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July 2012

The EU-Israel Association Council Violates The constitutions of EU


Kawther Salam | July 27, 2012

Eleventh Meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council

The European Union (EU) warmly welcomes this 11th meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council as a demonstration of the significance the EU attaches to its relations with the State of Israel. The EU reiterates the importance of further developing our broad bilateral partnership and looks forward to a comprehensive dialogue and cooperation with our Israeli counterparts. Click here to read the full statement of the European Union. Statement as PDF

The EU fails to uphold international law in its relations with Israel

PCHRO – Following the Association Council meeting on 24 July 2012 between the European Union (EU) and Israel, it was announced that the EU has agreed upon developing cooperation with Israel by offering it 60 new activities in 15 fields. The EU also declared that it would continue technical discussions with Israel aimed at identifying areas for future cooperation.

As organisations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), we are strongly concerned about the EU’s lack of commitment to human rights in light of what is essentially an intensification of bilateral relations with Israel.

In recent months, the EU has made progress in recognising and condemning Israel’s practices and policies in the OPT which constitute systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. We welcomed the 14 May Council Conclusions which expressed “deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible” and waited for words to turn into action from the EU’s side.

The Association Council, the most high-level meeting to take place between the EU and Israel, is, however, a step backwards. Aggravatingly, the Association Council statement comes at a time when Israel is relentless in expanding its illegal settlement enterprise; maintains the continued closure of the Gaza Strip which amounts to collective punishment; continues to revoke residency permits of Palestinians; displaces the Palestinian people, especially those residing in Area C; discriminatory allocates natural resources, such as land and water; as well as continuing the construction of the Annexation Wall.

Indeed, in the past two months alone Israel has issued demolition orders to some 50 structures in Susiya and ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills so that the land can be used for the training of the Israeli military. These are all methods and means of the Israeli Government aimed at fragmenting the OPT, illegally appropriating Palestinian land for the benefit of the settler population and Israel, and diminishing Palestinian presence and control over Palestinian lands. The statement also comes at a time where Israel remains unaffected by the Palestinian prisoners nearing death in Israeli prisons, and where Israel unabatedly resorts to excessive use of administrative detention.

Editor Addition: Ethnic Cleansing Video of 2011 / Cowardly Soldiers
Videos Of Theft Of Palestinian Water
Palestinian Susya has been razed 5 times in 1985, 1991, 1997 and twice in 2001. Since it is classified within Area C of the West Bank, it lies under Israeli military occupation and control. Though they own much of the land, Susya’s 350 residents are denied permits to build homes, schools or clinics and dwell mostly as a result in a collection of shabby tents. This rebuilt village made of tents, cinderblocks and tarps, is under an Israeli court order to be demolished in 2012

No master plan exists for the Palestinian Susya as opposed to the Israeli settlement of Susya, and Palestinians are required to obtain permits from the Israeli Civil Administration.

On November 3 2011, electricity poles connected Umm Faqara to a grid were uprooted by an Israeli demolition team. On the 24 of November, 2011 bulldozers razed what Israeli law defines as illegal constructions: two tents where the Mughnem family dwells on their own land in Susya; another family’s small residence; a guest room of another family and a rabbit pen. A small mosque in the cave village of Umm Faqara, though not illegal, was damaged during the bulldozing. On June 13 an Israelli court issued 6 demolition orders covering houses in most of the Palestinian village of Susya. Other than thousands of square metres of compounds, the orders are expected to include the destruction of a kindergarten, a clinic, and the solar panels that generate the only available electricity for the village.

By agreeing to further develop bilateral relations with Israel, the EU has failed to adhere to its self-commitment to international law, and appropriately implement the recent EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy which emphasized that the “EU is founded on a shared determination to promote peace and stability and to build a world founded on respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law” and that these principles are to underpin EU’s external policies. Moreover, individual member states of the European Union are under a legal obligation to respect and ensure respect of the Geneva Conventions. The recent intensification of relations is certainly not based on consideration of seeking conformity with these legal obligations.

If adherence to international law is to be a corner stone of the EU then it must make a link between its actions and its verbal and written condemnations. As such, the EU needs to stress to Israel that until it shows tangible progress in its compliance with international law it will not benefit from further cooperation with the EU, on the basis of or outside the current EU-Israeli Action Plan. Only in the instance that the EU does not allow for Israel to enjoy impunity will Israel be persuaded to comply with all its international legal obligations, including those owed towards the occupied Palestinian people.

