Syria Spirals down

The news out of Syria is bad and worse. The regime is being accused of widespread torture, and it is having to fight the rebels on the doorstep of the capital.

Human Rights Watch has mapped out the torture centers used by the Syrian government and identified the various techniques used on dissidents by the secret police. SMH has a good summary. Human Rights Watch says that the evidence is strong that the Syrian state is systematically practicing torture on a significant scale, and points out that this policy is a crime against humanity.

The Syrian military deployed helicopter gunships against Douma on Monday, a town on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus. Syrian troops had already stormed the town and there were bodies in the street, so the helicopters were involved in a mop-up operation.

In a one-day record, some 85 Syrian military personnel escaped to Turkey Monday, along with 300 family members. Six were officers, and one was a brigadier general (a one-star in American terms, i.e. not very high ranking).

Also on Monday, a television anchor for the regime news channel defected, and revealed that he had been for some time providing the opposition with the raw news stories

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Responses | Print |

15 Responses

  1. “the Syrian state is systematically practicing torture on a significant scale, and points out that this policy is a crime against humanity.”

    I’d have preferred for this to be pursued. It would have added credibility to the WH denouncements of Syria’s actions.

    As it is, even if Syria is torturing, so what? Maybe they simply put their ‘big boy pants’ on.

    link to hrw.org

  2. Once the briefcase labeled “Legitimacy” starts to leak, no amount of duct tape or hot lead or tissue of lies will repair it…

  3. RE: “The news out of Syria is bad and worse. The regime is being accused of widespread torture. . .” ~ Cole

    MY COMMENT: Correct me if I’m wrong, but not so long ago the U.S. was using “extraordinary rendition” to send “detainees” to Syria knowing full well that they would be tortured. . . Oops, I mean subjected to “enhanced procedures”.

  4. One has to feel for the Syrian people, who are suffering under this monstrous regime. But as we watch the lies and other distortions emanating from Damascus, it would be revealing to take another look at Syria’s record in light of the regime’s congenital tendency to dissemble. In particular, we ought to reexamine Assad’s earlier denials that Syria funds regional terror groups or that it was building a nuclear reactor with the aim of obtaining WMD capability.

  5. I don’t recall too much outrage about Syrian torture when the US was sending “terrorism suspects” to Syria to be tortured.

    • That may be true. And if so, shame on the U.S. Obviously, torture is despicable. But that’s not really the point here, is it? You have a dictatorial regime that’s attempting to murder its way to tranquility. It’s simply outrageous behavior. Let’s not downplay this just because the U.S. may not be as pure as the driven snow.

  6. I couldn’t oppose torture of people anymore then I do now. The fact that this country, America, also tortures people without any legal repercussions or moral second guessing (we’re looking forward) leaves us very little room to criticize Syria.

    Or is it a case of my country right or wrong?

  7. Given the cozy relationship of Bush Administration and Assad Regime where Al Queda suspects were sent to Syria to be tortured. It would be interesting if they Syrian government comes clean about its previous relationship with US and provide a list of items and techniques that they acquired from US and Europe for the specific purpose of torturing the “enemy combatants”.

  8. No, torture is not new to Syria. It also was probably not new to any of the countries that came to have the worst regimes in history. I bet a few German secret policemen beat a few suspects long before Hitler came along, and same for Italian cops and certainly Czarist cops before their worst tyrants.

    The question is, if Syria succeeds this time in putting down a large rebellion via torture, doesn’t that strengthen the case for governments to use torture everywhere? Given that government officials universally want to preserve their power and study other governments to see what they can get away with, isn’t the victory of torture as a strategy anywhere, including the USA, a threat everywhere?

  9. Amazing, you folks defending Assad by trying to compare our waterboarding with the systematic torture being practices there. Not to defend our own crimes, but there’s a phrase that covers it: “Order of magnitude” difference.
    Or maybe y’all’d like us to forgot about the thousands killed by Assad’s dad. Like father like son, so much for the Hippocratic Oath, eh?
    What about the so-called cozy relationship of the Bush administration with Syria? I don’t recall anything of the sort. Not that we weren’t sending folks to be tortured overseas elsewhere. But, weren’t suicide bombers infiltrating Iraq via Syria, to our discomfiture?

    • 2001-2002 or so there was a brief Washington-Damascus honeymoon when Syrian suspected al-Qaeda were sent to Bashar for interrogation. The Neocons hated even this satannic cooperation and managed to break it up and put Syria in the cross-hairs.

  10. It is a civil war and a religious war. A religious war between the Shia and the Sunni.

    Stop being outraged.

    Atrocities are being committed on both sides of this inter-religious conflict. Reading American media one gets a feeling that completely innocent people are being picked up and tortured for no reason. And the euphemistically known “opposition” is some kind of democracy movement against a dictatorship of Assad. The “opposition” is fighting a JIHAD against the infidels.

    For god sake stop being outraged!!!!

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