Assad fighting for survival

Assad fighting for survival

A girl wounded by shelling is treated at a makeshift hospital in Houla near Homs yesterday. Photograph: ReutersA girl wounded by shelling is treated at a makeshift hospital in Houla near Homs yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

As fighting rages in Damascus, and the Assad family that has ruled Syria for four decades struggles for its life against a growing rebellion, a picture is emerging of a tight inner group determined to fight its way out of the crisis, even as support for the government falls away.

How US bankrolls propaganda for military intervention and regime change in Syria

How US bankrolls propaganda for military intervention and regime change in Syria

Charlie Skelton - The Guardian

A NIGHTMARE is unfolding across Syria, in the homes of al-Heffa and the streets of Houla. And we all know how the story ends: with thousands of soldiers and civilians killed, towns and families destroyed, and President Assad beaten to death in a ditch.

This is the story of the Syrian war, but there is another story to be told. A tale less bloody, but nevertheless important. This is a story about the storytellers: the spokespeople, the "experts on Syria", the "democracy activists". The statement makers. The people who "urge" and "warn" and "call for action".

It's a tale about some of the most quoted members of the Syrian opposition and their connection to the Anglo-American opposition creation business.

The mainstream news media have, in the main, been remarkably passive when it comes to Syrian sources: billing them simply as "official spokesmen" or "pro-democracy campaigners" without, for the most part, scrutinising their statements, their backgrounds or their political connections.

It's important to stress: to investigate the background of a Syrian spokesperson is not to doubt the sincerity of his or her opposition to Assad. But a passionate hatred of the Assad regime is no guarantee of independence. Indeed, a number of key figures in the Syrian opposition movement are long-term exiles who were receiving US government funding to undermine the Assad government long before the Arab spring broke out.

Syria and the Downing of the Turkish Plane - the threat of war

by Memet Uludag - Irish Anti War Movement

29th June 2012

A few years ago, in Iran, a university student told me that "Each time the US and the West threatens Iran with military attacks, the regime tightens its grip on various social/political elements of life. They use the "being under attack" argument and call for national unity and support for the regime. There are various political elements challenging the government in Iran and the government uses every excuse to disable these, including the sentiment of unity of the nation under attack"

A few days after this conversation there were two news items in one of the Iranian TV channels. The first one was about Hilary Clinton’s statement on how US will "obliterate" Iran. The following item was a warning from the government. It issued a warning to the people about their relaxed dress code, and said that "non compliance" with the regimes dress code will not be tolerated". The news channel went on about the great state of Iran and the bad foreign influences on some people...

I think this little episode is very relevant to the current situation in Syria.

Syria intervention prelude to war on Iran?

Syria intervention prelude to war on Iran?
Jonathan Cook The Electronic Intifada 29 June 2012

It is foolhardy in the extreme for those on the left to play along with West’s current agenda in Syria. (Muammar Awad / APA images)
In a traditional cowboy movie, we know what to do: we look for the guy wearing the white hat to be sure who to cheer, and for the one wearing the black hat to know who deserves to die, preferably gruesomely, before the credits roll. If Hollywood learned early to play on these most tribal of emotions, do we doubt that Washington’s political script-writers are any less sophisticated?

Since 11 September 2001, the United States and its allies in Europe have persuaded us that they are waging a series of “white hat” wars against “black hat” regimes in the Middle East. Each has been sold to us misleadingly as a “humanitarian intervention.” The cycle of such wars is still far from complete.

But over the course of the past decade, the presentation of these wars has necessarily changed. As Hollywood well understands, audiences quickly tire of the same contrived plot. Invention, creativity and ever greater complexity are needed to sustain our emotional engagement.

Declarations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aside, there are only so many times we can be convinced that there is a new Hitler in the Middle East, and that the moment is rapidly approaching when this evil mastermind will succeed in developing a doomsday weapon designed to wipe out Israel, the US, or maybe the planet.

In 1950s Hollywood, the solution for audience ennui was simple: High Noon put the noble sheriff, Gary Cooper, in a black hat, and the evil gunslinger in a white one. It offered a veneer of complexity, but in reality the same good guy-bad guy formula played out along familiar lines.

Syria: Only diplomacy can stop the war

Syria: Only diplomacy can stop the war
Phyllis Bennis – June 20, 2012
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