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February 25th
11:59 AM
Economist »

AFTER the first world war Syria was hacked from the carcass of the Ottoman empire. After the second, it won its independence. After the fighting that is raging today it could cease to function as a state…. 
Syria looks increasingly likely to fall prey to feuding warlords, Islamists and gangs—a new Somalia rotting in the heart of the Levant.  >continue<

The piece pushes the notion that some kind of intervention is necessary. Short of full scale diplomatic consensus involving Russia, China, Turkey and possibly Iran, this sentiment while noble appears to suspend disabuse - as if the demonstrable disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan never happened, either in terms of woeful execution or collateral damage in the wide constellation of Muslim opinion.
The tragedy is real. And America’s weak image and financial limits are a part of that, for they are in most respects self-imposed. 
related:  zeitvox/syria  |  No the Economist, Syria is not dead

Economist »

AFTER the first world war Syria was hacked from the carcass of the Ottoman empire. After the second, it won its independence. After the fighting that is raging today it could cease to function as a state…. 

Syria looks increasingly likely to fall prey to feuding warlords, Islamists and gangs—a new Somalia rotting in the heart of the Levant.  >continue<

The piece pushes the notion that some kind of intervention is necessary. Short of full scale diplomatic consensus involving Russia, China, Turkey and possibly Iran, this sentiment while noble appears to suspend disabuse - as if the demonstrable disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan never happened, either in terms of woeful execution or collateral damage in the wide constellation of Muslim opinion.

The tragedy is real. And America’s weak image and financial limits are a part of that, for they are in most respects self-imposed. 

related:  zeitvox/syria  |  No the Economist, Syria is not dead

January 27th
11:08 AM
"I am more mindful probably than most of not only our incredible strengths and capabilities, but also our limitations. In a situation like Syria, I have to ask, can we make a difference in that situation? Would a military intervention have an impact? How would it affect our ability to support troops who are still in Afghanistan? What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime? And how do I weigh tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?"
—  Barak Obama, New Republic Interview
January 15th
2:06 PM
Via

theatlantic:

This Is What It Looks Like When Syria Bombs a University

Two explosions rocked Syria’s Aleppo University on Tuesday, the very first day of the school’s exams, and it looks like it was carried out by way of a jet loyal to Bashar al-Assad. 

[Images: SANA/ AP]

January 10th
10:14 AM
Via
doctorswithoutborders:

 Photo: A Syrian nurse treats a patient at a Doctors Without Borders field hospital in a cave in northern Syria.
After months of refused entry, Doctors Without Borders decided to go into Syria without government authorization so we could deliver lifesaving medical care to men, women, and children caught in the crossfire of war.
Our medical teams have had to be flexible, working in secret and changing locations as the frontlines shift. We’ve set up field surgical hospitals in unlikely places – including a small cave where doctors performed more than 100 surgeries over six weeks before moving operations to a farm.
The situation in Syria remains dire, and thousands of people still have nowhere to turn for urgently needed medical care. Since June, Doctors Without Borders teams have treated more than 10,000 patients and performed more than 900 surgeries. We are also delivering care to thousands of Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Your financial support makes this possible.
Donate now to join Doctors Without Borders on the frontlines in 2013.
Together we can save more lives in some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world.

doctorswithoutborders:

Photo: A Syrian nurse treats a patient at a Doctors Without Borders field hospital in a cave in northern Syria.

After months of refused entry, Doctors Without Borders decided to go into Syria without government authorization so we could deliver lifesaving medical care to men, women, and children caught in the crossfire of war.

Our medical teams have had to be flexible, working in secret and changing locations as the frontlines shift. We’ve set up field surgical hospitals in unlikely places – including a small cave where doctors performed more than 100 surgeries over six weeks before moving operations to a farm.

The situation in Syria remains dire, and thousands of people still have nowhere to turn for urgently needed medical care. Since June, Doctors Without Borders teams have treated more than 10,000 patients and performed more than 900 surgeries. We are also delivering care to thousands of Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Your financial support makes this possible.

Donate now to join Doctors Without Borders on the frontlines in 2013.

Together we can save more lives in some of the most remote and dangerous places in the world.

January 7th
5:00 PM
Via
terrorismtoday:

Aida cries as she recovers from severe injuries after the Syrian Army shelled her house in Idlib on March 10, 2012. Aida’s husband and two of her children were killed in the shelling.
Photographer: Rodrigo Abd

terrorismtoday:

Aida cries as she recovers from severe injuries after the Syrian Army shelled her house in Idlib on March 10, 2012. Aida’s husband and two of her children were killed in the shelling.

