessary to take on the oligarchy. Instead they howl against the enemies of those they fear such as the USA.

Blair is the perfect example: he hadn't got the guts to take on the Bankers in the City or Press Barons like Murdoch, but he was courage itself when the chance to help America bomb undefended Serbia, Iraq or Sierra Leone came up.

As to the French Socialists, coming up with "progressive" excuses for joining American lynch mobs has become a way of life for them. It is all they dare to do.

Then there are Liberals, such as The Guardian, Juan Cole and three quarters of the "left" in Europe and North America, who attempt to compensate for their cowardice in the face of the challenges of rising inequality, authoritarianism, declining living standards and the loss of civil rights, (even basic voting rights), who have looked the other way as Trade Unions have been castrated, and public wealth given away to corrupt corporations, who have nothing else left to them, to show their love of the people, but to call for wars against countries like Syria, Libya, Somalia and Afghanistan. First making sure that they are short of arms and ammunition and their populations are hungry and desperate for essentials.

Thus it is that at the head of the lynch mob calling for war against Syria are people like Cole, while papers such as The Guardian are even more cynical and Goebbelsian than the semi-official New York Times and the ultra right wing Daily Mail. They fear an honest discussion in a calm atmosphere; they fear being asked, for example, what they are proposing should be done about Palestine, where they have been excusing real massacres for almost seventy years, because those carrying out the massacres have money and influence. It is nothing for them to put the lives of young soldiers at risk; their own careers and comfort, though, are sacrosanct.

That is where Erdogan comes in: friendless Syria is a country small enough for him to bully whereas not only his NATO partners but the "deep state" in Turkey, have told him that it is more than his job, perhaps even his life, is worth to talk honestly about Palestine.

As I visit "left wing" blogs I am often surprised to see their authors list people such as the warmongering Cole (anti-Iranian, anti-Libyan, anti-Syrian) as reliable sources of opinion, rather than arse-lickers looking for jobs, and prepared to serve up millions of shi-a, alawites, communists and other unfashionable minorities in order to make themselves more comfortable.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 15 2012 21:24 utc | 9

some of Israel propaganda is going a small step further than before... http://www.debka.com/article/22182/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Posted by: simon | Jul 15 2012 22:25 utc | 10

More evidence there'll be no foreign military intervention in Syria, plus evidence that the UK's current policy stances against Syria are not very popular with the UK public:

A UK public opinion survey conducted in mid-June and published in July, sponsored by Chatham House, asked the question: "Thinking about popular uprisings (such as in Libya, Egypt and Syria) in which citizens attempt to overthrow a dictator, which ONE of these statements comes closest to your view?"

(A) Britain has a moral responsibility to support such uprisings regardless of whether it benefits Britain’s national interests: 23 percent of respondents.
(B) Britain should only support such uprisings if it benefits Britain’s national interests: 20 percent of respondents
(C) Britain should not involve itself at all in such uprisings: 43 percent of respondents
(D) Don't know: 15 percent of respondents

Among the respondents who said that in UK elections they vote for the currently-governing UK Conservative Party, 46 percent picked the option that Britain should not involve itself at all in such uprisings even if it would benefit Britain's national interests.

http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Europe/0712ch_yougov_survey_0.pdf
http://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/papers/view/184631

I see this (and everything else I see) as another basis for reiterating my mantra: The Syrian government needs to say NO to renewal of point number two of Kofi Annan's six point plan.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 0:08 utc | 11

'b' writes at the top of the thread that the Syrian security forces conducted a quality operation against insurgents in Treimseh town "and captured or killed most of the insurgents and their weapons there". It's not true. Here's what's true: Treimseh contained 250 to 300 well-armed rebels when the security forces moved in aginst them last Thursday morning. 37 of the rebels were killed, and 40 were arrested, and substantial weapons caches were taken. But the remaining 150 rebels are still at large.