As Palestinian human rights organisations, we are deeply disappointed with the EU’s decision to sideline human rights and humanitarian law when it suits the EU and Israel, and thus oppose the EU’s decision to effectively upgrade its relations with Israel. The recent agreement amount to the condoning of Israel’s illegal practices and, by virtue of the acquiescence of the EU, contributes to both their continuation and the deterioration of the human rights situation in the OPT.

Diary from Damascus (John Wreford)

Syrian security forces taking position in the Al-Midan district of Damascus on July 18
An image grab taken from Syrian TV shows Syrian security forces taking position during armed clashes with gunmen who the TV called “terrorists” (unseen) in the Al-Midan district of Damascus on July 18. For the first time in decades, the eve of Ramadan in Syria’s capital is overshadowed by fear. Panic has engulfed the city amid unprecedented combat after a bombing killed three top officials. © AFP/SYRIAN TV/File

Posted on 07/28/2012

John Wreford writes at

Photographer John Wreford has lived in Syria for many years and still remains in his house in Damascus’ Old City. Here, he gives a very personal account of the last couple of weeks’ events.

A warm summer evening sitting in a central Damascus restaurant overlooking the city, the mountain of Qasyun lit like a Christmas tree, we were under no illusion all was well in Syria. But here in the capital life went on almost as usual. We discussed how things the last week or so had calmed down, then for a moment we paused for thought, the calm before the storm perhaps.

No more than a few days later the storm well and truly blew into town. For months, the opposition and regime had been battling each other in the outer suburbs of Damascus. The sounds of shelling and artillery echoed across the city, peaceful protestors were still coming out in large numbers, more and more clashes could be heard, but by and large everything tended to take place in certain areas.

It was pretty well known that the Free Syrian Army had been moving into Damascus and was encamped in the more militant neighbourhoods such as Midan and Kfra Souseh. But many of us felt able to go about life as usual despite knowing that sooner or later things would change. From Sunday we felt that change. The war had been on the doorstep but was now passing over the threshold, more explosions, more shooting, the awful sounds moving closer and closer, the continuous drone of helicopters that had become a regular feature over recent weeks.

Where I live in the Old City between Bab Touma and Bab Salam, ancient houses in a warren of alleyways, things were calm, children playing in the streets and many preparing for Ramadan. I would sit on my roof early morning and in the evening, able to get more of a fix on where the sounds of gunfire may be coming from. I can see very little, four large satellite dishes prostrated toward Mecca have seen to that. Monday through Tuesday the fighting became more intense, my house shook as a helicopter was shot down in Qaboun and at one point a couple of stray bullets whizzed through the air above my head, the sound like an email being despatched from an iPhone. The explosions and gunfire continued all through the night.

I woke up on Wednesday to more of the same. I felt safe enough near my house but the thought of what was happening elsewhere in the city was stomach churning. How can we know what weapons are creating those sounds, what carnage they can be causing? Then a couple of very loud bangs, from some distance but I felt a shudder. A car bomb had exploded outside the law courts a couple of weeks earlier and it felt much the same, it seemed already I was learning the difference between car bomb and artillery. Soon the television news was reporting on the attack on the security meeting and possible deaths of government ministers. I left the house and as I arrived in Qamaria, near my home, the shopkeepers were excitedly rushing from shop to shop with updates on the unfolding events. Some were just staring at the screens in almost disbelief, the attack happening in one of the most secure areas of Damascus, a stone’s throw from the presidential office and American embassy.

The sounds continued, the crackle and pop of God knows what. Then while on the phone stressing that this little corner of the Old City was going about its business as usual, I watched two armed men climb onto the roof of a house a couple of streets away. I went downstairs and told the neighbours’ children to go inside. I walked around the alleys close to my house. I have always considered my immediate neighbours as loyal to the regime. They seemed ok with the gunmen on the roof, and the children were soon back playing in the street. It’s this last point that gives me cause not to trust their judgment.

Back in Qamaria people were closing their shops early, some had already preferred to stay the previous night in their shops. As the sun was setting I checked the roof again, the gunmen had made themselves comfortable and had hung flags to indicate they were from the regime. A little after dark a couple of loud explosions, some distance away, and then the electricity was cut. Suddenly several bursts of gunfire from somewhere in the neighbourhood, then quiet again, for the next couple of hours it was calm, the neighbours preferred to chat in the alley under the still working lamp. The power returned just before midnight, then at two am a whizz and explosion in one of the surrounding alleyways, then quiet again.

