Monday, January 21, 2013

Who bombed Aleppo University? The debate continues

From Saf, again:  "I have no wish to argue with with your correspondent from Turkey, but I must point out that what I conveyed to you did not come from opposition claims or youtube videos. It came from eyewitnesses who I trust because I know they had a good vantage point and I know they were concerned about their relatives who were actually sitting the exams just before the bombs fell, at around 1:05 p.m. I believe. They attempted to phone their relatives but there was no mobile coverage for hours. One part of the family went to the scene (which was horrific) and another to the hospital/morgue to search. This was also horrific. As for Ali's armchair analysis in point III (where is point II?): He says that Assad would not bomb his own university campus in order not to turn yet more people against him, including the refugees already there. The utter stupidity of this statement is beyond belief. Perhaps Ali would care to visit Aleppo? The callousness and vindictiveness of the military is legendary. It doesn't have to make sense to Ali in order for it to be true. He sounds like a regime supporter, of whom there were many in Aleppo before the trouble spread there, who kept trying to explain away the government's actions while living in a state of denial. The military action in Aleppo has laid bare the fact that nothing is sacred and no one is safe. Who says Assad personally gave the order to bomb the campus? Does it matter? Does it not send a message to an already frightened people that the wrath of God will descend upon them should anyone dare to cause trouble?
Here's a story told to me by my relative in Aleppo. The story is under a year old. Some of my relative's business associates were ardent regime supporters. The father was a long term junior member of the Ba'th party. He would voluntarily close his business and go with all of his sons to the pro-regime rallies in order to support the president. One day one of his sons was carrying a gas bottle home when a small protest march started. The security services broke up the march and the son was arrested. He was kept in a security service dungeon and interrogated with electricity and beatings (and who knows what else?) repeatedly, on the grounds that because he was carrying a gas bottle, he must have been trying to blow something up. When he was released after a few months he was a broken man, haunted by his experience. The whole family turned against the regime.

As'ad, one of my own family members has been beaten while a security goon demanded to know if the usb memory stick he was carrying was a twitter!
In short, the regime has proved time and again that it is perfectly able to turn people against it. So when Ali gets caught up between the lies of the regime and the lies of the opposition he should not think that correct analysis is achieved by concentrating on what seems rational."