Of my sources for that, the first of the following sources is the best. It is a summary of the confessions of four rebels, three of whom are natives of Treimseh town. The four were arrested during the operation in the town last Thursday and made televised confessions on Syrian State TV on Friday or Saturday.
http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/07/13/431292.htm
http://www.sana.sy/eng/21/2012/07/13/431278.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIdFi8UMlSQ
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/15/c_131716906.htm

Unfortunately for the past 30 hours or more the www.SANA.sy site is down (inoperative) due to a distributed denial-of-service attack. By the way, if SANA continues to be down, you can get highlights from SANA's content at http://www.syriaonline.sy/?f=Section&catid=12 . That's a website of Syrian State TV that is not affected by the problem SANA is having.

On Sunday 15 Jul 2012 Syrian government spokesman Jihad Maqdisi gave a press conference conference: "My aim from this conference is to tell you that what happened in Treimseh was not a massacre.... We stress here that no heavy artillery was used at all." Maqdesi said the security forces used only light weapons, including RPGs, adding that the air force wasn't involved in the operation and neither were the tanks. He denied that the UN observers were correct when they said the army's operations involved the use of firing from helicopters. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/15/c_131716906.htm

The UN observers made the claim about the sighting of helicopters on Friday, but did not repeat it on Saturday. However on Saturday the UNSMIS spokeswoman Sausan Ghosheh speaking on behalf of the UN observers who visited Tremseh on Saturday said "a wide range of weapons were used, including artillery, mortars and small arms."

It is contrary to Point Number Two of Annan's six-point plan for the Syrian security forces to use heavy weaponry (artillery) against rebels in population centers.

Syria's agreement with Annan expires on 20 Jul 2012. Today 15 Jul 2012 the International Red Cross declared for the first time that Syria is in a state of civil war (technically called a "non-international armed conflict"). Nobody can dispute that designation any longer. Nobody can dispute that violence got much worse while the Annan agreement has been in force. And I assert it's specifically because of point number two of the Annan agreement, the plain language of which requires the Syrian army to withdraw from populated areas. If Syria recommits itself to point number two of the six point plan in the upcoming days, I'm going to be hugely pissed off. I believe the Syrian government's reservedness in taking the fight to the rebels is to blame in no small part for the deteriorating state of affairs in the country since last autumn. Recommitting itself to more reservedness is totally unjustified.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 1:06 utc | 12

Journalist Hosein Mortada of Al-Alam TV, together with a cameraman, was embedded with the Syrian army in Homs city in late June for one day, primarily in the Jourat Al-Shaiyah neighborhood. The resulting documentary, 15 minutes long, was rebroadcast more recently by PressTV in Arabic with English subtitles. It doesn't really contain any new news, but nevertheless I found it was worth watching, and reading the subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tnONWDWeukk#t=330s

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 1:33 utc | 13

>>> If Syria recommits itself to point number two of the six point plan in the upcoming days, I'm going to be hugely pissed off. >>>

Parviziyi, like Brian, you're thousands of miles away from Syria so it's not about what pisses you off, and it is not a video game. Doing away with point 2 would turn Syria into another Libya wasteland. Ypu're being misguided by all the talk about NATO countries' reticence to attack, they're just building up a head of steam to jump start an assault on Syria for "humanitarian" reasons without the need of a UN cover that even Russia wouldn't object to. The maassacres of civilians by the terrorists at Houla was intended to give NATO the justification it needed but the terrorists blew it by overdoing it. You also have Israel now making noises about its right of self-preservation against Syria's hundreds of tons of chemical and biological weapons which it will use to attack Syria if the massacres angle continue to not work against the Syrian regime. There's a right way, which is what Syria is now doing and wearing down the terrorists and costing their backers a fortune and there's a wrong way, which would be an all out war on the terrorists and provoke a NATO or Israeli war and most probably a war by both that would cost hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilian lives and the devastation of the country. Your adventurist approach to resolve the conflict is wrong.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 4:18 utc | 15

Bevin #9, 10/10 on that one, especially with your comment about everyone being oblivious to the plight of the Palestinians. For me, what distinguishes Syria from all other dictatorships is its stance on Palestine. Syria has done a lot of unsavory stuff in its past, which stops me from becoming an all-out admirer, but it can't be denied that Syria is the country that has done the most and continues doing the most for the Palestinians. Syria is just about the only country that allows Palestinian refugees to work in any field and that provides for them education and health care. It was also thanks to Syria's help that the Israeli occupation of Lebanon was ended. With Syria out of the way, Israel would be lording it all over the Middle East and this is what's probably behind the US obsession with dismantling the Syrian state.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 4:45 utc | 16

