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|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 12:31am On Aug 10, 2012|
Turkey digging own grave in Syria: Analyst
A prominent political analyst says Turkey’s attempts aimed at bringing about the collapse of the Syrian government will rebound on Ankara itself.
“Turkey is making a tactical mistake by supporting terrorism in Syria and supplying them with weapons, military training and human resources,” senior Iranian author and Middle East expert Dr. Ismail Salami wrote in an article on Press TV website.
As a member of the “sabotage axis” against Damascus, Ankara is playing “a very treacherous role in snowballing the Syrian crisis,” he pointed out.
“Turkey will certainly fall into the pitfall it has dug for Syria and the insecurity it envisages for Syria will ultimately recoil against the government itself.”
Turkey’s current hostility against Syria smacks of ingratitude, the Iranian author added, stressing that Damascus has retaliatory means at its disposal.
“In fact, Turkey should be grateful to Syria what it has done for it in the past. It is acknowledged by many pundits that it was Bashar's father, Hafiz Assad, who tailored a compromise between Turkey and the Kurds living in both sides of the country, thereby vaccinating Turkey for years against any attacks on the part of the Kurds,” he pointed out.
“The antagonistic policies of Turkey have left President Bashar Assad with no choice but to grant autonomy to the Kurds in Syria who can foment dilemma for the Ankara government and get Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan into hot water.”
Last month, there were reports that the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PYD), an offshoot of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Syria, had taken over five villages in the north of the country.
Subsequently, Erdogan said such a structure involves “sensitive balances,” which Turkey “cannot just accept.”
"A structure in northern Syria for us means a structure of terror. It is impossible for us to look favorably at such a structure," he said on July 26.
Salami said the US and NATO are “making a selfsame mistake” by throwing their support behind the insurgents inciting terrorism and extremism in Syria.
“They know that a popular uprising in the true sense of the word is not clearly discernible in Syria and that what has been taking place in Syria is a string of militancy and terrorist operations funded by the Saudis and the Qataris and some Western countries who are waiting to reap the benefits of their atrocities in case Bashar Assad’s government collapses. Such a day, if it comes, will open a new chapter of horror in the Middle East with no end in sight,” he added.
“The unfurling reality is that the hostile states and powers antagonizing Bashar Assad are gradually getting caught up in the labyrinthine Orwellian pitfall of their own folly and that they are consciously or unconsciously working in the best interests of the Zionist regime.”
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 10:11pm On Aug 10, 2012|
George Galloway,British MP,speaks on western imperialistic schemes to play on Shia-Sunni difference in the arab and Muslim nations to support the west's objectives and interests.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 11:06am On Aug 15, 2012|
WARNING:link below contains graphic image of a slaughtered Shia Muslim boy in Syria:
A report have stated that wahhabi/salafist terrorists in Syria supported by NATO,Saudi Arabia,Turkey and Qatar have killed more than 1300 Shia Muslim Syrian civilians.their motto is:"kill a Shia and be admitted into paradise without account".
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by vedaxcool(m): 2:00pm On Aug 16, 2012|
The rafidihi/nasibis killing the innocent with the backing of the nasibi oppressive regime of the Iran!
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 12:15pm On Aug 25, 2012|
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT OF WAHHABI TERRORISTS OF THE "FREE SYRIAN ARMY" FIGHTING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF AL-ASSAD IN SYRIA BEHEADING 16 SYRIANS
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 12:24pm On Aug 26, 2012|
Syrian Rebels,backed by NATO,Wahhabi Terrorists Loyal to Al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia Caught Using Captured Prisoners As Suicide Bombers
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by vedaxcool(m): 3:22pm On Sep 17, 2012|
Oppressive regime of Syria back by the nasibi regime of Iran committing atrocities in Syria.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by vedaxcool(m): 3:27pm On Sep 17, 2012|
Government troops have pounded the rebel-held Shaar district of Aleppo, killing 11 people, a rights group said, while 11 others, including seven rebels, were killed elsewhere in Syria's northern city.
"Eleven civilians were killed, three of whose names have been documented, when the army shelled the district of Shaar," the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement on Sunday.
Amateur video posted online showed what appeared to be the streets of Shaar in ruins, with rubble everywhere, electricity cables hanging from buildings, and black smoke rising.
"God curse you, O army," said an unidentified cameraman recording footage in Shaar, his voice trembling. Another video showed bloodied corpses, including at least one child.
