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tabatha's Journal
tabatha's Journal
June 25, 2012

Syrian army is 'destroyed physically and mentally', says defected Syrian General

Earlier this month, Syrian Brigadier General Ahmad Berro, head of a tank unit in Aleppo province, fled to Turkey with his family. The Brigadier General said that he estimated that the Syrian army had lost control of about 60 per cent of the country. He added the Free Syria Army was growing in strength.

"The Syrian army, the Syrian army is tired after a year and four months. They know that they are killing their sons, and no human can kill his son. "The army is already destroyed physically and mentally. The army is not controlling the Syrian lands completely and from what I see, 60 per cent is out of the regime's control," he said.

An attorney general who also defected from Syria said he left because the government was killing civilians.

"I cannot handle any more, I could not handle the regime's crimes, it is killing children, women, old men. The regime is killing children, women, old men in the roads. It is killing them from a close distance. It is using field execution, the people are not killed in exchanges of fire as the regime is claiming."


The soldiers have more humanity than Assad and his Shabiha.

EDIT - there is a video at the link that includes interviews with the two quoted above.

June 3, 2012

There was the same information from a military general.

The Syrians, without the help of a Murdoch rag, say the same thing - they live and die with these monsters, daily.

Here is a credible reporter talking to a credible military general.

If all news outlets are posting the same stuff (even Rachel Maddow did a story on the Shaibiha) then just because it is on a Murdoch rag does not mean it is not true.

This article was published months before the massacre:


April 8, 2012

The Syrian Uprising Through Palestinian Eyes

The Syrian regime has done nothing to liberate the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, let alone Palestine, but even if it were the only entity in the world capable of liberating our land, we must stand against it. You can never achieve your liberation on the blood of your brethren and with the aid of the very regime that denies your fellow men and women their most basic rights.

This is what makes the support of some corrupt Palestinian leaders, couch leftists, and Arab nationalists for the Assad regime so repellent and disgraceful. By brazenly exploiting the cause of one oppressed people to justify the oppression of another, Palestinian cheerleaders of Assad inflict irreparable damage on the Palestinian cause. Khaled Jabbareen, a veteran Palestinian activist I met during the demonstration we held in Haifa to mark the first anniversary of the Syrian uprising, told me: “I quit political activism for 15 years. What spurred me to be active again was watching an obsolete Palestinian ‘leader’ sing Assad’s praises on Syrian State TV. We have been repeatedly scapegoated because of contemptuous stances taken by self-appointed Palestinian leaders and we paid the price dearly. We cannot allow the same to happen with the Syrian intifada. We cannot sit idly as Syrians are being killed and repressed in our name.”

Jabbareen added that the Syrian intifada has unmasked the traditional Arab “Left” and exposed its moral bankruptcy. For decades, Arab leftists and modernists have been urging the masses to rise up. When the masses did rise to break the walls of fear in Syria, most of those self-proclaimed leftists and revolutionists cowered and either supported the regime in the guise of “anti-imperialism” and “Arabism” or sat on the fence, perhaps because the intifada was not attractive enough to satisfy their self-perceived intellectual superiority or because they were never revolutionary in the first place. Although those intellectuals and “leaders” are unashamedly loud in their support of Assad, and although one cannot deny that minhibbakjiyeh exist in Palestine as well, they do not represent the Palestinian people – as much as they shame me - and they do not represent the Palestinian cause. They do not represent the values and principles Palestinians are fighting for.

Palestinians chanted “Yallah Irhal Ya Bashar” in Nazareth, Haifa, Jaffa, Baqa, Jerusalem, Bil’in and Nabi Saleh. Many of us will continue to do so since it’s our duty to stand on the side of those who sing for freedom, dance, and even make jokes through the horror visited by bullets and mortar shells. A victory for the brave Syrian people over Assad’s tyranny will be a triumph for every oppressed community in the world. Such a triumph could change the discourse of resistance and turn it from a pretext to crush revolt into a leaderless, grassroots movement. Resistance is not a tyrant’s speech, and the Palestininian cause lives not in the ivory towers of intellectuals or in the dungeons of dictators. It lives in the voice of Ibrahim Qashoush, the innocent soul of Hamza al-Khatib, the heroic "Sumoud" of Homs and in the unbreakable spirit of the Syrian and Palestinian people.


