Videos From The Violent Syrian Revolution: Will A "No Oil Zone" Mean Syrians Can Kiss Dreams Of A "No Fly Zone" Goodbye?

Tyler Durden's picture

The one revolution currently rocking the Levant region (more fitting than MENA as it include Greece which at last check was also not all that peaceful, as well as Italy, which soon won't be all that peaceful either) that few are talking about is that of Syria, which has been put on the backburner as no holy crusade is currently in place to liberate its people, but, far more importantly, its oil, nor does it even have oil, is that of Syria. Which is unfortunate because all the public outcry crusaders who just look for their chance to express their disapproval of the latest toppling regime (after quietly sitting on the sidelines for ages saying nothing), would have a field day with what is going on in Damascus, but primarily the city of Daraa for the time being. Per Haaretz: "Syrian security forces killed on Saturday two protesters who tried to
torch the ruling Baath Party headquarters in the port city of Latakia,
rights activist Ammar Qarabi told Reuters in the Egyptian capital. Protesters set fire to offices of the ruling
party in southern and western Syria on Saturday, burning tires and
attacking cars and shops in a religiously mixed city on the
Mediterranean coast, according to accounts by government officials,
activists and witnesses. More than a week of protests centered in Daraa exploded into nationwide unrest Friday when tens of thousands of protesters marched in cities, town and villages around the country, posing the greatest threat in decades to the Baath party's iron-fisted rule." Unfortunately for the people of Syria, they should prepare for the same kind of retaliation that Gaddafi rained upon his own discontents, until France, pardon the UN, pardon the US, pardon NATO, pardon not the Arab League, pardon total chaos, decided to step in and order a no fly zone. Alas, rule #1 in international economics: "No oil Zone", means no "No fly zone." Syria, you are on your own.

Some rather graphic clips from Friday's events in Syria:

And a recap of recent events:

In the coastal city of Latakia, dozens of people protested before attacking the Baath offices, said Ammar Qarabi, an exile in Egypt who heads Syria's National Organization for Human Rights.

A Syrian activist in touch with protesters in Latakia said hundreds had been demonstrating there since Friday evening, burning tires and shouting "Freedom!" A few protesters were attacking cars and shops, the activist said.

Troops and soldiers opened fire in at least six places, killing some 15 protesters, according to witnesses, activists and footage posted on social networking sites.

A resident of Latakia who spoke to The Associated Press from home reported hearing gunfire Saturday evening, but could not say where it was coming from. Shaaban said that an "armed group" had occupied the roofs of some buildings in Latakia, and claimed the group was shooting randomly at citizens.

A Syrian official told The Associated Press that two passersby were killed and two others wounded in Latakia by sniper fire from rooftops. He denied that the army had opened fire on protesters.

A hospital official in Latakia also said there were two dead and two wounded. He declined to give any other details.

Footage on a Facebook site run by Syrian activists showed what it said were the dead and wounded in Latakia. Young men carried one man by his limbs through the street, then another. They laid the second man limp in the street.

"It's the military police!" one shouted.

Footage from an opposition Syrian news agency uploaded onto YouTube claimed to show another man killed in Latakia.

Men screamed, "Oh God! Oh God!" as they laid the body of the young man on the floor, his face smeared with blood and a gaping hole close to his jawline.

The authenticity of the footage could not be independently confirmed.

Qurabi said four people had been killed when armed forces fired on protesters Friday in Latakia, which is almost evenly divided between the country's majority Sunni Muslims and Alawites, members of a branch of Shiite Islam who hold most positions of power, including the presidency.

Activists called online for a popular peaceful uprising Saturday in all Syrian provinces, urging people to take part in funerals "and not return home."

By early Saturday afternoon, President Bashar Assad had pulled back police and soldiers from Daraa and released hundreds of political prisoners in an attempt to appease demonstrators furious about the violent government crackdown on dissent.

A resident told The Associated Press by telephone that security forces had withdrawn to the outskirts of Daraa, where protests demanding the release of youths arrested for spraying anti-government graffiti have spiraled into daily confrontations with security forces, who have repeatedly opened fire.

