Skip to main content

Follow clayclai on Twitter

BREAKING: Morsi refuses congratulations from Assad  27-06-2012 01:27 PM

The Amman Post, in Jordan is reporting that the newly elected president of Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, has refused a telegram of congratulations from Syria's embattled president Bashar al-Assad, saying "we do not recognize Bashar al-Assad" as representing Syria. According to the Al Arabiya satellite news Morsi also refused a lion Assad sent him on Tuesday.

BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army.
Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM PDT

Huge defection to Free Syrian Army is reported today in Rastan, Syria with the formation of al-Hamza at the Rastan media center.

This was after Assad's forces shelled the town of Rastan for 18 consecutive days.

Assad forces shell the town for the 18th consecutive day. ArRastan is located in the Homs province. Homs has been a center of the uprising calling for the down-fall of the Assad regime. The shelling comes as part of the regimes brutal crack-down on a revolution calling for freedom and the downfall of Assad.
Taped on 24-06-2012
ArRastan, Suburbs of Homs, Syria
The wheels are truly coming off the cart for Assad in Syria now. How long before Workers World Party, International Action Center, Party for Liberation and Socialism, and the ANSWER Coalition defect?

BREAKING: Russian media reports Russia canceled S-300 sales to Syria
Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM PDT
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Russian Business Daily Vedomisti is reporting that Russia has chosen to withhold sales estimated at about $100 million in advanced surface-to-air missiles in a deal reportedly signed in 2011. I could not myself confirm the story with Vedomisti because, besides being in Russian [overcome with Google translates], it only makes the current edition available to subscribers online. Needless to say, as I am doing all this for free, I'm in no position to subscribe to a Russian business daily when I don't even speak Russian. From the JPost, 06/27/2012 19:09, we have:

In what could be a possible outcome of Putin's visit to Israel, Russian paper 'Vedomisti' says Russia chose to withhold sale estimated at about $100 million; deal reportedly signed between Russia, Syria in 2011.

Russia has suspended the sale of the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria, a Russian daily reported on Wednesday, in what could be a possible outcome of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel earlier this week.

The New Middle East News is also reporting this story:
The Vedomisti business paper reported that Russia chose to withhold the sale, estimated at about $100 million. The deal, previously unknown, was reportedly signed between Almaz-Antey – Russia’s top defense contractor – and Syria in 2011.

One of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft missile systems in the world, the S-300 has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time.

Russia signed a similar deal to sell the S-300 to Iran in 2007 but cancelled it in 2010 due to United Nations arms embargo that had been imposed on the Islamic Republic.
...
While Syria might not have the S-300, it has spent the past few years upgrading its air defense capabilities and is believed to have spent $3 billion on advanced Russian systems such as the SA-15, SA-17 and SA-22.

BREAKING: Report of another Syrian jet defection
Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:40 AM PDT

I just got this minutes ago via facebook:

BREAKING NEWS: A #Syrian military jet has just defected and fled to #Jordan and taken asylum there. The #Assad regime tried to shoot it down but couldn't, and when he arrived in Jordan, he ran out of the jet waving the #Syrian freedom flag.
انشقاق طائرة ميغ 21 و هبوطها في الاردن في مطار الزعيترات قبيل ظهر اليوم , و يحاول الامن الاردني منع الناشطين من التصوير و الاقتراب و من يالجدير ذكره ان الدفاعات الارضية الاسدية فشلت في اسقاط الطائرة فيما الطيار البطل يركض في ارض المطار الاردني حاملا علم الاستقلال
وسنوافيكم بأي تفاصيل في حال التأكد من ذلك
This is what Google translates gives us from the Arabic:
Split MiG 21 and landing at the airport in Jordan such as Alzeitrut afternoon, Jordanian security and tries to prevent the activists from approaching and imaging of Aalagdir and said that ground defenses stamens failed to bring down the plane with the pilot hero running around in the airport by Jordan's flag carrier Independence
We will provide you any details, and in the event that the
Help me break this story - it it turns out to be one - check your twitter, google - regional contacts. Leave links in comments or email me at clayclai@gmail.com

On Sunday, Al Arabiya News reported that three more Syrian pilots had defected to Jordan, of a total of seven at that time:

Three additional Syrian military pilots have defected to Jordan earlier today; bringing up the total number of defected Syrian pilots to seven, according to Al-Arabiya’s Amman correspondent.