That Wednesday in Damascus, it seemed as though all hell had broken loose, so much happening in so many places. People were finding it difficult to process the overload of events, only pulling themselves away from the television news to answer the phone from a friend or relative, first trying to find out if everyone was safe then updating on the latest bulletin, with rumour and conspiracy as ever rife.

The dawn broke on Thursday with the familiar awful sounds of war, the hollow thud of what no doubt must be tank fire, somewhere east of the Old City, Qaboun maybe. Helicopters circling high above the city. Slowly people came back out onto the streets, not many, only locals, gathering in small groups discussing the night’s events. Very few shops opened, some shop owners preferring to stay the night in their shops rather than risk the journey home. Never have I seen the Old City like this, it’s the last Thursday before the holy month of Ramadan and the streets would normally be crowded with shoppers. Hushed tones and nervous expressions, glances to the sky as another explosion echoed. As the day passed the noise of fighting seemed less intense, the news coming from the outside suburbs though was horrific. Those who could find room elsewhere were trying their best to leave for safer areas, many extended family members had already moved in with others, my neighbour has all his relatives from Harasta now living with him. The small house must have a dozen or more living there now. Another neighbour borrowed bedding from me.

The rubbish was already piling up in the streets, the refuse collectors had not turned up at all and it doesn’t take long for the smell in the Damascus summer heat to become offensive. Late afternoon I visited the vegetable market on the other side of Straight Street. The usual thriving souk was deserted, little fruit or vegetables available, rumours of panic buying had already circulated around the wider city. Most likely the suppliers were simply unable to get through, or not willing to try. We know which areas are having the worst problems and we can call ahead to get details but the journey between is an unknown quantity, few people prepared to risk it. By six in the evening the few shops open were closing. In the year and a half of the on-going crisis the Old City has never felt this way. The only guest eating in the city’s most prestigious restaurant was the manager.

Thursday night passed with relative calm, probably for many the first chance of some sleep, but just before 7.30 on Friday morning the drum-like sound of artillery shakes me literally from my sleep, a few minutes later another salvo of several blasts, then quiet again. I tried to convince myself that the neighbourhoods where the shells must be landing would now be empty of its inhabitants and the battle was between two warring armies, in my mind those horrific images from wars past, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Chechnya.

The next 24 hours would see the start of Ramadan, in Syria such an important and happy time, the time for families to come together, more about the food than the fast. Syria is overwhelmingly Muslim but moderate, Ramadan is more a cultural celebration, more like Christmas in Europe. For many it’s the only time they go to the Mosque, that is until the beginning of the revolution when the mosque became the only place a crowd were able to gather. The fast is more often than not followed by a feast with visiting family and friends all through the night, going out to restaurants for the pre dawn meal of Suhur. By the time Abu Tableh comes around banging his drum in the early hours most have not even gone to bed.

This year was always going to be different, food prices have risen and the cost of cooking gas has trebled. There were little sign of any preparation. The pounding of suburbs east of the city continued on and off all day, several large explosions too.

The Old City was almost completely deserted, a few grocery shops open, a few shopkeepers who had not been home in days. The only people about were local residents. Generally things were calmer around most of the city, the rubbish that had not been collected for a couple of days and was beginning to reek was being cleared. Raslan, Osama and Hasan – the kids in my alley – were using wheelbarrows to cart it off elsewhere. As night fell there were still echoes of what was going on further away, a gun battle that sounded quite close only lasted a few minutes, then very little.

The rest of the week passed relatively peacefully. We can still hear the sound of clashes and explosions from time to time but for the most part things feel better, for how long we do not know.

So many Syrians are suffering now, so many are scared, so many would like to leave but have no option but to stay. For now I will also stay, as long as I can. My heart goes out to every single Syrian who has been effected by this terrible conflict, and so many have.

Ramadan is underway and people are determined to carry on regardless, the mood is sombre and not one of celebration as it should be. More people are out and about, the rubbish is being collected, the markets have food. But still people are afraid, everyone knows there is more to come, many are leaving. Most are just praying for peace.


