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More than 17 thousand Syrians have died in the past 16 months in the struggle to free themselves of a brutal multi-generational dictatorship. In recent weeks, Syrian government forces have been relentless in their murderous assault using artillery, tanks, rockets, helicopter gunships and jet planes against dissident communities. There have been reports of massacre upon massacre and Syrians are being slaughtered by Assad's forces at a rate not seen before in this uprising.

Now the Battle of Damascus has been joined, and as fighting breaks out all across the oldest living city on Earth, the Free Syrian Army announces that operation Damascus Volcano will soon begin. The next morning a massive explosion tears a big hole in Assad's top level crack down team, and what does Glenn Greenwald see in all of this? He sees a chance to say something about Islamic terrorism and the hypocrisy of the West.

The problem is that doesn't really fit what has just happened so he is forced to twist the facts, misrepresent what others have said, and generally engage in some pretty shabby journalism to make his point.

This new piece in Salon by Glenn Greenwald is titled The Damascus suicide bombing.  It caught my eye because I wanted to know how Glenn Greenwald knew it was a suicide bomber.

Outside of Russia Today and other Assad mouth pieces that accept SANA press releases as the truth without question, nobody else is saying for sure it was a suicide bombing. Greenwald gives his source:

In Damascus today, a suicide bomber attacked a meeting of high level Syrian officials and killed several of them, including the nation’s Defense Minister Daoud Rajha and the Syrian military’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Asef Shawkat, who is also the brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Several reporters covering the region, such as Omar Waraich of Time and The Independent, have deduced that the suicide bomber was “Islamist.”
The first link "attacked" leads to an NY Times article "Blast Kills Core Syrian Security Officials" but that article does not make the claim that it was a suicide bomber. It does say:
The government said that the attack was the work of a suicide bomber, while an officer with the Free Syrian Army said it was a remotely detonated explosive.
and
Lt. Malik al-Kurdi, the second in command of the Free Syrian Army troops in Turkey, said it was not a suicide bombing but “bombs planted around the national security building” that were set off by remote control.
now, for sure, the file name for the article is
suicide-attack-reported-in-damascus-as-more-generals-flee.html
but that can hardly be considered the NY Time's reading on the blast that took out the ministers, it probably just reflected the name someone gave it when they began it. This caption to a picture next to the article can't either:
Daoud Rajha, left, Syria’s defense minister, and Asef Shawkat, President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, were killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing in Damascus.
If this is Greenwald's support for his claim that this was a suicide bombing, then he has no support.

He then goes on to claim this suicide bomber is Islamist based on what someone said in a tweet, "deduced" leads to this tweet:

The link in the tweet leads back to that same NY Times article but, again, that article doesn't make the claim that it was a suicide bomber, let alone an Islamic suicide bomber.

Also Robert Mackey of the NY Times has not only disputed Greenwald's claim made in an update that "The New York Times article on this attack states definitively in the first paragraph that it was carried out by a suicide bomber," he has pointed out that Omar Waraich only covers Pakistan, not "the region."

It is quite true that most of the information we have about this attack has been tightly controlled by the Assad regime and that from their first announcement they said or implied that it was a suicide attack and the work of Islamic extremists. That may account for the NY Times file name and many of the early reports that attributed the attack to a suicide bomber. But any informed observer of this conflict knows that the Assad regime often plays fast and loose with the facts and always seeks to paint Islamic jihadists, which often conduct suicide bombings, as their main enemy in this fight.

So from the beginning most journalists, including those at the NY Times, had their doubts about the Syrian state line and refused to endorse it. Then the other side of the story came out. The Free Syrian Army said it was their doing and that it was the start of the Damascus Volcano they had promised.

Soon the Daily News was reporting details of the bombing that certainly didn't sound like a suicide attack:

Syrian bombs were hidden inside flower pot, chocolate box: Report

An explosion that killed senior Syrian officials yesterday was caused by bombs that were planted in a flower pot and a chocolate box inside Bashar al-Assad’s meeting room in Damascus, according to Syrian opposition figures.

One of the bombs was made of over 10 kilograms of TNT, while the other was a smaller C4 explosive. They were both planted in the room days before the meeting by a mole working for the Free Syrian Army.

Members of Free Syrian Army are also working with drivers and bodyguards for high-level Syrian officials, the opposition figures told Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

The blast killed the defense minister, al-Assad’s brother-in-law, and the head of the government’s crisis cell in the harshest blow yet to the government’s inner circle in the 16-month uprising.

The main point Gleen Greenwald is trying to make in this article appears to be that "we" are hypocritical in how "we" define terror and even though,
I’m not arguing here that this is an act of Terrorism.
which is funny because he is the one that has dragged the term into this discussion and highlighted it, he says
The point here is that we pretend Terrorism has some sort of objective meaning and that it is the personification of pure evil which all decent people (and Good Western nations) by definition categorically despise, when neither of those claims is remotely true.
He has already illustrated this first by determining that the Damascus explosion was an act of Islamic terrorists, and then assures us that,
Needless to say, if such an attack — perpetrated by an “Islamist” suicide bomber — were aimed at a Western government or those of their allies in the region, it would immediately be branded Terrorism and vehemently denounced.

But it’s extremely doubtful that the term will be applied by Western media outlets to today’s Damascus attack.

He wants the Damascus bombing branded as a terrorist act just like Assad's people have called it.

To make the points that Glenn Greenward thinks are important to get out of the Damascus bombing, not only does he have to jump to the conclusion that it is the work of Islamic terrorism, he also has to ignore the whole context in which this took place.

No matter who carried it out, this was no simple terrorist act. It was a strike against a high level military target in the midst of a civil war.

I think Glenn Greenwald woke up Wednesday morning with the Damascus bombing leading the news and he really wanted to write about Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers and just how really bad and hypocritical "we" are, and he wasn't going to let facts get in the way.

His article wasn't really about the Syrian people or what is happening in Syrian, those things were just props with which to construct his story. The problem is that in doing so, he used his clout to support Bashar al-Assad's story. What he did with this Salon piece objectively gave aid and comfort to Assad while attempting to discredit the Syrian revolution.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nothing to get all huffy about. (6+ / 0-)

    Greenwald is noting that when our allies bomb it is not terrorism but when our enemies do, it is.  His point is about rhetoric used.

    I don't think he is trying to make factual statements about  the bombing itself one way or the other.

    “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” - Harriet Tubman

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:42:53 PM PDT

    •  The point of the diary (6+ / 0-)

      is that Greenwald is trying to say that it fits the definition of terrorism but we're afraid to call it that because it was done against our enemies. The diarist is contending that this is wrong and that the actions do not meet the definition of terrorism. It was a calculated military strike with little to no civilian deaths involved.

      The 'huffiness' comes from the fact that Greenwald (to my eyes at least) often appears to be siding with a very frankly Americentric viewpoint that all occurrences in the Middle East are the result of American action and that said American action is always done with ill intent. From that line of thought, we can extrapolate that Assad is not really a bad person and is only being portrayed that way by the 'warmongering American media'. Granted Greenwald has not, to my knowledge, said this outright. But Dennis Kucinich sure appeared too and Greenwald comments have that kind of air to them which is what, justifiably I would say, is setting the diarist off.

      I'll say it again. What's happening now in the Middle East has little to do with us. People there are risking their lives and taking their fates into their own hands. We should respect that.

      Assad is a butcher and he will fall.

      •  Not at all (4+ / 0-)

        In fact, Greenwald specifically states in his article that he does not believe it is an act of terrorism. What he is saying is that it fits the American media's general definition of terrorism based on how they have reported certain events in the past.

        And there is a difference between having an American-centric viewpoint and admitting that what America does, in fact, does affect others in the world. And to be frank, we are very much involved in what is going on in Syria right now. Who do you think is allowing weapons to flow into that country? If we wanted to, we could stop it. We choose not to do so because we have taken sides.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure we do whatever we can (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moviemeister76

          to influence outcomes. My point is that it is not a secret CIA led coup, which was a lot of people were insinuating during the Cairo protests. This is not Mossadegh.

          Thank you for the clarification about Greenwald's point. That's not what came across to me when I read but I admittedly aqm not a fan so maybe I'm reading too much into him.

          •  Oh no doubt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Last Years Man

            I don't think there's some CIA-led plot either, though I can see why folks would think that since it is written into our history.

            I have my own issues with Greenwald. I enjoy his writing, but he has some massive blind spots, which grow tiresome to see.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:17:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Again we have thus American centric viewpoint (0+ / 0-)
          Who do you think is allowing weapons to flow into that country? If we wanted to, we could stop it. We choose not to do so because we have taken sides.
          What evidence do you have that any weapons are flowing into Syria of that weapons from outside are making a difference? My reading is very difference.

          Clearly the overwhelming majority of the fighters against Assad are Syrians, most defected from the Syrian Army. Where did they get their weapons - from the Syrian army- either purchased or just taken.

          There are plenty of videos on the 'net that show Syrian soldiers defecting and there are plenty of videos showing them raiding Assad's weapon stores. E ven in my diaries.

          No outside weapons necessary. Regardless of your US at the center of everything pov, the US is not behind the uprising in Syria and they aren't materially helping out.

          Greenwald is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says he doesn't believe it was a terrorist attack. Then why does he expect others to call it a terrorist attack? Since he left out that this attack took place in the middle of a civil war, his other comparisons don't fit.  Then what was the point of his piece except to promote Assad's lies about what really happened and who he is really opposing?

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:47:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Claudius Bombarnac

            I can see why you don't understand Greenwald's article. You are taking my own words out of context. You know nothing about my point of view.

            And where are they getting their weapons? Seriously? Why don't you try a Google search. Saudi Arabia has been quite happy to fund the resistance. And government officials are well aware of it. I've actually attended talks given in the past year with current and former government officials (including someone working for Mitt Romney's campaign right now) who have been explicit about Saudi Arabia's involvement in funding various resistance organizations in the Middle East, including Syria.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:01:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, come on here, Clay. The Saudis, Turks... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BradyB

            and Qataris are very plainlysending in weaponry.

            Not that there's anything wrong with that.

            The best part: the CIA guys trying to steer the weapons towards the "good guy" Syrian rebels, and away from the al-Qaeda-linked factions.  Good luck with that, fellas!

            Again: not that there's anything wrong with that.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:16:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The suicide bomb claim is a factual claim. (0+ / 0-)

      He is pushing a false claim.  I don't think he should do that. I think he should correct that.  

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Greenwald thinks to equate the term 'terrorism' (0+ / 0-)

      with the use of bombs, he's got a hard road to hoe.

       In one of a group of related articles all in NYT in the last few days was one which indicated why in Syria it is that bombs are being used according to various military analysts, US and otherwise, , and the answer is pure economics.

      Apparently ammunition in Syria, and the weapons to use ammunition are very expensive, and the various ingredient to make bombs are much less so.  As a result, the non Assad side's people have been working on how to make effective bombs with what they have, and are doing a pretty fair job of doing it, not because bombs are great but because they are cheap and can be made both powerful and reliable by the diligent if improverished anti Assad person or group which applies itself to learining the skills, not of a highly technical nature which requires experts. There was said to have been a training session about making bombs in Istambul for Syrian non Assadians, and what was said about that session was that the information presented there essentially did not provide new and better ideas than those already worked out, one by one, by those in Syria making the bombs already from locally available materials.

      The concern, of course, is that once the knowledge of how to make cheap bombs that can take out a tank or a conferece room by remote control each, is widely circulated as it will be, since the article said some of the info came from the internet already, everyone everywhere is going to have to get used to seeing more bombs, simply, again, because of the economics and the not so fancy skills already developed to make them.So they will not be earmarks for 'terrorists' alone anymore.  

  •  The focus on suicide bombing vs. not... (8+ / 0-)

    ...is misplaced ethnocentrism.  Someone who kills him or herself in the course of doing something admirable (like saving someone from a burning building, or throwing themself on a grenade to save their buddies), or something dubiously admirable but in the service of a good cause (say, blowing up Hitler in a crowded room) doesn't deserve any kind of negative aura of being a suicide anything.  They're showing great self-abnegation.  The only things wrong with the current crop of suicide bombers is that they generally kill innocent people and they generally do it in the service of a worthless, stupid cause.  If we assume whoever killed Assad's top lieutenants was indeed a suicide bomber, I'd give them top marks for killing guilty people and a deferred grade on their genuine cause...but certainly they're advancing the good cause at least in immediate terms.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 02:44:01 PM PDT

    •  or military vs civilian targets (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, joe from Lowell

      As someone argued, the Defense Minister is a military target during a civil war.

      I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that definition, but on the other hand, when the Syrian government is killing civilian protesters, it's hard to argue that the Defense Minister and Interior Minister aren't legitimate targets.

  •  Greenwald has an agenda, and his... (6+ / 0-)

    reliance on particular types of sources is lamentable. That said, anyone relying on opposition propaganda is also following a biased agenda-driven narrative. "Truth" with respect to what's happening on Syria does not lie somewhere between these two poles but is most likely something else, something considerably more complex and nuanced. What precisely the truth is, I don't know, but I'm quite certain that neither propaganda-machine (with all attendant parrots) is a reliable arbiter.

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

    by angry marmot on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 03:16:53 PM PDT

  •  Glenn Greenwald is 100% right (3+ / 0-)

    The Islamic fundamentalists which are a significant portion  among the Saudi-backed rebels are very dangerous.  