“The three pilots have entered Jordan in an illegal way and they are currently held by the Jordanian security authorities who are taking them through the regular routine procedures” said Al-Arabiya’s Ghassan Abu Louz quoting sources within Syrian opposition.

According Abu Louz, one of the three pilots is a Lieutenant Colonel who managed to bring in his family to Jordan today as well. The other two pilots are both colonels and are said to have also brought in their families from Syria.

Four other Syrian military officials have entered Jordan since last Thursday following the defection of the colonel Hassan Marei Hamada who landed his Meg21 plane inside the Hashemite Kingdom

UN Reports on Houla Massacre

The UN issued a special report on Houla massecre today and found Syrian government forces ‘may have been responsible’ The Washington Post June 27, 1:55 AM reported:

A report by U.N.-appointed human rights experts says the military or pro-government “shabiha” forces had better access to the sites of the massacre in the Houla village, in Homs province, on May 24-25.

The village leans toward opposition support and most of the victims were women and children who were slaughtered in their homes.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the head of the expert team, told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday that a final verdict on who was responsible for the massacre would require further investigation by his team.

The Syrian representative to the UN Human Rights Council has rejected the report saying that it was based on the testimony of "people fleeing from justice".

Human Rights Watch Reports on Assad's Indiscriminate Killing

Today Human Rights Watch issued a report and demanded:

Syria: End Indiscriminate Shootings of Civilians Fleeing Country
Border Forces Appear to Shoot on Sight Syrians Fleeing to Jordan - June 27, 2012

(Amman) – Syrian soldiers on the border with Jordan appear to be shooting indiscriminately at anyone - including civilian women and children - trying to flee from Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The Syrian authorities should immediately order its armed forces on the border to end all indiscriminate attacks and take all feasible measures to avoid injuries to civilians crossing into neighboring countries, and to respect their right to leave the country.

In mid-June, Human Rights Watch spoke with 17 Syrian refugees in Jordan who said that when they fled in May and June across the border in groups of up to 200 civilians accompanied by members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Syrian soldiers subjected them to sustained machine gun and sniper fire, killing three civilians and wounding 11. All of the refugees described incidents in which the Syrian army opened fire without warning, and fired on everyone who was crossing the border, FSA fighters and civilian men, women and children alike.

“Syria says it is fighting armed terrorists, yet its border forces appear to shoot at everyone crossing the border without distinction,  attacking civilian men, women, children and the wounded the same way they attack fighters,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate for Human Rights Watch. “By indiscriminately attacking civilians fleeing across its borders, Syria violates fundamental human rights, including the right to life, the right to leave one’s country, and the right to seek asylum in another country.”

A Syrian army defector told Human Rights Watch that fellow defectors from the Jordanian-Syrian border guard told him they had been ordered to shoot at anyone trying to leave or enter the country without passing through an official border post, and that some of the soldiers refused to carry out the order.

While atrocities may at times be committed by people trying to defend themselves, there is no real question about who is responsible for the violence in Syria today.

Question for the US Left:

                WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
The Syrian people's side:
In spite of shelling, helicopter gunships and all manner of government violence directed at the opposition they had a live demonstration yesterday, one of the largest in a long time. uploaded 2/27/12

                                      Mass protest today in Manbej.rural Aleppo

Assad's side:
In this leaked 20 minute video from Derbers, we see Syrian artillery batteries at the military airport in Daralzor going about their mechanized monotonous work of turning Syrian lives into mush in the city of Diralzor and the surrounding countryside. uploaded 2/27/12

                  MORE RECENT VIDEOS
Syria Freedom Fighters Seize Military Airbase at Jebl Simon - Idlib 6-26-12 Take Dictator's Weapons

This is said to be a bomb [unexploded] dropped by Syrian Air Force on other Syrians June 27, 2012.

During the Libyan conflict, some Internet activists were able to provide immediate practical assistance to the people being terrorized by Qaddafi's forces by identifying ordinances, and from that, what their range is, who the supplier is, and of critical importance in cases like this, how to safely dis-arm them. Any Kossack want to take a crack at this one?

In Damascus today freedom fighters stormed a pro-Assad TV channel. Reuters reported:

(Reuters) - Gunmen stormed a pro-government Syrian TV channel headquarters on Wednesday, bombing buildings and shooting dead three employees, state media said, in one of the boldest attacks yet on a symbol of the authoritarian state.

