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Kofi Annan is getting himself out of the Syrian peace making game now that he has not seen or heard from Bashar Assad in two weeks and his six point peace plans lays in taters on the floor. Those familiar with this series, especially Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?, know that I have little regards for his efforts with regards to massacres in Syria or in the past. Now from CBS News we have this late bulletin:

Kofi Annan resigning as U.N. envoy to Syria
11:48 a.m. ET

(CBS News) Kofi Annan abruptly announced his resignation as the Arab League and United Nations envoy for the conflict in Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement Thursday.

Annan's resignation takes effect Aug. 31, Ban said.

"Tragically, the spiral of violence in Syria is continuing. The hand extended to turn away from violence in favour of dialogue and diplomacy - as spelled out in (Annan's) Six-Point Plan - has not been not taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria. Both the Government and the opposition forces continue to demonstrate their determination to rely on ever-increasing violence," Ban said.

The resignation is a direct consequence of the escalation of the fighting in Syria and the failure of diplomacy in the region, CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk reports. The repeated failures of the United Nations Security Council to take any meaningful action on Syria appear to be a major reason for Anna's decision.

"The persistent divisions within the Security Council have themselves become an obstacle to diplomacy, making the work of any mediator vastly more difficult," Ban said.

The impact of the Annan resignation is the recognition that diplomacy has failed in Syria. On a personal front, Annan clearly was not going down with the ship - i.e. the failure of his 6-point peace plan - and his resignation was an affirmation of what most diplomats knew, and that is, both the government and the opposition are in a fight to the finish.

Here is a link to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's full statement: New York, 2 August 2012 - Statement by the Secretary-General on the Joint Special Envoy for Syria  

The Associated Press is raising some of the same questions I raised yesterday about the whereabouts of Bashar al-Assad:

Where's Assad? Mystery deepens about Syrian leader
Associated PressBy ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY and PAUL SCHEMM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad urged his military Wednesday to boost its fight against rebels, but his written call to arms only deepened a mystery over his whereabouts two weeks after a bomb penetrated his inner circle.

Assad has not spoken publicly since the July 18 bombing killed four of his top security officials — including his brother-in-law — during a rebel assault on the capital, Damascus. The president's low profile has raised questions about whether he fears for his personal safety as the civil war escalates dramatically. More..

From Kofi Annan we have this statement in the Financial Times. I have included the complete statement here in possible violation of copyright because I feel it was wrong of Kofi Annan to release such an important statement through a subscription service:
My departing advice on how to save Syria
August 2, 2012 4:52 pm
By Kofi Annan

Aleppo is under siege and the prospect of the loss of thousands more civilian lives in Syria is very high. The UN has condemned the further descent to civil war but the fighting goes on with no sign of relief for Syrians. Jihadist elements have been drawn into the conflict. There is also high concern for the security of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons. The international community has seemed strikingly powerless in its attempts to influence the brutal course of events – but this is by no means inevitable.

While the Security Council is trapped in stalemate, so too is Syria. The government has attempted to suppress, through extreme violence, a popular and widespread movement that, after 40 years of dictatorship, has decided it can no longer be intimidated. The result has been an increasing loss of control on the ground, and the opposition has turned to its own military campaign to fight back. Yet, it remains unclear how the government can be brought down through force alone.

However there is also a political impasse. A mass movement, born in the demand for civil and political rights and the empowerment of voices for change, emerged in Syria after March 2011. But, for all the extraordinary courage that it took for the protesters to march each day in the face of escalating violence by the government, this did not become a movement that bridged Syria’s communal divisions. Opportunities to overcome this were then lost in increasing violence.

Military means alone will not end the crisis. Similarly, a political agenda that is neither inclusive nor comprehensive will fail. The distribution of force and the divisions in Syrian society are such that only a serious negotiated political transition can hope to end the repressive rule of the past and avoid a future descent into a vengeful sectarian war.

For a challenge as great as this, only a united international community can compel both sides to engage in a peaceful political transition. But a political process is difficult, if not impossible, while all sides – within and without Syria – see opportunity to advance their narrow agendas by military means. International division means support for proxy agendas and the fueling of violent competition on the ground.

This is why I have consistently sought to help the international community to work together to end this destructive dynamic and to focus the minds of the parties on the ground into engaging in a political process. Early in my mandate we won international backing for this, with Security Council resolutions, which authorised UN military observers to deploy in Syria. After a ceasefire on April 12, contrary to some claims, the government’s shelling of civilian communities stopped, demonstrating the impact this unity could have.

Sustained international support did not follow, however. The ceasefire quickly unravelled and the government, realising there would be no consequences if it returned to an overt military campaign, reverted to using heavy weapons on towns. In response I sought to re-energise the drive for unity in June by creating the international Action Group for Syria, establishing a framework for a transition to support Syrians’ efforts to move to a transitional governing body with full executive powers. Transition means a managed but full change of government – a change in who leads Syria and how. We left the meeting believing a Security Council resolution endorsing the group’s decision was assured – as the first in a series of measures that would signal a turning point. But since then, there has been no follow-through. Instead, there has been finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council.

