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, May 20, 2017

Five Years of the Houla Massacre Lie

By Adam Larson (aka Caustic Logic)
May 21, 2017 
(last edits June 5)

some of the horizontal "army shelling" of homes in Taldou
On the afternoon and evening of May 25, 2012, in the village of Taldou, in the Houla region of Homs province, occurred a hideous crime that must never be forgotten. Well over 100 civilians of a few targeted families were slaughtered with guns and bladed weapons, among them over 50 children, some of those just babies.

It was widely denounced as a crime of the Syrian government and its affiliated "Shabiha" militia. It was seen as unprecedented brutality with sectarian motives - the killers were Alawites (the creed of president Assad) and the victims were all randomly-chosen Sunnis. Diplomatic and other sanctions against Syria followed, and military and other aid to the opposition increased in response. The peace plan of UN envoy Kofi Annan was destroyed, leaving only further fighting as an option. (Add 5/24: And it didn't take long to find that out - Annan visited Syria two days later, as planned, and found both sides unwilling to make deals with the murderers behind the Houla Massacre)

murdered child (blurred) used to send the opposition message
But however it was accepted, the Houla Massacre is the gold standard of "massacre marketing" by the Sunni extremist militants in Syria. It was they who wanted escalation, intervention, and regime change, not a Kofi Annan peace plan, and this incident delivered. The best evidence - the video record and reports that agree with it - is clear they were responsible for the act of brutal mass murder. They earned their reward from the "international community" themselves, rather than having the "Assad regime" hand it to them. That their illogical and unsupported narrative is retained to this day by the powers that be in Western and allied government, the mass media, and "human rights" organizations is a sad shame, and an outrage.

I've marked each anniversary in some way.

* Year zero, 2012: upon news of the massacre, I was infuriated and started studying it and other Syria events, soon co-founded A Closer Look On Syria in June with CE and Petri Krohn, focused on a Houla Massacre page and sub-pages. We worked together and got the case pretty well solved by year's end, with research-based articles by me up by early July, 2012 (star witness re-considered).

* Year one, 2013: report: Official Truth, Real Truth, and Impunity in the Syrian Houla Massacre - compiles research-based articles of special value into one informative report (authors: Ronda Hauben, Alfredo Embed, Marinella Corregia, myself). The promotional article was widely-read.

* Year two, 2014: report: The Battle for the Houla Massacre: the video evidence explained, and the rest re-considered - Direct PDF read/download link - central in the visual material below. At the same time, I started the Taldou.Truth. site to issue debate-challenge requests like this to Eliot Higgins. I didn't try as hard as I should have otherwise, and no takers yet. They suspect I'm right, cannot argue the case as well as I can, and can't be seen agreeing with me  either, so they dodge the whole thing, because of supposed time constraints. They'd have plenty to debunk some nonsense blaming the FSA and Al-Qaeda for the Houla Massacre... (the whole site never went far, so I bring this installment over to the main site. Will also re-issue the general debate challenge here where it's more visible.)

* Year three, 2015: Three Years After Houla: Lessons Remembered, Forgotten, and Never Known - a decent review article, but not the best marker, and made available the gruesome 2014 morgue photos of most victims including (alleged) family details (they were posted on Facebook, and stayed up even longer than they should have, given the rules against gory images).

* Year four, 2016: Instead of Houla, I focused on the same-day 5-year anniversary of the alleged famous death of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khatib (at right - remember that kid? article, later report) By the best evidence, he was actually aged 12, about a week shy of turning 13, when he was probably killed and mutilated on April 29, 2011, by terrorists occupying the area around a military housing complex they were trying to break into. After the attackers were chased away, the army found some 29 bodies of men and boys left behind, including Hamza's. Activists would say he and many other were arrested from the peaceful protest, and his brutal treatment clarified a "turning point" where armed resistance could only increase.

It was nearly a month before the government finally found the right family to hand Hamza's body back to on May 24, and the next day, allegations emerged he was just killed on the 25th after a month of torture. But the visuals prove that wrong; his body displays green and black patches to prove weeks of slow, refrigerated decay. Other victims shown off with the same story also have green patches and other signs of the same kind of decay, starting around April 29. But the dimwitted opposition activists had stories anyway: people who saw the impossible torture of the living boy and some of the other victims, long after they were dead. These patently false claims were widely believed at the time, and lacking any apparent care, they just sit there stupidly as accepted truth to this day. So it's a lot like the Houla Massacre, that wound up marking the one-year anniversary of Hamza's alleged death.

