Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Israel Treats Wounded Syrians

January 22, 2014

If anyone wonders why I tend to support the State of Israel over its enemies then they should read this story from Israel Hayom which I found courtesy of Jihad Watch.

Israel Defense Forces troops brought a wounded Syrian couple to Poriah Hospital near Tiberias Thursday night. The couple, residents of the embattled town Daraa, arrived with gunshot wounds in their legs. The male is 27 years old and his wife is 23 and in the early stages of pregnancy.

While the two did not have life threatening wounds, the two have been through an immense amount of duress recently: Two months ago, the couple lost their daughter two weeks after she was born. “Because of the gunfire and the siege on our town in the Daraa area, we were left with no choice but to deliver the child at home — and the medical condition of my baby deteriorated,” the woman told Israel Hayom. “All our pleading at the [Syrian] army checkpoint to go to the hospital did not help. We went back home and our daughter died there.”

Eight days ago, the couple was struck with another tragedy. Their village came under attack, “artillery bombardment, gunfire, and planes bombing from above,” the woman said. “In the evening my brother came and took us, my mother and two other wounded people and we tried to flee the village. During our exit from the village we were fired on by the army and my brother was killed before my eyes. We managed to escape back to the village and were treated in a field hospital. But the wounds got worse — until my cousin took us to the border and we got into Israel for treatment,” the woman said. Her brother, 19, fought with rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Currently the couple remains hospitalized, both in the same room. The woman is struggling with being away from her family, but admitted that she did not expect such friendly treatment from her enemy. “We were surprised by the treatment and dedicated medical care we got in Israel,” she said. “We hesitated coming to Israel, because we were taught to hate it. We were taught this is a brutal enemy state, but we learned that reality is different. People here have a conscience. Our enemy is in Syria, not in Israel. If only we could stay here.”

The couple were not named in the article and their faces were concealed in the photograph. I suppose it would not be safe for them if it were known that they spoke well of the enemy.

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What would have happened to a wounded Israeli if he fell into the hands of any of Israel’s enemies? Maybe, he would be given medical treatment, and maybe not.  Judging from the recent, and not so recent history of the region, it would be foolish to expect decent behavior from the people of the region, they have been taught to hate their perceived enemies for so long. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where human rights are respected and the only country where you can expect people to act decently. The Israeli are a civilized people and Israel’s enemies are barbarians. I am going to support the civilized people over the barbarians every time.

 

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The Sound of Silence

August 31, 2013

A long time ago, back when I was in fifth or sixth grade, my class went on a field trip of sorts to the Hanover College Library. We were supposed to be doing research for some project or other. when I had gathered the books and materials I needed and sat down at a little table, I discovered that I couldn’t concentrate. Something was wrong. After several minutes, I realized what was wrong. The place was silent. I don’t know if the walls and ceilings were made of some sort of sound dampening material or if it was some design of the building, but there was no sound at all. As a person who has grown up in our mechanized era, constantly surrounded by noises and machinery, I found silence to be unnerving. It was almost as if the absence of sound was aloud and distracting sound of its own. I hated the silence. (Incidentally, years later I found the library at Indiana University to be very loud. Somehow the ventilation system was always making loud knocking noises and swooshes of air. I loved it and could spend hours happily reading there.)

In politics recently, I have noticed a certain lack, especially as we seem headed for military action against Syria. Where did all the peace groups go? Whatever happened to Code Pink? Where is Not In Our Name? Where are the massive protests against Obama’s wars? Why are there no demands that Obama be tried for war crimes? Why isn’t Maureen Dowd proclaiming the absolute moral authority of grieving parents? (That “grieving mother” opposes military action against Syria, by the way. Cindy Sheehan may be a left wing loon and a lover of dictators, but at least she is consistent.) Why are policies that caused outrage while Bush was in office now greeted with silence when done by Obama?

I have an idea. Maybe I am too cynical, but could it be just possible that all of that outrage was simply for political posturing? Could it be that it was not so much Bush’s policies they opposed but Bush? Could they all be a bunch of hypocrites. It does seem odd that all of these anti war movements disappeared almost the same day Barack Obama was inaugurated. Come to think of it, notice that the Occupy Wall Street movement with its 99% against the 1% only lasted as long as the wealthy Mitt Romney was running for president. Maybe I am getting paranoid as well as cynical. The silence does seem odd, though.

Going to War in Syria

August 27, 2013

It would seem that we are preparing military strikes against the Assad regime in Syria. I can’t even begin to say what an incredibly stupid idea this is. Yes, it is deplorable that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against the rebels. Yes, the current government of Syria is a vicious tyranny that has violated the human rights of the people of Syria and it deserves to be overthrown. The problem is that the rebels are Islamist fanatics that want to impose Sharia law on Syria, that are allied with al-Qaida, that they have been massacring Syria’s Christians, and that they will very likely to be as tyrannical and vicious as the Assad regime.

