Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 01, 2012

Syria: The Fish Lower The Water Level

Yesterday I linked a video of the murdering of some guys by the Syrian insurgency. The men were leading folks from an important Sunni family in Aleppo. The insurgents gave a lot of reasons why they killed them but none of those will matter. The Berri clan/tribe and its related tribes/folks are said to have in total some 20,000 male members. They are now expected to take up arms against the insurgents.

This is not the only incident in which the insurgency made itself not welcome by the population. Mao said something like "The guerrilla is the fish and the people are the water." The insurgents are themselves reducing the water level in which they hope to swim. That will not turn out well for them.

[@all - sorry for the recent light, one themed posting. While I really would like to write on more issues, I currently lack the time doing such.]

Posted by b on August 1, 2012 at 18:46 UTC | Permalink


Interesting - As I see it, this event(execution) allows a mire of openings. As 'B' pointed out it could lead to a force of unity, and be the true aspect of the Civil War;

However and knowing the logic, this would be an ideal opening for the West and it's partners. This tribe can grow in numbers, it has authority and position, it's second tier, all the better, it can be manipulated. If approached it could be explained that they are no longer under Assad, but top of the tree, the West could negotiate that this tribe could form a leadership (Transitional), also offer support and protection, much like in Libya - in turn the problem solved, Assad out and this transitional group-in, a wee bit of in-fighting will occur, but that is expected whatever the outcome.

This would work, since the Arab ethics of trust are piss poor, and back stabbing is as common as sand. All it will take is money and promises and that sell of power! (The promises can be broken once in power, cant have them in control) - Job done!

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 19:36 utc | 1

How long have you been predicting a turning point? How many times have you predicted that this was the end for the rebels? Remember when you predicted Turkey was backing off its support for the rebels? Or that America would back off its support because of whatever random article to an unrelated issue you wanted to highlight that day? Or that Assad is going to do x,y and z which means he will be OK?

The rebels already have anti-tank missiles. They are shooting first and asking questions later. In a few days they will turn Aleppo into the next Benghazi. From there it is straight to Damascus. You think with all the defections and rebel progress Assad will make it to New Years? Come on, get real.

I must say I love reading your posts. After Libya I thought you would have finally figured out that writing what you want to happen is different than what is actually happening, but clearly that is not the case. I can't wait to read your rant when Assad is executed. Boy, I am already smiling thinking about that.

Posted by: Reality Check | Aug 1 2012 19:41 utc | 2

It's getting interested: Prince Bandar, the brand new Saudi intelligence chief, got disappeared?

Posted by: JohnH | Aug 1 2012 19:47 utc | 3

I think the Syrian Army is not performing well. If reports of huge tank and APC losses are true, then Aleppo is going to be definitely a bad defeat for Assad and the beginning of the end.
No matter how much Rebel supporters complain about the lack ofanti-tank weapons, from what I have seen on youtube and elsewhere the rebels have more than enough RPGs.
So sending slow tank units into city streets is suicidal. It needs a single RPG shooter having broken a whole in a house wall which hardly anyone seens to shoot at the tank.
The army must control the rooftops and identify the places where Rebels are firing from.

Posted by: KerKaraje | Aug 1 2012 19:52 utc | 4

Reality Check @ 2

You sure do need some reality check yourself..Can't you see? Apart from media hasbara touting rebel "victory", what exactly have they achieved other than causing chaos and killing people that don't agree with them? Name one specific territory the fsa holds today? Just one. You gotta try a bit harder with your propaganda coz you're not fooling anyone here.

From what I see, they've been ducking and hiding throughout.. Occasionally, they come out and brandish their AKs to western journalist and then as soon as the camera's are turned off, they run back again into hiding.

Benghazi??? Dream on!!!

Posted by: Zico | Aug 1 2012 19:53 utc | 5

@RealitypayCheck , please apply your same funny logic to mainstream media with the thousands of "Assad days are numbered"/"final battle"/"x y z defection is a turning point"/"nail in the assad coffin" etc published for the last 15 months and try not to choke or die in shame if you can.

Posted by: rototo | Aug 1 2012 20:01 utc | 6

Zico, what you described is a tactic that win's, it breaks moral, its unpredictable, it's mobile, it works... War costs, Syria has a large Army, twice that of UK, with far less money, it is also antiquated, a good team of 4-6 men doing hit and run's can put a whole company on the defensive only, then you just need to snipe, pick them off, nothing more frustrating.

The truth of the matter is Assad can't hang out, even if the media let's lose and states, YES, this was planned, who will care? The plan will run it's course, "The civilians need saved". Nothing will change that, and from now to date 'x', Assad will fall. Russia will do a deal, get it's share, a new transitional Gov will be in place, and Syria will be a problem child - the intended outcome - Next!

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 20:04 utc | 7

ArtofWar @ 7

I don't know who you are but I'm guessing your the same "reality check" dude.If not, my apologies..

The strategy your pushing here is a weak one in it's certainly not what the rebels are doing..They're killing the very people they claim to be fighting for..Insurgency rule number one: Make every effort to win over the people to your side.

So far, from the many youtube videos(which will be used as evidence against them in future) of the fsa, none of their actions appear to be wining the hearts and minds of the very people they claim to be fighting..They kill them or force them to join them..That's some winning strategy for you..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 1 2012 20:22 utc | 8

b was right ... up to the point where NATO started bombing Libya. At that point it was obvious which side had the advantage. It wasn't Libyans who defeated Gaddhafi.

BTW, it's very nice of you to tell us that you are enjoying reading this blog, but do you have anything else to contribute? If not, I guess it's time to just ignore the new (really new?) resident troll.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 1 2012 20:25 utc | 9

And may I also add...With the speed at which the Syrian army routed the rebels from Damascus, they sure can easily do the same in Allepo..In Damascus, most of the inhabitants in the neighbourhood that the rebels were hiding was slowly evacuated and the army moved in..The rest is history..Operation "Damascus volcano" was snuffed out within days..

In Allepo, the rebels have entrenched themselves in densely populated neighbourhoods, effectively taking the people hostage..This sh*t can't go on forever..And also, the news about the rebels aquiring MANPADS are just that - "news"..It's all part if the fsa propaganda spy-ops..MANPAD or not, the army will get to them soon.

Posted by: Zico | Aug 1 2012 20:30 utc | 10


No not the same person, and we are all permitted to share our views. Let me clarify;

I agree what is happening is disgusting, likewise with Libya; I have no affiliation, but as an ex-soldier, and have worked in conflict and post conflict zones for over 20 years I know how things work, and not an armchair warrior - it’s ‘always’ a matter of time. I feel this course of action is only causing a bigger risk for the world and increasing global threats - Now that is out of the way, and so I don't want to wet your bag!

