“Go and ask the people in the streets whether there a liberated town or city anywhere in Syria that is ruled as efficiently as this one,” he boasted. “There is electricity, water and bread and security. Inshallah, this will be the nucleus of a new Syrian Islamic caliphate!”
Abdul-Ahad, Ghaith. “Syria’s al-Nusra Front — ruthless, organised, and taking control.” The Guardian, July 10, 2013.
“Out, out, out, the (Islamic) State (of Iraq and Syria) must get out,” protesters shouted at a rally in the northern town of Manbij this week, referring to an Al-Qaeda front group.
The video of the demonstration is one of many showing how civilians and mainstream rebel fighters alike are turning against the more hardline Islamist factions.
Assif, Serene. “Syria jihadists lose support as abuses mount.” Fox News, July 22, 2013.
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Every story that has appeal, whether fact or fiction, has a moral center, and the writer who can tease it out fast has got a hooked reader.
This is about where we started with the Syrian revolt — a little more than two years ago, a sorry fact reflected in the statement, “1300 people have been killed since the protests began”):
Then almost two years and 90,000 corpses later, we get to the guy intent on frightening his foes in the medieval way (well, take it back to ancient Greece or earlier) by carving out a man’s chest cavity, grabbing an organ, and taking a bite or appearing so (see Paul Wood’s “Face-to-face with Abu Sakkar, Syria’s ‘heart-eating cannibal’,” BBC, July 3, 2013).
At the moment, thereabouts, Arab and Russian media seem to be playing “hot potato” over who has got the chemical weapons, whose side is more brutal, and whose side is more deserving in regard to winning one for modernity.
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To fill out that last statement a bit, I may note an RT blog said today, “M16 warning: ‘Catastrophe’ if chemical weapons fall into Al-Qaeda hands” (RT, July 11, 2013).
Back in April, however, the story seemed to have been running in the other direction. Al Jazeera’s header (April 26, 2013): “Suspicion grows over Syria chemical weapons: UK prime minister backs US spy agencies’ assessment that Damascus likely to have used sarin gas against civilians.”
Again, come forward on the latest toss of the hot potato:
Moscow now appears to have conclusive evidence that it is the rebels who are guilty of the March chemical attack in Aleppo which killed dozens of Syrians. This comes as the United States continues to put the blame on the Assad government. However, Corbyn says that any such proof may not bring the Syrian conflict any closer to a resolution.
RT. “Hard evidence of chemical weapons use ‘does not solve Syrian issue’.” Op-ed and interview with Jeremy Corbyn, MP, British Labour Party, July 11, 2013.
* * *
The “moral center” in Syria’s unfolding tragedy revolves around barbarism and cruelty, fascism and totalitarianism, and then among those holding up the cash and sending in the weapons, some effort to prove more likely to be kind when the tide turns their way. While Qatari and NATO interests have pointed their fingers at the Assad regime and its chemical weapons stores, Russia, presumably sided with Assad — but it’s hard to tell with the quiet exit that has left Tartus abandoned — and tolerant about Iran, points back at rebel chemists (see, for example, “Syria rebels made own sarin gas, says Russia,” Al Jazeera, July 10, 2013).
In earlier days, the same would have had a perfect villain in Maher al-Assad — I think there’s still on the web a video of him allegedly shooting across a street into a crowd of passersby (found it) — but his presence has been dimmed in the theater, and in his place one may find grand Syrian defense recruiting videos composed in the old muscular Soviet way (the video that ends this post may say more about that than I will here).
In and around Syria, those who may pretend their hands are clean must know that brutality loses, the tyrannical will not be tolerated, and the cruel will not go unpunished.
Anti-Assad footage published today:
The next opens with a title slate claiming, “Syrian women had no choice but to carry weapons and train on using them to defend themselves and families from the Wahhabi Sex Jihadists, they joined the National Defense Forces.”
Enjoy the music!
Wheeler, William. “Why the World’s ‘Responsibility to Protect” Extends to Libya But Not Syria.” Pulitzer Center, April 12, 2012.
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