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Tue May 29, 2012, 05:36 AM

Syria crisis: Most Houla victims 'were executed'

Source: BBC News

Most of the 108 people killed in Syria's Houla region on Friday were summarily executed, the UN says.

A spokesman for the UN's human rights office says witnesses told investigators that pro-regime militias carried out most of the killings.

Survivors have told the BBC that gunmen had entered their homes and fired on civilians, including children.

The UN statement comes as UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is meeting President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18249413

62 replies, 6006 views

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Reply Syria crisis: Most Houla victims 'were executed' (Original post)
dipsydoodle May 2012 OP
leveymg May 2012 #1
DetlefK May 2012 #2
leveymg May 2012 #3
DetlefK May 2012 #4
leveymg May 2012 #5
DetlefK May 2012 #18
leveymg May 2012 #32
Nuclear Unicorn May 2012 #33
leveymg May 2012 #34
may3rd May 2012 #58
tabatha May 2012 #13
azurnoir May 2012 #20
tabatha May 2012 #35
leveymg May 2012 #37
Odin2005 May 2012 #24
riderinthestorm May 2012 #6
tabatha May 2012 #7
The Magistrate May 2012 #9
tabatha May 2012 #10
riderinthestorm May 2012 #14
tabatha May 2012 #36
riderinthestorm May 2012 #41
azurnoir May 2012 #22
The Magistrate May 2012 #30
azurnoir May 2012 #50
The Magistrate May 2012 #55
azurnoir May 2012 #57
David__77 May 2012 #26
The Magistrate May 2012 #29
Posteritatis May 2012 #45
azurnoir May 2012 #8
tabatha May 2012 #11
riderinthestorm May 2012 #15
tabatha May 2012 #38
riderinthestorm May 2012 #42
Posteritatis May 2012 #44
riderinthestorm May 2012 #53
The Magistrate May 2012 #56
riderinthestorm May 2012 #59
azurnoir May 2012 #16
tabatha May 2012 #39
azurnoir May 2012 #52
riderinthestorm May 2012 #12
azurnoir May 2012 #17
harun May 2012 #19
Harmony Blue May 2012 #21
riderinthestorm May 2012 #31
Harmony Blue May 2012 #47
riderinthestorm May 2012 #49
Harmony Blue May 2012 #51
riderinthestorm May 2012 #54
joshcryer May 2012 #61
Odin2005 May 2012 #23
Harmony Blue May 2012 #25
David__77 May 2012 #27
DreamSmoker May 2012 #28
tabatha May 2012 #40
Douglas Carpenter May 2012 #43
riderinthestorm May 2012 #46
Harmony Blue May 2012 #48
SkyDaddy7 May 2012 #60
TheRazorOnline May 2012 #62

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 07:08 AM

1. This is working out better than planned. We now have pro and anti-regime militias killing civilians

That virtually guarantees a downward, bloody spiral for Syria, greatly enhancing the chances of further outside intervention and killing on a whole new scale.

Onward, to Damascus!

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Tue May 29, 2012, 07:22 AM

2. Anti-regime militias killing civilians? For example?

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Tue May 29, 2012, 07:42 AM

3. I guess you don't count al-Qaeda bombers as a militia.

There have been more civilians killed in a succession of suicide bomb attacks than died in Houla the other day. But, that fact doesn't fit into the propaganda narrative.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #3)

Tue May 29, 2012, 08:10 AM

4. No, I don't, because they don't fight for either cause.

The syrian conflict fits into Al-Qaeda's world-view: Liberating muslims (preferably Sunni, all others can go to hell) from the yoke of tyranny/democracy/whatever.

Al-Qaeda doesn't care whether Assad gets replaced by one of his lackeys or by some democratically elected leader (Iran-backed I presume, so Iran can stay in contact with Hezbollah). All they care about is fighting and killing for some just cause, no matter how little sense it makes and no matter the collateral damage.