The facts are the partners had decided Assad will go, Assad does not have the capability or the support, he has political support, but only until deals can be made, the Russia have a large stake and need some agreements – It really is that simple, geopolitics is a trade-off. Hence nothing can be resolved at the UN.SC level, that is just a debate and who gets what.

The only saving grace Assad has had is geopolitical woe’s, recession and other focuses, but that is coming to a tipping point. The world will forget the ill’s and injustice of this event, in fact it will do so in a couple of weeks, much like in Libya, yet Libya has sent weapons to insurgents and caused the Mali issues, and many other related problems, the result is that Libya will never recover to what it once was, the second most progressive country on the African Continent, Ironically this was even stated by UNDP weeks prior to the uprising .

Syria - The turn is coming, it’s all about positioning, one can see the media (Mainstream) doing what we call the soft awakening, it starts to discuss the bad on both sides, and then shows the bad from both sides, this lay’s the path for external intervention, it’s all part of the cooking, the classic, two wrongs make a right!

The next media wave will be saturation, just strings of events until the mainstream viewer become numb, just as in Kosovo and Libya, in short, get it over with.

One thing you need to realize, the global powers are just too big, nothing a blog can do, nothing anyone can do, what is planned is planned, and it’s wrong, but that is the way the cookie crumbles.


Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 20:42 utc | 11

I think the rebels got kicked out of Aleppo, they have shortened the goalpost

"FSA leaders are careful not to reveal their strategy, but Mustafa al-Sheikh, a former army general who now heads the FSA's supreme military council, told the Guardian from the Syria-Turkey border area: "The fighting is like hit-and-run. We are not aiming to get control of any city in Syria, but we want to exhaust the regime and speed up its collapse."

For hit and run you also have to hide. To be able to hide you have to be popular.

There is this Damascus tweet
Jean Pierre Duthion ‏@halona

FSA came at night mainly from the Rif to enter in the christian district, the army push them away with the help of the habitants. #Syria

Jean Pierre Duthion ‏@halona

@Yaya3564 @lemondefr L'armée qui était déjà en place a répliqué. Le quartier chrétien n'a connu aucune manifestation hostile au régime. /2

2:59 AM - 1 Aug 12 via Twitter for iPhone · Details
10h Jean Pierre Duthion Jean Pierre Duthion ‏@halona

@Yaya3564 @lemondefr mon lounge est situé à 100 mètres des combats. Les forces de l'ASL ont essayées de rentrer pendant la nuit. /1

2:58 AM - 1 Aug 12 via Twitter for iPhone · Details
11h Jean Pierre Duthion Jean Pierre Duthion ‏@halona

L'ASL est venue pendant la nuit du Rif pour rentrer dans le quartier chrétien. Ils ont été repoussés par l'armée et les habitants.

So I assume the strategy now is civil war. Not just war against an army.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 1 2012 20:50 utc | 12

Via Angry Arab yesterday:

Berri is a large clan of tens of thousands. Many of its elders are staunch regime supporters. They are also the equivalent of the Hermel families living in Dahiyeh: they include many poor who are associated with crime and drugs and thuggery. Many of them are in Syrian prisons or wanted by the law. Their elders (they include an MP) were known for attacking demonstrations in their areas and beating protesters, as well as recruiting and financing thugs. But these are, of course, a small section of a very large family.

The FSA says that it was the result of the Berris reneging on an alleged agreement to remain neutral in exchange for not being targeted. The FSA claims that the Berris reneged and arranged attacks against them, costing them many soldiers yesterday.


Well so much for them remaining neutral now...

Fierce clashes took place today between gunmen loyal to the regime, including the Al-Berri tribe and others, and rebel fighters in the neighbourhood of Bab al-Nayrab. A security source in Damascus said the Al-Berri tribe had issued a statement promising to take revenge against the rebel Free Syrian Army.


Not to smart, pissing off a tribe of 20,000 especially if its a tribe known for "crime drugs and thuggery". Also the fact that they are fellow Sunni's kind of knocks the attempts at sectarianism off base. That Youtube video of the firing squad killing tribal elder Zeino Al Berri is a gift for Assad.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 1 2012 20:54 utc | 13

@#13 - Go back to post 1, just a point/assertion I made on ‘B’s thoughts; add post 11, this is the clincher and a key ‘finding a group with the ability and numbers’ to assume some form of leadership, one that knows how things work, but is detached ‘sufficiently’ from the regime, the rest is buy-in. This could be in part the planning, civil War would induce chapter 7 and intervention.

It’s what will be tried, that is a guarantee; if it work’s that is another matter, only time will tell, but this is one cut of many;

The bleeding (Slow low cost and random, with chaos, the current method) is taking longer than expected, but recovery is impossible and the wound never heals, eventually something must give, in this duration financial reserves are a major factor, Assad will pay the Army, as he is in a corner, but the citizen will suffer, so it is a double edged Sword, in a nutshell; he is screwed! The reason of disrupting Aleppo is not to win a war, but stop the money, it is the financial hub, it's strategic.

What he (Assad) should do is step out, leave and say, go live happy, somewhere and say here is Syria, take it! Whatever happens the place will be a thorn and the West does not have the resources to manage, more so if Iran is next on the cards – We are in a recession and have sufficient issues, we don’t need to name them…

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 21:03 utc | 14

They thought it would be an easy work to defeat Hezbollah in the 2006 war and later political (sectarian) maneuvers in Lebanon.

They thought that Iran was done when the 'young' started their 'Green Revolution'.

They thought that Iraq would become their new base of power.

What happens tomorrow isn't writing on some stone books that you can read and pontificate. And if history tells something is that empires are defeated. Eventually. The problem is what replaces them.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 1 2012 21:08 utc | 15

Time to get serious, fighters, and get out there and do your fair share of the fighting.

Syrian Refugees Grow Impatient With Exile Defectors, Say They Should Be in Syria for Fight

Posted by: Forgetful | Aug 1 2012 21:10 utc | 16

@ArtofWar #11

one can see the media (Mainstream) doing what we call the soft awakening, it starts to discuss the bad on both sides, and then shows the bad from both sides, this lay’s the path for external intervention, it’s all part of the cooking
interesting theory, except that I missed this "[MSM] shows the bad from both sides" stage regarding Lybia; even now, they are quite embarrassed at describing what Lybia after Gaddafi really looks like;

I think the fact is that there are hesitations in the West at handing radical jihadists a "safe haven" in a post-Assad Syria; not that they give signs of backing down on their aggression, but I they are searching for impossible "guarantees" that the more radical elements won't threaten Jordan and Turkey (lay countries, remember), or Lebanon (where Saudis have invested a lot), or Israel itself

who knows who's playing whom?

