Really great piece about non-cishetero refugees from Syria, which largely side-steps the orientalism pieces about the Middle East often fall into.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Hague-based organization was established to enforce the 1997 Chemical Weapons convention and is currently overseeing the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.
According to Human Rights Watch, rebels in Syria were responsible for the massacre of 190 civilians in Latakia in August.
Aleppo prepares for winter. 
Syrian forces took control of a key road into Aleppo, giving them back control of an important supply line. 
Turkish spy chief Hakan Fidan has become a force in the construction of Turkey’s regional security strategy. 
The US is suspending a significant portion of its $1.3bn in aid to Egypt.
Mohammed Morsi will stand trial in November for inciting murder and violence.
The US says that the Libyan government approved the commando raids that captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai in Tripoli.
Libyan PM Ali Zeidan was kidnapped from his home on Thursday, later to be released. 
Roughly 60 have been killed so far in clashes in the Central African Republic. 
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, sentenced to 50 years for crimes against humanity, will serve his time in a British jail. 
American Special Forces had to retreat during a raid in Somalia on Saturday, which officials say was the result of “imperfect intelligence.”
Colum Lynch on the June 19 Al-Shabab raid on the UN in Mogadishu.
Iraq hung 42 convicted of terrorism charges. 
Al Jazeera America breaks down where the real causes of concern are (and aren’t) in Iran’s nuclear program.
A portrait of an Afghan assassin, a seventeen-year-old responsible for a green-on-blue attack that killed four Marines. 
Britain makes its final major deployment to Afghanistan.
A day after being granted bail in a separate case, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was arrested over a 2007 mosque raid.
Russia is cracking down on the North Caucasus region ahead of the Winter Olympics. 
Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani says he’s retiring in November. 
China arrested 139 people in Xinjiang for spreading jihad. 
A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists calls the Obama administration the most aggressive one since Nixon when it comes to controlling media and information. 
Kim Jong-un fired his top general, Kim Kyok-sik.
The UN is being sued in US court over the cholera epidemic which has 8300 since October 2010. The Haitian government is seeking $2.2bn in compensation from the UN, saying the cholera was introduced by Nepalese peacekeeping forces and poor sanitation practice.s 
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, known as the Republican Congressman who co-authored the Patriot Act, is going to introduce bipartisan legislation meant to curtail the domestic surveillance powers of government agencies.
The CIA is shutting down access to the Open Source Center, which for more than half a century has operated as a publicly accessible source of unclassified global information compiled from media sources outside the US.
Furloughed intelligence employees will begin returning to work. 
The Obama administration has begun reviewing the cases of dozens of Guantánamo inmates for possible release. 
The NSA’s FOIA request caseload is up 1054 percent since the Snowden leaks. 
Electrical issues are stalling the opening of the NSA’s $1.7bn data center in Utah. 
Congratulations to Gregory Johnsen on being Buzzfeed’s first Michael Hastings National Security Reporting Fellow. 
Photo: Salaheddine neighborhood, Aleppo. Free Syrian Army fighters take up position against government forces in a firefight. Malek Alshemali/Reuters. 

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Photo: Salaheddine neighborhood, Aleppo. Free Syrian Army fighters take up position against government forces in a firefight. Malek Alshemali/Reuters. 

A visualisation of the recent “short guide to the Middle East” letter to the Financial Times.
Obviously it’s not this simple, so there’s a more complicated version available too!

A visualisation of the recent “short guide to the Middle East” letter to the Financial Times.

Obviously it’s not this simple, so there’s a more complicated version available too!

(Source: Slate)

tatreezconsciousness:

hagereseb:

Teju Cole satire of the Washington Post article “9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask

M

oh. OH. OH.

(Source: rs620, via mohandasgandhi)

Tags: Syria racism

Palestinians in Syria torch Hezbollah aid… for the second time

Halabi said when the aid was distributed, the refugees noticed the labels attached to each package explaining that the aid was a gift from the “Islamic Resistance in Lebanon to our brethren, the displaced Palestinians from Syria.”
“When the refugees realized that the aid was from the same party which is killing their people in Qusair and in other places, they, with dozens of locals, took the boxes from the Palestinian Cultural Center and burned them”

AMAZING.
Fuck you and your back-stabbing, Hezbollah!

Palestinians in Syria torch Hezbollah aid… for the second time

Halabi said when the aid was distributed, the refugees noticed the labels attached to each package explaining that the aid was a gift from the “Islamic Resistance in Lebanon to our brethren, the displaced Palestinians from Syria.”

“When the refugees realized that the aid was from the same party which is killing their people in Qusair and in other places, they, with dozens of locals, took the boxes from the Palestinian Cultural Center and burned them”

AMAZING.