For the bombings: If Syria can send secret agents across the turkish border to hunt rebel-leaders, they can surely fake a terrorist attack.

And there is no need for propaganda:
1. There is no appetite in any country to join this war, for a wide variety of reasons.
2. Assad still delivers the best anti-Assad propaganda. No need to cook something up.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #4)

Tue May 29, 2012, 09:36 AM

5. Syria is the site of the current round of Saudi Arabia' s Jihad against western

secularism, socialism, and the apostacy of the Shi'ia branch of Islam. Al-Qaeda today is Saudi Arabia's global paramilitary operations command, just as it was when it was created in the mid-1970s pursuant to the Safari Club agreement with then DCI Bush and several other figures within rightist intelligence circles that simultaneously funded Saudi Arabia's surrogate AQ Khan nuclear program and their own covert operations through BCCI. Please see, http://journals.democraticunderground.com/leveymg/280

As for any fake terrorist bomb attacks by Syria or Iran, until there is any evidence supporting that claim (unless you want to provide that) I'll assume that is just another defensive propaganda line cooked up by the FSA and exile groups in London.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #5)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:53 AM

18. Oh, you are wrong on that one.

Why would Al-Zawahiri call for the saudi-arabian people to rise up against the House of Saud (exemplifying Libya and Egypt), when they are allies? You argument doesn't make sense.


And I don't get the point why the syrian exile groups are less credible to you than official syrian sources.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #18)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:22 PM

32. Because al-Zawahiri isn't head of al-Qaeda.

Last edited Tue May 29, 2012, 05:03 PM - Edit history (3)

al-Zawahiri heads a Taliban remnant that acted as the local hosts to UBL when Saudi intellligence relocated him to Afghanistan from Khartoum, Sudan in 1996. That contingent has been decimated; as Secretary Panetta has stated, there are probably no more than several dozen genuine al-Qaeda members left in Afghanistan, and he is probably right. There are other loosely formed organizations in Afghanistan and the neighboring tribal regions of Pakistan that call themselves al-Qaeda. They can call themselves whatever they want.

Al-Qaeda is a nexus of the covert special operations branches of Saudi external General Intelligence Division (GID) and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Most of its trained operatives were veterans who fought covertly alongside western intelligence in the joint campaigns against the Russians and Serbs in Kosovo, Chechnya and Bosnia. I have already explained to you its genesis as part of a 1976 deal between DCI Bush and GID Co-Director Prince Turki al Faisal. Al-Qaeda is not the creation of UBL, and bin Laden was just one among a number of ranking Saudi paramilitary leaders. Al-Qaeda, along with bin Laden, was caught up in the infighting within Saudi Arabia among various factions of the Royal Family. He fell out of favor with the Court, but continued to have his backers. That intra-Saudi power struggle, and the Americans who tried to manipulate it, had a great deal to do with the lead-up to the 9/11 attack. If you want to learn more about UBL and his long relationship with Saudi and American intelligence, please see, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/04/810764/-Erik-Prince-American-Bin-Laden-CIA-Asset-Money-Gunmen

After 9/11, some of al-Qaeda's leadership was purged, particularly those with primarily loyalty to the rival "Sudairi Seven" wing of the House of Saud (several leading members of whom died suddenly after 9/11). But, that part that swore allegiance to Abdullah remains as do some Pakistani general officers who continue to support al-Qaeda. The global Saudi-Pakistani paramilitary is still very much intact and operating globally, with a large contingent now operating inside Syria.

