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[Nettime-nl] (delyaed posting due to server change nettime) 2013-08-30:
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:57:08 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] (delyaed posting due to server change nettime) 2013-08-30: Hollande's 2013 politics: DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY forgetting dark past of France during Great Syrian Revolt 1920/27

President Hollande's 2013 politics: DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY forgetting dark past of France during Great Syrian Revolt 1920/27

The picture tableau belonging to this article can be found at my Flickr web page:


DO NOT LEARN The Great Syrian Revolt 1920-1927 FROM HISTORY"We are very busy here with getting the new edition out" said the journalist at 'foreign affairs' section of the Dutch daily 'De Volkskrant' just an hour ago, when I tried to interest hem for a historical scoop on the last interview of social democrat warmonger President François Hollande to Le Monde of today: “The massacre of Damascus can not and must not stay unpunished”... I am still enraged about such a lack of insight and total lack of any historical knowledge of a President of the French Republic. 

The historian Michael Provence's book on another French involvement in Syria less than a century ago quoted in the picture speaks about "the ghastly methods", the "round the clock aerial and artillery bombardments of civilian populations" by the post WWI French neo-colonizers of what is now Lebanon and Syria. I repeat the full quotation here, just for the sake of searching machines who may point - later - people to this insight:

"The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism":

“The revolt remains significant for one final and tragic reason. The destruction visited on Syria’s cities, towns, and villages was unprecedented. The mandate government, sworn to advance the interests and development of the mandatory population, used collective punishment of entire towns —including wholesale executions, house demolitions, utilization of tanks and armored vehicles in urban neighborhoods, population transfers from region to region, and round-the-clock aerial and artillery bombardment of civilian populations — to pacify the territory under mandate. While these ghastly methods have continued to characterize conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere, it was the distinction of the mandatory government of France to have used them first. ”[Provence, Michael. 2005. The great Syrian revolt and the rise of Arab nationalism. Austin: University of Texas Press; page 26]

The full book can be dwonloaded as a PDF via this link of bookos.org

(patience server sometimes off-line)

One should not apply the hollow dictum "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." of George Santayana (1905) Reason in Common Sense, volume 1 of The Life of Reason 1905/1906), as we can of course compare neither the French nor the Syrians of the years 1920/27 with those living now, but there is historical significance in the actual situation, whereby the French government still seems to think that their military power and their aims are superior to that of the Syrians. This position leaves out the interest of the Russian Federation in the region, their supply of anti-missile facilities, their stronghold in the Syrian harbour town of Tartous, being an essential naval support point for the Russians in the Mediterranean. It also excludes the indirect Iranian involvement in the Syrian War and the involvement of Hezbollah.

Till now France has stayed "unpunished" for its "massacres" of less than a century ago, using modern weaponry against local insurgents (both Druze and Arabs), bombing and terrorising civilians from Hama to Damascus. 

The standard work on casualties of 'Warfare and Armed Conflicts' by Michael Clodfelter uses the colonisers naming of this war "Syrian and Druze Rebellions - 1919/20-1925/27" and it may suffice to add this selection from his summary: 

"Meanwhile, the rebellion had spread  to Damascus as the Arab population joined the Druze in insurrection. Under heavy pressure, the French garrison there withdrew from this most ancient of all cities on October 14 and then pummeled the Syrian capital with a two-day artillery, air, and tank bombardment, October 18-19, that killed over 500 civilians. 
The French reoccupied Damascus, but the city was again swept by rebellion on July 18, 1926. A second, even more intense shelling and aerial bombardment of the city followed. The shrapnel rained for 48 hours and killed 1,000 Syrians. Damascus was subdued, but the Druze fought on with incredible bravery, their horsemen even daring to charge French tanks. The French had to deploy 70,000 troops and sacrifice 4,000 lives in battle, but by the summer of 1927 the Druze had to accept defeat and French rule." [page 375; Third Edition; 2008]

The last source is only in one Dutch Library, The KMA (Royal Military Academy) in Breda. I do have a personal copy (this because all local universities in Amsterdam fail completely in having such important standard works on war in their collections.
Some preview pages can be seen at Amazon, to get the idea of this work (that tends to give much lower casualty numbers than many other sources, prudent one may say)

For my vision on the alleged gas attack see my news-tableau and subsequential documentation of August the 23d.: "21/8/2013 DISINFORMATION-WAR OR GAS-WAR IN SYRIA - information poison or poison gas?"


"SANA Syrian Government News Agency "new false allegations that the Armed Forces used toxic gas in Damascus..." being caught in a deadly lie?"

On statistics of Syrian War casualties

In July 2013 the United Nations Human Rights organisation published a research they had commissioned to try and establish a total count of the death toll in Syria since spring 2011. The total number was then nearing the 100.000. That awkward high number in itself has not been jumped on by any state to propose any form of direct intervention. John Walker summarised the generalised hypocrisy and media brainwashing that made that only the alleged gas attack triggered a serious need for military action:


See my visualisation of Bashar Al-Assad going over the death toll numbers.... from July this year.
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