The Daraa resident said more than 1,000 people were holding a silent sit-in at the al-Omari mosque, the epicenter of the protests. Protesters used the mosque as a refuge and ad hoc medical center until they were driven out in a government assault on Wednesday. They retook the mosque during clashes with government forces on Friday, witnesses said.

The clashes erupted after protesters attacked a statue of late President Hafez Assad in Daraa's main square, witnesses said. The Daraa resident said the statue had been knocked down and a giant picture of President Bashar Assad, the late leader's son, had been torn apart.

A video posted on the main Facebook page used by Syrian pro-democracy activists showed a crowd of young men in Deraa climbing onto the base and trying to shake it from its perch, then rushing toward a nearby building, some throwing what appear to be stones. Suddenly, automatic weapons fire breaks out and the video ends.

A resident told The Associated Press that he saw two bodies and many wounded people brought to Daraa's main hospital after the shooting.

A human rights activist said authorities had released 260 political prisoners. Abdul-Karim Rihawi, who heads the Syrian Human Rights League, said most of those released on Saturday were Islamists and 14 Kurdish detainees were also let free. Most had been imprisoned at Saidnaya, a prison in a Damascus suburb that houses political detainees. He said no further details were immediately available and there was no official confirmation.

Rihawi called the move a "positive step" and urged authorities to release all political detainees.

An activist in Damascus said a funeral had been held in the village of Sanamein for seven people shot when demonstrators tried to march a short distance to Daraa to support the protesters there.

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yabyum's picture

No F-Tomcats for you!! Two years.

Mark McGoldrick's picture

Violent revolutions + video of bloody bodies on the ground = libertarian catnip

I thought this was a finance blog?  I enjoy ZH as much as anyone here, but sometimes I don't understand its direction.  

Selah's picture


Are you new to "finance"?

Do you not understand how geo-political events affect finance?

If not, follow ZH...


txapela's picture

money is finance, and finance is in everything.


it's not just that geopolitical events affect finance, like wars  & protests, but that finance affects geopolitics. Like so:


The Fed starts Quantitative Easing.

Quantitative Easing causes commodities to rise in price, like wheat and sugar.

These rises in price squeeze people's wealth. Poorer countries, where people use the majority of their wealth in food, are affected most.

This, in turn, creates a political problem. People protest, and governments are forced to act through 'austerity measures' and/or repression.


So, you see, it is not really something far fetched to be talking about protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Chad, India, China, Greece, Portugal, England, Winsconsin, etc. in a finance blog. Because, really, these are the effects of macroeconomics currently at play in the world. Finance causes this. Ergo, it belongs here.

Mark McGoldrick's picture

Your (and everyone else's) attempt to blame everything on the Fed - world rioting, civil unrest, austerity and world famine - is indicative of someone who has been thoroughly brainwashed by libertarian political buffoonery.

While I will admit that money is fungible and therefore quantitative easing must have some effect on commodity prices, the correlation between QE and commodity spikes has been grossly overstated and dubious, at best.  Not only does it fail to address the "super-spike" in a wide swath of commodities in 06/7/8 (long before anyone had ever heard of QE), it doesn't take into account genuine supple/demand imbalances and how those inequities are juiced to the moon by speculation. And that's a huge elephant that's being ignored.    

QE1, which totaled over $1T, began in late 2008.  Yet it wasn't until a year and a half later that corn began to spike, and corn still hasn't reached its summer 2008 peak - a peak that occurred before QE existed and rates plummeted to zero. 

Rice.  From late 2009 to the summer of 2010, rice actually fell by almost 40% - again, during a time when over a $1T in QE was put on the books.

Wheat.  Wheat stayed within a narrow range for 1.5 years just like corn during QE1.  Then, it began to spike two months before QE2 was suggested by Bernanke in Jackson Hole. Today, wheat remains about 60% off its pre-QE highs. Again, no correlation.

Sugar.  Sugar is another commodity that actually fell by 50% during the first six months of 2010. No correlation.

Oil.  To this day, oil is still 50% off it pre-QE high of $147. No correlation.   

I know that QE has had an impact on commodity prices, equities, bonds, everything, but it is very questionable (highly doubtful, I might add) that one can blame so much of the world's chaos on a single institution - and all the charts confirm this. In fact, one look at the bond market in the past 4 months, and you'll find yields moving in the opposite direction of what QE2 was suppose to do. Up, down, sideways... there seems to be absolutely no true, definable correlation between QE and market dynamics.  

