Posted by Joshua on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Aleppo and Damascus are the two geese that lay Syria’s golden eggs. The revolutionaries must take them from the regime. The problem is that the regime cannot allow the opposition to have them alive. It will have to kill the golden geese rather than give them up to the enemy. Both sides will grind Syria’s two commercial and political capitals into dust rather then permit the other side to own them and harvest their golden eggs. Aleppo and Damascus produce much of Syria’s wealth. Even more importantly they are the two centers that extract that wealth from the rest of the country. During Ottoman times, it has been estimated that taxes on peasants were 4 times higher than on city dwellers.
The country folk that have been at the heart of this rebellion waited for a Tahrir Square moment. They waited for the city people to rise up and come to their aid. Unfortunately, Aleppo and Damascus did not rise up or couldn’t. Over the last several months the revolutionaries have been taking the revolution to the cities. They insist that the cities cannot be allowed to sit out this revolt; otherwise, the regime will win. Amn wa Istiqrar – security and stability – has been the mantra of this regime for 40 years. The revolution cannot allow it to go on. By taking the fight to the city centers, they will deny the wealthier urbanites the security and safety they have always been willing to settle for.
There is a strong class element to this struggle. It is not only about sect and religion. For the rural Syrians that make up so much of the militias destroying the city centers is a price they are willing to pay to set the city folk on fire. Of course Assad’s army cannot allow the cities to pass into the hands of the opposition. Whoever owns the cities, owns Syria.
The opposition is counting on the fact that once security and stability is taken away from the middle Class and rich, they will side with their fellow Sunnis against the Alawite dominated regime. This is a safe bet. It happened in Lebanon and Iraq. Once the state is gone, people will cleave to their own community or tribe. Most Syrians, before this is over, may well be forced back to that default setting. Can a “free floating” individual survive in the jungle, where no rule of law protects him?
View Larger Map Jabri Square is at the corner of the Park. I couldn’t get the red pointer to move, but click on the larger map for real detail.
Two car bombs rocked Saadallah al-Jabri Square in Aleppo, causing much damage and death. 40 reported dead so far. VOA story.
The obliterated building to the right of the picture is a well known coffee shop that occupies the corner of the street facing the Siyahi hotel, which is seen at the left of the picture. The real target, however, was undoubtedly the “officers club” or “nadi Al-zubbat” which is located directly to the right of the coffee shop. Other pictures of the scene, clearly show that the club was totally destroyed by the blast.” Another explosion took place near Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce.
It is from a pro-government YouTube network: a lengthy video of the damage, recorded by a man who narrated the scene as he trudged across piles of rubble to the brink of what appeared to be a six-foot-deep bomb crater. Gunfire could be heard nearby.
The facades had been sheared off four buildings, two about eight stories high, and two smaller ones between them. On the other side of an intersection, a building appeared to have collapsed. The man narrating the video said that a coffee shop and a cellphone store had been destroyed along with the hotel, and that several senior officials had come to the scene.
The video then cut to the bodies of two men wearing army uniforms.
“Those are the terrorists carrying explosive belts as we can see attached to the hand of this terrorist,” the cameraman says as the video zooms into to show a corpse’s mouth covered with blood.
In the background, someone shouts an obscenity. “Film the blowup device in his hand, film it!” It was unclear what was in the man’s hand.
The new fighting caused anguish for supporters and opponents of the government. The bombings on Wednesday hit a central square bordered by a graceful public garden, a downtown district full of hotels and offices, and the Christian neighborhood of Aziziyeh, where many people had sought refuge over the weekend.
Activists also reported that the al-Hal spice market near the site of the bombings was being shelled. Dozens were wounded and people were trapped there by the fighting, activists said….
Iran video said to be from today: protesters in Tehran chanting anti-Syria slogans
Syria’s Kurds Build Enclaves as War Rages
Oppressed Group Gains New Freedoms With Help of Political Alliance, Militia
BY JOE PARKINSON – in WSJ
DERIK, Syria—A teacher’s request sends a dozen young arms skyward, with high-pitched pleas to showcase new skills. One by one, the excited pupils walk to the front of their dusty classroom to recite or write in Kurdish—a language outlawed from public life in Syria.
While civil war has shut many schools across the country, here in the Kurdish-dominated northeast, education is expanding into new territory—just one way in which the Assad regime’s focus on fighting rebels in the biggest cities has allowed the emergence of autonomous Kurdish enclaves.
“Until now the regime closed Kurdish eyes and mouths. Now we are …