You should not speak of either al-Qaeda or the House of Saud as a singular entity. If you think in those terms, events will just confuse you further. Even though the succession struggle appears to have been largely resolved in Abdullah's favor after King Faud died of his massive incapacitating stroke several years ago, there is very little that unifies the House of Saud other than Salaafist beliefs in Holy War and the takeover of all Arab lands under their own dominion, which to some necessarily entails the extermination of the Shi'ia. Damascus was for centuries seen as the capital of Arab peoples. What's going on in Syria is very much an ancient blood feud and religious war. The outcome, if the Ba'ath regime and Syrian Army collapse, is likely to be a genocide of the Alawite (Shi'ia) minority by the Sunni spearheaded by Saudi paramilitary.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #5)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:27 PM

33. I thought the Syrian Ba'athists were Alawite, not Shi'a.

Honest point.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #33)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:28 PM

34. The Alawite are a Shi'ia sect.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #34)

Tue May 29, 2012, 06:54 PM

58. pro-regime militias carried out most of the killings.

 

that doesn't mean they were home grown Shia Alawite of Syria. Not at all. There is a group in Lebanon very well armed and dangerous willing to be
"killing in the name of~"


&feature=related

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:38 AM

13. You spout complete and utter nonsense.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #13)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:01 PM

20. ok well tell us then who are the good guys in Syria? and no the civilian population here does not

apply as an answer tell us who exactly is the political/military opposition to Assad? Who funds them who do ally themselves with? The Syrian people are IMO the victims all around, none of the involved parties really gives a damn about them, they and their suffering is a convenient propaganda tool for all parties to shed some salty tears for the cameras on their behalf and little more

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #20)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:31 PM

35. You have provided an opinion.

The Syrian opposition have been crying for help - either money or arms - for months.

There is no help for them because the whole area is a powder keg.

They are on their own. If they were not, this would have been over by now.

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #20)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:35 PM

37. There are no good guys, except for the victims. Many of those counted as victims, though, are

armed combatants. That goes back to the armed rebellion that started in March of last year in Daraa. In the first lethal skirmish and sniping attacks, seven of those killed (the majority), were Syrian policemen.

There's been enormous victimization on both sides. No white hats. One of biggest problem with letting this continue is that the basis of the struggle is a religious war between the Sunni majority and the Shi'ia minority who control the Ba'ath regime. It's likely to become a genocide if the regime is removed from power.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:39 PM

24. These were certainly Assad's thugs.

Don't fool yourself into think they are not.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 09:42 AM

6. Who benefits from this killing? One side is trying to make the other side look bad

Honestly DUers, try to look at this objectively. The "anti-regime" revolutionaries are baying that it's Assad forces who have committed this massacre. But why the hell would Assad do this? It makes absolutely no sense for the Assad regime to cold bloodedly execute children.

It DOES make sense for the anti-regime forces to do it and blame it on Assad.

Furthermore, this execution smells of tribal tensions and religious sectarianism than anything else. This civil war is really about that.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #6)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:02 AM

7. Try listening to the children who witnessed the crimes.

"Honestly DUers, try to look at this objectively." Try spinning, but it will not work. Sorry. I don't "look" at things. I read the news for FACTS.

Why would Assad kill peaceful protesters? Why would he torture a 14 year old to death (a year ago)? Why would he have Iranians and Hezbollah help put down the opposition? Why would he repeat what his father did?

The only Al Qaeda in Syria are working for Assad NOT the opposition.

Try listening to the FACTS and not the hype.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #7)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:32 AM

9. Honestly, Ma'am, Get With The Program: Hostile To U.S. Equals Good; Only The U.S. Does Evil Deeds

Assad could not possibly have done anything wrong, he is on the outs with the U.S., and has even been denounced by Hillary Clinton! What more do you need to believe him pure as the driven snow...editorial comment on Russia Times?

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:34 AM

10. Thank you.

I cannot believe some of the commentary trying to whitewash Assad. It is almost like lying Faux news.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #10)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:38 AM

14. Nobody's trying to whitewash Assad. He's a bloody, murderous thug dictator.

I have no idea however if his forces did this particular massacre. I would stipulate that nobody else does either since the players involved are now so damn muddled. There are many, many other forces at work trying to gin up war with Iran. Ignore them at your peril.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #14)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

36. I follow this daily.

Iran is involved in Syria - it is directing the suppression of the opposition.