* Year five, back to Houla. After two years of little to nothing, I should do something powerful. I don't know what yet, but this atrocity should never be forgotten. Accepting ideas here in comments, or elsewhere. Others could help spread the word - especially the 2014 report. Write an article, submit a comment on the upcoming 5-years-never-forget articles that will still blame Assad. The best-evidence version of May 25, 2012 will have to be crowd-forced into being addressed and finally accepted as the kind of precedent it truly is.

I'll offer two related mini-articles here, starting with a sort of a photo essay. Recall the accepted story: Al-Houla was a "rebel-held village" that suffered "army shelling" May 25 after noon prayers and/or a protest or a small clash rebels gave up on. This shelling battered Taldou especially, forcing FSA defenders to withdraw, leaving the way open for Alawite and Shi'ite "Shabiha" militias to invade the the town and massacre Sunni families.

In reality, the incidents all relate to Taldou, the southernmost town of the 3-town Al-Houla region. Two towns were fully under rebel control by then, but Taldou alone was still half-secured by five army posts, up to the morning of May 25. As of the 26th, Rebels were somehow in control of all Taldou, and international action helped seal that control as permanent, so that ever since then, the whole Houla region has been rebel-held. But when the "army shelling" in Taldou began around 1 pm, it wasn't quite...

I) A summary of the "army shelling" and "Shabiha massacre" in Houla, 
in 12 pictures and some of the consistent reported details

1) Some of the "army shelling" seen on video: These attackers, of the Houla-based Arabad Bin Souriyeh battalion, fire towards the clocktower (aka roundabout) army post and/or Baath Party headquarters in central Taldou (see map below), from the northwest, at about 1:25 pm* by sunlight angles.  The one doing the "army shelling" here takes return fire from the army, hitting him in the belly, and he's carried away.  (see 2014 report, exhibit A.3)
* Note: times given in the 2014 report were calculated wrong, given as one hour ahead, so this is said to be 2:25 pm. Apologies.

A pro-government witness says terrorists fired on those posts from the northwest at around 1 or 2 pm with a mortar and then heavy machine guns, in what seems a distraction to allow "Shabiha" to move down Satto Saad road (see map). Rebels claim the Shabiha used the army shelling as cover to march up Satto Saad road from the south and maybe from the north, and began their killings around 3 pm. (corrections May 26)

This video was posted weeks later, but fits that story perfectly, and is described as from the battalion's "battle to liberate freedom circle" (the roundabout army post), so it's almost certainly May 25, the only known time that was "liberated." (see 2014 report, the June Videos issue.)

2) An "army shelling" perpetrator seen close-up with his RPG launcher after launching the clearest "army shelling" of the day. This is hours later than the above scene (about 6:11 PM +/- 5 minutes - report says 7:11), on Satto Saad road, just south of the overrun or bypassed roundabout army post.

He was wearing a white headscarf at first, and doesn't seem to notice it fell off, he's so dazed by the confined recoil that just bowled him over. It's not always clear in the "shelling" videos just who's firing at who and from where, but here we see who fired, if not where to. He walks by the cameraman with his launcher, ambles off-frame to the south, and fires another round, loudly, off frame. It's said this video shows shells "crashing down" on the area, but rather it shows them flying sideways out of it. (video posted on May 25) (see 2014 report, exhibit B.1) See also a great but little-seen video I made for this scene. (correction May 26)

3) More of the fierce "army shelling" of Taldou, as caught on video. Around sunset (7:15-7:30 pm, not 8:15-8:30). A group of Arabad Bin Souriyeh battalion fighters, clean-cut and Western-dressed as usual, runs down side streets (THIS is Satto road - 5/26). One fighter runs out on main street, pointing his RPG launcher south towards a mobile army checkpoint at the arches military intelligence headquarters (I got rusty).  He fires and seems to cheer a hit as he runs back for cover.

This video has the same later posting issue as image 1. Perhaps they didn't want to confuse the story line early on with much of this footage of their undated "battle to liberate freedom circle." Better to wait until after minds are made up...) (report, exhibit C.1) (note 5/26: Other, more restrained groups, posted no video at all of their likely involvement in the undated battle that must be on May 25.)