The violence came a day after UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi issued a grim warning after meeting President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, the top commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard has said that the elite unit has high-level advisers in Lebanon and Syria but remains undecided on whether to send military reinforcements to help save Assad's regime.
Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari's comments mark the clearest indication of Iran's direct assistance to its main Arab allies, Assad and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Jafari told reporters that Quds force members have been in Syria and Lebanon as advisers for a long time, but was not more specific.
He said decisions about whether to boost military aid to Syria if attacked would "depend on the circumstances".
A helicopter strike on Sunday on the town of Kafr Aweid in the northwest Syrian province of Idlib killed at least five
children and one woman.
Fresh fighting erupted in the central Midan district, a battleground for more than a week, an AFP correspondent said. The wire service also reported citing a military source, the army shelled Bustan al-Basha just north of Midan and pushed into neighbouring Arkoub after seizing a mosque between the two areas following fierce fighting on Friday.
Violence has raged in Syria's commercial capital since July 20 when government forces launched an offensive aimed at driving rebels out of the city.
In Azimiyeh district, 17 unidentified bodies were found, said the Observatory, which has warned that deaths in Syria are becoming more difficult to document. Elsewhere in the northern province, the watchdog reported one rebel killed
in the town of Al-Bab, while waves of residents fled Al-Safira, fearing a security forces operation.
In Damascus, fighting erupted at dawn in the northeast suburb of Harasta, while the army also shelled the southern suburb of Al-Hajar al-Aswad from several directions.
Explosions also rocked the northeast suburb of Douma, while the rebel Assali and Qadam districts in south Damascus were also bombarded.
The northwestern province of Idlib, where much of the countryside is controlled by the rebels, was also pounded, and at least seven people were killed in an explosion targeting a bus on the road near Khirbet Ghazaleh in the southern province of Daraa.
A similar attack on a bus carrying civilians and troops killed at least four people a week ago in the central province of Homs.
Also in Homs province, shelling killed two civilians in the rebel-held town of Rastan, and a man was killed in shelling in Tal Kalakh bordering Lebanon.
Another man was killed by sniper fire in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor while fighting in the town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border killed a woman and a man.
At least 115 people, most of them civilians, were killed on Saturday, according to the Observatory, which gathers its information from activists, medical workers and other sources.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by LagosShia: 8:10pm On Oct 01, 2012|
Syrian minister accuses US of stoking 'terrorism'
Associated Press - 34 mins ago
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Syrian foreign minister accused the U.S. and its allies of stoking "terrorism" in his country, delivering an uncompromising message before the United Nations on Monday as fighting spread in a centerpiece of Syria's cultural heritage, the historic Old City of Aleppo.
Elsewhere in the country, a government air raid on a northern town killed at least 21 people, activists said.
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting, Walid al-Moallem denounced countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey for supporting the opposition, and also lashed out at calls in Washington and in Arab and European capitals for President Bashar Assad to step down.
"This terrorism which is externally supported is accompanied by unprecedented media provocation based on igniting religious extremism sponsored by well-known states in the region," he said, an apparent allusion to an anti-Islam film produced in the U.S. that has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world.
He invited the opposition to "work together to stop the shedding of Syrian blood" and said that a Syrian-led dialogue could produce a "more pluralistic and democratic" country.
Al-Moallem's call, similar to other overtures made by Assad's regime, is unlikely to be heeded by the opposition. Most opposition factions have repeatedly dismissed the government's purported peace initiatives as propaganda, meant to buy time. They say will accept nothing less that Assad stepping down as a precondition for talks.
But on many other points, the Syrian opposition's political factions as well as rebel groups fighting on the ground are deeply divided. The Damascus representative of the new international peace envoy to Syria said Monday that the large number of rival rebel groups is one of the main obstacles to a U.N. mission's efforts to broker an end to Syria's 18-month crisis.
With every diplomatic effort so far failing to halt the violence, Syria's civil war has descended into a deadly daily grind as the regime and the rebels trying to overthrow Assad both try to gain the upper hand.
Some of the heaviest fighting Monday took place in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's commercial capital, where rebels recently launched a new offensive.
Aleppo-based activist Mohammed Saeed said 12 people were killed when troops shelled a mosque in the city. A video posted online showed wounded worshippers being rushed away. Another video showed the Osman bin Madoun Mosque later in the day with its green carpets stained with blood.