However, the West is saying nothing about it and doing nothing about it, because they want diplomacy with Iran to work to preempt anything Israel has in mind.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #36)

Tue May 29, 2012, 03:01 PM

41. I follow it daily as well and the west doesn't want to get involved because forcibly removing Assad

will spark a genocidal sectarian bloodbath. Iran and the other Shia will feel as though they have no choice as they will be cornered and under heavy bombardment.

Israel will bomb Iran the only issue is when. Netanyahu wants Obama to lose the election and will do what he feels he has to in order to make Obama's presidency very difficult so I'd stipulate its coming sooner than later.

That makes the situation with Syria even more of a spiderweb. Bombing Iran will certainly de-stabilize the region even more and so most of the players are maneuvering behind the scenes.

I would not put it past any murderous thug on either side to dress up in opposition clothes or Syrian army clothes, start shit like this massacre, in order provoke things.

I say it again, who benefits from executing this many children, gang style? Certainly not Assad. So then who? The opposition who now enjoy ramped-up global outrage at Assad for the atrocity? The same opposition that is funded by the Saudis and the US etc. etc?

Follow the money is a wise move for stuff like this. A negotiated departure for Assad and an eventual transition is the only, last, best hope for the region (or the opposition lays down it's arms - even more unlikely). That's a remote possibility even as Kofi Annan tries again.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

22. a bit of an overstatement does friendly to the US then equate to good?

has the US ever sided with covertly or overtly funded and backed those who would normally be hostile to the US because the enemy of my enemy.......

IMO the Syrian civilians are being used as pawns in a much bigger picture

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #22)

Tue May 29, 2012, 01:57 PM

30. Depends On How Manichean Your View Of Things Is, Ma'am

For myself, generally matters come to a question of whether to side with taupe or charcoal grey....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #30)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:13 PM

50. well you've got it -by jove or Jove

but here is my hesitation the word I've seen most often mentioned in association with the Syrian opposition is "Islamist" and I could see out government backing these characters enough to keep it going and if by some miracle should they win - if and when it becomes convenient backing the opposition to them in an effort to "free the Syrian people from the yoke of Islamic extremism" or some such

There are no 'good' or easy answers here

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #50)

Tue May 29, 2012, 06:14 PM

55. That Has a Lot Of Moving Parts, Ma'am

Last edited Tue May 29, 2012, 06:49 PM - Edit history (1)

Support an Islamicist rebellion so later you can free people from the Islamicist yoke seems a bit of extra work, when you could just move directly against the present government, if so inclined. Russia would not give meaningful military assistance to Assad if the United States engaged fully, and people could say it was illegal till they were blue in the face without there being the slightest consequence.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #55)

Tue May 29, 2012, 06:48 PM

57. ah but the difference between our respective comments is could vs can

as I said if it became convenient or and I left out politically expedient then yes I could see what I described happening take place, it already has in Afghanistan, if only by arrogance and lack of foresight the question is not only did our government learn, but exactly what did it learn and how would/could that be used for good or ill

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:46 PM

26. Isn't that what is called a "straw man?"

Did someone actually say "only the US does evil deeds?" I have actually not seen that in this thread. This is classical straw man argumentation.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #26)

Tue May 29, 2012, 01:56 PM

29. More A Rule Of Thumb, Sir, Whose Predictive Value Has Been Solidly Established Over Time

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #9)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:32 PM

45. Yeah, that sort of thing drives me up the wall.

Boiling down the entire rest-of-the-world based on where things stand - or are perceived to stand - relative to the official positions of the United States snatches a whole lot of agency from nineteen out of twenty humans on the planet, even before going into the fact that it just creates an obnoxiously simplistic worldview in some people.