Kicked out of Syria because he asked for democracy, Father Paolo tells CNN’s Amanpour


Ammar Abduhamid’s Syrian Revolution Digest

500 Days of Night. 500 Days of Light.

Judging things through the visor of international reactions, the past 500 days in Syria were an age of darkness and missed opportunities. But examining the situation from the point of view of an activist, every day that passed brought more people to the cause, and for all the complications still involved, that is a major achievement. Things will never be the same. Fear is gone. The spell is broken.

Friday July 27, 2012
Today’s Death toll: 110. The Breakdown: 30 in Daraa, 23 in Damascus and Suburbs, 22 in Aleppo, 11 in Deir Ezzor, 10 in Hos, 5 in Idlib, 3 in Hama, 2 in Lattakia, and 1 in Raqqah.
Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiah, Harran Al-Awameed, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous, Qarrah(Damascus Suburbs), Sit Zeinab, Al-Qadam, Modan, Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Yarmouk, Kafar Sousseh, Mazzeh, Qaboun, Barzeh (Damascus City), Daraa City, Khirbet Al-Ghazaleh, Tafas, Bostra Al-Sham, Na’eemah, Mseifrah, Jimreen, Hraak (Daraa), Rastan, Talbisseh, Houla, Tal Kalakh, Al-Qusayr, Al-Hosn, Al-Ghanto, Al-Bouaydah, Old Homs (Homs Province), Hreitan, Elbab, Eizaz, Marei, Bayanoun (Aleppo Province), Haffeh, Jabal Al-Akrad (Lattakia), Deir Ezzor City, Mouhassan, Albou Kamal (Deir Ezzor Province), Kafar Zeiteh, Hawash, Shahshabo, Hama City (Hama Province), Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, Ma’rrat Al-Nouman, Saraqib, Maar Shoureen, Ariha, Kafroumah, Al-Rami, Khan Shaikhoon (Idlib).
Op-Eds & Special Reports
Brief History of Aleppo: A Great World City Now in the Grip of War As Syrian government forces and rebels clash in Aleppo, TIME takes a look at the history of this ancient, cosmopolitan city now locked in a state of war
Syria’s Christians, Caught in the Middle of Worsening Chaos Every effort must be immediately made to anticipate the potential for post-Assad retaliation against civilians such as Alawites, Christians, and other minorities associated with the regime (or who simply stayed out of the fight)- and to form a real and workable strategy to prevent it, or to stop it if all hell begins to break loose.
Kurdish worries drag Turkey deeper into Syria war Turkey may be some way from acting on Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to strike Kurdish separatists in Syria, but week by week it finds itself sucked ever further into its neighbor’s worsening war.
By Ceding Northeastern Syria to the Kurds, Assad Puts Turkey in a BindAnkara has been a key backer of Syria’s rebellion, but the prospect of an Iraq-style autonomous Kurdish zone has Erdogan threatening to intervene
Syria regime ‘reeling, armed to the teeth’ with chemical weapons Like a three-card monte player, the Syrian government has been shifting its chemical weapons around the country in the midst of the country’s increasingly violent and chaotic civil war, leaving foreign intelligence agencies to guess where the outlawed weapons of mass destruction might end up – and under whose control.
Meeting the Syrian Opposition in Antakya and Istanbul … It is very difficult on the ground to be sure who it is that you are really talking to and what they represent… Turkish officials maintain a striking degree of control over Syrian opposition forces inside Turkey… the Muslim Brotherhood is pervasive not only within the Syrian National Council (SNC), but among many opposition groups… there is a striking cynicism and anger among fighters within Syria toward the outside world for not providing enough practical support.
Alawistan Bashar al-Assad may be gearing up to create an Alawite statelet along Syria’s coastal mountains. And he has the means to do it.
Kurdish flag-waving unnoticed in Syria Whatever has happened on the ground, which restricted media access to Syria makes very difficult to confirm, the recent assertion of Kurdish authority in northern Syria has led to speculation about Kurdish demands in a post-Assad era.
Assad’s Theater of the Absurd
An example of the kind of propaganda espoused by Assad’s official media organs:
This footage was originally broadcast on the official Souriyya Ikhbariyyah TV network and uploaded by supporters of Bashar al-Assad on July 23, 2012. It depicts a news report claiming that American corporations funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia are constructing life-size replicas of major Damascus neighborhoods in Hollywood to stage the fall of the capital. It also claims that senior level defections are being staged “and will be played by famous actors.”
The inspiration for this storyline came out of a joke on Facebook, a joke that was actually mocking the Syrian regime’s propaganda. Regime supporters, it seems, did not get the joke and ended up believing and adopting the story!
Another story in this vein concerns the arrival in Doha of an Assad look-alike who is meant to play him delivering a concession speech. The included picture can be downloaded and amplified for the English version.
Some of the news anchors in Assad’s propaganda machine, however, could not stomach having to peddle these lies. Here is Oula Abbas, an anchorwoman atIkhbariyyah, announcing her defection and accusing the regime of stoking sectarian sentiments
Meanwhile, there were more political defections, including the Syrian Ambassador in Belarus, Taha Farouq and an MPrepresenting Aleppo, Ikhlas Badawi.
Now it’s Official
After so many months of lies on part of Assad’s propagandists speculations on part of international experts, and dithering on part of international leaders, the incitements and the neglect combined to create a vacuum in areas around Syria that was finally filled by the wrong elements that we were all fearing and warning against. Al-Qaeda is here. But guess who is trying to contain them: the FSA.
Here is Colonel Afif Solaiman, head of the Military Council of Idlib, explains how they freed two western journalists kidnapped by AQ and held for ransom
The FSA is unlikely to try to fight against the emerging AQ network at this stage, since both have a common enemy they are fighting against: the Assads. But eventually, the two sides will have to battle out. This is another reason why the FSA should be supported.
Video Highlights
In Mayadeen, Deir Ezzor Province, the indiscriminate pounding claimed many lives and left many injured , But local FSA unit still fought back and destroyed an invading tank
In Aleppo City, the pounding by helicopter gunships of Firdos Neighborhood leaves many dead But members of Al-Tawhid Brigade managed to capture the local police station arresting over 100 pro-Assad militias
In Daraa City, the indiscriminate pounding , of the Mokhayam District left many dead , The Mokhayam’s population is a mix of Palestinians and Syrians.
In Damascus, the pounding by helicopter gunships of other restive suburbs and neighborhoods continues: Moadamiyah
In Homs Province, Old Homs, Rastan, Talbisseh and Houla continue to be pounded: Houla Rastan Talbisseh Old Homs (Baba Amr)
While the pounding of cities and towns continued unrelenting, Friday witnessed as well the usual protest rallies still calling for toppling the regime, and the birth of a new democratic Syria.
Shaar Neighborhood, Aleppo City: protesters chanted for Al-Tawhid Brigade which is now in control
Janoub Al-Malaab, Homs City:
Abtaa, Daraa Province: People chant “the Syrian people are one: Muslims and Christians”

