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On May 27th the BBC News website used an Iraq photo to illustrate the Syrian massacre. The picture, which showed rows of bodies wrapped in white cloth laid out on the ground ran under the headline "Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows." The picture is labeled "PHOTO FROM ACTIVIST" and is accompanied by the caption:

This image - which cannot be independently verified -  is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial.

The photo had actually been taken by Marco di Lauro in Iraq in 2003 and is featured on his website. According the Telegraph:

Photographer Marco di Lauro said he nearly “fell off his chair” when he saw the image being used, and said he was “astonished” at the failure of the corporation to check their sources.
The fake image was exposed and taken down the same day, in fact it was up for only 90 minutes, but that hasn't stopped various "Friends of Assad" from using it to imply that events in Syria are a creation of the western media. From Alex Jones' InfoWars we get Phony ‘Houla Massacre’: How Media Manipulates Public Opinion For Regime Change in Syria
Even the BBC have gone so far as to run 9 year old photographs from Iraq, and sell them as from this latest massacre of children in Syria. Any other foreign media outlet in the UK would have its broadcasting license pulled for such a propaganda stunt. In the face of such damning manipulation, why then would so many people still believe the mainstream media’s version of reality in countries like Syria?
This website also use the photo snafu to imply the massacre is fake: Houla Massacre a fake? BBC illegally uses Marco Di Lauro's image of Iraqi victims as propaganda against the Syrian government (Must see!)

From the pro-Assad Syria 360 we get the headline PHOTOGRAPHER, MARCO DI LAURO, EXPOSES BBC’S USE OF HIS IRAQ PHOTOS AS PROPAGANDA FOR HOULA MASSACRE From the Iranian PressTV we get Truth behind BBC’s vicious tactic

Britain’s state-run broadcast BBC has been heavily criticized for using a fake photo of Iraqi dead children in order to sell a new NATO-led invasion, this time targeting Syria.
And from the pro-Russia Information Clearing House we get Engineering Consent For An Attack On Syria, Truth behind BBC’s vicious tactic and from Russia Today Oops, BBC: Iraq photo to illustrate Houla massacre?

And so it goes all over the blogisphere among the network of websites and bloggers that developed a new level of sophistication in their failed defense of Mummar Qaddafi, and are now applying that same technique of flooding the Internet with their story to obscure the fact that a massacre really did happen in Houla.

My question is: What is going on here? Clearly the BBC made a blunder by publishing the picture as it did. They claimed it was an unverified photo from an activist and I don't think anyone is seriously claiming that they used di Lauro's photo on purpose. It was on his website. They would have had to know it would be exposed as a fake in short order. They would have been setting themselves up for a fall.

No, I think the BBC was setup by someone else. Most certainly the "Activist" that sent the photo to the BBC. That entity almost certainly knew the photo was fake, probably got it from the di Lauro website, and should have known it would be exposed as a fake in short order. Therefore their purpose was certainly not to expose the crimes of the Assad regime against the Syria people but instead to obscure then. All of these outlets harping on the fake photo are also using it to imply that the massacre was fake.

The Assad government has been carrying out horrific crimes in Syria for 14 months. As with the Houla massacre, we know that the blame lies squarely with the Assad government because much of the killing is done with heavy weapons the opposition doesn't have. With regards to Houla, even the Russians and Chinese can't escape giving Assad part of the blame because many of those killed were killed by artillery, but they, like the other Assad supporters on the left, somehow see it as some sort of joint operation in which the Assad forces first used tanks and artillery to kill the anti-Assad civilians and then "armed terrorist gangs" [ATG] opposed to Assad, went in and killed the anti-Assad civilians that hadn't been killed by the pro-Assad shelling so that those civilian deaths also could be blamed on Assad. This is the kind of trash they are trying to peddle.

Now this photo gets sent to the BBC and exposed. This is known as creating strawmen so that you can burn them down. There have also been fake videos that have been exposed as obvious fakes. The claim is that they were uploaded by "Activists," but who knows?

Anyone can make a fake video and post it just as anyone can send a fake picture to the BBC, but over a hundred thousand videos of the struggle in Syria have been posted to YouTube in that last year and they make up a very convincing record that can not be faked.

