gulfnews : Kfar Owaid massacre will haunt Syria
An organized slaughter... no survivors.
Update: WARNING as it's extremely graphic.
Rebels withdrew on Thursday in a key moment in the year-old uprising. An official at Syria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said the army had "cleansed Baba Amro from the foreign-backed armed groups of terrorists."
Activists said Syria's army had begun hunting down and killing insurgents who had stayed to cover their comrades' retreat, although the reports could not be verified. They said 10 young men were shot dead on Friday. It was not immediately clear how many rebels had been killed in the onslaught and how many had withdrawn.
"All men who remained in the neighborhood aged between 14 and 50 were arrested. We fear they will be massacred. Where is the world?," said one activist.
Thank you Bill for being very passionate and supportive of the struggling and suffering people in Syria...I am sure we have so much to do in the few upcoming months ... What I am really concerned about is that the longer this coldblooded killing continues, the further the country is pushed to extremism, Islamism and violent sectarianism which could virtually destabilize the whole middle east region including neighboring Iraq...the US & NATO must intervene soon to prevent such a tragic possible scenario especially after exhausting all diplomatic and economic measures ....Most American seem to fail to understand why the US. and its allies have to intervene militarily in certain parts of the world, overlooking the fact that we now live in a very small world that its diverse parts are very connected to each other...!!...In Syria I believe any future mission would be very focused and targeted on military facilities and security headquarter buildings with no need for any deployments...the real problem is that we have to deal with unavoidable a collateral damages of civilian causalities lUUSC Condemns Government Violence against Civilians in Syria | Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
To explain to you in a simple way the mosaic of the Syrian society, there are non-Arab ethnicity who are the Kurds ( Mostly Sunni Muslim) and the Assyrians ( Mostly Syriac Orthodox) ..the majority of the population are considered Arab Syrians. The Arab Syrians have a very diverse sectarian religious structure. Some of them are Catholic, others are Greek Orthodox, others are Syriac Orthodox, others are Alawite Shi'a, druzz Shi'a, Ismaeli Shi'a but the majority of Syrian population are Arab Sunni Muslim (65% of the whole population). The majority have been oppressed by the Alawites who have a very tribal fanatic culture. The regime also over the years reached out to other minorities like Christians to consolidate its power. The regime has worked successfully on dividing the Syrian people and convinced and scared the minorities (35%) that the revolution is the work of America and the West and it is backed the extreme Sunni Islamist currents...Now the Alawite soldiers are slaughtering the Sunnis with heavy weapons and the Christians are dancing to the Russian & China Vetos and Iran supports .The Kurds are waiting for Syria to crumble so they can establish their own state in NE part of Syria.. regional powers like the Shi'a governments in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq are backing Assad's regime, superpowers like Russia and China are protecting and boosting Assad regime.....the Arab Golf States & Turkey who are mostly Sunni Muslims who are allied with the US. and the West get unwillingly involved after seeing the inhumane massacres of the Sunni population in Syria...in conclusion what has started as a people revolution, it has descended into as a sectarian, regional and superpower conflicts !! If I want to blame one group for all this , I would blame the Syrian Christians who should have been moderate and act as a buffer and safe zone between the ruling Alawites and the revolting Sunnis...instead they sided with Alawite and fueled the conflict and now the whole country is going to hell !!!
My final post on this blog. I wanted to leave something on my ancestors Pfarrer Streccius but since the world’s getting every more wacky, I’ll leave it from these words from the Chicago Sun Times on the retention of Judge Brim for Cook County.
A judge unfit for the job with the papers to prove it, but duly endorsed by the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization. God help those who have been judged by here, and those yet to be judged by this sad and insane jurist.
All my blogging will be over at my West Side Blogger spot or some of the other less frequently updated blogs you can find on my profile. I’m turning off comments here.
So long UUs. Good luck.
Court records obtained by the Sun-Times reveal Brim was examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist who believes she’s “presently mentally fit with medication” but opined she was “legally insane” at the time of the reported skirmish with the sheriff’s officer.
Montgomery said those very findings indicate the case should be tossed.
Brim has a “bipolar disorder” and “at the time that this alleged offense occurred ... my client was simply not in a mental state that is sufficient for her to ever be found guilty, so we’re wasting valuable judicial time.” Montgomery told reporters.
But the case will proceed, Montgomery suggests, because Brim has not bowed to pressure to step down.
“If they’re trying to get her to resign as they apparently have been trying to do, and holding this case over her as a hostage, it will never happen because if we must try the case, we will try the case,” Montgomery said.
Asked to explain further, Montgomery said “the assistant state’s attorney has said to me on at least two court appearances, ‘Is she going to resign?’ And when I said she absolutely is not going to resign under these circumstances, she [the assistant state’s attorney] said ‘OK let’s go to trial.’ ”
Andy Conklin, a spokesman for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, said later: “We’ve never suggested that she resign.”
