tag ‘Syrien’
Folge westlicher Politik July 30, 2015 | 10:36 pm

Ausgerechnet in der Bild Zeitung stehen die folgenden Sätze:

Die Flüchtlingsströme, die sich gen Europa bewegen, sind eine direkte Folge westlicher Politik. Vier Jahre lang wurde nichts, aber auch gar nichts unternommen, um das Morden in Syrien zu stoppen. Wir haben ignorant zugesehen, wie ein Diktator (Assad) und eine islamistische Barbarenhorde (ISIS) die Hölle auf Erden schufen. Nun versuchen Hunderttausende, dieser Hölle zu entkommen.

Sie aufzunehmen, gebieten nicht bloß Anstand und Nächstenliebe. Sie aufzunehmen, ist ganz nüchtern betrachtet auch die Verpflichtung, die aus einer komplett verfehlten Politik des Westens erwachsen ist.

Wer dem Frieden im Weg steht July 16, 2015 | 10:50 pm

Der Frieden, von dem sie jetzt in Europa und den USA sprechen, dem angeblich der Iran Deal so dient, gilt natürlich nicht für jene, die sich mitten im Krieg befinden, nämlich vor allem die Menschen in Syrien. Für die wird es wohl eher schlimmer werden, und zwar für alle. Aber ein paar tote Syrer mehr oder ein paar mehr Syrer auf der Flucht, das ist zwar nicht schön, aber so viel muss der Frieden all denen, die in jetzt beschwören, schon wert sein:

“And so, whatever happens next, the situation in Syria will get worse before it gets better.”

Syrer stehen eben dem Frieden auch im Weg, wenn auch aus anderen Gründen als die Israelis.

Outcome of a bad deal July 14, 2015 | 04:27 pm

The lifting of restrictions ensures that Iran will be no further from achieving nuclear weapons status than it is today. Nothing has been rolled back. None of the initial Western demands, whether regarding enrichment, the number of centrifuges, the extent of inspections, or the timetable for lifting sanctions have been met. Iran will now have access to the latest technology, to international trade, and, most important, to billions of dollars. Estimates of Tehran’s financial windfall range as high as $150 billion. Even if the actual figures are no more than $50 billion, that sum is enough for Iran both to modernize its infrastructure and double, perhaps triple its financial support for terrorist activities, which currently is estimated to cost the Islamic Republic less than ten billions dollars. The prospects for a peaceful outcome in Syria, or Yemen have diminished markedly. Hezbollah’s fortunes have skyrocketed. And the threat to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province has become far more ominous.

What of Israel and the Sunni Arab states? The former has both the defensive weapons and the offensive power to deter Iran. Still, whether it will attack some or all of Iran’s sites remains an open question. What is far less doubtful is that several of the larger Sunni states — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Turkey — will probably go nuclear. The Middle East has just become far more dangerous than it was a day ago. And the Obama administration has no one to blame but itself.


Podiumsdiskussion am 09. Juli in Berlin: Der Quds-Komplex – Antisemitismus, Terror und Appeasement July 9, 2015 | 08:52 am

Unsere Veranstaltung will klären, welche Auswirkungen die iranische Politik auf den Nahen Osten hat, welche Funktion dem al Quds-Tag dabei zukommt und warum Politik und Medien über diesen von radikal islamischen, rechten und linken Antiimperialisten unterstützten Aufruf zur Vernichtung Israels hinweg sehen. Es gilt zu diskutieren, was getan werden kann, um den Widerstand gegen die zerstörerische Politik der Islamischen Republik Iran zu organisieren.

13,50 $ im Monat zum Leben July 7, 2015 | 10:35 pm

Einmal mehr wurde die Hilfe für syrische Flüchtlinge gekürzt:

Die Karte sei früher 30 Dollar wert gewesen, dann nur noch 19 Dollar, sagt al-Assaf. Pro Person seien also elf Dollar gestrichen worden. Die verbleibenden 19 Dollar seien aber nicht genug für einen ganzen Monat: “Gegen Mitte des Monats ist man nicht mehr in der Lage, drei Mahlzeiten pro Tag zu haben. Ja, die Lebensmittelsachen sind im Lager unser Hauptnotwendigkeit.” Seit Monatsbeginn musste das WFP den Wert E-Card sogar von 19 auf 13,50 Dollar pro Person und Monat verringern.

