Syria charges US subversion in uprising; Bahrain blames Iran

The opposition Syrian National Council is urging the UN Security Council to act after regime forces "massacred" more than 110 people in the town of Houla—half of them children. "Some of the victims were hit by heavy artillery while others, entire families, were massacred," the SNC's Basma Kodmani in a statement. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 50 civilians, including 13 children, were killed in shelling of Houla, in the central province of Homs. But the SNC put the figure twice as high, and said that after the army shelled the opposition stronghold, pro-government militia went house to house and killed residents at close range. (NPR, Sept. 27; Middle East Online, May 26)

But if you go to the website of the International Action Center, a foremost exponent of the idiot left in the United States, the only thing about Syria you will find is a piece entitled "Covert operations in Syria," trumpeting the claims of Damascus and its foreign backers (principally Moscow) that "NATO member states have long been active in Syria: sending weapons and volunteers to strengthen insurgents against President Bashir al-Assad... There is much evidence of direct and even military support to armed opposition groups by U.S., France and British forces, even if the intervening powers have taken every effort to leave no obvious traces." No obvious traces, how convenient! IAC also backs up its accusations with the ruminations of "ex-CIA agent" Philip Giraldi, whose dubious claims have likewise been widely touted in the right-wing blogosphere.

Now we don't claim to know that the Syrian insurgents aren't being backed by the US or NATO, but here's an irony for you. The oppressive US-backed regime in Bahrain just announced it will stop broadcasting its channels on satellite operator Arabsat to protest an Iran-led "hostile media campaign" intended "to incite sectarianism and shake security and stability" in the Sunni-ruled Persian Gulf monarchies. Bahrain blasted Arabsat for failing to heed repeated requests "to take an official measure" against Iranian channels which also broadcast on the operator. (Middle East Online, May 26)

Right, the only reason the people of Bahrain are protesting is because of Iranian subversion. Just like the only reason the people of Syria are up in arms is because of US/NATO subversion. As we have had plenty of opportunity to observe before: Funny how those in power never seem to think anyone would have any legitimate reason to be pissed off at them. But it is especially painful to see broad swaths of the American left going along with such ugly malarky—all the outrage for Western exploitation of the Syrian rebellion, and none for mass-murderer Assad. As we commented last year when stateside "leftists" cheered on Qaddafi and even (US stooge!) Mubarak: Remember when the left used to fetishize balaclavas and molotov cocktails? Today it seems to more often fetishize police uniforms and truncheons. (Or, in the case of Syria, heavy artillery.) What's up with that?

See our last posts on Syria, Bahrain and the Arab revolutions.

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Assad blames "foreign conspiracy" in Houla massacre

Bashar Assad acknowledged the Houla massacre, but denied his government was involved, instead blaming a "foreign conspiracy." Syria’s UN envoy, Bashar al-Jaafari, however, likewise blamed "terrorist" groups as responsible for the massacre in which 49 children and at least 20 women were among the dead. It does appear that the house-to-house killing were carried out by an unaccountable but pro-Assad militia, the Shabiha. Meanwhile, the "official" military has apparently resumed shelling of Houla. (LAT, June 4; Al-Arabiya, AP, June 3; The Telegraph, June 2)

New massacre in Hama

Opposition activists report that pro-government militiamen and security forces killed at least 78 people, including children, in Syria's central province of Hama June 6. Some of those killed in the village of Mazraat al-Qabeer were stabbed to death, the activists said, and at least 12 bodies had been burned. (Reuters, June 6) While the killings seem to have all been in outlying villages, Hama's provincial capital was the scene of the 1982 massacre in which an Islamist uprising was out down.