A Syrian voice : SYRIAN HAMSTER)

Lost Pleasure and Other Ramblings

Posted by

I was told in argument on SC that it is no longer pleasurable to read my posts. As if I care,… this is not a competition for the most pleasant piece of literature. It is a battle forced on Syrians by a regime being defended, hyped, and constantly propped up by a bunch of people with primitive fears trying to hide innate sectarianism, believe of entitlement, and a maddening cocktail of inferiority-insecurity-superiority complexes.

How dare those trying to play both sides claim that the people of Syria want to burn their country?  None of the revolutionaries, the FSA, or even Jihadists who may have entered the line here and there is flying Migs aircraft, driving tanks, and positioning mid-range artillery guns to prepare areas for the hordes of Assad barbarians by bombarding Syria’s cities one after another. It is the criminal regime, empowered by the cowardice of the shifty “against the regime but not with the revolution”, by the subhuman ethics of its defenders, by a primitive fear-based cult, and a group of anti-something fools, who never managed to join the 21st century and still reach orgasm imagining yet one more totalitarian system’s victory against forces of progress and civility. Zakraria Tamer is right, it is a regime empowered by Ignorance, arrogance, audacity, pettiness, stupidity and foolishness. It is the Assad hyenas who keep saying Assad or we burn the country, and have been burning the country, and some people have the audacity to blame those whose homes and cities are being burned, those whose families are being murdered, and those whose brothers and sisters are being killed under torture for the catastrophe befalling the country, so that these cowards can feel superior to the masses and rest comfortable with a malformed conscious grown out of their elitism.

Anyone who points the finger at the citizen who takes up arm to defend his neighborhood from the hyena packs instead of pointing the finger at the head hyena is a participant in the murder, an enabler of the sub-human regime, and is a part of the problem.

