Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Syrian uprising claims the lives of two intrepid American reporters

February 22, 2012

 

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Jefferson would have especially valued Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London and Anthony Shadid of the New York Times, both of whom died this week in Syria.

Colvin was killed in a savage artillery bombardment of a residential neighborhood in Homs, Syria’s third city. In her last report, filed hours before she was killed, she explained to CNN’s Anderson Cooper why it was important to show video of a two-year old boy dying of shrapnel wounds to the chest.

“I feel very strongly that it should be shown. That’s the reality: there are 28,000 defenseless civilians being shelled. That baby will probably move more people to think ‘What is going on and why is no one stopping these murders that are going on every day?’

“The Syrian Army is shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.”

Shadid died of an asthma attack as he was walking out of Syria to file his latest report. He knew of the danger he faced, and (more…)

Can the outside world intervene to stop the slaughter in Syria?

February 17, 2012

Last March a few young Syrian boys— all under 17 — wrote on a wall in the farm town of Dara’a in southern Syria, a slogan that had appeared first in Tunisia, then quickly in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya:  “The people want the regime to fall.”

The local governor threw the boys in jail, and so the Syrian revolution started.

Thirty years ago Syria’s brutal president, Hafez al-Assad, put down an anti-government demonstration in the city of Hama by killing 20,000-40,000 residents. His son and successor, Bashar al-Assad, appears to be made of the same stuff. His forces have killed 5,000-7,000* in towns all over Syria, and his killing machine seems to be gaining momentum.

The Arab League and the UN General Assembly have called for an end to the killing and for Assad to leave power. Assad’s answer has been to double down.

It’s anguishing to watch the newscasts or read about the slaughter of innocents and feel helpless to stop it. Until the past few weeks outside help was impossible: unlike Libya, where the rebels controlled large chunks of territory and could be supplied and aided easily, in Syria the opposition was scattered and controlled no territory.

Now that’s changing. CNN’s Ivan Watson is reporting that militants in northern Syria hold substantial territory (more…)

Perry says Turkey’s leaders are Islamic terrorists, links Turkey to Iran and Syria; State Department “absolutely and fundamentally” disagrees

January 17, 2012

 

Sometimes when a politician says something stupid it’s just something stupid. But Rick Perry’s remarks at last night’s Republican debate are fifteen yards beyond stupid. They’re dangerous and unethical.

Unethical because a Presidential candidate should know something before he maligns an American ally—or anyone, come to think of it. Thoughtless or ignorant words damage America’s power in the world

Debate moderator Bret Baier asked Perry whether he thought Turkey should continue to be part of NATO.

Perry jumped in by calling Turkey’s leaders “Islamic terrorists.”

“Well, obviously when you have a country that is being ruled by, what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then yes, not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in NATO, but it’s time for the United States, when we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it.”

Perry further promised to send a message to “countries like Iran and Syria and Turkey” that the United States is serious and will have to be dealt with. (more…)

Schoolgirls: the face of Syria

August 3, 2011

As I read about the massacres in Syria–many hundreds, perhaps thousands of Syrians murdered by tanks, machine guns, helicopters, and artillery fired by their own Army, this picture keeps coming to mind–in March I was framing a photo of the National Museum in Aleppo when these little girls raced into my picture and posed. To me they’re the face of Syria.


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