The Observatory said 40 people were either killed or wounded in Aleppo on Monday, while the LCC put the death toll nationwide at as many as 95 by Monday afternoon.
Northwest of Aleppo, government warplanes bombed the town of Salqin, killing at least 21 people including five children, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, put the death toll at 30.
Salqin is located some six kilometers (four miles) from the border with Turkey in Idlib province, which has seen intense clashes between government troops and rebels in recent months.
Footage posted online by activists showed several mutilated bodies in the back of a pickup truck as a man shouts that his son was killed. A second video showed three dead children on the floor of what appeared to be a hospital.
The government severely restricts access to the country, and the authenticity of the videos could not be independently verified.
The state-run news agency SANA said dozens of "terrorists" were killed in Salqin, including some non-Syrian foreign fighters.
A militant group fighting in Syria reported on its website that four members of the Al-Nusra Front were killed in the Salqin battle including a Tunisian. The group has claimed responsibility for several recent suicide attacks in Syria.
Meanwhile, Mokhtar Lamani, who represents special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in the Syrian capital, told The Associated Press in an interview that a solution to the country's crisis remains very difficult because of the "high level of mistrust between all parties." Most opposition groups demand Assad's departure from power, while the regime says its opponents are working as part of a foreign conspiracy.
Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat who previously served as a U.N. envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, waded into Syria's complicated diplomatic landscape last month when he replaced Kofi Annan, the former U.N. chief whose peace plan for Syria failed to end the violence that activists say has so far killed more than 30,000 people.
Lamani said Brahimi, who visited Damascus last month, will pay a second visit to Syria soon and will tour the country. Asked whether he still sees hope of a political solution in Syria despite the bloodshed, Lamani said: "I think maybe the time will be too long, but I hope (so) ... and this is what I am here for because I hope that in the end there would be some light."
Lamani noted that he had recently visited the central province of Homs and the southern province of Daraa, where he with met representatives of armed groups in the town of Rastan, a rebel stronghold in Homs that was among the first areas to take up arms against Assad's regime. He did not provide any details of his meetings.
He said that some of the main obstacles to brokering a resolution to the conflict are divisions among rebels and opposition groups. There is a vast array of such groups inside and outside the country, and relations among them have been dogged by infighting and mutual accusations of treachery. The rebels include army defectors and gunmen who work under the rag-tag Free Syrian Army.
"There are so many opposition parties inside and outside Syria in addition to the armed groups," Lamani said in Damascus. "This is a little bit very dangerous and complicating our mission because of this kind of fragmentation."
Concerns mounted meanwhile over the damage to Aleppo's historic center, a UNESCO world heritage strike, after a destructive fire which broke out late Friday. Both activists and government officials have said that damage is immense, but blamed the other side for starting it.
Rami Martini, chief of Aleppo's Chamber of Tourism, said three historic markets which he identified as Niswan, Darb and Istanbul "were totally burnt and they consist of more than 500 shops."
Martini, a government tourism official, blamed rebels for the fires in the market, saying opposition forces "hate history." Some opposition activists have suggested government shelling of rebels in the market may have started the blaze.
The Aleppo bazaar, a major tourist attraction with its narrow stone alleys and stores selling perfume, fabrics and spices, had been the site of occasional gun battles and shelling for weeks. But amateur video posted Saturday showed wall-to-wall flames engulfing wooden doors as burning debris fell away from the storefronts. Activists said hundreds of shops were affected, in the worst blow yet to the city's historic center.
Aleppo's walled old city with a medieval covered market, or souk, was recognized by the U.N. cultural agency as a World Heritage site, one of six in Syria.
Martini said the government as well as Arab and international funders spent $300 million to renovate the Aleppo market between 1993 and 2010. "The historical losses in the market are invaluable and the hope is that the market be renovated in the future," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Aleppo.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by ZhulFiqar2: 1:27am On Dec 12, 2012|
Horrific footage shows 'Syrian rebels' (backed by western countries of the NATO alliance and the Wahhabi kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Qatar) forcing boy to behead captive with sword
200 casualties in Alawite Syrian village resulting from rebel assualt
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by DevotedOne(m): 2:46pm On Dec 14, 2012|
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim In The name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. As salaamu alaykum, The peace be upon you, everyone.