I've seen people unironically defending North Korea's virtues specifically because they don't like the US so they must be okay. That sort of thing is just embarrassing.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #6)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:05 AM

8. there is something else playing here too, what country is Syria's ally?

what country is being held responsible for arming Assad? what country is it that at least some parties the "West" are looking for a possible war against?

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #8)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:36 AM

11. The "West" is not looking for war.

That is why the "West"/Obama have bent over backwards trying to find a diplomatic solution.

War with whom - Iran, Russia?
You must be joking or live in tin foil hat country.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #11)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:42 AM

15. Of course they are!! Why do you think Israel is about to strike Iran?

Why do you think the Shia are being forced into uneasy tribal alliances? There are a SLEW of war-hawks in the US who are working hard to ensure we get involved. Even the armed forces chief General Dempsey says the US is preparing to get involved.

http://info-wars.org/2012/03/08/obama-asks-pentagon-for-military-plans-on-syria-gen-dempsey/

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #15)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

38. Netanyahu wants war. Most of Israel and most military leaders in Israel do not.

THe US does not want war with Iran. The Pentagon does not want war with Iran.

I have said this over and over again until I am blue in the face.

Clinton wanted to bomb Iran. The Pentagon said no.
Every war game they have run, shows the SU losing.
Panetta does not want a war with Iran.

Obama is doing all he can to contain Netanyahu .

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Response to tabatha (Reply #38)

Tue May 29, 2012, 03:17 PM

42. Leon Panetta already said its going to happen. I believe him.

Here's one link of many where Panetta predicts it will happen before July.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7397369n

He's operating at the top of the global war games on the most inside track, and while I think most of us hope it doesn't happen, I presume he knows far, far more than we do. I'll be thrilled to eat my hat and offer apologies all around if Israel stays out of the mess.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #15)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:17 PM

44. Yawn. Israel's been "about to strike Iran" any minute now around here for ten years. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #44)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:27 PM

53. Except of course, they actually HAVE bombed Iran's nuclear facilities before (Osirak)

and Syria's Al-Kibar....

As though they don't have a history of doing this or anything... gosh, nothing to worry about!

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #53)

Tue May 29, 2012, 06:19 PM

56. Does It End With An 'N', Sir, Or With A 'Q'....

Small hint: one's appearance of expertise will be enhanced by seeming to the difference between two powers that spent a decade at war recently, have substantial ethnic differences, and can boast long-standing local rivalries....

"Getch'yer score-cards here! Can't tell the players without a scorecard!"

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #56)

Tue May 29, 2012, 07:50 PM

59. In a hurry and on a cell; my bad. i can hardly see the letters!

No matter; I'll let the typo stand. Point is Israel can and will strike.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #11)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:50 AM

16. really ? Obama is being election year expedient however what we are told is America's 'bestest'

friend is looking for war with Iran and is linking Iran to what is going on in Syria

Israel sees Iranian hand in Syria killings

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced "revulsion" over the bloodshed in Syria, while accusing Iran and its Lebanese militia ally Hezbollah of being accomplices.

He was "revolted was by the incessant massacres conducted by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces against ... civilians ... which continued over the weekend in the town of Houla," the premier's office said.

"Iran and Hezbollah are an inseparable part of the Syrian atrocities, and the world needs to act against them too," Netanyahu was quoted as saying.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gO04bVPeSCX1p1v4s4kKlC5H0UFQ?docId=CNG.49cbb747cb51f2b3497840b48c6e0510.48

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #16)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:40 PM

39. So people have to shut up about atrocities of other human beings.



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Response to tabatha (Reply #39)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:27 PM

52. no of course not however also be careful when backing a side in this too

as I told another poster the word I've most often seen in association with the Syrian opposition is "Islamist" and if by some fortune they should win this in time and when it becomes expedient for what ever reason I could see our government backing their successors to "free the Syrian people from the tyranny of Islamic extremism" or some other noble sound-byte

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #8)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:37 AM

12. Absolutely. All of your questions and more.

Iran, Israel, Russia, China, the US and the Arab League are not passive players in this Syrian mess. The media is also complicit in furthering various agendas (did you read the news that the BBC yesterday used a photo from Iraq, but labelled it as massacre victims from Syria.