The dawn attack on Ikhbariya television's offices, 20 km (15 miles) south of the capital, as well as overnight fighting on the outskirts of Damascus showed the 16-month-old violence now rapidly encroaching on the city.

Ikhbariya resumed broadcasting shortly after the attack, which killed three journalists and four security guards, displaying bullet holes in its two-storey concrete building and pools of blood on the floor. One building was almost entirely destroyed.

"I heard a small explosion then a huge explosion and gunmen ran in. They ransacked the offices and entirely destroyed the newsroom," an employee who works at the offices in the town of Drousha told state media at the scene.

Syrian media are tightly regulated by the Ministry of Information. Although Ikhbariya is privately owned, opponents of Assad say it is a government mouthpiece.

After Tuesday's fighting unprecedented in its intensity around Damascus, violence appeared to ease off around the capital following the attack on the television complex. But rebel forces were clearly becoming stronger and more ambitious.

Here are my related diaries:
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

Thu Jun 28, 2012 at  7:26 AM PT: This bomb has been IDed by Brown Moses who said they are a type of unguided anti-personnel bomb dropped from helicopters:

I believe what we are seeing in these videos are OFAB 250-270 High Explosive Fragmentation Bombs, and I've come to the conclusions by identifying a number of characteristics which I believe collectively are unique to that specific model of bomb.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I appreciate hearing about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, kimoconnor

    I can only imagine the courage that it took to do this...

    Sh

  •  Cracks accelerating... damburst imminent? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, ferg, Gordon20024

    Generally speaking in authoritarian regimes the keys to the jet combat aircraft are doled out to only the most loyal officers. This past week has seen many defections from these ranks. Might the Assad regime be entering its end days?

  •  I see zero corroboration for this story anywhere (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, Cliss, mickT

    and you're using an anonymous Facebook source for a breaking news story?

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

    by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:58:38 AM PDT

    •  Are you surprised? (5+ / 0-)

      I am not.   This is one of series of pro-intervention and, in a way, war-cheering diaries that frequently cite "unconfirmed" reports.   The credibility of some of these reports is probably no better than the credibility of arguments in favor of another intervention and another war.   Hard to believe, but some people think we need more wars after all this.

      •  You two cheer each other on, I'll collect the news (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynical Copper

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:19:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does anti-Assad == pro-intervention? (0+ / 0-)

        I most certainly am anti-Assad. Make no mistake about that.

        Let me say again: If Bashar al-Assad meets with  the same fate as Mummar Qaddafi, I won't shed a tear.

        I have followed supported the opposition since Feb. 2011. If I haven't written about Syria much before, it is for the same reason I haven't written about Bahrain, that wasn't my beat [at WikiLeaks Central], NA and Africa (if I can get to it) is. Now it comes to the fore.

        I supported them for months as they stayed completely non-violent in the face of Assad's gunfire and claims that he was really fighting [then] non-existent ATGs. I urged them to take up arms months before they did, but then I thought the Libyans were slow on the uptake. I think you would only have to shoot at me about one time before I'm going to start looking for something to shoot back with. My take on non-violence has definite limits.

        So I support "the opposition" in general, muddle that it is, it represents a broad united front of opposition to the Assad regime, opposition to the old dictatorship, the new monarchy. And I support the FSA, whatever that is.

        I hope that they can all get their shit together, get rid of Assad, and get on with rebuilding their country. In that regard, they can look to Libya as a model. Their they overthrew a 42 yr dictatorship, went through a devastating 10 month civil war. Now only nine months later, all most all voters are registered and preparing to vote July 7 for 2500 candidates, including over 500 women in the first national elections in 60 years in Libya. Oil production is near pre-war levels, reconstruction is taking place all over the country, and a recent poll showed the vast majority of Libyans support the revolution.

        However, I have never advocated NATO or any western intervention in the Syrian conflict here or anywhere else.

        Therefore I challenge you, as a fellow Kossack, to 1.) back up your statement: that

        This is one of series of pro-intervention and, in a way, war-cheering diaries
        by quoting my words to show I am pro-inteventionist with regards to Syria or 2.) stop commenting on my diaries.

