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What has turned into a very vicious and bloody civil war in Syria began as popular peaceful protests by large numbers of Syrians petitioning their government for change. At the most basic and fundamental levels, the demands and motivations of these Syrians were not that different from those of the protesters in Tunisia and Egypt, or Libya, Bahrain and Yemen. For that matter, they had much in common with people taking to the streets of Greece, Portugal and Spain. Protesters in Belgium saw the parallels; so did those that started occupying public space all across the United States just as Mummar Qaddafi was being put down for his first use of military power against the protest movement.

Qaddafi wasn't the first to use live fire in an attempt to suppress the protest movement that began with the Arab Spring and continues now in the worldwide movement against austerity, but he was the first to use military power, including regular army, tanks, artillery, jet aircraft and attack helicopter.

At the time the world said no to that. Substantial international aid was provided to the Libyans fighting back, UN resolutions got passed, NATO enforced a no-fly zone plus, and the Qaddafi regime was brought to heel. Even the Russians and Chinese were on board.

But then comes Syria and with Syria its a different story. In Syria, the international "community" is establishing very different rules about what measures a government is allowed to use in suppressing it own population, it would seem anything below chemical weapons is now to be allowed.

While there have been much greater slaughters in the past, especially in Asia and Africa, I believe what is happening in Syria now is very different from those massacres of the past. The Syrians are protesting much the same as people in the more developed countries worldwide. They live more like the people in the more developed countries worldwide and they are not being slaughtered with machetes but by the type of advanced military power possessed by the governments of the most developed countries worldwide.

Thanks to modern technology and communications like YouTube and Twitter, this slaughter is being viewed by the whole world in real time and that makes it precedent setting.

Therefore I fear that a terrible precedent is being set for just how far a government can go in suppressing its own population when they petition that government for change.

And this precedent is being set while the Left sits on its hands doesn't protest the use of cluster bombs against neighborhoods because they are known to be hostile to their government.

Merry Christmas,

I hope we can do better next year.

In Solidarity,

Clay

Christmas Eve in Syria

From SNN:
Breaking News | Dar'aa | Attaiybah | December 24, 2012
Military helicopters are dropping TNT barrels on the town.
Breaking News | Latakia | Assalibiyeh | December 24, 2012
An evening demonstration has mobilized on Aliskan St. calling for Hilfaya, a town witnessed a massacre yesterday, and the besieged cities and toppling the regime. Assad militias have violently attacked the protestors.
Breaking News | Hamah |Kafar Zita | December 24, 2012
Artillery and rocket shelling by Assad forces on residential areas.
Breaking News | Damascus Rural | Mu'adamyyat Asham | December 24, 2012
Dozens civilians have been killed during the shelling attacks on residential areas with rocket launchers.
Breaking News | Deir Ezzor | Alhusinyah | December 24, 2012
Fierce artillery shelling on residential areas.
Breaking News | Hamah |Bab Qabli | December 24, 2012
A mass demonstration mobilized in the neighborhood in support of the Free Syrian Army and besieged cities.
Breaking News | Aleppo | December 24, 2012
The Free Syrian Army and Assad forces are clashing around the police academy in Khan Al'sal.
Breaking News | Idlib | Ma'aret Annu'man | December 24, 2012
Assad forces are shelling the western neighborhood with rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
Breaking News | Homs | Talbiseh | December 24, 2012
Fifteen civilians have been killed including ten children and dozens injured when warplanes bombarded a bakery in the town.
Breaking News | Dar'aa | Jebreen | December 24, 2012
Eight civilians have been killed and dozens others injured when Assad forces shelled the village with artillery and rockets.
Breaking News | Arraqqah | December 24, 2012
Many towns and villages in the province are fiercely being bombarded with artillery by Al-Assad forces.
Breaking News | Hamah | December 24, 2012
Assad forces, stationed at Mt. Zain Alabdeen, are shelling the northern rural villages with rocket launchers.
Breaking News | Arraqqah | December 24, 2012
At least three citizens have been killed in aerial shelling with warplanes on many villages across the province by regime army.
Breaking News | Dar'aa | Alharra | December 24, 2012
An evening demonstration has mobilized across the western district calling for toppling the regime and chanting for freedom and in support of the besieged cities.
Breaking News | Dar'aa | Ezzraa | December 24, 2012
Assad militias have carried out indiscriminate raid and arrest campaign in the north neighborhood.
Breaking News | Homs| December 24, 2012
Civilians at a makeshift hospital after they inhaled poisonous gas released during shelling by regime forces on December 23, 2012
Breaking News | Damascus Rural | Douma | December 24, 2012
At least one civilians has been killed and many other have been injured as a result of bombardment with warplanes on the national hospital and the the cultural center by Assad forces.
Click here for a list of my other Daily Kos dairies on Syria
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Comment Preferences

  •  So what exactly do you wish to happen? (4+ / 0-)

    Is protesting the use of cluster bombs all you really want? Do you want U.S. troops on the ground? I think there were some things left unsaid in your diary.

    I've appreciated the work you've done in presenting the diaries. I think the situation in Syria is gravely important. I also think it is an example of the limitation of U.S. military power.

    I think Syrians are going to determine the results here and that is how it should be.  

