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Posted by Fred 2012-07-20 00:00||
Front Page|| [211 views ]
File under: Govt of Syria
#1 Read an interesting article that said the media is misinterpreting what is happening.
It said, that Assad had given up trying to defeat the rebels and is now trying to ethnically cleanse the west of Syria and create a Alawite/Shiia state in the west.
Posted by phil_b 2012-07-20 01:48||
#2 This is the rebels' Tet offensive. It's a media offensive that hopes to generate mass surrenders by demoralizing its opponents. The problem is that it's hard to demoralize an opponent that (1) has the armor, artillery and air assets and (2) sees a Sunni victory leading to the liquidation of the Alawite community. Despite the talk of massacres, the 10K dead figure (including all Sunni fighters) over 16 months is a lower death rate than the annual death rate for Iraqis during the American occupation which peaked at around 30K a year in the 2006/2007 time frame.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 11:47||
#3 The border post escapades are a re-run of Lang Vei, during which the North Vietnamese forces overran a Montagnard camp partly staffed by 2 dozen Green Berets, just so they could claim they could win a battle.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 11:53||
#4 I fully expect Sherman-esque reprisals in the future. Districts that support the guerrillas will be given some amount of time to evacuate, after which those areas will be burned to the ground, the way Sherman burned Atlanta.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 12:40||
#5 I don't think he'll warn them. He's already lost the PR campaign and has no incentive to leave future problems in the form of the displaced.
Posted by Charles 2012-07-20 15:44||
#6 I don't think he'll warn them. He's already lost the PR campaign and has no incentive to leave future problems in the form of the displaced.
There's a myth that starving people have nothing to lose and are therefore more motivated to fight. In reality, starving people don't have the energy to fight - all of it is devoted to scrounging for food. The whole point of the burning of Atlanta was (1) to warn others about the cost of supporting the Confederacy, (2) to strain the resources of the Confederacy by forcing them to divert resources towards feeding and housing the refugees from Atlanta and (3) to force the Confederate leadership to factor into its calculations the cost of housing and feeding future refugees from other cities burned to the ground when figuring out if they had the resources to continue fighting the Union armies. Burning districts that house and feed enemy combatants is a lot like wounding enemy fighters instead of killing them - it simultaneously takes up enemy resources and demoralizes them. (And if the enemy abandons its wounded or kills them to prevent their capture - that's even more demoralizing).
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 17:00||
#7 For those who are not entirely clear on the demographic situation re the combatants, the 25% of population that is Alawite or Christian is fighting the 60% of the population that is Sunni Arab. The Kurds and the Druze are staying out of it. If they were equally trained and equally armed, the Sunni Arabs would probably win. However, the units with the most training and weaponry are Alawite units along with a smattering of Christians. In addition, Alawites have always gotten along well with Christians in Syria, whereas their relationship to Sunni Arabs was a lot like the relationship of Jews to European Christians for most of antiquity - simultaneously scapegoat and target for pogroms.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 19:29||
#8 Why are Christians backing Assad? The rebels are giving them a preview of the future they face under Sunni Arab rule:
Washington, D.C. July 18 (International Christian Concern) -- A mass exodus of Christians, including a group evacuated from the besieged city of Homs last week, are fleeing Syrian cities for safety. Caught in the middle of a showdown between opposition forces and the Syrian army, many Christians fear the prospect of an Islamist-led government if President Bashar al-Assad is deposed.
On July 11, Maximos al-Jamal, a Greek Orthodox priest, negotiated a deal between armed rebels and the army to evacuate 63 Christians caught between the crossfire in the bombed-out city of Homs, The Associated Press reports. Al-Jamal feared that rebels were keeping Christians in the city as bargaining chips while army attacks intensified.
"Gunmen have told the besieged people that if you go out of these areas, we will die," al-Jamal told The Associated Press.
Thousands of Christians lived in Homs before Syria's uprising began early last year. Today, however, Al-Jamal said that only 100 Christian civilians remain, the result of which is more likely contributed to rebel attacks against Christians than the army's bombardment of the city.
"The armed [rebels] in Syria [have] murdered more than 200 Christians in the city of Homs, including entire families with young children. These gangs kidnapped Christians and demanded high ransoms. In two cases, after the ransoms were paid, the men's bodies were found," a priest in Homs told Barnabas Aid.
The evacuation of Christians from Homs is only the latest occurrence in a mass exodus of Christians from Syrian cities. In June, nearly 10,000 Christians fled Qusayr after being given an ultimatum to leave the city by a rebel commander, reported Barnabas Aid. The threat was reportedly echoed in the city mosques: "Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, ending Friday (June 8)." Rebels, however, denied the accusations, claiming that Christians began fleeing months earlier when the army shelled the city.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 19:42||
#9 The Sunni Arabs reporting on Syria (or providing color for the foreign media) are doing an outstanding job of pumping up rebel achievements. However, as we've repeatedly discovered during Israeli incursions into the West Bank and Gaza - what Sunni Arabs say they've achieved and what they've actually achieved in battle aren't necessarily the same thing:
Syrian troops and tanks on Friday drove rebels from a Damascus neighborhood where some of the heaviest of this week's fighting in the capital left cars gutted and fighters' bodies in the streets. More than 300 people were killed in a single day, activists said, as the military struggles to regain momentum after a stunning bombing against the regime's leadership.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2012-07-20 21:10||