The only mistake the BBC made was publishing a picture that they couldn't verify from Syria, but amidst all the killing Assad is doing, he won't allow the BBC or other media he doesn't control to report directly so they are forced to rely on unverified reports from citizen journalist in the region. I would suggest that the true purpose of the fake photo episode is to have a chilling effect on the willingness of the major media to publish what may be the only images they can get of the crimes being committed by Assad in Syria.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Really Unfortunate (9+ / 0-)

    even with the BBC's disclaimers in the caption. I consider BBC one of the most reputable news orgs in the world. This sux for them. And, I'm not surprised idiots like Alex Jones are running with it.

  •  Ultimately, the BBC played right into the hands (5+ / 0-)

    of the Assad apologists and flunkies out there.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:23:15 PM PDT

  •  So you're saying the BBC will print anything (8+ / 0-)

    sent to them without verifying it?   Not that the BBC would ever participate in MSM propaganda.  
    Did the BBC say that it received a photo from an unsourced "Activist" and accidently published it without verifying it?
    Nice try.  And just because someone is against US/NATO war agression doesn't mean they are pro-Assad or pro anything.  
    In fact, those for an intervention could be labeled pro-Saudi Arabia, or pro-Muslim Brotherhood, or pro-Al Qaeda with that reasoning.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:23:40 PM PDT

    •  Are you saying they knew it was a fake? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, mookins

      When they published it? Do you really think they are that stupid?

      And, yes,  all of those that use this BBC snafu to imply that Assad didn't kill +100 people in Houla are most decidedly pro-Assaqd.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:32:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. You're doing the same crap you did (5+ / 0-)

        with Libya.  Anyone who doesn't believe the bullshit coming out of the MSM is labeled a pro-Dictator leftist.  
        The evidence suggests many forces at play in Syria and they aren't sure how all this went down, exactly who did or under what orders.  
        NATO propaganda.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:36:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Much of the killing wasn't done with heavy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        weapons.  The U.N. itself has said most of the killing was from closeup executions.  

        Why did you say it was from heavy weapons?

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:41:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From the HuffPost article you cite... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            "It's very hard for me to describe what I saw, the images were incredibly disturbing," a Houla resident who hid in his home during the massacre told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Women, children without heads, their brains or stomachs spilling out."

            He said the pro-regime gunmen, known as shabiha, targeted the most vulnerable in the farming villages that make up Houla, a poor area in Homs province. "They went after the women, children and elderly," he said, asking that his name not be used out of fear of reprisals.

            Assad's government often deploys fearsome militias that provide muscle for the regime and carry out military-style attacks. They frequently work closely with soldiers and security forces, but the regime never acknowledges their existence, allowing it to deny responsibility for their actions.

            but, the BBC photo was a fake so fuck the eyewitness testimony,  according to you.
            The evidence suggests many forces at play in Syria and they aren't sure how all this went down, exactly who did or under what orders.  
            NATO propaganda.
            That's your story. Pro-Assad bullshit!

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

            by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:18:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Some of the killing was done with heavy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming

          weapons. We know Assad's forces did that because only they had heavy weapons. Most of the people were killed by small arms and knives, but they were part of the same target.

          One theory, backed up by a mountain of eye-witness testimony, says that the same force that did the shelling and had the tanks, then sent in, as would be expected, ground forces, that finished people off.

          The pro-Assad theory is that it was ATGs that finished off what the Assad forces started, making it some sort of joint operation. That begs a number of questions 1.) why would Assad's opposition target their own people, and at the same time as Assad? 2) Where were Assad's ground forces and why didn't he send them in after he killed by shelling. Why was there no big close-combat battle between these alleged ATGs and the Syrian Army?

          So far, NATO has no role, and wants no role, in Syria. People who focus on that scare, people who peddle the fake BBC picture to cast doubt on what really happened in Houla and people who like to pretend that there isn't a mountain of real evidence of Assad's responsibility for the slaughter of peaceful protesters are objectively pro-Assad and a very low form of human being.

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:40:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What would Assad have to gain by killing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            women and children by stabbing and shooting at close range? How much command and control does the Assad government really have over the shabiha?

            In Syria, shoes give clue to identity of Houla assailants
            Wednesday, May 30

            ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The men who stormed the Abdel Razzaks’ home while carrying out a massacre in the Houla district of Syria were dressed like soldiers except for one potentially crucial detail, said a 10-year-old family member: They wore white shoes.
            Analysts say that the word shabiha has now become a catch-all term for irregular forces fighting on behalf of the government, ranging from hard-core loyalists bused in to trouble spots to poor farmers in central Syria who are given arms and told to defend themselves against the foreign-backed terrorists the government says are behind the revolt.