There are clear common interests among the regional and international powers in a managed political transition. A conflagration threatens an explosion in the region that could affect the rest of the world. But it takes leadership to compromise to overcome the destructive lure of national rivalries. Joint action requires bilateral and collective efforts by all countries with influence over the actors on the ground in Syria, to press upon the parties that a political solution is essential.

For Russia, China and Iran this means they must take concerted efforts to persuade Syria’s leadership to change course and embrace a political transition, realising the current government has lost all legitimacy. A first move by the government is vital, as its intransigence and refusal to implement the six-point peace plan has been the greatest obstacle to any peaceful political process, ensuring the distrust of the opposition in proposals for a negotiated transition.

For the US, UK, France, Turkey Saudi Arabia and Qatar this means pressing the opposition to embrace a fully inclusive political process – that will include communities and institutions currently associated with the government. This also means recognizing that the future of Syria rises and falls on more than the fate of just one man.

It is clear that President Bashar al-Assad must leave office. The greater focus, however, must be on measures and structures to secure a peaceful long-term transition to avoid a chaotic collapse. This is the most serious issue. The international community must shoulder its share of responsibility.

None of this is possible, however, without genuine compromise on all sides. The stalemate means that everyone must shift: the government, opposition, international as well as regional powers. In this way, the international community can unlock an essential condition for a political process – a united international community, effectively and actively supportive of a peaceful transition to legitimate government.

Syria can still be saved from the worst calamity. But this requires courage and leadership, most of all from the permanent members of the Security Council, including from Presidents Putin and Obama. Is ours an international community that will act in defence of the most vulnerable of our world, and make the necessary sacrifices to help? The coming weeks in Syria will tell.

The writer, a former UN secretary-general and a Nobel Peace Laureate, was the joint special envoy of the UN and League of Arab States for Syria. He resigned on Thursday.

EAWorldView has this report on Syria today:
Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is Aleppo Out of Control?
Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 10:12 | James Miller


1555 GMT: Syria. Kofi Annan has resigned and Aleppo is still in the headlines, but the most significant news today appears to be what's happening inside Damascus. Widespread violence is rocking parts of the capital, and activists are now reporting that snipers are claiming many lives.

Southern districts of Damascus, like Yalda, Tadamon, Daf shouk, and the areas around the Palestinian refugee camps in Yarmouk (map), have been ravaged by sniper fire. Many have died in the area, according to the Local Coordinating Committees.

Southwest of Darayya, which is southwest of the capital, clashes continue at this hour in Jdaidat Artouz (map), area of a reported "massacre," (see earlier updates), as the Free Syrian Army and the regime military are now battling for control of access to the south of the capital.

These developments could be significant. While the Free Syrian Army has yet to establish a strong foothold inside Damascus, the FSA still has many members in the suburbs. If the FSA can obtain a military foothold in Jdaidet Artouz or Darayya, it will have the ability to launch attacks on the military bases just south of the capital, the real heart of Assad's military stranglehold on Damascus. So far, it's very hard to tell if these developments are militarily significant, so we'll have to monitor closely any developments in this area.

1540 GMT: Syria. The buzz on Twitter is all about the Kofi Annan resignation, but this just about wraps up our take on it:



1504 GMT: Syria. The UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has quit his post, and after August 31st will no longer be the envoy to Syria. A statement from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced the resignation and thanked Annan for his service, but did not give more details as to the reason for the sudden resignation:


My consultations with the League of Arab States Secretary-General are under way with a view to the prompt appointment of a successor who can carry on this crucial peacemaking effort. I remain convinced that yet more bloodshed is not the answer; each day of it will only make the solution more difficult while bringing deeper suffering to the country and greater peril to the region.

Tragically, the spiral of violence in Syria is continuing. The hand extended to turn away from violence in favour of dialogue and diplomacy - as spelled out in the Six-Point Plan - has not been not taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria. Both the Government and the opposition forces continue to demonstrate their determination to rely on ever-increasing violence. In addition, the persistent divisions within the Security Council have themselves become an obstacle to diplomacy, making the work of any mediator vastly more difficult.

The UN remains committed to pursue through diplomacy an end to the violence and a Syrian-led solution that meets the legitimate democratic aspirations of its people. This can only succeed – indeed any peacemaking effort can only prosper – when the parties to the violence make a firm commitment to dialogue, and when the international community is strongly united in support.


James Miller, back from vacation, takes over today's live coverage. A major thank you to Scott Lucas for getting us to the afternoon, and for, with the help of EA's other writers, writing the Syria coverage while I was gone.

1257 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA is still not referring to events in Aleppo, although it is promoting "Heavy Losses Inflicted upon Terrorists" in Aleppo Province, with operations in al-Atareb and al-Hajeb killing "terrorists of foreign nationalities".

