February 15th, 2012
11:37 AM ET

Inside Syria: Activists say trying to flee from homes under attack is virtually a suicide run

Editor's note: CNN correspondent Arwa Damon has reached the besieged Syrian city of Homs, which opposition forces say has been under a sustained artillery bombing for days.  

Damon is one of a few reporters in Syria, where the government has been placing restrictions on international journalists and refusing many of them entry at all. Below is an edited account of what Damon and her team are seeing and hearing from activists in Homs as attacks continue:

The thick black smoke rising across the skyline is from an oil pipeline that is believed to have been hit. We heard three explosions at around 6:30 in the morning. Shortly thereafter a thick plume of black smoke began covering the skyline here. This is not the first time we have seen these type of images emerging from the besieged city of Homs. That pipeline has been hit on at least two other occasions.

At around 7:30 a.m. local time the sustained bombardment began. We heard various sounds of artillery being fired as well as sporadic, heavy automatic machine-gun fire. This has been the status quo in Homs for more than a week now.

The Syrian military has really intensified its offensive here, especially in the neighborhood of Baba Amr. Activists say they believe the Syrian government is on a campaign to flatten every single neighborhood where there has been some sort of opposition, some sort of effort to try to stand up to this government.

Why increase in violence now?

Just to give you an idea of how intense the bombardment has been, Tuesday morning activists said they counted around 55 explosions in just the span of 15 minutes. They say that has been the norm. You can only imagine the type of pressure that they have been under, especially when it comes to trying to deal with the number of dead and the number wounded. In many parts of the city, they have been unable to get medical supplies in.

And in these makeshift clinics that they have set up, they aren't able to treat the wounded adequately because of a lack of medical supplies and because they only have the most basic medical equipment at their disposal. There has been an intensified effort on the part of the activists here to try to find various routes out of the besieged neighborhoods to get medical supplies in and to get the wounded out. Many of the wounded require much greater treatment than what people are able to provide at these clinics.

About 1 million people live in the city of Homs. We've been hearing people have been fleeing from some areas to other parts of the city. They've effectively been living with four, five, six families to a house in areas they are not able to get out of.

A lot of these areas that the Syrian government is hitting are in fact the poor parts of the city. Baba Amr, for example, is one of the most impoverished neighborhoods inside the city of Homs.

Families are gathering in makeshift shelters that are effectively the basements of some houses. Most houses here actually don't have basements, but the few that do have become makeshift shelters, where dozens of families are gathering along with their children. These are families that are either unable to get out or don't have the means to. They are effectively being forced to try to stay put.

Even when they do try to flee activists are telling us they often come under attack. There's a great problem we've heard reported that snipers are on basically every building, making any sort of escape routes an extreme real challenge. Activists say that people just trying to cross the street, women and children, are being sniped out.

You can just imagine the situation people are under, not just from a dangerous standpoint, but the psychological impact that this is having on these families, these civilians, who are stuck in these areas unable to get to safe ground or unable to get adequate medical treatment should they be hit in these attacks.

When it comes to those who have died, even trying to bury them has become an equally dangerous task.

In many instances they have to bury those they've lost under the cover of darkness or in makeshift graves. There have been a few cases where they've tried to bury the bodies of the dead under the cover of darkness - and even in those instances people say they've come under fire.

What's even more disturbing is that the activists say since this most recent campaign began in Homs 10 days ago, they believe hundreds have been killed. They don't have an accurate count on the death toll though, and that is because they still believe countless numbers of bodies are buried under the rubble.

There are a number of buildings that have come crumbling down because of the bombardment, where activists believe there were families inside - sometimes it is their families or relatives whom they haven't heard from in days. Quite simply, they can't reach these areas.

Movement in many parts of the city during the day is just about impossible. It's virtually a suicide run to try to move around for so many people. They have to move with extreme caution, so it's hard to gauge the magnitude, the human death toll, of this most recent escalation in violence.

Again, this has been the status quo in Homs for more than 10 days now, and that is just a result of the most recent military crackdown, not to mention that for months now many parts of the city have been under siege.