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:43:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The rebels were not non-violent from the start. (0+ / 0-)
          I supported them for months as they stayed completely non-violent in the face of Assad's gunfire and claims that he was really fighting [then] non-existent ATGs.
          That is not true. As I have posted many times before, the arming and violence from the rebels started almost from the very beginning in Daraa.
          Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests

          Seven police officers and at least four demonstrators in Syria have been killed in continuing violent clashes that erupted in the southern town of Daraa last Thursday.
          ...
          On Friday police opened fire on armed protesters killing four and injuring as many as 100 others. According to one witness, who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity, "They used live ammunition immediately -- no tear gas or anything else."

          Al Jazeera Journalist Explains Resignation over Syria and Bahrain Coverage

          HASHEM: Actually, in February it seems that some hackers that are pro-regime hackers were able to get, you know, into the servers of Al Jazeera network and they were able to, you know, go into several—or, let's say, hundreds of email accounts of journalists and, you know, executives and whatever. So those people were able to go into our emails and see, you know, the conversations that were going through inside the channel.

          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.
          ...
          HASHEM: Actually, you know, it was clear the protests started peacefully, but it seems that quickly it went into militarizing. Some external factors or factions wanted the resolution to be militarized and they wanted to face al-Assad's crackdown with weapons. And maybe this was bad for the revolution. Maybe if this revolution stayed peaceful it might have achieved a lot.

          But what happened is that—you know, I'm not sourcing or quoting; I just saw with my eyes, and it was in the beginning of the revolution, it was just, like, one month and a half from the revolution. And things were—you know, I was seeing a lot of weapons, people with RPGs, people with Kalashnikovs, you know, just crossing from the borders. And they were not one or two; they were a big number; they were just dominating the whole village that we were on the borders with. So, you know, the militarization of the revolution started early, and it may be those who were trying, maybe, to push and to—you know, they want al-Assad to fall as soon as possible. Those wanted to say that al-Assad is facing the peaceful crackdown with weapons, while the others on the revolution side are kind of peaceful people, are not holding weapons.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          See what you wrote in this diary alone:

          Syria Freedom Fighters Seize Military Airbase
          It sounds like you endorse their armed tactics and military fights and call them "freedom fighters" (a term used by Reagan for the contras).   Where do you think these  "freedom fighters" got their weapons?  Maybe from our allies Turkey and the Saudis, and even us?  Giving weapons to rebels is already intervention.   Not as bad a direct bombing, but close.   Supporting armed rebels in a civil war is intervention.   And the whole tone of all your diaries is like that.  
    •  Let's wait a few hours (0+ / 0-)

      Clay has a pretty good "batting average" on this situation.

      And I suspect the Facebook source may be somewhat less than anonymous for him.

      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 Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:37:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The jet one? Wasn't it in the news a couple (0+ / 0-)

      of days ago? Or is it a different jet? The S-300 story is well corroborated (JPost, for example).

  •  We've got a third option here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss

    and that is to mind our own business and not intervene, at least until we've got robust international support behind us. I do appreciate the news, but it's important for us to be careful when inserting ourselves into situations like this. Assad is another Saddam, but we don't need another Iraq.

    Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

    by fearlessfred14 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:31:04 AM PDT

    •  Very true but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cliss
      but we don't need another Iraq.
      We dont need another Iraq, but the war profiteers and the warmongers need it and they are pushing for it.
      •  Russia sells Assad $500 million in weapons a year (0+ / 0-)

        Down about $100 mil this year if my latest breaking news turns out to be true.

        No wonder they are willing to lie, cheap and worst to keep him in power. Because the people have risen up against him, they have been able to sell him a lot more weapons.

        Revolutions are very profitable for war profiteers.

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 11:00:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How does that compare to the $60 BILLION (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cliss, BigAlinWashSt, Russgirl

          sale to the Saudi's? Or the tens of billions in direct military aid to the ME?

          The US is the world's largest supplier of arms. It supplies more than ten times as much as Russia. The US has sold $11 billion of weapons and military assistance to Iraq last year.

          $500 MILLION is peanuts in arms sales.

          The new orders for military equipment in Libya will far exceed that. Also, all the airbases in Libya need to be rebuilt which will cost untold billions. The new government of Libya is already spending millions on arms while the rebuilding of Misurata has come to a complete halt due to lack of funds.