March 25, 2012

#ArabTyrantManual - some of these could apply to Fox News, Republicans, etc

When a million are marching against you, send your camera crew to cover the 200 who were paid to support you #ArabTyrantManual

How can you uprise against us?! We love you! We are bombing you, and destroying your lives to stop the West doing it to u! #ArabTyrantManual

Look, if necessary you can always call on foreign governments to assist you while decrying foreign intervention. #ArabTyrantManual

On Mother's Day, have your shabiha deliver a dead son to his mother. That's one gift she'll never forget! #ArabTyrantManual

Claim that you're an older fatherly figure, therefore respect is owed to you by your 'children' regardless of what you do. #ArabTyrantManual

#ArabTyrantManual Bring up Israel always, everyday. One Zionist truth a day, keeps the fall of the regime one day away.

Say that you ruled the country out of love and service and you have no desire for power and have no money. #ArabTyrantManual

Hold elections, rig them and act surprised when you win #ArabTyrantManual

Your favorite words are "reform" and "conspiracy". #ArabTyrantManual

It's either me, or I'll burn down the whole country #ArabTyrantManual

Tell everyone you're the only Arab leader who supports Palestine and that Palestinians would be screwed without you #ArabTyrantManual

Blame feminism for the increased presence of women in protests, and moral decay during protests. #ArabTyrantManual

When in doubt, refer to the Arab Tyrant Manual. cc @iyad_elbaghdadi #ArabTyrantManual

Blame your wife's excessive shopping for the country's political turmoil. #ArabTyrantManual

It's the anniversary of the #ArabTyrantManual. Please check the hash tag and tweet/retweet it.

The #ArabTyrantManual turns one today: http://bit.ly/k52xaZ - we'll be retweeting, revising, and translating it later today. Join in!

I remember the time Mugabe cracked down on protests against Gadaffi. #ArabTyrantManual #AfricanTyrant @Iyad_Elbaghdadi


March 18, 2012

Fritz Vahrenholt - Duped on Climate Change

German electric utility executive Fritz Vahrenholt is co-author (along with geologist Sebastian Lüning) of a book expressing "skepticism" regarding the human contribution to global warming, which predictably has been trumpeted by the usual climate denial enablers. Why should we particularly care what Vahrenholt thinks about climate science? That is something of a mystery - he has a PhD in chemistry and has worked in the energy sector for Shell Oil and wind turbine maker RePower. Vahrenholt and Lüning both currently work for RWE Innogy, Germany's second-largest energy company (Vahrenholt as a manager, Lüning as a scientist in its oil and gas division).

Vahrenholt admits he has no expertise in climate science, but apparently his status as "Germany’s Top Environmentalist" (a title which Vahrenholt appears to have been awarded just recently by anti-climate think tanks and denialists) and his climate "skepticism" are sufficient for some people to take his climate claims seriously. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Vahrenholt discusses why he chose to write a book rather than attempting to conduct and publish scientific research.

SPIEGEL: You make concrete statements on how much human activity contributes to climatic events and how much of a role natural factors play. Why don't you publish your prognoses in a professional journal?

Vahrenholt: Because I don't engage in my own climate research. Besides, I don't have a supercomputer in my basement. For the most part, my co-author, geologist Sebastian Lüning, and I merely summarize what scientists have published in professional journals -- just as the IPCC does.

Read the full debunking: http://www.skepticalscience.com/fritz-vahrenholt-duped-on-climate-change.html

March 17, 2012

Leaked Syrian emails - fallout.

