Syrian Rebels Getting Stronger – They Fit a Mold: Poor, Pious, Rural

Syrian Rebels Getting Stronger? – Shameless self promotion….

The Class War Undergirding the Most Recent State of the Revolution Takes Shape

CBS News: Enemies of Assad in Syria fit a mold: Poor, pious, rural – CBS News
2012-10-16

ALEPPO, Syria Most of the rebels fighting government forces in the city of Aleppo fit a specific mold: They’re poor, religiously conservative and usually come from the underdeveloped countryside nearby.

They bring to the battle their fury over years of economic marginalization, fired by a pious fervor, and they say their fight in the civil war is not only against President Bashar Assad but also the elite merchants and industrialists who dominate the city and have stuck by the regime. The rebels regard this support for the government to be an act of betrayal.

The blend of poverty, religious piety and anger could define the future of Aleppo, and perhaps the rest of Syria, if the rebels take over the country’s largest city, which is also its economic engine. They may be tempted to push their own version of Islam, which is more fundamentalist than what is found in the city. Their bitterness at the business class may prompt them to seek ways of redistributing the wealth.

“Those who have money in Aleppo only worry about their wealth and interests when we have long lived in poverty,” said Osama Abu Mohammed, a rebel commander who was a car mechanic in the nearby town of Beyanon before he joined the fight.

“They have been breast-fed cowardice and their hearts are filled with fear. With their money, we could buy weapons that enable us to liberate the entire city in a week,” he said……

NPR’s On Point
Syria’s Evolving Uprising Excellent discussion with Ghaith Abdul Ahad, Amr al-Azm, and

Historic, once-bustling bazaar in Syria now a battleground

The ancient Souk Madina, a World Heritage Site, is divided between rebels and President Bashar Assad’s forces. Caught in the middle are residents and merchants….

“It’s our livelihood,” he explained, abruptly bursting into tears, a man of 60 weeping amid the desolation.

Abu Taher found little sympathy, however, from a group of armed rebels camped out in front of a trashed pistachio emporium, 50 yards from the front lines and the current range of government marksmen. The rebels have seen many of their comrades killed as they battle the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Why are you crying about a shop [when] people are dying?” one combatant with a Kalashnikov rifle dismissively asked the grieving merchant, who, like others, requested that he be identified with a nickname for security reasons. “Go back home, uncle.”

Tensions among Alawites pose new challenge for Assad
By , Published: October 17

BEIRUT — Rumblings of discontent within Syria’s Alawite minority are presenting a new challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s efforts to retain power in the face of an expanding armed rebellion, calling into question the loyalties even of his own sect in the conflict ravaging the country…..

Syria’s Air Defenses Would Stifle A Turkish Military Intervention
By: Eyup Can posted on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 – al-Monitor

If anyone wants to advocate intervention in Syria he should first explain to us Henri Barkey’s concerns and that air defense system.

Syria’s sophisticated air defenses are the first of several good reasons why Turkey should not contemplate unilateral military action against the Damascus regime, writes Eyup Can….

We have been debating Syria for months. Are you pro-war or pro-Assad? Shall we enter or not? Shall we set up a buffer zone with the United States or go to Damascus by ourselves in three hours?

Talking is free of charge. Everybody talks. But look what Barkey [a Turkey analyst at Lehigh University], was telling [Radikal journalist] Ezgi Basaran in their interview yesterday: “The Turkish army doesn’t have enough experience to set up a buffer zone.”

And then he lists the bitter truths.

To those who might ask who Henri Barkey is, let me remind them: He speaks Turkish better than most Turks, has worked in the US State Department and is a highly respected academic close to the Democratic Party. What does he say?

“Turkey cannot enter Syria unilaterally even if it wants to.”

Why not?

“Turkey’s aim to create a kind of buffer zone coupled with a no-fly zone in Syria. This is why it is pressing on the US [to get involved] because it can’t do this by itself. So why aren’t Americans doing it? The Syrian air defense system is highly sophisticated. America has to put hundreds of planes in the air to suppress that system. Since that air defense system was designed for use against Israel, it is developed far more than you may think. Yes, we can create a buffer zone in Syria but they will definitely shoot down some of our planes. This is not a game.”

