[This is a collection of news updates on Syria compiled from multiple sources by the editors.]
Reid Introduces Syria Resolution in Senate
Exclusive: Defecting Assad Ally Reaches Istanbul On General Ali Habib’s current whereabouts
Jabhat al-Nusra and Other Islamists Briefly Capture Historic Christian Town of Ma’loula Matthew Barber provides a summary of events based on visual evidence found on social media, and admits that “though many details on this story need further clarification, one thing is certain: the situation led to the fleeing of many Ma’loula residents to Damascus.”
Maaloula Churches Safe Says Nun The Syrian Observer translates this update form opposition website Zaman al-Wasl, saying that “Mother Pelagia Sayah, the head of the Saint Mar Takla monastery in Maloula denied there has been any attack on the churches and monasteries in Maaloula”.
Letter to Rep. John Boehner from the Syrian Speaker of People’s Assembly“It is still important that, we write to you as fathers and mothers, as members of families and communities, which are really not so different to yours. Moreover we write to you as human beings asking: If you bomb us, shall we not bleed?! The innocent people will be harmed.”
40 Syrian Businesses Shut Down in the BekaaUsama al-Qadiri says “the closures come after the establishments were informed by police stations that their legal status was not up to date. Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces soon began the process of shutting down these unlicensed Syrian-owned businesses.”
Inside the Syrian Revolution and What the Left Must DoAn interview with Yasser Munif, who discusses the instances of popular resistance and organization he witnessed, an aspect mostly ignored in media depictions of the conflict.
After the Chemical Attacks in Syria: Now What? Jean Pascal Zanders says “overselling limited evidence carries a real risk in this process: factual elements may be interpreted to serve a higher policy goal, and dissonant arguments brushed off. Decision-makers may tend to grant the data fragments a higher evidentiary value than they actually deserve.”
Lebanon, Syria and Cowardly Capital Mouhamad Wehbe says “what we are witnessing right now is the calm before the storm. Economic institutions are closely monitoring the nature of a US strike, as the Lebanese economy will not be the same afterward. Capital owners and entrepreneurs these days are obsessed with war. This segment of the population is used to adapting quickly and is always keen on anticipating regional developments so as to take advantage of them.”
Why Syrian Activist Oppose Airstrikes Another interview with Zaidoun al-Zoabi, where he recounts his experience in Syrian jails and reiterate his opposition to a US strike.
Syria is a Pseudo-Struggle Slavoj Zizek says “the ongoing struggle there is ultimately a false one. The only thing to keep in mind is that this pseudo-struggle thrives because of the absent third, a strong radical-emancipatory opposition whose elements were clearly perceptible in Egypt.”
Syrian Anarchist Challenges the Rebel/Regime Binary View of Resistance To counterbalance Zizek’s narrative, here is an interview that Joshua Stephens conducted with Nader Atassi, who says “what I’d ask people to do is to help set that record straight and show that there are elements of the Syrian uprising that are worth supporting. Help break that harmful binary that the decision is between Assad or Al Qaeda, or Assad and US imperialism.”
La Syrie, Terre de Mission de ConspirationnistesA piece by Catherine Goueset that explains the various ways in which conspiracy theories has only resulted in allowing the regime to survive to this day.
‘The West’’s War Will Weaken Syria’s Revolution Bassem Chit says “the vision of a US strike on Syria as a liberatory breath probably only occurred to a tiny minority of people. It could only appeal to people who can easily escape the repercussions or who are so desperate that they welcome any change.”
A Response to Jon Stewart on SyriaNader Haddad, in favor of a US strike, outlines three reasons why he found Stewart’s latest episode on Syria distasteful.
Syria Nears a Turning Point David Ignatius says “as the clock ticks toward a possible U.S. military strike, Putin and Obama have a last chance to agree on terms for bringing together the opposition and responsible elements of the Syrian regime (including the army)”
Six Reasons to Oppose an Attack on Syria Like others before him, Stephen Zunes provides a list of reasons why a strike is undesirable.
When Liberals Enable Tyrants Michael Tomasky offers the mirror opposite: “six reasons why he believes Congress must authorize an attack on Syria now.”
My Ambivalent Support for US Strikes in Syria Fares Chamseddine says “as the U.S. Congress debates taking military action against the Assad regime — a measure I ultimately support — I find myself holding the very same misgivings that have convinced other Syrians to oppose them.”