            As the shabiha’s ranks and violence have grown and widened, groups have sprung up to counter them. Analysts say shabiha-style militias made up of the Sunni Muslims who represent the majority of the population have also started to emerge in regions such as Homs province, where Houla is located and where Sunni and Alawite communities sit side by side, increasing the potential for sectarian violence.
            “You are creating a monster here,” said Randa Slim, a researcher at the New America Foundation, a U.S.-based think tank. “We have a Frankenstein in the making.”

            •  You pro-Assad guys hand me a laugh (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wu ming, FG, dnta, BeeDeeS, angry marmot

              Do we have any record of the Syrian Army fighting the shabita? Why are you peddling Assad's line that he is not accountable for what they do?

              With regards to Houla, we know the Syrian Army was on the scene. Syrian tank and artillery units were on the scene. We know this because only the pro-Assad Syrian army has tanks and artillery. Was a Syrian infantry force also on the scene? It is hard to imagine Assad deploying tanks and artillery without also deploying infantry.

              Now in a military operation like this, you first use artillery to soften up a target and then you send in infantry. It has been this way since the catapult became the first artillery.

              So did Assad have an infantry force prepared to enter Houla after the artillery barge? Again, it is hard to imagine it otherwise.

              So what were they doing if not killing civilians in Houla?

              If the close range killings were done by ATGs that entered Houla after the artillery barge, why was there no big fight between them and Assad's infantry.

              Or if, as you suggest, the shabiha [who just happened to be there in sufficient numbers, and happened to be wearing army clothes ] where just off the hook, why didn't Assad's infantry engage them?

              The obvious answer is of course, that in this operation, the shabiha was Assad's infantry, and they went in and finished off anybody not already killed by the big guns.

              You pro-Assad apologists hand me a laugh.

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

              by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:46:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not pro-Assad. I am looking for the truth (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BigAlinWashSt, protectspice

                The US has been trying to destabilize Syria since 2005 according to this following New Yorker article:

                The Redirection
                Efforts to curb Iran’s influence have involved the United States in worsening Sunni-Shiite tensions.
                What we are now witnessing are the beginnings of a sectarian civil war between Islamic denominations. Once this starts, the ME and Africa can go up in flames.

                Here's a site for more information:

                Syrian Center for Documentation

                Independent youth media project created on 1-11-2011. Its members are Syrian journalists and media representatives who collect information through a variety of sources on events taking place in Syria, compare this information with the center’s reports from all the Syrian cities then transfer and update the news hourly. This center is an attempt to document all the events taking place in Syria since 15-3-2011 aiming to create a comprehensive database contains all the information related to the Syrian crisis.

                206 articles

        •  Don't complicate black and white interpretations (4+ / 0-)

          when folks are trying to get their righteous war on...again!

          If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

          by chuckvw on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:56:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think they are more likely to print a hot news (0+ / 0-)

      photo they can't verify when they aren't allowed to report directly on important events. But who's fault as that?

      You sound like the pro-Assad forces who would prefer that nothing that can't be verified to their liking be publicized about the Houla massacre. Meaning they prefer that nothing be published about Assad's crimes.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I actually disagree with both of you: (0+ / 0-)

      never ascribe to conspiratorial plots what can easily be ascribed to lazy sensationalism.  

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:36:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was the point of the activist (3+ / 0-)

    to discredit critics of atrocities or to draw attention to the deaths in Iraq?  

    Regardles of the intent, the outcome will be as you state; it will be harder for citizen journalists to have their photos accepted by large media outlets.  

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:26:46 PM PDT

  •  I am so often reminded (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly, angry marmot, wu ming

    of the scene from All The President's Men, when they wanted to run with a story, but the editors refused to print it without three sources to confirm.

    Get confirmation.  Get confirmation.  Get confirmation.

    Why doesn't anybody do that anymore?

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Wed May 30, 2012 at 12:30:44 PM PDT

  •  The BBC, at least the website, isn't wonderful. (0+ / 0-)

    In this case they should have realized that the number of bodies in the photo was more than the alleged victim count in Houla.  

