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Ear to the Ground

Obama to Syria: Step Down, Assad

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Posted on Aug 18, 2011
AP / Kostas Tsironis

Protesters burn a picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with “corruption” written across his face during a demonstration in Athens, Greece, in May.

President Obama and other world leaders called Thursday for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign in the face of the regime’s continued violence against pro-democracy protesters.

Obama was joined in his call for Assad to surrender power by British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the European Union.

In an effort to put even more pressure on Assad to resign, Obama also announced that the U.S. would be stepping up sanctions, especially by freezing Syria’s assets and by banning U.S. imports of oil products coming from the country. But beyond that, Obama insisted that the transition of power is up to the people of Syria, not the U.S. —BF

The Guardian:

The call from western capitals came as it was revealed that UN human rights investigators have listed the names of 50 regime figures who could be prosecuted by the international criminal court (ICC) for crimes committed against civilians during the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

The list is believed to include officials from the president’s inner circle and security agencies. It marks the first time that government insiders have faced the prospect of criminal charges since the five-month uprising began.

A decision on whether to refer the names to the ICC is likely to be made on Thursday.

The UN report accuses officials of torture, summary executions and abuse of children – allegations that could amount to crimes against humanity. It accuses security forces of indiscriminately firing at demonstrators, sometimes from helicopters, and says injured protesters have been killed inside hospitals, even being locked alive in mortuary freezers.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, August 20, 2011 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

It would take awhile to list the hypocrisies: Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are
objecting?  That’s the most prominent of the hypocrisies.

(Necessary qualifier: What’s going on in Syria is a genuine case of criminality—
from a legal standpoint and even worse, a moral outrage from any humanist
standpoint. No one can speak for God, other than Perry-Bachmann and Pat
Robertson, who at one point advocated nuking someplace or other.)

Is Bush/Cheney on that UN list? Along with 50 of their henchmen and
henchwomen, most notably Condie Rice? Is there an official count of drone-
murders of civilians both in Pakistan and Afghanistan ordered by Mr. Obama in
collusion with his own henchpeople, not least Hillary Clinton and Samantha
Power? Are any of them on the list? How about Tony Blair and Jack Straw?

The fine distinctions are blurry to the point of little if any difference. Al-Assad
is no worse than, say, Netanyahu, in fact not so bad in my estimation. But I
know I will never witness Anderson Cooper or anyone else in American big
media going after the Ambassador from Israel like Cooper did the Syrian
Ambassador last night. Let alone after a U.S. President or Secretary of State (or
War, of the class kind if not of other kinds, though those too).

I’d call on Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron to step down, if not quite Merkel. The
first three are hardly more friends of their peoples than is al-Assad of his. This
phrase, “war crimes” is tossed about with a good deal of discrimination,
children shot by Syrian soldiers a different thing from children blown to pieces
by American drones. Somehow.

Then there’s also the matter of credibility, because I well recall when Iraqi
soldiers were killing babies in hospital bassinets in Kuwait 20 years ago, that
story turned out to have been planted by a PR firm hired by Kuwaiti princes.

The Syrian Ambassador made a fool of himself under Cooper’s outraged
grilling. Cooper nailed the man without a shred of doubt. (I almost felt sorry for
the poor bastard having to stand there and try to defend’s al-Assad’s absurd
line of B.S.) But where was Cooper when Bush was lying up a storm prior to
“Shock & Awe.” Where was anybody, but for Helen Thomas, regarded as no
more than a difficult curmudgeon too old to get with the program.

European leaders not a wit less hypocritical, as Cameron’s been proving in
Britain after imposing Thatcherite measures, or worse. No, except in Israel,
protestors mostly aren’t shot in the streets of the more “civilized” West. Mostly.
They certainly are in Mexico and have been in other parts of Latin America—by
mlitary trained at Ft. Benning. Few leaders were asked to “step down,” unless
potential socialists. When they refused they were murdered.”

The Syrian Ambassador wasn’t completely off when he noted the goading of the
West as well as the West’s history in the region, something never recalled in big
media in the U.S., and not likely in Britain France or Germany either, except for
WWII in Germany’s case. In the case of Syria it’s Sarkozy who’s most
hypocritical, nothing new for him, since the same for Haiti and Algeria.

And since when does the U.S. in particular give a crap what the IC thinks or
does? Or the UN more generally? Unless, what they think is in accord with U.S.
policy, which is the finest ever illustration of hypocrisy. Not that that matters,
as I noted the other day. It’s written off as “necessary expediency” including
restoraton of “stability in the region.”

Commentators often precede speaking any truth with, “I hate to sound cynical,
but….” The very idea is charged with “negativity,” practically regarded as
criminal in America when in opposition to childish optimism.

By such twisted definitions in a context of utter denial, cynicism IS optimism! 
The “cynical,” then, truth is that here we’ve pots calling a kettle black and then
telling it to get off the stove-top as well.

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By bogi666, August 20, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Twiddle Dee[ObomberBush]and Twiddle Dumber[Cameron] demanding that Assad quit.How pathetic, doing everything to deflect attention from their own atrocities indiscriminate murder being heaped on the women, children of the Mideast.

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By expat, August 19, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

we want regime change in ameriKa !