Brim, 54, has been on the bench since 1994 and Tuesday’s victory means another six-year term in office.
While bar groups were giving her a thumbs-down, with one noting that attorneys questioned her “legal abilities,” the Cook County Democratic Party gave the entire slate of retention judges — that is, sitting judges up for re-election — a thumbs-up.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle put out a robocall asking voters to support the Democratic ticket and the judges up for re-election, her campaign spokesman Scott Kastrup said on Wednesday.
From the Beachwood Reporter’s imaginary interview (link at the bottom of this post) with the Mayor on Face The Nation. Not mentioned is falsely slamming the Muslim world with over reaction to this video about the most Islamophic thing I’ve seen. It’s simply false. There was no reaction. This was a calculated assault by al Qaeda. Radical Islamists who mostly kill Muslims they find of the wrong sort.
RAHM: And the events there are a human tragedy. It's an assault on America.
RHODES: Then we are at war?
A clear-eyed review of the coverage and official statements clearly show that the Obama administrations went to great lengths to portray the Benghazi assault as one of spontaneous mob reaction to a crappy anti-Muslim video. Why? Because a planned attack by Libyans upon a U.S. embassy in which the ambassador is killed is a Tet moment; it demonstrates an organized opposition capable of such attacks that belie the rosy story we've been told about the president's brave intervention there. A spontaneous mob action spurred by a video, on the other hand, posits an ambassador's death an "accident" in the chaos of irrational extremists, even if aided by "opportunists."
This is why this is important. We were misled - and not just to preserve the president's policy options (for example, not having to declare war on Libya or send troops or take retribution militarily, explicitly anyway, special forces are probably operating, but so the administration doesn't have to respond immediately and publicly) but also on behalf of the president's political imperatives, particularly this close to an election.
While the Republicans have failed to explain this dynamic, instead just repeating the apparent sin of not immediately labeling the attack as a terrorist act, i.e., taking the macho approach and trying to paint the president as weak and not standing up for America, the critique remains just as validly from a progressive perspective. But that perspective, one that takes great issue with the civil rights disaster this president has been as well as the radically right-wing foreign policy approach going further than Dick Cheney ever would have dreamed including kill lists and civilian drone bombing campaigns, is missing from the media discourse.
Poor UU Jeff, the pestilence and plague I and my friends infect into America and UUism are here to stay. Jeff’s lapse into language of disease reflects maybe his own political psychosis than mine. Dying liberalism gone ugly for lack of reason or faith.
James Pierson’s review of Charles Kesler’s I am the Change tells us Progressivism / Liberalism is spent; and that exhaustion puts Unitarian Universalism’s considerable investment in the old ideology up for a rebalancing.
Whether the President wins or loses, slamming the considerable number of fellow citizens who will NOT vote for him, seems a losing strategy for a faith due for considerable ideological retro fitting if it’s to survive.
From Pierson’s review in the New Criterion, link below;
Four years ago, in the excited aftermath of the 2008 election, Barack Obama was widely viewed as a liberal messiah who would engineer a new era of liberal reform and cement a Democratic majority for decades to come. He would prove to be, as many pundits predicted, a Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or perhaps even an Abraham Lincoln, for our time. They were not alone in saying this: Obama himself said much the same thing.
These forecasts seemed grandiose at the time; today, after four years of an Obama presidency, they look positively silly. In contrast to 2008, 2012 Obama looks less like a transformational president and more like a typically embattled politician trying to survive a tight contest for reelection. Even some of his strongest supporters are now “defining Obama down” as just another Democratic “pol” making compromises and paying off constituencies in order to keep his coalition together. Extravagant hopes have given way to a scramble for survival. Few continue to believe that Obama will establish the foundations for a new era of liberal governance. Some are beginning to point toward a more surprising turn of events: Far from bringing about a renewal of liberalism, Obama is actually presiding over its disintegration and collapse.
Fr Barron (a buddy of a buddy of mine) shaking things up in Chicago. I thought the point on Secularism exempting itself as not just another ideology very much on target.
Nine female political prisoners have started a hunger strike to protest their conditions in Tehran's Evin prison.
The Iranian website Kaleme.org reports that the women stopped eating after they were beaten and insulted by guards.
Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh started a hunger strike in the same prison last week after prison authorities banned her relatives from visiting.
Sotoudeh began serving a six-year jail term in 2010.
A European Union delegation canceled its visit to Tehran last week after Iranian authorities rejected its request to meet Sotoudeh and the jailed filmmaker, Jafar Panahi.
The European Parliament awarded Sotoudeh and Panahi the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought last month.