Support for the People of Syria

Posted by Esther Brimmer
February 28, 2012
Assistant Secretary Brimmer Addresses the Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on Syria
Assistant Secretary Brimmer and Ambassador Donahoe Listen to the Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on Syria
Assistant Secretary Brimmer Delivers Remarks to the Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on Syria
Officials Listen to the Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on Syria

Earlier today, I spoke before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where I joined many other nations gathered to demand an end to the Assad government's outrageous and ongoing crimes against the people of Syria. Syrian civilians and international journalists risk their lives daily to inform the world of the horrendous scale of slaughter and suffering, and the Commission of Inquiry launched by the UN Human Rights Council last August concluded that the Syrian government forces have perpetrated crimes against humanity. No one can deny that Bashar al-Assad and his regime are waging a brutal campaign of slaughter, bombardment, torture, and arrest that already has murdered thousands of women, men, and children, with more killed each day.

As I said earlier today, the Syrian government must immediately halt its attacks on civilians, withdraw its military and security forces to their barracks, and release the many civilians, including journalists, whom it has detained arbitrarily. The government must grant humanitarian access to the country without delay, allowing much-needed food, water, and medical assistance to be delivered to the Syrian people. All states should heed the call of conscience, and halt any financial or other support to the Syrian government, including arms or materiel transfers, and must back UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.

The way forward is clear. In the coming weeks, the UN Human Rights Council must extend the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry, so that it can continue to investigate and document the gross human rights violations being committed in Syria, providing evidence to support accountability for the senior Syrian officials who have planned and perpetrated these atrocities. Finally, Assad must go. There must be a Syrian-led democratic political transition that meets the long-suppressed aspirations of the Syrian people.

The international community supports these essential steps as the solution to the violence in Syria. They are at the core of the plan the Arab League has put forward. They were further endorsed in Tunis last week by the Group of Friends of Syria. They were backed by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly resolution adopted on February 16, 2012. And although thirteen members of the Security Council supported these steps earlier this month, indefensible vetoes by two permanent members gave Assad cover to accelerate his war on the Syrian people.

Syrian women, men, and children face murder and starvation at the hands of their own government, simply because they demand respect for the universal human rights the Human Rights Council exists to protect and advance. Let us demonstrate today that the world stands united with the people of Syria, for it is they who represent their country's future, just as Assad and his regime represent its past.

Comments

Comments

John
|
Canada
March 8, 2012

John in Canada writes:

@ Eric - why do you get so mad when some one challenges your war mongering?

Your correct this board is moderated - not my choice if someone decides to post my thoughts. Would you prefer a Chinese run moderated board with only state sanctioned posts allowed or only those that agree with you?

I would challenge anyone who talks so much of war in the name of peace - too many of those intellectual farts these days.(laugh)

Try opening your eyes Eric - if you can get them away from the propaganda machine for two seconds.

Why save a life Eric, if that life you saved just takes another life - perhaps your own? or do you not think that far ahead?

When dealing with people - life is pretty simple Eric - Diplomacy is just people.

Your infantile take on situations blinds you to both history and reality.

Like I said before Eric any idiot can start a war but it takes real leaders to make peace.

"Failed Policy" is everywhere Eric - when was the last time you vacated New Mexico? Its a big world and policies are failing everywhere not just in America. Just ask your friend John P. in greece about failed policy.(laugh)

I have complained to my government about issues - takes them seven months to respond. This is more fun.(laugh)

ooh wee I bet your face was red typing that last post. (chuckle)Settle down dude.

Your postings are revealing why you champion war, war, war - you seem to have some pent up anger. Everything all right?

Guns + Anger = bad outcome.

----------------------------------------------

@John P in Greece - I seem to only use the terminology that offends you and Eric with - you and Eric (laugh).

