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How Syria's Rebels Communicate In the Face of Internet Shutdown

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the in-your-face-nyaaah-nyaaah dept.

Censorship 80

jamaicaplain writes "In an extensive look at rebel communications, the New York Times reports that, 'In a demonstration of their growing sophistication and organization, Syrian rebels responded to a nationwide shutdown of the Internet by turning to satellite technology to coordinate within the country and to communicate with outside activists. To prepare, they have spent months smuggling communications equipment like mobile handsets and portable satellite phones into the country.'"

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Government and rebels (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154257)

Both scum, committing atrocities every day since this "revolution" began. I stopped giving a shit about these backwards people months ago.

Re:Government and rebels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154567)

The first casualty of war is innocence

Re:Government and rebels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155321)

Why is the above modded down? The regime is a Baath regime, previously backed by the Soviets, and now by Iran & Hizbullah, while it completes Iran's Shiite Crescent from Iran to Lebanon. The rebels are former Muslim Brotherhood thugs, the same kind as the ones from Hamas and al Qaeda and the guys who just took over Egypt, and who have been massacring or driving out all Christians or non-Sunni Muslims out of the areas they control. First, Assyrian Christians fled Iraq for Syria, and now they are fleeing Syria for Lebanon. After Lebanon falls, what next - jump into the Mediterranean?

Also, this is a civil war not between government and rebels - it's one between the Sunni majority, and the rest of the population. Why do Alawites, Christians, Druze, et al support this regime - don't they like democracy? It's because they know that if the regime falls, there will be a Sunni theocratic state like it is (or about to be) in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, where they would be either exiled or wiped out, like the events in Aleppo and Homs prove.

As for calling them backwards people, well, is there really anything that Syrians have done on their own? During the Cold War, they were armed to the teeth by the Soviets, since they were a frontline state against Israel and a good tester of Soviet weaponry. Since the Cold War, they've gone to being a puppet state of Iran. They happen to be a net oil exporter, although nowhere near the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya, Iran or the major oil producers.

Re:Government and rebels (2)

j35ter (895427) | about 2 years ago | (#42156943)

From Wikipedia:

Syria ranked 105 out of 179 countries on Human Development Index in 2006.Syria is also one of the few Arab countries that have achieved the target of universal primary education. It is showing remarkable progress in achieving other MDG targets: the gender gap in enrollment is small, with gender parity index of enrollment at primary level at 95 percent and 96 percent at the secondary level in 2007.[2] Literacy rate is estimated at 82 percent in 2004 which is also higher than the average for MENA and lower middle income countries (LMIC ). Literacy among youth (15 to 24) stood at 92.5 percent in 2004

Like all Middle Eastern states, labeled as enemies by the US, Syria has a high literacy. So had Iraq (Soviet influence), Iran (Soviet influence), Libya (Soviet influence), South Yemen (Soviet influence), etc.
Unlike Americas illiterate dictator friends: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, North Yemen.
But, the Syrians can deem themselves lucky, now that the US's bearded friends are bringing "democracy" to their neighborhood...

I think you overrate Iran's influence on Syria. Although the Alawites were quite friendly to Iran, Syria was and is a strictly secular state, and like all other ME players, it's trying to keep the balance of power by maintaining foreign influences and alliances. After all, without Hezbollah keeping them busy, Israel could get some funny ideas; especially shortly before elections... Also, what is it that the Syrians did *not* do by themselves? They are a sovereign state, period!

Re:Government and rebels (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42160285)

In your above list, Iran was never under Soviet influence. It was one of the countries hostile to both the US and the Soviet Union, and since Saddam was one of the closest allies of the Soviets, that didn't do much for Iran-Soviet relations.

Syria is a secular state by Arab/Muslim standards, no arguing that. As was Iraq. But it's worth looking into the internals of all that. One thing worth remembering is that when a Muslim country calls itself an 'Islamic state', the question comes up of what is the true Islam, if there are multiple Islamic sects within the country, and typically, it's determined by whoever is the majority. For instance, Saudi Arabia and Iran are both Islamic states. In Saudi Arabia, it means that Sunnis practicing the Hanbali school of Islamic jurisprudence run things, while in Iran, Shias practicing the Khomenei school run things. A Sunni who would be perfectly halal in Saudi Arabia would find himself treated like an apostate in Iran. Or a Shia who is perfectly fine in Iran would be treated as badly as other Infidels in Saudi Arabia.

