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Friday, June 29, 2012

As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke

New material on the on going massacre in Douma has been moved to a new diary here.
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LiveStreaming the Massacre
Late Wednesday evening I wrote a dairy BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared, starting about 11PM and on through the night, I cataloged the information that was coming over the wireless about a massive new attack by Assad's forces on this suburb of Damascus, Syria.

The information mostly came in via Twitter with links to raw YouTube videos and pictures. There were even a number of LiveStreams coming from Douma from time to time. Nothing as gruesome as LiveStreams of people being shot or cut open, though I fear that is in our future, mostly these were courageous cameras pointed out windows. They caught the sounds mostly, but that was chilling enough, and the flash of artillery explosions.

The next day the news reports started coming in about a massacre in Douma. It fit the now familiar pattern, first the Syrian army shelled the community with their artillery, then the shabiha, Assad's armed terrorist gangs, came in to do the close up killing with small arms and knives. The overnight death toll was put at 41, but that's not the final count because Douma is still under attack by Assad's forces.

The world is letting Douma happen. I was able to write a timely blog, reporting the cries for help as the first shells began to rain down and the first reports of shabiha mobilization began to come in. It made no difference. We were all spectators to a massacre. This may be the first time parts of one were Livestreamed. I admit, there wasn't much to see, but I'm sure production quality will improve with practice and I'm afraid this affair will go on for awhile longer and provide it because the world doesn't seemed inclined to help the Syrian people bring to justice a mass murderer who is also the head of state, and it may take them a while to do it on their own. So grab your popcorn and settle in before the LiveStream.

Meanwhile, Back at the UN
The next dairy I wrote was Thursday morning: BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad! which broke the news of a new meeting of the UN Syria Action Group in Geneva on Saturday to deal with the crisis. Friday, Clinton had a surprise meeting with Lavrov on Syria ahead of the Saturday meeting and I covered that to BREAKING: Clinton, Lavrov to debate Syria in Russia today.

It is now Saturday, the nine member countries have just concluded their meeting and held a press conference only minutes ago.

The short story is that, faced with the rising tempo of events in Syria, they have decided to do nothing.

Two main points came out of their closing communication:

1.) They re-affirmed their commitment to Kofi Annan's six point plan.

2.) Called for a transitional government formed from both members of the current government and the opposition. Most notably, the language in Kofi Annan's original proposal for this meeting widely interpreted to exclude Bashar al-Assad was missing.
"I expect the Syrian parties to cooperate"
Special Envoy Kofi Annan just said this in the press conference Q&A [10:24am pst] by this he means that this new plan for the formation of a transitional government is entirely dependent on the voluntary cooperation of Bashar al-Assad. He expects Damascus to "embrace" this plan!

As I said in the title, the UN is blowing more smoke and it it now time to consider the culpability of those who throw up a smoke screen for a massacre.

10:42am pst: Clinton is say she interprets the communication to mean Assad must go in spite of agreeing to the removal of the anti-Assad language that was in the original call to meeting.

10:56am pst: Lavrov is saying not only was anti-Assad lang removed, but lang calling up Assad forces to cease fire and withdraw from cities first was removed.

Demonstration at the Golden Mosque in Damascus Friday June 29, 2012


Here is the Official UN Syria Action Group Communique

Untitled Here is the BBC News report:
UN envoy calls for transitional government in Syria 30 June 2012 13:50 ET The UN's envoy for Syria has said there is international agreement that a transitional government should be set up in order to end the fighting. Kofi Annan said an international conference in Geneva had agreed there should be a "transitional government body with full executive powers". This could include both members of the government and opposition. However US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not remain in power. Saturday's "action group" conference was attended by both Western powers and Russia and China. Mr Annan also called for an immediate ceasefire and adherence to the UN's six-point peace plan. He said there should be access to Syria for humanitarian organisations and media. Some 15,800 people have died in the 16-month uprising against the rule of President Assad, activists say. More than 180 people are said to have been killed on Friday alone as government forces reportedly shelled a suburb of the capital Damascus and the restive central city of Homs. On Saturday, activists and witnesses said many residents were fleeing the Damascus suburb of Douma, which has come under sustained assault from government forces. Mr Annan said the international community was increasing pressure to end the violence.
That will be very good news for Syrians fleeing the violence today in Douma. Video of mass burial today 6/30/202 after massacre in Douma, Syria Here are my related diaries on Syria: BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad! BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters Syrian people rise up against the massacre Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up? Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray Syria is bleeding Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

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