          Libyan air force set for major upgrade

          Posted on 20 June 2012

          Libya’s dilapidated air force is set to be substantially enhanced under plans announced by the air force chief of staff, Saqr Geroushi.

          Geroushi disclosed that under the proposals, special consideration has been given to those countries which supported Libya during last year’s revolution, including France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

          The air force is currently putting forward proposals to purchase two squadrons of French Rafale fighter aircraft, as well as a number of French F1-Mirage jets. There are also plans to purchase Eurofighter Typhoons from the United Kingdom, as well as C-130 Hercules cargo planes and Chinook helicopters from the United States.

            •  The fat lady hasn't sung yet... give it time (0+ / 0-)

              I've posted that AFRICOM is now training and supplying Libyan forces. The UK is setting up training for Libyan navy.

              You always seem to forget what I've posted before:

              AFRICOM Forms Military Relationship With Libya

              STUTTGART, Germany,
              Jun 19, 2012 — Operation Odyssey Dawn, the U.S. Africa Command-led U.S. mission in Libya last year, imparted important lessons the Defense Department's newest combatant command is applying as it welcomes a new African partner to the fold while still dealing with some of the residual challenges left by the former regime, the AFRICOM commander said.
              ...
              "Operations in Libya have truly brought U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command to a higher level of collaboration," Ham told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And this year, we'll continue to work closely together to seek to more effectively address security challenges in our respective areas of responsibilities."

              The Europeans, both through NATO and through the European Union, are heavily invested in security matters in Africa, Ham told the House Armed Services Committee. "And it is our strong relationship and partnership with U.S. European Command that allows us to have access and meaningful dialogue in the planning and coordination of those activities."

              Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis, the EUCOM commander who testified alongside Ham, noted that the two commands have shared nautical component commanders and regularly partner in counter-piracy operations.

              "We are also exploring ways that we can create efficiencies in intelligence and information sharing," Stavridis said. "And I believe we essentially share intelligence facilities now, and there may be some ways to do even more of that."

              The Americans Have Landed
              June 27, 2007

              A few years ago, with little fanfare, the United States opened a base in the horn of Africa to kill or capture Al Qaeda fighters. By 2012, the Pentagon will have two dozen such forts. The story of Africa Command, the American military's new frontier outpost.
              ...
              In addition to Camp Lemonier, three permanent contingency operating locations are up and running, two in Ethiopia (Bilate and Hurso) and one in Kenya (Manda Bay). A fourth base was established more than a year ago in Gode, Ethiopia, but it was closed as events heated up next door in Somalia. If CJTF-HOA does become the model for Africa Command, the United States could easily be running a couple dozen such military bases on the continent by 2012.

              The pattern of our military's expanding presence in Africa seems clear: 1) look where the locals or former colonials set up shop previously; 2) move inside the existing wire first with your special operators for capture/kill missions and military-to-military training with the locals to do the same; and then 3) settle in more formally with new versions of Camp Lemonier. Once set up, the task force storefront can be used to flow trigger pullers onto the scene at a moment's notice -- the precinct that hosts the SWAT team.

            •  Thanks for the links. Maybe you should read them (0+ / 0-)
              NATO bombing in Libya leads to drawn-out war, more civilian deaths
              ...
              NATO's expanded interpretation of a U.N. mandate to intervene in Libya to protect civilians has increased, not lessened, the number of civilian deaths. An intensive bombing campaign directed at Col. Muammar Qaddafi's army enabled his opponents to maintain a foothold in the city of Misurata, which Qaddafi's forces then subjected to constant shelling, with hundreds more deaths as a result. Qaddafi has repeatedly offered a cease-fire only to be turned down.
              ...
              There have been over 500 killings by militias since Gadaffi was killed. Here's the latest:
              Libya east-west highway cut by armed militia
              Wednesday 27 June 2012

              The roadblock, which government forces have not opposed, has further raised concerns over doubts over whether Libya can hold free and fair elections on schedule as violence continues in many parts of the country.

              Fresh fighting has broken out in the southern town of Kufra, where battles between the indigenous Tibu people and Arab tribes earlier this year left 70 dead.

              Tense ceasefires continue around the towns of Zuara and Zintan, where battles cost more than 100 lives earlier this month.
              ...
              "At the moment, we're protesting over our demands for an equal number of seats in the National General Conference," Brigadier General Hamid Hassi, in charge of the highway roadblock, told the English Language Libya Herald newspaper. "Libya is currently divided and the best proof of that is that Misrata has now, in effect, a separate government, and Zintan likewise."