I didn't see this thread until now. I'm really surprised and disappointed, that the U.S. would get involved in something so messy as this. And we are expected to believe that President Assad's troops killed their own people (Alawites/nusairi) re: Houla massacre, in Syria. And that is the reason for all of the outside support, Libya style. A boy, eleven years old who pretended to be dead, said that the terrorist had shaven heads, and long beards.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pdH4JKjVRyA Assad to RT: 'I'm not Western puppet - I live and die in Syria' (EXCLUSIVE)
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by DevotedOne(m): 7:14pm On Dec 15, 2012|
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim In The name of Allah, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful. As salaamu alaykum, The peace be upon you, everyone.
I don't know if these video's have been posted here, but this is mind blowing stuff!! It appears to be a war against Shia Muslims.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YHeG9TZ2krU Destroying mosques of Shia Muslim in Syria
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJcw9N3_CGc Al Khalifa Regime Destroys Shiite mosques in Bahrain
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by Zhulfiqar1: 9:24pm On Jan 01, 2013|
Nigeria president compares unrest in nation to Syrian civil war and wonders about 'end times'
Published December 31, 2012
ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigeria's president has compared the violence by an Islamist extremist sect in his West African nation to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
President Goodluck Jonathan made the comments Sunday before a church in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.
Jonathan said the sect known as Boko Haram "is taking over Abuja (and wants) for me and those working in government to run and hide somewhere else."
Jonathan also told worshippers at the church that the violence around the world made him wonder if this is a "way of telling us that the end times are so close."
According to an Associated Press count, Boko Haram has killed more than 780 people this year alone in Nigeria. The killings continue despite soldiers and police flooding the nation's north.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by Zhulfiqar1: 12:36pm On Jan 06, 2013|
Thunderous Applause,Emotional Chants and Show of Support From the Thousands of Audience Present in University of Damascus Hall During a Victory Speech by the People's President,Dr. Bashar al-Assad.
the below (video) shows the reaction of the audience when Assad approaches to deliver his speech minutes ago on the podium:
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by Zhulfiqar1: 1:00pm On Jan 06, 2013|
A Stampede of the Audience in Damascus University Hall to Greet The People's President,Dr. Bashar al-Assad,Upon the Conclusion of His Speech Minutes Ago.Chants of "May Allah Protect","Allah Syria and Bashar",and "With Our Souls and Blood We shall Ransom for You" could be heard from the applauding audience rushing towards the President:
Thunderous Applause,Emotional Chants and Show of Support From the Thousands of Audience Present in University of Damascus Hall During a Victory Speech by the People's President,Dr. Bashar al-Assad.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by vedaxcool(m): 2:44pm On Jan 06, 2013|
Lol you guys not only quote the bible to justify self brutality but now quote the chief retardeen Jona to know whether the world is coming to an end,
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by Zhulfiqar1: 8:15pm On Jan 06, 2013|
Syria's Bashar al-Assad calls on foreign countries to end support for rebels
Opposition denounces president's peace plan as 'empty rhetoric' as Assad pledges to stay and continue fighting 'terrorist' violence
Ian Black, Middle East editor
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 January 2013 12.48 GMT
Bashar al-Assad has pledged to continue fighting "terrorist" violence and urged foreign countries to end support for his enemies while also offering a national dialogue and a constitutional referendum to end Syria's bloody crisis.
The Syrian president used an hour-long speech in Damascus on Sunday to propose what he called a comprehensive plan that included an "expanded government". But there was no sign he was prepared to step down as the first stage of a political transition – a demand of all opposition groups. "I will go one day, but the country remains," he said.
The Syrian leader referred repeatedly to plots against his country and the role of al-Qaida, long-portrayed as the leading element in what began as a popular uprising in March 2011. Syria was not facing a revolution but a "gang of criminals", he said.
"We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word," the president told supporters. "This war targets Syria using a handful of Syrians and many foreigners. Thus, this is a war to defend the nation."
It was hard to see how his latest speech offered even a glimmer of hope for a way out of the bloody impasse between the regime and rebels in a conflict that the UN said last week had claimed 60,000 lives over 21 months.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition said the closely watched address marked an end to the diplomatic effort being led by the UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi. "It was a waste of time. He said nothing constructive," a spokesman, Louay Safi, told al-Jazeera TV. "It was empty rhetoric." Walid al-Bunni, a veteran activist, said: "The genuine opposition inside and outside Syria won't accept the initiative."
Assad's speech was "beyond hypocritical", Britain's foreign secretary, William Hague, commented on Twitter. "Deaths, violence and oppression engulfing Syria are his own making, empty promises of reform fool no one."