There are way too many war-hawks (and Sunni states like the Arab League who will cheer-lead from the sidelines) who are doing everything possible to instigate a war with Iran. Russia and China's strategic alliance with Syria keeps those forces at bay for now.

Who benefits from deliberate execution style massacres is a critical question in my opinion. All of your questions are equally as relevant and important. We're not getting good information imho from any side.

What a tragedy.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #12)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:52 AM

17. The question here isnot who the 'bad guy's' are in Syria it's

who are the good guy's who are they being funded by, who are their allies, who are they politically associated with?

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #12)

Tue May 29, 2012, 11:58 AM

19. First casualty in armed conflict is the truth

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #12)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:20 PM

21. Yes those countries are involved one way or another

but Assad has used blount force in the past, as has his father.

When the Russians condemn the Assad regime for the Houla massacre, it is highly likely it was committed by the Assad regime. Sometimes riderinthestorm accept the truth at face value.



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Response to Harmony Blue (Reply #21)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:11 PM

31. Russia is giving Assad the arms to commit his crimes Their statement is the blandest possible

mostly condemning the Assad regime for "not providing stability".

I'll be happy to "accept the truth" when we really know what happened, which we don't (initial reports say the opposition lobbed arms at Assad's military who then began shelling. Who committed the massacre is still up for debate actually). Look, I don't believe Assad is innocent. I absolutely believe he must go but don't fool yourself that this is some one-sided conflict. This has been a civil war for many years and a religious sectarian conflict even longer with tribal conflicts stretching back more centuries than that.

To be fair, Russia and China believe they are actually keeping the big dogs of war at bay by blocking direct western (and Arab League) action, and by keeping Assad in power. There is a credible argument for their position actually. Strongmen have been proven effective in keeping the sectarian strife to a minimum. The Shia/Sunni friction is kept to a minimum. Radical Islamists are kept away from the levers of power in a region where the wrong move may ignite a powderkeg. Israel is boxed in from acting unilaterally and thus dragging the west and the US into direct action in this fraught arena.... There are legitimate reasons for the hideous standoff. Yes, a lot of innocents are dying but not nearly the numbers that will happen when/if Assad is forcibly removed.

Edited for further clarity

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #31)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:43 PM

47. No, Russia is giving Assad the arms to restore

stability. They are not giving him arms to massacre children.

Even the Russians will not defend this, so I am not sure why you are compelled to do so. Yes it is a civil war, but it also a proxy war (Iran), so it is more complicated than that.

But you miss the point that Assad is being supported by the Iranian government, which is essentially a theocracy. So your argument that they want to keep Assad in power to avoid the religious zealots from taking over isn't that strong.

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Response to Harmony Blue (Reply #47)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:53 PM

49. I'm not defending this. FWIW, Russian arms support comes with no conditions

There are no stipulations, especially when the Russians know full well what Assad is going to do with them. Your position is semantical posturing.

I don't understand your second point. Assad is being supported by Iran, China, Russia and a great deal of his own people. The Shia Iranians have a strong desire to keep the Shia Assad in power because ALL Shia are the minority in Islam. The Sunnis vastly outnumber the Shia and have historically oppressed the Shia since the split occurred.

Outside powers in conjunction with the Sunni majority Arab League (KSA etc) overthrowing Shia Assad will throw the region into massive turmoil. Iran will react. They will have to react or face a genocide within their own borders.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #49)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:26 PM

51. I don't agree at all

The Russians in my opinion have been caught off guard, and it is clear their rhetoric has changed. I don't think it is semantics when the Russians are asking for stability in the region. If you want to make the logical leap that the Russians implicitly are okay with the massacre of children to reach that goal you are welcomed to it.