        •  If you really care about the people and (3+ / 0-)

          support revolutions, why have nt you posting about Bahrain?   The dictator king there killed hundreds with the help of the Saudis, but NATO is not touching him or asking him to step down because they are "allies" and we sell them weapons.  Why dont you condemn that? Just curious.

          The most outrageous thing  though  is that Bahrain and the Saudis have been calling for Assad to step down because he is a "dictator".   Like they are the freedom champions.  Unbelievable.

          •  Wikipedia say 95 protesters were killed in Bahrain (0+ / 0-)

            wikipedia ref.

            Where did you get "hundreds" and I have covered it.
            Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
            The Year in Review: They should have left that street vendor alone!
            Libyans have spilled their blood for all of us!
            NATO's Game Plan in Libya
            Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?
            Libyans, Palestinians & Israelis
            No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum

            What you really mean is "Why don't you stop covering Syria?"

            Because you would really like him to be able to carry out his  slaughter with silence from writers like me, and if that can't be the case, you'll do your best to defend him.

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

            by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:14:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lots of links there (0+ / 0-)

              why does only one refer to Bahrain when you were asked about Bahrain?

              Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

              by fearlessfred14 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:33:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  95 vs 15,000+ (0+ / 0-)

                The reason I am writing about Syria is because a great tragedy is taking place in Syria now. The death toll associated with the Arab Spring in Syria has past 15K probably another Syrian will die before I can post this.

                The last person to die in the uprising in Bahrain was back in March, bringing the total deaths associated with the Arab Spring to 95.

                The question is why you insist on bringing Bahrain into a blog about Syria, not why am I not writing about Bahrain instead of Syria,

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

                by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:54:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Dont be ridiculous again (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BigAlinWashSt

              I asked a simple question.   Do you condemn the murderous dictator of Bahrain?  Yes or no?  Do you condemn NATO for providing weapons to the murderous dictator of Bahrain?  Yes or no?  Do you condemn the Saudi troops  for going to Bahrain and helping the Bahraini dictator to kill his people (whether they are 95 or 100s).  Yes or no?   Dont you find that there is some hypocricy in the behavior of Saudi Arabia and NATO in this case? Simple questions deserve simple answers.

              As for you name calling, I ignore it.   I have repeatedly written that I find the Assad regime terrible but I am against any NATO intervention that would make things worse as it happened in Iraq and Libya.   But I have never seen any comment from you condemning the Bahraini killing regime, the Saudis and also NATO for supporting with weapons that murderous regime.   I will wait to see your answer.  

              •  Yes, I condemn them all, feel better, I know I do. (0+ / 0-)

                Fri Dec 30, 2011

                With Qaddafi leading the charge, the response of regimes in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria veered toward the use of live fire and military power on peaceful protests. Rivers of the people's blood watered the Earth in 2011 as a result, but nowhere did the people back down or let up. More than 5,000 protesters have been murdered by the monster Assad in Syria this year and still they keep coming. 70,000 protested in Homs Tuesday and 40 more were killed.
                Sep 02, 2011
                If Gaddafi's violence succeeds, many more will die in Yemen and Bahrain and everywhere else that people resist tyranny. If he fails, the powers that be everywhere on the planet will be less likely to follow his lead and try a massive violence approach.
                Jul 01, 2011
                It is absolutely true that with Saudi help Bahrain has imposed a very brutal crackdown on freedom fighters there. Many have been murdered while NATO has looked the other way. This is true. But I have not heard that Bahrain was using aircraft to attack demonstrators. They have yet to cross that line, and the same could be said about Yemen and Syria as far as I know.
                Jun 23, 2011
                We all know that NATO is not a bunch of boy scouts, but the larger and more dangerous doctrine that Cynthia McKinney, ANSWER, and all the "non-interventionist" appear to advocate is that the international community has no right to set limits on the level of violence a state may use to put down uprisings within its borders. Syria, Yemen and Bahrain are all now expanding the reach of that doctrine with all it's frightful consequences.
                Now explain to me just how things are worst in Libya, last year this time Libya was like Syria is now. And you think its worst now?!

                Explain please.

