Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lessons for "the Syria Situation"

December 28, 2011
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 [6].

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 [7] 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.

Nuland, continued:
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.  

What they are insisting in Syria is, again, a surrender to whatever rabble has taken up arms against them. Essentially, it's national suicide, demanding they cut off their own faces. Of course they won't agree, and another round of "peacekeeping" might be required to force them to stop fighting by being dead.

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. 
Here are the two films side-by-side, the girl's de-skewed from a video still, the boy's from a photo published by Human Rights Watch.
Perhaps unwisely, I commented then:
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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Abu Salim Hospital Massacre: Report

Aug. 21, 2012

<< Abu Salim Hospital Massacre

A Violation of Medical Neutrality: 
The Neglected Massacre at Abu Salim Trauma Hospital
Report download page (to help with traffic)

It was one year ago today, approximately. The report is done, and that's a handy time to start a page collecting material on/for the report. (Links later)

Press Release posted on the CIWCL site as Remembering a Neglected Atrocity. Please pass << THIS link around. An excerpt from that PR:
One of the most chilling of the CIWCL’s clues is an early Red Cross (ICRC) visit to re-supply the hospital, made on the 22nd, just before a three-day span of silence and inaction. The ICRC team didn’t notice any signs of the previous day’s massacre, or have anything said by the one doctor and his 25 remaining patients. Nowhere in that scene were the 100 or more patients who would be seen five-days dead, four days later. The reason for that odd omission, and the cover-up it suggests, is now on record in this report.
The beheading graphic:

What more do I need to add at the moment? Nothing I guess. I'm very tired. Others, please spread the news.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mohammed's Story

By Caustic Logic
August 11, 2012

<< Abu Salim Hospital Massacre {Masterlist}

The following is a sub-section of the report "A Violation of Medical Neutrality: The Negelected Massacre at Abu Salim Trauma Hospital." The report is nearing completion on schedule to mark the approximate anniversary of the hospital massacre - same day this kid allegedly had a bullet removed from his chest there.
The alleged sniper-shot boy is given as Mohammed (family name perhaps Al-Zadma), aged 10, although he looks a bit older. The Al Jazeera English crew didn’t get his name as they filmed him looking a little weak on the 25th. “A boy, a bullet removed from his chest, is now recovering.” He was sure to be filmed flashing the rebel victory sign and pumping his fist, while looking at someone off-camera expectantly. [AJE]

An AFP video report from the following day, as he was being evacuated, names him as Mohammed and shows his mother. [FP2] A Euronews report offers the most details, all questionable. “As the rebels swept in last Sunday [Aug. 21], 10-year-old Mohammad went on to the streets to watch history being made,” presumably without parental consent, and was “injured in the chaos.” [E1] A report from AFP’s Marc Bastian said the boy was shot, apparently by a sniper, “in the back,” while he was just “outside Moamer Kadhafi's compound in the Libyan capital.” This information came from his father, who obviously must not have seen it happen. He told Bastian “my son was wounded outside Bab al-Aziziya, but we didn't know where he had been taken.” [FP4]

 Euronews reported after the shooting, he was “taken to a local hospital where his parents eventually found him by chance,” five days later, and just moments before their news appearances. Rabii Saaid, “The doctor who treated him” said: “we were trying to transfer him, and suddenly the family arrived to look for him. They saw him in the ambulance and they were very, very shocked.” [E1] The reunion outside the hospital was purely by chance, a complete surprise, and thus presumably not stage-managed for the media. It did carry a conveniently positive message considering the grave aftermath of the rebel-initiated violence of the past week; “The discovery brought a ray of joy into an area that has seen fierce fighting,” Euronews noted. [E1]

 The boy’s mother Aisha Al-Zadma said, on the sixth and last day he was missing, that they had all “spent four days searching for him.” They wouldn’t have been able to check this most local hospital, considering the fighting, but it’s not specified where else they had frantically checked. “We’ve eaten nothing” in those days, Aisha said. His father added: “I didn’t know he was here. They told me that there were bodies here and maybe my son was among them. I came to look, and it was only today that I found him. That’s five days I’ve been looking for him.” [E1]

