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MSM, even AJE doesn't have this yet!

This 5 minute You Tube clip, shot in Damascus this morning, doesn't show very much and I think that is the point. The car drives down empty streets past shuddered shops in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world on a Monday morning and nothing is going on, no pedestrians and few vehicles.

A General Strike is going on in Damascus even as this city witnesses some of the worst fighting in its 11,000 year old history!  While intense combat between the Free Syria Army and those forces still under the control of Bashar al-Assad, elected president with over 97% of the vote last time, goes on in some sections of the city, and while other parts are being bombarded by his artillery and war planes, much of the so far peaceful sections of Damascus have taken up the call to hold a general strike in support of those under siege by the government.

And I don't know whether the people of Damascus know this or not, but this is also the 78th anniversary of the great San Francisco General Strike of 16 July 1934.    

Meanwhile, in other sections of Damacus, Assad's armored vehicles rule the streets, as this video from the city this morning shows:

Be sure to read my most important diary yet:
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
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12:54 PM PT:  

few hundred meters fromm #BasharAssad home #Mohajreen #Damascus #Syria

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

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

    by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:26:21 AM PDT

  •  A few tweets and one street with little (0+ / 0-)

    activity don't seem to be much in the way of confirmation that a General Strike is taking place.

    Not that I don't think it would be awesome, but I'd like to see some further confirmation.

  •  Just saw this. (0+ / 0-)
    Telecomix Syria ‏@TelecomixSyria
    Yesterday's defection of a whole police station in Tadamou (#Damascus) is confirmed cc @DavidDusa
  •   The world is clueless about Syria (4+ / 0-)
    The world is clueless about Syria

    Nobody knows what to do with Syria and paying the price for all the madness are its common people
    All of these ideas are nothing but political illusions. The Syrian regime is completely disinterested in any of them, bent on fighting for survival until the curtain falls. The opposition, which has failed to unite or convince world powers of its ability to rule Syria single-handedly, wants nothing less than regime change. The FSA [Free Syrian Army] will never abide by any of these political solutions, because they will be at the expense of the army deserters and defectors. Even if particular opposition figures agree to the Geneva outcome, the demonstrators will never accept it and it is they, rather than the Syrian National Council or the Local Coordination Committee, that command Syrian Street.
    Let us put it bluntly: Nobody has the slightest clue on what to do with Syria and paying the price for all this madness are the tough and immutable people of Syria.

    Except, of course, to continue pumping thousands of tons of arms into the country.

    I'm beginning to think that the US, UK, GCC end game in Syria is for it to be broken up into several "manageable" pieces.

    Don't forget that this very thing was done to the former Yugoslavia. It took almost ten years to accomplish.

    Syria Resembles Bosnian Conflict in 1990s, U.K.’s Hague Says

    The conflict in Syria has started to resemble the sectarian war in Bosnia as the country edges toward collapse, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

    “It is looking more like Bosnia in the 1990s, being on the edge of a sectarian conflict in which neighboring villages are attacking and killing each other,” Hague told Britain’s Sky News yesterday. “It is not so much like Libya last year, where of course we had a successful intervention to save lives.”

    •  That appears to be the plan, balkanization, like (3+ / 0-)

      Biden's original plan for Iraq, and many other U.S. sponsored country destabilization operations.  They seem to know they can't pull off another bombing operation, so they'll ruin the country and force the regime change that way. As always, the common people pay.

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

      by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So the US is ruining Syrian now? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cynical Copper, killjoy

        Why are you spreading this nonsense so relentlessly? People are dying while you write your drivel and they are dying from Russian made shells and cluster bombs, used against some of the oldest cities in the world by a Russian sponsored dictator and yet here you are again in my diary blaming the US for the current problems of the Syrian people.

        Get real or get lost!

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

        by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:56:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, let's start at the beginning. First, do you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac

          believe the U.S. has ever been involved in regime changes?  We can work from there if you'd like, but one step at a time.

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

          by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:00:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i don't have the time to dance with you (0+ / 0-)

            Io the extent that you can divert my attention from getting the news of the Syrian revolution and pasting it on to others, you are also furthering Assad's agenda.

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

            by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:37:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "You are either with us or you are with the enemy" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              What is your solution? The US or NATO bombing the country back to the dark ages?

              Things are not black and white in Syria. What is occurring did not come about overnight or without overt and covert meddling by many foreign nations for many years.

              Maybe Obama has valid reasons for not jumping in. There doesn't seem to be a willingness by European NATO countries. Are you willing for the US to go it alone, like Iraq?

              Again, tell us YOUR solution. Don't forget, the devil is in the details and unforeseen consequences.

              •  I just had an hour conversation with an old timer (0+ / 0-)

                long term veteran of Jordan, now successful in the USA with family in Syria as well as Jordan and Lebanon.  Until last week he was apologetic, defacto support of Assad, but the massacre of defectors' families, the terror on the ordinary person or young conscripts is too much. The massacre last week was al labout revenge and punishing the defectors and families, and any civilians near them. Quite deliberate terror.

                Assad has to go. Either he flees abroad to his Sud of France  chateau or  he leaves in a funerary box.

                Those are the choices he has created for himself.

                I see the box, if there is enough left to bother with. He is so vain, so wrapped in a bubble he cannot believe he will be pushed out eventually. He really thinks he can go back to business as usual as soon as people have experienced enough brutality to come begging him to do whatever he wants to finish off the civil insurrection.

                Like in  Saddam's case , Assad represents a minority, the Alewite community and a brokered governing deal with several others.  He is being forced by events to defend them   against all others as they as the overlords conduct reprisals against the protestors using the armored tanks and big guns.

                He will last until the army revolts, and that may not be that far off.

                This currently under construction..

                by BeeDeeS on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 10:34:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of people are also dying (4+ / 0-)

          because they are being killed by western arms sent to anti-Assad groups.

          Do you think that those people are snow white and don't do their own score settling or try to establish their own little fiefdoms where only they decide who lives and who dies?

          Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

          by InAntalya on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:36:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  postcolonial ME borders don't reflect real divides (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac

        If anything, things get worse over there (and in Africa) when the various sects, tribes, etc. start identifying with those arbitrary borders.  They inevitably end up trying to rule a very diverse country as if they were the only ones living there.  

        Besides, no-one wants to be ruled by an Other; democracy and the rule of law won't change that, and it's as true of Syria's Sunni majority as it is of the Shi'a Alawis that Assad comes from.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:18:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You don't give a fuck about the Syrain people (0+ / 0-)

      Do you?

      You keeping coming to my diaries and spreading Assad's mis-information like it has any validity.

      I know why I am writing about this so much. I care about the people and feel that this is one way I can help their struggle.

      What motivates you to work so hard against them and for the mass murderer?

      Do you think the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think the thousands of protesters and FSA fighters are all being duped by the Billderberg Group of what?

      Hague is now your expert on the Arab Spring and how it's just like Bosnia?

      Any port in a storm, right?

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:49:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Questioning and exposing the truth of what is (2+ / 0-)

        going on in Syria does not mean I do not support the people or that I support America's ex-goon, Assad.

        "Randa Kassis is an anthropologist and author of the book Vault of the Gods. She is president of the general assembly of the Secular Democratic Coalition in Syria and a member of the Syrian National Council (SNC)."

        The Islamization of the Uprising and the Loss of Syria

        Since the beginning of its eruption, the Syrian uprising, faced with a totalitarian regime, has found difficulties winning over the ethnic and religious minorities as well as other groups that remain wary of losing individual freedoms enjoyed under the Assad regime should Islamists come to power. There are many reasons contributing to the fear of these groups and their hesitation to join the uprising.
        The Islamists in Syria are increasingly swooping down on the popular movement, suggesting that they are the strongest and the most widespread among the Syrian groups through their dependence on the religious and conservative bases of certain communities.
        We are all responsible for what is happening in Syria beginning with Assad’s crimes and continuing with the human rights violations committed by some opposition parties against the supporters of the regime. Today, we must start to condemn all violations committed by both parties and convict any individual or group that is mobilizing the population against a particular group. The start of change must begin in our commitment to the rights of all and acceptance of different opinions.

    •  Not broken up ... (2+ / 0-)
      I'm beginning to think that the US, UK, GCC end game in Syria is for it to be broken up into several "manageable" pieces.
      RE-broken up would be more correct.

      The French broke what is now Syria into 5 "countries" during the mandate period - Damascus, Alleppo, Latakia, Druze, and Jazeera.

      The French did not allow the Syrians to form what is now Syria until 1943 - and that was only because the French were weakened due to their loses in WW2.

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 12:31:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tariq Ali: What is really happening in Syria? (3+ / 0-)
    Published on Jul 14, 2012 by StoptheWarCoalition

    Tariq Ali says we are witnessing in Syria "a new form of re-colonisation, which we saw in Iraq and in Libya. Many of the people who first rose against the Assad regime, says Ali, have been sidelined, leaving the Syrian people with limited choices, neither of which they want: either a Western imposed regime, "composed of sundry Syrians who work for the western intelligence agencies", or the Assad regime.

    The only way forward, in the interests of all Syrians, he says, is negotiation and discussion. But it is now obvious that the West is not going to let that happen because they are backing the opposition groups who are against any negotiation.

    •  Many of the people who first rose (0+ / 0-)

      Many of the people who first rose against the Assad regime, says Ali, have been sidelined,

      Oh Yeah?

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:02:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Syrian Opposition Group Leader (2+ / 0-)

        'The Islamists are Seizing Power for Themselves'

        Although the war in Syria is getting bloodier, the power and appeal of the resistance is growing. But Randa Kassis, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, warns that Islamist fighters armed by the Gulf states are sowing discord among the opposition that will only prolong the war.
        Kassis: This is, of course, an important factor, but the regime already had enough firepower in any case. The reason the opposition has not been able to achieve a military breakthrough is also partially due to the insurmountable differences arising between the Islamist jihadi fighters and the majority of the population. The Islamist groups, which are superbly financed and equipped by the Gulf states, are ruthlessly seizing decision-making power for themselves. Syrians who are taking up arms against the dictator but not putting themselves under the jihadists' command are being branded as unpatriotic and as heretics. This is also affecting the many soldiers and officers who have defected to the opposition but who aren't willing to replace the corrupt terrorism of the Assad regime with a religious tyranny.

  •  Evidence for a "general strike" seems slim. (3+ / 0-)

    At least in the sense of "general strike" as an organized protest. What I see in these vids, assuming they are what they purport to be, is a reasonable reluctance to open shops or otherwise present oneself as a potential target in neighborhoods where clashes between regime forces, their proxies and FSA forces are happening. "Duck and cover" more than "general strike," perhaps?

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

  •  False equivalence. (0+ / 0-)

    The high level defectors getting press conferences, TV interviews can do so because they moved their their families out before hand. the ordinary soldier, the lower levels have families as hostages. Many of them have paid a terrible price for opposing the Assad dictatorship.  Yes, it is a dictatorship of terror and blood, did you know that? He is going after the families of defectors to the opposition wherever he can identify them from cell phone pics or reportage.

    There are thousands of people who now have a blood debt that only Assad's removal and ticket to hell will satisfy.

    OK,  please continue with fair and balanced commenting about how the other side is terrible, too.

    This currently under construction..

    by BeeDeeS on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 10:42:32 AM PDT

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