That is why so many of the activists here are so desperate, trying to reach out to the international community. They are unable to comprehend how in the 21st century that this type of onslaught can be taking place in full view of the international community of global powers, of various humanitarian agencies, and yet no concrete action has been really taken to bring a true end to the violence here.

Read more dispatches from the attacks in Syria:

Inside Syria: Fearful residents prepare for a bloody battle

Paid killer in Syria describes his work

One activist's chronicle of daily hell in Syria

soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Clinton

    This is the hard thing about being a World Power, whenever stuff goes wrong, you're expected to help, and as soon as you try to help you're labeled as "Nosey" or you're accused of having bad intentions, or labeled a tyrant.... The international community is dumb... that's the bottom line, they're dumb... and yes there are plenty of American's that are just as fricken stupid... that will sit here and say that the US is evil and they're just trying to control everything... despite the fact that we literally went to Iraq... spent billions to rebuild the country then left without taking ANYTHING from that country... but yeh... the bottom line is, the US is actually a force for good... We do NOT go around taking over countries... we haven't added ANY territory to our country since World War 2.... We have gotten involved to stop violence all over the world... but now we got so many morons from outside the US and from within that believe we're the bad guy so fiercly that we now are gunshy about getting involved... so pretty much what i'm saying is everybody that is pushing the US away from helping these folks in Syria and other places throughout the world... I basically think you might as well be murdering folks you never met... you yourself deserves to have your family huddled up in a basement and bombed to oblivion.....

    February 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Namer

      88 comments and yours is the only one I see. Weird

      February 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sara

      Totally agree with you Clinton. These people who say it's not our problem; would they have said the same thing about Germany and their camps. Sadly they probably would have.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Sara – I appreciate that there are still people in this country that believe doing what is right is more important than being labeled the "bad guy" ...... i'm sorry but this is not the middle ages... it's not the 1840's... it's 2012 where we have the ability to step in when Tyrannical Governments decide to murder their own civilians by the thousands... If this were happening down the street from you, you know you would support those that are trying to prevent death and destruction... but because they are Arabic... because they are Muslim you would rather these people be killed? You are okay with their deaths... with their children being murdered in their streets to satisfy a dictator's desire to maintain power over people? ....... I'm just not okay with this... i fully support a United Nations intervention... We can't watch this happen and not even come together and say it's wrong.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • den

      Agreed. I find it funny the focus is even on us anyway. Syrians started the protest, Syrians started the rebelion, Syrians need to finish it. WW1 and WW2 we tried to stay out of it untill we were forced to act. You dont want US in Syria. It would be like killing a fly with a granade. Syria best bet is to not have us get involved.

      February 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • TDiddy

      Gee...a little self righteous holy than thou there buddy???

      February 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      TDiddy – Holier than thou? I don't think anybody is holier than anybody else... i do feel that every human being has the right to have a chance to live.... i don't think Governments have the right to turn their artillery and machine guns on their own people when they disagree... I don't think murder is okay... if that makes me sound like i'm trying to say i'm holier than you... than yeh i'll take it whatever... maybe you just haven't experienced what true human misery is... you've probably led a sheltered life.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      1 thing: "[Iraq] ... left without taking ANYTHING from that country"

      While we do not import oil directly from Iraq, we did take it from there. Oil is traded on the world market. Anything openly traded fluctuates in price depending on supply & demand. If China/Russia were not getting their oil from Iraq (meaning Iraq was not exporting oil), they would have to get it someplace we do (Saudi Arabia/Mexico/Canada), which would drive up prices for us. We went into Iraq to ensure stability in the region (ask any Government "in-the-know" rep). Why would we want to ensure stability though? To keep the oil flowing to keep prices down.