Assad's last public comments were in November, when he told Russian TV he would "live and die in Syria". His last speech was in June 2012.
Sunday's speech from the stage of the Damascus opera house in the heart of the capital was punctuated by thunderous applause and loyalist chants from what was certainly a carefully selected audience. The city was described as being under a security lockdown before the event.
Reconciliation could take place only with those "who have not betrayed Syria", Assad declared, repeating that there was no partner for peace. There could not be simply a political solution, he insisted, but there had to be an end to violence and terror. There was loud cheering when he praised the bravery of the armed forces.
Assad said a national dialogue would draw up a new charter. This would be put to a national referendum that would be followed in turn by parliamentary elections and a general amnesty.
Opposition comment on social media was predictably scathing. The speech prompted one anti-Assad figure to tweet: "There is a saying in Arabic that goes along the lines of: 'He killed the man then walked in his funeral.'"
Assad also thanked Russia, China and Iran for supporting Syria in the face of hostility from the US, Britain and France.
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by DevotedOne(m): 3:49pm On Jan 07, 2013|
In The Name of The Only One, The Almighty, The Eternal, The Self-Subsisting in Whom All subsist. Peace be upon you, everyone.
I sill haven't watched this video....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JGeGHVAjG5c Full Speech of Dr. Bashar al-Assad President of the Syrian Arab Repubblic, Damascus 06/01/2013
Wa salaam. DevotedOne
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by vedaxcool(m): 10:26am On Jan 22, 2013|
Teaching Quran to escape Syria torture
Last updated: 23 hours ago
Unable to witness horrific abuses,
intelligence officer flees to hometown to teach Islam to children instead.
Hantoutin, Syria - Sheikh Abu
Mohammad used to be an officer in a
state institution considered by many
Syrians to be the regime's most
notorious and feared: the air force
A year into the uprising, however, Abu
Mohammed said he could no longer
tolerate the scenes of brutality he
witnessed on the grounds of the
headquarters in Damascus.
Anti-government protesters were
frequently arrested and tortured there
before they were tucked into narrow and dark dungeons, he said.
Eight months ago, Abu Mohammad, in
his forties, gathered enough courage to
leave his job. He said the tipping point for him was when he saw an imam being tortured in front of his eyes. "They stepped on his beard," he said.
"They humiliated him and continued to
insult him and his religion.
"I was working in the administration of
the air force intelligence and was not
involved in running prisons or torturing
detainees. But I could no longer live with myself watching atrocities in the front yard every day.
"Images from there continue to haunt
me." He fled the capital and returned to his northern hometown of Hantoutin. There, he traded his uniform for a long, white robe. He decided to pursue a longtime dream: teaching Islam to children. He set up a prayer room and seating area in an intact part of a local mosque that had been mostly destroyed by government air strikes.
Today, children enter the mosque
through holes in its bombarded walls and stumble through the debris to reach the room where Abu Mohammad provides Quran recitation sessions and teaches them Islamic principles for one hour each
day. "This is something I always wanted to do," he said. "Three years ago, while still in office, I earned a diploma in Quranic recitation and enrolled myself in religious lessons, secretly. If the regime knew I was involved in religious studies, I would have been harassed or even arrested."
The Syrian regime has for decades
prided itself of being a secular bastion in the Arab world. It has been cracking
down on Islamists and tightened its
influence over religious education.
Filling the vacuum
Abu Mohammad said the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad gave him the push he needed to leave the job he loathed. Now, he does his best to fill an education vacuum in his hometown after schools were bombarded and children had no chance to continue their education.
Government tanks have spared no
school or mosque in Hantoutin. The small town has been shelled regularly since rebels captured it in July last year.
Teachers have fled and students have so far missed a whole school year.
"My parents sent me to the mosque to
take Quranic lessons. I miss my school,
but I really enjoy it here," Ahmad, a 10-
year-old student, said.
Ahmad's father said he wishes his son
could also study math and science, but
the risks are too great. He does not want to have his son outside the house for more than an hour each day.
"The recitation is good for keeping
Ahmad's classical Arabic language in
practice. This is not a good time to
expand into other subjects," he said.
His Quran in hand, Ahmad usually runs to the mosque amid the sound of
bombardment. He said he has become
accustomed to the shelling, but Abu
Mohammad has instructed the students
to get to the lessons as fast as possible.