Assad is a member of the Ba'ath party which isn't strongly tied to any portion of Islam. Saddam Hussein was also a Ba'ath member, and he was not religious only when he was near his death. Yes the minority religious groups tend to support the secular powers, which is often the case in history.

The sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni's is the strongest in Iraq, because that is where the schism of Islam took place. Syria is far more dynamic and different religious makeup because there are Christians too, so it is more complex than a rivalry between the two Islamic traditions.

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Response to Harmony Blue (Reply #51)

Tue May 29, 2012, 05:34 PM

54. You don't seem to realize Assad is Shia. Yes an Alawite Shia but when it comes to Islam

and heretics in the Sunni eyes, they are heretics regardless of small ritualistic differences. When push comes to shove (and it has come to that), the Shia will stick together because historically they are slaughtered when the conflict erupts into violence. Assad (and by proxy Iran) feel as though they have entered a fight to the death. Russia and China also believe that allowing Assad to fall will simply create regional sectarian chaos on a monstrous scale.

You DO realize this don't you?

Russia most certainly will look away at the slaughter of children because in the bigger picture this will be SMALL in comparison to the conflagration that will engulf the region if this goes very, very bad.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #6)

Tue May 29, 2012, 08:21 PM

61. The looters benefit.

The point is that the regime isn't protecting its citizens.

Assad's orders are "they are terrorists." Because of that he has given them free reign to rape and pillage.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:38 PM

23. Assad has more blood on his hands.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #23)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:43 PM

25. Yeah, it sure seem that way

because the Russians are not coming to his defense this time around.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2115891,00.html

"The government bears the main responsibility for what is going on," Lavrov said in Moscow following a meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "Any government in any country bears responsibility for the security of its citizens."

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Response to Harmony Blue (Reply #25)

Tue May 29, 2012, 12:53 PM

27. "Any government in any country bears responsibility for the security..."

This is true. But, you see, this version of "the Syrian government is responsible" is quite different than the version spoken of in Western capitals. Russia is not saying that government forces committed the killings referred to; rather, than the Syrian government bears responsibility, because it has been unable to restore security, eliminate the activity of armed groups, etc.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)


Response to DreamSmoker (Reply #28)

Tue May 29, 2012, 02:42 PM

40. "Those Children belonged to those who recently were shooting and Killing American Soldiers.. "

Whhhhhaaaat?

Which shooting and killing of American soldiers by which Syrians.

Wow, that has to be the biggest POS I have read about this massacre.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:14 PM

43. Liberals arguing that the U.S. should give weapons to Syrian rebels underestimate Assad's power



I strongly recommend reading this article in salon.com by Gary Kamiya:

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/




snips:

This is not a knee-jerk left-wing response. It has nothing to do with Iraq. Nor does it have anything to do with the proxy war between the U.S. and its allies and Iran and its allies. It is not driven by pacifism or opposition to all war. All U.S. wars are not axiomatically foolish, evil or driven by brutal self-interest (although most of them since World War II have been). The airstrikes on Kosovo and the Libya campaign were justified (although the jury is still out on the latter intervention). If arming the Syrian opposition would result in fewer deaths and a faster transition to a peaceful, open, democratic society, we should arm them.

That analysis has been provided by a number of in-depth reports, most notably a new study by the International Crisis Group, as well as the excellent on-the-ground reporting of Nir Rosen for Al-Jazeera. The bottom line is simple. The war has become a zero-sum game for Assad. If he loses, he dies. But the only way he can lose is if he is abandoned by his crucial external patron, Russia, which is extremely unlikely to happen absent some slaughter so egregious that Moscow feels it has to cut ties with him. Assad has sufficient domestic support to hold on for a long time, and a huge army that is not likely to defect en masse. Under these circumstances, giving arms to the rebels, however much it may make conscience-stricken Western observers feel better, will simply make the civil war much bloodier and its outcome even more chaotic and dangerous.