Simon #10, the photo of the wrestling tag team what Debka calls Syrian shabiha goons has all the markings of salafists. The Syrian flags behind them is to throw you off the track. Salafists in Syria are the ones chanting "the Christians to Beirut and the Alawites to the grave". They're not open to any discussion about stopping the conflict.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 5:27 utc | 17

I would like to point out that television confessions are worthless, as they are bound to be enforced.
I have no doubt that the Syrian army will win this militarily, the fight now is on perception. They have been in danger of perpetuating this conflict with every person that gets killed, they probably already are caught in a vicious cirle.
You are right, www, the strategy of each side is presumably wearing the other side down.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 16 2012 5:43 utc | 18

So, twice in a row the official Syrian government statements have been proven to have been correct.
First with the Turkey jet, and now with this "massacre". Despite all manner of silly accusations and charges they actually have no reason to lie.

Posted by: david | Jul 16 2012 6:54 utc | 19

Kofi Annan's plan will never work because he fails put any pressure on the exile rebel leadership and only makes vague references to them as "all sides" must lay down their weapons but he never blames the opposition, whoever they are, for crimes committed in this conflict..You can see it by how quick he rushes to blame the "government" when any made-to-order "massacre" is committed..

The only thing that will bring the opposition to the negotiation table is when they're soundly defeated on the battlefield..And that tide is now turning against them..The Syrian army is no longer holding back on their attacks on their hideouts and really putting them under pressure to either flee or die.. More to follow this week...

Posted by: Zico | Jul 16 2012 7:14 utc | 20

The rebels continue to fight because they're told to by their handlers abroad and they believe they'll get their Benghazi moment by a NATO intervention..The Syrian army can outlast them on the battlefield for years as they have all the resources to keep this cat and mouse game going..

Anyone remember when Clinton openly told the rebels not to lay down their weapons? I wish she could say the same about the Taliban in Afghanistan..Oh I forgot, the Taliban are the bad terrist now and the Al-Qaeda infested Syrian opposition are now the good terrist..How cute :)

Posted by: Zico | Jul 16 2012 7:21 utc | 21

@ somebody #18: Over the last year Syrian State TV has broadcast a lot of televised confessions by terrorists | rebels. Many of the confessions are incoherent and hard to believe in some one part or another, which tends to cast the entire confession into dubiousness. The guys doing the confessing are poorly educated, intellectually weak, etc. -- "that is the nature of the beast." And their interrogators no doubt partake in nudging them or leading them into saying things that suit the interrogators preconceptions.

I can't believe, however, that confessions are extracted by duress. I would like to point out that torture is not only illegal in Syria, it is also unconstitutional. It was explicitly banned in the 1973 Constitution, and that clause of the 1973 Constitution was renewed in the 2011 revised Constitution. The ban is politically popular, which implies it'd be difficult and dangerous for an interragator to violate it because there'd be other security people about the place who could blow a whistle.

The confessions by the terrorists who were at Treimseh town last week are consistent with each other, and each is internally consistent with itself, and they are relatively high quality confessions as these things go. And these guys say they estimate that when the army showed up there were 250 terrorist gunmen in the town, who had been gathering in the town over the previous 20 days, and had taken over the town, and had blocked roads and attacked security checkpoints just outside the town over the previous couple of weeks. Their plan was to enforce a General Strike in the town by force of arms (that's why I prefer to call them terrorists). On the morning of Thursday 12 Jul 2012, they heard to their surprise that the army was encircling the town, so they tried to escape, but couldn't, and then they received orders to attack the army. The terrorists were very well-armed. The arms had been brought to the town by an organizer with plush contacts.
http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/07/13/431292.htm

