A Message on Syria

Posted by Robert S. Ford
June 1, 2012
Photo of a Square in Tall Daww, Houla in Syria

This image shows a May 18, 2012 photo of a square in Tall Daww, Haoula in Syria side-by-side with a May 28, 2012 image of the same square. The dotted area in the May 28, 2012 image shows that the ground had been recently disturbed which tracks with the May 26 BBC image from the same location.

The May 25 massacre in the village of Tall Daww, Haoula is the most unambiguous indictment of the regime to date and clearly illustrates Syrian government's flagrant violations of its UN Security Council obligations under Resolutions 2042 and 2043 along with the regime's ongoing threat to peace and security. United Nations observers confirmed the deaths of more than 90 people, including at least 30 children under the age of 10, after the vicious assault involving tanks and artillery - weapons that only the regime possesses. There are also reports that many families were summarily executed in their homes by regime forces. We hold the Syrian government responsible for this slaughter of innocent lives, and we encourage all countries to condemn the actions of the Asad regime.

To echo what Secretary Clinton said yesterday, the violent situation in Syria is a destabilizing force in the region. Russia continues to supply the Syrian military with arms. We all know that the Iranian regime's interests are deeply embedded in the Assad regime's survival - it is directly supporting the Syrian government through lethal and non-lethal means, and its revolutionary guard corps (IRGC) and intelligence services are coaching the Syrian military. The IRGC's Qods force, which takes explicit instruction from the Iranian regime, appears to be helping set up the sectarian government-affiliated militias in Syria commonly referred to as the Shabiha. On the other hand, Syria's neighbors like Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon are concerned about the role this conflict will play in their countries. Therefore, we call on the Syrian regime implement all other elements of Annan's six-point plan so that a political process can begin to address the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

Editor's Note: This entry appeared first on the U.S. Embassy Syria Facebook page. You can find a high-resolution version of the above image here.

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 4, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Amb. Ford,

Having watched Assad's remarks on Haoula, and noted considerable diconect from reality, I gotta wonder if Assad is on auto-pilot live the living brain-dead for his lack of awareness that feigning innocence as he tries at this point is beyond absurd, but he apparently is trying real hard to believe his own version of reality, and thus may defined as a psycotic and removed as dangerously mentally unstable, in possetion of chemical and other WMD's.

Putin's remarks recently about "what comes after" and trying to sow doubt that there's a better future sans Assad for the Syrian people, using Libya, Iraq and other flegling democracies as examples of nations in "a state of chaos" (implied by his remarks, not a direct quote) is a non-starter argument in suport of a non-sustainable status quo and is an illogical premise to resolve this crisis by.

One might look at this as "social platectonics" in the sense that like fault zones, pressure builds up until released in the form of an earthquake, and the key primarey driver of violence in society against any government, is the measure to which the people of that nation can determine the level of social progress and change or whether they may determine their nation to be in this untennably stuck place, and change must take place in order to move forward as a society, come hell or high water as the expression goes.

To remain bling to a people's aspirations to "live free or die" is also illogical and an "unbalanced" point of consideration in that Putin isn't weighing in the fact that instability reigns supreme at the moment under the Assad regime, and "what comes after" would have to try real hard to look like anything worse, and probably will look a darn sight better if the international community has anything to say about it.

And that's my answer to Putin's hesitancy to have the Russian Federation become part of the solution rather than remain part of the problem in removing Assad from power.

As each of the countries he mentioned are doing a lot better than Syria is at the moment.

Best Regards,

EJ

John P.
|
Greece
June 4, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

Well, I apologize to disturb this interesting conversation with an “out/off subject”.

But, watching international news in GR/TV I heard about “fires” in New Mexico.

I thought of you my e-friend...

I hope everything is OK! Best Regards!

Do your best guys!!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 4, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

Man, talk about Freudian slips and double etandres..., meant to say "blind"...amazing how a sentence can be changed with one wrong letter.

"To remain bling to a people's aspirations to "live free or die" is also illogical and an "unbalanced" point of consideration..."

Yes, Assad does loves his bling, as I'm sure Putin does too.