  •  Even if the bombing was performed by "islamists," (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, Clay Claiborne

    after Assad has openly gunned down civilians, the bombing itself is not by necessity islamist in nature. People there are afraid for their lives, be they islamist or otherwise.

  •  Clay, you are such a hack... (8+ / 0-)

    First:  Go read Update II from Greenwald's article.  

    There is a fucking screencap of the NY Times article to which he was referring.  It quite clearly shows that the NY Times initially claimed it was a "suicide bomber."  Apparently the NY Times changed the story later without adding a note about the correction.

    How did you miss the pictorial evidence vindicating Greenwald's citation?  Did you not even read the article that you are criticizing?  What other explanation can there be for you to miss something that is so obvious?

    Second: Whether the bomb was a suicide attack or remotely detonated, it is completely tangential to Greenwald's main point, i.e. Western Journalism covers similar attacks in very different lights depending on who is carrying out the attack.  The contrast in coverage between Nidal Hasan's attack on Fort Hood and the bombing in Damascus has already vindicated Greenwald's article.

    Third: I recommend that everyone go and actually read the article that Clay has chosen to criticize in this diary.  There is no amount of mockery that I can put into this comment that will sway your attitude more than just having you see how blatantly the author has distorted Greenwald's article.

    •  THere is a distinction that can be made (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, Clay Claiborne

      between Fort Hood and the bombing in Damascus that does not require media bias. The distinction is outlined in the diary. Personally, I don't see how they're remotely similar.

    •  This is the fucking sceencap of the NY Times to (0+ / 0-)

      which he was referring,  the highlighting is Greenwald's :

      so everybody but you and Greenwald can see that the NY Times says it was a suicide bomber "according to state television and activists" not definitively according to the NY Times. Robert Mackey of the NY Times made that very clear to Greenwald, hence:

      UPDATE III: The New York Times‘ Robert Mackey insists that I made two significant errors here: namely, the above-mentioned Omar Waraich covers Pakistan, not “the region,” and the NYT – in the very paragraph I just printed in full above — attributed the report of the suicide bombing to “state television and activists.” Duly noted; I’ll leave it to others to decide if those are errors and, if so, how significant they are.
      Also Greenwald neglected to mention that the NY Times had changed that first paragraph. This is what I found when I followed the link Greenwald gave:

      That's probably why he provided the screencap, he knew that they had changed it and just providing the link wouldn't prove his case, but as you see, it really didn't in the first place.

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 07:20:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It love to read tweets. Thank you for posting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, Rusty Pipes

    them.

    I'm now following the people whose tweets you posted.

    I was already following Glenn.  I love his articles and tweets.

  •  Greewald's style of journalism. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, blueness
    The problem is that doesn't really fit what has just happened so he is forced to twist the facts, misrepresent what others have said, and generally engage in some pretty shabby journalism to make his point.
    This summarizes Glenn's approach to his craft  (perhaps I should say 'crap') Why should today be different from any other.

    Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

    by OIL GUY on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 04:45:38 PM PDT

  •  Nicaraguan "Freedom fighters" (2+ / 0-)

    Enough said.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 04:49:40 PM PDT

    •  Snark aside (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe from Lowell

      how  would you classify an army that is in direct conflict with a government that has repeatedly opened fire and even bombed civilians, many of them not even demonstrators?

      The numbers are appalling.

      •  The question is, do we reserve the word (0+ / 0-)

        "terrorist" for people whose motives we dislike? And is actual terror irrelevant in the matter?

        If so (in respect to either question, nevermind both), then the word has no significant meaning at all -- we may as well just say, "villain".

        The rebel founders of the this nation were themselves guerillas and terrorists. By the rather ludicrous standards of the Patriot Act, the Boston Tea Party was itself a terrorist act, because indeed, our media and our elites would have us view any act subversive to the status quo as terrorism.

        Since the Spanish-American war at least, the agents of our government have trained, enabled, and encouraged terrorists all over the globe -- yet we delude ourselves that such tactics are unique to our philosophical enemies. Well ... the better among us delude ourselves. The worst among us -- Cheney, Negroponte, et al -- such men are in my judgment perfectly sensible of the exact and demonic nature of their operations.

        I recommend you to the prescient film, Brazil, in which the character Tutle's key terrorist activity is to repair the HVAC systems of desperate citizens who cannot satisfy the bureaucratic requirements necessary for an officially sanctioned repair.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:20:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chomsky, Kmer Rouges. Redux. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:56:49 PM PDT

  •  Pepe Escobar has a simliar take on events (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, BradyB
    Suicide bombers of the world, unite

    It is, literally, a bomb. What kind of wily actor managed to get the precious intel needed to penetrate, disrupt and destroy a meeting at the National Security building in Damascus - killing Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Assef Shawkat, Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law?

