Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homs Update: 25 Feb 2012

(Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad's forces killed 103 people in Syria on Friday in the bombardment of the besieged city of Homs and in attacks on the countryside of Hama and the east and north of the country, the activist group Local Coordination Committees said.
Most of those killed were civilians, including 14 children and one woman, it said.
Anas al-Tarsheh, an activist in Homs who has been filming the bombardment and uploading the footage on YouTube, was also killed by the shelling, the grassroots opposition activists' organisation said in statement.
The group said at least 36 people had been killed in Homs and 32 in the province in Hama. Five were killed in and around the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's main commercial and industrial hub, it said.
Security forces also shot dead 10 people the eastern city of Hasaka, where crowds were fired upon when they tried to bring down a statue of Assad's late brother Bassel, said the group, which has been documenting what it describes as human rights abuses since the popular uprising against Assad broke out 11 month ago.
Other scattered killings took place across the country, it said.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom)

Q&A with Horror of Homs cameraman

Baba Amr-Homs, Syria

Susan Brannon
24 February 2012
Life in Homs Syria

Danny Abdel describes life in Baba Amr is likened to a war zone.  "No one is safe here. They shoot at us everyday.  They come in armies in tanks, sometimes without us even knowing. I've lost 14 of my best friends, they all have been shot, bombed up or taken to prison and have come out dead...all of them."

Hundreds have been killed by rockets, snipers' bullets as the Syrian regime attempts to regain control of the country.  Homs is the third largest city in Syria and known as the capital of the Syrian revolution.There are 28,00 people in Baba Amr that are besieged and they cannot get out.  The regime will not let them out and are shelling the civilian areas.

 No one has been spared the violence that has reached high levels.  UN debated and failed to negotiate a resolution.  On February 6th a rocket blew into a local hospital.  It is said that the regime patrols the hospitals to arrest people who are injured.  They invade in the evening and go to the hospitals in the morning to find those who are revolutionaries.  The doctors in the hospitals are not allowed to treat anyone that has been injured in the violence.  This means any man, woman or child with their legs blown off, or bullets embedded in their bodies.

Many doctors are now treating people in homes without the proper medical equipment that is needed.  In a recent video journalist, Edith Bouvier pleads for her safe exit from the violent country after a shooting that destroyed both of her legs.  Her interview is from a room in someone's private home.

American war journalist Marie Colvin was located near Edith and was killed.  During Colvin's last interview from Homs, she said that, "It's absolutely sickening...shelling started at 6:30 in the morning...I counted 14 shells hitting this civilian area of Baba Amr within 30 seconds. There's a small clinic, you can't really call it a clinic.  It's an apartment that has been turned into a clinic.  You have plasma bags hanging from coathangers.  I watched a little baby die today.  Absolutely horrific.  A two-year old had been hit, they stripped it and found the shrapnel had gone into the left chest....This is happening over and over and over."

It is believed that the journalists were targeted because of the signals from using satellites for reporting. Colvin had reported that the regime is bombing any home and the home that she was in before was bombed the week before.

No one in Syria can understand how the international community allows this to happen and they continue to make pleas to the outside world to help them.  They are confused because when the revolution occurred in Libya, the International community stepped in. 

More than 7,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising.  They will not stop because if they do, then they will go door to door and gather up all the revolutionaries for mass execution. A Syrian activists said that the regime films the revolutionaries and knows who they are if they give up then things will become much worse for the people of Syria.  The activists put their very lives at risk by posting videos on You Tube in the attempt to gather international attention.

Hilary Clinton said, "If this was easy, it would have already been done." On January 30, 2012 the UN attempted to an agreement but failed by 13 for to 2 against. Russia attempted to change the wording to clarify avoiding any calls for military action. Their concern is that any vague wordings could be used by NATO for another Libya-style regime change.  Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja'Afari, responded to the agreement by stating  "I think that the European and American countries are making the same mistakes.  Syria will not be Libya and Syria will not be Iraq"

The humanitarian situation is at a crisis point.  Medical supplies and food are not coming in and the resources are limited. Oil needed for heating, babies milk, cutting off the power to phones and electricity and lack of medicine.   Aid agencies or others are not allowed to bring or travel around with supplies.  If anyone is found with medical supplies or food they will be shot on the spot no questions asked.  There are reports of human rights concerns, child torture, raping of women and children, targeted civilian murder, and the use of human shields.

