Daily news and comments on the situation in post Saddam Iraq by an Iraqi dentist living in Texas
NBC Nightly News had a piece last night on Syria. 130-140 or so men and boys had fled the town of and hidden in a ravine when Assad's troops came to town. They were found, surrounded, and gunned down from the top of the ravine. 128 dead, unarmed, not resisting. Just like shooting fish in a barrel. Video here Richard Engel reporting.Either Assad's crankin’ things up, or maybe it's just that more word's tricklin’ out, but it's sounding nastier by the day.(America's probably just lucky that nobody can yet figure out a way to pretend that Assad is an ‘American Ally’.)
There's an oops. Left out the name of the town. Houla, Syria.
And, in this morning's news:The U.N. has said that it has ‘verified’ reports of another massacre in the Syrian town of Tremseh. This one wasn't quite as up close and personal, involving choppers and ‘heavy weapons’ including tanks before turning loose some Assad-loyal militiamen to finish off the survivors. Two hundred plus civilians dead there.The Russians have blinked to some extent and have ‘condemned’ the attack and called for an ‘inquiry’. (If the U.N. has already verified the attack, an inquiry would seem to be unnecessary, except perhaps insofar as it might serve to delay or avoid other, more effective action.)
Lee, couldn't the Russian response be that they question who was behind it? That's the way I read it.
"…couldn't the Russian response be that they question who was behind it?"You mean who has heavy weapons and choppers available to do the deed? Whadda they think they're gonna find, some way to blame it on the Jews?
Whadda they think they're gonna find, some way to blame it on the Jews?The fashion these days is to blame everything on "al-Qaeda". And Arab dictators have quickly learned the trick too, from Qaddafi to Assad, and now even Omar Bashir of Sudan: "Those protesters against austerity measures are al-Qaeda! Turn your head the other way while we shoot them."
"The fashion these days is to blame everything on ‘al-Qaeda’."Bit of a stretch to claim the choppers and heavy weapons fire was ‘al-Qaeda’; even for the Russians and Assad that'd be a bit of a stretch, doncha think? (Probably be better off tryin’ to blame the Jews; at least they have choppers and heavy weapons.)
They had a piece on CNN this morning about Syria. It might have been the one you saw, Lee, I don't know, I missed the name of the town. But you're right, Zeyad, the Syrians were blaming that one on terrorists, which is typical. Some nonsense about people in the town calling for help so the government sent in forces. Some of the Syrian people are calling for Annan to go away because he isn't helping, the violence has only gotten worse. I will try to refrain from pointing out that I said the UN plan wouldn't work. Oh wait, I just did, didn't I?
(America's probably just lucky that nobody can yet figure out a way to pretend that Assad is an ‘American Ally’.)Considering his alliance with Iran they can be pretty certain he's not. Besides, they want our help in removing him, so they aren't going to find something to pick on us about. Unless we totally turn our backs on them, which I don't see happening.
"Some nonsense about people in the town calling for help so the government sent in forces."Ah… There's a twist I hadn't considered. Claim it was the militia mop-up came first and then the heavy weapons fire. Still, I'm betting the Russians hadn't coordinated this one close enough with the Syrians to have had that in mind.It's a recognized bureaucratic obstruction; call for an ‘investigation’ and then claim nobody can do anything until the investigation is over, whilst dragging out the ‘investigation’ as much as possible and then disputing its conclusions when they finally do come in. I'm thinkin’ the Russians just went for the standard maneuver on this one.
[Zeyad] The fashion these days is to blame everything on "al-Qaeda". And Arab dictators have quickly learned the trick too, from Qaddafi to Assad, and now even Omar Bashir of Sudan:Dictators seem to be adaptable. That's why, kind of like crabgrass, they are tough to stamp out.
"…considering his alliance with Iran…"They are, as you say, ‘adaptable’. I believe Zeyad referred to it as being ‘resourceful’.
Aside to Lynnette,You notice that Romney's giving interviews today to NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and FoxNews? (And suddenly Condi Rice is getting floated as a possible veep and FoxNews radio is claiming that Romney's closeted part of the day with Marco Rubio.)
There seems to be concern growing that Syria is moving some of its chemical weapons.
Condi Rice would be a much better Veep pick than Michele Bachmann.
He's not going with Rice nor Rubio. These are head fakes to distract the media, not serious contenders.
How come nobody's carrying on about ambulances and baby milk factories?
Off topic, more re: American politicsI noticed that Romney, in his interview blitz of today, has firmly and repeatedly declared that we've seen all the Romney tax returns we're gonna see (when the 2011 preliminary estimated return finally gets finalized, he'll show us the final). I'm wonderin’ if Intrade is gonna be makin’ book on whether or not he'll eventually fold on that one and release more tax returns? Seems to me that should be a bettable event. (I think he released like 28 years' worth to McCain when he was being vetted for McCain's veep candidate. Which nod he did not get.)
Scary thoughtAre we spending more time texting, emailing, Facebooking, Tweeting or blogging than real worldy type things? I went to a street festival and took a boat ride on the river this morning. It was beautiful(before it got horrendously hot).Zeyad, have you had a chance to sample any of the things to do in San Antone? I hear there are all sorts of things down there to do. I finished Palace of Desire, and Kamal is still alive, however things seem to be up in the air for his brother-in-law and nephews. Guess I can't wait too long to start the third one.
Talk about in denial:Champagne Flows While Syria Burns
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