      So yes, we DID take from Iraq, just not directly.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      In the case of Iraq, we invaded a country which was no threat to us, had no valid WMD capacity, had no association with Al Quaida or 9/11. Outcome? + 250 000 Iraqi's dead – men, women and children. Thousands to tens of thousands imprisoned at the time, some of whom were tortured as a well – by us. Government installed? Essentially allied with Iran – no friend of ours. Human rights? Women have less, christians fleeing or fled. Low level ongoing civil war, attempts by shia government to consolidate power. Did we take nothing? A lot of lives – and if it was your family would you forgive it? Massive infra structure damage which they have not recovered from. It is hard to see it in the rosy light you present.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Your President and Mrs Clinton were on WORLD TV encouraging unarmed, leaderless, inexperienced people in 10 countries in the M.E. to overthrow their leaders in the Arab Spring. He's good at playing the 'caped crusader!'

      Now it's gone horribly wrong – where is the mouth on legs ?????? Electioneering! Not a peep out of him about the population being butchered on TV.

      WE can all see it. WE are all horrified.How can he ignore it when HE was so full of it?
      To encourage it was irresponsible. To abandon those people now is politically criminal.

      I take it the people who now bleat "It's not our job to interfere" are the same people who wet their pants when you have an orange alert for terrorist attacks !!! It could only happen in America.

      .

      February 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      "Bob- First off you're an idiot that likes to tout statistics that aren't based on anything in reality, just a number you pulled out of your hat..."

      His numbers came from the UN and the leaked US diplomatic cables. How about yours? Oh that's right, you served in Iraq in 03/04 so you know FAR more than the POTUS, the UN, our Ambassadors to Iraq & Afghanistan.

      "he neglected the majority of the population and the majority of the country was without power"

      Again the UN disagrees with you there. But then, the UN inspectors weren't carrying guns. You were, right?

      "The US rebuilt those power plants"

      Who destroyed them? US. Hardly worth noting.

      "is the world better off without Saddam... abso!@#$inglutely"

      True. Oil prices are lower than they would be otherwise. But you weren't talking about "for us" were you? You actually went back to Iraq just this year and asked them, right? So you could contradict all the interviews with people living there. Of course you did.

      "a family of someone who was murdered because he opposed saddam"

      Nobody has been murdered there for opposing the current government? News flash: it is still happening.

      "unless you actually know something... maybe you should keep your fool mouth shut about it..."

      You need to change your name to "pot". <– since you're going to miss it, that was a clever reference to "the pot calling the kettle black".

      February 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Walt

    Reminds me of Sarajevo 30+ years ago. Tragic.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bruce

    Arwa Damon is crazy to be there. I hope she comes out of this alive.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • kimberly

      I agree! I cannot imagine what CNN is thinking having her there. I hope and pray she gets out safe, but clearly her odds are not good, when 4 year old children are shot in the street trying to cross to get to their mommy...

      February 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    I can't read this stuff anymore knowing nothing is being done. It's too much. I worry and care but feel helpless so I can't bring myself to read anymore. I just look on the side hoping for the red "new" update to be about NATO, America, or the Arab League coming in to save them and fight back so they can have the supplies to survive. God knows how many babies have died already from lack of food and milk. This is so tragic and I can't imagine how this new world would have reacted with another Hitler, thank god that came and went because the outcome would have probably been a whole lot worse with our current leaders.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mic

      Jim,

      There are covert things going on. Dunno if you missed McCain saying we need to arm the opposition. So you can bet your bottom dollar that is happening as we sit here and type.

      Something else that is interesting.. Al Qaeda is sending fighters to help the opposition. So now we are on the same team again. Funny how that works.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Jim, sadly i agree with you... i don't know if the current crop of world leadership would have been able to respond to a crisis like that of WW2... lets just step aside and watch a city be flattened and a million people be shelled daily... CIVILIANS... not fighters... not armies... not people in a uniform... look i spent a year in Iraq serving with the US Army... I saw civilian tragedies and the horrors of war... I hate violence... we did our very best to protect and help the citizens of Iraq while we worked to install a new Government that could care for it's people... it's not easy and it's not perfect and i know Iraq has a long way to go but what i did there was right... while i was there i spent 0 minutes trying to find WMD's... I spent 365 days and risked my life to try to save innocent people who were caught in the middle of an ideological battle between the US and Terrorists from throughout the middle East that poured into that country... I gladly served to protect Children from Gun Wielding power hungry maniacs and i feel passionately that protecting the innocent is the ONLY reason worth fighting for... and that's what i did... and that's what we should do here... Get the world together and prevent this slaughter from continuing... deepening... worsening.. ... We have the power to stop this... does the American Public have the Guts?

