Before the massacre, members of the Muslim Brotherhood had been waging an insurgent campaign against Assad’s government. Assad was an Alawite, a Shiite sect that comprises less than 20 percent of the population yet has dominated Syria’s politics and military.
In 1980, following an assassination attempt against Assad, membership in the Brotherhood was declared a capital offense.
In early February 1982, a number of Syrian soldiers were killed by snipers in Hama, and an Islamist leader called for a general uprising against the Assad regime. Police posts and the homes of government officials were attacked, and opposition groups declared Hama a “liberated city” and urged an uprising through Syria.
Assad responded forcefully by sending 12,000 troops to besiege the city. Tanks surrounding Hama shelled the city for more than three weeks, reducing much of it rubble.
When troops moved in, they combed through the rubble for surviving members of the Brotherhood, and executed as many as 1,000. The total loss of life from the massacre was 38,000, according to one Syrian official. The Brotherhood claims 40,000 were slaughtered.
After the Hama uprising, the Islamist insurrection was broken, and the Brotherhood has since operated in exile while other factions surrendered or slipped into hiding.
Syrian journalist Subhi Hadidi has written that soldiers killed “30,000 or 40,000 of the city’s citizens - in addition to the 15,000 missing who have not been found to this day, and the 100,000 expelled.”
As for the Syrian government’s possible response today to a popular uprising, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman warned in 2005:
“When Syria’s Baath regime feels its back up against the wall, it always resorts to ‘Hama Rules.’ Hama Rules is a term I coined after the Syrian Army leveled — and I mean leveled — a portion of its own city, Hama, to put down a rebellion by Sunni Muslim fundamentalists there in 1982.” —
Just learning about all this from Mohamad Al Abdallah. Imagine if, say, the United States declared war on one of its own cities, and killed everyone in it (at a magnitude of about a dozen 9/11s) and no one ever heard about it.
This was 1982, and what’s difficult now is to imagine that no one would hear about it, and that’s one of the things that make these days these days.
I have no doubt that most everyone at LinkedIn was thrilled to see the run-up; most executives at start-ups usually are. An I.P.O. is an important marker for any company. And, of course, the executives themselves are suddenly rich. But, in reality, LinkedIn was scammed by its bankers.
The fact that the stock more than doubled on its first day of trading — something the investment bankers, with their fingers on the pulse of the market, absolutely must have known would happen — means that hundreds of millions of additional dollars that should have gone to LinkedIn wound up in the hands of investors that Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch wanted to do favors for. Most of those investors, I guarantee, sold the stock during the morning run-up. It’s the easiest money you can make on Wall Street.
As Eric Tilenius, the general manager of Zynga, wrote on Facebook: “A huge opening-day pop is not a sign of a successful I.P.O., but rather a massively mispriced one. Bankers are rewarding their friends and themselves instead of doing their fiduciary duty to their clients.” —
Taking nothing away from everyone at LinkedIn, and everything they’ve done to get there. It’s about the banks they’re working with, and who benefits how.
“A lot of times I’ll write something, and the online desk will rewrite it because it doesn’t work.” He crosses his arms and leans against the dry-erase board. “And that’s because Google doesn’t laugh.” —via kthread, ‘Google Doesn’t Laugh’: Saving Witty Headlines in the Age of SEO - David Wheeler - Technology - The Atlantic
At one point, U.S. officials had pursued a probe into whether al-Qaida was using special software that would allow the email transmission of porn photos implanted with hidden messages that could be deciphered by recipients with the right code. “We thought this was the way that messages were being transmitted,” said the official.” —
This is shoddy journalism; the use of porn-based steganographic encryption by Al Qaeda is in fact old news, pre-dating 9/11.