Saddam was a devout Sunni Muslim - he had a Qur'an written in his blood, and added 'Allahu Akbar' to the Iraqi flag before Operation Desert Storm. So why didn't he ever declare Iraq an Islamic state? Reason is simple - then Iraq would have been a Shiite Islamic state, and not a Sunnite Islamic state, since the majority of Iraq's Muslims are Shia. In which event, the Sunnis would have been persecuted (as they actually are now in the new 'democratic' Iraq, as well as Christians, who have fled the country to Syria, and who would have to flee that country again if it falls to the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood linked rebels).

That was the whole rationale behind the Baath Party [wikipedia.org] . It was founded by Michel Aflaq, a Syrian Christian, and fused Arab nationalist, pan-Arabism, and Arab socialist interests. The same things that Islam promotes, so why didn't they just close ranks with the majority Muslim sects in their countries? Reason is simple - Muslim countries don't follow the concept of 'Live & let live' - if a Muslim minority group in a Muslim country dared let democracy, as in simple majority rule, prevail, it would mean opening to door to persecution. Just look at examples like Pakistan, which is democratic, but where even Shias (forget about Christians, Sikhs or Hindus) are routinely targeted in attacks. So the Baathists came up w/ this ideology, in which they rallied all the non majority groups around them. In Iraq, it was the minority Sunnis, Chaldean Christians, Turks and some Kurds (although Saddam had his problems with the Kurds as well), and backed up by the military, they kept an iron leash over Iraq's Shias. In Syria, the coalition was the minority Alawites, minority Shias, Christians, Kurds and Druze. So both countries were 'secular', but only because being 'Islamic' would have meant the evisceration of Saddam's Sunnis in Iraq, or Assad's Alawites in Syria, not because of any belief in genuine religious pluralism. Or else, Saddam would never have supported Hamas, and Assad would never have supported Hizbullah.

In fact, once one knows this, one would know the reasons for the enmity between Saddam and Hafez al Assad. If one recalls, during the 8 year war between Iran and Iraq, Syria was the lone Arab country that supported Iran (although initially, Libya did as well, but switched sides later) against Iraq. More surprisingly, during Operation Desert Shield too, Syria, despite being an adversary of the US due to its support to Hizbullah, allowed the US to use Syria as a forwarding base for operations against Iraq. Reason is simple - despite both being Baathists, Saddam and Assad had conflicting interests - the former was trying to establish the supremacy of his country's Sunnis at the expense of the majority Shias, while the latter was trying to establish the supremacy of his country's Alawites, at the expense of the Sunnis. This is why a lot of Arabs - largely Sunni - lionized Saddam but despised Assad, despite both being Arabs, both being anti-Israel, both being pro-Soviet.

About the development indices, yeah, it's true that Syria is way ahead of Gulf countries, although I'm not so sure that that applies to Syria's comparison to Egypt as well. At any rate, I disagree with you about Hizbullah - while they are a terror threat to Israel, Syria's involvement with them has been about helping them take over Lebanon and change it from a majority Sunni to a majority Shia country as far as Muslims go, and it was only after the Hariri assassination that Syria was forced to pull out of Lebanon.

Having said all that, though, I do think that if the rebels take over Syria, it will be the same story as in Libya, Egypt & Tunisia (in Tunisia, they did have a real secular dictatorship, unlike Syria, which was about religious pluralism, until the population at large overthrew it and replaced it with a party as close to Islamic as one can get). But all sides of this conflict - be it Shia, Sunni, Alawite, Druze, Kurds, et al - are equally intolerant, so the best thing to happen is to make Syria an international Islamic battlefield where Jihadis of different sides from different countries - Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Sudan, Yemen, et al all pour into that country and fight it all out. Wish that even Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and PFLP too all joined this, picking their favorite sides. Maybe after all that, when there will be no money or firepower left, the Jihadis won't be as destabilizing a force as they currently are.

"They"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154277)

They are the CIA. They are not a rag tag team of terrorists like you claim. It'll be funny when "They" the Chinese, start arming our gangs with satellite phones and other tools designed to screw law enforcement and turn our streets into war zones. It will be our punishment for having done it to other countries.

Re:"They"? (1)

reiserifick (2616539) | about 2 years ago | (#42154295)

The line between "arming" and providing cheaply for sale on ebay is pretty thin

Re:"They"? (4, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#42154313)

Not when the US Government [heraldsun.com.au] and others [yahoo.com] are providing the funding for those communication devices.

Re:"They"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155121)

"arming our gangs with satellite phones and other tools designed to screw law enforcement and turn our streets into war zones"
Yes that's that easy, just give street thugs sat phones and arms and they'll start a war with the army and win. We're lucky the USSR didn't think of it at the time.

Re:"They"? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42155129)

Gah, you have to be trolling. A rebellion is not just a black market gang.

Re:"They"? (1)

j35ter (895427) | about 2 years ago | (#42156961)

Gah, you have to be trolling. A rebellion is not just a black market gang.

You obviously have no idea how rebellions start! Most of them actually get hijacked by criminals and other violent opportunists - your standard black market gang!

Re:"They"? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#42157013)

You forgot the attribution:

- George III, Elector of Hanover, 1776

I guess even congenitally barmy old krauts are right sometimes...

Re:"They"? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42157453)

I never claimed that the rebels did not include criminals or violent opportunists. But it also includes others, and the Syrian rebellion cannot be compared to common gang activity in stable Western democracies.

Skype is completely secure... (5, Insightful)

reiserifick (2616539) | about 2 years ago | (#42154289)

... as long as your government isn't powerful enough to force Skype to let them in the back door...

Re:Skype is completely secure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154389)

if your dumb enough to want secure communication and choose skype then I fear your revolution is doomed even if no one does anything to your comms.

Re:Skype is completely secure... (5, Funny)

a_hanso (1891616) | about 2 years ago | (#42154403)

So, about as secure as Blackberry, then?

Re:Skype is completely secure... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42157107)

Government power was used to shut down the internet in the first place.
Probably because they were not powerful enough to force Skype (Microsoft) to let them in said back door, and could not monitor rebel coms.

Never the less, and regardless of any preference for one side over the other, the very act of a government shutting down the internet has become something of a sign of imminent government failure. Its proven to be a desperation move in middle eastern countries, and an unsuccessful move in every case.

Re:Skype is completely secure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42163527)

How so? Have you been aware of the saudi regime internet censure all this years?, still they manage to be monarchy with caveman rules, but only cause they obey US commands and sell cheap oil.

Re:Skype is completely secure... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42163603)

How so? Have you been aware of the saudi regime internet censure all this years?,

So you are saying Saudi Arabia has been totally cut off from the internet for a year? I beg to differ. [mofa.gov.sa]

You're confusing shutting down the net entirely with simple censorship.

RFC 1149 (5, Funny)

fred911 (83970) | about 2 years ago | (#42154299)

A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt [ietf.org]

Re:RFC 1149 (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42155001)

In that part of the world? Only if you want your packets to be shot and eaten.

Re:RFC 1149 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42156555)

*WHOOOOSH*

(The sound of a joke-carrier pidgeon flying over your head)

Re:RFC 1149 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42158875)

*SPLAT*

(The sound of a joke-carrier pigeon dropping a "packet" on your head)

Re:RFC 1149 (1)

Nikker (749551) | about 2 years ago | (#42175701)

We should have a standard for hanging WIFI dongles off of pigeons, making a mesh network ;)

Communicating without the internet (4, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#42154329)

'rebels have been fighting governments without the aid of internet communications (or indeed any electronic technology) for thousands of years, remember Spartacus? William (Braveheart) Wallace? Bonnie Prince Charlie, George Washington. The rebels didn't even have the telegraph until the war between the states...

Re:Communicating without the internet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154395)

Yeah, but the established power they were fighting didn't have the Internet either. There's an asymmetry of power when the establishment has the ability to cut off a major form of communication that they and the rest of the world retain the advantage of using.

