people on our side

Like the French movie, La Diner des Cons,” the public is taken to be the little suckers that seem such an agreeable role, preordained path of least resistance as long as there are a few crumbs left on the table. Obama is hugging the destitute victims from Sandy, photo-ops for all the vital micro-contituencies needed to carry the electoral college; there is dancing, smiling, the great new “hope” and “change” has reemerged, like a phantom Loch Ness or Sasquatch, there are sightings, not overly verifiable but they will be researched and documented: after the election and into the wastebasket like an Obama lay-up with all the UFO sitings. Meanwhile back at the ranch, in thos wild outposts of American freedom and democracy the killing goes on unabated.

Syria reminds me of the type of books in the late stages of WWII that began appearing; in particular Edgar Snow’s People on Our Side, which portrayed Mao Zedong as a benign agrarian democrat and not someone grabbing China’s imperial authoritarian tradition to invoke totalitarian communism as an eternal Tang Dynasty. Mao was a guy on our side because of his perceived role in fighting fascism. It was a view Snow later waffled on though he continued to promote Mao as a progressive force who deep down desired a democratic free China. Hard to understand how Snow could have been so deluded, but it worked in shaping public opinion, the same way the media supported the Free Syrian Army as a source of Arab integrity; ambassadors of the American spirit that fired the imagination of the founding fathers….Some things never change….

—Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Mosque (Arab Holiday). 1881—Read More:

(see link at end)…On Wednesday, the Obama administration said it would push for a major shakeup in the opposition leadership so that it better represents the fighters risking their lives on the frontlines. At least 36,000 people have been killed since the uprising began 19 months ago, according to anti-regime activists.

It was a signal that Syria’s political opposition is increasingly irrelevant, as it’s become clearer that the conflict will be decided by fighters.

In the latest violence, anti-government rebels killed 28 soldiers on Thursday in attacks on three army checkpoints around Saraqeb, a town on Syria’s main north-south highway, a monitoring group said.

—The epitome of the Western Enlightenment, Bernard Picart’s frontispiece to his ‘Histoire générale des ceremonies, moeurs et coutumes religieuses de tous les peoples du monde’ depicts the religions of the world.
The Muslims sit underneath a small cliff grouped around a camel just at the mouth of hell. —Read More:

Some of the dead were shot after they had surrendered, according to video footage. Rebels berated them, calling them “Assad’s Dogs,” before firing round after round into their bodies as they lay on the ground.

Syrian opposition figures have called on the U.S. and other Western supporters to provide the rebels with strategic weapons, such as anti-aircraft missiles, to counter the Assad regime’s military superiority and help the rebels break the battlefield stalemate. However, the U.S. has been cool to the idea. It fears that such weapons could fall into the hands of radical Islamists fighting on the rebel side who might one day use them against the U.S. and its allies. Read More:

…The execution of the soldiers, which was documented in a graphic video posted online Thursday, is not the first time that rebel fighters appear to have committed war crimes. U.N. representatives and human rights organizations have repeatedly criticized the Syrian opposition in recent months for carrying out summary executions and for abusing detainees.

In early August, members of a clan loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were executed by rebels, and a video of the killings was widely disseminated on the Internet. The executions prompted some commanders of the opposition Free Syrian Army to draft a code of conduct for their fighters in an attempt to curb human rights abuses. But the execution of the soldiers Thursday indicated that the code is not being observed by all rank-and-file rebel fighters.Read More:">

…The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition group, labeled the incident a “massacre” and said more than eight soldiers had been executed at the checkpoint outside the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province.

The opposition group reported at least 157 killed Thursday across Syria, including at least 72 government soldiers and 16 rebel fighters. The numbers could not be independently confirmed.

There was no immediate response from the Syrian government.

Fierce fighting has been reported at government checkpoints in the Saraqeb area, about 25 miles south of the embattled city of Aleppo. Government forces are battling to keep open supply routes to troops fighting in Aleppo, which has been a battleground for more than three months.

Human rights groups have accused both government and rebel troops of carrying out extrajudicial executions in the Syrian conflict.

The video that surfaced Thursday was just the latest documenting apparent rebel executions of prisoners.Read More:,0,7298770.story

There is a book out by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, The Evangile according to Pilate, where the narrator says,” To doubt and to believe is the same thing Pilate. Only indifference is atheist.” Its a good point to keep in mind when we close our eyes and ears as a means of dealing with those bodily parts we are too afraid to master, or to even attempt.The dirty laundry being played out with the “other” will eventually come back and bite us….

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