    More broadly, the BBC has certain journalistic (or more narrowly stylistic) practices that lead to utter relativism between truth and falsehood: they put everything in scare quotes even when it's indisputable (e.g. "killed" in a story with self-evidently killed people), and they put self-interested and non-self-interested claims on the same plane, e.g. when the headline yesterday blamed Syrian rebels for the deaths in Houla (with the usual scare quotes), leaving the reader to discover in the body of the article that Sergei Lavrov made the claim.  

    Dear conservatives: If instead of "marriage equality" we call it "voluntary government registration of committed homosexuals," are you on board?

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 30, 2012 at 01:43:25 PM PDT

  •  The BBC doesn't need to be set up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV, BigAlinWashSt, protectspice

    Auntie Beeb has been a doughty supporter of Empire for longer than most of us have been alive.  She knows how to tickle Col. Blimp's fancy.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Wed May 30, 2012 at 02:15:42 PM PDT

  •  Here's a report from the other side... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, BigAlinWashSt, protectspice
    Makdissi: Syria Categorically Denies Responsibility of the Syrian Forces for al-Houla Massacre

    DAMASCUS, SANA_Spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry, Jihad Makdissi, has categorically denied responsibility of the Syrian forces for the massacre that took place in al-Houla area in Homs Province.
    Makdissi stressed that no tanks or artillery entered al-Houla town, adding that hundreds of gunmen, armed with various kinds of heavy weapons, attacked al-Houla area in Homs countryside after they assembled in various areas in a deliberate and planned manner, indicating that "The law-enforcement members never left their positions and were in a state of self-defense."
    ''We admit that we have a crisis, but the solution does not lie in destabilizing Syria. But if they are out for confrontation, we'll be there for it and we are determined to defend our country.''

    ''If the outside opposition and the countries backing them agreed to political solution, we can say that the crisis is coming to a close. Syria has agreed to dialogue and to the Chinese plan and the Russian proposal for hosting an initial dialogue session, but the ones who fear the street rejected. We are sure that President Bashar al-Assad enjoys the majority necessary to change Syria in a democratic way,'' added Makdissi.

    Makdissi indicated that the terrorism and crimes have increased since Syria's approval on Annan's plan because they don't want to make the plan a success.

    He said that the armed terrorist groups committed more than 3,500 violations of Annan's plan, adding that "non-stability is a good environment for terrorists… there are al-Qaeda and takfiris but we won't allow them to make use of this environment no matter how long the confrontation takes."

  •  Syria is now a humantarian catastrophe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, protectspice

    brought about by the regional Arab puppet regimes, extremist Wahhabis, al-Qaeda, Washington and Israel.  

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 03:56:24 PM PDT

    •  It started with Syrians peacefully protesting (0+ / 0-)

      and being shot by the Assad government for their troubles.

      This went on for months and cost thousands of civilian lives long before there was a FSA or anyone fighting back.

      Funny how you left that out. Funny how Assad isn't even on your list. You pro-Assad apologists hand me a laugh.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it was coopted from the start. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, protectspice

        Ever read Seymour Hersh?

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Wed May 30, 2012 at 04:39:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing written in 2007 is going to prove to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that the tremendous courage shown by the Syrian people in 2011 wasn't real.

          Nothing in that Seymour Hersh article, which is mainly about Iraq and Iran explains what is happening in Syria 4 years after he penned it.

          As with Libya, you simply refuse to believe that these Arab revolutionary are self-motivated and acting in their own best interest when they take on their dictators of long standing.

          You think its all about you, meaning western imperialism.

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 05:01:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Syrian opposition were armed from the very (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, protectspice


        Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage

        One of those conversations was between me and one of the Arabic channel's presenters. And then we were just, you know, talking about the coverage and points regarding this coverage. We had some problems. You know. As for me, late in—before, in May, I had a problem with the channel when I—you know, we were on the borders with Syria and there were a lot of armed men, militants, tens of guns, and they were with weapons and just moving along the border from Lebanon to Syria.

        At that time, you know, everyone was talking about the revolution in Syria, that it's peaceful revolution, it's not using arms. But, you know, what we saw, it was really interesting and kind of—if it was any other channel, this should be a breaking news, it should be a big story. But, actually, Al Jazeera, let me say, the policy and the channel itself, maybe the journalists inside, you know, they went back to, maybe, the owners, and then it was kind of—it's not allowed, and I was asked to go back to Beirut, and those footage weren't ever aired on Al Jazeera.