Re:Communicating without the internet (0)

mutantSushi (950662) | about 2 years ago | (#42156033)

Why do you assume that the government shut off communications? They are certainly aware that 'rebel' forces have satcoms provided by US, France, UK, and the democracy-loving Gulf Sheikdoms.

Re:Communicating without the internet (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42157127)

There's an asymmetry of power when the establishment has the ability to cut off a major form of communication that they and the rest of the world retain the advantage of using.

I actually view cutting off the internet as an act of desperation. When viewed with hindsight, in the middle east at least, it has always signaled a fall of government.

Re:Communicating without the internet (4, Insightful)

a_hanso (1891616) | about 2 years ago | (#42154459)

William Wallace and co. would have fared a lot worse if King Edward had ordered the English Royal Air Force jets to pound their positions with precision bombs. And Spartacus against well placed snipers? And Washington against a walkie-talkie coordinated British assault?

Re:Communicating without the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154779)

Not using the standard issue walkie talkies in the British army. I wouldn't trust the rifles or the helicopters either, buying your own boots is also recommended.

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#42155007)

William Wallace and co. would have fared a lot worse if King Edward had ordered the English Royal Air Force jets to pound their positions with precision bombs. And Spartacus against well placed snipers? And Washington against a walkie-talkie coordinated British assault?

I see you are a great fan of the 1632 series. :-)

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about 2 years ago | (#42160255)

With regards to the Spartacus snipers, there is the question of whether or not the snipers would run out of bullets before killing the actual Spartacus.

Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#42154947)

These aren't actual 'rebels', you'd have a better comparison to Cesare Borgia, John Hawkwood, and Friedrich Adolf Riedesel.

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42160381)

Actually, a better comparison would be those guys with Che Guevara, Mao Zedong or... Mohammed!

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#42171123)

No, those were actual revolutionaries, the "freedom fighters" in Syria are mostly mercenaries.

Re:Communicating without the internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155405)

Yeah but it helps the propaganda war allowing the rebels to blame the Syrian government for atrocities they themselves commit. Some of the rebels, which the US is arming and training, via it's NATO stooges, are al Qaeda supporters.

Remember, citizens, we are at war with al Qaeda. We always have been at war with al Qaeda.

Re:Communicating without the internet (1, Troll)

blade8086 (183911) | about 2 years ago | (#42155657)

What do you mean by: 'the war between the states'

Aren't all wars between states?

Or is this some sort of veiled euphamism for the US Civil War, whereby a completely moronic rebellion which wouldn't have occurred if people didn't want to enslave others despite their alleged subscription to a constitution which gave 'inaliable rights to all', thankfully, was defeated by people who have 1/2 a brain, and the losers prattled on about their 'states rights' and other random garbage (all the while passing jim crow laws and creating nonsense like 'segragation'), and started referring to this war as 'the war between the states' in an apparent desire to make it seem like a minor disagreement between two completely valid viewpoints and also to make it sound like some stupid mint julip discussion on the veranda at the derby?

Make a coherent case that the civil war would have happened without slavery, and I'll agree with the 'confederate' opinions that it is about federalism vs centralism. Until then, call it 'The US Civil War' .

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#42157325)

What do you mean by: 'the war between the states'

Google [google.be] is your friend. Seriously, I'm not American and though military history is one of my interests, the period between the decline of muskets and the arrival of tanks isn't one of my favourites. And yet, I'm familiar with the phrase.

Aren't all wars between states?

Ummm, no. We had a private one in England back in the 15th century about flowers, and another in the 17th about hairstyles.

Of course we were so hard that we'd kicked the shit out of everyone else (by which I mainly mean France) so we had no real option if we wanted to keep in shape.

Or is this some sort of veiled euphamism

Dictionary.com is also your friend.

Until then, call it 'The US Civil War' .

Sometimes wars have more than one name, especially in different places. War of Independence, [American] Revolutionary War. Spanish Succession, Queen Anne's War. WW2, Great Patriotic War...

