Skip to main content

History repeating itself in Syria

There is certainly a case here of history repeating itself.   FP reports:

"Cut the dates from this just-declassified Defense Intelligence Agency paper and it reads like an analysis of the current 18-month-old Syrian civil war, as if it could have gone to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta yesterday. But DIA analysts wrote this paper in April 1982, 30 years ago -- just after the horrific Hama massacre by then-Syrian leader Hafez Assad, who used jets and artillery to level the city and wipe out a Muslim Brotherhood-led uprising.

The similarities are striking. The regime -- Assad the father then, and Assad the son now -- uses the same brutal tactics of repression. It rains indiscriminate violence from the air, from cannons, and from tanks on the urban centers of the uprising, regardless of civilian casualties. The opposition -- including the Muslim Brotherhood cadres described in this document -- pursues a strategy of violent rebellion that "would also force the Damascus government to become even more oppressive" and thus "cause greater alienation of the Assad government from the Sunni Muslim majority and within the Alawite community," from which even Syrian military might defect, thereby hastening the fall of the regime.

About the Hama massacre, the DIA analysts concluded:

'The Muslim Brotherhood leadership was fully aware that they had the Assad regime in a 'no win' situation over Hama. If Assad had not acted forcefully against Hama, the rebellion might have spread to other cities which in turn might have led to a full-scale rebellion. Assad's liberal use of artillery in breaking the resistance in Hama served notice to other cities that he has both the will and the means to retain power. By the same token, however, the government's actions have appalled and sickened a wide spectrum of Syrian society. Nonetheless, Assad's strategy continues to be based on the realization that most Syrians, regardless of their differences with the present government, do not want the Muslim Brotherhood in power, although they would undoubtedly prefer one dominated by Sunni Muslims [instead of Assad's Alawite sect].'
The one factual discrepancy in this DIA report, compared to what we know now, is the casualty count on Hama. The document says 2,000 dead, but independent observers (ranging from the British journalist Robert Fisk, who visited Hama, to the Syrian Human Rights Committee) determined after the fact that between 20,000 and 40,000 died at Hama -- all killed in the month of February 1982, within just a few weeks.

The Syrian civil war currently raging has only now reached that level of casualties, nearly 30,000 total deaths over 18 months, according to the Centre for Documentation of Violations in Syria and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. August 2012 was the bloodiest month, with more than 5,000 deaths. Most of the Syrian dead are civilian; the total includes about 3,000 fighters on each side.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

One Forbes List: A roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs

2016 has ended and there has been the inevitable list of the best of 2016 of this or that.     

The just published Forbes List of the Most Powerful People is another thing altogether.    It is truly shocking to think that those listed are as downright awful and the worst of humankind has to offer.....yet wield enormous power.     The Age newspaper in "Who's who list a roll call of criminals, psychopaths and megalomaniacs" provides the details.....

"It's that time of the year again. In an effort to celebrate or sum up, or maybe just expunge the events of a year that's just wound up, we've become obsessed with rankings. Top 10 Christmas hits, bestselling books, the most excruciating movie moments, the seven things we're doing to wreak havoc on our planet. This year, courtesy of US presidential election, we also have the top 20 fake news stories, the 10 steps for adjusting to a Trump presidency, and the best destinations for those that find they simply ar…

"Wake Up"

The message is loud and clear....and as you watch this, remember that it was on Israeli TV - not some anti-semitic or anti-Israel program somewhere in the world.


Happy New Year....not?

Credited to Mike Luckovich