As a reaction to this President Obama says, "I will continue to put pressure and use every tool available to stop the slaughter in Syria. It is imperative for the international community to rally and send a clear message to President Assad that it is time for a transition, a time to move on and a time to stop killing their own citizens."
For Syria, lets hope that they can do this soon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

True America; Where Lies become the Truth

Susan Brannon
25 February 2012
The brief history of America video is to remember who we really are in relation to the Syrian revolution.  I do not think that we know how to go and help a country, then leave. We must be able to print money that we don't have and is not backed up to help?  Help for what and for who?  We all know that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction, yet we stayed for years.  Our president and his two side kicks smiled and made up more stories to tell us.  They never went to jail or before court for their manipulation of the American public.  I can say the same about CNN, Fox News, CBS, BBC and others for blasting the same propaganda day in and day out without actual research on the facts that they were told by the pentagon.  They just told the stories as though they were facts.  Why?  Because they bowed down to the social cultural and expected norms mandated by patriot lies and wanted to keep their jobs and continue to be invited to the pentagon press briefings.
These well planned and prepared lies from our top leaders lead to the complete destruction of two other countries and now they are trying the same thing for Iran.  It lead to thousands of people killed, men women, children of all ages from all walks of life, and all languages.
     Our men went out to fight and be killed based on propaganda.  Their mothers, fathers, wives, children and family members will forever have a pain in their hearts for their death.  If I as a journalist, provided false information, knowingly, I would loose my career, my face, money, and all.  I would not have been able to get away with it.  I know photojournalists who altered images and are black listed from the field forever.
     Nixons wiretapping was nothing in comparison to what has been going on in our country.  This is when the lies become the truth and the truth become lies.  I remember coming back for a visit from Iraq and saw the changes in America.  I was talking to a friend on public transportation and a women came up to me and said, "You can't be talking like that here.  You may get arrested.  My advice is to stay quiet"  I was saddened.
      I noticed that my country has been developing on fear.  Fear the enemies strongest ally.  If you get people to live in fear, then you will have total control.  Everyone has been saying that Saddam was horrible, and yes he was.  What did he do?  He used fear to control his people.  Plain fear and became a very wealthy man.  But what was that fear compared to the fear that we have created in Iraq?  Citizens are scared to walk down the streets anymore.  They did not have to fear that in the past.  They just knew that they could not walk across the bridge, so they did not.  That fear was much less than the fear of random bombings, shootings and kidnappings.
     I ask, Why do we need planes, solders and guns to help a country?  I never had to carry a gun in a war zone, I just had to look up.  (for snipers) I did not have to point my gun at anyone to defend myself, gather information or to help those that needed help.  Words and images are a powerful tool to educate and inform others about a situation.  Look at what happened after the killing of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik.  The news spread like a virus, the reports from the inside started receiving front page news.  Assad had to respond and let the medical professionals inside of Homs Amr to assist and evacuate the wounded women and children.  There was too much visibility for him to ignore the effects of his assaults on the civilians.
     Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia all woke up to the lies that they have been fed from their leaders.  They became tired of the inequality, the division of the classes, poverty and walking in that same fear that we do today.  America's fear is the "attack from the Terrorists"  Really?  Who are the real terrorists, I may ask.  Who really flew into the towers?  We had drones a long time ago, don't fool yourself.  There has been too many stories with missing pieces of the puzzle.  There has been too many stories that created a false reality based on lies that became the truth and in turn the truth became the wrong way to think.

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine

Remember our true history. Okay, it is not about "America" it is about the "program" involved that put us where we are today. It took Egypt 30 years to remember who they want to be and stop believing the lies. It took them 30 years of oppression and poverty to say enough is enough. How long will it take us in America? This is an important question.

Marie Colvin last report

CNN Special Report From Baba Amr- 9-Feb-12 Danny Abdul Dayem Tells of Ho...

Journalist in Baba Amr, Syria

In solidarity to the journalists who risk their lives to tell us the news in war zones. In the city of Homs, the Syrian government shelled the Baba Amr district as a continuation of the Syrian uprising. "There is no safe place here."  Ramy Achmid Sayeed, a leading Syrian activist and Two foreign reporters were killed during the siege: CNN reporter Marie Colvin was killed and Remy Otlik from the Le Figaro. Their bodies were buried under the rubble from a shell blasting at their makeshift media center. The journalists entered into Syria illegally to report the news from the inside. Two French journalists were injured, Edith Bouvier and Paul Conory who works for CNN. Edith and Paul need medical attention that they cannot receive in Homs. They are requesting for a safe exit into Lebanon for medical treatment.

Two Syrian doctors report "Romeny was killed because he revealed the true picture of Baba Amr....Our revolution will continue with God's permission and many Romeny's will take his place."  "The Syrian government says that the people in Homs are criminal groups and are targeted." They report seeing families and children targeted during the incursion leaving many injured without the proper medical help." The doctor leaves a message for the Syrian people "because there are still many Syrians who betrayed the revolution, there are a lot of doctors that have been let down and no one is helping." They ask why.

The day before Marie Colvin was killed she reported that "No one can walk in the streets.  There are snipers all around Baba Amr on the high buildings.  I think the sicking thing is the complete merciless nature, they are hitting civilian buildings absolutely merciffily and without caring and the scale of it is just shocking."

Human rights organizers report that 27 men were chased, rounded up and killed execution style my Syrian organizers in the city street.  Anyone who attempts to go against the Syrian government, or reports the events have the risk of being targeted for death. There are some reports of the Syrian army using humans as shields during the clashes.