Mind you, Barkey is not anti-war or pro-Assad. In the interview he accused the Turkish main opposition of being pro-Assad. He partially absolved the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, saying: “They didn’t have too many options.”

But his words are distinctly different from the politicians and those who are put on TV screens as experts.

“I have been in Turkey for a week. Thousands of experts appear on TV to debate Syria but nobody mentions the points I have raised with you, because they don’t know,” Barkey said. “In 1983, Hezbollah attacked a US Marine base [in Beirut] and killed [241] marines. The US decided to retaliate and the Syrian anti-aircraft system shot down two US planes. One of the pilots died and the other was captured by Syrians.

“What I am saying is that the US knows by its own experience how difficult it will be to set up a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria. To implement a buffer zone you will have to keep combat air patrols flying nonstop. As I was working with the US State Department I know how difficult a mission like that can be. Iraqi radars were locking on to US planes and we were firing missiles at those radars. We were firing at Iraqi air defense systems every day and missing them most of the time,” he said.

“The buffer zone is not easy. You will have lots of nasty incidents. If they put an anti-aircraft system next to a mosque, the plane can hit the mosque and kill the civilians in it. We saw this in Iraq. Can Turkey do all this? It can’t.”

Why not?

“Most importantly, Turkey lacks the experience. When was the last time Turkey fought another country? The Turkish army can be the second largest in NATO but it is not experienced,” Barkey said.

“There is a humorous side to this: In 1998-99, Cyprus was thinking of buying the S-300 anti-aircraft systems that Syria is using today. At that time, the Turkish air force practiced, in Israel, suppressing S-300’s because they didn’t know how to deal with that weapon.”

All day yesterday, I wanted to double-check what Barkey had said in the interview. We contacted the Foreign Ministry and the Chief of General Staff offices. They had all read the interview carefully. What they basically said was: “Yes, Barkey had some correct points but it is not really all that difficult [to overcome Syria’s missile shield].”

This is why if anyone insists on intervention in Syria or the establishment of a buffer zone, he should first explain to us Henri Barkley’s concerns and that air defense system.

The number of air defense missiles are striking. Yes, Turkey is far stronger than Syria in terms of its number of troops — including naval and ground forces — but Syria is far ahead in air defense missiles that it has set up to confront Israel.

Compared to the 178 missiles Turkey has, Syria has 4,707 air defense missiles. Barkey did not give the figures but drew attention to this reality.

Syria’s wealthy businesses feel civil war squeeze
AYA BATRAWY | October 17, 2012  | AP

CAIRO — Syria’s wealthy, long cultivated by President Bashar Assad as a support for his regime, are seeing their businesses pummeled by the bloody civil war. Factories have been burned down or damaged in fighting. International sanctions restrict their finances. Some warn that their companies are in danger of going under, worsening the country’s buckling economy.

Assad may not have lost the backing of Syria’s business elite, but some are losing faith. Many of those who can have fled abroad, hoping to ride out the turmoil, which is now in its 19th month and is only getting worse as rebels and regime forces tear apart the country in their fight for power.

Several businessmen interviewed by The Associated Press say resentment is growing against Assad over the crisis – but they also aren’t throwing their lot in with the rebellion. They are hunkering down, trying to salvage their companies.

One young businessman said his family factory in the suburbs of Damascus was damaged Wednesday, with windows blown out and part of the ceiling was destroyed when warplanes hit rebels in a neighboring building. Its several hundred employees had to hide in the basement until fighting eased enough that they could be bused out to safety.

“I feel that they are both just as bad as each other,” he said of the rebels and the government. “I could have died today because they (the rebels) were across the street from us and they (the planes) could have bombed us.”