Ahmad took off his shoes as he entered
the class, joining two dozens of students sitting in a circle on a rug. They soon began imitating Abu Mohammad's intonation of Quranic verses. Abu Mohammad said the idea behind the classes was not only to teach children the Quran but also to help them cope with the violence that ravages Idlib province as rebels and government forces are battling for control of strategic territory. "Some of those attending this lesson are
the sons of martyrs. Several children
have lost their fathers or mothers in the
shelling. They need a lot of care and
emotional support. I try to provide as
much as I can," he said.
He said the guilt for remaining silent
about the atrocities he witnessed while
working for the intelligence has
disturbed him for a long time. But since
he started teaching, he is feeling better
"Seeing the joy of the children when
they leave the mosque brings me peace
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by DevotedOne(m): 7:52pm On Feb 09, 2013|
Bismillaah ir Rahmaan ir Rahiim In The Name of Allah, The All Compassionate, The All Merciful. As salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh; The peace be upon you, and The Mercy of Allah and HIS Blessings.
I wasn't able to discern where this extra-judicial killing had taken place.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BPtVWPjGVXo The POLICY of 'SO WHAT!'
|Re: Silence Is Betrayal #houlamassacre #syria by Onyocha: 2:55pm On Feb 20, 2013|
Russia Must Beware of West Chicanery Over Bahrain, Syria
By Finian Cunningham
February 19, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - Moscow should be careful not to buy into recent cosmetic efforts by the West to revamp its Persian Gulf client monarchy - and to sell the Bahraini people short for the sake of saving its ally in Syria.
As Bahrain marked the second anniversary of its popular uprising on 14 February, the embattled Western-backed monarchy has renewed attempts apparently to seek a negotiated political settlement with various opposition groups to its two-year crisis.
However, many analysts both within and outside the Persian Gulf kingdom see the new push for “national dialogue” as nothing more than a cynical political maneuver by the Sunni regime to buy off a popular, mainly Shia, challenge to its unelected rule. The ulterior agenda of the talks process, which opened on 10 February, is not to produce a genuine democratic political solution, but rather to revamp the corrupt status quo with a sticking-plaster appearance of reform.
This is where Russia’s recent engagement in Bahrain’s political affairs should tread carefully.
Ahead of the kingdom’s political dialogue, the Russian foreign ministry hosted a delegation from Bahrain’s main extant opposition group, Al Wefaq, in Moscow. The word “extant” is used advisedly here because most of Bahrain’s more critical opposition to the regime is in prison, some of whom are serving life sentences on trumped-up charges of subversion.
The Wefaq delegation to Moscow earlier this month was led by Sheikh Ali Salman, the top figure in the mainly Shia political organization, who held talks with Russia’s deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
Bogdanov also met on 8 February with Bahrain’s ambassador to Russia, Hashim Hasan Al Bash. Following the series of meetings, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement: “Russia will continue to hold contacts with the kingdom’s leaders as well as representatives of opposition groups in firm support of efforts to resolve internal problems through a national consensus in the interests of all Bahrainis.”
If we give Russian diplomats the benefit of doubt, one could see their belated efforts as a well-meaning attempt to help resolve the conflict in Bahrain, where over the past two years some 100 people have been killed in clashes with state forces and thousands have been injured and imprisoned - huge numbers relative to the tiny national population of less than 600,000.
From this seemingly benevolent Russian intervention, Moscow stands to gain some kudos in the strategic Persian Gulf Arab region where the Sunni monarchies ruling over the oil-rich sheikhdoms of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are staunch allies of the Al Khalifa regime in Bahrain. Some 30 per cent of all of the world’s shipped oil trade passes every day out the Persian Gulf, and Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter, producing 10 million barrels per day.
This strategic factor points to a connection with Syria. Russia’s engagement in Bahrain - an established British and American sphere of influence - comes at the same time that Moscow is stepping up diplomatic efforts with its Soviet-era Syrian ally to find a political solution in that country.
Syria has also been racked by two years of relentless violence, where an armed insurgency against the government of President Bashar Al Assad has been equipped and funded by the Persian Gulf monarchies, as well as by the US, Britain, France and other NATO powers, including Turkey and Germany.
The Russian foreign ministry alluded to Moscow’s joined-up diplomacy when it said: “We are certain that it’s possible, with enough political will, to ease the tensions and resolve the causes of the conflict in Bahrain as well as in other countries in the region.”
