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The pictures of Hezbollah’s martyrs hang from the lampposts and balcony railings. They are plastered on walls and car windshields.

The men died not fighting Israel – Hezbollah’s arch enemy – but supporting the forces of its ally President Bashar al-Assad, across the border in Syria.

BBC News – Lebanon dances into the abyss as Syria conflict crosses border – 2/19/2014.

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17 February 2014 –Lakhdar Brahimi has apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress on halting the bloodshed in their country, and urged Government and opposition negotiators to go back to their bases and reflect on their responsibility and “on whether they want this process to continue or not.” “I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people that…we haven’t helped them very much,” said Mr. Brahimi, the United Nations/Arab League Joint Special Representative.

Special representative apologizes to Syrian people for lack of progress in peace talks – 2/17/2014.

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Syria’s army and foreign-backed militants have agreed to call a local ceasefire in Damascus’s southern suburb of Babbila, augmenting hBabilaope for further truces across the country.

The truce, the latest in a series of local ceasefires in Damascus flashpoints, was struck on Monday.

Reconciliation in Babbila, Damascus Countryside Augments Hope for Further Truces – 2/17/2014.

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Syria is the most dangerous country in the world for reporters and yet, every day, hundreds of its citizens risk their lives to shoot photos, record video, and file reports on the civil conflict. Many are trying to reach the international community. Others want to raise the level of awareness on the ground. Most fear that without their work, the conflict’s atrocities will go undocumented. And some say they do it because, in war, there is no other work.

Syrian Journalists Strive to Report, Despite Shifting Dangers – Committee to Protect Journalists – 2/12/2014.


I wish I had money with which to pay citizen journalists in Syria, for it is very hard looking through the Russo-Syrian-Iranian propaganda presentation of the war to actually see it as both fighting and talk alter the atmosphere of the battlespace.

As suggested up top, the near latest in BBC reports note the effects of transporting a million people into a small state and perhaps not expecting the related conflict politics not to travel with them.

However, my morning began with viewing video footage suggesting reconciliations in a number of localities: “In addition to Babbila, deals have been struck for local ceasefires in Qudsaya, Moadamiyet al-Sham, Barzeh, Beit Sahem, Yalda and Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp” (Reconciliation in Babbila, Damascus Countryside Augments Hope for Further Truces).  State-aligned, state-sponsored, or state-censored news reports will not tell a state of affairs clearly, completely, or accurately: the form in reporting and rhetoric comes with dictatorship.

So what’s going on in Syria?

It appears I’ve missed this: BBC News – Free Syrian Army replaces chief-of-staff Salim Idris – 2/17/2014.

Related: Western-backed Syrian rebels name new military commander – News – Pekin Daily Times – Pekin, IL – Pekin, IL – 2/17/2014; Free Syrian Army fires military chief – Middle East – Al Jazeera English – 2/18/2014. Supreme Military Council removes head of Free Syrian Army – 2/17/2014.

I know this: Bashar al-Assad still has an army; al-Nusra and ISIL still have plenty of narcissistic and romantic motivation coursing through their blood; but the Syrian People have barely had an army operating in their common, diverse, and human interest.  The FSA has had to first gather itself together and then fight against two deeply malignant autocratic fronts, and so it has struggled through: perhaps Col. Abd al-llah al-Bashir will form the temperament in the middle for cohesion and expansion against dictatorship and extremism both.

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