The most common theme in the writing of this class of cowards is their disingenuous declaration of sadness for the people of the country being massacred because “some people” want the toppling of the regime at all costs. Now it is us who are being rigid, and not the bastards of Damascus and their packs of hyenas hell-bent on burning the country and their enablers in Syria and elsewhere who propagate false stories, perform intellectual prostitution through shady articles accusing everyone of being on the pay of someone, whilst they refuse to declare the names of their financial and academic backers.  So let us look at some of the fatal logical flaws in their set of arguments. Take the above argument, for example. It is mostly directed at SNC. Here are some of the statements

SNC is causing the mayhem by tricking people into fighting the regime for their own political agenda (aiming to deny the people on the street the legitimacy of free will to fight back… they are tricked)….


SNC is incompetent, it has no legitimacy, nor the backing of Syrians, its members are greedy,…. And so on. .

Does anyone see the contradiction of the two statements, most of the time present within a single regime-propagandist (or indirect apologist) paragraph. I will not try to pontificate like the foolish assad, so you pick it yourself.

However, there is an important undertone of the first statement, not only as an attempt to deny the popular character of the revolution,  but also as a disgusting cowardly attempt to normalize the regime’s criminal violence, by implicitly accepting such non-human violence as the only possible, expected, must live with response. This also takes a more sinister form by blaming Qatar, KSA, Israel, US, and others for the follies of the stupid Syrians, who brought on themselves the wrath of this regime, rather deservingly because they have collaborated, directly or indirectly with the west. How deceitful and sinister.  These are the same people who instead of accusing the Assad hyena gangs of burning the country, look at those striving for dignity and freedom and blame them for destroying the country.  Sadly, these same bunch of ethically and morally challenged characters would drive themselves and others into fits of indignation if anyone suggested that hizbullah had any responsibility in instigating the murderous Israeli campaign against Lebanon or Gaza. I believe that they are somehow angry that Israel was successful in neutralizing Hizbullah and Hamas, at least militarily after a significantly shorter period of murderous bombardment and with less damage and lives lost than the damage their regime has wrought and lives lost to protect their cult master, while on the other hand, their beloved fool still can’t do the same in Syria. It is also the same people who are now advertising the regime as the best protection Israel has against the “islamist” monster, but fail to reconcile with their own rhetoric, when cornered by the persistent, no prisoner taken style of someone like AIG. I refused Israel’s defenders logic then, and I refuse Assad’s apologists logic now.

What they miss, really miss, is that toppling this regime is no longer a political quest, it is now a human and civilization necessity. And Syrians are paying the price to join civilization and civility again. There is no question in my mind that when speaking of regime apologists, cover and overt,  their humanity did not fail them, the failed and continue to fail humanity with every word they utter.

I happen to believe that the demise of the Syrian Regime and its bosom body in Iran would be the first condition for stability in this region.  Sustainable peace will come after stability…. Any fool knows that. And if these liars try to accuse me of being an Israel friendly, all I have to do is to remind them that in their narrow sectarian mindset, it was them who tried to sell the regime to Israel as its guarantor starting with Rami Makhlouf and not ending with the characters on SC.

I am not bitter, … I am repulsed and disgusted.

Who are SNC:

I also encounter so much hype from both sides about SNC members and how they spend their time in five stars hotels. For many members of SNC, especially the younger, ground active members, this could not be further from the truth. A few have lost their jobs because of the demand of their work. Others barely have enough to survive and they are living in far worst conditions than those using the broadest of brushes to paint SNC in bad picture. As a political organization, SNC’s record is mixed, with more negative than positive. But please do not belittle the sacrifices of many of its members, who could have continued t o live comfortable lives, with reasonably paying professional jobs, but chose otherwise for the sake of Free Syria.

On Asef, Ikhtiar, and the rest of the Gang

I Don’t believe in hell and heaven, so my word is Good riddance.

On the West

Unlike the regime, who is has surrendered Syrian Sovereignty to Iran and Russia at the pleasure of a few Russian agents pretending to be journalists, researches, and commentators, the revolution is beholden to no one.  We will bring down the regime, punish those who ordered and committed atrocities and crimes against humanity (even if they defect from this point on), and build a new Syria. Syrians may not have many friends willing to fight on their behalf, but they will have plenty of friend as they embark on rebuilding their country.  Mark my words. We just have to think in long terms and recognize that it is not easy to deprogram an adult elephant of its thin rope. It may take the next generation for freely roaming elephants.