I dont think you or Eric could listen to anyone other than those that spew your own views of WAR

John P.
|
Greece
March 8, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

We were talking about Libya if I recall, having a 3 persons debate on whether U.S. had a chance to win the “case”. Same situation like in Syria I’d say.

The third person had identified himself as a special PhD analyst, expert in the area, predicting that U.S. and NATO will never change the situation in Libya. He also predicted that this “war” would take plenty of years.

Some “mysterious” guys also were saying familiar things as you read today in the Blog concerning Syria.

The only one who predicted the result was you (and me, after reading carefully to your thoughts). All the others changed subject as they already do for Syria conversation when the going gets tough.

Unfortunately, I probably don’t have the archive (I will also look at my backup disc), but once again History and Logic proved you were RIGHT!

And as I see, Future will probably prove you right once again no matter if John in Canada “warns” us.

Best,
John

P.S. Do you think that we are so bad people as John describes us? (CHUCKLE)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 8, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

BBC News Item;

(excerpt)

After visiting Homs, one of the first cities to join the uprising last March, the UN humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos said the bombed-out Baba Amr district felt like it had been closed down.

"The devastation there is significant, that part of Homs is completely destroyed and I am concerned to know what has happened to the people who live in that part of the city," Baroness Amos told Reuters news agency.

---end---

(excerpt from a previous post on this thread)

"Meanwhile, back in the hood, Assad's forces are busy covering up their crimes against humanity right now and are blocking aid from the Red Cross into the hardest hit areas so there won't be any evidence, because when they do finally get in, there won't be anyone left alive to recieve it."

EJ -Posted on Mon Mar 05, 2012

---

To all the good Folk @ State, c/o Dipnotebloggers,

For reasons I can't quite explain, which go way beyond the notion of "an informed citizen" apparently; You are hereby witness to things I know beforehand of which I shouldn't by all reasonable standards of deduction, open source media, or even by "inside source" know, classified or unclassified, or by any logical reasonable means of guesswork...know beforehand.

And now you know why "I hate being right most of the time.", because I find this talent of mine (however one may care to characterize it), disturbing in the extreme on occasions like this one. Which isn't the first time, nor will it likely be the last time, and "as with most of my posts offering assesment, it takes a little while before they are proven correct."

If I knew what mechanism was at work in my brain that allows me to know these things that will happen before they happen, I'd bottle it and send you'all the recipe so you could know the things I should not possibly be able to know, long before it happens...so you'all can prove my assesments wrong.

One thing's for sure; your sat. photo tech should allow this gov. to find the mass graves by the heat signature of the upturned soil, because I can tell the Baroness that she doesn't have to wonder where all the people went anymore.

If I was a drinkin' man I'd seriously tie one on right about now in the hopes I could drown this talent my mom calls "second sight" in blissful ignorance, permanently.

But, since that just ain't my style, please do yourselves a favor and check the sat photos from the last two weeks around Homs, and then get back to me if my gut-instinct is proven correct with hard evidence.

I have an idea I'd like to discuss privately.

Thanks,

EJ

really49
March 8, 2012

W.W. writes:

what a show ... Nobody will attack nobody Iran won't attack israel israel won't attack iran : they will reach soon an agreement and crisis will be solved with diplomacy

Assad will soon fall and will face justice

End of story

come31
March 27, 2012

W.W. writes:

WWF Royal Rumble on dipnote

Probably the solar storm with the full moon

What a period

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 14, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"This very mind is Buddha mind."
- Ma-tsu (8th century Ch'an Bhuddhist monk)

John, can a mirror be defiled by the images reflected on its surface?

Since the enlightened mind, like a mirror, is constantly reflecting and responding spontaneously to reality, all its functions are potentially instructive.

Trust me on this, I am but a poor student of the human condition.

Only by grinding dicipline and exhaustive investigation can one reflect and respond, dwelling in the accuracy of reality.

Thus the function of duality is derived by the perception of one's viewpoint, not as a function of reality as being one or the other apart from the other.

Just as a prism may split the wavelengths of light into individual colors, colors are but a product of the whole of the spectrum visible.

A mirror does not split light, only reflects and responds to it.

Some would seek to find their way in a roomfull of mirrors by smashing them in response to their own reflection, rather than use angle and direction of reflection abiding among them till the path forward was obtained in response to the source of one's reflection.

In his percieved "badness", I'm probably confusing someone who seeks to smash mirrors....(chuckle).

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 14, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

John in Canada,

Perhaps you should follow your quoted statement with deeds to match if you don't like the company you're keeping here.

John in Canada writes:

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
-- George Washington

Posted on Sat Mar 19, 2011

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 14, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

John in Greece,

Thanks for your help, I haven't been able to find that particular conversation in the archives as yet, but I'm still looking.

I found one though that is "elementary" to this discussion, and may even provide Dr. Esther Brimmer cause to be inspired to think.

Among many of the likes you referred to, and thanks for your kind words sir!

http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/attacks_on_libyan_civilians#...

As always John, you too make way too much sense to ignore.

And we often seem to pay a price for that, but no matter really.

I'm wondering how the Syrian people would like their Bashar Al-Assad done...(chuckle).

You are THE Chef,...and I'm no expert on cooking pig...(chuckle).

Best,

EJ

real98
March 27, 2012

W.W. writes:

Eileen C. Donahoe ‏ @AmbDonahoe Hypocrisy and shame

Inspiring words from #SecClinton to US Ambassadors: We must live our values if we are to lead on human rights and advance our real security.

exclusive :

The privatization of war and Bilderberg conspiracy against israel and its people

How to make money in 2012 - War

Before being an economic doctrine, neoliberalism is a political project. Wherever it has extended its influence, even the armies have been put through the privatization grinder. As Manlio Dinucci explains, today’s wars are increasingly conducted by private companies and less and less by States. Since neoliberalism is based on the privatization of profits and the socialization of costs, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Libya proved very costly to the States, for little return. Wars in this neoliberal era are not necessarily waged to appropriate foreign resources, but to siphon the wealth of the conquered populations towards the private military sector of the conquering nations.

What is the most dangerous occupation among the United States / NATO forces in Afghanistan? It is not "soldier", as it may seem, but "subcontractor".

According to official data, more "subcontractors" of U.S. private military companies were killed in Afghanistan last year than U.S. regular army soldiers: 430 as opposed to 418. But undoubtedly many more, since companies are not obliged to publish the obituary of their employees. The same applies to the wounded, whose number exceeds that of the dead.

In 2011, most of the dead (386 out of 430) were operating in Afghanistan for the Pentagon; the rest were working for the State Department and USAID (the federal agency for "international development", but militarized de facto). These data confirm that an increasing number of functions previously performed by official army personnel, have been transferred to private military companies. The "subcontractors" are made up of 22% U.S. citizens, 31% from other countries and 47% Afghans. In the U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq, the Pentagon "subcontractors" are more than 150,000. To that number should be added those employed by other departments and allied armies, whose number is unknown but is certainly high.

These are provided by an oligopoly of large companies, structured like real multinationals. Among the most qualified is Xe Services (formerly known as Blackwater), which provides "innovative solutions" to the U.S. government and others. The second one is DynCorp International, which presents itself as a "multifaceted global enterprise," specializing in "law enforcement, peace-keeping and stability operations." With a staff of tens of thousands of specialists, this war company has accumulated a wealth of experience in covert operations, since, in the 1980s, it helped Oliver North, on behalf of the CIA, to supply arms to the Nicaraguan contras, and in the 1990s, always on behalf of the CIA, trained and armed the KLA in Kosovo.

These and other companies, notably L-3 Communications, are also involved in military communications, bases construction, "security provisioning" and "interrogation of prisoners." Many "subcontractors" come from special forces and the secret services, while others are brought in as bodyguards, translators, technicians in logistical services.

