Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Syria - There Are No Good Guys

Commentary By Ron Beasley

John Rosenthal of NRO reports that the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is reporting that anti-Assad Sunni rebels are responsible for the Houla massacre.

According to the article�s sources, the massacre occurred after rebel forces attacked three army-controlled roadblocks outside of Houla. The roadblocks had been set up to protect nearby Alawi majority villages from attacks by Sunni militias. The rebel attacks provoked a call for reinforcements by the besieged army units. Syrian army and rebel forces are reported to have engaged in battle for some 90 minutes, during which time �dozens of soldiers and rebels� were killed.

�According to eyewitness accounts,� the FAZ report continues,

the massacre occurred during this time. Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla�s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla�s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator. Immediately following the massacre, the perpetrators are supposed to have filmed their victims and then presented them as Sunni victims in videos posted on the internet.

The FAZ report echoes eyewitness accounts collected from refugees from the Houla region by members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria. According to monastery sources cited by the Dutch Middle East expert Martin Janssen, armed rebels murdered �entire Alawi families� in the village of Taldo in the Houla region.

Of course there is no way to verify any of this but the one thing that can be verified - there are no good guys here.  This is a tribal, religious and civil war all  rolled up into one.  Another thing we can be certain of that no matter which side wins they will not be a friend of the US or Israel.  

Just another of the many good reasons not to get involved.


  1. Thanks for the balance but I hope in view of American Mideast policy conducted for the past few decades, your concluding sentences don't imply we are the good guys.

  2. @amspirnational
    No it does not.

  3. This report comes as no surprise to me because I read foreign media on a regular basis. The US media gets all of its information from anti-Assad forces, and therefor says that all violence is caused by "overnment troops" or by "pro-government militias." The Houla massacre was reported by US media as being perpetrated by "government backed militias," without any disclaimers as to dubiousness of sourcing.
    It is noteworthy that US media never reports that Assad has any support other than his Army, while foreign media reports that a bit over 50% of the population does so either out of loyalty or as a matter of survival.