    What really happened is still murky. Reuters said it was a suicide bomber working as a bodyguard for Assad's inner circle. Agence France-Presse reported it was a suicide bomber detonating his belt. Beirut's Al-Akhbar said it was a planted bomb. Same for Lebanon's Al-Manar TV - detailing it was a 40-kilogram bomb.

    So who was it? The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? The MI6? Saudi intel? Turkish intel? Or that oh so pliable ghost - al-Qaeda?
    ...
    And then there's the newfound Western love story with suicide bombers.

    Donald Rumsfeld's former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon, Keith Urbahn, tweeted, "for once we should call a suicide bomber - the one that took out a major fraction of Assad's cabinet - a martyr."

    It doesn't matter that he got it wrong - it was not a suicide bomber but an IED. But there we have it - straight from a neo-con horse's mouth (and plenty other conservative and liberal mouths as well).

    If you use suicide bombers or IEDs to kill government officials of a "rogue state", you can get away with it; you're "one of our bastards".

    But don't even try to do it against the Green Zone in Baghdad, or the Afghan government in Kabul, or against any of our "trusted" allies such as the House of Saud and King Playstation in Jordan; then you're just an evil "terrorist".

  •  The point Greenwald is making (4+ / 0-)

    "Western Manichean reporting" is aimed straight at you Clay....

    I’m not arguing here that this is an act of Terrorism (in general, to the extent the term has any meaning at all, I think attacks on military targets do not qualify), nor am I addressing whether the bombing is justifiable. I’m certainly not calling into question the heinous violence and oppression of the Syrian regime (though I think Western Manichean reporting on the nature of the fighting and the identity of the rebels has been typically and substantially oversimplified). The point here is that we pretend Terrorism has some sort of objective meaning and that it is the personification of pure evil which all decent people (and Good Western nations) by definition categorically despise, when neither of those claims is remotely true.
  •  Shorter Greenwald: It's all about America. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clay Claiborne, oldliberal

    In the latest Arab Spring uprising, the populace of Syria has been fighting government security forces to try to overthrow one of the world's worst dictators.  Tens of thousands have died.  Yesterday, in the midst of heavy fighting in the capital, the rebels scored a major victory, decapitating the command structure of the military and internal security forces.

    So, obviously, the take-away from this is that Americans are poopy-heads.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 06:33:30 PM PDT

  •  Syria Muslim Brotherhood to launch political party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler
    http://www.ynetnews.com/...

    Syria's Muslim Brotherhood, a key opponent of President Bashar Assad's regime, announced plans Friday to launch an Islamist political party, saying it was ready for the post-Assad era.

    "The decision has been taken to create an Islamic party," the head of the Brotherhood's political wing, Ali Beyanouni, told journalists after the group completed a four-day conference in Istanbul.
    ...
    Spokesman al-Droubi acknowledged the group's current reach was limited.

    "My opinion is that in case of free elections the Muslim Brothers wouldn't have more than 25% of the votes," he said.

    But the group's leader, Mohammad Riad al-Shakfa, said the Brotherhood was still "present everywhere in Syria".

    The Brotherhood plays a key role in the Syrian National Council, the opposition coalition opposing Assad.

  •  Shia at risk of attacks from Sunni militants (0+ / 0-)
    Save the Lives of Shia Muslims and Shrines in Syria

    July 20, 2012

    Washington DC -According to our sources in Sayedah Zainab, Syria, 10 kilometers outside Damascus, thousands of Shi'a Muslims are in danger of massacre by the Free Syrian Army and groups affiliated with them. Shi'a Rights Watch has learned from many Shi'a Muslims living in the area that the Free Syrian army has threatened to massacre all the Shi'a in the area unless they flee.

    Most of the Shi'a living in the area are refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries. The Shi'a community there flourished by building hospitals, schools, hotels, and shops. The Shi'as living in and around the area of Damascus have played no part in the ongoing violence that is occurring in Syria between the rebels and the government.
    ...
    The Free Syrian Amy and similar armed groups have previously stated their anti-Shi’a positions which led to the killing of dozens of Shi'a including 23 Iraqis killed in the past ten days and the beheadings of others. Several Shia scholars where killed including Syrian born Afghan Sayed Naser Alavi who was killed April 13, 2012 .

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