Photographer: Rodrigo Abd

January 6th
1:04 AM
Via
nickturse:

A child’s drawing of the civil war in Syria. Many children who have stayed in the increasingly ravaged country “face bombardment, food shortages and bitter cold without fuel or school.”
Bradley Secker / For The Washington Post
(via Syrian students learn to adjust - The Washington Post)

nickturse:

A child’s drawing of the civil war in Syria. Many children who have stayed in the increasingly ravaged country “face bombardment, food shortages and bitter cold without fuel or school.”

Bradley Secker / For The Washington Post

(via Syrian students learn to adjust - The Washington Post)

January 5th
10:05 PM

Assad to make rare speech as Syrian rebels draw nearer

Reuters »

With insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of his power, state media said in a statement that Assad would speak on Sunday morning about the “latest developments in Syria and the region”, without giving details.

It will be the 47-year-old leader’s first speech in months and his first public comments since he dismissed suggestions that he might go into exile to end the civil war, telling Russian television in November that he would “live and die” in Syria.

Insurgents are venturing ever closer into Damascus after bringing a crescent of suburbs under their control… >continue<

December 31st
1:33 PM
Increasing Barbarity in Syria
Christoph Reuter  |  Der Spiegel&#160;&#187;

It is an ocean of small stories and large decisions, and we can only publish a fraction of it. Taken together, though, the things we learn allow us to reach conclusions about events in this war and about shifts occurring in the balance of power, because every few months we revisit the same places and meet the same people. If they&#8217;re still alive, that is.  &gt;continue&lt;

Increasing Barbarity in Syria

Christoph Reuter  |  Der Spiegel »

It is an ocean of small stories and large decisions, and we can only publish a fraction of it. Taken together, though, the things we learn allow us to reach conclusions about events in this war and about shifts occurring in the balance of power, because every few months we revisit the same places and meet the same people. If they’re still alive, that is.  >continue<

December 22nd
2:29 PM
Via

Aleaveobashar:

ANOTHER FIRDAY OF PROTESTS ACROSS SYRIA. Dec 212, 2012 - This week’s protest was named in honor of the coming victory in Aleppo, Syria. “Victory Began on Your Doors oh Aleppo” (النصر انكتب ع بوابك يا حلب ). Again, despite the raids, the shooting, the shelling, the bombing, the airstrikes and now the SCUD missile strikes, the people of Syria still emerge to protest. 

ALEPPO:

A massive protest in Sha’ar neighborhood, the site of some of the worst destruction and massacres perpetrated against the people by Assad’s regime. (video here)

A protest in the neighborhood of Bustan Al Qasr (video here)

A protest in Kobani (video here)

DAMASCUS:

In the suburb of Al-Dhiyabiyeh they have to protest in an alley to escape the air-strikes and shelling (video here)

A protest in the besieged suburb of Douma (video here)

HOMS:

The refugees of Wa’er, who come from all areas of Homs, come out to protest again. (video here)

IDLEB:

he animated people of Kafranbel come out to protest for another Friday (video here)

The people of Sarmada come out to protest (video here)

Protesters march in the town of Kafrtakhareem. (video here)

They sing the ever popular ‘Yalla Ir7al Ya Bashar’ in Sarmada (video here)

HAMA:

The newly liberated town of Kafrnabooda come out to celebrate and protest (video here)

A large protest in Tareeq Halab (video here)

They chant for Aleppo at a protest in Kafrzeita (video here)

DARAA:

In Ma’arbreh they protest (video here)

A protest in Al Qusoor (video here)

DIER EZZOR:

The brave of Al Mayadeen come out despite the constant air-strikes (video here)

The people of Abu Kamal come out to protest (video here)

HASAKEH:

The people of Hasakeh come out once again to show their solidarity with the revolution. (video here)

A large protest in Qamilishli (video here)

Thanks @syria_Protests @far_Gar @SyrianLover_SY

November 12th
1:21 PM
November 6th
3:14 PM
Via
crisisgroup:

Reactions to the Syrian National Initiative | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 
By Marina Ottaway, Omar Hossino 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent announcement that the United States is supporting a plan to forge a broader Syrian coalition of exiled political opponents and internal armed groups to supplant the Syrian National Council as the opposition’s primary representative set off a chain reaction. The rejections, cautious endorsements, and recriminations that immediately followed her statement show why the Syrian opposition has remained so fragmented and why the ongoing opposition meetings in Doha are unlikely to bring about the desired unity.
The firestorm got started on October 31 while Clinton was traveling in Croatia. She appeared to put an American stamp on a project to launch a new initiative to bring together Syria’s exiled and internal opposition in a new, more inclusive council. The Syrian National Initiative would supplant the Syrian National Council (SNC) and become the conduit for all foreign assistance going to fighters inside Syria. The effort, Clinton argued, would also serve to isolate the radical jihadi organizations that are springing up in surprising numbers inside the country. Studies by the International Crisis Group and by Swedish analyst Aron Lund cite at least a dozen such organizations operating in Syria.
FULL ARTICLE (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
Photo: Oren Rozen/Wikimedia Commons

crisisgroup:

Reactions to the Syrian National Initiative | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 

By Marina Ottaway, Omar Hossino 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent announcement that the United States is supporting a plan to forge a broader Syrian coalition of exiled political opponents and internal armed groups to supplant the Syrian National Council as the opposition’s primary representative set off a chain reaction. The rejections, cautious endorsements, and recriminations that immediately followed her statement show why the Syrian opposition has remained so fragmented and why the ongoing opposition meetings in Doha are unlikely to bring about the desired unity.

The firestorm got started on October 31 while Clinton was traveling in Croatia. She appeared to put an American stamp on a project to launch a new initiative to bring together Syria’s exiled and internal opposition in a new, more inclusive council. The Syrian National Initiative would supplant the Syrian National Council (SNC) and become the conduit for all foreign assistance going to fighters inside Syria. The effort, Clinton argued, would also serve to isolate the radical jihadi organizations that are springing up in surprising numbers inside the country. Studies by the International Crisis Group and by Swedish analyst Aron Lund cite at least a dozen such organizations operating in Syria.

FULL ARTICLE (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

Photo: Oren Rozen/Wikimedia Commons

October 2nd
5:38 PM
Syrian Rebels Make a Go of Governing

Angry older people, unconcerned with decorum, are pushing their way into the room. They shout furiously at the stunned officials sitting behind their desks. The revolution is all very well and good, they say, &#8220;but where are our pensions?&#8221;
With some difficulty, the man from the justice committee manages to convince them to at least appoint a spokesman, so that they won&#8217;t all talk at the same time. But they remain adamant. &#8220;You are the new government! So it&#8217;s your responsibility to pay our pensions!&#8221;
&#8230;What is currently happening in Manbij, once a sleepy provincial city in northern Syria, is the first future-oriented experiment in the midst of horror. While rebels fight regime forces elsewhere in the country, and entire towns are being bombed to pieces, Manbij is the first larger city in Syria to be liberated.  &gt;continue&lt;

photo:  Narciso Contreras / Polaris / Der Spiegel

Syrian Rebels Make a Go of Governing

Angry older people, unconcerned with decorum, are pushing their way into the room. They shout furiously at the stunned officials sitting behind their desks. The revolution is all very well and good, they say, “but where are our pensions?”

With some difficulty, the man from the justice committee manages to convince them to at least appoint a spokesman, so that they won’t all talk at the same time. But they remain adamant. “You are the new government! So it’s your responsibility to pay our pensions!”

What is currently happening in Manbij, once a sleepy provincial city in northern Syria, is the first future-oriented experiment in the midst of horror. While rebels fight regime forces elsewhere in the country, and entire towns are being bombed to pieces, Manbij is the first larger city in Syria to be liberated.  >continue<

photo:  Narciso Contreras / Polaris / Der Spiegel

September 27th
10:10 PM
Via
breathingsorrow:

One of the hospitals in the Syrian city of Jubar today. 

breathingsorrow:

One of the hospitals in the Syrian city of Jubar today. 

August 13th
2:40 PM

Creating a Syrian Swamp: Assad’s ‘Plan B’

Jonathan Landis | Syria Comment »

In 2005, a friend who was close to the regime told me that Assad and those around him were convinced that they could defeat President Bush’s attempts to change the regime in Syria. They said:

"Bush thinks he can use Iraq against us. But Iraq is not a nation. We will help turn its factions against the US. It will turn into a swamp and suck the US in. This is what we did to Israel and the US in Lebanon in the 1980s."

Today, Assad will treat Syria as he did Lebanon and Iraq earlier. He will gamble that it is not a nation and will work to tear it apart. Already he has withdrawn from the Kurdish parts of Syria. Friends in Aleppo tell me that Assad is arming the Kurds there. He will arm the Arab tribes in the hope that they will resist central control…

In order to survive, Assad and his Alawite generals will struggle to turn Syria into Lebanon – a fractured nation, where no one community can rule.  >continue<