1124 GMT: Syria. Al Arabiya tells the story of the summary execution of a regime sniper by insurgents near Izaz on the Turkish border.

1050 GMT: Syria. Reuters notes in an overview of four State-owned banks and 14 privately owned institutions, "There is little corporate lending or trade finance, but deposits and withdrawals continue....[They have] largely been cut off from the global financial system by international sanctions against Assad's regime."

1010 GMT: Syria. United Nations agencies, after consultations with the regime, report that up to 3 million people are in need of food, crop and livestock assistance over the coming year. Of that number, "around 1.5 million people need urgent and immediate food assistance over the next 3 to 6 months".

1000 GMT: Syria. Reports since yesterday have indicated that communications in Aleppo have been cut. French consultant Jean Pierre Duthion reports:

Fadi Salem, who was recently in the city:

Activist Rami Jarrah:

Iran's Press TV, which supports the Syrian regime's line, frames the story this way: "Syrian Army Destroys Insurgents' Telecom Systems".

0955 GMT: Syria. Two Turkish journalists, abducted on Wednesday by members of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), have been released.

Cihat Arpacık of Milli Gazete and Kemal Gümüş of Star were covering clashes in and near Aleppo when they were held.

0930 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of Free Syrian Army fighters inspecting a captured tank in Abu Kamal in the east:

0912 GMT: UAE. Human Rights Watch has called on US and British officials to press the United Arab Emirates to release 50 dissidents detained since March.

Since 16 July, when it declared a plot to undermine the State, the regime has seized 36 Emirati civil society and human rights activists, including two prominent human rights lawyers.

The whereabouts of 38 of the detained men remain unknown.

0828 GMT: Syria. US outlets are claiming that President Obama has signed a secret finding which confirms covert support to insurgents.

A US Government source acknowledged that, under provisions of the finding, Washington was collaborating with Turkish, European, and Arab States in a secret command center inside Turkey on the Syrian border.

The covert US aid of the insurgency, including finance, logistics, and supervision of supplies of weapons, has gradually been revealed this spring.

0818 GMT: Syria. Insurgents have bombarded the Menagh air base that was being used by regime helicopter gunships and other warplanes to attack Aleppo.

An AFP reporter who heard and saw the bombardment, 30 kilometres (about 19 miles) northwest of Syria's largest city (see map).

0813 GMT: Egypt. The Salafist Nour Party has refused any role in the new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, claiming the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) had "failed to fulfil its promises" to the ultra-conservative party.

Leading member Ahmed Khalil said Nour had rejected a proposal by Qandil to appoint Khaled Alim Eddin as Minister of Environment.

The Salafists finished second to the FJP in Parliamentary voting this winter, taking more than 20% of ballots.

On Tuesday, Qandil met with President Mohamed Morsi to review the final list of new Cabinet appointees. They are expected to be sworn into their offices before Morsi on Thursday.

0705 GMT: Syria. Lebanon deported 14 Syrians on Wednesday.

Lebanese authorities said the reasons for the expulsions were not political, but a Human Rights Watch representative in Beirut said, "Fourteen men were deported to Syria today, despite the fact that four of them had asked not to be deported for fear of persecution if handed over to the Syrian authorities."

0655 GMT: Syria. Reuters has detail on one of Wednesday's claimed mass killings (see 0515 and 0625 GMT):

"The tanks and troops left around 4 p.m. When the streets were clear we found the bodies of at least 35 men," a resident, who gave his name as Fares, said by phone from Jdeidet Artouz, southwest of Damascus.

"Almost all of them were executed with bullets to their face, head and neck in homes, gardens and basements," he added....

Syrian state television said "dozens of terrorists and mercenaries surrendered or were killed" when the army raided Jdeidet Artouz and its surrounding farmlands.

"We launched a raid on a farm and we were surprised by the number of armed men who clashed with us --- from up on the roof and from down here," an army officer said from the area, adding his troops had seized bombs, mines, guns and uniforms.

Fares, who did not give his last name for fear of retribution, said soldiers from the Fourth Division, a praetorian guard unit under the command of Assad's brother Maher, came into his house.

"They examined my ID and let me go. They seem to have been looking for activists or young men with a certain profile to execute," he said.

He said the bodies were collected at the Omar bin al-Khattab mosque and buried in a mass grave dug by a bulldozer volunteered by the owner of nearby farmland.

"There are more bodies in al-Sahl area but we could not reach them because there is an army roadblock there," he said.

Another resident of the suburb said the total number of dead was at least 50.

0640 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees have put out a statementdeclaring, "As more and more areas slip out of the regime’s control in Syria, and as the regime nears its collapse, the need for a national transitional government has become paramount."

At the same time, the Committees criticised "hasty attempts by certain individuals and committees to form this much-needed government....On occasion...these hasty attempts have crossed the line over the values of our great revolution and have insulted the martyrs and sacrifices the Syrian people have made over the last year and a half, in addition to the sacrifices made over the past decades of dictatorship."