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

                by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 04:13:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you condemn NATO (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Claudius Bombarnac

                  then you may want to consider to stop wishing for another NATO intervention and associated destruction.   You can not have it both ways.    The Bahraini dictator and the Saudis get weapons that they use to kill their citizens by our administration and NATO.  And I am sure you are aware of that.

                  As for Libya, that country is completely destroyed after the NATO bombing.   Gaddafi was terrible, but the outcome is worse.   There is now chaos with a bunch of different gangs and warlords fighting for control and committing war crimes.   There is also a rise of islamic fundamentalism that in my  opinion is worse than secular dictators.  

            •  Why do you always refer to your own diaries (0+ / 0-)

              when asked to prove a point?

  •  When a rebel is fighting he is a 'freedom fighter' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Cliss, Russgirl

    -  when retreating he becomes a 'civilian'.

    A Syrian army defector told Human Rights Watch that fellow defectors from the Jordanian-Syrian border guard told him they had been ordered to shoot at anyone trying to leave or enter the country without passing through an official border post, and that some of the soldiers refused to carry out the order.
    It is well understood that armed rebels, including foreign mercenaries paid for and armed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been crossing the border with the help of the CIA.

    You are very quick to post about the number of defectors leaving Syria and then joining the rebels and returning to fight.

    These actions will put any civilians at risk for attempting to cross the border surreptitiously. If there were Mexicans crossing back and forth on the US border in this manner, they would be shot.

    Don't you see the hypocrisy and double standards of your posts?

    The people who are now suffering the most are the ordinary Syrians caught in the middle.

    The Evil of Humanitarian Wars
    June 27, 2012
    ...
    Since 9/11, the United States and its allies in Europe have persuaded us that they are waging a series of “white hat” wars against “black hat” regimes in the Middle East. Each has been sold to us misleadingly as a “humanitarian intervention.” The cycle of such wars is still far from complete.
    ...
    Popular support for humanitarian wars could not be maintained without the spread of propaganda masquerading as news by our corporate-owned media. Over the past decade they have faithfully marketed the Middle East agendas of our war-making governments. As the fanciful pretext for each war is exposed, the armchair generals assure us that the lessons have been learned for next time. But when the script is given a makeover — and the white hat passed to a new lawman — the same discredited media pundits justify war yet again from the safety of their studios.
    ...
    If the West succeeds in its slow-motion proxy intervention in Syria and disables yet another Arab state for refusing to toe its line, the stage will be set for the next war against the next target: Iran.

    That is not an argument condoning Assad’s continuing rule. Syrians should be left to make that decision.

    But it is an admonition to those who justify endless meddling in the Middle East in the service of a Western agenda. It is a caution against waging wars whose destructive power is directed chiefly at civilians. It is a warning that none of these humanitarian wars is a solution to a problem; they are only a prelude to yet more war. And it is a reminder that we have no right to play God.

    •  I see the Catch 22 in my post (0+ / 0-)

      Civilians have a right to defend themselves when a brutal dictator is trying to kill them.

      Everybody understands that.

      However, the minute they pick up a weapon, they cease to be civilians, and can legally be shot.

      That's your point.

      It is not my hypocrisy.

      Assad is killing his own people whether they are armed or unarmed.

      You keep repeating Assad's mis-information about foreign mercenaries in Syria and you have yet to offer one shred of evidence.

      Assad keeps claiming to have captured foreign mercenaries. Where are the pictures? Please find them and post them here.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:22:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the American government faced an armed (0+ / 0-)

        uprising calling for regime change, you can bet that the response would also be "brutal".

        However, the minute they pick up a weapon, they cease to be civilians, and can legally be shot.
        Then they put down their weapons and become a civilian.
        You keep repeating Assad's mis-information about foreign mercenaries in Syria and you have yet to offer one shred of evidence.
        Every news agency has already reported this for months now. Don't play stupid. Many people have posted this information in your own diaries.
        Syria's sectarian war goes international as foreign fighters and arms pour into country
        20 February 2012

        After years of Syrian insurgents and weaponry infiltrating Iraq, now the traffic goes the other way
        ...

        Libyan fighters join "free Syrian army" forces
        Published November 29th, 2011

        Libyan sources conveyed in recent days that 600 rebel fighters have already gone from Libya to Syria in order to support the Syrian opposition. The sources explained that the announcement of Libyan interim leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil regarding his country's willingness to provide support for the rebels in Syria, has actually opened the door to volunteers. The source pointed out that there is coordination between the Libyan interim government and the Syrian opposition.