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 7:51 utc | 22

Zico, I remember Clinton telling the rebels not to put down their arms. Her call to them came only hours after Assad made them an offer of amnesty if they would only surrender their arms. She snapped back that they should hold on to their arms. About 8,000 additional Syrians have died since Clinton's call; she is now in the same league as that other mass murderess that worked under Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright. Clinton's call to keep the fight going also reminded me of the other murderess, Condoleeza Rice. One week into the war on Lebanon in 2006, Israel was ready to stop but Rice would not let them. Even after a ceasefire had been agreed to, Rice kept stalling at the UN for a week to give time to Israel to carpet bomb south Lebanon's villages and farmlands with 3 million cluster bombs graciously supplied by the US. After Albright, Rice ad Clinton we can conclude that women serving as Secretary of State are bad news.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 8:08 utc | 23

I agree with Zico #20. Except, however, I can't agree when Zico says: "The Syrian army is no longer holding back on their attacks."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 8:19 utc | 24

>>> I would like to point out that torture is not only illegal in Syria, it is also unconstitutional. It was explicitly banned in the 1973 Constitution, and that clause of the 1973 Constitution was renewed in the 2011 revised Constitution. The ban is politically popular, which implies it'd be difficult and dangerous for an interragator to violate it because there'd be other security people about the place who could blow a whistle.>>>

It's also banned in the US and most Western countries, but it has never gotten in anybody's way, Parviziyi, I thought you were only misguided; now I see you are simple, innocent and credulous. You're probably also like Brian in never having visited Syria.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 8:22 utc | 25

@ www: I long ago saw that you are a blind and stupid fool with no understanding of the Syrian situation. Now that you think you see the same me, let's just not talk to each other, please. I will continue to ignore what you say. I ask you to ignore what I say. You have better things to do with your time than to be reading what I say, and vice versa.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 8:33 utc | 26

ok, Parviziyi, I won't address your comments anymore, but you should know that there isn't a country in the world that doesn't torture its prisoners to some degree or other. I apologize for the name calling which wasn't really necessary.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 8:46 utc | 27

The fact that someone's trying to prevent SANA news from operating and bombarding them with DOS is clear proof that the truth is making some people feel uncomfortable..

Remember, this conflict is largely a media one..Like I always say - 90% media, 10% whatever...The longer the conflict drags on, the more the lies of the "opposition" gets exposed..So far, people are beginning to question "activist say" sources of news. Even news fronts that call themselves "alternative media" are also taking bs from people for their "activist say" theme kinda journalism..

Amazing how after every crime is committed, there always seem to be some "activist" just hanging around on skype to report it...BS!!!

Posted by: Zico | Jul 16 2012 8:58 utc | 28

You're probably also like Brian in never having visited Syria.

Posted by: www | Jul 16, 2012 4:22:44 AM | 25

and that means what? WWW ....western 'journalists' visit syria and libya..and what do they write up?

Posted by: brian | Jul 16 2012 9:16 utc | 29

Posted by: david | Jul 16, 2012 2:54:09 AM | 19

yes dave AND not only that SANA is now certified as a valid source, as its been hacked!

http://syria-sana-backup.blogspot.nl/2012/07/sana-website-attacked-to-prevent-it.html

Posted by: brian | Jul 16 2012 9:19 utc | 30

This long post is presenting evidence of the strength and depth of the political support for the Assadists in Syria.

It is a collection of videos of live music concerts in Syria in various years in the decade of the 2000s (and none from 2011 or 2012). At these concerts the audience has gathered for music and dining, not for politics, but the singer on the stage sings or speaks words that praise Assad, mentioning Assad by name. I present this collection as good evidence that the support for rule by the Assadists runs deep in the Syrian society. Deep at least in the more liberal, more urban population; the religiously conservative and rural populations are somewhat underrepresented in these audiences. The music genre is "Levantine popular" or "Arabic popular". The singers are Syrian or Lebanese nationals, most of whom are very well-known household names in Syria, and rest are pretty well-known. In Syria the concerts of this genre are attended by all age groups (about equally), all social classes (near equally though the poor classes are underrepresented), and all religious sects (with Sunnis predominant just because the Sunnis are predominant in the general population).

