last update July 28, 2012
(new wiki links Nov. 18)
Note July 28: This is being bumped to allow comments on the whole Syria situation. The previous post these gathered at finally got full at 271 comments. This one's still got some room, plus new text that starts a ways down.
The parallels between what was done, is still being done, to Libya and what's been slowly brewing for Syria just keep coming up in my research. The Syrian situation is probably just about as fascinating, but as an obsessive specializer, I haven't looked into it in the slightest detail.
But things like this, from Thierry Meyssan, suggest I should: “Free Syrian Army” commanded by Military Governor of Tripoli, Dec. 19. It's got a lot of things I can't vouch for, including the following, which sounds well-illustrated and hinting that what we saw these schemers and terrorists do in Libya will be emerging in Syria.
However, in the Saturday edition dated 17 December 2011, Daniel Iriarte describes an encounter that shocked him. While his FSA friends were taking him to a new hideout, he came across some foreign insurgents: three Libyans .
The first one among them was al-Mahdi Hatari, a Libyan who lived in Ireland before joining Al Qaeda. At the end of the Libyan war, he was named commander of the Tripoli Brigade, then number 2 of the Tripoli Military Council headed by Abdel Hakim Belhaj. He resigned from this function, according to some because of a dispute with the Transitional National Council, according to others because he wanted to go back to Ireland to join his Irish wife  The truth is that he headed for Syria.
The second Libyan that the Spanish photographer in the Syrian army is none other than Kikli Adem, a lieutenant of Abdel Hakim Belhaj. As for the third Libyan, nicknamed Fouad, Daniel Iriarte was not in a position to identify him.
One of the few articles I have even looked at was this excellent, extremely-informed-sounding piecee from Palestine chronicle.
'Human Rights' and the Road to Hell: Libya and Now Syria?
By Jeremy Salt – Ankara. December 3, 2011
We have just seen what has been done to Libya in the name of human rights and the 'responsibility to protect'. Uncounted thousands of Libyans were killed in eight months of bombing and missile attacks by French, British and American warplanes. There is prima facie evidence that war crimes were committed but there is not even the suggestion that someone will be held accountable.Salt lists and analyzes many of the more incendiary claims made against the Assad regime, sounding depressingly just like what was spouted in the rapid build-up to destruction of another non-cooperative government. If his characterizations of the claims are correct, not even the evidence he gives for or against them, I'd recommend people be troubled. The same sorts of illogical evil has been alleged against the governments of Yugoslavia, Iraq, and now Libya. Generally they prove at least as untrue as the skeptics suspected. But they're allowed to linger in a twilight zone of truth just long enough to "justify" intervention.
Some samples, drawing from the UN Human Rights Commission's deficient-sounding report on the Syrian situation:
The commission presents one side of the story throughout. For virtually every claim it makes there is a counter narrative which it ignores. One such claim involves the use of snipers. The commission says or implies that they were state security forces. There is countervailing evidence of armed civilians shooting at demonstrators to throw the blame on to the state. Perhaps there is truth in both versions, but both versions needed to be considered. The fact remains that the identity of these snipers is not known.The direct evidence in Libya is there in at least one city, al Baida. The two shootings shown there on Feb. 17, both presumably fatal, are the only time I've seen unarmed people actually being shot on camera anywhere in the uprising, the only visual proof that the people killed were not armed militants engaging in an attack, at least in this one case. However, the visual cues converge to suggest quite strongly the gunmen responsible were rooftop snipers working right next to, and implicitly with, the rebel cameramen who then released this proof of Gaddafi repression to the world on Youtube.
It's just sick that people can take invisible snipers as evidence of a state crime with so little logic to it.
Select other points:
The report alleges that roadblocks and security checks were set up to prevent people from joining demonstrations but makes no mention of allegations of roadblocks being set up by armed gangs and the consequent kidnapping and killing of civilians.
Not much work done on it, but there's a post here for The Tripoli Massacres: Roadblock Victims
The report mentions the raid on a mosque in Dar'a early in the protest movement but not the stockpile of weapons found there.
See Az Zawiyah for just one example of a militarized mosque
It refers to the torture and murder in custody of two teenage boys and claims that up to November 9, 'reliable sources' indicated that 256 children had been killed by state forces. This is such a serious accusation that some corroborative evidence was needed but there is nothing, not the name even of one of these children and not the circumstances in which they were allegedly killed.
Similar baseless claims in Libya, supported by proven fake x-ray proof.
The state security forces are accused of rape but there is no mention of the cases of rape reported by the Syrian authorities to have been committed by armed gangs as part of their project to terrorize and intimidate the civilian population.
But who could believe such claims from a 'regime of rape,' like Gaddafi's once was?
