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Posts Tagged ‘yesterday’

Syria’s Internet 40 Minute Black Hole Yesterday

July 20th, 2012 Comments off

Syria shut down the Internet for some 40 minutes yesterday, presumably for security reasons; graphic evidence below, and more technical details here.

The dropout of service is reminiscent of a couple of incidents last year: a partial shutdown in Syria and the notorious night Egypt shut down the Internet.


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Russia overrdides the US & allies to extend UN mission in Syria

July 20th, 2012 Comments off

Britain earlier proposal to extend UNSMIS for a “final” time for 30 days…. was shot down by Russia.Yesterday, Moscow vetoed a Western-backed resolution which threatened among other things, sanctions against President Assad if he does not end the use of heavy weapons in the conflict…with Chptr. VII and all.
Russia supported a Pakistani draft resolution which stipulated to extend the UNSMIS’ mission for 45 days but WITHOUT any conditions on renewal!



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People’s Liberation War

July 7th, 2012 Comments off
Yesterday, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood called Friday the “people’s liberation war Friday”.  Woe to a day when religious fanatics and crooks misuse the term “people’s liberation war”.  

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"I am in charge … outside the state…"

May 22nd, 2012 Comments off
“…The basic issue is clear, though many try to avoid or to embellish it. Anger is gripping the Sunni street. Its causes vary. Domestically, it is due to the exclusion from power of the forces which lead the majority of Sunnis. Regionally, it is due to the Syrian crisis, and the failure to topple a regime which for most Sunnis represents minority rule by a different sect.
But the enraged Sunni street is not, at present, seeking to hold its own to account for their shortcomings. It is instead punishing them by ignoring their wishes.
This constituency wants to secure the “rights” it believes it has been robbed of. These are not confined to regaining an agreed share of power, or getting rid of those they do not consider to be their genuine representatives. They extend to acquiring the right to support the Syrian opposition with money and arms, not just politically and rhetorically.
This constituency has lost trust in the state so long as it is not under its supervision. People now want the realization of Saad Hariri’s slogan: Either me, or the people’s wrath.
.This is happening under the heavy fallout of developments in Syria. As the borders of Iraq, Jordan and Turkey could not be turned into effective support bases for the Syrian opposition, especially the armed component, recourse was inevitably made to Lebanon – where there is a big base of political support for the Syrian opposition; where the central state is weak and dismembered; where there is a geographical connection between parts of the country and hotspots in Syria; where political, human and ideological resources exist; and where it is possible to build the capacity to support the opposition inside Syria.
The parts of Lebanon concerned are essentially the North and some areas of the northern Bekaa. This explains the unprecedented amount of political, intelligence and diplomatic activity there has been there. The question is: have Syria’s enemies now decided to establish that base, or have Syria’s allies decided to deliver a pre-emptive strike?
But developments tell of a different political spectacle unfolding. The government is engrossed in playing a game of “dissociation” which is rejected by the street on both sides, especially the Sunni street. The army meanwhile faces a test of its legitimacy as representative of the country’s unity. And the other security forces face a test of their submission to political control.
When leaders with powerful influence on the ground demand the expulsion of the army or its replacement by the Internal Security Forces, and insist on one court jurisdiction rather than another, that is enough to tell us that these leaders and the regions where they hold sway have become outside the state. They have begun selecting what parts of the state suit them temporarily, until they have fashioned their own state.
The new element in this is the violent blow that has been dealt to the power of the political parties.
Yesterday, leaders of both political camps in Lebanon were making similar statements about the need for calm. But what matters is their authority on the ground. Those who took to the streets no longer listen much to these speeches.
Yesterday, supporters of the Salafi current, in Lebanon generally and the North in particular, proved that the decision is now in the hands of the street – and more precisely, in the hands of those who are capable of abandoning considerations of political realism and taking the confrontation forward.
It is true that the state losing its authority in large parts of the North is a setback for all of Lebanon. Likewise, the blow struck to the army’s standing there will undermine its standing in other areas. The isolation and self-isolation of these areas will also cause many difficulties for their inhabitants.
Truer still, however, is that the culprit has become the victim. The reference here is to the March 14 coalition led by the Future Movement, which never ceased to exploit the masses in battles concerning the interests of this group’s leaders. Now, they have proven incapable of containing those masses.
Yesterday, it was Future Movement MPs, along with March 14 legislators and figures, who were in the highest state of shock. They raised their voices louder than usual, but in the back of their minds was a new image: of a new player sitting at the table.This player has many names and addresses today, but it will rapidly take shape as an entity with its own figureheads, modus operandi and demands. This new player would not have gained the sympathy of the Sunni grassroots in the rest of the country had they not felt that the traditional leadership, to which they have been giving their mandate for years, has only brought them setbacks and defeats.
Yesterday’s events, and the anticipated aftermath, signal the demise of a pernicious weapon with which Saad Hariri used to threaten his Lebanese adversaries. He would give them a choice: Either me, or the Salafists with the angry street behind them. Hariri ignored the fact that the angry masses, like the Salafis, have a genuine point of view, and that they cannot be used all the time. Now they are telling them that they are turning rhetoric into action, and that he can either join them, or keep off…
In short, yesterday the street said: I’m in charge:
The leadership of the Future Movement and the March 14 groups should be watched over the coming few days. Will they join the popular anger, and announce their rejection of the state as the ceiling above everyone? Or will they search for a new trick, in an age when there are no longer any magicians, not even in children’s stories?”