      February 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kimberly

    We NEED to stop this crap! This is insane!!!! How can we sit back and let this mad men kill children like this!!!!!! I am SICK in my stomach watching these brave people trying to get messages to America begging them for help, and what are we doing? spending BILLIONS on ridiculus ads to try and get some idiot voted into office that will do NOTHING to help! I wish there was SOMETHING I could do, this is just sooooo wrong!!!!!!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mic

      How about you sign up and we send you over first.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TDiddy

    Kill 'em ALL!!!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elendur

    And they say the Civilized world has leaders. In fact, they are more like opportunist business persons.

    You don't have to go there and actually get hurt Mr. Obama – all you need to do is sign some paper and go back to your Condo. Heaven forbid losing democratic electoral support so that thousands of children could have a chance at being safe in their own home.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mojo Jack

    No one likes the suffering but whenever a country goes to war with itself should not mean it is automatically a problem for the U.S. too. All of you who support going into Syria can go put your money together and go hire a military contractor but don't make Americans feel guilty because we won't spend our tax dollars and military resources to do it.

    It's time for some other countries to step in first and stop waiting for the U.S. to make the first move.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Mojo – I agree that the US cannot always be the only support to those who need it throughout the world... But i still don't see standing by allowing a slaughter to occur just because we want to prove that we shouldn't be the only ones helping..... We don't have to put boots on the ground in order to help either... you can use airstrikes against those artillery pieces and armored vehicles that are targeting civilians. ..... nothing says stop hurting your people like a few smoldering tanks... maybe then the Syrian Government will realize that the only intelligent course of action is to open a dialogue with the rebellion.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Hey Clinton. Missiles aren't free. So unless you have a couple in your backyard to spare, or can fund our schools with your paper route, guess what? We can't afford it.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Bill – you obviously have no idea how the military works do you? first and foremost we have millions of munitions that sit in warehouses that are bought and paid for and have been for decades... we have Jets that are flying around the middle east whether we get involved or not running recon and patrol missions... the money is already mostly spent dude... we're not poor when it comes to arms and munitions and we've already spent the money... we're not going to go broke by taking out Syrian artillery positions that are pounding it's civilians into dust.... i guess the obvious question becomes... just what value do you put on a human being's life Bill... how about a million people's lives? that's how many are under siege in Homs right now... being shelled every day.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elendur

      I believe Senator McCain proposed several measures that would not be nearly as expensive as parading aircraft carriers in international waters. Also, I don't believe that the US spent the majority of the budget on the Lybia military initiative. What would be the cost of dropping a few rounds on a few dozen tanks? Insignificant compared to other military expenses that aren't really saving any lives this year.

      Easy to blame the wallet. Too bad our leaders like it easy. I am not just talking about the US, I blame every country part of UN and NATO. I just mentioned Obama because he claimed to be there for everyone when he delivered his famous first speech. Stand up men/women... a child is a child and some sort of action other than diplomacy is required here.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Hey, dolt. Guess what you have to do after you fire your weapon?
      Reload.
      Guess what happens if you don't buy MORE ammo to replace the stuff you "already paid for" and fired?
      You get shot.

      Missiles don't sit in the shed making babies as long as you're not firing them. You have to buy more.

      Now to answer your question: "i guess the obvious question becomes... just what value do you put on a human being's life Bill..."

      simple questions like that are apparently the only ones that are obvious to you. Unfortunately there are far more variables to deal with, some of which I've already pointed out in other posts and you ignored. I don't expect you to understand anything as you've already demonstrated your either inability or lack of desire to understand anything about the situation beyond "shoot 'em up, duuuur, that'll fix it up gud yuuuup!".