        Exposed: The Arab agenda in Syria

        The Arab League's Ministerial Committee had approved the report, with four votes in favor (Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and GCC member Oman) and only one against; guess who, Qatar - which is now presiding the Arab League because the emirate bought their (rotating) turn from the Palestinian Authority.

        So the report was either ignored (by Western corporate media) or mercilessly destroyed - by Arab media, virtually all of it financed by either the House of Saud or Qatar. It was not even discussed - because it was prevented by the GCC from being translated from Arabic into English and published in the Arab League's website.

        Until it was leaked. Here it is, in full.

        The report is adamant. There was no organized, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, the report points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, bombing of trains carrying diesel oil, bombing of police buses and bombing of bridges and pipelines.

      •  More info for you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, protectspice
        Lebanon intercepts covert arms shipments bound for Syria
        By Sahand Avedis
        12 August 2011

        Lebanese army intelligence has intercepted a covert shipment of 1,000 assault rifles, reportedly destined for the city of Baniyas in Syria. Army investigators say they have uncovered ties between the smugglers and the political entourage of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
        Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television identified the smugglers as Wassam and Samir Tamim. They have reportedly confessed to running over 30 arms-smuggling operations from Marina to Baniyas with the assistance of Mohammad Kabbara, a member of the Al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc tied to Saudi intelligence. Al-Manar stated that the center of operations was Kabbara’s farm in northern Lebanon, adding that this was also a transit point for Islamist (Salafi) fighters traveling to the Syrian city of Homs.

        The Syrian army claimed last week that in recent fighting near Homs it has detained hundreds of Salafi fighters (reportedly including Afghans) with Lebanese documents, whose transfer to Syria was facilitated by Kabbara.
        Lebanese arms-smuggling revelations lend support to claims that Saudi or US forces are trying to seize on protests in Sunni-majority regions of Syria to destabilize Assad, and replace him with a regime more directly aligned with the interests of US imperialism.

      •  The arms shipments have increased (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt, protectspice
        21 indicted in connection with ‘Lutfallah II’

        They were charged with “buying and shipping large quantities of weapons, munitions and explosive supplies from Libya to Lebanon . “They were also charged with forming an evil group … with the intention of carrying out terrorist acts by means of these weapons National News Agency reported.
        The Lebanese Army intercepted last week a Sierra Lonean-flagged ship named “Lutfallah II” which was reportedly flying an Egyptian flag in Lebanon’s waters . The ship, which originated in Libya intended to dock at Tripoli port in north Lebanon, but was impounded and taken to Beirut port. Its manifesto listed metal and the like, but an investigation revealed the presence of weapons aboard which were deemed to have been bound for Syria.

        According to unconfirmed reports the impounded ship carried 300, 000 lbs ( 136 Metric tons) of arms for the Syrian rebels

  •  From Twitter now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net
    RT @alextomo Exclusive #Houla: We were passed house to house - rarely seen people so desperate to tell their story. #C4news #Syria 5:10 PM - 30 May 12
    RT @alextomo: EXCLUSIVE from Houla: residents say they expect more massacres. Begging for us to return to film after Friday prayer #syria 5:07 PM - 30 May 12
    alex thomson ‏@alextomo
    Exclusive Houla: Lots of people report killers had Shia slogans written on their foreheads. #C4news 2:49 PM - 30 May 12

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

    by Clay Claiborne on Wed May 30, 2012 at 06:00:45 PM PDT

  •  "..not about Syria. It's about the Shia and Sunni" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Syria splits along sectarian lines, shaking Mideast
    David Enders and Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

    last updated: March 02, 2012

    The alignments appear to be confirming the worst fears of politicians, experts and the region's people: Syria has become the latest battleground in the centuries-old feud between Islam's main branches, with the violence threatening to evolve into a proxy conflict between the branches' rival standard-bearers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    It also could reignite sectarian mayhem in adjacent Lebanon, fuel the Shiite-Sunni tensions wracking Iraq and inflame instability elsewhere. That could include the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain, the headquarters of the U.S. 5th Fleet, where the Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy has been persecuting majority Shiites who are demanding democratic reform.

    "It's the proverbial gathering storm," said a senior Middle Eastern diplomat in Washington, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. "It's not about Syria. It's about the Shias and Sunnis."

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