  •  UN: "violations of human rights - by both sides" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Cliss, Russgirl
    UN: Human Rights Violations in Syria Escalating
    June 27, 2012

    GENEVA - U.N. investigators say the situation in Syria "is dangerously and quickly deteriorating."  They say gross violations of human rights, including torture and summary executions, are escalating and being .  The investigators also presented their findings about a massacre in the Syrian town of Houla in May.

    More than 100 people were killed during the massacre in Houla, a village in the Syrian province of Homs.  The head of the U.N. investigating team, Brazilian Paulo Pinheiro, says it is not possible to determine with any certainty who carried out the killings.
    ...
    The 20-page report submitted to the U.N. rights council describes gross violations of human rights committed by Syrian government forces and loyal militia.  It cites unlawful arrests and detention, torture and other forms of ill treatment.  It accuses them of sexual violence against men, women and children.

    The U.N. investigators also presented evidence of killings, torture, and abductions of civilians committed by armed opposition groups. They say they have reports that anti-government armed groups are using children as medical porters, messengers and cooks, exposing them to risk of death and injury.

    Syrian Ambassador Faisal Khabbaz Hamoui accused the investigators of presenting information that comes from a biased media and which does not represent the truth.  He said the crisis in Syria is not a result of peaceful protests, but rather, it is a genuine war financed from abroad.

  •  The US needs to stay out of this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    It's my understanding that the US is arming the Syrian rebels.  Other european countries also seem to be doing this.  Notice my tentative statements.  It's because it's really tough to find any kind of unbiased article, in particular in the US press.  It's all very, very slated against the Assad regime and in favor of the 'rebels'.

    John Mc Cain has gone on the record as saying we need to ship arms to the Syrian rebels.  It's pretty obvious: we want regime change.  We would prefer some kind of stability, total chaos is not so good.  Above all, we need the leadership to be weak.

    The war industry would love nothing more than to have a full-blown war.  They love war.

  •  Rebels in Syria using very same tactics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Cliss

    against the Assad regime as they used against the US forces in Iraq.

    Here's some (fairly professional) 'recruitment' videos.
    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  More insight into Syrian conflict... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, Cliss, Russgirl, mickT

    to add some balance to what is actually happening on the ground.

    ASIA/SYRIA - "The desolation of Homs and the war of information ": the words of a greek-catholic Archimandrite

    Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - "Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth. After a year of conflict, the reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media": says a testimony sent to Fides Agency by the French priest Philip Tournyol Clos, a greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite, who recently visited Syria, by traveling to different cities, like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.
    In Homs, called the "martyred city", "opposition forces have occupied two areas, Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh, where there are all the churches and bishoprics," the Archimandrite told Fides. "The picture for us – he continues - is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels. Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything. The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside.

    2012-06-27 ASIA/SYRIA - Desperate situation for Christian families in Homs, where now there is urban guerilla warfare

    Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The situation of the civilians in the center of Homs is getting worse. About 400 Christian civilians trapped in the Hamidiyeh and Bustan Diwan neighborhoods along with 400 other Sunni Muslim civilians, have launched a desperate cry through the Syrian priests, the various Christian churches in Homs, that civilians are able to contact. As confirmed to Fides by the Syrian priests in Homs Fr. Abdallah Amaz, Fr. Michel Naaman and Fr. Maxime El Jamale, we are talking about Syrian-Catholic, greek-catholic and greek-orthodox families, who live hidden lives and hope to get out of a situation that is becoming harder and harder and more and more dangerous.
    ...
    "Civilians cannot get out of their hiding places and they are terrified. There is only one working bakery and only some, tempt fate, go out once a day to get some food. Some of the civilians find themselves in places close to where armed militants are entrenched " explain sources of Fides in Homs. The armed opposition groups have chosen to entrench in Christian neighborhoods because they are formed by a maze of narrow streets, where heavy military vehicles cannot enter. Meanwhile, the Syrian army, for about three days, seem to have changed strategy: instead of indiscriminate bombing, they penetrate into the "hot zone" with small military units, through a passage near the district of Khalidiyah, an area where about 1,000 Sunni Muslim families reside.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site