      February 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Peter

    So you're saying wars in which civilians come under attach in their own homes as they try to live normal lives are a bad thing? Well good thing the US doesn't do that sort of thing.

    It's a crisis when a country does it to itself, but it's a war on terror when a country does it to someone else. Go Team America!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JustAnotherTowelHead

    Americans and Europeans are quite ignorant of foreign affairs and international politics .. I know, not surprising but stilll it never cease to amaze me..... here's the deal..
    Those Syrians fighting Assad are not exactly a bunch of freedom loving, baby kissing, peace loving mother thresas or are they any sort of even well organized and cohesive group. Yes most are or were civilians and it's sad they lost their lives but on any other day they are not exactly 'pro-western' loving people of the world.
    A lot of politicians have suggested we armed these folks so they can fight back BUT II can almost guarantee you that arming these different bands of very diverse, very disorganized group of folks with thousands of sophisticated weaponry and weapons systems will almost certainly come back and haunt the US and western world in the future!!!
    Take heed of my advice.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mic

      The west does not understand how the tribes/factions work in the middle east. They just see it as Sunni vs Shia. This is a civil war and we should have no part in it.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Forget your advice.

      All these dolts need to do is pick up a history book. US intervention in Arab Middle East civil wars has *never* turned out well. Not once. Every single government we have ever toppled or assisted has ended in disaster, replaced by another dictator or crazy murdering government.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      To NOMore, Mic and Bill – To a great extent I agree with you. And you are ALL bang to rights about the arab tribal mentality.
      But WHY did Obama and H.Clinton get on world TV and encourage these people in 10 Middle East countries to rise up and overthrow their leaders in the wonderful "Arab Spring" It was a lunatic idea in the first place. It was NEVER going to work. There was NEVER going to be a positive result for all the reasons you gave.

      Obama was never off TV boasting about America's vision for the future of the ME. Now the whatsyt has well and truly hit the fan, where is he? Electioneering. As a world leader he's as moral as a box of frogs.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BeAPatriot

    This is total government anarchy gone on too long....Why aren't these people taking to arms. Oh, I forgot, no second amendment there ! I say it's time to start torching the buildings from the ground up on those where suspected rooftop snipers are holding out.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. concerned

    US has no interest in Syria so why would they help the syrian people? Now if they start killing people like this some place else in the middle eat, e.g Iran,,, US will jump at the opportunity to go in their and kill all...be it oil or the nukes of iran.
    US doesnt care for human life as its useless to them, hence no need to help syria as US doesnt get anything from it

    February 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      So, which of the several hundred nations on the planet is getting involved? Which care? Which have already devoted 200,000+ troops to the exact same kind of "mission" in Iraq & Afghanistan? Which of these supplied several billion dollars worth of missiles, boats, & manpower helping out in Libya? Which of these are ponying up troops, boats, tanks, guns, and money RIGHT NOW, but just waiting for the US to lead the charge?

      Which of these awesome, caring, loving, moral nations has NOT told the US to GET OUT of every country from Korea & Vietnam to Iraq & Afghanistan, every, time, we, get, involved?

      Any?
      No?

      Oh, that's right, because the US can't do EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY, we're jerks.

      dolt.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Bill – will you pleeease stop whining. You had my country and many others as allies in Iraq AND Afghanistan. You were NOT alone, so stop embroidering the truth! We in UK were such firm allies we even forgave you for killing umpteen of our wonderful service personnal with "Friendly Fire"

      Gulf war – you had allies, Kuwait had oil
      Iraq – you had allies . Iraq had oil
      Libya. You had the supportt of your allies / you armed the rebels . Libya had oil

      Syria – carnage on a grand scale encouraged by you and a few allies . No OIL, No HELP.

      See where I'm coming from here. Enough of your selective memory already

      February 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Fredflintstone

    Run Forest, Run!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shaughn

    I tend to side with Clinton's comments above but definitely have a lot of respect for all the other comments being made as well on this forum and the healthy debate taking place here.