The Euronews video shows Mohammed’s unnamed father clearly overcome to an unnerving degree. It looks like relief, sudden joy, and perplexity all mingled, and still shaped by days of sorrow and worry. It’s all directed far more at the cameras than at his son who lays three feet away, once again just waiting. [E1] This scene was witnessed by Channel 4’s Alex Thomson as well. Perhaps not knowing the back-story, he decided “in one ambulance a man, almost incoherent with fear, just kept saying: “Al Hamdillulah” – thank God. Three young children sat near him almost beatifically calm in their shock.” [AT4] One of these children was of course Mohammed, and his little sister can be seen briefly, in the Euronews video, smiling at the strangeness of this family trip (visible in the still above, along with a younger brother, it seems). [E1] Mohammed doesn’t speak or show any emotion in the available videos at all, “in too much pain to talk,” one of them explained.

 All this together merits a flashback to Misrata, about four months before the events in Tripoli. “The Sniped tykes of Misrata,” an early investigation by the author, exposed transparent rebel propaganda based on fake x-ray images. [STM] These were said to prove at least two children, a 4-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, were both shot in the chest by government snipers. The boy’s film was shown by Human Rights Watch, alongside the victim, his bandaged wound, and his mother. Then a copy of it was quickly spotted in a video - presented as an image from the girl’s chest. The “removed bullet” was shown in a vial, alongside the film and a sleeping girl. [STM] Below, the two images compared – left, the girl’s film, skewed to proportion, and right, the boy’s.
Both images are the same but for the shoulder marking on the right and, here, the different backgrounds behind the translucent films. This clearly can’t be an accurate image for both of them, and further, the image itself is quite questionable. There is no deformation to the bullet (center, obscured by the spine), and stranger yet, there is no bending or breaking of a single rib. We see a short path to stopping, after no visible resistance, just shy of the heart. Before that, it was apparently fired upward, at an odd, steep angle – perhaps a rare case of street-level snipers shooting rooftop children. Or alternately, the bullet was laid on a kid’s sternum at a stupid angle as the x-ray projector was passed over them, or image editing software and a film printer were used. But clearly, the firing of a bullet had nothing to do with these images or, presumably, with those two children from rebel-held Misrata. [STM]

 Tripolitanian Mohammed allegedly suffered the same fate, a sniper bullet lodged in the chest, just as the Misratan rebels entered the capitol. They also brought their public relations tricks. Sniper-shot kids and nice endings injecting “rays of joy” are both helpful. His X-ray film wasn’t shown, but it’s entirely possible the CIWCL already has two copies of the one someone might have considered showing.

 The best view for assessing Mohammed’s injuries is an AFP video that shows him shirtless, carried onto a gurney. His back is seen obliquely, and his chest from all sides, all revealing no mark anywhere aside from the bandaged area on his mid-right side, a drainage tube attached. [FP2] This is arguably “the back,” by now apparently the entry wound and the point of surgical extraction (suggesting the bullet didn’t lodge itself in very far). There being no exit wound is consistent with the bullet needing to be removed, as it reportedly was, with surgery performed at Abu Salim hospital on or after the 21st, just about the same time most of the staff was reportedly fleeing.

 Mohammed was thus apparently there the whole time, and like the others, has nothing to say, or even gesture, suggesting there was a mass-killing in that time. By seeing no such thing, he’s another witness for the questionable rebel version of what happened at the trauma hospital. Considering this and the problems laid out above, it’s clearly worth wondering if he was ever shot at all, and whether he was truly there for days waiting for rescue. Perhaps he and his story were simply placed there on the 25th, prior to Simmons’ guided tour.

After, he was taken to Tripoli Medical Center, a roost for Dr. Salem Al-Farjani and his fake witness operation. If there was anything shady about Mohammed, or Abdullah, or the car buyer, Dr. Al-Farjani was the guy, apparently, who would understand and wink. If little Mohammed’s turn for the cameras was a stage managed propaganda stunt, as it almost seems, it would be a sick task to lay on a child. As AFP’s Marc Bastian noted, after laying for however long among the rotting dead, with such ominous mystery hovering over them, Mohammed “is likely to suffer nightmares about his time in the hospital for years to come.” [FP4]

Sources: forthcoming