Many live concerts like these, all dating from before 2011, in which the Syria of Assad is publicly endorsed and applauded in the social context of a popular entertainment show, totally convinces me that the support for the Assads runs deep and broad, and that's why I am linking to them. If you from your prior knowledge can't be convinced that the sentiments in these videos is representative of the predominant Syrian state of mind, you should at least be prepared to allow that they MAY be representative, since you don't have the evidence they're not representative.

Rabia Hamdi (singer) and Talal Al-Daawar (keyboards) at a gig in Aleppo in year 2005. At time 1:40:30 (i.e. after 1 hour 40 minutes) the singer says "Cheers for the Syria of Assad, Bashar and Hafez Assad". The sound is live but mis-synchronized with the visual by 3.33 seconds at that point in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2DW8lAlC1CA#t=118s

In an ordinary restaurant about year 2005, singer is Nirmin Ibrahim, laudation for "Bashar Hafez Al-Assad" at time 6:53: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wcHVPBeM3ys#t=411s

In an ordinary dancehall hosting live dabke music on New Year's Eve in 2010, we see photos of Bashar and Hafez Assad overhead on the stage at time 00:02:50, time 01:19:20, and other times in the video. The singer is صادق اسبر . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_zSHVtgljU

In a nightclub in year 2009, singer is Wafiq Habib, sings "Syria is our country, Bashar is our leader" at time 1:31: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AVbE_PeVLk&feature=player_detailpage#t=70s

Music concert at Abbasiyyin Stadium in Damascus, in year 2010, the singer is Assi Helani, sings "Syria is our country, Bashar is our lion" at time 2:06: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sCA7OTRw8Vk#t=49s

Ceremony as part of Damascus International Fair in year 2008, the singer is Ruwaida Attieh, the word "Assad" is at time 2:40: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-oYOHQkuM

"Love and Peace Festival", an annual summertime music festival in Syria, video from year 2001, venue is a football stadium (I think Latakia's), the singer is Najwa Karam, who sings that there are mountains in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Homs and Hama but Assad is the higest, best and most important mountain in Syria. Word "Assad" at time 2:26: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=693dwS4xo3E . Next here's the same singer singing the same song in the same year in a different football stadium (namely Abbasiyyin stadium), with word "Assad" at time 2:14 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csLpZ8-aA_s

Concert as part of Damascus International Fair in year 2004, the singer is again Najwa Karam, who is perhaps the number one most popular singer in Syria and surely in the top four, the word "Assad" is at time 2:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrfg9ZGAEoY . It's worth noting that almost half of the women in this audience in Damascus are wearing hijab head coverings (a marker of Sunni conservative religion). But the resolution of the video is so low that it's barely possible to see this, and therefore, in case you're interested in this issue, here are three videos of the same singer in the same venue where the resolution is better and you can see the head coverings on the women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Cxf7uIrH_NI#t=14s , http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_2TgbPQg1Ns#t=114s , http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BXUD2ZNtUcM#t=139s

Najwa Karam, Damascus 1995, "Assad" at time 3:01 and 3:28 (you can hear the crowd cheering for the name): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sgfW2eZ2_4

The political information in the above videos lies with the audience, not the singer (the singer's political opinion is just one person's two cents).

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 9:19 utc | 31

THe BS started at the very beginning when an Arab news network reportedly supplied the rebels with expensive Thuraya satellite phones to file their videos and news reports as the Syrian government had put controls on land and cell lines. It worked OK for a while until the rebels got into the movie making business and started making up their own stories and the news network kept broadcasting them eventhough their veracity was in doubt. The network got away with spreading the misinformation by simply stating that the video we were about to see was "unverified". This "unverified" label resulted in hundreds of bogus cell-phone videos being broadcast on TV and tens of thousands similar bogus videos posted on youtube.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 9:21 utc | 32

This long post is presenting evidence of the strength and depth of the political support for the Assadists in Syria.