Nur 19 Prozent der Finanzmittel stehe für die Flüchtlingshilfe in den überlasteten Nachbarländern Syriens zur Verfügung, erklärte das WFP. Bis September benötige man 139 Millionen Dollar, um den syrischen Flüchtlinge in Jordanien, im Libanon, in der Türkei, im Irak und in Ägypten weiterhin helfen zu können.

Quelle: http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/wfp-syrien-101.html

No specific measures June 24, 2015 | 11:10 pm

As former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford testified to the House committee, a failure to act won’t affect only Syria: “The international consensus against (chemical weapons) use forged after the horrors of the First World War is being eroded with each new chemical attack,” he said. “This is a risk to our own soldiers’ safety and our broader national security.”

No matter: “I don’t have any specific measures here that I can lay out for you” to stop the chlorine attacks, said State Department spokesperson John Kirby. Tell that to the families of the children whose lungs are being burned away.


Kein Friede den Schlächtern! – eine Replik auf den jüngsten „Friedensappell“ June 17, 2015 | 09:57 am

Man möchte meinen, dass eine sich als progressiv verstehende Linke sich gegen ein Regime wie das von Assad wendet, das im Jahr 2011 zivile Proteste niederschießen ließ und so einen verheerenden Sturm aus Gewalt über Land und Region brachte. Man möchte meinen, dass es als inakzeptabel empfunden wird, wenn ein Regime seit Jahrzehnten mordet, foltert und perfide den Hass auf Minderheiten schürt, um sich so für diese unentbehrlich zu machen. Man möchte meinen, dass Unterdrückung und Diktatur von Linken verurteilt und bekämpft werden. Doch leider beweisen Linke weltweit Tag für Tag, dass dem so nicht ist.

Supporting a school for children of Syrian Refugees June 1, 2015 | 10:13 pm

WADI has a special relationship with the complex and its youngest and cutest inhabitants, because the accountant of WADI, Kumry Alferha, who herself is a refugee from Syria and came to Suleymaniah in 2004, is taking a lot of care about these children.

Earlier in the year, the eager pupils received clothes from WADI and now, on the last day of school they were waiting, wide eyed and hopeful for their end of school year gifts. The fifth and sixth grade boys received footballs while the girls received bracelet-making kits. The younger pupils received dolls and big toy trucks. To top off this joyous occasion, each child and teacher were handed tasty sweets especially ordered for them. The children, sometimes trilingual (speaking Kurdish, Arabic, and English) were very grateful for this little gesture – to some it may not seem like a big deal, it means the world to children who are trying to achieve the unachievable and find some semblance of stability in an unstable world.

Children should not have to worry about what to wear for school, where to obtain their school books and whether or not there will be enough teaches at school to guide them through their day.

Another pressing issue related to this, is that most of the children have missed out on two years of schooling due to their status as Syrian refugees. Because of their lack of paper documentation, the Iraqi authorities put off their enrollmentin school. Two years is a long time for a child not to be in school and many have fallen behind pedagogically. Therefore, funding for reinforcement classes are neededso the children can catch up to their actual school year.

This is a very urgent need and as of this moment there is neither funding to compensate teachers, nor to provide teaching equipment such as books, notebooks and pens. As of now, what WADI can provide is small but meaningful things such as some clothes and toys.

We wish we were able to provide more of these aforementioned services, as they are crucial to the futures of the children. Very few refugees actually return to their homeland and the current situation in Syria points to a very bleak future ahead for the Syrians.

Therefore, it is instrumental that we provide these necessities for the children if they are to become capable adults in the future Iraq.

Should we be so lucky to see a safe and war-free Syria in our lifetime, then we should make sure we have taken care of the younger generation so they can help rebuild Syria. That starts with providing the proper education for the children in Bainjan.

And you can support them with your donation.

Lethargie May 27, 2015 | 10:41 pm

American lethargy is especially evident in Syria. The potential consequences of getting Syria wrong are serious. What happens could undermine efforts to contain ISIL in Iraq, and could create a situation in which Washington finds itself a prisoner of the Middle East, despite Mr Obama’s aim to ensure the contrary.

It is remarkable that even as the regime of Bashar Al Assad has started to collapse, the Obama administration still has not formulated a clear Syria policy. Instead, it has slogans and a vague plan to train Syrian “moderates” to fight ISIL, a foolish scheme that is bound to fail, particularly as the dynamics of the Syrian conflict shift to removing Mr Al Assad.