EU blacklists all Syrian ministers in new round of sanctions
2012-10-16

Brussels (DPA) — All of Syria’s government ministers were banned on Tuesday from traveling to the Europen Union and had any assets they hold in the bloc frozen, as a new round of EU sanctions on the conflict-torn country came into effect. EU foreign ministers had approved the sanctions on Monday, but the targets were not immediately identified. The EU also agreed that “restrictive measures … be maintained against former ministers of the Syrian government since they may still be considered to be associated with the regime and its violent repression against the civilian population.” The people hit with travel bans and asset freezes also included Suleiman Maarouf, a businessman with a British passport who the EU said is “close to President (Bashar) al-Assad’s family” and “supports the Syrian regime.”

A field guide to Syria’s jihadi groups
16 Oct 2012

Aron Lund writes: Eighteen months into the Syrian uprising, the country’s Sunni Arab insurgency is now fighting a largely sectarian war against a regime dominated by religious minorities, most notably the Alawite sect to which the Assad family belongs. While the exiled opposition movement in Turkey and elsewhere remains reasonably pluralistic, the armed insurgency that […]

Aron Lund – Syrian jihadi and Islamist movements at ForeignPolicy.com: For a longer report of mine on the same topic, from August 2012, see: http://www.ui.se/Files.aspx?f_id=77409 (PDF)

Iraqi Shi’ite militants fight for Syria’s Assad

Reuters reports: Scores of Iraqi Shi’ite militants are fighting in Syria, often alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s troops, and pledging loyalty to Iran’s supreme Shi’ite religious leader, according to militia fighters and politicians in Iraq. Iraqi Shi’ite militia involvement in Syria’s conflict exposes how rapidly the crisis has spiraled into a proxy war between Assad’s main […]

Netanyahu Mulls Action to Stop Syrian Weapons, Channel 2 says
2012-10-16 By Jonathan Ferziger

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) — Israel contends that weapons from Syria are being sent to Hezbollah organization in Lebanon. * Netanyahu will consider strike if Israel  finds proof chemical weapons are being sent to Hezbollah, according to people close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because a decision hasn’t been made yet. * Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the U.S.

Foreign Policy

Syrian human rights groups say that at least 28,000 people have “disappeared” in Syria since the beginning of the 19-month long uprising, and some estimate the number of missing to be as high as 80,000. According to a director at the online activist group Avazza, “Syrians are being plucked off the street by Syrian security forces and paramilitaries and being ?disappeared’ into torture cells. Whether it is women buying groceries or farmers going for fuel, nobody is safe.”

The Kingdom of Silence and Humiliation
Looking back on life under the Assad dynasty.
BY AHED AL HENDI | OCTOBER 16, 2012

….He then called a guard, whom he ordered to “take good care” of me.

Both men spoke with the distinctive accent of the Alawites; in fact, every single person in the prison did. The Alawite minority has effectively ruled Syria since 1963, and especially since President Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970. So when you hear this accent, you pay attention. Ever since I can remember, this has been the way that the people with real power in our country speak.

They did not keep me for a few minutes. They threw me into a cell they called “the Suite.” Measuring five feet by one and a half feet, it had no windows. There was a hole in the floor for a toilet and a hose attached to a faucet in the wall. The hose had two purposes: to keep the toilet clean and to provide me with drinking water. They told me I’d be staying for two years……

Lebanese in Syrian villages gear up
By Mirella Hodeib | October 13, 2012, The Daily Star

MASRIYEH, Syria: The bearded man eagerly showed his Lebanese identity card and property deeds issued by Syrian authorities. As he crossed the narrow bridge into Lebanon, he explained that although Lebanon was his country of origin he considered Syria his real home, describing it as the “mother of all the poor.”

“We will not leave the land where we were born and where we work,” said Ali Mohammad al-Jamal, a resident of Farouqieh, a Syrian border village inhabited by Shiite Lebanese. “We will defend our village no matter what.” “We have been living on this land for decades, before Hezbollah even existed,” the farmer continued, boasting an AK-47 he said he bought for $2,700. “I have four others like this one,” he added.

Only the men remain in Farouqieh and Masriyeh, some 300 meters away from the Hermel village of Al-Qasr. The women and children have all headed west into Lebanon.

