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Syrian Tragedy Continues

The GCP technology is not well designed for long drawn-out events such as the ongoing attempts by the Syrian regime to crush demonstrations by people opposed to Bashar al-Assad's rule. Seen as a part of the "Arab Spring" the relatively peaceful demonstrations have so far been unsuccessful in creating a change, and indeed have been met with increasingly violent military action by the government. For the GCP, the best tactic we have for looking at such an "event" is to make a probe that examines a relatively sharp point in time. We can select a few hours, up to a full day as representative because that period is a sharply defined example or sample of the ongoing tragedy. Here we look at the daylight hours of Feb 9 2012 -- representing the bombing in Homs, where the Syrian military has focused its attempts to stamp out the resistance.

From The Globe and Mail:

As atrocities mount in Syria, international community struggles to choose course of action

Scores more were killed Thursday as artillery salvo pounded Homs – the battered and bloodied Syrian city targeted by President Bashar al-Assad’s loyal security forces for a brutal repression.

“The appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighbourhoods, is a grim harbinger of things to come,” said UN Security-General Ban Ki-moon, warning of even worse if full-blown civil war erupts.

Appeals for help from Homs, where makeshift hospitals were reportedly overflowing with the dying and food was scarce in some besieged neighbourhoods, came after a week of sniper fire and machine-gun barrages. The day’s death toll, impossible to confirm, was said to be more than 100 by nightfall, according to eyewitnesses and beleaguered medical staff.

The GCP event was set for approximately sunrise to sundown (8 am to 8pm local, 06:00 to 18:00 UTC). The result is Chisquare 43519 on 43200 df, for p = 0.139 and Z = 1.084.

Syrian Tragedy

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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