4) The central clocktower/ roundabout army post that was damaged by the "army shelling" and that the UN investigation acknowledges was overrun by opposition fighters that day, during the "Shabiha invasion" following the "retreat" of all rebel forces "from" the area. (or as they called it, the rebel offensive into government-held turf, possibly planned in advance). The damage is light, higher up, and clearer in other views - mostly bullet holes below the rooftop gun nests. This just shows what it was they overpowered; this was no couple of kids with bb guns seizing a post like this. (composite view, from Channel 4 news video, on Alex Thomson's visit a few days later  - shown as part of "rebel-held al-Houla," when it had been government-held on may 24.) (report, exhibit H.1)

Pro-government witnesses say this post was attacked once around 1 pm, and again more forcefully around 7, when it was overrun. Smoke rises from this area around 7:19 pm (shortly before sunset), on a distance video posted May 25.  (exhibit H.3 C.3 in the 2014 report, saying app. 8:19) One of the families massacred that day is said to live in this same overrun block. Named Abbara and perhaps other names, they were apparently intermarried with the core targets, the extended Abdulrazaq family, but a confused record seems to try and conceal that (as sort-of explained here) (and recall the opposition story denies specific family targeting - random Sunnis were chosen, not a particular clan - note and correction, 5/26).

5) A military intelligence center on Main Street damaged by the "army shelling" that UN investigators acknowledge as "likely overrun" by opposition fighters in their offensive of that day. This panorama view is from a later video, but it looked the same on May 26. The graffiti is glimpsed in a UN monitors video (this hasn't been well-read yet - it mentions Bashar Assad and his father Hafez, in an apparently negative way, as well as some "prince"). The armored vehicle's tires are still burning in ANNA news video.  (exhibit H.3) Smoke rises from this area  by sunset on the 25th, as visible in a distance video. (exhibit C.3)

6) Map of all five security posts operating on May 25: This includes two the UN investigators say were overrun by militants in their planned offensive of this day (white) and three others (orange) they decided held out against the "army shelling," leaving the army still in control and hence, responsible for the following "Shabiha" massacres, in the red-pink areas shown (plus some unclear other spots, including some al-Sayeds and Abdulrazaqs in the rebel-held north of town, and Abdulrazaq-related Abbaras near the overrun clocktower/roundabout post). We can see this makes close to zero logical sense. Good thing it's "proven," or accepted by an "impartial United Nations investigation," huh? (yellow-green letters refer to video exhibits in the 2014 report, with some mentioned above)

7) Some of the many soldiers and a militiaman (aka "Shabiha" - singular "shabih") allegedly killed by the "army shelling" and/or "Shabiha invasion" of May 25 (pro-government ANNA News (Abkhazian, Russian-ish) filming in Taldou, May 26, panoramic view from video).

(Unseen) It's said one soldier had his throat slit and was tossed from a window of the hospital, apparently for changing religions. Another soldier was reportedly burned alive, while (Sunni) others were captured and given a chance to "defect" and join the FSA, or die. A soldier on leave with a broken leg was among the targeted massacre victims. His eyes were gouged out, as he was killed alongside his father and little sister All sides agree this al-Sayed family was pro-government, with much military and police service. (note May 26: the killed father was a retired policeman) They lived across the street from the National Hospital, by the way.

8) Smoke from the National Hospital as it was burned during the "Shabiha invasion." In a sunset battle video on main street, some billowing black smoke can be traced to the hospital, suggesting it was on fire by then. The time is 7:40 +/- 8 minutes, making it the latest video seen, perhaps after full sunset. (exhibit E.3) The hospital was apparently was not burning yet in early videos of "army shelling," which left trails of smoke like RPG exhaust in the hospital's basic area. (exhibits E.1, E.2).

Pro-government witnesses say rebels sacked the hospital, perhaps after circumventing the arches post using a side road instead of overrunning it from the north. What happened is unclear, but it seems they killed a wounded soldier there at least, looted the place, and set it on fire. The UN investigation denies this quite clearly, as they question why the government-run hospital never bothered helping the massacre victims, leaving rebels to do all the body-handling. It doesn't seem they noticed or mapped out this smoke plume, so maybe that decision was premature.

