September 6, 2011
A user commented on this cartoon and wondered what made China and Russia side with Syria. I say that both super powers do not want any country (including themselves) to be stopped from doing what they have to do. That is why neither China or Russia are quick to stand in the way of another country’s progress towards establishing nuclear arsenals. For they themselves would loath another world power standing in the way of what they believed was right for their own interests.
June 2, 2011
This is pretty brutal stuff.
Many nations who use torture utilize it in a very discreet and clandestine manner. Not Syria. They are broadcasting it so to intimidate people. Here is the news of the 13 year old, Hamza al-Khateeb, who was arrested April 29 and returned to his family a month later:
The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned his corpse it bore the scars of brutal torture: Lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face and knees, consistent with the use of electric shock devices and of being whipped with cable, both techniques of torture documented by Human Rights Watch as being used in Syrian prisons during the bloody three-month crackdown on protestors.
Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.
His father supposedly fainted when he saw his son.
This has then been followed up with protests:
In a revolutionary season that has seen countless “Fridays of Rage” in half a dozen countries, Syrian activists marched on a day that some dubbed “the Saturday of Hamza.” … In the Damascus suburb of Douma, protesters marched through the night chanting “Leave! Leave!” to Mr. Assad while holding signs declaring, “We are all Hamza al-Khateeb,” according to a video posted on YouTube. Video from another suburb, Dereya, showed women and children demonstrating, with a chorus of young voices shouting, “The people want the overthrow of the regime.” They held aloft signs that read, “Did Hamza scare you that much?”
One final note: Syrians across religious, ethnic, geographical, and tribal lines are banding together in support against their government.
May 26, 2011
This doesn’t mean it’s over, but just a general wrap-up of what has gone down so far.
March 26, 2011
He gives his reasoning behind intervening in Libya, but I still want to know why not also intervene in the Ivory Coast, Bahrain (here, here, here, and here), Yemen (here, here, here, here, here, here) , Syria, Iran (2 years ago – here, here, here), Congo, or even Burma?
My lighter side says that maybe I should just be ok with the fact that the U.S. is intervening somewhere and not standing idly. I then think about the other two quagmires we are in and sigh.
On a lighter and related note, this is amazing.
March 24, 2011
Sure, why not? Pick Syria:
July 20, 2010
Two days ago, Syria’s Ghiath Barakat, the minister of higher education, issued the ban of niqab’s – the full veil as seen left that leaves just a womans eyes to be seen. Prothero explains why this would happen in a country that is 93% Muslim:
In a revealing March interview with Charlie Rose, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the greatest challenge facing his country was warding off religious “extremism” — “How can we keep our society as secular as it is today?”
Whether the decree will hold up or whether it will be undercut — as Turkey’s 1980s ban on the jihab in universities was in 2008 — remains to be seen. For now, it’s an important reminder that the Middle East is not cut from one cloth, and neither are its Muslims.