    My personal desire/opinion is to be smart enough to get beyond the debate and actually get something done to help those poor people be it write or wrong. I don't like bullies and I have no problem stepping up, stepping in and taking care of innocent victims regardless of what is in it for the US or anybody else. While debating is important and healthy, doing the right thing for the right reasons and standing up to those persecuting innocent victims is a worthy cause regardless of the cost.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Bless your heart Shaugn – you comment, like Clintons', is truly honourable. compassionate and selfless. I wish there were more lke you, then there would be hope for America.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clinton

    To those that propose we do nothing... How does it feel to be a person that literally doesn't care about other people suffering and dying? You are the same people that would not step in if you saw someone beating a child to death across the street... the same people that wouldn't even call the police if you witnessed a murder... ... you're pathetic... am i saying we jump into Syria and fight a civil war for them against their Government? NO... there are many ways to help a population that is being bombed... we could for instance, provide them the means to defend themselves!? provide medical aid... get the UN to step in and provide peacekeepers to stop the attacks... defend the civilian population... even perhaps launch airstrikes against artillery and armored vehicles that the syrian government are using to kill civilians and level one of their own cities... There are MANY options besides putting boots on the ground to drive the Syrian Government away from Killing it's own people... but some of you think it's best to just stick our head in the sand and pretend women and children aren't being used as target practice by the Syrian Army.....

    February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Why is it that if I propose we do nothing, it is because we don't care?

      Why can't it be: we don't have the resources?
      Why can't it be: there is no possible outcome from US/UN intervention that will help?

      You are far too ignorant of the region to simply say that those that think we should not get involved don't care.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Bill – I'm igorant of the region? I served in Iraq in 03 – 04 you ever been to the middle east buddy? you ever been in a warzone? You ever seen the effects of war on a civilian population? You ever see a mother weeping over her dead child or husbands body? You think i'm igorant of the region? I've seen these exact type of people who are shelling civilians to try and serve a political goal... I've protected civilians against armed gangs that think that is the way to treat people with different opinions. I also know EXACTLY what we CAN do to help these people and the only thing armed thugs understand is force. We have MANY options. We can arm the resistance so they can protect themselves, we can conduct airstrikes against military targets that are attacking CIVILIANS! ... We can provide Aid to the wounded and food to the starving... and if all that is impossible we can AT LEAST come to a consensus and state unequivocally that what is happening is WRONG... but you wouldn't know anything about that now would you? You gutless coward.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mojo Jack

      I have to agree with Bill. There are more reasons besides whether or not we care. It takes a lot of resources to fight a war which is why I suggested that those of you who want intervention in Syria can start a fund and hire a contract military force like Blackwater.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      What do you think happened in Fallujah when we besieged that city because of the 'insurgents hiding amongst civilians'. Not that I am defending the actions of any party involved in Syria – but I think a perspective relative to our own actions and there consequences is appropriate, as is a common moral compass. From my perspective the death of an Iraqi is just as significant as the death of a Syrian – and those responsible should be publically excoriated, investigated and punished. Also coverage is important – Arwa was present at the Fallujah thing, but sat outside with the embedded journalists, she did choose to look at the other side as she now is doing. Is this truly objective journalism, or something else. At this time, there is also ongoing violence in Bahrain – but it is getting zero coverage on our media. Are the Bahraini people perhaps not as important as the Syrians?

      February 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Clinton – Many thanks for your insight here AND for your service to your country. Respect to you Sir.

      Your post says it all. How any American who watched the carnage of 9/11 sit here and say that you should leave Syrian people to be butchered while they watch the massacre from the comfort of their armchairs? THAT beggars belief.

      Bill – one minute you are the greatest military power in the world; now you're needed – but Syria has no oil – you've suddenly run out of resources??? Pfftttt!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      To Clinton and other war mongers:

      Shooting people = knowledge.

