1. The Tragedy of U.S. Foreign Policy

    “For over two years, the civil war in Syria has been synonymous with cries of moral urgency. Syria is not unique. Before Syria, humanitarians in 2011 demanded military intervention in Libya, even though the regime of Muammar Qaddafi had given up its nuclear program and had been cooperating for years with Western intelligence agencies. In fact, the United States and France did lead an intervention, and Libya today is barely a state, with Tripoli less a capital than the weak point of imperial-like arbitration for far-flung militias, tribes, and clans, while nearby Saharan entities are in greater disarray because of weapons flooding out of Libya.

    The 1990s were full of calls for humanitarian intervention: in Rwanda, which tragically went unheeded; and in Bosnia and Kosovo where interventions, while belated, were by and large successful. Free from the realpolitik necessities of the Cold War, humanitarians have in the past two decades tried to reduce foreign policy to an aspect of genocide prevention. Indeed, the Nazi Holocaust is only one lifetime removed from our own—a nanosecond in human history—and so post–Cold War foreign policy now rightly exists in the shadow of it. The codified upshot has been R2P: the “Responsibility to Protect,” the mantra of humanitarians.

    But American foreign policy cannot merely be defined by R2P and Never Again! Statesmen can only rarely be concerned with humanitarian interventions and protecting human rights to the exclusion of other considerations. The United States, like any nation—but especially because it is a great power—simply has interests that do not always cohere with its values. That is tragic, but it is a tragedy that has to be embraced and accepted.”

  2. Kafr Anbel Banners Sell for 425 Euros
    By Al-Iqtissadi (Independent website)
    Activists said local officials in the city Kafr Anbel in Idleb countryside have sold a number of their internationally famous banners, which they held up in the town’s demonstrations, securing money for food in their region.

    Kafr Anbel is a town known particularly for the banners that are made in the town, carrying peaceful slogans calling for tolerance and national unity, usually in English.

    In May 2012, about twenty banners were sold for 8,500 Euros ($11,255), or 425 Euros ($562) per banner.
    More: http://www.syrianobserver.com/News/News/Kafr+Anbel+Banners+Sell+for+425+Euros

  3. Photographer recounts ordeal at hands of Islamists in Syria
    AFP – He was kidnapped in Syria by an armed group, held by Islamists and freed by a pro-Assad official — Jonathan Alpeyrie spent 81 days in captivity in one of the world’s most dangerous countries.

    In a detailed account of his ordeal to weekly Paris Match, the 34-year-old photographer — who returned to France last week after being released — recalled mock executions and scenes of torture.

    “I was betrayed by my fixer [local translators who help journalists in foreign countries], who sold me out,” he said, remembering the moment on April 29 when masked men stopped his vehicle on the road to Rankos, north of Damascus.

    “They pushed me to my knees and pretended to execute me with several gun shots. Then they gagged and handcuffed me.”

    He was taken to a house along with the fixer, who was later freed by another group of “bearded” men.

    Continue reading: https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/photographer-recounts-ordeal-at-hands-of-islamists-in-syria

  4. Forty people were killed and at least 160 people were wounded in explosions at a weapons cache in the central Syrian city of Homs, an activist group opposed to President Bashar al-Assad said.

    The blast occurred in the south-eastern district of Wadi al-Dhahab on Thursday, which the army has taken over, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    The group has a network of sources in the opposition and state security forces.

    The Observatory said the casualties were soldiers and civilians and that some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

    Activists told Al Jazeera that the explosions were a result of rebel shelling of the Wadi al-Dahab area. One activist said the blasts were “massive” and were heard from kilometres away. He could not confirm the target was the city’s arms depot.

  5. could EA check this , may be pure propaganda or something true in it
    Radio Free SyriaBiter bitten: destruction of regime arsenal reportedly results in chemical weapons dispersal, many dead, injured‪#‎Homs‬, 01-08-2013: According to a report from Reuters, there are reports of a large number of deaths in the pro-regime Wadi Al Dabah neighbourhood of Homs as a result of the airborne dispersal of some of the regime’s lethal chemical weapons stocks that were stored in the regime arsenal destroyed earlier in an FSA strike.

    One witness reportedly told Reuters that up to 200 are dead or injured, with many of those taken to the local hospital (hospitals in pro-regime areas have not been targeted) not physically injured but seriously afflicted or dying of effects associated with chemical weapons usage. The regime arsenal is believed to have contained large stocks of chemical weapons, which Assad’s forces have used on the besieged neighbourhoods of Homs, as in liberated areas across Syria.

    From: Syrian Revolution – Homs

  6. Very Interesting the visit of Bashar al Assad in Daraya.

    Firstly, it means that the battle in the city is over and that the syrian army is controlling it fully, as they would never risk anything for the president.

    Secondly, it means that the confidence of the governement is growing with their latest victories in Homs and Damascus governorates. Losing ground in Aleppo and the East feel like a distant threat, while securing the immediate siege of power is boosting their confidence.

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