Re:Communicating without the internet (1)

scared masked man (2776663) | about 2 years ago | (#42164519)

One of the major factors was the protectionist rules regarding cotton exports: British cotton importers were wiling to pay more for baled cotton than the northern manufacturers, and charged less for shipping. However, cotton exports were restricted to protect the US spinning and weaving industries, and there were strict regulations limiting the use of foreign ships for costal shipping (although that was normal: partly it was economic, and partly it was to ensure a good supply of potential conscripts). The tobacco planters were in a similar position, although they had less of a price advantage over their foreign competitors than the cotton planters.

Of course, the planters wanted to keep slavery and lose the protectionism, but the slavery question wasn't the driving factor for the elite (and abolition didn't happen until war was already underway). The Union didn't just let the South secede and then hope to keep business ties as they were, partly because they would then lose the tax advantages they had over the British and French, and partly because the last thing they wanted was a British-aligned state there.

That's "at" as in "not with". (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#42157047)

William (Braveheart) Wallace?

Every person who has studied history even slightly seriously, whether as an academic career or a hobby, is laughing at you.

Underlining to politicians (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#42154339)

This should point out to politicians that you can't un-invent or un-learn a technology just by pulling the plug. There are countless other examples of this ridiculous attitude being unsucessfully used. The "war on drugs". Doomed to failure. Enough people have their own pot plants to re-stock the entire nation in a short time. There are so many ways to get other drugs across the border or even synthesized de novo that you would bankrupt your government trying to shut them all down. But they try. Disarming a population. Doomed to failure. Guns are small and easy to smuggle, and failing that, they can be MADE. Home-made weapons are quite common among the poor, and ammunition is cheap. And even in countries like afghanistan and Iraq, there are people with the chemical knowledge to make their own explosives.

It's the politicians that never, ever learn. The Star Wars quote is quite relevant here, despite the source. "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Re:Underlining to politicians (2)

tukang (1209392) | about 2 years ago | (#42157043)

People love to complain about politicians and don't get me wrong, we definitely have our fair share of unethical and dumb politicians but for the most part politicians will just spout whatever they think gets them reelected, so I think most of the anger towards politicians I hear on a daily basis is misplaced. Let's use your war on drugs example. A marijuana legalization ballot failed in Oregon, which has a far more liberal attitude towards marijuana than most states. A medical marijuana ballot initiative failed in Arkansas and in Montana they passed a ballot measure restricting medical marijuana with 2/3 support. Although Colorado and Washington passed their legalization ballots, the reason legalization initiatives haven't appeared in other states is because they would clearly fail. Unfortunately, it seems that a majority of Americans are in favor of the war on drugs, so I don't think it's right to blame politicians when they're following the will of their voters.

The solution is to educate the voters and politicians will inevitably fall in line.

Re:Underlining to politicians (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | about 2 years ago | (#42159839)

Thanks. I wish I could mod you up.

You even went as far as pointing out that education could help. If more people knew what the real effects of certain laws and policies were, perhaps we would get better ones.

How about. . . (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154357)

Project Byzantium

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/08/15/1054246/project-byzantium-zero-to-ad-hoc-mesh-network-in-60-seconds-video

REBELS TODAY !! TALIBAN TERRORISTS TOMORROW !! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154417)

You are who you kill !!

Free communication, free politic (1)

jcdr (178250) | about 2 years ago | (#42154435)

In some sense, how much free are the communication in a country is an indication on how free are the citizens to have their own political orientation.

This may actually empower the rebels (2)

elucido (870205) | about 2 years ago | (#42154493)

The lack of the internet actually would make it harder to monitor the rebels communication. With the internet they'd know who is using Tor and who is communicating in encrypted form. Without the internet it will be much harder now because the communication methods will go much deeper underground and will be just as efficient as before but harder or impossible to trace.

The internet being cut off actually keeps the media from foreign countries from being able to monitor the situation but it doesn't greatly effect the situation because I am sure the rebels and syrian government both would be smart enough to have redundant forms of communication.

Re:This may actually empower the rebels (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154817)

The lack of the internet actually would make it harder to monitor the rebels communication. With the internet they'd know who is using Tor and who is communicating in encrypted form. Without the internet it will be much harder now because the communication methods will go much deeper underground and will be just as efficient as before but harder or impossible to trace.

