The standard mainstream narrative of the war in Syria is that President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents only took up arms after his regime cracked down brutally on peaceful protesters in March 2011. The New York Times, for example, in a piece this week on ISIS reminds that “after a brutal crackdown by government forces, Syrian protest groups morphed into fighters”.
The problem with this narrative is that it is false.
Here’s what the Times is referring to: On March 25, 2011, it described how tens of thousands of peaceful protesters took to the streets and were met with regime violence that killed a reported 38. The protests had begun seven days before (March 18), according to the Times.
Likewise, CNN begins its timeline of events in March 2011 with the killing of dozens of protesters in Daraa, and Reuters pinpoints it a couple days before the Times, on March 16, when security forces broke up a protest in Damascus and arrested 30.
It was only after this mid-March crackdown, according to the Times and the rest of the media, that the regime’s opponents took up arms.
Yet already on March 21, Israel’s Arutz Sheva reported that in addition to four protesters, seven police were killed and a courthouse and the Ba’ath party headquarters in Daraa were torched.Arutz Sheva described how the police “opened fire on armed protesters” (emphasis added).
The panic in the western world, since the attack in Paris, where approx. 130 were killed is quite over the top.
Walking home Friday evening, at the corner of Montgomery and Second St., in San Francisco, I witnessed train passengers rushing out of the underground train station. Police were rushing in. Someone had heard a "pop."
It was nothing.
While the slaughter in Paris was horrific, it should be kept in mind that many more pedestrians die each year in the US as a result of getting hit by automobiles.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2013 there were 4,735 deaths caused by pedestrians being hit by cars.
Yet, remarkably, the government hasn't banned crossing the street.
Escalation! Two Russian Aircraft Downed in Syria!
In a sudden and dramatic escalation of the Syria conflict, two Russian aircraft -- a SU-24 fighter jet and a rescue helicopter -- have been downed in Syria. The fighter was shot down by the Turkish military after it claimed an airspace violation, and the rescue helicopter was reportedly shot down by US-backed rebels with US-made and supplied TOW missiles.
Forty Percent of Millennials Favor Censorship of Offensive Speech By Government
We have long discussed the rapid decline of free speech protections in the West. I have long argued that the West appears to have fallen out of love with free speech, which is more often viewed as a rising scourge rather than a defining value in some countries. A recent poll of the Pew Research Center shows just how many people we have lost to those calling for greater censorship and criminalization of speech. It is not surprisingly more prevalent with younger age groups, though Democrats are almost twice as likely favor censorship that Republicans. The largest (and most alarming) group is the millennials — 40% of whom favor government censorship of speech offensive to minority groups.
Ron Paul: US Troops Will Come Home ‘Because We’re Flat-Out Broke’
It may seem as if nothing can restrain the United States government’s intervention overseas. But, Ron Paul says economic conditions will impose a limit and that that means the days of expansive US military intervention are numbered.
Who's Making A Killing From the Paris Terror Attacks?
Terrorism is great for business if you're in the business of growing the government leviathan. The bodies in Paris are not yet buried, while the vultures with dollar signs (and pounds and Euros, etc) in their eyes have already swooped down for a feast.
Will Oakland Raiders Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong Go to Prison for ‘Taunting’ a Police Dog?
It is not even a man bites dog story. Instead, it is just a man barks at dog story. Yet, for one National Football League (NFL) player it is a story that threatens to conclude with his incarceration.