0625 GMT: Syria. There is nothing in State news agency SANA this morning about developments in Aleppo.

The site does refer to the Damascus suburbs Jdaidat Artouz and Yalda, both claimed as sites of "massacres" by the Local Coordination Committees on Wednesday (see 0515 GMT):

An Army unit today stormed dens used by armed terrorist groups in Yalda and Babila, Damascus countryside, clashing with their members, killing a number of terrorists and arresting others.

In Jdaidat Artouz, Damascus countryside, a unit from the Syrian Army pursued vanquished armed groups, clashing with them and killing, injuring a number of them.

Scores of the terrorists have surrendered and handed their weapons to the authorities.


0515 GMT: Syria. Almost since the start of the fighting in Aleppo last week, both the regime and the insurgents have claimed control. Yesterday, the head of the Free Syrian Army's Military Council and the spokesman for the insurgents in Aleppo each said that their fighters had taken most of the neighbourhoods, occupying 70% of the territory of Syria's largest city.

However, the real question may be whether anyone has "control". Beyond Wednesday's headlines about the execution of members of a prominent pro-Assad clan by insurgents was the recognition that the Free Syrian Army --- far from being vanquished --- could not only hold out against regime attacks but take the offensive in the battle. At the same time, those killings --- accompanied by the blunt statement of the head of the insurgent Military Council that there will be many more --- pointed to a phase in which there will be no semblance of order.

Beyond Aleppo, the opposition brought news of "massacres" near Damascus. Of the 180 deaths claimed by the Local Coordination Committees on Wednesday, 104 were in and around the capital, including mass killing of 50 in Jdeidet Artouz and 27 in Yalda.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed the death of  74 civilians, 43 soldiers and 18 insurgents on Wednesday. The regime does not post news of casualties in its forces.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Syria: Bashar al-Assad not heard from on Armed Forces Day!
BREAKING: Senior Syrian diplomat to Armenia defects
BREAKING: Big Explosion hits #Damascus #Syria
UPDATED: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post
BREAKING: Ground assault on Aleppo begins!
BREAKING: Protests across Syria in spite of Assad regime violence
ALEPPO: Step outside the Matrix and witness the Horror
UPDATED: US fears massacre in #Aleppo, #Syria
BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army
BRAKING: Obama stops Putin from re-arming Assad in Syria
Syria: Foreign meddling increases as crisis builds
BREAKING: Aleppo, Syria bombed with fighter jets
BREAKING: Syria issues a correction, it has no WMD to use
BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Glenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in 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
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
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
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Comment Preferences

  •  Only a Ceasefire will End the Nightmare in Syria (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, mickT
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/...

    Unending violence, sectarian concerns and the geopolitics over Iran threaten to destroy Syria’s territorial integrity and plunge the region into a bloody conflict

    By Patrick Seale

    August 01, 2012 "Gulf News" -- Once one of the most solid states in the Middle East and a key pivot of the regional power structure, Syria is now facing wholesale destruction. The consequences of the unfolding drama are likely to be disastrous for Syria’s territorial integrity, for the well-being of its population, for regional peace, and for the interests of external powers deeply involved in the crisis.

    The most immediate danger is that the fighting in Syria, together with the current severe pressure being put on Syria’s Iranian ally, will provide the spark for a wider conflagration from which no one will be immune.

    How did it come to this? Every actor in the crisis bears a share of responsibility. Syria is the victim of the fears and appetites of its enemies as well as its own leaders’ mistakes.

    •  Why don't you write your own diary? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mircead, mookins

      Here you are again 5 minutes and 54 seconds after I post the news that Annan resigns, with the latest trash from the pro-Qaddafi, pro-Assad, pro-Putin [mis]information clearing house. How the hell is that a response to my diary?

      You want to reprint this pro-Assad trash on the Daily Kos, why don't you do it in your own fucking dairy?

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

      by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 09:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You didn't read the article did you? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw
        How did it come to this? Every actor in the crisis bears a share of responsibility. Syria is the victim of the fears and appetites of its enemies as well as its own leaders’ mistakes.

        With hindsight, it can be seen that President Bashar Al Assad missed the chance to reform the tight security state he inherited in 2000 from his father. Instead of recognising — and urgently addressing — the thirst for political freedoms, personal dignity and economic opportunity, which were the messages of the ‘Damascus Spring’ of his first year in power, he screwed the lid down ever more tightly.

        Suffocating controls over every aspect of Syrian society were reinforced, and made harder to bear by the blatant corruption and privileges of the few and the hardships suffered by the many. Physical repression became routine. Instead of cleaning up his security apparatus, curbing police brutality and improving prison conditions, he allowed them to remain as gruesome and deplorable as ever.

        •  This was written yesterday, he is not talking (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          UnaSpenser, mircead, mookins

          Annan's resignation, and no, I don't hurry up and read all the crap you post to my diary.

          Write your own fucking dairy!