Posted by: claudio | Aug 1 2012 21:14 utc | 17

@16 That's the trouble with defectors. You can't trust them. Some of them are most likely still working for Assad.

Posted by: dh | Aug 1 2012 21:25 utc | 18

dh @ 18

Defectors are weak minded a*ssholes who're always looking for the slightest opportunity to make the quickest buck they can find.Of course it's even better when you claim you're doing it in the name of freedom and democracy..No self respecting military general will defect and end up in a refugee camp if he's not offered something BIG.Having said that, I eve doubt the ranks of the many defected general we hear about..For all we know, they could be low lifers posing as such..Turkey's been giving a lot of these defector a sense of false hope for many months now. Promising them that "victory" is just a round the corner.. Eventually, the people can't wait any longer and frustration sets in..No surprise here..If things get worse, Turkey will only have to load them up in a truck and ship them acrross the border again..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 1 2012 21:35 utc | 19

@ 14

Yeah I read your post. "This would work, since the Arab ethics of trust are piss poor, and back stabbing is as common as sand." Wow genius observation. Did you read that pearl of wisdom from Alan Dershowitz by any chance? Secondly don't you think that if the FSA were going to bribe the Al Berri tribe they would have refrained from slaughting 3 of their elders? Not a great way to win over allies.

Anyway regardless of that wacky statement alot of what you saying on insurgencies I agree with. "it breaks moral, its unpredictable, it's mobile, it works." Totally right and 9 times out of 10 it will work. Castro did it in Cuba. Mao did it in China. Michael Collins did it in Ireland. And the Taliban are doing it in Afghanistan.

But as B suggested in the post and many here have mentioned recently, the FSA are doing a great job of ignoring every lesson on how to run an effective insurgency. B mentioned Mao's teaching "The guerrilla is the fish and the people are the water." If an insurgency doesn't have the support of the people it is as good as dead. With there sectarian language they have already lost the Alawites, Christians and Druze. They also lost the Kurdish West of Syria. Now they are pissing off Sunni's like the Al Berri clan and secular Sunni's who don't want to live under Wahhabi or Muslim Brotherhood rule.

Another rule of insurgency is to stay invisible, "stay mobile" as you wrote. Have the Army running across the country after them. Think of Mao's "The Long March" he walked in a 2,000 mile circle doing hit and run attacks. What you don't do is converge on one spot (Aleppo) and announced it to the world. The phrase "shooting fish in a barrel" comes to mind.

Not to mention lack of discipline, stealing food from the locals, calling for foreign invasion, having a political leadership safely sipping champagne in Saudi Arabia, Paris and London. Having the top FSA military commander, Rifak al Assad, not even in the country. Does any of this sound like it is an effective insurgency to you?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 1 2012 21:36 utc | 20

Interesting analysis from Syrian Perspective blog:

Among other revelations, it claims that nearly 30 Russian naval vessels off the coast of Tartous - along with a Chinese battleship and two Iranian battleships as well and that Chechen mercenaries have been handed over to the Russians.

The reports also details the Syrian Arab Army's strategy in Aleppo. I daresay this "Syrian Perspective" blog has a lot more detail than many I've read.

Posted by: revenire | Aug 1 2012 21:37 utc | 21

"I have no affiliation". TRANSLATION: anything for the dough.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 1 2012 21:37 utc | 22

@Claudio#17 Hence the term ‘Soft’. The media did go on the journey of ‘Who are the rebels and where are the weapons, in soft, I mean it allows for error, not only looking concerned.

It does seem Turkey is piggy in the middle (excuse the pork if offensive), and as the gateway to Asia for the EU - I can’t help but suspect this whole scenario has more in it than what we all see, destabilizing the Euro is doable by making Turkey a risk, good for US exports and the green-back, bad for Russia and its Gas, devastating for the Eurozone – The Kurd’s and Armani is an extension that has been underrated, and again causes intrusions for Russia.

End of the day, Syria and Assad will go down, that is the one part of an extensive agenda…

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 21:38 utc | 23

@19 ..."Turkey will only have to load them up in a truck and ship them acrross the border again.."

or maybe they can get IT jobs in Istanbul cranking out rebel propaganda....

Posted by: dh | Aug 1 2012 21:45 utc | 24

@21, the Russians and the Chinese are fools if they don't step up. The Reptilians will swarm over them, burbling platitudes in between gobbets of human flesh.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 1 2012 21:47 utc | 25

Seems like syrian army has destroyed rebel's Aleppo command center, without the command center, the various rebel groups would no longer be able to coordinate attacks

Posted by: Nikon | Aug 1 2012 21:58 utc | 26

dh @ 24

or maybe they can get IT jobs in Istanbul cranking out rebel propaganda....

Couldn't have said it better..have a cigar!!! Truth be told, the "refugees" are becoming a problem for Turkey..The plan was to have them in Turkey for a short time until "victory" and then ship them back..After months of milking them for propaganda purposes, they've served their usefulness..Nobody gives a sh*t about them anymore.

I think IT jobs is being too kind..They'll be working on some farm..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 1 2012 21:59 utc | 27

Riad Al-Asaad appears to do most of his "fighting" posting over the top propaganda videos and links on Twitter all day, every day. I asked him one question about his wild claim of several 100 Syrian tanks being destroyed daily (!) and he blocked me.

Posted by: revenire | Aug 1 2012 22:22 utc | 28

I can see and read a lot of dezinformation posted. 30 Russian ships?

This is a list of Russian ships in Black Sea and Mediterranean.

Tsezar Kunikov Large landing ship Black Sea Fleet @Black Sea
Nikolay Filchenkov Large landing ship Black Sea Fleet @Black Sea
Shakhter Tug Black Sea Fleet @Black Sea
SB-5 Tug Black Sea Fleet @Black Sea
Smetlivy Destroyer Black Sea Fleet @Mediterranean
Admiral Chabaenko Destroyer Northern Fleet @Mediterranean
Yaroslav Mudry Frigate Baltic Fleet @Mediterranean
Kondapoga Large landing ship Northern Fleet @Mediterranean
Alexander Otrakovskıy Large landing ship Northern Fleet @Mediterranean
Georgıy Podedonosets Large landing ship Northern Fleet @Mediterranean
Segei Osipov Replenishment tanker Northern Fleet @Mediterranean
Nikolay Chicker Tug Northern Fleet @Mediterranean

Posted by: neretva'43 | Aug 1 2012 22:24 utc | 29

@20- Neither a Jew or an Arab, worked with both though, we Scots have been mistaken for both at times - in jest! Secondly the West and partners would buy-in Al Berri, it’s not that much of a revelation. The FSA are not the insurgency, just a part of the chaos, It’s in the design, how else would you engage in bringing in external controls? This is pretty text book, and not rocket science; it’s your basic divide and conquer, then come in with the arbitrators, we have been doing this for eons...