The New Website, Jan. 6
http://mar15.info/ Looks quite familiar, after having looked at Feb17 this and 17Feb thatwith Libya's "new flag" all over them, all in English. A website aggregator of anti-Assad opinions and accusations, to let the protesters and their starry-eyed, armed-gang-ignoring global supporters know they're faaaaar from alone. The corporate media, Human Rights" groups, world governments, all kinds of people agree that Assad has got to go for daring to resist this violent and deceitful takeover effort masquerading as simple protest. The following bits are all from there.
A suicide bombing just killed 25 people in an area of Damascus now, Midan, where protesters are centered. The government says some of those protesters did it in their own hood to blame Assad and provoke people, while protesters just blame Assad, and keep doing it loudly.
Time outlines the old bargain in Syria, "relative peace and limited prosperity in exchange for iron-fisted, one-party rule," now to be replaced with absolute peace, and boundless prosperity, trust us, under a NATO-enforced free-market system. Five parties maybe, none representing the old values of national independence, all working for deepened slavery to the new new world order. And you get to friggin' vote on which one!
One-Sided Cease-Fire Demands
The conflict in Libya had reached war proportions, and that was a problem because the Western-backed insurgents were losing against the government of the sovereign and solid nation of Libya. Demand for the violence to stop, a demand leveled only at Tripoli. NATO stopped any attack on Benghazi, then proceded to "protect civilians"even as they surged forward with military weapons and conquered city after city - humanitarian protection seamlessly became tactical air support. It was even highly predictable.
In late March, the Telegraph's Richard Spencer passed on the concern from the Libyan government's spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, that "The government ... says it cannot be just a one-sided ceasefire..." But it could be and was. No terms were worked out, the West and the UN were through talking to the Libyans before they ever started. Cease-fire clearly meant one thing: die, undesirable government. If it started out too subtle to discern (it din't), the message sure became clear enough by the end of the summer.
Now, demands for the violence in Syria to end, leveled only at Damascus, not that I've ever read at the insurgent militants. Sometimes I'll see a headline, demands for a complete halt to the fighting. I get a flutter of hope, then read, Assad must accede to the other side's demands and step aside, and/or the government needs to stop fighting those trying to destroy the government.
Victoria Nuland, State Dept. spokesperson, was asked about the future of the Syrian government.
QUESTION: You think there is still a path out?
MS. NULAND: Well –
QUESTION: For the regime.
MS. NULAND: — that’s obviously still on the table. It requires Assad to step aside.
MS. NULAND: Again, what we think needs to happen first and foremost is that the violence needs to end and a process of dialogue needs to begin inside Syria. There needs to be peace and security there so that the country can move forward.
The State Department is deciding where this "forward" arrow points. They did that with Libya.
We’re also hearing reports, interestingly, of large-scale defections of Syrian military officers over the weekend, and it is these Syrian – including taking some of their equipment and their heavy equipment – and it’s these defections that are most rattling the government.
Increasing violence, increasing deaths, and increased military defections were all reported the same time in Libya too. The truth seems to have been increased militant activity, causing the increased death of soldiers, who were then advertsied by the militants as having "defected." 22 of them shown dead in a video tried to defect but were killed by their own officers and Africans. But another of the rebels' videos shows some of these same LOYALIST people held by rebel fighters, and being sentenced to death for daring to oppose them. Oops.
Persecution of Christians in Syria, illogically blamed on Assad. In Libya, case after case of victims of Gaddafi who look like "Gaddafi's African mercenaries," Animist/Christian/Other-Africam like some of the 17 "anti-Gaddafi activists" whose tortured bodies at Tripoli's Mitiga hospital in August were marked "non-Muslim for burial purposes." Hey, wasn't it exactly 17 prisoners of the Assad regime, for a fact, that were just found executed and dumped in Hama? One of these: a police "deserter." One of the Tripoli victims was also, I believe, a local cop, who had rebel sympathies of course (link, later). All coincidence, probably, but...
But it was illegal to do anything to stop these monsters. They were taking over, going where they wanted, killing who they wanted to kill, how they wanted to doit, blaming who they pleased, and NATO had their backs, tactically and (by roundabout channels) informationally.
Is air support even possible this time? Not with UNSC approval, anyway. Maybe al Qaeda will finally get to use a suitcase nuke someone slips them,and blame Assad. That might finally do it.
Feb. 13: SYRIA: NATO’s Next “Humanitarian” War? by Michel Chossudovsky
See comments below for other thoughts and new developments...
Update, July 28:
This post was supposed to something it never did. But later on I learned more about a few incidents in Syria and two particularly fascinating parallel have by now announced themselves to me.
Yarmouk/Houla Parallels: Check Those "Witnesses" Carefully
The first has to do with murky massacres and the power of both fake witnesses in a team effort, and the power of exposing that effort with careful analysis. We made good work of the Khamis Brigade shed massacre, in the report A Question Mark Over Yarmouk (PDF available here, provocative press release here), dicovering fake witnesses with changing names and stories, massive contradictions between the alleged witnesses, and adequate signs of rebel execution of the massacre. Syria had its quite different and horrifying "Houla massacre" in the town of Taldouon May 25. A reported 108 people were killed with guns and blades and hammers, including 49 children, many women, and less men, whole families of disputed identity killed at home by disputed parties.