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:20:54 PM PST

  •  Many things are important that we can't... (0+ / 0-)

    ...necessarily do much about.  Personally I'm an interventionist. But there isn't much constituency for that in our country now, for obvious reasons.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:38:33 PM PST

  •  so is it #Syria or Syria that's important? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, mickT, crose, protectspice

    the main thing is to get retwittered?

    •  I write to be read (0+ / 0-)

      In terms of aesthetics, I hate it too but  #Syria gets it read by a lot more people.

      You may have noticed that not that many Kossacks care about what is happening in Syria. I think that is unfortunate but there's not much I can do about it beyond busting my butt to bring to this community timely and interesting material on this particular human struggle that is well organized and well written.

      But there are many people in the world that care deeply about what is happening in Syria. #Syria allows them to easily find my work.

      For example when the Libyan Youth Movement republished my
      February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night on feb17.info they wrote:

      The Daily Kos Has put together a great time line of February 21st. This is a MUST read.
      and displayed the Daily Kos logo.

      Of course they were mistaken in their credit but my point is that hash tags helped them to find the article in the first place.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:57:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make no mistake. I think Syria is important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crose

    because I think all of those citizens and those children are important, as important as any other human on the planet, and we must get rid of Assad.
    I think most here would agree with that
    However, I think the Obama admin. is doing what it can to bring that about. There are complicating factors domestically, internationally, and within Syria itself.
    I wish Obama had more power and he could trust the opposition here in this country to support his efforts. If he could he would probably be more aggressive.
    However, he cannot trust them to back him up and that limits his capacity.
    Likewise we can expect limited trustworthiness and support from the international community.
    Obama doesn't have a magic wand in foreign  policy, just as he doesn't in domestic policy.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:22:38 PM PST

    •  That's not what I'm talking about here. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm talking about willful ignorance on the part of our people. No media. Even Democracy Now, doesn't bother to mention the aggregate death toll.

      I may look like I'm hyping it when I report 300 killed when the MSM is reporting 60-90 killed, until you realize how often there have been massacres in the 60-90 range that never got mention in the MSM, that an average of 147 Syrians, not counting Assad's forces are being murdered, and there is plenty of video and other documentation and it almost never gets mentioned.

      Once you understand the extent to which the MSM, and even Democracy Now and Daily Kos, under-report the death toll in Syria, you will understand that when they do report 60-90, it almost certainly was more.

      But Americans seem fine with that. The Left is fine with that.

      You don't see a problem with that?

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:13:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Daily? (0+ / 0-)

        This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

        by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 10:12:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your reports of 300 killed in "bakery lineup" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice

        does not conform to reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Also, there have been many reports on this by all the MSM in the US, UK and EU.

        Once you understand the extent to which the MSM, and even Democracy Now and Daily Kos, under-report the death toll in Syria, you will understand that when they do report 60-90, it almost certainly was more.
        Here's what Washington has to say:
        US condemns 'vicious' Syrian bakery attack

        WASHINGTON — The United States accused the Syrian regime Monday of launching a "vicious" attack on civilians at a bakery that proved President Bashar al-Assad's days as leader were numbered.

        At least 60 people are reported to have been killed in a regime air strike on a bakery in the town of Halfaya, in the central province of Hama.

        "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the latest vicious attacks by the Syrian regime against civilians, most notably the attack on people waiting to buy bread at a bakery in the town of Halfaya," acting State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.

        "Brutal attacks such as these show that this regime has no future in Syria. Those that commit atrocities will be held accountable. The United States calls on all parties that continue to assist the regime in executing its war against the Syrian people to end their support."

        The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented 43 names of people killed in Halfaya, 40 men and three women. Activists dubbed the bombing a "massacre" -- an allegation fended off by the Assad regime.

        BTW, most of the dead were fighting age men wearing camouflage if you view the videos. Therefore, by Obama's rules of war, they were all suspected terrorists/insurgents. There is also a video showing bread purposely being dropped on the street. We've seen much worse video of the huge IED explosions within Syrian cities.

        Of the aggregate death toll, how many are civilians? How many are women? How many are children? How many are rebels? How many are police and other state workers? How many are soldiers?

        Here's a site that spells it out in detail:

        Syrian Revolution Martyr Database

  •  I hope that in ten years... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    ...we can see functioning governments in Syria, Egypt and Palestine and that the big concern from Israel is economic "poaching" with regard to agriculture and tourism  from its neighbors.

    I dream big.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:33:18 PM PST

  •  merry christmas to you too (0+ / 0-)

    but I dont think you are right in this estimation. Somoza used every means at his disposal to stay in power and so did Batista and I dont know which else. Back in those days, reporting was less instant (and more meaningful), but I cant see what has changed substantially. Maybe you could say that just that is the sad thing (that nothing has changed substantially), but I dont think autocrats are any more ruthless now. The technology has changed of course.

    •  The speed of reporting makes all the difference (0+ / 0-)

      You don't face a moral decision to act or not in situations that happen out of your sight.

      We are watching this carnage in real time, or deciding not to, and deciding that it is in our interest to let it continue.

      I don't recall the murders being committed by Somoza or Batista being presented that way.

      Nor, because of the level of communications, could their actions set a precedent for acceptable government behavior on a world level.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:23:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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