LAKHDAR BRAHIMI vs. BASHAR AL-ASSAD: Al-Jazeera

The title of a recently released Al-Jazeera article is “Brahimi meets Syria’s Assad amid violence” (Web-site/URL: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/20121224101635166809.html).

“Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, has met with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, in Damascus, a day after an air strike killed dozens of civilians in Hama province”.

“Brahimi said following Monday’s (December 24, 2012)  meeting in the capital (Damascus) that he and Assad had exchanged views on the crisis and discussed POSSIBLE (?) steps forward, the details of which he did not disclose”. IS THERE a way “forward?”

More specifically, “the veteran Algerian diplomat, who took over his present task from former UN chief Kofi Annan”, said: “Assad expressed HIS VIEWS on the situation and I told him about my meetings with leaders in the region and outside“. Of course in Syria “his (i.e. ASSAD‘s) views” are THE ONLY ones that count.

“Assad described his meeting with Brahimi as “FRIENDLY and CONSTRUCTIVE (?)”, according to STATE television“. There are THREE things to note here. WAS “(the) meeting constructive?” SecondlyCAN ANYONE be “friendly” with a dictator? On top of this once again “STATE TV” is EXTREMELY UNRELIABLE because in UNdemocratic countries/societies, “state TV” just spits out THE GOVERNMENT LINE implying that the government is ALWAYS right,but as we know, NO ONE is ALWAYS right. “The government is committed to ensure the success of all efforts aimed at protecting the SOVEREIGNTY and INDEPENDENCE  of the country”which means, of course, that all foreigners are labelled “terrorists”.

“Meanwhile, burials were held on Monday (December 24, 2012) in a town in Hama province for those killed in an air strike on a bakery a day earlier (December 23, 2012)”. As we knowBREAD is a staple/critical food in many Arab diets.

“At least 90 people have been reported killed in the attack on Halfaya, a town which was seized by rebels (a) few days ago as part of a campaign to push into new territories in the 21-month-old revolt against Assad”.

“Samer al-Hamawi, an activist in the town, said that more than 1,000 people had been queuing at the bakery before the strike hit near them. Shortages of fuel and flour have made bread production erratic across the country, and people often wait for hours to buy loaves”.

“Syrian state news agency (SANA), however, disputed that account, saying instead that a “terrorist” group had carried out the attack” of course.

“SANA, citing residents of the town, said: “An ARMED TERRORIST GROUP attacked the town of Halfaya committing crimes against the population, killing many women and CHILDRENAgain let’s reiterate that CHILDREN are vulnerable while WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE. Also AS EXPECTED the Assad government keeps mentioning “armed terrorist groups”. “The report added the Syrian army intervened during the assault and “killed and wounded many TERRORISTS, a term Syrian officials and state media use to refer to rebels fighting to oust the Assad government”.

“At least 700 people, most of them WOMEN and CHILDREN, fled into into Turkey following the bakery attack, Turkish officials said”.

“On Monday (December 24, 2012), it was reported that al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda inspired group, along with other opposition fighters, overran large parts of the Hama village of Maan, which is populated by Alawites, the offshoot of Shia Islam to which Assad belongs”.

“Rebels last week launched an all-out assault on army positions across Hama, home to a patchwork of religious communities”.

“Elsewhere, activists the province of Homs on Monday (December 24 2012) said shelling on a bakery in the town of Talbiseh left 15 people killed, mostly children.

“US-based Human Rights Watch condemned army air strikes on bakeries earlier this year (2012), arguing that in some incidents the Syrian military was not using enough precision to target rebel sites and in other instances it may have intentionally hit civilians”.

“Also in Homs, activists accused Assad’s regime of unleashing killer gas bombs in the rebel-held neighborhoods of the city”.

“Activists said seven people died in Homs on Sunday night (December 23, 2012) after inhaling “ODORLESS GAS and WHITE SMOKE” emanating from bombs deployed by regime forces in clashes with rebels”.

Lakhdar Brahimi and the Arab League have already failed once and all indications are that againthese negotiations AREN’T GETTING ANYWHERE/ACHIEVING ANYTHING/are COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE.

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