It is a collection of videos of live music concerts in Syria in various years in the decade of the 2000s (and none from 2011 or 2012). At these concerts the audience has gathered for music and dining, not for politics, but the singer on the stage sings or speaks words that praise Assad, mentioning Assad by name. I present this collection as good evidence that the support for rule by the Assadists runs deep in the Syrian society. Deep at least in the more liberal, more urban population; the religiously conservative and rural populations are somewhat underrepresented in these audiences. The music genre is "Levantine popular" or "Arabic popular". The singers are Syrian or Lebanese nationals, most of whom are very well-known household names in Syria, and rest are pretty well-known. In Syria the concerts of this genre are attended by all age groups (about equally), all social classes (near equally though the poor classes are underrepresented), and all religious sects (with Sunnis predominant just because the Sunnis are predominant in the general population).

Many live concerts like these, all dating from before 2011, in which the Syria of Assad is publicly endorsed and applauded in the social context of a popular entertainment show, totally convinces me that the support for the Assads runs deep and broad, and that's why I am linking to them. If you from your prior knowledge can't be convinced that the sentiments in these videos is representative of the predominant Syrian state of mind, you should at least be prepared to allow that they MAY be representative, since you don't have the evidence they're not representative.

Rabia Hamdi (singer) and Talal Al-Daawar (keyboards) at a gig in Aleppo in year 2005. At time 1:40:30 (i.e. after 1 hour 40 minutes) the singer says "Cheers for the Syria of Assad, Bashar and Hafez Assad". The sound is live but mis-synchronized with the visual by 3.33 seconds at that point in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2DW8lAlC1CA#t=118s

In an ordinary restaurant about year 2005, singer is Nirmin Ibrahim, laudation for "Bashar Hafez Al-Assad" at time 6:53: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=wcHVPBeM3ys#t=411s

In an ordinary dancehall hosting live dabke music on New Year's Eve in 2010, we see photos of Bashar and Hafez Assad overhead on the stage at time 00:02:50, time 01:19:20, and other times in the video. The singer is صادق اسبر . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_zSHVtgljU

In a nightclub in year 2009, singer is Wafiq Habib, sings "Syria is our country, Bashar is our leader" at time 1:31: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AVbE_PeVLk&feature=player_detailpage#t=70s

Music concert at Abbasiyyin Stadium in Damascus, in year 2010, the singer is Assi Helani, sings "Syria is our country, Bashar is our lion" at time 2:06: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sCA7OTRw8Vk#t=49s

Ceremony as part of Damascus International Fair in year 2008, the singer is Ruwaida Attieh, the word "Assad" is at time 2:40: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ-oYOHQkuM

...continued in next post...

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 9:25 utc | 33

#Lavrov: Assad would not be removed and will not abandon his post because he enjoys the support of Syrian People

M.D

Posted by: brian | Jul 16 2012 9:26 utc | 34

... this is a continuation...

"Love and Peace Festival", an annual summertime music festival in Syria, video from year 2001, venue is a football stadium (I think Latakia's), the singer is Najwa Karam, who sings that there are mountains in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Homs and Hama but Assad is the higest, best and most important mountain in Syria. Word "Assad" at time 2:26: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=693dwS4xo3E . Next here's the same singer singing the same song in the same year in a different football stadium (namely Abbasiyyin stadium), with word "Assad" at time 2:14 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csLpZ8-aA_s

Concert as part of Damascus International Fair in year 2004, the singer is again Najwa Karam, who is perhaps the number one most popular singer in Syria and surely in the top four, the word "Assad" is at time 2:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrfg9ZGAEoY . It's worth noting that almost half of the women in this audience in Damascus are wearing hijab head coverings (a marker of Sunni conservative religion). But the resolution of the video is so low that it's barely possible to see this, and therefore, in case you're interested in this issue, here are three videos of the same singer in the same venue where the resolution is better and you can see the head coverings on the women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Cxf7uIrH_NI#t=14s , http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_2TgbPQg1Ns#t=114s , http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BXUD2ZNtUcM#t=139s

Najwa Karam, Damascus 1995, "Assad" at time 3:01 and 3:28 (you can hear the crowd cheering for the name): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sgfW2eZ2_4

The political information in the above videos lies with the audience, not the singer (the singer's political opinion is just one person's two cents).

