[Marxism] What Russia taught Syria: When you destroy a city, make sure no one -- not even the story -- gets out alive.

Tristan Sloughter tristan.sloughter at gmail.com
Sat Mar 3 13:59:15 MST 2012


This time, journalists were specifically targeted to prevent sympathetic or
embarrassing reports from escaping the killing zone. As such, you can't
find a lot of stories about the second Chechen war. One of the few and best
accounts was written by Marie Colvin, who described her terrifying escape
from Grozny for the Sunday Times. Last month, Colvin thought she could roll
the dice and enter the besieged Syrian city of Homs to defy yet another
brutal war of oppression. This time she lost.

It's impossible to know whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- a
longtime ally of Russia -- studied the success of the last Chechen war
before launching his own assault on the restive city of Homs. However, his
Russian military advisors surely know the tactics well. The crackdown in
Homs carries a grim echo of Grozny, both in its use of signals intelligence
to track down and silence the regime's enemies and in its bloody
determination to obliterate any opposition, including Western journalists.

Assad's ability to lethally target journalists using satellite-phone
uplinks could well have cost Colvin her life. Multiple reports have
suggested that Syrian forces used phone signals to pinpoint her location
and then launched a rocket barrage that resulted in her death on Feb. 22,
along with that of French photographer Remi Ochlik and multiple Syrian

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