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Syria: intervention or non-intervention?

On 17 February 2012, a piece of news written by Kevin Ovenden in The Guardian stated this: ” Calls for aggressive intervention in Syria are growing as the country slides further into sectarian civil war. The shrillest are from the Republican right, joined this week by Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. The same people are campaigning for confrontation with Iran, threatening a major war. Elliot Abrams, a neoconservative architect of the Iraq disaster, spells out the connection: Syria, he says, provides a “proxy opportunity” to heat up the cold war with Tehran”.

As happened in Libya, “the war was purportedly to save lives. In fact, the killing intensified on all sides, including from Nato bombs. Estimates of the number dead reach 30,000. The outcome is not democracy and human rights. Amnesty International is the latest NGO to report the torturing to death of prisoners under the new regime and rival militias”.

The Tribune News, added in March through the reporter Vaishnav Sunil that “what distinguishes Syria from Libya is the nature of existing opposition within the country. Unlike Libya, where much of the coastal core of the population lived under rebel control, the opposition to Syria’s dictatorial president, Bashar al-Assad, has not achieved sustained control of any major population area. This implies that air power alone would probably not be sufficient to blunt the Assad loyalists entrenched in cities, and a heavy ground campaign would probably face stiff and bloody resistance. If a large region broke away from the regime en masse, international humanitarian intervention would become more viable. So although a mass homicide campaign is under way in Syria, there is no way to stop it without loss of unacceptable lives.”

Many political experts claim that militaryintervention in Syria would do more harm than good. Namely, Ed Husain, Senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies, Council on Foreign Relations, gives his view on the motion in “Economist Debates: Syria”. He believes that “military intervention in Syria is ill-conceived, short-sighted, counter-productive, and likely to generate more killings and massacres rather than stop them. Unlike any other Arab nation, Syria is home to varied and numerous assortments of religious sects, tribes, ethnicities and historic rivalries. In contrast to the uprisings in Yemen, Egypt and Libya, we have not witnessed high-level political and military defections inside Syria. And the largest cities in Syria—Damascus and Aleppo—have so far been relatively calm. Whatever the reasons—fear of, or support for, Bashar Assad—the opposition has thus failed to mobilise key constituencies inside Syria that would indicate to us that the regime is losing control”.

Nevertheless, there some few experst that are in favour of intervention. Shadi Hamid,director of research, Brooking Doha Center, states that “military action, in any context, should not be taken lightly. But neither should standing by and proposing measures that have, in Syria, so far failed to work. Opponents of intervention need to explain how staying the current course—hoping that diplomacy might work when it has not for nearly a year—is likely to resolve an increasingly deadly civil war”.


  1. Kevin Ovenden, 17-02-12, “Western Intervention in Syria will do more harm than good”. The Guardian. Retrieved: 05-05-12 from
  2. Vaishnav Sunil, March 2012, “Syria: must the west take action?” The Tribune News. Retrieved: 05-05-12 from
  3. Ed Husain, 10-02-12, “West must not intervene militarily in Syria”. CNN. Retrieved: 03-05-12 from
  4. Shadi Hamid, 21-02-12, Economist Debates: Syria. The Economist. Retrieved 03-05-12  from
  5. Charles Crawford, 27-03-12, “If it brings freedom, a bloody Syrian civil war may be preferable to slavery”. Syrian Freedom. Retrieved: 05-05-12 from

Linked Data

Linked Data is theway that the Semantic Web has to link the different data that are distributed on the Web, so that is referenced in the same way they do the links on Web pages.

The Semantic Web is not just the publication of data on the Web, but they can be linked to others, so that people and machines can explore the web of data, being able to related information referred from other initial data.

In the same way that the web site of the hypertext, the web of data is built by documents on the web. However, unlike the web of hypertext, where links are relationships between points of the documents written in HTML, the data link arbitrary things described by RDF.

For example, assuming that a directory of companies publishes specialized informationon relative to organizations, such as size or professional area, you may want to indicate also information about location. There are web sites with large geographic databases with detailed information on locations, the business directory can refer to the geographical data that are arranged in the external source. Thus, the initial data of the organization are enriched with information provided by experts in the geographical area.

As we can read in the book of Tom Heath and Christian Bizer ( Linked Data: Envolving the Web Into a Global Data Space, 2011):

The term Linked Data refers to a set of best practices for publishing and interlinking structured data on the Web. These best practices were introduced by Tim Berners Lee in his Web architecture note Linked Data and have become known as the Linked Data principles. These principles are the following:

1. Use URIs as names of things

2. Use HTTP URIs, so that people can look up those names.

3. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF, SPARQL)

4. Include links to other URIs, so that they can discover more things

– References:

* Linked data. (2012, April 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:15, May 8, 2012, from

Linked Data: Envolving the Web Into a Global Data Space by Tom Heath and Christian Bizer (2011)

Digital curation, babes digitala

Digital curation kontzeptuak oraindik garatzen dirau; definizio  zehatz bat ematea zaila bada ere,  “Digital Curation and Trusted Repositories: Steps toward Success”-en Christopher A. Lee eta Helen R. Tibbo-k hurrengo esanahia eman diote:

Digital curation involves selection and appraisal by creators and archivists; evolving provision of intellectual access; redundant storage; data transformations; and, for some materials, a commitment to long-term preservation. Digital curation is stewardship that provides for the reproducibility and re-use of authentic digital data and other digital assets. Development of trustworthy and durable digital repositories; principles of sound metadata creation and capture; use of open standards for file formats and data encoding; and the promotion of information management literacy are all essential to the longevity of digital resources and the success of curation efforts. Read more…

Google Books, bi ikasleren erronka

Google badakigu zer den, sareko web bilatzailerik hoberena, alegia; baina, Google Books-ez galdetzen digutenean, ikara aurpegia baino ez dute aurkituko erantzun gisa. Jendeak jakin dezan, Google Books,laburki esanda, sarean liburu askotako testu osoak ikusteko aukera ematen duen zerbitzua da. Sergey Brin-ek eta Larry Page-k, Google-ko sortzaileek, 1996an hasi zuten proiektu baten emaitza da. Hauek, liburutegi digitalak sortu nahi zituzten eta, etrokizun batean, liburuak arakatu eta elkarren artean zuten konexioa jakiteko sarekoz zerbitzu bat sortzea. Read more…

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