Jamal, 40, who sent his family and parents to the safer Al-Qasr, decided to stay behind to guard his home and land.

Though a staunch supporter of Hezbollah, the man criticized what he dubbed as the party’s “cautious behavior” with regard to the unrest in Syria.

“Although attacks against us have become intolerable, the party still asks its supporters to exercise self-restraint and not be dragged into big fights,” said Jamal, whose home has been attacked by Syrian rebel forces.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah dismissed Thursday as “inaccurate” media reports saying members of his group were fighting alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

He also said 23 border villages located inside Syrian territories but inhabited by Lebanese were forced to take up arms following attacks by the Free Syrian Army, stressing that the population were fighting by themselves and no one was fighting on their behalf.

Located a few kilometers away from the Syrian region of Qusayr in Homs, the villages of Matrabeh, Zeita, Hawik, Aqrabieh, Semaqieh, Jermash, Akoum, Nahrieh, Sqarja, Fadlieh, Gawgaran, Hantalieh, Sefsafeh, Farouqieh, Masriyeh, Wadi Hanna, Hamameh, Sugmanieh and Hawsh al-Sayyed lie on Syrian lands but are all inhabited by Lebanese.

Nasrallah did acknowledge that the commander of Hezbollah’s infantry unit in the Bekaa Valley died while performing his “jihadist duty” in one of those villages.

Ali Hussein Nassif, who went by Abu Abbas, was buried week. He was among those who died defending Shiite villages on the other side of the border, according to Hezbollah’s leader.

Sources close to the party in the northern region of Hermel said reports about Hezbollah sending fighters to war-torn Syria were meant to cover up for a highly probable attack by Syrian rebel forces on the string of border Shiite villages inside Syria…..

Hizbollah ‘launching rocket attacks into Syria’
By Daily Telegraph correspondent, Hermel, Lebanon

In a worrying sign that Lebanon is getting drawn further into the Syrian conflict, the Iran-backed Shia militant group is accused of using its military bases in the Bekaa valley to shell rebel positions in Syria.

“They are concentrating on hitting the villages where the Free Syrian Army are, to weaken them before launching a ground attack,” said Abu Obeida, a Lebanese resident of the border town of al-Qaa. “I have seen the rockets firing; they pass over your head.”

Driving across the Hermel plains of the northern Bekaa, 10 miles from the frontier with Syria, The Daily Telegraph could hear the sound of rocket fire. The salvoes came in waves – the dull thuds of the launchers shattering the stillness of the night air as they released their loads. Half an hour later, the tempo quickened to a near constant onslaught, filling the valley with the sounds of warfare until the early hours of the morning.

Hermel is Hizbollah’s most loyal heartland. It is the territory of Shia villages, agriculture and the group’s closed-off military zones.

“You are deep in Hizbollah’s country here,” said Mr Obeida, driving down a dusty track that had been cheerfully signposted as leading to a canoeing centre, but that quickly brought us up against the fence of a Hizbollah fighters’ camp…..

Washington Post’s David Ignatius: A war chest for Syria’s rebels
2012-10-18

Left on its current course, America’s sensibly cautious policy toward Syria is unfortunately going to come to an unhappy end: The jihadist wing of the opposition will just get stronger and gain more power to shape Syria’s future. But what’s …

Terrorists in the Orchard: Al-Qaeda Regrouping On Outskirts of Baghdad

Sources inside the Iraqi government say that extremist Sunni Muslim groups like al-Qaeda are regrouping inside the country. A government paper says they’re returning to former strongholds on Baghdad’s outskirts to hold meetings and train in orchards there. By Haider Najm / Baghdad

Comments (379)


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351. Ghufran said:

Those jihadists really hate Aleppo and love their promised virginfull paradise:
انفجرت مفخخة يقودها انتحاري في شارع الزهور بحي السريان الجديدة أمام المشفى السوري الفرنسي، وهو رابع مشفى خاص يستهدفه المسلحون في حلب، مخلفة إصابات بشرية في المرضى والكادر الفني والزوار وأضراراً مادية كبيرة.
وتضررت واجهة المشفى بشكل كبير إضافة إلى الأضرار في السيارات والأبنية المجاورة بسبب المتفجرات التي قدرت بنحو 500 كيلوغرام وأحدثت حفرة بقطر مترين وعمق متر واحد.