          With hindsight, it can be seen that President Bashar Al Assad missed the chance to reform
          What a load of crap you are spewing.

          How about how he is also missing the chance not to drop cluster bombs on civilians?

          How about he is missing the chance not to mow down protesters with helicopter gunships?

          How about he is missing the chance not to shell Idlib, Dara, Homs, Hama, Aleppo & Damascus with long range artillery?

          Why are you here and so diligent in trying to prettify a mass murderer?

          Have you no shame?  

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

          by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 09:57:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In you words: prettify a mass murderer? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw, Russgirl, BradyB

            The article states:

            .........he screwed the lid down ever more tightly...........

            Instead of cleaning up his security apparatus, curbing police brutality and improving prison conditions, he allowed them to remain as gruesome and deplorable as ever.

            You need to start engaging your readers who disagree with you instead of demonizing them. Other readers who might be on the fence or looking for info on this issue can't take you seriously when you label readers with disagreements as posting:
            the latest trash from the pro-Qaddafi, pro-Assad, pro-Putin [mis]information clearing house. How the hell is that a response to my diary?
            That source you just trashed was obviously not what you labeled it as. So why not actually discuss that source instead of trashing it and the commenter?

            Aren't diaries meant to be places for dialogue and the sharing of information?

            •  Here's what the [mis]information clearing house (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mookins

              had to say about the Libyan Revolution:

              No rapes, no African mercenaries, no helicopter gun ships or bombers, and only 110 ten deaths prior to the launch of the NATO bombing campaign, every reason was based on a lie.

              Today according to the Libyan Red Crescent Society, over 1,100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombs including over 400 women and children. Over 6,000 Libyan civilians have been injured or wounded by the bombing, many very seriously.

              1,100 civilians killed by NATO bombs? And this was on July 23, 2011. 15 months later when all the bombing was done, HRW found that NATO had killed 72 civilians, or how about this:
              Libya under Col. Gadaffi hasn’t invaded their neighbors.
              Chad might see things differently.
              This is how they saw things in Libya:
              The Libyan people have the best, free public health system in the Arab world. The Libyan people have the best, free public education system in the Arab world. Most Libyan families own their own home and most Libyan families own their own automobile.
              And best of all
              The majority of the Libyan people are rallying behind the Libyan government and “the leader”, Muammar Gadaffi, with over one million people demonstrating in support on July 1 in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
              Like I said, ...

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

              by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 10:49:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Meh. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Russgirl, Claudius Bombarnac, BradyB

                Have fun. I'm done reading your diaries. The conflict you seem to enjoy was amusing for a while but the constant refrains of Pro-Assad kossaks and other accusations have worn thin. People are always going to disagree with you. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are on the other side.

              •  We've been through this before (0+ / 0-)
                Amnesty questions Libyan mass rape

                Human rights organisations have cast doubt on claims of mass rape and other abuses perpetrated by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which have been widely used to justify Nato's war in Libya.

                Nato leaders, opposition groups and the media have produced a stream of stories since February 15 claiming the Gaddafi regime has ordered mass rapes, used foreign mercenaries and employed helicopters against civilian protesters.

                An investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for these human rights violations and in many cases has discredited or cast doubt on them.

                It also found indications that on several occasions Benghazi rebels appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence.

                •  See, Gadaffi wasn't so bad after all. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clay Claiborne

                  Silly Libyans.

                •  Alleged Libyan rape victim struggling to start (0+ / 0-)

                  anew in America
                  From CNN:

                  By Suzanne Malveaux and Moni Basu, CNN
                  updated 3:17 PM EST, Tue December 13, 2011

                  Washington (CNN) -- Hers is a struggle shared by all freshly arrived refugees in the United States. Learning English. Getting a job. Adapting to American culture.

                  But starting life anew has been that much tougher for Eman al-Obeidi, the woman who came to embody the cruelty of Moammar Gadhafi's regime in the midst of Libya's brutal civil war. She lives every day with the scars of the rape she alleges was committed by Gadhafi's thugs.

                  Sometimes, she said in an exclusive interview with CNN, she gets so depressed that she doesn't leave her apartment for days. Other times, she can't even get out of bed for three or four days.

                  "I cry all the time just like little children," she says wiping dry her moist eyes. "And I always smile, too."

                  Al-Obeidi found relief on these shores when she arrived here last summer. She finally felt safe, unlike in Libya, where she felt constantly in danger and her family was threatened.

                  But she has found it hard to make ends meet. She said she has been going to the employment office for four months but job opportunities have been slim.

                  "When I came, I never imagined life would be this hard," she said. "As we say in Libya, you have to kill yourself working. I wish there was work. There are no work opportunities."

                  Her family in Libya sends her $300 a month. Without that, she said, she would not have made it so far.

                  Out of desperation, last week, al-Obeidi bought a one-way ticket from Colorado to Washington with money from an Iraqi family. She had all but $100 in her bag; she used $65 of it and took a taxi to the Libyan Embassy in Washington.

