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tabatha's Journal
tabatha's Journal
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.


March 15, 2012

Free Syrian Army withdraws from Idlib. Desertions including 7 generals. Syrians speak.

Free Syrian Army withdraws from Idlib
According to reports coming out of Idlib, the Free Syrian Army fighters have withdrawn from the besieged Northern Syrian city. They say they want to avoid reprisal attacks. (Interesting comments about weapons)

Syria Loses 20,000 Troops as Desertions Surge, Turkey Says
About 20,000 Syrian soldiers have deserted from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in less than a month, according to Turkish intelligence reports cited by a Foreign Ministry official.

The desertions are in addition to 40,000 military personnel who left before Feb. 20, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with government rules. The Syrian armed forces have a strength of 295,000 active personnel, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 2012
They have been at the forefront of Assad’s bid to stamp out the yearlong uprising, which yesterday resulted in the seizure of the rebel-held city of Idlib. Some of the soldiers are joining the opposition Free Syrian Army, whose commanders reside in Turkish refugee camps.

Defection Live Blog
4 hours 51 min ago - Syria
Turkey's foreign ministry has confirmed that the country is hosting seven defected Syrian generals in addition to more than 14,000 refugees.
Spokesman Selcuk Unal told reporters in Ankara on Thursday that roughly 1,000 Syrians had crossed the border to Turkey in the past 24 hours, including one of the generals.
In Sanliurfa province, near the halfway point of Turkey's 910-kilometre border with Syria, Turkey has already started building a massive camp site that can house up to 20,000 people, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

One year on: Syrians speak about uprising (Interactive map with the comments of Syrians from different places)
Cross-section of Syrians share their thoughts on the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

Child survives family massacr - Arwa Damon
Added On March 14, 2012
In Syria, a rescue operation to retrieve corpses of a massacred family turns up a child who survived. Arwa Damon reports.
March 14, 2012

Amnesty: Syrian Detainees Face Widespread Torture

Amnesty: Syrian Detainees Face Widespread Torture
Amnesty International says Syrians detained during a year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule have been subjected to widespread torture that amounts to crimes against humanity.

The London-based human rights group issued its assessment on the situation in Syria in a report released Wednesday.

Amnesty said “the scale of torture and other ill-treatment in Syria has risen to a level not witnessed for years and is reminiscent of the dark era of the 1970s and 1980s.” An Amnesty official said detainees in Syria's crackdown face “a nightmarish world of systemic torture” that has set the country back decades.

Amnesty's report, based on interviews with Syrians who fled to Jordan, documents 31 methods of torture or other ill-treatment meted out by security forces, army and pro-government armed gangs, described by witnesses or victims.

A grim catalogue of torture has emerged from former detainees describing their treatment in Syria’s detention centres since the predominantly peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government began in March 2011. This report reveals that all the various security forces are routinely torturing and ill-treating detainees held in the context of the protests and unrest, using methods of cruelty mostly used for decades. The torture carried out appears to be part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population as part of Syrian government policy to crush dissent.

Syrian Revolution Martyr Database
March 13, 2012

Iran supported Al Qaeda in Iraq - when prior to the invasion there was no Al Qaeda under Saddam

In effect, they did support the creation of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

"Al Qaeda and its affiliate, al Qaeda in Iraq, are among the terrorist groups supported by the MOIS, which is Iran's chief intelligence agency."

"A terrorist in Iraq linked to Al-Qaeda has also admitted that Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda with weapons and money, and says that he personally has dispatched terrorists to Iraq via Syria, also implicating that country (which is an ally of Iran)."

Nope, I think the talking out of the ass is not applicable to him.

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