9) Sunni extremist rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on a ridge above Taldou at sunset, as smoke rises from at least two spots across the town. They shout Allahu Akbar, seeming to cheer the "army shelling" and/or "Shabiha massacre" below. This is the same Arabad Bin Souriyeh Battalion with the other videos linked to May 25 but posted later. This was posted later yet, and not claimed as related to the liberation battle. Instead, this is claimed to follow some victorious battle in Taldou in revenge for the "Tremseh massacre" in rural Hama in mid-July However, no sources that report daily events mentions any kind of battle or any issues, aside from a small shelling incident, in Taldou or Houla at this time. The last big thing to cheer was on May 25, when they "liberated freedom circle," leaving a smoking town at sunset, and lots of dead bodies trucked away to show the world. This is probably just what they're Allahu-akbarking about. (2014 report, exhibit G.1)

10) Totally or mostly unseen "Shabiha": The FSA's infamous Farouk Brigade was reportedly involved but unseen, more camera shy than the guys we keep seeing. Reportedly, since-disgraced commander Abdulrazaq Tlass headed operations, and apparently lost an uncle in this battle for the Houla Massacre an fighting related to earlier Houla Massacre where the boy with pro-government wrsitband was killed, back in early April 4 of 2012 (again, I got rusty). A local criminal named Nidal Bakour led another "FSA" group, while Haitham al-Hallak led another "FSA" group that focused on the al-Sayed family homes. Opposition records say Hallak, a defected policeman from Rastan, was killed in the battle, but some seem to list him as Haitham al-Fuzo (video still).

Also little-seen are the many black-clad foreigners fighting with an unclear force considered to be basically al-Qaeda. Pro-government witnesses describe these among the 6-800 attackers, including Libyans. One unplaced video of "army shelling" of Houla, seemingly early afternoon, may show a black-clad militant in front of the burning house. (2014 report, p. 31) (side-note: I've found just one possible match for this, and while I haven't written on it, it's so interesting, I open this to geolocation folks. Can you find a good spot other than mine? (no leading except to say check both in and near Taldou). If we can get a good match on this, it might tie in to further proving the terrorist nature of this event.)

Already the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate later called Jabhat al-Nusra (now I like Jabhat al-Namechange) was on the scene (announced in January, 2012, by this source). Then working the shadows and including eventual ISIS types, an August DIA cable seems to mention them as being called Jaish al-Nusra. In this first part of 2012, they were growing in size and capability, as if they had just scored some secret victory and attracted new recruits - hmm.

Jaish al-Nusra likely took part in the Houla Massacre, perhaps after a new batch of its fighters crossed from Turkey, hijacking a bus full of Lebanese Shia pilgrims near the border, famously on May 22. Those were handed to local rebel groups and later released after negotiations, but in the meantime the Nusra force may have used that bus to get themselves to Houla, where the driver and a slain Syrian family (mother and 4 kids, probably Alawites) were dumped near Masyaf, not far from Houla, on May 24. (see May 22 bus hijacking - Houla massacre link?) That's a possible wrinkle I stumbled on along the way. (note 5-26: and with the apparent Aqrab connection to the Houla Massacre, Masyaf is almost a last stop before the big crime scene-to-be.)

11) Star witness Ali al-Sayed: the 8-11-year-old gave several interviews. He reported no al-Nusra fighters nor any FSA offensive, instead describing the "army shelling" all day. He knows Shabiha when he sees them kill his whole family (he played dead after a hand scratch), and knows what the "international community" should be doing about the massacre. But cannot remember the order of events, the names of his closest family members, or when and how they were killed, how he escaped, etc. He's clearly a poorly-coached hand-puppet of a false witness, yet because he's so cute and blames Assad, everyone scrambled to write credulous news reports copying down one or another version of the malleable story he told. (see here)

12) The Victims gathered: after the "rebels withdrew" from their own beloved Taldou, the "Shabiha" invaded and killed over 100 civilians in their overrun homes. Luckily for the cause of "justice," even as Syria denied the massacre, the "Shabiha" then walked away and left the bodies behind for "rebels" to find when they returned later that night. These were wrapped and brought to their main mosque and buried in a mass grave the next day. The activists found no family contacts, even extended ones, to hand the bodies back to for regular burial in family plots. Or anyway, they decided to just do it all themselves, burying what was in fact evidence of their own grave and massive crime against Humanity in one big trench.

And that's the kind of evidence for crimes against humanity provided by these hate-filled monsters. They keep just 'finding' dead Syrians and all-knowing "survivors," and handing non-stop allegations to the wealthy elites sponsoring them, just to punish and bleed Syria, weaken Iran, ensure a "new American Century" of global leadership, etc. The blood spilled in Houla is just one of those awkward parts of an otherwise profitable or widely-supported program to "stop the killing" and "bring peace to Syria."

II) How We Can Know "Freedom" Isn't Free
Unlike little Ali, the witnesses in the mass grave are the people the international community really let down, failed to protect, and still disgraces by blaming their overrun defenders for their brutal murders. Unlike little Ali and other liars, the massacre victims can't tell her own story, and have the "activists" of "liberated al-Houla" lodging one for them in their absence.

What they suffered is hard to fathom, as a safe late spring Tuesday turned into a living hell, with murderous fanatics kicking their doors in or blowing right through the living room walls. The killers did avoid beheading, and used gouged eyes, burning alive, and throat-slicing (reportedly) only with captured soldiers. Many female victims were likely raped, but this isn't known. But they hacked open several children's skulls, tore their jaws open, shot them in the face, and more. "Since it's going to demonize their hated Alawite regime," they might have reasoned, "why not pull all the stops? Just avoid the most obviously Islamist methods, y'know, for good measure."

Yasmeen, stolen family photo
Consider Yasmeen Adel Abdulrazaq, age 9, constituting about 2% of the children murdered that day.  She was gonna be something, all smiles and faintly wacky styles, seeming to favor summery yellow and peach combinations, which she was wearing again on her last day. Yasmeen's lifeless body was shown by terrorists with her skull deeply sliced open, seemingly by a sword, and a frozen look of astonished disappointment on her little face. I considered showing that right here, but on the advice of Vanessa Beeley, I decided those poor people have been shown off too much already by their killers, and it's not my readers who need that further shock (nor the depressing description and general subject matter, but ...).

According to terrorist records Yasmeen was killed by "Shabiha" alongside sister Nour (8), brother Yaser (10), baby brother Mohamed, and mother Abeer, and may have seen some of that happen. It's not clear where their father Adel was. The Adel Abdulrazaq family were among some 80+ members of the extended Abdulrazaq clan, the core victims killed (more than the 65 generally acknowledged, including intermarriages, etc. - see here). They mostly lived down Saad road, which the UN investigators acknowledge was open to militants for the whole day (at least, after the roundabout post was bypassed around 1:30).

By the most reliable reports available, it seems the Abdulrazaqs were targeted for supporting the government and rejecting the rebellion, and/or converting from Sunni to Shia Islam. Opposition sources are clear all victims - and every resident of Houla - was a Sunni Muslim. It was a 100% Sunni "town," they said, and if someone else moved in, or someone converted... that's unexplained. Perhaps they wouldn't get to continue living there. And these folks didn't get to live there past May 25. So maybe rebels lie about the non-conversion? (the remaining victims were mainly of two Al-Sayed families, who everyone agrees remained Sunni but supported the government anyway).

saved by the armed groups and speaking freely?
Some survivors were apparently abducted and made to blame Shabiha on video, as their blood was being poured in large jugs, like a grim stopwatch. Maybe it was a donation to help the injured, but... "Rasha Abdulrazaq" and her unnamed mother have almost filled a coffee can each as Rasha rushes through the talking points. At right, she complains about the government lies blaming the armed groups now hosting and caring for her. They ask and she thanks them profusely on the video for saving her after she somehow survived the massacre. Her living baby niece is nearby, also draining blood from her abdomen. The mother blames "Alawite pigs" for killing all the Sunnis.

Incidentally, different rebels to the south launched a raid, later on the night of the 25th, against the Alawite village of al-Shumariyeh, south of Lake Homs. They claimed to launch a few shells, in revenge for the Houla Massacre hours earlier. But Syrian state media says they attacked and looted at least two homes, killing ten civilians, including children, and showed some of the left-behind bodies (ACLOS, Shumariyeh Massacre). (This is almost surely the cause of the mixed-up claim that an Alawite family named Shomaliya was killed in Taldou that night).