All are part of these private armies which act in the shadows, alongside regular forces whose actions are also increasingly secretive.

The strategy of privatization, which serves to dismantle the public domain for the benefit of economic and financial elites in whose hands lies the real power, is also applied when it comes to war. With the advantage that blood, like a karst river, flows underground, to save appearances and avoid upsetting public opinion in "major Western democracies."

However, what has not been privatized is the war spending which, covered as it is by taxpayer money, further increases the debt falling on the majority of citizens...compelled to foot the bill for “the innovating solutions” of Xe Services.

sent99
March 26, 2012

W.W. writes:

celebration

By Simon Collins

It never had to be this way
March 15, 2012

The Syrian uprising is one year old today. It shouldn’t be. What began as peaceful, legitimate protests in search of dignity and a better future need never have become the violent conflict that has seen Baba Amr become the latest symbol of the regime’s shameful disregard for human rights and human life.

When the relatives of 40 political detainees gathered outside the Interior Ministry in Damascus on March 15th 2011, exactly a year ago, the regime had an opportunity to listen. It had a chance to consider their requests – even look at long promised reforms. But the actions of the security forces – the plain clothed mukhabarat – who bundled old men and women into buses and savagely beat them began to say otherwise.

By the time a crowd gathered in the clock square in Homs last April a pattern of repression had already emerged. To clear the square of a peaceful sit-in, regime forces machine-gunned the crowd, killing seventy people.

Even in mid July when some opposition members tried to participate in the regime’s hastily organised national dialogue – despite the ongoing suppression of weekly protests – Assad had a chance to choose a different path. Instead the state murdered twelve people who had gathered on the eve of talks to meet in a quiet Damascus suburb. For me that is the moment when the regime shut the door on participation by peaceful activists even in its own national dialogue except on terms that preserved its absolute control.

The consequences of the regime’s decision to opt for a security solution at the expense of a political one are painfully obvious today. Syria is a country on the brink of civil war.

I never doubted the regime’s capacity for violence or brutality. Syria under Hafez and Bashar Assad was never a free society before the uprising started. People were detained, disappeared and tortured. But – like Syrians of all walks of life and every denomination – I was surprised that the regime should in practice ignore opportunities to deal with legitimate grievances and instead chose repression on an industrial scale.

I can’t help thinking that if the regime’s initial response had been to acknowledge and to deal with these grievances, then the situation might have been resolved through peaceful reform, and the uprising would not have taken this bloody trajectory. Instead, whether through arrogance or incompetence, the regime’s decision to strike with an iron fist has resulted in over 7,500 deaths, and tens of thousands of people illegally detained or injured – in many cases under torture in the prisons.

So what begun twelve months ago, with a dozen school children from the southern Syrian town of Deraa arrested for spraying anti-regime graffiti on walls has become a prolonged crisis that casts a shadow across the whole world. These children who were returned to their parents bloodied, bruised, and abused became the catalyst for an uprising that has now engulfed the whole country.

It is no longer a question of whether Assad will go. It is a question of when. It is a doomed regime that is unable to turn away from violence. In parallel there is an economic clock ticking and the situation inside the country is getting progressively worse. The economy is fraying. There’s no investment, no trade and very little consumer confidence. People with money want to get it out of the country. Business men are looking at other options.

Since returning to London many people have asked for my response to the situation in Syria. For me it’s a mixture of anger and admiration. Anger at seeing a state whose function it should be to protect and nurture its citizens, turn its apparatus instead to killing, torture and fear-mongering. But I also feel a huge amount of admiration for the courage of ordinary Syrians. Admiration not only for the activists, but also for the courage of ordinary Syrian men and women who risk their lives on daily basis to seek what should be universal human rights. This courage to take a stand against such adversity is humbling. The Syrian people deserve better than what they’ve got. They deserve our continuing support as they press for change.

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