Yet, in light of all this, you (and SO many others here) want to blame rioting in the Middle East, Africa, India, etc. on our Federal Reserve/QE, as if these places have otherwise been historically docile environments. It's very ironic that our Fed is supposedly responsible for so much of the world's rioting, yet there is little to no rioting in the US - and it's our money and our Fed! It makes no sense. Telling me that money runs through everything, and therefore all rioting and chaos is relevant to a finance blog is really stretching the boundaries of credibility, especially when you use QE as your primary link to your wildly irrelevant dots.  

Personally, I think this article (like many others in the past year) is all about feeding that endless libertarian fascination with doomer porn.  This blog has become decidedly libertarian, and there seems to be no better libertarian catnip than violence, blood and revolt.  

In short, it ain't about finance.  






Kiwi Pete's picture

Well reasoned response Mark. Always good to read an opposing view. Cheers for that. Peter

Mark McGoldrick's picture


By the way, New Zealand is one of my favorite countries on earth.  NZ and Norway are two fantastic places to go base jumping with wing suits.  

Beautiful country. 

jballz's picture

Mr McGoldrick

I would venture a ballpark guess that maybe 1 in 5,000-10,000 people understand how the Fed works. I would put it at more like 1 in 100 zerohedge readers.

Despite 15 years as a professional finance geek I still have huge blind spots in my understanding. Thus, there are many false conclusions based on ignorance. But that ignorance is by design. I know enough to be sure of that.

The essence of quantitative easing is the monetization of massive amounts of obligatory notes. This creates monetary stimulus.

The first "QE" was a de facto monetization via credit expansion through inconceivably vast and rapid expansion of derivatives.

The leveraging of existing capital at 50-500 to 1 margins in a round robin game of pyramid investments had the same effect as QE does now. The reason that crashed was the derivative shuffle actually drained the entire reserve base from the system (see fed release H.1 2007-2008).

The crash of 2008 in commodities- chiefly oil- was the result of squelching access to credit and de-leveraging (same thing).

The QE is replacing the vacuum created by the elimination of the derivatives bubble to supply credit and reinflate in a theoretically more controllable format.

So, the availability of credit via derivative/leverage based investment (aka speculation) or through QE fed window does correlate closely with commodities prices. To expect a day-to-day lockstep in unrealistic. To expect uniformity across all markets (rice, pistachios) is unrealistic.

However it is a safe bet (if there is any such thing) that a monthly moving average will in the very long run show a precise correlation between the monetary stimulus and the the CRB or GSCI from 2001 through say 2020, both essentially parabolic relative to the entire history of both.


Mark McGoldrick's picture

Well, actually I agree with most everything you say, except the part about GSCI and monetary stimulus.  

To be clear, I don't expect lock-step movements, nor do I expect uniformity among various commodities.  

You make some really good points - a few, though, that I want to pick apart tomorrow.  For instance, I don't think the new spigot of money pouring from institutional investors into commodity indexes such as GSCI is related to monetary stimulus. If memory serves correct, from 2003 to 2008, there was a near twenty-fold increase of money flowing into commodity indexes, and, all the way until 2007, this was a time of increasing rates.     

But right now, I've gotta go to bed. 

By the way, your implication that speculators are to blame for the parabolic rise in prices goes against nearly everything here at ZH.  You realize that, don't you?


Urban Redneck's picture

The equity and commodity markets are nothing more than screaming toddlers on the legs of their parents- the currency and interest rate markets.  The children may make obnoxious noises, run across the room, and draw the ire of bystanders, but any movement over a few feet is strictly controlled by their parents, who never let their children get out of their sight.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

QE is only one tool of FED monetary policy.  If you plot recent business/economic cycles the oscillations are compressing and the amplitude in increasing, due to increased FED intervention.  Brief recap of US 21st century finance-