The key point concerns Assad’s domestic support. Contrary to the widely held belief that most Syrians support the opposition and are opposed to the Assad regime, Syrians are in fact deeply divided. The country’s minorities – the ruling Alawites, Christians and Druze – tend to support the regime, if only because they fear what will follow its downfall. (The grocery on my corner in San Francisco is owned by a Christian Syrian from a village outside Damascus. When I asked him what he thought about what was going on in his country, he said, “It’s not like what you see on TV. Assad is a nice guy. He’s trying to do the right thing.”) As Rosen makes clear, Syria’s ruling Alawite minority is the key to Assad’s survival: Absent an outside invasion, the regime will not fall unless the Alawites turn on it. But the Alawites fear reprisals if the Sunni-dominated opposition, some of whose members have threatened to “exterminate the Alawites,” defeats the Assad regime. The fear of a sectarian war, exacerbated by the murky and incoherent nature of the opposition, means that the minorities are unlikely to join the opposition in large numbers.

...

Our national instinct is to come riding to the rescue. It goes against our character to simply sit on our hands. Our sincere, naive and self-centered belief that America can fix everything, and our equally sincere, naive and self-centered belief that moral outrage justifies intervention, is a powerful tide, pulling us toward getting directly involved in Syria’s civil war.

But in the real world, we cannot always come riding to the rescue. Sometimes, we have no choice but to watch tragedy unfold, because anything we do will create an even bigger tragedy.

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/13/dont_arm_syrias_rebels/singleton/




American might cannot do everthing-it's better to follow the policy that results in less slaughter. American might cannot stop a fraction of the conflicts in Africa and around the world - and would probably make matters far worse if they tried. If the real live consequences of arming the rebels in Syria would make matters far worse - and Assad is not going to fall anyway...but a lot more chaos is going to be created and a lot more slaughter is going to occur- it is simply wiser to follow the less destructive policy. In order for Assad to fall - America would have to intervene on an absolutely massive scale and most likely confront a very risky showdown with the Russians - and even then the results would be doubtful. –If by chance massive intervention did result in Assad falling -- as awful as he is - the problems will have just begun especially for the Christian minority and the other minorities who continue to back the Bathist regime.

If arming the Syrian opposition would result in fewer deaths and a faster transition to a peaceful, open, democratic society, we should arm them. If giving arms to the rebels will simply make the civil war much bloodier and its outcome even more chaotic and dangerous then I don't think we should.

I think the later is almost certainly the case.

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Response to Douglas Carpenter (Reply #43)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:33 PM

46. Yup. Maybe you can get through where the rest of us cannot

Get used to be called an Assad apologist or worse however for trying to be rational about this...there are many DUers who don't want to understand that Assad is liked by many Syrians.

Forcing Assad out or assassinating him will provoke a genocidal bloodbath. Direct US involvement will only make the situation more inflamed. Sometimes the best thing to do (as awful as that sounds right now) is to do nothing.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 04:45 PM

48. I wouldn't be surprised

if Russia backs away from Syria after this.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 07:59 PM

60. I would hope no one...

Is still trying to defend the Assad regime...I think it is obvious now that the Assad regime is beyond evil & really needs to meet the same fate as Qaddafi.

Sorry, I am not one for violence but after hearing about the children with their skulls split open I am all for Assad & his wife getting the EXACT same treatment Qaddafi got! They have earned it!!

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2012, 08:29 PM

62. Syria's Bad Logic

You have Syria vehemently denying that they had anything to do with the Houla killings. They blame it on al-Qaeda and yet if it really was them, you would think that the Syrian government would not allow so many execution-style killings of more than a hundred of their citizens. You would think there were would be some security in place. Syria is not to be trusted, and I was glad to see that Russia had finally condemned them for something.

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