Shikanosuke wrote:While I completely agree that the democratic institutions in Iran are a front controlled by the Ayatollah, I've read in articles the entire scheme is largely controlled by a certain military group (can't remember their acronym).
In a separate blow to their cause, a respected human rights group accused the armed opposition of committing torture and arbitrary executions during the 12-month uprising - charges previously only leveled at the state security apparatus.
In a new twist, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said the rebels were guilty of serious crimes, citing cases of kidnapping, torture and cold-blooded killings.
"The Syrian government's brutal tactics cannot justify abuses by armed opposition groups," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, in an open letter to dissident groups.
Russia has in the past declined to back Western and Arab-backed U.N resolutions condemning government violence, arguing that the actions of rebels should also be criticized.
Zhuanyong wrote:I'm definitely glad that everyone isn't just blindly going in to back the opposition without looking at what they are equally guilty of.
TooMuchBaijiu wrote:I think you're referring to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), which certainly-forgive me Godwin-has some parallels to the SS. They're powerful, no doubt about it, and have expanded their power at the expense of the democratic government. But it appears Mohammad Ali Jafari (the IRGC's CiC) is the Ayatollah's man. Perhaps when Khamenei dies, the new guy won't be able to maintain his hold on them...
WeiWenDi wrote:Well, thanks for the link, Zhuanyong! And thank God for Human Rights Watch. And Russia. And people like Kofi Annan. Hopefully their efforts will stall the war machine long enough for more of us (and hopefully, some of our politicians) to take a good long gander at what is actually going on over there.
"There is a final date of April 10, but it's from now that Mr Assad must begin implementing the immediate measures he has committed to," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.
"If the regime continues its refusals, its massacres, then it will be pouring scorn on and insulting the entire international community," he said.
But Syria's ally Russia again attacked the "Friends of Syria" group of Western and Arab nations who met in Istanbul at the weekend, saying it was undermining Annan's peace mission.
"Everyone has supported Kofi Annan's plan, but decisions at the "Friends of Syria" group meeting aimed at arming the opposition and at new sanctions undermine peace efforts," state-run Itar-Tass quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.
Jane Mayer of The New Yorker notes that Suleiman remains controversial because he "has headed the feared Egyptian general intelligence service" and also describes his role in allowing controversial torture methods under US rendition programs which may have generated bad intelligence.
In turn, Suleiman blamed journalists for the current uprising in Egypt. "I actually blame certain friendly nations who have television channels, they're not friendly at all, who have intensified the youth against the nation and the state," Suleiman said in a TV address. "They have filled in the minds of the youth with wrongdoings, with allegations and this is unacceptable. They should have never done that. They should have never sent this enemy spirit," he said. The Committee to Protect Journalists replied that "it is stupefying that the government continues to send out thugs and plainclothes police to attack journalists and to ransack media bureaus". State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said "we have traced it to elements close to the government, or the ruling party," and said "I don't know that we have a sense how far up the chain it went."
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