Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Syrian torture

My friend, who is PC about a lot of issues but seems fairly receptive to my frequent admonitions about the problem of Islam, has remarked on the curious near-absence of mentions these days about Syria. It seems that, when the MSM (or even the anti-Islamic wing of the Blogosphere) talks about the "Arab Spring", they tend to fixate on Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, but have avoided Syria.

It might be helpful in this regard, then, to ask ourselves: Do we really think the Syrian government has changed its evil ways from what was documented throughout the 1980s by Amnesty International among others?

And, of course, this centrally concerns Islam -- Syrian Muslims along with Islam-diseased dhimmis who may be involved in Syrian sociopolitical culture; and, of course, when we impugn its government, we are not absolving those Syrian Muslims who are trying to rebel against it -- since, the reasonable rule of thumb is that, in any Muslim polity, both the dictatorial oppressors and those resisting them are mostly (if not all) diseased by the broader, deeper dysfunction of Islam: I.e., any Islamic revolution in Syria will not bring any "democracy" any better than the status quo, but most likely worse -- and more dangerous for us.

I.e., whatever is going on in Syria, we should keep in mind Islam, and the dictum of Nostrodamus:

The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

With these caveats in mind, I invite the reader to be reasonably horrified (albeit reasonably unsurprised) by the following grimly ghoulish report:

"In its 1983 report on human rights conditions in Syria, AI [Amnesty International] delineated 23 different types of torture. Now [1989] the list has been expanded to 38. The most common torture consists of beatings on all parts of the body "with fists, feet, leather belts, sticks, whips, hammers, braided steel cables or cables inside plastic hoses with the ends frayed". Also common is extinguishing cigarettes on the body, often on sensitive parts. Other methods include extracting finger and toe nails; plucking hair or skin with pincers or pliers; sexual abuse or assault; forcing objects into the rectum; complete isolation in a dark cell; setting hands and limbs afire; slashing a victim's face--lips, ears, nose--with razor blades; and mock executions with a specially-rigged guillotine.

"Torturers often invent euphemisms to describe their grisly methods. Bisat al-Rih (the Flying Carpet) has an innocent, even enchanting ring, but it is frightful: "strapping the victim to a piece of wood shaped like a human body and either beating him or her or applying electric shocks all over the body." Al-Kursi al-Almani (the German Chair) has moving parts to which the victim's hands and feet are strapped. As the chair is moved backwards, it exerts severe pressure on the victim's spine, neck and limbs, resulting in near asphyxiation, loss of consciousness, and occasionally fracturing the vertebrae. A variation, known as al-Kursi al-Suri (the Syrian Chair), is equipped with metal blades that pierce the victim's ankles as the chair is bent backwards.

"The infamous al-'Abd al-Aswad (the Black Slave) [sounds a tad racist, no?] contraption drives a heated metal skewer into the rectum of the victim strapped to it. "

Source: "Human Rights Briefing", by Nabeel Abraham, Middle East Report, No. 160, "Turkey in the Age of Glasnost" (Sep. - Oct., 1989), pp. 37-38. [This is a source that requires an academic access code to scholarly journals.]


Nobody said...

Not just Syria - even Bahrein was curiously left out of the list of Arab Spring countries, since if democracy was allowed to triumph there, it would be like the democracy in Iraq - a Shia one. So somewhat curiously, the MSM, which generally parrots what al Jazeera says, has followed their line and stayed quiet, even though the oppressors here, like other places, are the less anti-US royal family there vs the 75% Shia population that is thought to have loyalties to Iran.

About Syrian, Hugh Fitzgerald has had the most insight into the situation there. Problem is that there is an anti-Western regime there that supports, and is supported by, Hizbullah and Iran, and therefore, implacably anti-Israel. OTOH, it is the only thing that makes Syria relatively secular, and better for Christians and other Arab minorities, due to its being run by the Alawites, who are a sub-sect of Shia. Besides, if that regime were to crumble, a 'democratic' replacement would mean the Sunnis dictating things, just like the Shia did in Iraq once the Baath regime there collapsed. Which would mean a situation like Egypt, where it's just a matter of time before the Muslim Brotherhood takes over.

I think the latter scenario is inevitable, since things in Syria have gotten bad enough that Assad's family has fled the country. Despite the silence of the West, this regime is on its way out. After that, it's just going to be a matter of time before the Muslim Brotherhood comes to power, as it's likely to even in Egypt. Following that, Israel will be surrounded by 2 Ikhwan regimes, 1 Hamas PA and 1 Hizbullah army, and we may see a war like 1967.

Hesperado said...


Thanks for filling in the concrete details that substantiate my generalizations in my foreword. While I'm glad there are knowledgeable individuals such as yourself in the AIM, I frankly no longer care about substantiating my generally anti-Islam position: I simply believe in continuing to articulate that position in general terms, as dictums. This reflects a type of weariness on my part that has evolved after years of learning a mountain, or mountain ranges, or oceans, of details about the various sordid pathologies of Muslims and Islam-diseased dhimmis.

The complications of how Syria is subculturally different (with their Alawites) to me is of secondary concern: to me, such sub-variances simply dress up the same disease of Islam in different clothes; or to vary the metaphor, there is a great diversity of Islamic dishes around the world with a great diversity of spices and ingredients and ways of preparing the meals -- but they all contain the same deadly poison, and it is that poison that is the central concern.

As to the problem of my attitude with regard to educating all the Western fence-sitters around us, there is a danger in educating them with all these knowledgeable concrete details -- the danger of reinforcing the PC MC tendency to "contextualize" Islamic pathologies in any given region, such that the problem is seen to be really "cultural" or "political" in recent history or due to the eccentric personalities of particular dictators and dictator dynasties, or any number of other deflecting explanations that seem more sophisticated and intelligent (because they account for, and demonstrate a learned familiarity with, so many complicated data about the region in question), while the "Islam is the problem" stance tends to then be seen as over-simplistic if not motivated by bigotry that rides carelessly like an American cowboy over the subtleties of the regional varieties.

Nobody said...


These explanations do come in handy b'cos you're likely to run into PCMC types who'll point out to you that Saddam/Assad were secular, not Islamic, and it's then that the caveat in this needs to be spelt out. A mere 'yeah, but Saddam/Assad were Muslims' just won't do, b'cos their actions seem to indicate that they are anti-Islamic, and that their anti-Israel stances are borne out of something else. However, elaborating this, like Hugh did on several occasions, helps one understand how they, in fact, were Islamic, but didn't look like due to sectarian divisions in their countries.

I am guessing that your friend would probably have pointed out that the Syrian regime is not Islamic, and enither was the Saddam regime b4 it. It's in that context that the explanation above is important, or else, one would be stumped as to how to respond to a seemingly accurate statement.

Hesperado said...


I agree with the usefulness you described; however, I have come to realize that it often can be very difficult, and complex, to disabuse a given PCMC of his "secularist Muslim" meme (we can also add Nasser to that list -- he with his "Nationalism" was sort of the Godfather of the meme). One needs a detailed list of facts that show their Islamic priorities, with good references. (Another of the many reasons why an electronic Anti-Islam Manual is needed: among its 1,001 sections, it could have "Myth: the Secular Muslim rulers", you punch the code in to access it, and in seconds you have all the relevant facts about Saddam, Assad, Nasser, Mubarak, etc.)

While Hugh's posts may have contained some pertinent info, they were for this specific purpose too long-winded, short on a sufficient quantity of damning specifics, and short on actual verifiable citations.