Someone Else’s FB Rambling

I leave you with a FB status written a while a go by one of my friends, It is written in Arabic and it is far more concise than my writing above.

القتل فرضه النظام وليس المجلس الوطني أو الجيش السوري الحر رغم مساويء كل منهما
توصيف وضع المعارضه الان واتهام أطرافها الرئيسة بالسعي نحو السلطه وبأنها شهود زور على حرق البلد وبان من وقف مع الثورة من المثقفين يريد التغيير فقط للتغيير يخدم دعاية النظام وشبيحته الذين يتهمون الثورة بأنها وراء خراب البلد محاولين التغطيه على الشعار المقيت “الاسد أو نحرق البلد” …
كفاكم تباكيا واستخفافا بعقولنا ولو كان ذلك عن حسن نيه … لاتريدون الانضمام الى الثورة لخوفكم من الطاغية .. أنتم أحرار.. ولكن لا تلعبوا دور الغربان في وقت حرج كهذا … نحن لا نحتاج تعففكم عن الدماء … فأنتم طاهرون ومثاليون … أما نحن الرعاع فقد فرض علينا الدم …

لا يا سادتي … لستم انسانيون أكثر منا .. ولستم حضاريون أكثر
تذكروا أن من فرض الدم هو النظام الذي لازلتم تتخوفون من فوضى زواله …


Murder and death were forced by the regime and not by the SNC or the FSA despite of their deficiencies. Over-analyzing the state of the opposition, and accusing its various components of running after power and of being false witnesses to the burning of the country and accusing intellectuals who side with the revolution of being after change for mere change only serves the regime’s propaganda and its thugs who are accusing the revolution of being behind the destruction of the country in their attempt to cover for the contemptible slogan “Assad or we Burn the Country” .

Stop decrying and stop your disregard and insult on our intelligence, even if you mean well. If you don’t want to join the revolution for fear of the tyrant, then don’t, you are Free. But don’t become craws at a critical time like this.  We don’t need your prudery of blood for you are the pure idealists. As for us, the mob, blood was forced upon us.

No sirs,   you are not more humane than us, nor are you more civilized.  And remember, blood was forced on us by the regime, whose demise you are so afraid of .

Syria : My school

Defector general Manaf Tlass calls for Syrian unity

  • July 25, 2012 10:45AM

The battle for Aleppo

Amateur video appears to show Syrian tanks in Aleppo as a Syrian general, who defected, calls on Russia to stop supporting Assad. Deborah

Reuters21 July 2012

Watch  Video of battle for Aleppo
SYRIAN general Manaf Tlass has called on Syrians to unite and start building a post-President Bashar al-Assad Syria as he made his first public appearance since defecting from the regime.

Reading a prepared statement on the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya television channel, Tlass called on Syrians to “unite… to serve a Syria after Assad… and do the impossible, to ensure the unity of Syria, and to be sure to start building a new Syria.”

Tlass, who defected on July 6, said he was “reaching out to (Syrians) in these difficult times for the country, as the blood of its innocents is being shed, and whose only crime has been to call for freedom.”

Manaf Tlass

Syrian defector Manaf Tlass, right, pictured in 1999 with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

The defector said the “new Syria … should not be built on revenge, exclusion or monopoly.”

He said he was speaking as “one of the sons of the Syrian Arab Army, who has rejected this regime’s criminal and corrupt ways … and who cannot accept its crimes to our country.”

The defector said he did not blame those troops who had not defected, adding that “whatever mistakes made by some members of the Syrian Arab Army … those honourable troops who have not partaken in the killing … are the extension of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army.”

It is “the duty of Syrians to unite, to build a free, democratic Syria,” said Tlass.

A high-profile military figure and former member of Assad’s inner circle, Tlass has been mentioned as someone who could play a leading role in a transition phase in Syria should Assad fall.

On July 6, sources close to the regime told AFP that general Tlass had defected and left Syria, information later confirmed by French foreign minister Laurent Fabius.

Until Monday’s televised address, Tlass had yet to make a public appearance.

A general in the elite Republican Guard charged with protecting the regime, Tlass is the son of former defence minister Mustafa Tlass, a close friend of Assad’s late father and predecessor, Hafez al-Assad.