      No, Clinton, I have not served in the Middle East. I can read though. I can read about the region: people, society, resources, government, history, & religion.

      "Your ideas" (I quote that because they're 100% unoriginal) have already been suggested. Many times, for many places from Cuba in the 50s, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Vietnam, Korea. They haven't worked. Ever.

      You're spouting the same mindless garbage as everybody else. You know nothing but how to strip & clean your rifle. But hey, when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, right?

      February 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clinton

      Bob – Fallujah was different than what is going on in Homs – yet another topic you have no idea about... Bob you ever been in a war? I'm not trying to sit here and say that i'm better than anyone or anything or that i'm on higher ground because i've served in the Army, that is a choice and i respect everybody's right to choose it... but seriously, where do you base these opinions? What do you think happened in Fallujah? you weren't there... you weren't even in Iraq or the Middle East for that matter. The civilian population of fallujah was not attacked by US forces. Armed Insurgence bent on controlling the population by killing and cutting off people's heads to make a point took over parts of that city and created a base out of it, the US military did everything in it's power to warn civilians that they were going to enter the city and take out the insurgents... we did not snipe civilians we did not indiscrimantly bomb the city we went in systematically attacking the insurgency... it was not a massacre like what's happening in Homs... not trying to say you don't deserve to have an opinion on a topic... but i do think maybe you ought to experience something before you take a stance or site an event as an example... how can you throw this out as if you have a clue what happened?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Clinton, you cited as your source of knowledge of the Middle East as your military service. Not a book. Not college. Not world travels. Not interviews. Not CNN. Not even "My daddy is really smart".

      "bombing a civilian population.. How you can defend that is beyond me,"

      I didn't. You simply failed the comprehension part of our discussion.

      "i can't understand you."

      I know.

      "Second – you read about it? I've Witnessed it moron."

      No, idiot, you haven't. Walking the streets of Compton does not tell you how the US Government works or why Cajuns in New Orleans distrust the police. Likewise serving in Iraq does not explain to you how oil is produced and traded, or how the political machinations of tribal leaders in a desert region affect world politics, or how us getting involved will help anything.

      "You have no clue what you're talking about."

      Cite 1 thing I've said that is incorrect, incomplete, or misleading. Cite credible sources.

      "So what you're trying to say is that all us Military folks know how to do is kill people?"

      No, doofus. The "you" in that quote is most definitely singular. I'm saying you citing your military service as a source of knowledge of a region while simultaneously saying a college education is meaningless is... Nah, the fun is over now. Enjoy your stupidity.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Actually, 3 years in a foreign military. Conscripted. Nation involved in unconventional and conventional ( at times ) war for decades. Down and dirty – personal equipment – a FN-FAL and FN-MAG. In regards your comments: (1) You are somewhat unique as all indviduals of my aquaintance who have been at the sharp end have come to terms with the fact that civilians are killed, often more of them than the real targets. But hey, if you are in denial, and that helps you sleep, good for you. (2) The preceeding is why the motivation for war is so important – it is not a game, not something one goes to on trumped up grounds. At the end of the day there is little glory and many regrets. It is only in the case of clearly defined aggression against ones own nation that war is 'simple'. (3) Whether one is gassed or shot the outcome is the same, you are dead. So since the Turks have shot and killed over the years more Kurds than Saddam gassed – why have we not attacked Turkey? Also, there is evidence to the effect that we supplied Saddam with the precursor technology for many of his chemical/biological programs during the Iraq war when he was our ally. He used it on the Iranians. (4) As for Fallujah, it is always the same story. we had it to. 'Insurgents hiding amongst the civilian population'. The besieging of a city ( denial of water, food is a tactic – albeit not legal – but applied ). One tries to drive the population out, the 'insurgents' do their best to force them to stay. The city is then reduced with significant civilian casualties. Yes. children and babies and so on. To deny that is simply childish and self deceptive. But maybe that is where you find your escape.
      So, please do not try to whitewash it – it may work on children but not adults. And try to improve your presentation – it is rather poor.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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