Despite the rumours that there are anti-regime protests in the country for the past 11 months, and rumours that they are being fired at, and persecuted, and that parts of the country are not the under the government rule anymore, and that some of these parts are under siege and heavy bombardment, Syrians are heavily turning up today to the ballot boxes to say YES to the new draft of the constitution.
Follow @TheZakoAgain today, on Marie Colvin’s death yesterday in Homs; I did speculate that her death could have been a result of a direct intentional hit by the Syrian army. My confidence in this speculation has shot up now; this is an interesting but strange piece of intelligence by The Daily Mail: Continue reading
Just in the last week, several main witnesses of the atrocities being committed in Syria has died or been killed. The famous New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid died due to an asthma crisis when he was being smuggled into the country – due to restrictions on journalists. Citizen journalist Rami Al-Sayyid was killed by the bombardment of Homs. Rami was responsible for uploading the YouTube videos and securing the live feed from Homs. He replaced his cousin Basel who was doing the same role, and got killed too by the Syrian regime. This morning, journalist Marie Colvin and photographer Remi Ochlik have died in Homs due to the indiscriminate shelling by the Syrian army, if not an intentional due to reportedly the fact they were present in a known ‘Press Centre’, which was directly hit. The regime knows how to silence journalists who oppose it.
One of good articulated stories that came out of Syria was A Tour Inside Syria’s Insurgency by Paul Wood (of the BBC) to The Atlantic; a really fascinating read, but black in its overall theme. I highly recommend reading the full 4,000-words article, which is comprehensive and diverse in its coverage.
The article shows how corrupt and brutal the regime is, but paints the picture of how the peaceful protests were forced to turn their dignity struggle with the government to be increasingly violent (check this Arabic announcement which I copied from a local revolution facebook page) and militarised. The story talks about the torture of Qutaiba, the peaceful protester who is looking now to buy pistol silencers in Lebanon to protect himself.
As per the end of the year publishing traditions, I just want to say happy new year to the blog readers with this 2010 dictators photo from the Afro-Arab summit in Libya. I think this photo best represents the 2011 highlights events. Who thought this was even thinkable?