Nor has the United States shown much conviction in advancing this strategy. The force it is organising has taken for ever to be armed and trained. The Americans want combatants who will fight ISIL, believing, naively, that if the Assad regime begins disintegrating, these men will continue to serve American interests and not seek to be in on the kill of the regime.

Far more disturbing is that the Obama administration appears to have taken no well-defined positions on what should happen once Mr Al Assad goes. His exit may not be imminent, but as the regime loses ground in the north, south and east, due to the Syrian army’s inability to mobilise enough troops, Mr Al Assad’s days appear to be numbered.


Palmyra May 20, 2015 | 10:15 pm

Nach dem Vormarsch in Palmyra kontrolliere der IS nun etwa 40 Prozent der Fläche Syriens, sagte der Leiter der Menschenrechtsbeobachter, Rami Abel Rahman, der Deutschen Presse-Agentur. Die Extremisten hätten zudem fast alle Ölfelder des Landes eingenommen. Der IS finanziert sich zu einem großen Teil aus dem Ölschmuggel.


Largest UN request for help ever May 11, 2015 | 09:48 pm

In 2015, the UN has requested a staggering US$8.4 billion to help 18 million people within Syria and the immediate region. This is a huge sum and the largest humanitarian appeal in UN history. Five years in to the brutal civil war, the humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis has predominantly focused on providing immediate relief in the form of food, health and sanitation. However, the complex and extended nature of the Syrian conflict now means that humanitarian actors are grappling with the medium to long-term issues the conflict has caused for Syria and its neighbours. These challenges include civil society development and increasing the rule of law within liberated Syrian communities, providing children with access to education as a normalising measure and an increased focus on livelihoods and creating economic opportunities in refugee populations.


Syria still using Chemical Weapons May 7, 2015 | 10:33 pm

Two years after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile, there is mounting evidence that his government is flouting international law to drop jerry-built chlorine bombs on insurgent-held areas. Lately, the pace of the bombardments in contested areas like Idlib Province has picked up, rescue workers say, as government forces have faced new threats from insurgents. The Assad government has so far evaded more formal scrutiny because of political, legal and technical obstacles to assigning blame for the attacks — a situation that feels surreal to many Syrians under the bombs, who say it is patently clear the government drops them.

“People are so used to it, they know from the sound,” said Hatem Abu Marwan, 29, a rescue worker with the White Helmets civil defense organization, a note of exasperation creeping into his voice when asked to explain. “We know the sound of a helicopter that goes to a low height and drops a barrel. Nobody has aircraft except the regime.”

Prodded by the United States, the United Nations Security Council is discussing a draft resolution that would create a panel, reporting to the secretary general, to determine which of the warring parties is responsible for using chlorine as a weapon, according to Council diplomats.

“The Security Council must address the need to determine who is responsible for using chlorine as weapons in Syria,” said an American official, who declined to offer specifics and requested anonymity to discuss continuing negotiations. “Doing so is critical to getting justice for the Syrian people and accountability for those who have repeatedly used chemical weapons in Syria.”


Von Ypern nach Damaskus: Der Giftgas-Horror April 26, 2015 | 07:42 pm

Aus Bild.de:

Zum Jahrestag des ersten Giftgaseinsatzes protestierten Syrer und irakische Kurden diese Woche gemeinsam in Ypern während der Gedenkfeierlichkeiten. In einem offenen Brief ihrer Kampagne „Breathless“ fordern sie den Westen auf, „den weiteren Einsatz chemischer Kampfstoffe in Syrien und anderswo wirkungsvoll zu verhindern“ .

„Das Leid und der ganz besondere Terror chemischer Kampfstoffe sind heute so aktuell wie damals“, schreiben die Aktivisten und fordern ein Ende der Giftgasangriffe. „Es dauert nur eine Sekunde, die Bombe zu werfen, aber es braucht Generationen, um über ihre Folgen hinweg zu kommen.“

#Breathless: Chemical Warfare from Ypres to al-Ghouta April 23, 2015 | 09:13 am

On this day, 100 years ago, the fields of Ypres, Belgium, witnessed the first use of chemical weapons in modern times. A mutation in the nature of war into terrible new lows of barbarity and gruesomeness. Today, as the world commemorates the victims of chemical weapons, Syrians ring a reminder that these silent mass murders are hardly behind us. Indeed, only last month, Syrian towns in the Idlib governorate were subjected to this horror.

Survivors from al-Ghouta’s chemical attacks, along with their comrades in Halabja, Iraq, spoke in one voice about their suffocating experiences. The #Breathless campaign was launched with an open letter signed by those who had witnessed first-hand the horrors of chemical weapons at the hands of the Syrian and Iraqi regimes:

We, survivors of chemical attacks from different countries, ethnicity and belief, know with whom the responsibility lies for the chemical attacks we have witnessed. It primarily lies with the ruthless regimes that drop these bombs on us; the same regimes that taught us for decades that we were enemies. Now we — Arabs and Kurds, people from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Kurdistan — sign this letter together knowing that our only enemies are those who do not hesitate to gas us.

Read more

Offener Brief von Giftgas-Überlebenden : „So aktuell wie damals“ April 22, 2015 | 10:00 am

Am Mittwoch werden Menschen aus Syrien, dem Irak und dem Iran an mehreren europäischen Botschaften einen Protestbrief zur Mithilfe europäischer Staaten an der Produktion von Giftgas in ihren Ländern übergeben. Gleichzeitig wird es Kundgebungen in Ghuta bei Damaskus, in Halabja im irakischen Kurdistan und in Ypern geben. Zum ersten Mal wird eine solche Botschaft, koordiniert von AktivistInnen aus diesen drei Ländern, überbracht. Eine Initiative der Gruppe „Breathless“.

Wir sind Überlebende, aber bitte nennt uns nicht „Opfer“. Das würde nur verschleiern, was wir wirklich sind: Zeugen. Wir sind die lebenden Zeugen der albtraumhaften Brutalität chemischer Kampfstoffe. Und als Zeugen werden wir euch immer und immer wieder an das erinnern, was im Iran und im Irak geschah und was heute erneut in Syrien geschieht. Wir wissen, dass es nicht europäische Regierungen waren, die uns mit Gas angriffen. Aber wir sind uns der Tatsache bewusst, dass ohne die umfangreiche Hilfe europäischer Unternehmen weder das irakische noch das syrische Regime in der Lage gewesen wären, chemische Kampfstoffe herzustellen.

Deutsche Unternehmen waren am Aufbau des sogenannten State Enterprise for Pesticide Production im Irak beteiligt, lieferten Material, Rohstoffe, technische Infrastruktur und Wissen; französische und österreichische Unternehmen waren in kleinerem Umfang ebenfalls an dem Geschäft beteiligt, während italienische und spanische Firmen die Gefechtsköpfe und Granathülsen lieferten, die für C-Waffen erforderlich sind. Erst unlängst wurde bekannt, dass Unternehmen aus Großbritannien und – erneut – Deutschland Material und Grundstoffe zur C-Waffenproduktion an Syrien geliefert haben. Europa hat Beihilfe geleistet zu den Verbrechen, die an uns begangen wurden.

Den ganzen Beitrag lesen


100 years and ongoing April 22, 2015 | 12:18 am


Ypres, Halabja, Ghouta… The campaign Breathless has formed to denounce the ongoing use of chemical weapons manufactured with help of European and especially German companies and many blind eyes of the governments. They protest against the fact that Syria will not even be mentioned in the official commemoration events.

Listen to this impressing radio feature which has many shattering accounts from survivors.

False tears April 19, 2015 | 11:08 am

Members of the UN Security Council cried after watching a video that shows doctors unsuccessfully trying to revive child victims of an apparent government chlorine gas attack in Syria last month.

One hopes they were tears of shame.

Samantha Power, America’s ambassador to the UN, pledged those responsible will be held to account.

Nobody believes her. Nobody should, anyway.

It was not even two years ago that evidence of poison gas attacks by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces inconveniently became too persuasive for America to ignore.

In August 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama had declared that the use or transfer of a “whole bunch” of chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States. This didn’t stop Assad from gassing Syrians to death on several occasions after that statement was made, but he did so in sufficiently small numbers that Obama must have felt safe hiding behind his “whole bunch” threshold and did nothing.

Then, in August 2013, regime forces slaughtered some 1,400 Syrians in a sarin gas attack, including more than 400 children, according to White House figures. That, finally but temporarily, pushed Obama toward action.

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Obama is always wrong on the Middle East April 17, 2015 | 11:26 pm

Obama has an incorrect view of the region, and this is something that has become increasingly clear since he took office. He is always wrong on our region, and has made the biggest mistakes here, and these mistakes have had major consequences.