@22 – Assumptions are foolish, and I am not a baker. You do not know me, so wind your neck in as ignorance is not becoming or wise; not to mention being insulted is rather rude – So stay on track, and in the vein of the post - good doggie, and I will throw you my slipper and keep you happy – Prick!

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 22:56 utc | 30

@ ArtofWar : You are clueless about SYRIA. The conflict is an internal matter in a country you are clueless about. I'd advise you to shut up until after you've learned more about SYRIA. From your cocksure tone I expect you won't be heeding my advice. I'll be skipping your posts at this board.

@ Zico: You are misinformed when you say:

With the speed at which the Syrian army routed the rebels from Damascus, they sure can easily do the same in Allepo. In Damascus, most of the inhabitants in the neighbourhood that the rebels were hiding was slowly evacuated and the army moved in. The rest is history. Operation "Damascus volcano" was snuffed out within days. In Allepo, the rebels have entrenched themselves in densely populated neighbourhoods, effectively taking the people hostage.

In fact, the rebel coordinators made a decision to retreat from Damascus without putting up a big fight. They ran away without a fight on the 20th or 21st of July, after commencing their attack on the 15th. The rebels have now been holed up in Aleppo city for double that number of days, and they are saying that they will put up a big fight in Aleppo and will not retreat as they did in Damascus -- Ref.. A second point of info for you, Zico: the local population of Aleppo has evacuated from the neighborhoods the rebels are in control of. According to the UN (Valerie Amos), 200,000 residents have departed from their homes in Aleppo city neighborhoods during the past 10 days (the UN is calling them "refugees"). A few days ago on this board there was a link to a report, from on the ground in rebel-held Aleppo city neighborhoods, that the neighborhoods were severely depopulated of all citizens except the rebels.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 1 2012 23:25 utc | 31

1 Aug 2012. Syria's Al-Ikhbaria TV station went around asking people on the streets of Damascus to briefly say what they think of the Syrian army. All of the people whose answer was broadcast on TV said "God Save Our Army" and suchlike. By looking at the faces of these people you can get some feel for the demographic diversity of the government's supporters. With English subtitles for what they said:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 1 2012 23:29 utc | 32

"What he (Assad) should do is step out, leave and say, go live happy, somewhere and say here is Syria, take it! Whatever happens the place will be a thorn and the West does not have the resources to manage, more so if Iran is next on the cards – We are in a recession and have sufficient issues, we don't need to name them…"

"“The army is engaged in a crucial and heroic battle… on which the destiny of the nation and its people rests. The enemy is among us today, using agents to destabilize the country, the security of its citizens… and continues to exhaust our economic and scientific resources,” Assad added.

The speech was delivered on the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the Syrian army.

“They (the enemy) wanted to deprive the people of their national decision… but they were astonished to see these proud people, who confronted their plans and defeated them,” the Syrian president stated."

It is not that I'm supporter of him, no, I'm not. But, I rather see him in Damascus then some crypto-Nazi appointed by Washington.

Gore Vidal died today and he calls that guy crypto Nazi.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Aug 1 2012 23:30 utc | 33

Reality Check you are a troll, could you turn it down a little ? I think we all understand where you are coming from.

Posted by: bugbear | Aug 1 2012 23:41 utc | 34

Dear B,

There's no need for sorry. You are doing on your own more than many. This blog has become a consolation for me, a necessary antidote to the treachery of MSM. Many thanks.

Posted by: Sophia | Aug 1 2012 23:50 utc | 35

@33 - get the point, and I would do the same if my country was invaded- likewise we have had internal conflicts, take the Catholic/Protestant stance and it's long battle. However the outcome is not conducive for Assad, a fact and inevitability. He can go down in a last stand, much like MG, but what did that do?

He also stated this was 'external' influences, and this was not internal. Now then - @31, in this speech from Assad, and assuming he know's more on Syria than you and I; your assertion is that this is "The conflict is an internal matter in a country you are clueless about" - Silly you, since when did you become the Oracle, more so quoting UN crap? You need to come out of your box and smell the gasoline girl...

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 1 2012 23:52 utc | 36

@ArtofWar, ruralito is not a prick, his characterization (not polite to say it aloud, ok) was in line with the way you presented yourself - cynical, ex-soldier, no armchair warrior (and there was no need to provide such background to back your analysis), pontificating on black ops ... why you could well be a mercenary for all we know, or wish we think so!

btw, you already failed to describe correctly the role of the MSM in Lybia, which means the script isn't always the same, although the final scenario is (the scenario colonialists aim for, not the one they attain); reality is more complex than you make it; and you don't simply go in and "buy a tribe", not anymore, not since a long time; I don't think you can characterize Syria as a tribal society, btw

the "induced chaos" in Syria has nothing to do with the carpet bombing of Libya's institutions, and very little with real insurgencies; the latter are characterized by continuous and at least partially successful attempts to self-govern parts of the territory, to delegitimize the official government, and to displaying a capacity of popular resistance: it happened in China, in the "Sunny triangle", it happens in Afghanistan, etc; in Syria it happened maybe only in parts of Homs and in isolated flashpoints, with very little support from the population; I mean a real insurgency gives rise to a civil war, whereas in Syria this hasn't happened;

one thing is to avoid direct confrontation with an organized army, another to simply hit-and-run: that's what you correctly characterize as a strategy for chaos, possible only through external support, aimed at wearing the State and the population, and at giving pretexts for foreign intervention

also, to state that Assad should "pack and go" is quite arrogant, as Parviziyi said; the outcome of a war is decided by many factors, political will (of the elites and of the people) is not the least important, and it has to been seen who will be wearied first, the fronts of this war are many; the supply of foreing jihadists isn't infinite, despite what someone said; and also the internal insurgency might rapidly decline without popular support

and what Assad "should do" isn't a matter only of calculations; Saddam and Gaddafi died as patriots, he might well be prepared to do the same; anyways, he is fighting for the unity and independence of his country - and of his regime of course, but foreign support of the insurgency has temporarily welded the two aspects

Posted by: claudio | Aug 2 2012 0:20 utc | 37

NBC News is reporting that Obama signed order allowing secret US assistance to Syrian rebels.