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Free Syrian Army bombs a Damascus car wash

May 7th, 2012 Comments off
Yesterday, the BBC reported matter-of-factly that the Free Syrian Army bombed a Damascus car wash because the owner is “shabbih” (probably he euphemism for the religious identify of the owner).  The BBC reporter seemed impressed with the deed.  BBC (and Saudi and Qatari) media should have a daily report titled: our favorite bombings by the Free Syrian Army.  Revolution?  Revolution my…potato.

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Israel and media

April 26th, 2012 Comments off
The New York Times yesterday printed:  “Syria has barred most independent media, making verification of claims difficult.”  1) But the New York Times has people inside Syria; 2) did the New York Times print this disclaimer when Israel barred the media back in 2008 during the assault on Gaza?

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Charbil Nahhas on Syria

April 25th, 2012 Comments off
The brilliant former Marxist Minister of Labor, Sharbil Nahhas, was on OTV yesterday.  It was a dazzling performance: he subjected the Lebanese political system to thorough criticisms.  He also explained how Lebanon was run during the years of domination by Syrian regime.  He made a good point that Lebanon also influences Syria: he gave examples of how the lousy Syrian regime tried to mimic Hariri economics in Syria by creating “free zones” in and by creating replicas of “Solidaire” in Aleppo and Damascus and how this cruel capitalism fueled the Syrian uprising.  He spoke about his utter rejection of the existence of Israel but said that he disagrees with all the domestic policies of Hizbullah.  When the link becomes available, I should supply.

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Massive demonstrations in Cairo and in Syria

April 15th, 2012 Comments off

Those two demonstrations took place in Cairo and in Al-Qasir in Syria yesterday.  Which of the two you think made it in the New York Times?

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Shenouda’s Last Viewing

March 19th, 2012 Comments off
Front Page, Al-Tahrir: “The Last Viewing”

Yesterday tens of thousands of the Coptic faithful flocked to Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Abbasiyya to pay final respects to Pope Shenouda III. In an ancient tradition, rather than viewing the deceased laid out in an open casket as in Western funerals, the last viewing takes place with the pontiff on his papal throne for the last time.

That paragon of journalism, The Daily Mail, seems to find this particularly unusual.  I think it’s done in other Eastern Church traditions as well, and frankly I don’t see how it differs greatly from any viewing in which the corpse of the deceased is publicly displayed: and that is regularly done in most Western traditions. Perhaps I’m more multicultural attuned than The Daily Mail, but then you can probably say that of just about everybody.

I have already offered my own initial obituary, but Al Jazeera English’s video obit may be of interest, particularly for its historical film clips:


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liberating the Golan

March 16th, 2012 Comments off
A commentator on Syrian regime TV said yesterday: anyone who think that Golan can be liberated peacefully is under an illusion.  Well, Mr. regime: we have been waiting for you to liberate the Golan since 1973.  Hadfih Al-Asad lost the Golan twice: once in 1967 and another time in 1973.

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