Obama rushed to withdraw from Iraq, and now here we see him returning once again. He played down the Syrian revolution and Assad’s crimes. He talked about “red lines” but Assad has crossed each and every one of these, while Obama has done nothing. He played down the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) only to subsequently be forced to acknowledge the reality of the situation, although he still had enough time to blame his country’s intelligence services for failing to realize this earlier.

It is also interesting to note a recent Washington Post report that revealed the extent of ISIS’s connection with the former ruling Ba’athist regime in Iraq, and that many members of the group are ex-members of Saddam Hussein’s military. This is the same military that was controversially disbanded following the Iraq invasion. Washington has made many mistakes in Iraq, and Obama must bear some share of the responsibility for this.

Obama also gambled, for years, on political Islam being a successful model in the region. This failed, of course, and the Islamists failure has had a long-lasting effect on the entire region following the so-called Arab Spring.

Obama’s mistakes go beyond this, and we now see him making yet another one today. This misjudgment that will have serious, adverse consequences for the Middle East.

So, Obama thinks that the threat to the region is not Iran, but rather an absence of internal reform. This is simply wrong, and demonstrates worrying double standards.

In 2009, when Obama was already in office, the “Green Movement” broke out in Iran. The Iranian authorities violently suppressed the protests, including through the force of arms. Many protesters were killed, and many more arrested. All the while, Obama looked on and did nothing. Indeed, some leading members of this revolt remain behind bars until today. Since then, Iran has not carried out any significant internal reform. During the same period, Gulf states—and particularly Saudi Arabia—have moved forward with the internal reform process.

More than this, we can clearly see Iran’s threatening action in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. This is not to mention the terrorist sleeper cells with ties to Iran that have been uncovered in the Gulf.

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America’s Assad phantasy March 25, 2015 | 12:08 am

Indeed similar to Iraq, where Washington has essentially partnered with Iran to stop Islamic State — even at the cost of bolstering Iran’s status in the country — some Obama administration officials are apparently toying with the idea of calling on Iran for help in Syria, as well. This means, in essence, partnering with Hezbollah to ensure the survival of the Assad regime, for it to serve as a buffer against the spread of Islamic State.

The fighting in Syria will continue well into the future, because none of the warring parties have the ability to deliver a decisive blow. Meanwhile, those in Washington who believe that helping Assad and linking up with Iran — even if only tactically — will garner the U.S. gratitude and new friends in the region, need to take into account that a victory for Assad, Iran and Hezbollah will only buttress the anti-American and anti-Israeli axis in the region and encourage its members to return to their pre-Syrian revolution path of incitement and resistance against the U.S. and Israel. After all, Assad is the root of the problem in Syria, not part of the solution.


Excuse for Inaction March 22, 2015 | 12:41 pm

Scott Lucas in EA:

CIA Director John Brennan told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Friday, March 13 that the near-term collapse of Syria’s Assad regime raises “a legitimate concern” about the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) and other jihadist extremists capitalizing on it. (…)

The Brennan thesis is the latest version of an excuse for inaction. It would hold water were Assad and ISIS fighting one another instead of acting in tandem to erase Syrian nationalists fighting them both. It would be analytically sound if the regime—the family and its tight circle of enablers and enforcers—represented the totality of governance (actual and potential) in western Syria. It would be morally defensible in the absence of nonstop regime war crimes and crimes against humanity committed with the support of Iran and Russia.

The Assad regime has criminalized the entirety of Syria, including those parts of the country secured for it by foreign fighters imported by Iran. Were it to go down hard and fast it would not be opening an express lane for ISIS to enter Damascus. Yes: there could be confusion and even panic in some quarters. But to claim that those Syrians whose lives and fortunes have been bound, in the absence of a credible alternative, to the political survival of a single family would simply disappear upon the departure of the regime is to misunderstand Syria and Syrians. Unlike in Iraq, there is little popular support for ISIS in Syria. Syrians will fight and eventually eliminate the bogus caliphate. They will be much better able to do so when the Assad family and its ruling clique have abandoned politics and left Syria. If the Obama administration has no appetite for doing the kinds of things that would hasten that day, fine. It should, at the very least, refrain from volunteering the kinds of statements that sustain a regime whose survival tactics have literally put ISIS on the Syrian map.