Somewhat surprisingly, recent moves towards political negotiations in Syria appear to be bearing fruit. After months of intransigence towards the government in Damascus, Moaz Al Khatib, the leader of the exile opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, suddenly announced that the SNC is ready to negotiate a political transition with President Assad. The Syrian government has reciprocated with senior members meeting opposition groups and saying that it is ready for talks with “no preconditions”.
This rapid change in political gear is best understood in the light of punishing setbacks inflicted by the formidable Syrian national army on the Syrian insurgents and their foreign mercenary networks. It therefore seems now that the West’s military option of removing Assad by force is spent.
After two years of futile skirmishing and some 70-80,000 deaths, the Western powers and their regional Sunni Arab and Turk allies have come to the realization that their desired goal of regime change in Syria is not going to happen under Plan A, namely armed subversion. Plan B - a political process - now seems to be more a feasible route.
An integral part of this trade-off is Bahrain. If Russia can help bolster the Bahraini opposition and inveigle it into accepting political terms with the Western and Saudi-backed Al Khalifa regime, then the West and the Persian Gulf monarchs will reciprocate by easing the pressure on the Assad government in Syria by: a) reducing the supply of arms to the militants in Syria, which recent reports indicate is the case; and b) pushing the SNC group into accepting negotiations with Assad, which up until recently was a non-starter but now appears to be underway.
Despite its relatively small size, Bahrain has huge strategic value. It provides the base for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet and a Western military projection point across the entire Middle East. Moreover, the democratic uprising in Bahrain threatens the entire Sunni monarchial realm that presides over the Persian Gulf and which is the lynchpin of the American petrodollar global economy. Ongoing political unrest in Bahrain is a mortal threat to these vital Western interests. Therefore, it is imperative that Washington, London and the Sunni oil sheikhdoms find a way of “restoring order” in Bahrain. An implicit deal with Russia over Syria would be more than a worthwhile trade-off.
The question is: does the Bahraini pro-democracy movement stand to lose out in any grubby political quid pro quo? Or as a member of the 14th February Coalition - a revolutionary opposition group that has repudiated dialogue with the regime - put it disdainfully: “Are we being sacrificed in the bigger picture of regional geopolitics?”
For a start, the supposed “Arab Spring” comparisons between Syria and Bahrain are invalid. In Syria, the Assad government has a democratic mandate and retains popular support. The so-called uprising, championed by Western governments and news media with romantic, heroic prose, is in reality an externally driven terrorist insurgency that has no legitimacy among the mass of Syrians. This systematic violence has been fomented covertly and criminally by foreign powers.
While there is cause for political reforms in Syria - in what country is there not? - it is completely fallacious to ascribe the turmoil over the past two years to an Arab-Spring-style popular uprising for democracy. The upheavals in Syria are the manifestation of an illegal policy of regime change by Western powers and their Sunni Arab and Turk allies - all of which see the removal of Assad as an opportune blow against Shia Iran.
By contrast, for the past two years Bahrain has indeed witnessed a genuine popular uprising that conforms to the normative meaning of the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement, which swept the Middle East and North African region from Tunisia to Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Yemen in early 2011 and continues to reverberate. (Libya is another anomaly of the Arab Spring, as with Syria, which was less about genuine popular uprising and more about opportunistic NATO regime change.)
The majority of Bahrainis are demanding the right to have an elected government. The people, who are mainly Shia, want an end to the autocratic rule of the Sunni Al Khalifa monarchy that was imposed on them when the old colonial power, Britain, granted nominal independence in 1971. Tellingly, the Western governments and their subservient news media have largely ignored the plight of the Bahraini people, which by normal reasoning is a righteous cause deserving full support and media coverage.
Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf absolute monarchs have sat nervously and parlously throughout these seismic regional shocks. Popular protests and any signs of incipient dissent within the Persian Gulf enclave have been ruthlessly suppressed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. These monarchs’ fears of a pro-democracy contagion is why they supported the invasion of Bahrain in March 2011 by the Saudi-led Peninsula Shield Defence Force to try to crush the Bahraini uprising. Yet, ironically and somewhat hilariously, these same Arab despots have lent copious diplomatic and material support to alleged pro-democracy uprisings in Libya and Syria.
Despite the ruthless repression in Bahrain, with Western acquiescence, the pro-democracy movement continues unabated. Indeed this past week, which marked the second anniversary of the uprising, has seen even greater numbers of demonstrations across the island. A 16-year-old youth, Hussein Al Jaziri, was shot dead in the village of Daih by regime forces, bringing even more protesters on to the streets. The previous week saw the deaths of 87-year-old Habib Ebrahim and eight-year-old Qassim Habib who both died after Al Khalifa uniformed police thugs saturated the villages of Malikiya and Karbabad with toxic chemical gas.