Ancient History from the 20th century history: Kobe Earthquake, Tom Yum Goong Disease (USDX 87 to 98), LTCM, Dot Com Bubble (USDX 95 to 120)
Prelude: Housing slowdown, Dot Com Bust, Glass-Stegall repeal, CFMA
Commencement: 9/11, G7/CB Intervention, QE #-2, Greenspan's rendition of ZIRP (6.5% to 1%)
Low Interest Rates (1%), Declining Dollar (USDX 120 to 71)
Rising Oil, Rising Gold
Rising Home Prices, Rising Debt, Decreasing Lending Standards
Bubbles form in various Debt Markets
Benign CPI concurrent with exported inflation to dollar denominated developing markets (incl. commodities broadly)
First Food Crisis of 21st Century, First Oil Shock of the 21st Century ($150)
FED tries to reverse Greenspan's rendition of ZIRP (1% to 6.25%)
Housing Market turns down
New & Weak Players (those brought in through Decreasing Lending Standards) are washed out i.e. Subprime
FIs that cater to New & Weak Players fold, culminating in the nationalization of the GSEs later in 2008
FASB Mark to Market and its subsequent reversal
Fall 2007, QE #-1/LRIP (6.25%-4.5%), USDJPY 4% in 30 mins,
2008 QE #0.5/LIRP becomes ZIRP (4.5%-0%) Contagion streads to Old & Strong Players (Libor blowout, ABCP freeze, meltdown of entire shadow banking system) Bear, Merrill, Lehman, AIG, WaMu, etc.
Flight to Safety in Global Financial Panic and Credit Market Freeze (USDX 71 to 90)
Fall 2008, Paulson Bernanke and Geither pass the hat around on Capital Hill (ala Greenspan's hat passing maneuver during LTCM) TARP/QE #0/CB Swaps/ G7 Interventions
QE1 (USDX 90 to 74)
Pause (USDX 74 to 88)
QE2 (USDX 88 to 76 so far)
Repeat: Low Interest Rates, Declining Dollar, Rising Oil, Rising Gold
Repeat: Benign CPI concurrent with exported inflation to dollar denominated developing markets (incl. commodities broadly)
Repeat: 2nd Food Crisis of 21st Century (Rising Food Prices/Inflation and lack of jobs in Tunisia & Egypt spread into broader MENA crisis)
Japanese Earthquake, USDJPY 4% in 30 mins
Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Today
TBD: 1 round of heavy artillery or missile fired in the Persian Gulf and Second Oil Shock of the 21st Century
TBD: If USDX decline is not reversed (which requires a flight to safety and willingness to accept negative real return in US) and USDX 71 is broken then no rest till impact (0)
TBD: QE3 & ZIRP continuation??? Pro: keeps the bubble alive, Con: bigger bang when the bubble bursts- see Fall 2008 for example of smaller bubble burst and extrapolate to quantify the next financial meltdown

sun tzu's picture

Hey Mark McDummy, do you not realize that they did not immediately dump $1T into the market on the first day of QE1? It takes time for the money and inflation to creep into the system.


To use the oil all time high of $147 during a 3 month spike shows your stupidity for all to see. If thise was merely a spike in oil prices, then there would be little cause for concern. Oil prices show no signs of going retreating. 

Mark McGoldrick's picture

do you not realize that they did not immediately dump $1T into the market on the first day of QE1? It takes time for the money and inflation to creep into the system....

Thanks Sherlock. Your insight is staggering. I was always wondering where it got dumped, and if someone could just take the trillion dollar duffle bag and run - like some sort of Ocean's 14 script.

And just for clarification....   given your post above (that the actual money needs to diffuse through the system first), you do NOT believe that QE2 led to the 2010 commodity spike, right?  Is money not fungible?  If $1T can't do much to commodities over 1.5 years, then QE2 surely can't be responsible for price action 4 months before it starts, right?  That's your logic playing out to its retarded end.  And you do know that this opinion of yours runs against everything preached at ZH and against all your fellow libertarians who directly blame QE2 for all commodity action after August 27th.  


Sun Tzu say:  If your enemy is superior, run!   

snowball777's picture

Supply shocks -> price movement -> speculation (here's CB input to the chain reaction) -> bigger price movement -> bubble -> revolution.


smlbizman's picture

because you don't have the will power to not open items that don't interest you?

i,m quite happy with their direction, thats why i about you mark?


Zer0head's picture

The direction Mr. McGoldrick is that on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero. The good citizens of Syria are about to experience that.

falak pema's picture

Sharp minds and non-flaccid dicks suffer the same fate on a long enough time line...I'll keep that in mind!

breezer1's picture

why did you stop watching cnn?

Yen Cross's picture

Can you tell me how to get? How to get to "Sesame Street".

Cheyenne's picture

Hard left. Ignore Snuffle-lup-a-gus. Hopeless drug addict like us all.

snowball777's picture

C'mon...who doesn't enjoy a good time huffing airplane glue now and then?

Dr. Porkchop's picture

What's another revolution thrown onto the fire? A nuclear meltdown can't stop the relentless money printing, what can?

Yen Cross's picture

A 100 meter asteroid comes to mind! Love ya Pork Chop!

snowball777's picture

Only if it happens to nail William and Pine.

Racer's picture

Now midnight UK time, and UK protests still ongoing.


Banksters haven't suffered at all, in fact they have become even richer, so why should the people and their children's children pay for it

pauldia's picture

The apple may not fall far from the tree. Such a tolerant loving bunch these Arabs.



Hama 1982 – The Syrian massacre you never heard about, page 1; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: #ffffff; background-position: 0% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; padding: 2px; border: 1px solid #7e9db9;" maxlength="90" name="q" size="25" type="text" /> Pages: 
ATS Members have flagged this thread 0 times Topic started on 22-7-2005 @ 09:05 AM by skippytjc; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-color: #484848; border-top-width: 5px; border-top-color: #000000; border-top-style: solid; background-position: 0% 0%; background-repeat: repeat no-repeat; padding: 12px;">In 1982 the Syrian government killed 30,000 – 40,000 of its own citizens. Assad leveled an entire city with an air bombardment followed by artillery and tank fire. Why? They were anti Baath party, and apparently in 1982 in Syria that was a death sentence… 

CAUTION: Graphic descriptions of atrocities in the article 


“The residents of a Syrian city named Hama had been more persistent in their criticisms of the dictator than other towns. For that reason, 

Hafez Assad decided that Hama would be the staging point of the example he was to make to the Syrian people. In the twilight hours of February the 2nd, 1982, the city of Hama was awakened by loud explosions. The Syrian air force had begun to drop their bombs from the dark sky. 

The initial bombing run cost the city few casualties. It's main purpose had been to disable the roads so that no-one could escape. Earlier in the night, Syrian tanks and artillery systems had surrounded Hama. With the conclusion of the air bombing run, the tanks and artillery began their relentless shelling of the town. 

The cost in human lives was severe. As homes crumbled upon their living occupants and the smell of charred skin filled the streets, a few residents managed to escape the shelling and started to flee. They were met by the Syrian army which had surrounded the city ... they were all shot dead. 

Hours of shelling had turned Hama into rubble. The tanks and artillery had done all that they could. The next wave of attacks came in the form of Syrian soldiers. They quickly converged onto the town killing anything that would move. Groups of soldiers would round up men, women, and children only to shoot them in the back of the head. Many other soldiers would invade homes with the orders to kill all inhabitants. 

After the majority of the people in Hama were dead, the soldiers began looting. They would take all that they could from the now empty homes. Some were seen picking through the dead civilians looking for money, watches, and rings. 

With their mission completed and their pockets filled with loot, the soldiers began to retreat from the city. One would think that would have been the last wave of the attacks. It was not. The final attack on Hama was the most gruesome. To make sure that no person was left alive in the rubble and buildings, the Syrian army brought in poison gas generators. Cyanide gas filled the air of Hama. Bulldozers were later used to turn the city into a giant flat area. 
The Syrian government death count was place at around 20,000 people dead ... but the Syrian Human Rights Committee estimates it to be much higher, at somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 civilians’ dead or missing…” 

They used POISON gas on them? Those poor people. 

