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Posted by wmmbb in Middle East.

The situation in Syria is horrible, and has been made worst by outside intervention, which shared borders is inevitable. Some outside intervention has been criminal, particularly the arming of combatants.

The role of international observers should be to save lives and seek a just peace. The international players see themselves as above humanitarian law and advancing noble national interests that are more important than the suffering of hundreds of thousands of mere human beings. Nothing could demonstrate this thesis more clearly than the criminal invasion of Iraq for which no indictments have been laid before an independent international tribunal.

Seven months ago, Associated Press provided a background summary of the conflict:

They have proved correct in assessing that the bloodshed would continue.

The BBC reports the “opposition” has replaced the “government” at the Arab League meeting in Doha, opened by the Emir of Qatar:

Syria’s opposition National Coalition has taken the country’s official seat at the Arab League summit in Qatar.

The delegation led by Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, who has said he will resign as head of the coalition, was applauded as it formally assumed the seat.

Mr Khatib called it “part of the restoration of legitimacy” that Syrians had “long been robbed of”.

The move has enraged Damascus who accused the League of handing the seat to “bandits and thugs”.

The government of Bashar al-Assad was suspended by the Arab League in November 2011 in response to its crackdown on the opposition.

Meanwhile, in Syria itself, government troops are reported to have seized back control of the long-contested Baba Amr district of Homs after two weeks of fighting.

At least 13 burned bodies have been found in the village of Abel, just outside the central Syrian city, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is documenting incidents and casualties.

And Syria’s state media are reporting mortar explosions in the west of the capital, Damascus, with several people wounded.

It is unclear as to the level of support that the National Coalition has among the people, other than its external sponsors. The barbarity of the Assad Government seems inexplicable, but it does have twisted logic reasoning. At War in Context, Paul Woodward observes:

In an interview,[independent film maker Marcel] Mettelsiefen describes the logic of the Assad regime which targets civilians while avoiding striking the al-Nusra Front’s command in Aleppo. The desired effect is to radicalize the population, swell al-Nusra’s ranks and thereby heighten Western fears about the fall of the regime. In effect, al-Nusra has become Assad’s insurance against intervention.

There is a video which is not working. In it Marcel Mettelsiefen reports the Regime is targeting civilians for the purpose of turning towards extreme religious orientation. So here is the transcript and my best interpretation of what Marcel Mettelsiefen says:

People in Aleppo told me that there must be a strategy. There must be a plan. a tactic, behind the Regime targeting civilians. For example the “artillery shells?” they are landing in civilian areas. The [Al Nuri?] compound is far away. Bodies are everywhere. People are finding every day bodies of their relatives who are working on one part of Aleppo and going every day to other side because they are living there. They are finding bodies in the river. Why are they doing this? Well to get them to become radical. And this is actually working.

On the other hand you have the headquarters of Jabhat al Nusra, Al Qaeda in Syria. Six hundred metres away the snipers of the Regine were watching them every day and they were never a target. What the Regime thinks that in getting people radical, the West will start to rethink their policy of providing support for the opposition to the Assad Government.Because they will say, “Those guys are becoming more and more radical. They are Islamists. So they will step back and say no it is a little bit too dangerous to support those guys because look what happened in Iraq. Look what happened somewhere else. Look what happened in Afghanistan. And this is helping the Regime. So it is an interesting thought and the more you try to understand why so many civilians are getting killed it starts to make sense.

Such a strategy beggars belief. The nonviolent protest, evident early in the conflict, seems to have collapsed, which might be taken as evidence of the indiscriminate brutal measures of the Regime.

That is one account. There are others, sometimes reporting the opinions of individual Syrians.

The moral is that the any situation such as now happening in Syria, is that information is only as good as the sources, and sometimes those sources are co-opted. One way of resolving this question is by referring to independent experts.



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