Kind of like M. Antionette telling the people, "let them eat cake." as far as the amount of sincere "give a damn" is involved in their statements.

I didn't realize the fire in the Gila was world news at this point.

I think it would comparable to all of Luxumbourg being up in flames, maybe larger @ 300 sq. miles or so and 40% contained.

Nice to know the Norwegians have a reforestation program, maybe they could get in touch with our govenor and lend a post-apocalyptic assist to New Mexico's forests.

A little consultation at the very least, wouldn't be a bad thing.

How are you doing there in Greece?

I gather that like a Chinese curse, life has become interesting for the population of late.

I guess if I have any advice for you or folks in Greece in these hard economic times and political uncertainty that "these things too shall pass." and to wear their seatbelts.

Best,

EJ

Mari
|
United States
June 5, 2012

Mari in the U.S.A. writes:

It is maliciously false to call the situation in Houla "unambiguous." Is has been reported that the persons who were executed up close and personal -- not by artillery -- were supporters of Assad.

This is looking like a familiar pattern of events -- the babies that were allegedly torn from their incubators in Kuwait, the fabulous "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, the scenario repeats over and over as the US, manipulated by the British, starts war after war for "regime change" based on fraudulent accusations. I'm not here to defend the Assad government, but I think the odds the next government being a better one are negligible, and the wanton destruction of life and infrastructure, not to mention the unnecessary expense for a presently bankrupt America, would be unconscionable.

John P.
|
Greece
June 5, 2012

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

I don't know if even "seatbelts" can save "Europe"'s fed utopia anymore? On the other hand, it (seatbelts) may help not to have more "disabled" damage.

You are absolutely right concerning "news gatekeeping" in my area. Instead of presenting real news, they are trying to "create" news that hide real NEWS... For example, almost nobody in the area (here) knows what happens to Syria... just around the corner.

I am very happy you are doing fine! Keep on writting Bro...

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
June 7, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

A Special Briefing from a Senior State Dept. official on Syria June 7:

"state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/06/191904.htm"

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 8, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

You mean this one Maureen?

---
The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 07, 2012 Statement by the Press Secretary on Syria
The United States strongly condemns the outrageous targeted killings of civilians including women and children in Al-Qubeir in Hama province as reported by multiple credible sources. This, coupled with the Syrian regime’s refusal to let UN observers into the area to verify these reports, is an affront to human dignity and justice. There is no justification for this regime’s continued defiance of its obligations under the Annan Plan, and Assad’s continued abdication of responsibility for these horrific acts has no credibility and only further underscores the illegitimate and immoral nature of his rule.

The future of Syria will be determined by the Syrian people, and the international community must come together in support of their legitimate aspirations. We call once more on all nations to abandon support for this brutal and illegitimate regime, and to join together to support a political transition in Syria—one that upholds the promise of a future for which far too many have already died.

---end

Push comes to shove, I believe a posse of nations is going to have to give Mr. Assad a shove on outa power, as pushing him ain't doing it.

IF, and this is a big if; Russia and China saw the common decency for a humanitarian change decided to join w/ NATO/US to give Assad 48 hours to leave Syria, then remove him all together as a joint effort.

The thing Putin needes to understand is that it doesn't have to look like Iraq or some such, See the UN is all about peacekeeping...when the peace is broke they can't do anything about it as monitors.

So you gotta create a peace making coalition from scratch, to restore the peace, from scratch in cases like Assad.

This is a watershed moment for East/West relations as well as another cold war figment of nightmare incarnation of another puppet gone berzerk. A-la the "Frankenstien" monster Assad and his government have become.

Some nations helped put Assed together over the years and someone needs to dismantle that regime for it has gone mad with the weapons they've sold him all this time.

All for the common good of living in peaceful harmony as a perferred goal ultimately.

EJ

Mari
|
United States
June 8, 2012

Mari in USA writes:

A joint statement from the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization said "all violent behavior in Syria must stop" and said the group supports a broad domestic dialogue that respects Syria's sovereignty and independence. It said the SCO members oppose military interference, unilateral sanctions and the "forced transfer of power." This makes a lot more sense to me than the "War is Peace" outlook expressed by some making comments here. I also abhor the rank hypocrisy that turns a blind eye to rank abuses of human rights by British puppet states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 8, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

It's like wathching the Hindenburge explode and all one can do is watch and cry "Oh, the humanity of it all!"

Over and over, and over again.

Which massacre will be the "tipping point"?

Well times' a wasting while the dying continues, so I suggest the what I do, for the reasons I do so folks will go ahead and have reson to pick one, and get busy being done with Assad, so humanity can roll on to other misadventures in political stupidity and get those fixed as well.

I don't suppose the average Greek citizen with an election coming soon, is probably more distracted by domestic economic and political concerns, than paying a whole lot of attention to what's up across the Med.

I wish a savvy jopurnalist would ask the EU how they expect to enjoy long-term economoc bliss with all these bloodthirsty dictators and tyrants running amok screwing up the entire economic infrastructures of their nations in the region, and as the aftermath of "regime replacement therapy" ensues, how the can possibly seek to see the mediterainian region florish in peace and prosperity while some of these these pillars of idiocy still stand against all that be sane and reasonable under international law.

As a test of the concept of "the family of nations", Syria offers a good look into just how far that concept works in reality, because so far that concept hasn't lived up to its potential in this case calling for humanitarian intervention by forcibly disarming the regime so as to create a space of non-militarization in the post Assad Syria, and prevent an even greater bloodbath.

At least the Greek people have a say in their future government and direction as a nation...so whatever they face, they should probably consider themselves lucky.

Good to see you've survived, and I've survived the ravages of economic downturn, and the ride's not over yet, so thus the seatbelt reference.

Best,

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 11, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Mari,

Your interpretation of other's comments here as being all about; "war is peace" , is oblivious to the fact that in some cases (Assad being quite obviously one of them) the transfer of power, being a "forced transfer" will not come peacably by diplomacy. Simply because the other guy ain't listening, and is committed to waging war upon his people.

We've tried that for over a year now, and while you can draw and slit hairs between what a "forced transfer" and "regime replacement therapy" is in regards to "term limits", but I want to also remind you that we go through "regime replacement therapy" every 4-8 years everytime a new US President is elected.

Yeah, we wage war in the political arena in a peaceful manner by the vote, howabout that.

So like when you got a guy like Assad who anyone in his right mind would consider up for charges of mass murder, then "all neccessary measures" may be the order of the day in removing him from power.

Since the people are trying their best to get rid of his regime so they can get on with living.

Do nothing, you gotta war you can hold yourself responsible for allowing to happen; Take military action to restore the peace, now that's not a paradox in my mind as the sooner we end the killing, the more peaceful things will be and the more lives will be saved in the long term.

It's a pretty heavy-weight decision for any US President to make, one you must think rather paradoxical in nature.

See you win wars and that creates the space for peace to exist. Better if they don't happen, but the other guy usually has to beg for his removal before we step in to do that...Assad is long gone into the begger's banquet of blood and horrors.

Like you, the Russians and the Chinese via the opposition to doing what is neccessary to physicaly remove Assad from office and his regime ouit of power and null and void as a fighting force; seek peace but will only create exacly what they say they do not want, which is a war that destabilizes the region.

If they are in for a penny, they gotta be in for the whole pound.

Otherwise they become party to further crimes against humanity, as long as Assad remains in power to commit them.

Hope that clarifies your misunderstanding of what the deal is with my comments.

EJ

Maureen
|
Massachusetts, USA
June 11, 2012

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico

A must read:
"syriacomment.com/" author Joshua Landis.
So much is at stake and quite beyond Syria. Then, contemplate the future national security implications from the perspective of the U.S?
Yes, I read the press statement June 7 whitehouse.gov. Thanks.

Mari
|
United States
June 12, 2012

Mari in the U.S.A. writes:

A collection of eyewitness reports in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has established conclusively that the Houla massacre was carried out by opposition groups. I think the US State Department should now issue an apology for making false accusations.

.

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