You really need to read this entire report. Survivors speak of being shot standing over pits with piles and piles of dead bodies. The ones that survived played dead until the government soldiers left. The purging of these people and the stories the survivors tell reminds me of the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. The Assad regime has clearly perpetrated some of the grizzliest war crimes of our times. Let hope the Assad and their savage practices can be stopped or overthrown before this happens again…


DEA's picture

You are correct sir, the Syrian people better watch out. Hafez al-Assad wiped out between 20k and 40k people, yet there was not western intervention. Why, no oil. I read about this in one of Robert Baer's books, I believe it was See No Evil, and I was curious why I never heard of it before. I wonder if the Assad Jr. is as ruthless as the old man. If so, those people better run for their lives.

Kiwi Pete's picture

I don't think he has the stomach for it. One mass-murderer in the family is more than enough. He was brought up in the West I believe so maybe some of our more liberal attitudes have rubbed off on him. One can only hope!

Motorhead's picture

The younger (current) Assad had a nice little meeting with the Queen of England but a few years ago so SURELY he must be a good chap.

BigJim's picture

Such a tolerant loving bunch these Arabs.

Yeah, because we would never commit mass murder.

Are you aware Churchill wanted to gas Kurdish rebel villages? No? I thought not.

sun tzu's picture

Wanting to do something and actually doing it are different. I'm sure you've wanted to kill some idiot on the freeway before.

Debtless's picture

Yawn...crisis fatigue.


Yen Cross's picture

Nice work gentle men/ladies. I have an Angel to kiss. Her name is (Radioactive)

metastar's picture

The world is on fire!


serotonindumptruck's picture

If I were a man of faith, I'd think that the seven seals were being broken. It may be about time for those Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse dudes to make their appearance.

Oligarchs Gone Wild's picture

On a long enough timeline, the current events aren't macro-tragic and aren't that much more worthy of notice than a few small ticks on a historical timeline.  Small skirmishes, meddling superpowers, fiat currencies, revolutions, earthquake, meltdown.  Of course ones physical proximity to these events will adjust your perspective, but History has been here before and done it.   Massive metropolises aren't in ruins (Detroit debatable yes), body counts aren't in the seven figures realm as was in WW's and plagues that swept the globe.   Could it be a precursor for such things?  Sure, but so could a butterfly wing oscillation.

carpe diem while you finem respice

Stranger's picture

It's really not more on fire than it was in 1848.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Stranger, it's not so much much about what is on fire as much as how much fire-power now exists. ANy Nuclear nation can uni-laterally kill a few million people with 1 munition.

There are a few 10's of thousands of such munitions on the loose (well, most are on the tight, but a good many are on the loose).

It's just that peak kill time has not arrived yet.

When it does, Dresden will look like a picnic and Hiroshima and Nagasaki a walk in the proverbial park (Jong ILL).



Long-John-Silver's picture

Should be another good day for Gold and Silver come electronic trading open Sunday evening 6:00 PM EST. Blythe has already started printing more counterfeit metal futures contracts in anticipation........

themosmitsos's picture

Alot of real, hard guys in Syria.

Yen Cross's picture

Check interbank f/x spreads 2 hours before  the open tomorrow.

tiger7905's picture

I love the way you can have 200,000+ people protest in London and it not be a top headline on or Talk about manipulation, or maybe it's a bit to close to home for comfort. These sort of things are supposed to happen in far off lands.

Summary of updates from Norcini, Hathaway, and Fleckenstein from Kingworldnews. For those without an hour+ to listen to them all.

Yen Cross's picture

They are just another TURD in the PuNChBowL. Sorry for stealing your Mantra WB-7. You just KICK ReaR EnD.

Segestan's picture

ZH....."Syria, you are on your own".   

And so they should be. Of course the No Fly Zone is a gig, but two wrongs don't make a right. The West should stay out of the ME.. period!  and that includes Israel.

Yen Cross's picture

Looked at a map lately?

falak pema's picture

If they stayed out of the ME they would lose the OIL...that's like losing Constantinople to the Turks...It's better to conquer it the Crusaders did in 1204....that's where we are since... 1970's ...when FDR's old handshake to Saudi K became serious stuff as oil went up and $ went bare...and recycling petrodollars became the name of the game. So now you say let's just shuffle off...Ar you mad??? Leave all that oil to PETROCHINA...after leaving IPADS et al to OUT-SOURCING...We will have to QE- infinity...even if the timeline runs out in the end...we'll still be printing beyond that!