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Life, Liberty, and the Firearms that protect them both

Posts Tagged ‘Syria

Mass grave reportedly discovered in Syria on Monday

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Mass grave reportedly discovered in Syria.

A mass grave allegedly filled with the bodies of as many as 40 antigovernment protesters killed by Syrian forces was discovered Monday near the southern city of Dara, where an uprising began two months ago, according to activists and accounts from others.

Video posted to the Internet showed men wearing protective gear and operating backhoes digging up bodies in an area called Zemla Mohammad Sari Hill, southeast of Dara. The dead included women and children.

This was reported on Monday. No mention of the grave in the President’s speech tonight. I don’t know why not, it’s a powerful image and might have changed some minds.

Update: Here is what he did say about Syria:

While Libya has faced violence on the greatest scale, it is not the only place where leaders have turned to repression to remain in power. Most recently, the Syrian regime has chosen the path of murder and the mass arrests of its citizens. The United States has condemned these actions, and working with the international community we have stepped up our sanctions on the Syrian regime – including sanctions announced yesterday on President Assad and those around him.

The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara’a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad

On this point, Charles Krauthammer observes:

Syria’s Assad leading a transition to democracy? This is bizarre and appalling. Assad has made all-out war on his people — shooting, arresting, executing, even using artillery against cities. Yet Obama is still holding out the olive branch when, if anything, he should be declaring Assad as illegitimate as Gaddafi. Clearly, some habits of engagement/appeasement die hard.

Written by BornLib

May 19, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Arab Spring

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Update: Syria

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Bad news first (courtesy of DrewM at Ace of Spades):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110511/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_syria

BEIRUT – The Syrian army shelled residential areas and unleashed gunmen Wednesday, and a human rights group said at least 18 people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy. The shelling of neighborhoods evoked memories of the Assad regime’s brutal, 40-year legacy of crushing dissent.

I’m sure the international community will not stand for such brutality!

Assad is determined to crush the uprising despite international pressure and sanctions from Europe and the United States. European countries summoned Syrian ambassadors Wednesday to threaten a new round of sanctions if the regime fails to halt the bloodshed.

Ignore European sanctions will you?  Well then we’ll just have to try sanctions again!  I’m sure they’ll work this time.

But rights activists brushed off the threats as ineffective, saying the death toll already has exceeded those seen during the recent uprisings in Yemen and Tunisia.

“It is clear the international community is still giving the regime chances,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Ineffective? How could they have ever arrived at such a conclusion?

What we need here is leadership.  President Obama to the rescue…

Obama administration officials said Tuesday the U.S. is edging closer to calling for an end to the long rule of the Assad family. The officials said the first step would be to say for the first time that Assad has forfeited his legitimacy to rule, a major policy shift.

Okay, edging closer to a first step towards talking about leadership.

Senator Rubio makes a great case for taking action, as well as what that action needs to beSenate Resolution 180.

So that’s the good news, so far as that goes, though there is also this interesting development:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htpara/articles/20110511.aspx

This incident was apparently the first such time soldiers and security people opened fire on each other. Worse, the word has gotten around that the army will “protect the people.” With the more loyal army officers and sergeants on the alert (and reminded where their economic interests lie), another spontaneous effort by Sunni Arab troops to protect Sunni Arab demonstrators, is less likely. But the precedent has been set. The people know it, the government knows it and the Sunni Arab soldiers know it.

Written by BornLib

May 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

Posted in Arab Spring

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Syrian standard

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LA Times: Syrian forces told to use ‘any means necessary’ to crush rebellion in Dara

“There have been commands to attend to the situation in Dara as soon as possible and with any means necessary,” the military source told The Times in a brief conversation conducted over the Internet. “Even if this means that the city is to be burned down.”

Wasn’t this exactly what President Obama used to justify war kinetic military action with Libya?

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

If that is the standard, why is nothing, kinetic or otherwise, being done with respect to Syria?  Oh wait, some Syrian officials have had sanctions imposed on them.  Hooray!  I mean, these types of sanctions have never worked in the past and nobody actually expects them to accomplish anything now, but… yay sanctions!

Written by BornLib

May 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Arab Spring

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