Archive for Sunday, March 11, 2012

Syria assaults opposition as diplomacy staggers

March 11, 2012


BEIRUT — Syria launched a long-anticipated assault to crush the opposition in the rebellious north on Saturday, bombarding its main city with tank shells from all sides and clashing with rebel fighters struggling to hold back an invasion.

President Bashar Assad rejected any immediate negotiations with the opposition, striking a further blow to already staggering international efforts for talks to end to the conflict. Assad told U.N. envoy Kofi Annan that a political solution is impossible as long as “terrorist groups” threaten the country.

The opposition’s political leadership has also rejected dialogue, saying talk is impossible after a yearlong crackdown that the U.N. estimates has killed more than 7,500 people. That makes it likely that the conflict will continue to edge toward civil war.

Syrian forces have been building up for days around Idlib, the capital of a hilly, agricultural province along the Syria-Turkey border that has been a hotbed of protests against Assad’s regime.

Saturday morning, troops blasted Idlib for hours with dozens of tank shells as the forces moved to encircle the town, an Associated Press team in Idlib reported.

Families fled their homes, carrying blankets and a few other meager belongings. Others huddled in homes.

Rebel fighters rushed through Idlib’s streets, taking cover behind walls to fire on the attackers with automatic weapons, the AP team said. Trucks sped wounded fighters to clinics, and men on one street destroyed speed bumps with shovels so ambulances could drive faster. Many low-level soldiers in the area have joined the opposition and fight along with civilians who have taken up arms.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

On the bright side, it was Muslims that killed more than 7,500 other Muslims.

Not like in the Gaza strip, where the number of terrorists killed was about 15, and the Palestinians are all up in arms about it, and screaming, Revenge! Revenge!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I see you're still spinning furiously trying to justify Israel's genocidal streak.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

It's putting things in perspective. The deaths of 15 is bad. The deaths of 7500 is much much worse.
If there is outrage at the deaths of 15, one would expect the outrage of 7500 to be much worse. Has it been?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

There is absolutely no connection between the two, so it puts absolutely nothing into perspective.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I'd say your comment falls into the "willfully ignorant" category.
You're the one who has repeatedly said that no one cares about the deaths of Muslims. Here, we have two examples of the deaths of Muslims. That's the connection, whether or not you want to see it. And while the deaths are regrettable, one can still look to how the world is responding. We can look at how Muslims are responding. We can look at how the west is responding or how the U.S. is responding. And if the response is disproportionately critical to those who have caused the deaths of 15, and disproportionately quite as the deaths of 7500, one might ask why that is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

"You're the one who has repeatedly said that no one cares about the deaths of Muslims."

I don't repeatedly say that. Probably a more accurate distillation of what I often say is that you and other uncritical supporters of Israel don't care about the deaths of Muslims, especially if they are Palestinian.

And you proved that point-- You only express "concern" here because it provides you an opportunity to deflect criticism from Israel's own genocidal tendencies.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I said the deaths of 15 was bad and the deaths of 7500 was much, much worse. That's not concern, that's an expression of regret at the loss of life. Again, you mischaracterize my comment. And again, you avoid the substance of the comment. What is/should be the response of (the world, the Muslim world, the west, the region, the U.S.).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

But there's still no connection between the two, no matter how badly you want one.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Willfully ignorant. It's a term I've heard used once or twice from a poster somewhere in this forum. Look in the mirror.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Here's another one for you-- stubbornly clinging to irrelevancies.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Death toll in Gaza is now up to 18, including several kids/civilians. (zero in Israel)

OK, tell us again how this does't really matter because Assad is murdering his fellow Syrians.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Again, put things in perspective. How many rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza in the last 24 hours? How about the last week? The last year? The deaths of any innocents is tragic. But if any adult fires a rocket from the roof of an apartment building and that apartment building is then targeted, who's fault is it, the person who made the apartment building a legitimate military target by firing the rocket or the military that responded?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

So in a tit for tat exchange, in which only Palestinians die, Israel is entirely justified, Palestinians just horrible monsters.

Got it.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

I didn't say that. But you didn't mention the rockets, did you? You never do. It's always one side of the argument. One side of the picture. Always. I then present the other side. However, I don't deny the very real tragic events happening on both sides. And when I present the other side, the part you purposely leave out, the part that misleads, the half-thruths that are much more like lies, then it's me who has a one-sided approach. No, Bozo. mention the rockets and the deaths on the other side and we can have an honest discussion. But mention only the deaths without mentioning the rockets and you've started an intellectually dishonest discussion which will result in you being accused of being intellectually dishonest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I didn't mention the methods of attack by Israel either. I noted the death toll-- 18 dead in Palestine, 0 in Israel. Do you deny that fact?

But the larger point is that it has absolutely nothing to do with what's happening in Syria, no matter how badly you want to use that as a feint.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

The fact is Bozo you have frequently said that I and others don't care about death of Muslims. You've said it when discussing Israel and then you throw in Afghanistan, or when discussing Palestinians and then you throw in Iran. When discussing Israeli/Palestinian peace talks you accuse me of not caring about Muslims in Iraq. Now suddenly, you want a narrow focus. Sorry, it goes both ways.

The fact is that both sides in the exchange between Israel and Palestinians know exactly what is going on. The Palestinians are sending rockets knowing Israel will respond in just the way they've always responded. it's all P.R. for the Palestinians and it's collective punishment for the Israelis. Dead babies makes good P.R. for the Palestinian cause and and collective punishment makes the Israelis feel better and sleep better. But both sides know dead babies will happen. The question still stands, is it the fault of the person who launches rockets from the rooftop of the apartment building or is the fault of the military that retaliates? Just for grins, let's assume zero rockets came from Gaza for a period of time, say a month, do you really believe a military strike into Gaza will be Israel's reaction to such an event? The only logical answer would be no. So the cycle of violence begins and ends in Gaza. Make it stop, Bozo, rather than calling for Israel to stop what it is doing, call for Gaza to stop what it is doing.

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