Fuck you and your back-stabbing, Hezbollah!

@BBCWeather twitter feed hacked by Syria regime loyalists (but order has now been restored and the hacked tweets deleted)

@BBCWeather twitter feed hacked by Syria regime loyalists (but order has now been restored and the hacked tweets deleted)

(Source: twitter.com)

Two Years of Meta-Narratives: How Not to Cover Syria

  • The Amateur Journalist: If he is not kidnapped on his first day of reporting, after mistaking a mukhabarat informant for a taxi driver, the Amateur goes on to send starry-eyed reports from FSA-held Idlib province. His story most likely includes an adrenaline-soaked adventure of running through bullet fire as he crosses the Turkish border with the help of men wearing black scarves with white squiggly lines on them. The article usually follows with this freelancer’s encounter with a local FSA leader (or activist, since these are considered interchangeable) who coincidentally turns out to be in charge of most of the province. This leader's long, scruffy beard contributes to his stoic, battle-worn mystique. The Amateur aims to show the human side of the story. The leader chats with him while nursing to health a stray wounded cat while the leader’s wife, who is wearing a traditional abaya that flows in the wind, refills the would-be journalist’s glass of hot, sticky tea. For two weeks, the mujahid gives the amateur the exclusive inside scoop on the revolutionary democratic system that he and his fellow villagers have implemented. A system where everyone - except of course women, young people, and Alawites - has a voice in deciding the appropriate sentence for those sinful souls who stole bread from the bakery. Yes, the future looks bright for the amateur journalist who chose war-torn Syria for his first beat (we are not counting his summer internship at the North Dakota Times).
  • The Syrian-American FSA Revolutionary: The Syrian-American FSA Revolutionary's maternal great-grandmother was born in Damascus and immigrated to the US in her childhood. Since the beginning of the uprising, the revolutionary reminisces on Twitter about those two summers spent at his teta's house in the Shaam, where he would chase his cousins under the olive trees as the call to prayer emanated from the Umayyad mosque. This Revolutionary makes you look twice -- you may think he is reporting to you live from Aleppo, with his tweets every three minutes describing the situation on the ground with exacting detail and certainty, but after a few weeks, you find out he is actually broadcasting from the messy and chaotic battleground of his college dorm room in Chicago. His preferred news sources include "my second cousin Abu Mohammed in Homs," the Syrian Revolution Facebook page, blurry and unverified YouTube videos, and "#Syria" on Twitter. His "confirmed" reportage of events is retweeted religiously by his 5,272 followers, and even if his assertions are later contradicted, he rarely follows up: he is too busy hoisting his revolution flag at fundraisers for Syria with unverified recipients. The Revolutionary mocks the piss-poor media coverage of Syria, as he believes deeply in the importance of disseminating leaked naked pictures of Asmaa al-Assad, ridiculously good looking Syrian rebels nuzzling kittens, Bashar wearing different wigs, and other essential topics.
Whilst the world looks onto Palestine’s (a bit irrelevant) “statehood” bid, Syria’s internet has been totally taken down.
Syria’s shutdown of all Internet services has been confirmed by two web-monitoring services. One of them, Akamai, says the traffic is at zero, a remarkable indication of how swiftly and completely Syria seems to have taken its offline. Removing an entire country from the Internet is no small feat, and has potentially serious implications for Syria’s economy, its security and the uprising that began last year.

Still, the country has already taken far more severe action, including reports of targeting children, so the government’s apparent decision not to switch off Web access until now was in some ways surprising. Egypt and Libya both shut down Internet service early in their own uprisings last year.
Read more

Whilst the world looks onto Palestine’s (a bit irrelevant) “statehood” bid, Syria’s internet has been totally taken down.

Syria’s shutdown of all Internet services has been confirmed by two web-monitoring services. One of them, Akamai, says the traffic is at zero, a remarkable indication of how swiftly and completely Syria seems to have taken its offline. Removing an entire country from the Internet is no small feat, and has potentially serious implications for Syria’s economy, its security and the uprising that began last year.

Still, the country has already taken far more severe action, including reports of targeting children, so the government’s apparent decision not to switch off Web access until now was in some ways surprising. Egypt and Libya both shut down Internet service early in their own uprisings last year.

Read more

thearabspringrevolutions:

In this piece, first published at Open Democracy, Yassin al-Haj Saleh and Rime Allaf, two of Syria’s brightest intellectuals, discuss Robert Fisk’s moral and professional collapse.

On the Syrian regime and their manipulation of the ‘facts’ coming out through certain journalists.

oh ffs come on Robert Fisk

Tags: Syria