Assad emails: rise of the woman who became key adviser to Syrian leader
On 27 November last year, a young, ambitious woman sent an email to her boss. It contained a single link, to a piece by the BBC correspondent Paul Woods. Woods had been smuggled into the Syrian city of Homs. His subsequent report gave a vivid account of the smouldering rebellion there, crushed two months later in a remorseless government attack.

The woman was the US-educated Hadeel al-Ali; her boss was Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad. The email was sent to a private account used by Assad to communicate with his wife, Asma, other family members, and a handful of trusted advisers. Some 3,000 emails from Assad and his inner circle were leaked by Syria's opposition to the Guardian last week, revealing a first family strangely disconnected from the bloody drama engulfing Syria and its people.

This particular email appears to show Assad was personally told about the presence of western journalists in Homs, slipping into the country via a perilous crossing from Lebanon. In retrospect, it takes on a darker aspect. In February the Sunday Times's Marie Colvin and the French photographer Remi Ochlik died in Homs when Syrian forces – it appears deliberately – targeted their building.

Nir Rosen reporting for Al Jazeera was actually an adviser to Assad

Some tweets about this:
عامر بن هشام ? @amousli Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
@nirrosen Syrian people will not forget that you help Bashar Alassad

13m your friend brent ? @MavisGary Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
RT @umarjones: So.. known scumbag @nirrosen was advising and working with Assad during his massacres. Wow.

Nuff Silence ? @NuffSilence Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
Starting with the first batch of articles he wrote about Syria, framing the revolt as sectarian. #NirRosen

51m FE ? @ARABICA11 Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
NirRosen spent 2 months in #Syria during uprising, leaked emails showed he is working with Regime and giving them infos about BabaAmer ..

2h TRUTH in Syria ? @luv2live2 Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
#Syria tweeps use Nir Rosen's handle @nirrosen as you expose his aid to Assad's regime #SYRIA He aided Assad in killings in BabaAmr

2h Arab ? @khaladk Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
I know! lets call for his resignation! @nirrosen unfollowing MT @DGisSERIOUS Really surprised this nir rosen thing isn't blowing up twitter.
March 16, 2012

Syria: Assad's father-in-law compares Syrian uprising to London riots

Asked about his son-in-law’s brutal crackdown on the rebel city of Homs, Dr Akhras said: “When the London riots burst out and Mr Cameron said he would get the army out, now would you compare that to Homs? “What would you do? Just watch them killing you? You have a responsibility to ensure the security of your people.”

(Comment: they were peaceful protests; there are still peaceful protests every week in Syria)

Told that the British authorities had dealt with the riots without killing anyone, Dr Akhras replied: “We are not as sophisticated as the Metropolitan Police or Scotland Yard.”

Dr Akhras said that the figure of 7,000 dead in Syria was “much better” than the death toll in Libya, where a Western-supported military intervention and civil war caused as many as 50,000 deaths, according to the victorious rebel forces, though estimates by the Red Cross are far lower.

(Comment: those people were killed by Gaddafi; thousands are still missing.)

Emails obtained by the al-Arabiya satellite channel purport to show another side to Fawaz Akhras, suggesting that he was deeply worried about Syria’s bloodshed and urged his son-in-law to respond to reports of atrocities. On 19 December, an email purporting to be from Mr Akhras to both Mr and Mrs Assad warns them that Channel Four was about to show footage of atrocities. He forwards a link to a Daily Mail article previewing the report, saying: “The description of this video is horrible and the embassy were asked to comment but no answer.”


March 15, 2012

Feckless - Juan Cole

Posted on 03/15/2012 by Juan
The Syrian uprising is a year old, and France 24 has a collage of videos chronicling these dramatic and bloody events.

The world community has failed Syria, just as it failed Rwanda and the Congo, though the human toll in Syria is a fraction of those killed in the African events. Russia and China have used their veto to block any effective United Nations Security Council resolution that might lead to regime change. India has also, unlike the Arab League, opposed any call for President Bashar al-Assad, the Butcher of Homs, to step down.