Really, Barry? You want to get into this hornet's nest? And make us pay for it? In oh so many ways.... Aarrrgghhhh!

President Barack Obama has signed a so-called "intelligence finding" authorizing covert aid to the Syrian rebels [Uh, this seems rather ex post facto, but does it mean now the US military will be more obvious about what it's doing?] seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government , NBC News has confirmed.

White House and intelligence officials declined to comment on a Reuters report about the aid.

A U.S. official also said that while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the U.S., is providing non-lethal aid and communications to the rebels, the presidential finding provides more intelligence resources than had been previously known.


The administration has been under constant criticism for months from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others who say the administration should be arming the rebels.[So, is this a political move to out warrioor possible Repub calls for more action and to fend off Romney acting all Rambo?]

(My emphasis and asides.)

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 0:30 utc | 38

I hardly understand Obama's new 'secret' order. My impression is he's been supporting the FSA terrorists the entire time.

Posted by: revenire | Aug 2 2012 0:42 utc | 39

revenire @ 39 -- Just so. Now that it's out in the open, maybe he can go more heavily?

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 1:04 utc | 40

@37 – No, nothing special, or merc, black/special op’s; just an ex-engineer, electronics to be exact, but served all the same; and some 15 years ago, and yes background does validate understanding/experience, my boots go on-the-ground to date, not gloating, just a fact - We can all read, and profess to have a in-depth picture, understanding. Please note - being of creed/origin or connected does not make you an authority, possibly Nationalistic, and for that I forgive you.

In you argument, you have made one little but important error - ‘Yet’; this is far from played out. And I thank you for your mediation and time to ‘expand’ on the frustrations and thinking of your friends. I am sure they will respect you for your avid support. This does not make Ruralito any less a prick! As for Parviziyi, a statement followed by ‘I will not engage’ is a wee bit childish; more so making idiotic statements backed with an anal quote of the UN is boorish and snip-it tabloid anal garbage; sorry!

BTW - Syria is tribal, Arab and Kurdish, in fact this post (Topic) was based on one such tribe, are we on the same page, or are you just being argumentative and heroic in your ‘blog world’? Better stick your head back in the books and Google away old chap…

On Assad - Yes, he may be fighting for the ‘unity and independence of his country’, and his foe’s are fighting to remove him internally and externally; again let’s focus on fact’s, the odds are not conducive; and I will reiterate - I fully concur and strongly agree this is wrong; likewise with Libya - all I am asserting is, he will go down, be it a bitter pill to swallow, the Dr.’s have administered the medication. If he does not, it will be the power at be that have decided to make an agreement, plain and simple…


Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2 2012 1:20 utc | 41

Obama's act, of signing off on aid to the Syrian rebels, answers the question of whether Washington intends to back down on regime change in Syria. Of course, Panetta's warning to Assad (for the safety of the Syrian president and his family) " to get the hell out now" was crude as well. There is no changing course for the Empire; and this political high wire act will continue without the safety of a net.

In other Empire News, US General Caldwell, who was in charge of the now infamous hospital in Kabul, where the condition of many of its emaciated, neglected patients, has been compared by a military investigator, to conditions in Auschwitz; is now the subject of a congressional investigation.

From today's DemocracyNow!:

AMY GOODMAN: Tell us what’s happened at the hospital, how you found out about it, and then about the cover-up.

MICHAEL HASTINGS: Sure. This was a hospital that was started in 2005 in Kabul and funded almost completely by the United States. And about a year ago, the Wall Street Journal did an original story about how a lot of these patients who were at—these Afghan patients at the hospital were dying, essentially, from starvation, from simple infections that should be treated very easily but instead they were—actually became mortal wounds. There were allegations that, to get treatment, you had to bribe the hospital officials. And so, there were a number of Americans who were advisers there who thought this was horrible, took a lot of these pictures, brought them to the command, this General Caldwell, and General Caldwell said, "I don’t want any of this bad news getting out of here. I don’t want an investigation. Let’s just, you know, try to sweep this under the rug." Thankfully, the whistleblowers continued—kind of ignored that, essentially, and went ahead, and that’s how we know about this, because of this congressional investigation into it.

When Goodman pressed RollingStone reporter, Michael Hastings, to describe who General Caldwell is, this is Hastings' description:
[...] General Caldwell is—was the head of the $11.2-billion-a-year Afghan training mission. At one time, he was the spokesperson for the U.S. in Iraq. In fact, I spent many a day next to General Caldwell in the Green Zone, while he would sit next to me and tell us how great things were going in Baghdad. And this was in 2006, 2007, when things were really, really going horribly.

Now, one of General Caldwell’s things is he’s obsessed with the idea of messaging. He’s obsessed with public affairs. One of the things he’s wanted to do is tear down the traditional wall between public affairs and information operations—which public affairs are for the Americans, information operations are for the enemy—and combine it into one sort of global strategic communication strategy. So, when he was presented with these allegations, these abuses, these photos, this testimony, his response was, "Well, how do we message this? You know, this is not the kind of news we want to get out of here."

And now General Caldwell is the head of U.S. Army North, so he’s back in the United States. And he’s in charge of—in case there’s a catastrophe or martial law or whatever, he would be the guy who would be in charge from the Army side of things.

The monstrous conditions covered up for so long in the Kabul hospital, are being compared, horror to horror, with the terrible abuses that were carried out under US military watch in Iraq, inside the prison at Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 2 2012 2:11 utc | 42

what made obama announce support for rebels? could it be that prince bandar has really been killed?

Posted by: Nikon | Aug 2 2012 2:57 utc | 43


"...all I am asserting is, he will go down, be it a bitter pill to swallow, the Dr.’s have administered the medication."

So, you are fortune-teller; you have crystal ball in your studio? Or, you are not that primitive like "them", you are more advanced Game and Probability Theories, or some other Rand Co. algorithm?

OK, again, not that I'm headlong with Assad but...till the moment when you show me some convincing piece of information and data, I'll call your post, Flotsam and Jetsam.

Now, some tangible information from real life:

"While Hezbollah believes that Assad will not be unseated, it is bracing for a long battle that will get tougher by the day.

I want to know how do (the West) think Bashar is going to fall? By them (rebels) controlling Damascus? Then there will be a major war," said a Lebanese official close to the group.

"Or do they think he will leave by foreign intervention? Then the whole region will be set ablaze. So he is not going to fall. Please get this out of your head."