Popular outrage and demand for the downfall of the Khalifa regime has thus become even more determined and strident. The majority of the people do not want negotiations with the despised regime nor a “constitutional monarchy” - the people want the Khalifa dynasty to simply get the hell out of their lives and to make way for an elected government. “Freedom with dignity” is one of the people’s chants.
Saeed Shehabi of the Bahrain Freedom Movement said there should be no political dialogue with the Bahraini regime because it has shown itself to be illegitimate over years of systematic brutal repression and corruption at the expense of the majority of the Bahraini people. Shehabi said that the Bahraini people are well aware of the congenital Al Khalifa political maneuvers and sham political processes down through the decades in order to preserve its hold on power and privilege. He said: “It is clear from the insistence of the people of Bahrain that they believe that reform is not possible with this regime.”
American Middle East political analyst Dr Colin Cavell, who formerly taught at the University of Bahrain, shared this assessment. He said: “I agree with Saeed Shehabi that the people of Bahrain should not engage in political talks with the Al Khalifa junta, as their offer of dialogue is disingenuous and merely a show for the international media and a complete ruse.”
As already noted, Bahrain’s more radical opposition leadership has been imprisoned. They include redoubtable figures like Hasan Mushaima, Abduljalil Al Singace, Adbulhadi Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab, who have the respect and loyalty of the wider population. Some of these leaders are serving sentences of life imprisonment simply because they called for the unelected Khalifa regime to stand down and to be replaced by a republican form of government. This viewpoint resonates with the majority of the people who are continuing to protest on the streets calling for the downfall of the regime despite the recent opening of dialogue.
It is highly significant that the Wefaq opposition bloc, which met with the Russian foreign ministry, has given notice that it is willing to accept a political settlement with the Khalifa regime that would involve the coexistence of “constitutional monarchy” alongside an elected government. This is not what the majority of Bahrainis want. For the majority of Bahrainis, the continuance of the Khalifa regime in any shape or form in the public life of Bahrain is unacceptable. The violence and violations that the regime has committed makes any tolerance of a remnant anathema to the vast majority of the people.
It is also significant that Washington and London, the primary sponsors of the Khalifa rulers, have assiduously courted the participation of Wefaq in the latest political dialogue with the regime.
Writing in the Washington-based publication, The Hill, on 12 February, former director of US National Intelligence Dennis C Blair said that the US goal “should encourage moderate leaders within the Bahraini government and moderate leaders in the opposition… a gradual transition to a constitutional democratic monarchy is in Bahrain’s best long-term interest.”
Blair was, of course, too coy and cynical to say that this arrangement was also in Washington’s best interest. And, mischievously, he went on to describe Bahraini opponents of the Khalifa regime and its dialogue process as “hardliners”. That is a deft way of delegitimizing political voices that are outside the realm of tolerance to those in power and their patrons.
This is typical top-down political engineering. Washington, London and the Saudi patrons of the completely unacceptable regime in Bahrain are trying to force a political “compromise” on the Bahraini people - a compromise that leaves the regime intact and is far short of what the people want or deserve. By way of making this squalid solution palatable, the Western powers are trying to bestow legitimacy on any such ostensible “deal” by involving the participation of the Wefaq opposition bloc, thus providing a veneer of popular participation and consent.
But this is the politics of expedience and deception, not the politics of democratic freedom, rights and principle. It is the politics of extending cover to the selfish geopolitical interests of Washington, London and the Persian Gulf monarchs, not the politics of supporting the Bahraini people who have been denied their natural rights for more than four decades.
It would be a grave mistake for the Russian government to adopt the premise of Syria and Bahrain as being somehow equivalent and reciprocal. The former is a case of outright criminal aggression by cynical foreign powers; while Bahrain is a clear case of a people genuinely demanding democratic rights. They are separate and non-negotiable.
In the long term, Russia’s foreign policy would be more sustainable, ethical and rewarding if it was based on defending, absolutely, the national sovereign rights of Syrians, that is, without any contingent quid pro quo; while at the same time supporting, separately, the sovereign aspirations of the Bahraini people - and not on affording political cover to self-serving Western imperialist intrigues and collusion with Arab despots.
Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England.
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