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 16 2012 9:26 utc | 35

Brian, I'm just saying that you don't accept the word or the knowledge of someone that has been there. Of course most of the reporting in Libya and Syria was bogus even if the journalists were actually there, I've given Jazeera as an example. Why is it that we'd believe a Thierry Meyssan that was there and not most of the other journalists? My beef with you is not because you are pro-Assad, you have a right to like Assad but what you can't do is say that the Assad government has always been lily-white. That's our only disagreement. Neither of us want to see Assad removed by the West or the Gulf Arabs. The geography thing is just to get you going and of no consequence. I doubt if more than one or 2 participants here have actually been there, but it doesn't make them or you any less qualified to talk about it.

Posted by: www | Jul 16 2012 9:31 utc | 36

the last thing Syria needs is : Yes to syrian people NO to Assad/or Yes to syria no to NATO...this sort of thinking is typical of leftists these days and aids the empire

Posted by: brian | Jul 16 2012 9:47 utc | 37

basically "leftists" whatever that means are caught up and hung up in
a) their romantic love of revolution and liberation struggles (without wiilingness to recognize what it means in suffering and death)
b) their sympathy for any fight against authoritarian rule (without ... see above ... plus their inability to analyze power structures beyond the official cant)
c) their willingness to support interventions on humanitarian grounds (without ... see above)

the Syrian "revolution" is marketed to the western leftist progressive public, the real fight is about something completely different (and I assume it is between elites). It is absolutely nauseating that all those people loose their lifes for something that very likely will not be in their interest.

As is, there is no side any outside person should support. If you want to support Syrians in a humanitarian way take in the refugees and feed them. If all the money spent on armament got spent on Syrian consumption instead, it would make everybody fat and happy.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 16 2012 10:19 utc | 38

nasty looking thugs: this is what amnesty US EU Australia support
In a clear message against girls teaching Taliban ‪#Syria‬ pose in front of the girls Public Religious School in ‪#Aleppo‬ pic.twitter.com/zXbRqWYD

Posted by: brian | Jul 16 2012 11:15 utc | 39

@37

agree 100%

In fact I'm sure I could add quite a bit about what makes 'leftists' look and sound ridiculous to non-"ist" people, though right now I doubt it would serve much good.

There's a whole bunch of stuff that "ists' in general and leftists in particular (since they are the subject of somebody's comment) can't see and don't get - all because of their silly little ideological blinkers

It is absolutely nauseating that all those people loose their lifes for something that very likely will not be in their interest.

yeah - now where before have we seen a whole bunch of people "loose their lifes for something that very likely will not be in their interest"? (cough cough russia cough 1917 cough ;-)


plus their inability to analyze power structures beyond the official cant)

their inability to analyse, full stop - most of their analysis comes courtesy of theories invented by someone else - that many of them pay great heed to something called Marxist Dialectics is an indication of the root of their cognitive flaws - in their passion for Marxist dialectics (a sometimes useful tool but one with serious flaws and and hence limited application) they completely ignore the existence of the Hegelian Dialectic - to the average mainstream lefty the other sort of dialectic is treated as if it just doesn't exist, or more correctly that it only exists in relation to things they do not admire.

When it comes to events they see as furthering the cause of their socialist utopia, such as 'humanitarian intervention' against supposed despots (or cough the russian cough revolution cough) they are a blind as a bat, (more blind in fact since a bat has sonar as a substitute) - consequently they get fooled about the true nature of events , time and time again. While they may occasionally admit that they were fooled in the past, they rarely if ever understand or will be prepared to admit to themselves, as much as to anyone else, the real reasons that they were fooled and consequently will just as easily be fooled again in the future

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 17 2012 1:41 utc | 40

I would say that what happened was no more than a massacre than the typical confrontation between the US Cavalry in the 1870s and outlaw bands of redskins with their bows and arrows bent on killing peaceful settlers.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jul 17 2012 21:49 utc | 41

far less so in fact since the Syrian gov't is not in the process of stealing the FSA's land and genociding their whole tribes

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 17 2012 23:09 utc | 42

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