                  She came with a distrust of politicians and diplomats but with hope in her heart that her compatriots would not turn her away. But Libyan Ambassador Ali Aujali, she said, spoke to her like a father.

                  He offered her an educational stipend. And health insurance.

                  "It means everything to me," she said, opening up an envelope containing check for $1,800.

                  "It's not about whether it's a lot or little. It's about the time that I got it," she said.

                  It was like winning the lottery. Otherwise, she might have wound up on the street in a few days.

                  Aujali said he thought al-Obeidi needs help.

                  "I told her one thing," he said. "You have to close the doors to the past and look to the future. She cannot live in misery the rest of her life."

                  Al-Obeidi first caught the world's attention in March when she burst into Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, where foreign journalists were staying, and publicly accused members of Gadhafi's forces of gang-raping her.

                  She was hysterical. She screamed that she had been taken from a checkpoint and held against her will for two days while being beaten and raped by 15 of Gadhafi's militiamen.

                  Security officials said al-Obeidi was "mentally ill" and was being taken to a "hospital." They dragged her unceremoniously to a waiting white car and whisked her away. She wasn't heard from for more than a week, but eventually in media interviews, she spoke of her ordeal.

                  She fled to Tunisia in May with the help of a defected military officer and the Libyan rebels, then in the thick of civil war. She found temporary sanctuary in Qatar before being granted asylum in the United States.

                  Al-Obeidi arrived in New York at the end of July and with the help of a refugee agency, she was resettled in Colorado.

                  She has no family in the United States, and she would perhaps like to return to her homeland one day.

                  "Of course, there is no one who doesn't wish to go back to his country," she said. "But I am not mentally ready for that. I also feel personally I am not ready to integrate back into society, I am not ready. I feel life is hard for me because it is different -- in culture ... language -- everything is different here."

                  Al-Obeidi cannot know the twists and turns her life will take from here. She wants to finish schooling. Marry. Five years from now, she pictures herself as a mother.

                  One thing she knows though. If and when she returns home, it will be to a Libya without Gadhafi.

                  She just wishes Gadhafi had met proper justice. She felt his killers did him a favor by ending his life. In the eyes of some, he became a martyr.

                  "They shouldn't have given him this honor," she said.

                  He should have been tried for his crimes, she said -- for what he did to the people of Libya, for what he did to her.

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:57:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Libyan rebels say captured cell phone videos show (0+ / 0-)

                  rape, torture

                  From CNN:

                  June 16, 2011|By Sara Sidner, CNN

                  On the front lines of Libya's war, rebel fighters say they are finding more than weapons on captured or killed soldiers loyal to ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

                  Rebels say they have confiscated cell phones that contain video showing Gadhafi loyalists raping women and torturing people.

                  CNN has obtained a copy of a video shot on a cell phone that appears to show a woman being sexually abused. The person who gave the video to CNN says it was on a cell phone that was confiscated from a Gadhafi loyalist.

                  It shows two men in civilian clothes standing over a naked woman who is bent over with her face on the floor.

                  The man standing behind her is sodomizing her with what appears to be a broomstick. "I can't bear it! I can't bear it!" the woman cries.

                  "Let's push it farther," a male voice says off-camera.

                  "No, no, that's enough!" the woman begs.

                  Eventually, one of the men puts his sock-covered foot on her face. In Arab culture, that is considered a major insult. But in this case, it pales in comparison to what the victim is already enduring.

                  Arabic speakers who listened to the video at CNN's request say the voices have Tripoli accents. There is no date on the video and the men in it are not wearing military uniforms.

                  CNN has been unable to verify the video's authenticity, when it was shot, or by whom. The person who gave it to CNN asked not to be identified for fear of being punished by Libya's conservative society.

                  The Gadhafi government did not respond to CNN requests for comment on the allegations of abuse.

                  But officials have said in response to similar accusations in the past that the government has not been able to verify the claims and would "welcome" a fact-finding mission.

                  An opposition spokesman says the video illustrates a pattern of abuse.

                  "We were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic," rebel spokesman Abdullah al-Kabeir said.

                  The rebels have many videos showing other types of torture, and a few depict rape, he said. He did not know exactly how many videos there were showing abuse.

                  One of the most famous faces of Libya's revolution, Eman al-Obeidy, dramatically claimed in March she had been gang-raped by pro-Gadhafi forces. She has since fled the country.

                  A Libyan psychologist who has conducted an investigation of her own says al-Obeidy's case is not unique.

                  Siham Sergewa says she has evidence of hundreds of cases of rape by pro-Gadhafi troops.

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:03:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Did Libyan Video of a Journalist’s Rape Get (0+ / 0-)

                  Posted on YouTube? [Warning: Graphic Images]

                  Here's something truly horrifying: a video that appears to depict a woman being raped in Benghazi, Libya has surfaced on YouTube. It's already been taken down, but now the question is: who raped her, who posted it on the internet, and will she ever get justice?

                  The video is titled, in Arabic, "Original video of foreign journalist being raped in Benghazi." We captured it before it was removed, but we're not going to post it here. Instead, we'll summarize and post a few (non-graphic, non-victim-identifying) screenshots. If you don't want to learn more about what appears to be a brutal rape, you should just stop here.

                  Did Libyan Video of a Journalist's Rape Get Posted on YouTube? [Warning: Graphic Images]The video appears to depict three young men assaulting the woman. Here are two of them.

                  Did Libyan Video of a Journalist's Rape Get Posted on YouTube? [Warning: Graphic Images]Here's part of the face of the third. The video is poor-quality.

                  Did Libyan Video of a Journalist's Rape Get Posted on YouTube? [Warning: Graphic Images]The victim is mostly naked. The men fondle and kiss her breasts, and appear to penetrate her. One dangles his penis near her face. Note: this image is the same as the (pixelated) one above. It appears to depict the woman's side and arm and her attacker's head.

                  Did Libyan Video of a Journalist's Rape Get Posted on YouTube? [Warning: Graphic Images]She appears to be semi-conscious, possibly drugged.

                  The video was posted yesterday by a user named libya19692011. He's posted one other video, in August of last year — it's still available, and appears to depict some sort of gun battle. His username seems to be a reference to Gaddafi, who ruled Libya from 1969 until 2011. libya19692011 also has a Twitter feed, under the name Ahmed Aldorssi. His two English-language tweets, both from January 9, 2011, read "libya" and "long life the king of africa." Another tweet, from February 2011, reads "Great Jamihiriya," a name Gaddafi coined for Libya. People familiar with Middle Eastern politics who have seen the video speculate that it may have been made by Gaddafi loyalists, which would be in keeping with Aldorssi's tweets.

                  Benghazi is also the home city of Iman al-Obeidi, the woman who accused Gaddafi supporters of raping her last March. She said they targeted her because Benghazi was a rebel center. It's also where 41 Gaddafi loyalists are currently on trial for "supporting the Kadhafi regime in its attempts to crush the popular revolt, killing people, breaking of national unity, as well as helping prisoners to escape and setting up criminal gangs." The trial started Sunday, two days before the video was posted. We can't know if the two are connected, but it certainly seems like any remaining loyalists in Benghazi could be full of rage right now. And although there's no identification yet of anybody in the video, the footage does show one man's face — and if Ahmed Aldorssi is the poster's real name, he should be easy to find. If anything good comes of the recording and posting of this disgusting crime, maybe it will be that the criminals actually get prosecuted.

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:09:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That video doesn't prove a thing. It could have (0+ / 0-)

                    been done by anyone at any time. The attackers are very young (look to be under 20) and dressed in bright t-shirts.

                    The current site that has the video says it is the rebels who are guilty. I don't believe it is related to the conflict.

                    There is a perfect picture of one of the attackers if someone in Libya wishes to pursue it.

                •  Rape used 'as a weapon' in Libya (0+ / 0-)

                  From AJE:

                  Doctors in city of Ajdabiya say pro-Gaddafi forces have used rape as a "weapon of war".
                  Last Modified: 28 Mar 2011 05:22

                  As Libya's opposition fighters push west, doctors are uncovering more victims from the front line.

                  Several doctors say they have found Viagra tablets and condoms in the pockets of dead pro-Gaddafi fighters, alleging that they were using rape as a weapon of war.

                  They say they have been treating female rape survivors who were allied with pro-democracy forces.

                  Furthermore, 175 people, including doctors, have been reported missing from Ajdabiya, and many have now been found to have been killed.

                  Al Jazeera's Sue Turton reports from Ajdabiya.

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:18:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Al Jazeera was the first "news" agency to (0+ / 0-)

                    publish the "Viagra" story. Since the events in Egypt, Al Jazeera has lost much of it's credibility. Mainly due to it's reporting of Libya and now Syria. Six of their reporters have resigned due to it's biased reporting.

                    Qatar was a major funder and supplier of arms and military "advisers" to both Libya and Syria.

                    Breaking the Arab News

                    AUGUST 2, 2012

                    While civil war rages on the Syrian battlefield between regime loyalists and myriad rebel factions, another battle is taking place in the media world. Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, the two Gulf-based channels that dominate the Arabic news business, have moved to counter Syrian regime propaganda, but have ended up distorting the news almost as badly as their opponents. In their bid to support the Syrian rebels' cause, these media giants have lowered their journalistic standards, abandoned rudimentary fact-checks, and relied on anonymous callers and unverified videos in place of solid reporting.

                    Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya were founded by members of the Qatari and Saudi royal families, respectively, and their coverage of Syria faithfully reflects the political positions of their backers.
                    ...
                     But the real loss here is for Al Jazeera, a channel that was followed by tens of millions of Arab viewers last year at the height of the Arab uprisings and is today a shadow of its former self. After I wrote about the station's bias in favor of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood last month, more than a dozen of the channel's employees confirmed the fact to me in emails.

                    Al Jazeera employs the same tactics in its coverage of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a part of the domestic opposition movement, as it does with the Brotherhood's Egyptian counterpart. Arabic-language Al Jazeera had earlier assigned its Syria desk to Ahmed Ibrahim, the brother of Anas al-Abdah, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council (SNC). Ibrahim goes by a different name in order to avoid being affiliated with his brother. As a result of this relationship, according to several Al Jazeera insiders, Brotherhood-friendly analysts are frequently invited to air their views. For instance, SNC member Mohammad Aloush, a familiar guest on Al Jazeera, published a long op-ed on the channel's website stating that the new Syrian Muslim Brotherhood covenant is a "message of assurance" to the Syrian people and that "nothing better has been presented."
                    ...

                •  Security Council criticised over rape in Libya (0+ / 0-)

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:23:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's still going on (0+ / 0-)
                    Torture, Rape in Prisons Under Libya's New Government
                    Rights officials say rape, torture, and summary executions are widespread in Libya's prisons under the post-Qaddafi regime.
                    1/28/2012

                    The UN's top human rights official said Friday that Libya's transitional government must take control of its prisons and prevent further atrocities against detainees.

                    “There's torture, extrajudicial executions, rape of both men and women,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the Associated Press.

                    Pillay says she is particularly concerned about sub-Saharan African detainees whom the brigades automatically brand as fighters for the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

                    Briefing the UN Security Council about Libya on Wednesday, she demanded action from the world community.

                •  Libyan woman claims rape by 15 of Gaddafi's men (0+ / 0-)

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:26:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And Finally (0+ / 0-)

                  This is also from Amnesty, but 6 months after the report you choose:

                  For women, the quick evolution of anti-government protests into a fully
                  fledged armed conflict decreased their frontline participation and visibility, although many contributed to opposition efforts and suffered as a result. Al-
                  Gaddafi forces arrested women during the conflict and held several of them incommunicado at unrecognized places of detention. Some were beaten and otherwise ill-treated amid reports of rape.

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

                  by Clay Claiborne on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:46:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  the point is that this diary is about the Annan (3+ / 0-)

          resignation. If you want to have a conversation about another aspect of the Syria situation, make a diary of your own. Don't hijack this one.

          •  My post is directly responsive to this diary (0+ / 0-)

            From this diary:

               

            My consultations with the League of Arab States Secretary-General are under way with a view to the prompt appointment of a successor who can carry on this crucial peacemaking effort. I remain convinced that yet more bloodshed is not the answer; each day of it will only make the solution more difficult while bringing deeper suffering to the country and greater peril to the region.

                Tragically, the spiral of violence in Syria is continuing. The hand extended to turn away from violence in favour of dialogue and diplomacy - as spelled out in the Six-Point Plan - has not been not taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria. Both the Government and the opposition forces continue to demonstrate their determination to rely on ever-increasing violence. In addition, the persistent divisions within the Security Council have themselves become an obstacle to diplomacy, making the work of any mediator vastly more difficult.

                The UN remains committed to pursue through diplomacy an end to the violence and a Syrian-led solution that meets the legitimate democratic aspirations of its people. This can only succeed – indeed any peacemaking effort can only prosper – when the parties to the violence make a firm commitment to dialogue, and when the international community is strongly united in support.

          •  So the reasons for the resignation of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mickT, Claudius Bombarnac

            Annan are irrelevant to his resignation? Huh?

      •  If you think he (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl, mickT, Claudius Bombarnac

        writes "pro-Assad" trash, your diaries may well be perceived as "pro-war", "pro-Saudi Arabia" trash.   Just saying....

  •  I think you mean "he has not seen" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, Clay Claiborne
  •  Annan out, covert aid authorized (0+ / 0-)

    And FL al-Assad doesn't strike me as a Theodora fan.

    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 Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 10:39:36 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I heard on RT that Obama has authorized (0+ / 0-)

      covert aid to the Syrian rebels, but CNN is reporting it too.  Obama authorized covert support for Syrian rebels, sources say:

      President Barack Obama has signed a covert directive authorizing U.S. support for Syrian rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad's forces, U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday.

      The secret order, referred to as an intelligence "finding," allows for clandestine support by the CIA and other agencies.

      It was unclear when the president signed the authorization for Syria, but the sources said it was within the past several months.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security (0+ / 0-)

    Council".  Gee, I wonder who he's talking about.

    What members of the Security Council have been saying of late that the time for diplomacy over Syria is over?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:20:45 AM PDT

  •  War crimes by the FSA rebels (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, mookins

    Another related story about what's happening in Syria in the BBC News.

    Confirming the obvious.  That in that war the Assad regime are not the only ones who have committed atrocities.   The FSA has been committing war crimes and in this case documented ones.

  •  The Guardian's Timeline of Today's Events (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    killjoy

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