His defection was hailed in Western capitals as a key setback for the regime while the opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council called it an “enormous blow” to Assad.

However Tlass has faced criticism and suspicion among Syrian rebels, who say that he and his 80-year-old father, who lives in Paris, should have made their positions clear at the start of the uprising against the Assad regime last year.

The Killing Of America (1982) Uncut


A documentary of the decline of America. It features a lot a footage (most exclusive to this film) from race riots to serial killers and much-much more. While this documentary is easily available everywhere else, it has never been released, distributed, televised nor made available for sale in the USA. This documentary argues that the turning point was when John Kennedy was assassinated in Texas 1963 combined with poverty, racism, the Vietnam war, and gun violence but unlike Michael Moores heavy handed 2002 documentary “Bowling for Columbine” (Which is often compared to this documentary) this film never becomes preachy nor does it blame guns in the same way.

Iran steps up crackdown against its Arab minority

Arab prisoners from left: Hadi Rashedi, Mohammad-Ali Amori, Rahman Asakera, Mokhtar Alboshokeh, Hashem Shabani, Jaber AlboshokehArab prisoners from left: Hadi Rashedi, Mohammad-Ali Amori, Rahman Asakera, Mokhtar Alboshokeh, Hashem Shabani, Jaber Alboshokeh

Thursday 19 July 2012

Five Arab minority prisoners in Iran are at imminent risk of execution after being sentenced to death on terrorism charges

Iran has stepped up its crackdown against its Arab minority with mass arrests of activists and death sentences passed in closed-door courts.

At least five Arab prisoners who are currently kept at Karoun prison in the southern city of Ahwaz are at imminent risk of execution, activists have warned.

The men, Hadi Rashedi, 38, Hashem Shabani, 32, and Mohammad-Ali Amouri, 34, and two brothers Seyed Mokhtar Alboshokeh, 25, and Seyed Jaber Alboshokeh, 27, have been sentenced to death following trials described by activists as grossly unfair.

According to Human Rights Watch, the five were arrested by security forces in February 2011.

They have all been found guilty of being linked to a terrorist organisation and involvement in shootings that authorities say occurred in and around the town of Ramshir (also known as Khalafabad) in Khuzestan province.

“The judiciary has put forth no public evidence suggesting that these men should spend one more day in prison, let alone hang from the gallows,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The lack of transparency surrounding these men’s convictions and sentences is just one more reason why these execution orders should be quashed.”

Ahwazi Arabs in Iran often face state discrimination in spheres including education, employment politics and culture. In recent years, many members of the community have taken to the streets to protest at the discrimination against them. Groups advocating a separate Arab state have also been demonstrating, but not all protesters have been separatists.

In June, three members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, Abd al-Rahman Heidarian, Taha Heidarian and Jamshid Heidarian, were executed in connection with killing of a law enforcement official. The activists said the charges might have been trumped up and politically motivated because of the secrecy surrounding their trials and the fact that they have had poor legal representation.

Several other Arab activists have also been arrested in recent years and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, including Rahman Asakereh, 34, who has been sentenced to 20 years and Esmaeel Abiat, 29, who has received five years in jail. Ali Badri, 31, has got 6 years, and Shahid Amouri, 42, one year, according to Human Rights Watch.

“The source told Human Rights Watch that the nine men are among at least a dozen Iranian-Arab activists from Khalafabad arrested by security forces since February 2011,” the HRW said. “Authorities have since released several others on bail, but Human Rights Watch has no specific information regarding the status of their cases.”

In the face of recent crackdowns, Justice for Iran, a non-profit human rights organisation, has called on the European Union to impose sanction on Iranian officials involved in the persecution of the country’s Arab minority.

The group has accused Morteza Kiasati and Seyed Mohamad Bagher Moussavi of Ahwaz’s revolutionary court of being responsible for the persecutions against the minority. Justice for Iran also pointed its finger at Iran’s state-run English language television, Press TV, for broadcasting the “force false confessions” of the men on television.

“January and February 2012 saw the start of a wave of arrests of Arab activists in Iran,” said Justice for Iran. “In the city of Shush alone, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence arrested over 30 people who were actively supporting and advertising the boycotting of the March 2012 parliamentary elections.”

It added: “Shortly after these arrests, which resulted in the detention of over 60 people in the province of Khuzestan, sources close to the families of some of the detainees reported that at least two of the protesters were killed under torture while in custody at the detention centres.”


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