Refresh Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty now!

we want US, UK, france, israel, nato tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity

in Gaza, occupied Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria (where the opposition is US financed and armed thru Lebanon - documented and verified)and many other places (Ethiopia, US induced famine), etc, etc…

just to single one out…

crimes in Libya? (verified, documented and irrefutable)

bombing civilians, hospitals, children, water sanitation plants and aquaducts (in the desert!), food warehouses, TV stations and transmitters, stealing Libyan money by illegally seizing it, etc, etc…  even the nazis didn’t do this!

all under the guise of “protecting civilians”...

the scourge is the US, nato, israel, UK and the perverted UN, the rotchild’s bankster mafia and all their aipac agents everywhere.

we want the lying imperial msm media, all aipac alumni, tried and executed for treason for being foreign agents who manage to hijack US interests.


“those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”—JFK

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, August 19, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

I really can’t take this acid propaganda anymore from the New Progressive Warmongers.

So don’t ever talk to me about freeing the slaves, condemning the holocaust or burning a Vietnam draft card. EVER AGAIN.

YOU people, YOU PROGRESSIVES, would have stood by, just as you are now, without a moral bone in your body.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, August 19, 2011 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

Now what did Syria do to America again to merit such behavior?

We need to quit meddling in other nations affairs.  If they killed an American citizen (like Israel) I would understand but they did not.

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, August 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

Of course Obama The Clown will never make the same demands when it comes to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia or Jordan.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, August 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

The global elite have decided on war with Iran. But before that happens, they have to
neutralize Irans allies, and potential sources of support.

The current political upheaval is just a psyops to pave the way.

They won’t mention our problems with dead children in Pakistan while this is happening.

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By rend, August 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

oh we are so fickle, feels like just yesterday we were busy spiriting Maher Arar away to
Damascus for a cool 10 months of dungeons and torture Syrian style.

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, August 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Iraq redux.

The Hama Affair

By PIERRE PICCININ

This July, I travelled to Syria, with the purpose of finding out for myself the origins of the present political conflict.

I was able to roam the country at liberty, from Dera, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Maraat-an-­Numan, Jisr-al-Sh­igur, on the Turkish border, even Deir-ez-So­r, all places where the media had signalled outbursts of violence..­.......
...On Friday 15 July, I entered Hama. Very quickly I found myself surrounded by the youths in control…­....That same night on July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.

In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.

This ‘informati­on’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitant­s…...
....this is blatant disinforma­tion, propaganda at its finest. 500,000 protestors can shake the very foundation­s of a regime, 10,000 however are of no consequenc­e.

Furthermor­e, all the ‘informati­on’ regarding the Syrian situation has been twisted similarly for months now.

http://www­.counterpu­nch.org/pi­ccinin0804­2011.html”

“One expected to see fear, tension, and people hiding in homes, ubiquitous police .... military vehicles, empty streets after dusk, reticence to discuss politics, tense faces on the streets.

None of this was to seen in Syria’s capital and villages to the west.”
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/05/15/the-tide-has-turned-in-favor-of-the-assa?tempskin=basic

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brewerstroupe's avatar

By brewerstroupe, August 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

Iraq redux.

The Hama Affair

By PIERRE PICCININ

This July, I travelled to Syria, with the purpose of finding out for myself the origins of the present political conflict.

I was able to roam the country at liberty, from Dera, Damascus, Homs, Hama, Maraat-an-­Numan, Jisr-al-Sh­igur, on the Turkish border, even Deir-ez-So­r, all places where the media had signalled outbursts of violence..­.......
...On Friday 15 July, I entered Hama. Very quickly I found myself surrounded by the youths in control…­....That same night on July 15, I received news feeds from the AFP announcing a million protestors all over Syria, of which 500,000 in Hama alone.

In Hama however, they could not have been more than 10,000.

This ‘informati­on’ was even more absurd due to the fact that the city of Hama counts only 370,000 inhabitant­s…...
....this is blatant disinforma­tion, propaganda at its finest. 500,000 protestors can shake the very foundation­s of a regime, 10,000 however are of no consequenc­e.

Furthermor­e, all the ‘informati­on’ regarding the Syrian situation has been twisted similarly for months now.

http://www­.counterpu­nch.org/pi­ccinin0804­2011.html”

“One expected to see fear, tension, and people hiding in homes, ubiquitous police .... military vehicles, empty streets after dusk, reticence to discuss politics, tense faces on the streets.

None of this was to seen in Syria’s capital and villages to the west.”
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2011/05/15/the-tide-has-turned-in-favor-of-the-assa?tempskin=basic

“A striking feature of the crisis has been the absence of reliable informatio­n about the situation. No one outside Syria really knows in detail what is happening. This has allowed all sorts of rumours to circulate, some of them plainly false…..­This prohibitio­n has backfired against the government in many ways, as it has allowed the protesters to influence opinion outside the country by means of Facebook and videos taken by mobile phones, and so forth.

As a result, foreign opinion does not believe government statements­, while the opposition has been given the opportunit­y to spread stories of gross abuses by the security services – some of which are true, but others may be false or exaggerate­d. “
http://www­.dp-news.c­om/en/deta­il.aspx?ar­ticleid=86­732

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