Along with other(s) I'm slowly doing an analysis of the rebel-supplied witnesses for what happened at Houla, as well as the non-rebel witnesses with their own overall story. The rebel witnesses have their flourished of politics over-truth (with religio-ethnic/sectarian overtones), strange details like how they survived (as at Yarmouk, a fertile field to plow), and probably some serious inconsistencies (though these are harder to find in this case of scattered massacres, whereas Yarmouk was one event in a one-room shed).
One detailed comparison of three accounts given by one star witness proved a potent starting point. Ali Al-Sayed, a little eight-year-old kid called 11, can't remember his own family members' names or number, but can detect an "Alawite accent" that probably doesn't exist, and managed to implicate his uncle in the massacre, in a fanciful twist. That the most famous and moving victim, a blessed miracle survivor, unharmed but for the brain damage (?), is so clearly coached and saw none of what he says is a bad sign for this rebel cover story. Remember, little kids, some just months old, were shot, sliced, and bludgeoned to death there by someone. I've seen the photos and videos and saved copies.
The Sniped Tykes of Misrata and of Homs
Another great parallel builds off of the above point about false-flag snipers in Libya and Syria. Back in April last year I wrote more on the alleged regime snipers, picking off little kids in rebel-held Misrata. This was a charge taken up by UNICEF and many others. Two children have been shown as victims, a boy and a girl, about 4 and 5 years old, both miraculously surviving with bullets in their chests, both proven with x-ray images.
The images, however, are exactly the same - one copy at most can be legitimate, the other or both tacked on. The image also appears fake, with no damage to the bullet or the child's skeleton - as if a kid was laid on an x-ray table with a large bullet laid on his or her sternum. It's also inconsistent with the injuries described for the boy - the bullet entered his right shoulder and exited the left side, his parents said. Here, it either entered backwards (ouch) or entered his lower left side and never exited, stopping well short of his/her right shoulder. and just shy of their hearts.
All I can say is I'm glad the rebels are still able to fake these things in Photoshop and have it believed. If the international agencies like UNICEF and HRW were more exacting, we might see rebels actually shooting each others' children to leverage stronger support for regime change efforts.
Is it possible my research helped make our "freedom fighters" in Syria worse? They seem to be doing about that, except targeting the other side's children - government supporters and non-Sunni people. Gulp.
The Syrians' Misrata is, or was, the large city of Homs, rebel-infested, government-besieged. It was eventually re-claimed, but for months in the hads of people that the government and many locals called "terrorists." They committed almost daily kidnappings for ransom that often ended with no payment and dead captives, sometimes tortured and/or shown on video as victims of regime forces. There were also random shootings on the streets by prevalent "pro-regime" snipers, killing civilians almost daily, allowing a constant stream of shocking rebel videos, as they always got the body, always demanding intervention while zooming in in on the shocking injuries they themselves just inflicted.
That's all a broad-sweep characterization I could only partially illustrate with solid evidence at the moment. But one anchor point where it's basically proven is the politicized assassination by anti-government activists, of nine-year-old Sari Saoud, in north Homs on November 26, 2011.
There's nothing fake about the bullet that passed clear through his chest that day; it entered his right side, armpit level, and exited on the left, same level.
He died about instantly, too quick for his mother to be sure, before some rebel guys appeared, probably from about the sniper's position, to 'help.' They stole his body from her care, driving off as she tried to go 'to the hospital' with him. Then he was put on a slab in a rebel safe house and had the exit wound zoomed in on, while a narrator damned Assad and demanded more foreign intervention. Later, Sari's mother was allowed to see her son and try to get him to a hospital, so they could get video of them together. Assad kills Christian boy, her Crucifix caused the vide title to say. Mother weeps and the gets cut off as she starts to scream at the activists. She lived to denounce her child's killers on video here and here.
For less regret is tne future, let me just say there is no lesson for the terrorists here except maybe two points:
1) Tone it down a bit. You offed many innocents in Homs that hardly anyone saw or could count. Whole lives ended, some with extra cruelty for the shock of it, all for some obscure one-too-many Youtube video that only ever gets 150 views and no mentions in a single news outlet. You don't want that to be you, so quit making so many of these snuff films, people. Sometimes less is more.
2) And no, I don't see any reason your God would have covered up his eyes for you. You might still be able to be un-damned if you start trying now. Otherwise, forget it. Activist Ahmed Houli, another obfuscator of the slaughter in Taldou/Houla said "I would like to call for the international community and the U.N. to save our souls." Huh. Acknowledgment it's needed, a fruitless avenue to get it.