When "Never Again" became "Whenever" | The massacre in #Douma, #Syria

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A massacre on a world historic level has taken place in Douma, Syria in the last week. I reported on the very beginnings of it here at the Daily Kos last Wednesday as the tweets came in that Assad's artillery had started shelling the city and his shabiha where saddling up. It went on through Saturday as the world leaders met about the Syrian crisis in the splendor of Geneva and decided to give Bashar al-Assad more time to handle it his way. It reached a crescendo as the UN Action Group adjourned and the diplomats went off to the press conferences.

Visitors to Douma now describe abandon neighborhoods, completely destroyed with bodies rotting in the streets. It is far to early to know what the death count is. Most probably we will never know. Douma was a city of a half million souls.

The Massacre was LiveStreamed

There have been many and worst massacres before in our dubious history on this planet, but never before has one been broadcast as it happened. Never before have we had so many real-time pictures and videos and eye witness reports to atrocities as they were taking place. Never before has slaughter on this scale been ignored by so many. Never before has a whole city cried out for help to the people of the whole world as they were being slaughtered only to have those pleas go unanswered.

What has been and is being allowed to happen in Douma should shame the whole world.

And the media is refusing to report on the true scope of the massacre in Douma still. Even Al Jazeera English is mum about it.

I'm sorry if these pictures offend you. They offend me too. Most likely these people were still alive when I published BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared last Wednesday.

A "sight-seeing" drive by car through Damascus suburb Douma after full-force-raid by Assad's forces

Victims slaughtered inside their home. Video posted July 3, 2012

Video Tour of Douma - July 4th, 2012 - It looked a bit nicer last week

Walking tour of massive destruction done by days of Assad's bombardment of Douma, Syria | July 2, 2012

Twenty-three victims of the shelling of Douma, Syria | July 3, 2012

Civilian found killed in home, Douma, Syria | July 3, 2012

In the hospital | June 29, 2012

A grim walking tour | Douma | July 2, 2012

Destruction and Mass Devastation in Al-Massaken District | Douma | July 04, 2012

Man found murdered in SAAB | Douma, Syria | July 3, 2012

The army stormed Hamdan Hospita, expelled the medical staff and killed the wounded. The smell in the hospital is almost indescribable. | July 4, 2012

Al Jazeera Arabic report by Amer Kubaisi on the destruction of Douma. July 3, 2012 |Activists said that 113 people were killed on Monday. Helicopters were used in some areas. The Syrian army launched attacks on this suburb near Damascus killing dozens and displacing families. In the meantime Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, renewed demands to refer the violators of human rights in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The news reports and starting to come in. This is the first one I've seem. It is from the Global Post but posted on the website of the Syrian Youth Movement:

Syrians find mutilated corpses in trash cans

By: Amy Silverstein

Local activists in Syria say that they are pulling mutilated corpses out of trash cans in Douma. Local state media, meanwhile, is painting a much rosier picture and downplaying concerns about violence, Reuters reported today.

The report comes after security forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar-al Assad stormed through Douma last week, killing at least 83 people, an NGO told the Agence France-Presse.

“These are pieces of our children we’re pulling out of dumpsters … We found these body parts and we are still looking for more. These are burned human body parts,” a man picking through a garbage bin told Reuters today. “These are male reproductive organs.”

And a video posted online shows corpses littering the street of Douma, Reuters reported last week.

A British NGO, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also released a report last Saturday on the grave situation in Douma. A 10-day government assault on Douma, which has been battleground for dissent against regime forces, has left dozens of citizens dead, the Associated Press reported.

Despite the dire news, the rebel forces are still having some success fighting back. At Syria’s northewest border with Turkey, Syrian rebels now control large swatchs of territory and are getting more powerful weapons, GlobalPost reported today. And GlobalPost reporters saw dozens of burned out tanks littering the road in Aleppo, Syria’s largest cit

Recovering Bodies from Basements in Douma | July 04 2012

Reuters published this minutes ago:

Trail of carnage in trash bins of Damascus suburb
By Erika Solomon BEIRUT | Wed Jul 4, 2012 12:07pm EDT

(Reuters) - Syrians in the city of Douma have recovered mutilated corpses and sifted through trash for body parts hacked off by death squads who swept through anti-government districts after the army drove out rebel fighters, activists said on Wednesday.

Video shot by opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in the city about 15 km (10 miles) north of Damascus on Tuesday displayed gory scenes in homes they said had been overrun by pro-government "shabbiha" paramilitary gangs, after army shelling over the weekend forced rebel fighters to retreat.

