More than 50 civilians were killed over the weekend because the Syrian Air Force spent two days dropping barrel bombs on al-Bab, in Aleppo province. The regime may have been targeting the headquarters of the opposition Tawhid Brigade in al-Bab but what they hit was the Nafasin market, killing 26 people, including 7 women and 4 children on Saturday. On Sunday, they did dropped another barrel bomb and killed another 24. Roll the video tape:
Also, over the weekend, the Syria Air Force carried out 10 air raids over the Qalamoun area, hitting al-Nabek, al-Shaikh, Drosha, Beit Sahm and the Rima area, according to Peter Clifford Online. Assad's forces haven't just been bombing in the Qalamoun area. According to National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces:
On Friday November 29, Assad’s force, backed by Shabiha and mercenaries, entered the city of Deir Attiah in the Qalamoun area, rural Damascus after days of heavy shelling and killed nearly 35 civilians in the city; most of them were summarily executed.
In the city of Nabik, rural Damascus, Assad's forces rounded up and are now holding entire families in cellars of buildings adjacent to military barracks in the city. Thirty families have been trapped in these underground dungeons for four days now.
|Save the Children|
As you can see, Black Friday had a whole 'nother meaning for Syrians.
While we were wolfing down our turkey with all the fixings, Assad continued his blockade of food to Moadamiya, which was also a site of the August sarin gas attack. Assad is trying to starve them into submission and the children are starving first.
Don't count on hearing about any of this from Amy Goodman or Democracy Now. You won't. When I published Assad's Thankgiving Massacre in Raqqa, one commenter complained that Amy just didn't have the staff of big media so she probably missed it and would cover it on Monday. She didn't, not that or any of the above. I have no staff but will be happy to help Amy out if that is really the problem.
BTW, while there may not be a military solution to this conflict, there most certainly is a military solution to the problem of Assad slaughtering his people with his air force. Or would you rather have the police stand down the next time a mad dog killer is on the loose in your community because "it would only add to the violence"?
According the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the latest death toll for the Syria conflict stands at 125,835. Of course, those figures don't include the most recent slaughter. The mainstream and "Left" media like to focus more on "rebel atrocities" in an effort to portray both sides as equally responsible for the slaughter, this makes it relatively easy to excuse our indifference. But the bombs and missiles that could come only from Assad tell a very different story, and so does the a recent UN report. The Guardian is reporting today:
Bashar al-Assad implicated in Syria war crimes, says UNUN inquiry finds 'massive evidence' that president is responsible for crimes against humanity as conflict's death toll hits 126,000
Ian Black, Middle East editor
Monday 2 December 2013 13.12 EST
A UN inquiry has found "massive evidence" that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, is implicated in war crimes as the latest reported death toll in the country's civil war reached 126,000.
Navi Pillay, the UN's human rights chief, said a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Syria "has produced massive evidence … [of] very serious crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity" and that "the evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level of government, including the head of state." More...
|UN aid for Syria|
They dance on the mountains, shout in the canyonsWhat they have done is for the rest of us. They have given us plausible denial. We leave it in the hands of the UN but the UN does nothing and somehow our hands are clean?
Swarm in a loose herd like a wild buffalo
Jammin' our heads full of figures and angles and tellin' us stuff that we already know
- Waylon Jennings
Still this report is useful and should trouble those that think saying "both sides are guilty of war crimes" relieves them of responsibility for all the little children being slaughtered.
It is so much easier to say "this Sunni-Shia thing has been going on for centuries, so let them kill each other" than to admit "a fascist dictator is slaughtering his people and I won't lift a finger to stop him." I fear this attitude will cost us dearly in the future. Those that think the polio that has re-emerged in Syria will stay in Syria are fools.
It has already cost us the destruction of some of the oldest inhabited cities on Earth.
By allowing Assad the freedom to destroy his cities, we have helped to create the worst man-made humanitarian crisis in more than a quarter century. Six million people have been forced out of their homes, two million have been forced out of their country. There has been a little international aid here and there but really the world has turned its back on this problems and the bordering countries have been forced to deal with it on their own while Europe introduces new measures designed to keep Syrians out and the US...don't even try to come to the US.
Now this is leading to the inevitable backlash from people in the overburdened host countries. For example, tiny Lebanon, population 4,425,000 has had to accept more than 800,000 refugees from Syria and now we are starting to hear stories like this one from AFP today:
In an opinion piece in today's Washington Post, Fred Hiatt reminds us that in a policy statement about Syria, on 4 August 2011:
Lebanon villagers torch Syria refugee tents
December 2, 2013
QSAR NABA - Residents of a village in eastern Lebanon forced hundreds of Syrian refugees from an informal campsite on Monday, setting fire to tents after accusing them of raping a mentally-disabled man.
But a doctor who examined the man said there was no evidence he was attacked, and one resident of the village said the alleged rape was a pretext to drive the refugees from the site. More...
President Obama issues a presidential study directive” that says preventing mass atrocities is “a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States”Obama continues in his directive:
Our security is affected when masses of civilians are slaughtered, refugees flow across borders, and murderers wreak havoc on regional stability and livelihoods. America's reputation suffers, and our ability to bring about change is constrained, when we are perceived as idle in the face of mass atrocities and genocide.Assad had killed about 2,000 people when he said that but I guess he misspoke, something Obama has done often throughout the Syria conflict. We really didn't mean "never again." Maybe we only meant "never again will be allow Nazis to kill Jews in Europe in the 1940's."
Governmental engagement on atrocities and genocide too often arrives too late, when opportunities for prevention or low-cost, low-risk action have been missed. By the time these issues have commanded the attention of senior policy makers, the menu of options has shrunk considerably and the costs of action have risen.
This is were I try to learn from Amy Goodman and say "I can only do this with you, only with your support, I can not do this alone." And this is seriously true. While I was writing this I received a call from a drupal website client that a check for $350 for my work this month would be available for pickup tomorrow. I am also hoping another client will have $352.00 for me tomorrow for moving a rack of servers from Santa Monica to Ventura. That will still leave me a couple of hundred short, and rent was due on the 1st.
Seriously, I have no business writing this today. I should have spent the whole day marketing for some more contract computer work. But how can I not write it? I know I can make a nice living if I just mind my own business. I also know in that way lies madness. I have to pretend this stuff isn't happening or I have to learn not to care.
Somehow I feel the world need me to do this more than they need another full-time computer tech. If you agree, please help me focus on what really matters and continue to fill a rather large gap left by Democracy Now and many others with much greater fundraising wherewithal.
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