Those on the left and in the libertarian movement who stridently condemned Arab League and NATO intervention in Libya (which forestalled massacres like the one we just saw in the Baba Amr district of Homs) have been silent about al-Assad’s predations and clueless as to what to do practically. Perhaps they do not care if indigenous dictators massacre indigenous protesters, as long as there is no *gasp* international intervention.

The Baath one-party police state, dominated at the top by the minority Allawite Shiite sect, has deployed armor and artillery to bombard city quarters without regard to civilian casualties. Thousands of innocent civilians are dead at regime hands. Some 200,000 Syrians have had to flee their homes. While defectors from the military have formed a Free Syrian Army that has attacked and ambushed the regular army, these attacks have formed a minor part of the violence. Likewise, bombings by “al-Qaeda,” Sunni Muslim radicals, have been few and far between. Mostly, the violence has stemmed from government troops sniping at peaceful protesters. The protests have often been big, and they have been persistent, but they have predominated in medium-sized and smaller cities away from the capital of Damascus. They are unable by themselves to cause the regime to fall.


March 15, 2012

One Year on, My Neighbourhood Destroyed, My Life Torn Apart

Let me tell you about my life, I am a Syrian activist who has been involved in the revolution since April 2011. My main work began from August 2011 and it was with the Baba Amr media team as it began to establish itself while also being ready to support other groups around Homs. I am a student with my entire extended family living in Syria. It has been a year of mixed emotions. But 12 months on I can conclude three emotions: exhausted, broken and offended.

I am exhausted because working for this revolution is a heavy responsibility. When those inside being bombed and losing everything place their trust in you as their voice, you must work tirelessly to get their voices out. They trust you with their names, accounts, backgrounds and information. I worked with the Baba Amr media team office, where foreign journalists slept, as one of their English translators and media connections and I knew some of those sleeping there personally. I worked with them until they were pushed out recently as the regime bombarded the neighborhood for 27 consecutive days; I lost a relative in the process of them fleeing. I've also worked with other areas in Homs from Karam Alzaytoon, Bab Sba, Insha at, Jobar, Alrastan and Bab Dreib. I am honoured to be a part of the Syrian revolution, especially the Homs revolution as it is a duty on me until this brutal regime is toppled to help in every way possible, even if my education suffers.

I am broken because I am outside watching my family, my friends and my city Homs be ripped apart through shelling, theft of homes, rape and murder. In the last two weeks I have had many from my small village executed or arrested. Some tortured in wedding halls while others were blown up once gathered in a home. Women from my village were raped as men were locked in separate rooms only to hear their screams. These are personal stories, not ones from the media. This is why being outside makes things much harder as I can only hear and watch. I read the martyrs list daily analysing if one of my relatives has died. I watch videos of bodies returned tortured or executed closely observing do I know them or not. I have forgotten how to sleep properly because on most nights I stay awake translating what is taking place from bombing to executions, stay up training an activist on how to pronounce certain words when he speaks to media in English the next day, or translating daily reports. Yet after all this, I will then return to my bed - warm, safe and sound. While, in Homs, may never come online again...dead.

Finally I am offended because of the world's response. It is a deafening silence, though there are words, but it is like screaming into a vacuum. The words are meaningless the promises are empty. International governments keep mentioning the Assad regime has lost legitimacy and must step down, however their officials still meet and discuss with this criminal regime? The governments discuss how to get humanitarian aid into starving Homs, this is like saying a volcano has erupted and we are trying to keep families living under the lava but we panic to find a way to provide some kind of shelter over their heads instead of evacuating them and dealing with the volcano. We must deal with the route of the problem, Bashar Al-Assad, before running to correct his mistakes. Why have the Assad regime criminals not been passed onto the international criminal court? What more needs to be committed? What more evidence is required as videos flood Youtube, eyewitnesses fill Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Foreign journalists carry stories of crimes against humanity being committed. Foreign doctors also hold testimonies to the war crimes inside Syria. The international governments keep issuing sanctions. The more you corner a criminal the more violent he becomes, as has been seen in recent weeks.


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