The state news agency SANA, reporting on a ministerial tour of Douma, painted a totally different picture which made no mention of killing or death. It did say that essential services had been damaged and that many Douma citizens had fled to the countryside to escape "terrorism".

"Minister of Health Wael al-Halqi stressed that the Ministry and Damascus Countryside Health Directorate are working hard to rehabilitate Douma Hospital to resume provision of medical services to the people in Douma and its surroundings after its equipment was sabotaged by the armed terrorist groups," it said.

Given obstacles to independent media coverage in Syria, there was no way of verifying the authenticity of the activist video or the information conveyed. One resident named Ziad told Reuters by telephone that 90 percent of Douma citizens had fled the city of around 110,000 inhabitants.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had stepped up humanitarian work in Douma, delivering a month's food supplies to 118 families there, enough for some 600 people, ICRC spokesman Bijan Farnoudi told Reuters in Geneva.

SANA published photographs of well-dressed officials touring tidy streets. Activist video, by contrast showed what it said was the aftermath of carnage by feared militiamen.

"These are pieces of our children we're pulling out of dumpsters ... We found these body parts and we are still looking for more. These are burned human body parts," said a man picking through an overturned garbage bin.

"These are male reproductive organs," he said.

Video clips showed rotting corpses lying in dried pools of blood in dark hallways, their faces covered with flies. One showed a woman and her child prone in a living room. The activist narrating the video said they had been stabbed.

A third video displayed pieces of charred flesh which activists said were severed genitals.

"There was more here yesterday," said a man wearing plastic gloves. "But the dogs were taking them."


Activists said there were explosions and clashes in several suburbs of the capital Damascus at dawn. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy fighting in the town of Jaramana in an area near a branch of Air Force Intelligence, one of the most feared units of the secret police.

There was no information on casualties and initial attempts to contact residents of Jaramana by mobile telephone failed.

The observatory said two people were killed by shelling in the southern province of Deraa, where the revolt against Assad began 16 months ago. Opposition leaders and Western governments say over 15,000 people have been killed. The government says "terrorist gangs" have killed several thousand troops and police.

In the northern province of Idlib, activists said four rebels were killed overnight in a security forces ambush.

SANA quoted the health minister as saying that the emergency and outpatient clinics in Douma would be back into service quickly while other services would be restored gradually.

The ministry would provide free health services to "those who were forced to move to another province due to the current circumstances and terrorist acts in their provinces", it said.

Officials had also "inspected the situation of the service facilities and the ongoing rehabilitation and maintenance works for the electricity, water and telephone departments".

The water supply was back to normal and the electricity network was being repaired, the agency added.

Food baskets were to be distributed during the day to needy residents, SANA quoted the minister as saying. He called on the residents of Douma to return to their homes "since the city is now safe and all the necessary services have been restored".

"If the government lets them back the rebels will move on to another area to fight," said Douma resident Ziad. "If not they'll do to Douma what they did to Homs," he added, referring to the central city which has seen prolonged urban war.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva. Writing by Douglas Hamilton.; Editing by Diana Abdallah)

Bringing out the dead in Douma | June 29, 2012

Bringing out the dead in Douma | July 2, 2012

The Iranian Press TV lives in the same alternate universe as the Syrian state SANA when it comes to reporting these events:

Syrian forces retake control of Damascus suburb of Douma

Syrian forces have retaken control of the Damascus suburb of Douma, inflicting heavy casualties on armed groups fighting against the government, Press TV has learnt.

According to Syrian authorities, a large number of gunmen have been killed and many others injured during the days-long military operation to clear the city of the rebels.

Many terrorists were also arrested and a number of others were forced to flee. Some reports suggest that most of the militants operating in Douma were from different Arab nations.

A Mother and child found massacred and bloated in Douma | July 3, 2012

Ugarit News had an update on the situation today:

Fifteen victims were reported in Douma and Misraba, including a six years old child and two women. The town of Misraba witnessed today a new massacre as Al-Assad forces slaughtered and killed in summary execution ten civilians, three of them belong to the same family. Activists in Douma continued to recover the massacres’ victims who were killed in basements or buried under the rubble.

Security forces launched warrantless detention raid, mainly in Madyara, in search for activists and detained dozens of peaceful civilians. The regime military continued to bombard Al-Eb district in Douma and the farms in Arrihan. Consequently, hundreds of homes were destroyed or cached on fire and dozens of families left their homes in search of safe refuge in fear of new massacres.

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout

8:27 PM PT: FSA Strikes Back, taking out one of Asssad.s tanks Douma | Damascus suburb | July 4, 2012

10:08 PM PT: