Arabism, media power

Where does a Political Protest end in War? Anywhere but England it seems: The Dara (Syria) protest and the London protest compared

Protests in Dara: protests in London: spot the difference

This will be my first blog for ages but the result of the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan got me going. As I suspected the British police were exonerated, though this is unlikely to be the end of the matter; it certainly will  not result in an internal war for England.  For years I have drawn a comparison between the protester killed by the police in Dara, Southern Syria and the shooting of Mr Duggan. Both incidents resulted in a riot and as far as I can gather the Syrian President tried to apologise. Not so the British Prime Minister whose agents turned a quietish protest into a riot by repeatedly beating, at least, one young woman (Sky tele), as she sat at a roundabout with others.

Later the first fire was set and according to several witnesses, the metropolitan police refused to allow the fire brigade to put it out. Since all three emergency services have shared a control centre and health and safety regulations have dictated when the fire brigade and the ambulance services can react; the police have become ultimately responsible for who lives and who dies. Everyone knows what followed in both countries; in Britain there were something like 400 gaolings and many people have lost, or are under threat of losing welfare benefits and their social housing. In Syria the government was expected to step down and its supporters to succumb to radical Islam. Both governments are unelected so what is the difference???

As the London protest was about poverty, the Syrian protest was said to be, in part, about the displacement of people during the building of the Assad reservoir and damn at aththawra, in a region further North. Of course no-one in Britain was aware of the building of the Assad damn, Iraq though, is a different matter.


I recall the indignation of left-wing protesters, in Britain, in 1990, when they were drip fed, among other things, information about the outrageous draining of the marshlands by the Ba’ath Party, or at least by Saddam Hussain, the then President of Iraq.  The exercise was part of an irrigation project and led to the supply of electricity to many and is more than many parts of Iraq have now.

Don’t think I am unsympathetic towards the Marsh Arabs in Iraq. I read in a very old book how they attacked and robbed Elizabethan adventurers in the 1600s.  So rest assured if the marshes were not partly drained by the 2003 invasion, that would have been rectified by now. The issue was tied up with the Iran, Iraq war, that lasted eight years and was fuelled with armaments sold to both sides by Britain and co.

Even the idealists among you cannot have forgotten the brutal eviction of travellers from the bean field, near Stonehenge in 1985, not to mention the flooding of parts of Wales in the 1970s, designed to supply water to the English.  One can only conclude what’s alright for England is not applicable to anyone who has opposed them and in the past, which Syria certainly has.

Some pictures of the Assad reservoir and the bab Baghdad that surrounds the nearby town of Raqqa

I read something on the Guardian website about the Islamic state of Iraq in Syria, the centre of which appears to be Raqa. This is anomalous as the only person I had a political conversation with, when I walked around the perimeter wall, was a man who supported Saddam Hussain former president of Iraq, who was still alive then. The man was surprised when he learned that I shared his view. The main thing I remember about Raqa was the restaurant where I ate dinner a couple of times.  It was very cheap, classy, always popular and there was a band playing classical music in the garden.  Oh ! I did catch up with a friend I bumped into intermittently during my travels.


My trip to the damn entailed taking two taxis, one shared and one private, that cost the equivalent to £4.oo, English money. When we got there the driver and me walked around the platform you see in the picture and it turned out he was learning English. It was so quiet and relaxed there and for him it was a good fare not to mention a rest from his four kids.  In the end I had to drag him away but I enjoyed every minute of his company.

I was gonna continue with this entry but will publish now and go on in the next one.

I do have lots of pictures of people including some women and a lovely little boy I met in Raqqa but cannot risk publishing them.

cropped-raqa-and-dam21.jpgraqa and damn


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