This infamous and misunderstood Houla Massacre is how the whole 3-village al-Houla area finally came under complete opposition control, back on May 25, 2012. Rastan terrorists with helpers from all over swarmed over it, killed the defenders, and massacred their local non-supporters by the family. Then, they blamed the government and had that trick work, starting the first demands for the army to leave Houla alone. It may have seemed indefensible anyway, and the state ceded the area for the time being.

That began what's now five years of "liberation" as a purely Sunni, Salafist area of "Free Syria," protected by the Turks and the Saudis and their powerful allies from Tel Aviv to Paris to Canberra. To this day, the Houla-Rastan pocket is one of the protected areas under the new deescalation agreement, immune to attack, and meant as part of a permanent - but so-far discontinuous - non-ISIS opposition state you could call "Free Syria." In all areas, it's almost completely dominated by Jabhat al-Namechange, the good-cop Al-Qaeda spinoff, or someone just about as nasty.

Since then, there have been less government supporters or minorities in the towns of al-Houla to massacre, but often they could be fetched from elsewhere to keep the accusations alive. Just six months after the Houla Massacre, Aqrab's Alawite district just to the north was raided by 'rebels' from Rastan and Houla, in early December, 2012. (note May 26: It's also noteworthy that some of the Houla Massacre victims were actually from, or even killed in, Aqrab, apparently for intermarrying with the Abdulrazaqs - see here). They massacred many, chased half the people away, and kidnapped those remaining. Of about 1,500 residents, no one remained free and alive. Their homes were given to pro-opposition Sunnis, and Aqrab was added to the purified areas under full terrorist control to the present day.

After the Aqrab raid, about 500 civilians wound up crammed into a house militants had surrounded, suffering a week of harsh treatment, deprived of food and forced to breathe smoke from burning tires. On December 9, about half the hostages were released in exchange for militants held by the government. But then rebels reported the government had blown up the remaining Alawite civilians, as some Shabiha among the captives also killed their own family members with bombs or hand grenades. Of 200+ people, they reported at least 125 were dead. It might take a while to dig through the rubble of a house blown up from the inside, then hit by artillery, then bombed by jets.

Aqrab hostage house, intact but full of smoke (Channel 4)
As it turns out the house was not blown up, according to an on-site report by Channel 4's Alex Thomson, speaking to released hostages a few days afterwards. It was however leaking smoke from some of its blacked-out windows. So how many were killed in the Aqrab Massacre remains unclear now, nearly five years later, with about 230 people publicly unaccounted for. Some smoke-stained survivors were taken to Al-Houla to blame "Shabiha" for the alleged massacre, on video and under clear pressure. A smoke-stained girl, dead with a sword-sliced skull, appeared in Houla as a random Sunni shelling victim there. Human Rights watch's people called the episode "murky," and they apparently never investigated. ACLOS did, and Alex Thomson said our work "seems to bear out what I reported from Aqrab at the time." (Tweet, CIWCL archive)

Whatever happened to each of them - displaced, murdered, bereaved, or even enslaved and sold for a fundraiser - the roughly 1,500 inhabitants of Aqrab's Alawite district were some of the first victims of the "liberation" of Al-Houla. It was imposed on them by a deeply caring "international community," like little Ali had asked, and it cost them dearly. (ACLOS, Aqrab Massacre)

(note 5/26: I wonder where they get all these swords? Are they locally made? Sent by Saudi Arabia and smuggled in through Jordan?)

And now, five years after the Houla Massacre, that appalling and obvious lie remains standing as a blood libel against the secular, inclusive, and demonized Syrian government. It's an affront to Humanity. How many more years will the truth of the matter remain swept under the rug? How long will it remain an example to cite when accepting yet more Terrorist accusations oozing out of "Free Syria"?

Many believe these lies because various influential and corporate-sponsored voices keep repeating and echoing each other that it's all true. That's just abysmal stenography of Terrorist claims. It needs challenged again by honest and rigorous minds, and seen widely to fail. The Houla Massacre must be understood and never forgotten.  For that matter, the Shumariyeh one too, and Aqrab, and a bunch of others....'

Add June 5:

Riled up in disagreement? If you can get your thinking cap on straight enough, try to review or work and bring any problems you find to the challenge space. Investigative citizen journalism! It works best when folks from different sides hash out their arguments in the open. 

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