There are no good guys in this conflict. Both sides hate us. Both sides have links to terrorists. The last thing the Middle East needs is another Islamic state, yet that seems to be just what Obama is trying to achieve. We need to just stay out of this.

Aid and Comfort

June 16, 2013

Sarah Palin has some good advice about aiding the Syrian rebels.

WASHINGTON – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin criticized the Obama administration’s decision to supply weapons to the rebels in the civil war in Syria today, arguing that the U.S. should “Let Allah sort it out” until there is a stronger leader in the White House.

“Militarily, where is our commander in chief? We’re talking now more new interventions. I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren’t even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, ‘Allah Akbar,’ I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say let Allah sort it out,” Palin said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference.

Of course, Palin is just an ignorant snow billy from Alaska who cannot properly appreciate the subtleties of Obama’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, our newfound allies in Syria have been massacring Christians and blowing up Shi’ite mosques.

It is important to realize that the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq have maintained their power by placing minorities such as Christians and heterodox Muslims in powerful positions in their governments, at the expense of the Sunni Muslims. Now that the regime in Iraq has been overthrow and is tottering in Syria, the situation of these minorities have gotten much worse as the Sunnis have sought to exact revenge. There are no good guys here and helping either side would be giving aid and comfort to our enemies.

 

Crossing the Line

June 14, 2013

The Obama administration has determined that the Assad regime in Syria is using chemical weapons against the rebels and so has decided to send arms to the rebels. As CBS News puts it.

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad‘s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.

“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.

President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that, if crossed, would be a “game changer” for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.

“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a separate written statement.

“The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he continued.

In terms of further response, Rhodes said, “we will make decisions on our own timeline” and that Congress and the international community would be consulted.  Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.

“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.

To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.

I think that this is a very bad idea. There are no good guys in this conflict. On one side there is a vicious secular Arab nationalist/socialist government that has an awful human rights record. On the other side there are rebels who are Islamist and almost certainly have ties to al-Qaeda and will probably impose Sharia law on Syria. Neither side is likely to be grateful for any aid we provide and both sides hate us and the West. As far as I can tell our only options are staying out of this conflict or, if we’re feeling especially cynical and Machiavellian, to keep the fighting going as long as possible.

And then there’s this from the Los Angeles Times.

Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns.

A resettlement plan under discussion in Washington and other capitals is aimed at relieving pressure on Middle Eastern countries straining to support 1.6 million refugees, as well as assisting hard-hit Syrian families.

The State Department is “ready to consider the idea,” an official from the department said, if the administration receives a formal request from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is the usual procedure.

I don’t think this is a good idea either. Hasn’t the bombing of the Boston Marathon taught us anything about the wisdom of allowing refugees from war-torn Muslim countries? We really do not need to import more radicalized fanatics who hate us into this country. In fact, I would suggest, as a matter of policy, that no Western country accept Muslim immigrants under any condition and the Europeans should consider ways of evicting the immigrants who are slowly taking over their countries.

 

 

Photoshopping Syrian Style

July 13, 2011

From Yahoo News. Syrian president Basher Assad swore in the new governor of the city of Hama, Anas Abdul-Razzaq Na-em.

See anything wrong with this picture? It looks funky because the whole thing is a crudely done forgery.

Enterprising journalists and bloggers soon spotted key discrepancies–such as the telltale way that the table between the two men appears to cast an improbably glossy shadow on the surface of an oriental rug, and eerie way that Naem (the figure on the right) casts no shadow in his surroundings whatsoever. The UK Guardian solicited an opinion from its “imaging expert” Drew McCoy, who noted further that “two pictures may have been merged to make it seem like the men are in the same room, with the one on the right positioned fractionally higher than the one on the left. This becomes clearer when you look closely at the floor, which is distorted. The right hand side of the picture has been stretched downwards into place to line up with the left side (which is not distorted).”

The Washington Post noted further that one of Naem’s shoes “appears to be sticking out in front of the table leg,” even though the rest of his body is position behind the table leg. And McCoy’s counterpart at the Post, Dan Murano, seconds McCoy’s judgment that a closer examination of both figures shows few of the signature traces that actual humans display when actually captured on film–such as stray hairs. Instead, the figures of both men have perfectly unruffled outlines. The photo, Murano concluded, “looks as if someone selected the the bodies and heads with the lasso tool and then adjusted the contrast and brightness, leaving a black outline at the tool’s selection boundary.”

What kind of a Dictator has minions who can’t even provide good faked photographs?  It’s shoddy work like this that makes it hard for your fellow tyrants to take you seriously.  I guess it is hard to get good help in Syria these days.


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