The internet being cut off actually keeps the media from foreign countries from being able to monitor the situation but it doesn't greatly effect the situation because I am sure the rebels and syrian government both would be smart enough to have redundant forms of communication.

Of course! And thats why I, for one, am quite sure that .sy government most likely did not cut AS 29386 out from internet.
They have much more to lose than the NATO backed "rebels" who have their narrative in most MSM.
Why would Syrian gov cut their little voices like SANA.sy and friends off the net?

Re:This may actually empower the rebels (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155155)

Of course the syrian goverment didn't do it, the US did it, to hide the fact that they sent a nuke on Damascus, and rebuilt it. Now they turn internet back on, and soon we'll see "rebels" take Damscus, but it's now all a show with actors, because everyone in Damascus is dead. They did the same thing in Tripoli.

Yeah, look what they're saying (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42154509)

[about the head of intelligence in Idlib]..."A big financial prize will be offered to anyone who brings the head of this guy"...

Go go 'rebels' go!

Maybe the more interesting story would be, whose banks are financing all of this destruction.. I mean, seeing that using satellite communications is nothing to write home about.

terrorists and drugs (0)

Ruede (824831) | about 2 years ago | (#42154547)

since the USA and its puppies through nato are stationed in afghanistan - heroin sales have skyrocketed. and yet, there are still ppl that think they are there to fight terrorists ....

hmmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154601)

so the Syrian government first disconnects the internet in the entire country and then .... Fixes it. Something doesn't sound right in this story.

Why Not Use Radio? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154633)

Sometimes the best solution is to use older tech that can't be shut down so easily. Why not use HF/Shortwave radio for long-range comms and VHF/UHF for short range comms? Cheaper and it can't be shut down, plus use of code can prevent eavesdroppers.

Rebels=Terrorists (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154785)

Do you mean the official terrorists and children-soldier recruiters, summarily executing their captives? Supported by Lybian islamist fighers and weapon supplies? Hastily approved by french government, under ludicurous reasons? Ahhh, you mean those thugs...!

Re:Government=Terrorists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155441)

Terrorists ? Do you mean the ones flattening cities with planes, helicopters, artillery ? The ones unleashing thugs on innocent villages ? The ones that started this mess by torturing to death kids for painting graffiti ? The ones even the Hamas don't count as friends anymore ?

Syria internet is back (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42154795)

..and what a load of bull this NY Times article is!
They are simply using the moment to glorify these terrorists who would be eradicated long ago if CIA and co had not gave them money and weapons.

Re:Syria internet is back (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155363)

These are not terrorrists, just young people but the CIA put pills into their nescafe, so they don't know what they are doing, they steal tank, airplanes and shoot at random. That's why whole neighbourhood are in ruins. The president Assad is too weak, he has to ask the army to intervene, you can't let people flatten cities just because they are drunk.

when the security council said "nyet" and "bu shi" (3, Informative)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42155057)

to the syrian rebels months ago, i thought i remember reading that the USA announced it was still going to send communications equipment

yeah, here we go:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/11/30/can-u-s-communication-kits-help-syrians-get-around-the-internet-blackout/ [washingtonpost.com]

the usa has been providing assad-less commlinks to syrians for awhile now

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#42155151)

Need to coordinate all that humanitarian aid! ;p

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42156325)

We call it "humanitarian bombing" now. And I've noticed that all our pro-war mods have taken sides. Don't criticize the 'rebels'. They are 'liberators'. From what, who knows? But I'm sure our governments have all sorts of weapons contracts waiting to be signed by the customers with a better credit rating than the present regime. Fucking sick!

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42157243)

The only thing that's sick is your mindless cynicism

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42157357)

Ah, ever the good troll you are. We can always depend on that snappy comeback. So, why aren't you over there, fighting the good fight? Much better to do it from your comfy chair while chowing down on that warrior jizz. Eh, whatever, since I wasn't even talking to you, no further response is necessary.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42157703)

what a loser

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42157755)

:-) Thank for your support. You're a real sharpie there yourself.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#42156997)

Beh. Rebels win, and they'll be following the path that Egypt is now. Don't believe me? Wait for it. I'll be happy to point this out to the naysayers.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#42157711)

the liberals are fighting the islamists in egypt now. who knows who will win, but it means the entire population isn't the taliban, which some clueless westerners seem to believe

likewise in syria

and how will the usa know who the islamists are and who will embrace democracy?