This is what's more plausible and probable. I do not have crystal-ball nor I'm sorcerer, but I'll say as long as Syrian Gov. enjoy support of Iran, it will stay. Iran is major player, UN SC is just joke and farce.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Aug 2 2012 3:04 utc | 44

neretva'43 thanks for that reminder of Gore Vidal. What a lovely man he was.

I noticed in Crypto Nazi's (i.e, William Buckley's) reply to Vidal all he can do is blubber on about the wonders of the US Marines. Very little has changed. American imperialism can only justify itself in the most naked aggressive symbols.

I will miss Gore Vidal, now that was one American patriot.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 2 2012 3:56 utc | 45

The empire and it's sycophants have made their plans for Syria. If Russia, China and Iran stand with them, Assad has a chance. If not, he's probably toast. Chaos is the tool. These "rebels" care not for real revolution, just chaos. How long will rank and file Syrians abide by these conditions? Who knows, but in the end, they'll decide. If Assad can keep the bulk of the people with him, he has a chance, but only with the afore mentioned states standing in Syria's corner.

Posted by: ben | Aug 2 2012 4:02 utc | 46

A further turn in the western media - check it out in Canada's largest daily:

Posted by: Patrick Cummins | Aug 2 2012 6:55 utc | 47

The monstrous conditions covered up for so long in the Kabul hospital, are being compared, horror to horror, with the terrible abuses that were carried out under US military watch in Iraq, inside the prison at Abu Ghraib.
Posted by: Copeland | Aug 1, 2012 10:11:30 PM | 42

well thats no surprise! same actors...

Posted by: brian | Aug 2 2012 7:09 utc | 48

'NBC News is reporting that Obama signed order allowing secret US assistance to Syrian rebels.'

the fact that its secret tells us this is dodgy and the recpients are not peaceloving democcrats!

dictatoral US penalised palestinians in US for aid sent to palestine..said it would end up with HAMAS..NOW what is Obomber doing but...aiding terrorists!

Posted by: brian | Aug 2 2012 7:12 utc | 49

the MSM is getting worried:
Christians Flee from Radical Rebels in Syria

By Ulrike Putz in Qa, Lebanon

Thousands of Syrians are fleeing into neighboring Lebanon -- not entirely due to fear of the Assad regime. The country's minority Christian population is suffering under attacks waged by rebel troops. In the Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, Christian families are finding temporary refuge, but they are still terrified.

There had been many warnings that the Khouri* family wouldn't talk. "They won't say a word -- they're too scared," predicted the mayor of Qa, a small market town in northeastern Lebanon where the Khouris are staying. "They won't even open their door for journalists," said another person, who had contacted the family on behalf of a non-governmental organization.

Somehow, though, the interview was arranged in the end. Reserved and halting, the women described what happened to their husbands, brothers and nephews back in their hometown of Qusayr in Syria. They were killed by Syrian rebel fighters, the women said -- murdered because they were Christians, people who in the eyes of radical Islamist freedom fighters have no place in the new Syria.
In the past year and a half, since the beginning of the uprising against Syria's authoritarian President Bashar Assad, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled their homes and sought safe haven abroad. Inside the country, the United Nations estimates that 1 million people have left their homes to escape violence and are now internally displaced. The majority are likely to have fled to escape the brutality of Assad's troops. Indeed, as was the case at the start of the Syrian civil war, most of the violence is still being perpetrated by the army, the secret services and groups of thugs steered by the state.


15 PhotosPhoto Gallery: War in Syria Moves to the Cities

With fighting ongoing, however, the rebels have also committed excesses. And some factions within the patchwork of disparate groups that together comprise the Free Syrian Army have radicalized at a very rapid clip in recent months. A few are even being influenced by foreign jihadists who have traveled to Syria to advise them. That, at least, is what witnesses on the ground are reporting in Qusayr, where fierce fighting has raged for months. Control of the town has passed back and forth between the two sides, at times falling into the hands of the regime and at others of the rebels. Currently, fighters with the Free Syrian Army have the upper hand, and they have also made the city of 40,000 residents a place where the country's Christian minority no longer feels safe.
Campaigns against Christians

"There were always Christians in Qusayr -- there were around 10,000 before the war," says Leila, the matriarch of the Khouri clan. Currently, 11 members of the clan are sharing two rooms. They include the grandmother, grandfather, three daughters, one husband and five children. "Despite the fact that many of our husbands had jobs in the civil service, we still got along well with the rebels during the first months of the insurgency." The rebels left the Christians alone. The Christians, meanwhile, were keen to preserve their neutrality in the escalating power struggle. But the situation began deteriorating last summer, Leila says, murmuring a bit more before going silent.

"We're too frightened to talk," her daughter Rim explained, before mustering the courage to continue. "Last summer Salafists came to Qusayr, foreigners. They stirred the local rebels against us," she says. Soon, an outright campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. "They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away," she says. "We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed."

Grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. "Anyone who believes in this cross suffers," she says.

Foreign Jihadists in Combat in Qusayr

It is not possible to independently corroborate the Khouri's version of events, but the basic information seems consistent with what is already known. On April 20, Abdel Ghani Jawhar involuntarily provided proof that foreign jihadists are engaged in combat in Qusayr. Jawhar, a Lebanese national and commander with the terrorist group Fatah al Islam, died that day in the Syrian city. An explosives expert, Jawhar had been in Qusayr to teach rebels how to build bombs and accidentally blew himself up while trying to assemble one. Until his death, Jawhar had been the most wanted man in Lebanon, where he is implicated in the deaths of 200 people. Lebanese authorities confirmed his death in Syria. The fact that the rebels had worked together with a man like Jawhar fomented fears after his death that the ranks of insurgents are increasingly becoming infiltrated by international terrorists.
* The names in this story have been changed in order to protect the identity of the interview subjects.

Posted by: brian | Aug 2 2012 7:19 utc | 51

Its not really news for me that the Syrian Govt. relies on its allies (Russia, Iran and to a certain extent China or other BRIC countries)) to fight off this disgusting EU-US-Qataro-Saudi- Aggression, be it diplomatically or militarily! No single country, on its own, could fight off deluded fanatics backed by...well the NATO ...AAANNND the money machine from the gulfstates. As for your statement about Assads fall: I cant see where the russians would benefit from that in any circumstance! They would certainly avoid any deal, in which any US EU or Saudi influence could meddle with their interests, which not only is about their military foothold in tartous, but furthermore about the gasfields in west syria (i ll put up a link on this matter). Plus: Assad is also a symbolic figure, and even if many syrians condemn the assad-rule, plenty more would back him (as a president) against these foreign killcommandos! The russians would drive safer having him at the top, then any other unknown or unpopular "democratic-yemeni-style-leader".