Waiting for the Tomahawks Hania Mourtada says “in extensive interviews, several rank-and-file fighters and high-ranking commanders expressed the fear that U.S. forces will sweep in at the very last moment, "stealing" the hard-fought Syrian revolution from them after all sides are sufficiently weakened and installing a pliable, hand-picked leadership in Damascus.”
Kafranbel: A Message to US Congress: “Support the US Strikes” Important While it may reflect the legitimate stance of the people featured in the video, the latter was obviously and carefully scripted to fit a media narrative on whether or not to intervene in Syria.
Former Syrian Soldier Describes Life in The Army at the Start of War
Among Syria’s Islamist Fighters Rania Abouzeid reports from Latakia province
Syrian Slice of Life: A Journalist in Homs Yazan Homsy on the state of citizen journalism in Homs.
An Alawite Man’s Hope to Reunited With His Captured Family Rania Abouzeid interviews a man who hopes to be reunited with his family that is held captive by extremists in a Latakia village.
Lebanon Has Overcome the Effects of the Global Economic Crisis, but Can it Rescue Its Economy From the Repercussions of the Crisis in Syria? Hassan Alhaf submits this report to the Heinrich-Boll foundation.
Empowering the Democratic Resistance in Syria Basma Kodmani and Felix Legrand prepare a report “ [suggesting] ways to empower the pro-democracy groups as the best means to reach the dual objective of ending the dictatorship of Assad and achieving a democratic outcome in Syria and argues that the former objective has no chance of succeeding if the latter is not pursued simultaneously.”
Policy, Reports and Statements
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Draws Scrutiny Over Writer’s Ties to Syrian Rebel Advocacy Group A useful piece challenging us to reflect on the work of ‘expert’ commentators in light of their affiliations.
The Best Think Tank Reports on Syria Syria Deeply compiles this useful list of reports made over the past two years.
Syria’s Military Opposition A policy report prepared by Jeffrey White, Andrew J. Tabler, and Aaron Y. Zelin, pushing for a US-strike under the argument that “despite the Obama administration’s aversion to using military power in Syria and the difficulty of forging allied consensus on goals and methods, the Assad regime must be held accountable.”
The Syria Vote: A Guide to the Congressional Factions The war-weary democrats, the tea party isolationists, and the international norm upholders, the interventionists.
Brutality of Syria Rebels Posing Dilemma in West C.H. Chivers writes that “as the United States debates whether to support the Obama administration’s proposal that Syrian forces should be attacked for using chemical weapons against civilians, this video, shot in the spring of 2012, joins a growing body of evidence of an increasingly criminal environment populated by gangs of highwaymen, kidnappers and killers.”
5 Truths About Syria Example of policy advisors trying to explain what Syria is or is not about.
Open Letter to Congress on Syria Hussein Ibish, from the lobby group of the Palestinian Task Force on Palestine writes: “in deciding how to vote, you must answer two fundamental questions. Does the United States wish to remain a great power internationally? And isn`t the Middle East still crucially important to that American global role? If the answers are yes, then we must act now in Syria.”
BYP Rejects ‘Stand Your Ground’ Foreign Policy Approach in Syria A statement by the Black Youth Project.
Syrian Humanitarian Aid: Which Countries Give What?An infographic suggesting the US, the UK, Kuwait and the UAE are leading the humanitarian aid effort.
Syrian and Middle Eastern Christians Condemn US Strikes Juan Cole claims on his blog.
Joint Statement on Syria by “the Leaders and Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America”
The Debates Within the Debates Over Syria Hayes Brown explains how “What on the surface appears to be one debate ongoing in Washington over how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, is in fact, at least four, each with their own complexities and nuance.”
Iran Plots Revenge, U.S. Says A Wall Street Journal that claims that “the U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.”
Gas Attack: Germany Offers Clues in Search for Truth in Syria A piece on where Germany stands regarding the chemical weapons attack that occurred on 21 August.
Making Sense of the Syrian Rebels’ Order of Battle J. Dana Stuster : “A brief guide of all the relevant information is useful. So here are the things we know -- or think we know -- about the Syrian rebels.”
Who Are the Moderates in Syria: A so-so Guide to Easy Going Rebels Karl Sharro, perhaps in response to the plethora of articles penned by commentators seeking to embellish the image of the rebels to justify a Syrian strike, offers this satirical piece.
Poll: Majority of Americans Approve of Sending Congress to Syria A satirical piece from the Onion.
Syria: The Executive Summary 09/05 compiled by Syria Deeply
Syria: The Executive Summary 09/06 compiled by Syria Deeply