well, if you will recall, we gave them their comm equipment (wink, wink)

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42157743)

No no you are wrong. Only a 'mindless cynic' [slashdot.org] would express any doubt towards American 'free press' and the Holy Ruling Party.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42158231)

Wow, you're really pouting over that barb. I guess that's evidence for some sort of mental activity. Congrats for your promotion to "thoughtless cynic"! May you go far.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42158613)

Don't know what you mean. I'm merely pointing out how fanatics react to criticism of their idols, and that they cannot accept that they are being taken for a ride. This "Arab Spring" is a tragic farce. If recognition of that makes me a mindless cynic, then I shall wear the label proudly.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42158717)

Pointing out through example? The "Arab Spring" has interesting historical parallels to the European revolutions of 1848 [wikipedia.org] (Wikipedia notes that they came with similar names such as "Spring of Nations", "Springtime of the People"). In the historical example, one saw both good and bad outcomes from that event over the past century and a half, including the eventual spread of democracy throughout all of Europe.

Sure, the Arab Spring may end up being "tragic farce" just as much of the European version did (particularly, the advent of Communism). But I doubt anyone will be able to "recognize" that within a year of the start. I do believe however that there are a bunch of idiots eager to put their particular spin on current events and that you are one of those idiots, based on your posts so far in this thread.

How about you think rather than just sounding like some two-dimensional caricature from a Hollywood movie?

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42158949)

Whatever you say... Events and history are speaking for themselves, much louder than the lies from the propagandists you choose to believe. Until the outsiders quit meddling, or completely conquer the region (again), the "Arab Winter" will not relent, and each year will break new records in the arms trade. Indeed the useful idiot is you.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42160833)

You just can't help but dig that hole deeper, can you? I point out the obvious historical parallel and you're doing the teenager, "whatevar" act.

My take on this is that peaceful revolts that tend to result in more democratic governments are bad for the arms trade. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, etc have overturned their old governments without generating a lot of arms sales.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42161517)

You're still not getting it. These are proxy wars over which superpower has the most influence. If we don't make the deal, the Russians and Chinese will move in. They have nothing to do with "democracy". Fall off your high horse, and count the money.

Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, etc have overturned their old governments without generating a lot of arms sales.

Still a work in progress. They haven't generated legal arms sales. It's all just more "Iran/Contra"

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42162731)

You're still not getting it. These are proxy wars over which superpower has the most influence. If we don't make the deal, the Russians and Chinese will move in. They have nothing to do with "democracy". Fall off your high horse, and count the money.

This Arab Spring thing is lot bigger than some arms trading turf fight or a superpower scuffle. Things like arms trade, oil, and the superpower games give very powerful outsiders a big stake in what happens. But it didn't start or spread just because someone wanted some more fighter jet sales or a bigger share of the oil market.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42162939)

*sigh* You have no idea. So obvious to the criminal state you are, and since your posts are based on faith in the state controlled media that has created your impenetrable reality, I can no longer respond, so I will hand the 'brick wall' trophy over to you.

Re:when the security council said "nyet" and "bu s (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42164401)

Please stop. You have no idea. Hundreds of millions of people are doing something remarkable. Pay attention. I'm not at all denying that the powers of the world have a stake in the Arab Spring. What I am denying is that the huge political changes of the Middle East are due to the intrigues of these powers.

Fixed Headline. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42155287)

How Syria's Islamic Fundamentalists Communicate In the Face of Internet Shutdown

Can the rebels re-enable it? (1, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#42155477)

Gadaffi tried the same thing and the rebels in the eastern half the country reconnected them from the pipes from Egypt and even re-enabled cell phone usage. The northern half of Syria is largely under rebel control with a few bases here and there that are rapidly falling. I am sure in a big city like Allepo there are pipes that flow into Turkey, Iraq, and Lebannon.

Do they communicate between themselves? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#42158203)

Or with their foreign "sponsors"?

RE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42158579)

Lets not forget they are Terrorists after all not mere democracy fighting rebels

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