Posted by: kalimbour | Aug 2 2012 8:32 utc | 52

I wonder if official explicit support for the Syrian 'rebels' by the US/CIA (though in reality is post-facto) gives more freedom of action to Russia and China to back the Syrian regime.

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 2 2012 8:52 utc | 53

@53: Even if it is "post-facto": A year ago many (well-paid) political analysts and presstitutes dismissed this claim as an "old ploy of arab despots to always blame the US with conspiracy"...well, now they couldnt suppress truth, because theyve lost the momentum. The longer this bloody conflict rages, the more they are exposing themselves. And I am sure that good ole' Boomerang will hit back hard, and will expose some more truth about turkeys refugee camps and their CIA or Mossad agents...i hope ill live to see that boomerang going all the way back to 9/11...Bandar bin Sultan has likely been the first casualty

Posted by: kalimbour | Aug 2 2012 9:44 utc | 54

The so called "news" of Obama aiding the rebels is a rehash of old news

The msm does this often? I don't know why?
But, if I had to guess??? It would be for the management of your perception. To give the reader specific ideas about what is happening in Syria ie: a ramping up of US involvement

From the link supplied above @ NBC news

"Obama's order,approved earlier this year, broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad, Reuters reported."

I had the same story in a post in May of this year, linked to Gulf News reprinted from Washington Post

Thinking I have other stories along this line
But, honestly hasn't it been clear the US has been supplying intelligence for a dam long time now.

Look at all the strategic assassinations and ambushes of Syrian soldiers ongoing for months now..

Don't read to much into it. It's nothing new.

Posted by: Penny | Aug 2 2012 11:46 utc | 56

Penny @ 56

It's all to give the voters impression of the Obama-regime is doing something, enough, about Syria.

Posted by: Alexander | Aug 2 2012 12:17 utc | 57

The news about Obama supporting the rebels in nothing new..It's been stated many time and pretty much since the beginning of the chaos..It's just that it's got to a stage where they can longer hide their involvement any longer.

The US can now officially be classified as a chief sponsor of terror bar none!!! Did people really believe the rebels suddenly sprung out of nowhere and ended up in Syria? Think about all the logistics involved..I mean, it's not like we're dealing with the Taliban here..We're talking Nike sporting, expensive satellite phones and AK with scopes and sh*t "rebels" running around killing everyone in sight..Stuff like these need massive backing from a higher authority..

Posted by: Zico | Aug 2 2012 12:46 utc | 58

Hey, stop biting my ankles, this blog is like a Chihuahua convention. I will stress what is happening ‘is wrong’ but the region and its actors are equally to blame. I am just giving my view.

@43 – No studio, and all meat balls - I feel you just don’t get the bigger picture. As for your tangible, “said a Lebanese official close to the group” – Not exactly the voice of authority, more like someone in panic and finger waving rhetoric.

If you feel Iran will be Syria’s saving grace, that is daft - Syria is the stepping stone dismantle Iran. As for the SC, concur; it is nothing more than an debating forum and member states never agreeing, it’s as good as it’s weakest link, and it has many UN mission have always been failures, and by design. Most if not all agreements are made behind closed doors, and outside the SC, the same will apply here. The UN will endorse actions as its core funding is via the big 5, and they are the ones that between themselves will come to an ‘Arrangement’, as it has done in the past, over and over.

Obama, as #56 stated - Obama is an epic failure as a US president and nothing more than a interest group poster boy & an closet War monger with his little black book. The only change from the last administration with Bush Jr. was the transition from extrajudicial detention (Guantanamo) to Obama and extrajudicial Killings (Drones). Not exactly the symbol of progress, in fact - just cowardly.

US elections are the furthest thing I have ever witnessed from democracy, the yearlong processes is purely about the money, and the buy-in.The show (Media) is an abortion of ethics, moral, just a soap opera, and boy's pissing contests, rather embarrassing and at more expense than many countries have as a GDP, perverse! I feel the good Dr. Ron Paul would have brought back an air of respect, civil society, and decency (assumption), but the US limits 3rd parties, or those not bought, that is a plain fact.

@52 – I understand your logic. Russia and the West/Partners have deeply discussed the cake sharing, and ongoing. Russia is the largest investor, owns the most of Syria’s debt, even written off many billion’s of that dept. So trade, Naval base, and yes the Gas, Oil, Water- The latter, a new commodity that is gaining attention as using fear to make the money - If they could find a way to tax air they would, and fear is the tool of choice. With 3-5 billion of debt on the table owed to Russia, it obvious it will be holding the political reigns and putting a stick in the gog's. Like any situation, they will negotiate - Russia will want to hold on to its investment and position, and have some form of assurance/insurance,it was just burnt in Libya, it will be given options, slightly less, and Russia will accept, all part of the agenda. Russia will gain though other trade off’s, more than likely in other regions.

As for China, In this saga it’s engagement is political, not geopolitical - It’s concern is the Asian Pacific I and the moves of the US, the next US expansion of its borderless Empire, and one that already has over 200 military bases in 120 Countries. With Asia the foothold is not an option, it’s a must as Asia owns over 50% of US debt - the US does not win war’s, it does not need to win; just the economics - The unfortunate part is the citizen foot’s the bill without choice!

In terms of the Intel community be it US CIA, UK DIS/SIS, Israel Mossad/Shin Bet, Turkey MIT, Jordan GID etc, they more or less spy on each other as well as coordinate - all have common denominators, either reliant on US funding or assistance, a tie that binds, and will remain even if conflicting.


Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2 2012 12:46 utc | 59

@Zico#58 - The estimate of financial Aid (external) now exceed's 2-3 million a day in indirect instruments, it's all in the wording, very much a art form, the added virtue of the shop next door - Jordan, and the training center. Big money in arms exports and a ROI is expected also in other regards. Humanitarian Aid is BIG business, the future donor funding goes back into the provider (Services/Consultants/Products) and creates a product/service reliance one that fortifies and expands the providers export market/products, this is in a very small part the political obstruction with China and Russia, this will take a huge chunk; its business! If you look at all UN mission areas, they tend to e clustered around commodities, the MO is not solutions, rather goals, the SC mandates change year in year out, this add's to ensuring no true solution or supporting an effective life cycle, again by design and keep's the donor funding cycle working.

Before all this can transpire, it needs a clean-up, Iraq & Kosovo was a lesson learned, the damage of depleted Uranium is still causing issues, Nationals and Internationals alike. Then we have the internal risk;

The Chem/Bio concern from Syria sold by N. Korea, Iran and European Countries, including some 'local' manufacturing. The main concern is VX; something that needs a great deal of planning and mitigation before strikes or external on-the ground/Arial intervention, including 'hand's off to the merc's, they don't want another Maili or fuel - Israel and it's 200 Nuclear Warheads are more of a worry in my book, that is another story

Some off the wall news;

The law exempting ultra-Orthodox Israelis from military service expired yesterday, with the government signalling that it had no intention of renewing it. The controversial move will likely end what many Israelis feel has been an unfair privilege to the Orthodox community. The effort to expand participation in military service in Israel will undoubtedly affectthe Arab Israeli community, which has also been exempt from serving.

The lead-up to the expiration has seen protests around the country by ultra-Orthodox Jews who have vowed to fight the new draft law. "The Israeli military is not ready, won't be ready and doesn't want to be ready to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews," Meir Porush, an ultra-Orthodox community leader and former lawmaker told the Associated Press, after vowing a "civil war" if the draft law to expand conscription is passed.

Syria - The next targets, Airbases and airports – It’s the logical progression and just started, the import of new weaponry is to engage that resource and infrastructural asset among others.

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2 2012 14:13 utc | 60

from Tuesday's State press conference:
MR. VENTRELL: . . Ambassador Ford is in Cairo working with the opposition. And so we think that they’re – based on their earlier July 3rd plan for an inclusive transitional plan, we’re continuing to encourage them to work on concrete and workable plans that can be in place for the day after [al-Assad leaves].
QUESTION: -- there are some reports from Cairo that a Syrian human rights activist says that he’s been – his name is not coming up – but that he’s been tapped. . .
QUESTION: Haitham al-Maleh.
QUESTION: Yeah, that he’s been tapped with forming a government in exile. Are you aware of this? And is Ambassador Ford in touch?
MR. VENTRELL: I hadn’t seen that particular report. Ambassador Ford is out there actively working. I can seek to get some more information from his travelling delegation. But I don’t have anything in particular.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2 2012 14:58 utc | 61

Kofi Annan resigns as UN special peace envoy to Syria, because his task has become unattainable. Announced 10 minutes ago in New York.

Posted by: Alexander | Aug 2 2012 15:03 utc | 62

Effective from 31. august.

Posted by: Alexander | Aug 2 2012 15:03 utc | 63

Annan, then refugee crisis, followed by hunger and medical needs, comms cut will be highlighted, all template stuff for an assault. Meanwhile the US media chucks the chik-fil crisis and its love of gayness, as its focus...

Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2 2012 15:27 utc | 64

ArtofWar @ 60 re:

Syria - The next targets, Airbases and airports – It’s the logical progression and just started, the import of new weaponry is to engage that resource and infrastructural asset among others.

Morning news reports (NPR, iirc, perhaps some BBC) were stating that the rebels had secured a clear path to Turkey and that now personnel and materiel could move freely into Aleppo. The rebels now had their area of control.

Another report, on cue it appears with your timeline, this one on NPR, said rebels had attacked an air field near Aleppo. Also, there was a report of new rebel taekovers near to and in Damascus.

It was stated that since most Syrian government soldiers are Sunni, their commanders, "all Alawites" [really?], don't trust them and thus aren't using them.

Yet another report said that yet another organization representing the rebel factions had been set up, in Egypt, iirc. The new group's spokesman said it was the real thing this time.

Lately, here in the US and on the BBC, the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) reporting has been bouncing between government forces making headway and rebels falling back or moving into smaller areas of attacked cities and government forces falling back and rebels controlling nearly all the country.

Almost any recorded statements from people on the ground come only from the rebels and rebel supporting civilians. Yet I've read of Western media reporters being in Damascus -- Do they never speak to non-rebels?

Also, after the NBC airing of the video about rebels shooting government supporters "in their underwear", Donatella Rovera was interviewed to tell viewers that yes, unfortunately, there were these few incidents of rebel anger overcoming their usual good sense, but that was understandable after 18 months of governmnet atrocities and attacks.

Fun times in Propaganda 101.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 15:43 utc | 65

Penny @ 59 and Alexander @ 60 -- Good points, thanks.

Penny, I knew there'd been reports of US assistance to the "rebels," esp'ly CIA in Turkey, but much appreciate your pointing out sources. Such reporting is usually pretty far back in search results.... (excuse, excuses).

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 15:47 utc | 66

Correction to 66: Penny @ 56, Alexander @ 57. Note to self: Proofreading is good.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 15:50 utc | 67

The MSM go nowhere where the narrative fails to reenforce their total BS,from 9-11,to Iraq,to Afghanistan,to Somalia to Iran,to Pakistan,and now Syria where have you.
The biggest security failure in world history has never been given the daylight it deserves,the War of Terror,nada,Israel,nada,and all this is a reflection of the breakdown in American sovereignty,witness the whores genuflection to the Ziomonsters.
Disgusting,the FCC and its capitulation to the power of the dough re mi,in letting psychos take over our info.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 2 2012 16:10 utc | 68

Re;Chika a fil;Who da Nazis?
Those who repress free speech.
And the twining of gay rights and the attacks on Islam,Iran and religion in general should give one pause in accepting the premise of atheistic nobility of purpose.
People secure in themselves need no validation from anyone.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 2 2012 16:45 utc | 69

FDL post parsing language of the news reports on Obama signing the secret order authorizing more assistance to the Syrian rebels.

No precise dates, no real info on what is being (or has been) done, etc.

But it finally brings to US MCM news what's been reported overseas and in blogs for many months now.

Which leads to the question of why and why now. Alexander's idea that it is a political move to show that Obama is doing "what needs to be done" and gives him cover from Republican sniping is probably a good guess. Or, is it also a coded "go ahead" signal to Turkey, Saudia Arabia, and the Gulf money brokers?

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2 2012 17:54 utc | 70

They are quite explicit in their go-aheads to Turkey, Saudi-America and Quatar, thru their diplomatic channels. As was clear this spring when ms. Clinton being asked about arming the rebels, stated "weapons are finding their way to the the rebels, no worries." - or some line to that effect.

Posted by: Alexander | Aug 2 2012 21:14 utc | 71

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 2, 2012 1:54:57 PM | 70

its got nothing to do with Obama...he is just te public face....i dont see him as the mastermind of this war on syria...

Posted by: brian | Aug 2 2012 23:31 utc | 72

the "decisive" battle for Aleppo has not started yet, a German correspondent of a paper you can trust

in German

Posted by: somebody | Aug 3 2012 8:14 utc | 73

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