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October 21st, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

352. Syrialover said:

ALBO (# 325) said:.

“…. as opposed to the naive Syria Lover who is wrong most of the time”

Good. Anything that accuses me of being the opposite of your views makes me proud. I liked reading that!

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October 21st, 2012, 9:26 pm

 

353. Observer said:

So Majbali I am sectarian because I called ANN Alawi News Network

How does this make me sectarian?

Alawis are entitled and should have their full sovereignty and independence and be free of oppression and discrimination and yes to have their News Network as well.

I want them to have their state and the Kurds to have theirs and every community if they so desire to have theirs on the principle of self determination and independence.

I want you to be free of the fear of potential and real persecution and for you never ever to think again that when anyone says Alawi it immediately means a demeaning or derogatory implication.

ANN should apply to anchor the Network I have no problem with that. Another would be Adoring News Network where there is adoration and adulation of the boy Prethident Freddo

Go ahead and declare your independence I will be the first to cheer.

“He who has a shard under his skin gets itchy and irritated when someone touches it”

Finally the Baath party and the rule of the Father and the Son was immense to me and my family members for all of them had all of their lands ( small and large ) property and assets confiscated and therefore we had to emigrate where I would say most are quite successful having rebuild everything from nothing

I wish for you and yours the same happy and prosperous life in whatever entity you wish to call your new state.

Cheers

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October 21st, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

354. Ghufran said:

Libyan jihadists are busy killing their own people in ibn alwalid and killing Syrians in Syria.
AlQuds alarabi posted a good article on the slaughter of civilians in parts of Libya. Champions of freedom in NATO are looking the other way since cheap Libyan oil is now flowing “freely” to their bankrupt countries.
I scored 7 points for my last post ( and counting), the truth hurts I guess.

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October 21st, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

355. Tara said:

I would call Ann Satan News Nerwork. Her/his extreme disregard of the sanctity of human lives and what he/she thinks are cool comments as evidence by the sunglasses she loves to post are satanic and pure evil. Ann’s remarks are embodiment of evil, and are very creepy. I go to sleep every night dreading to see Ann in my dreams .

Sorry to be blunt. My freedom of expression is uninhibited Sunday nights.

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October 21st, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

356. William Scott Scherk said:

Things no longer remarkable among the daily outbursts at Syria Comment:

Death tolls

Demonstrations

Silent, absent President

Abhorrent hate speech

Stupefied state media

Baathist acolytes, envelopped in delusion.

Repetitive links to non-curated crap at Liveleak, heavy on the death shots or gruesome corpses, explosions — with smileys

Evasion of any discussion that might even creep close to the deluded Red Line of the Lion of Damascus, without which death and destruction.

**********

Like a poison spider at the middle of the web, the deluded imagine a splendid King, a Novo Ceaucescu, mythic saviour, genius of the Carpathians, Assad, who developped the same megalomaniac insanity as have so many tyrants before him. Without Him, nothing is possible. May Assad live on among the great crazed Etat-c’est-moi of our direst history.

One day the guns will still, the hospitals will be de-militarized, the Syrian Air Force will not bomb, detainees will not be crippled by torture, summary executions will cease, the poor victims will be free to grieve, to assemble, to travel.

Meanwhile at the bullwark a zoo and trumpet pretending the dam will never fall, the dam will hold, the King will stay on the throne. The Soviet system will endure. The graves will be forgotten and discussion of them subject to official mutism and denial.

Thinking of Ceaucescu, of Pol Pot, of the self-killing and population cleansings and punishments of the 20th century. Of evil stalking the earth before it is caught and punished.

Meanwhile, the deluded close their eyes to human suffering and injustice, and ride along with autocracy in its final brutal spasms. To their shame.

Syria’s monstrous regime absolved by moral blindness in the mad zoo of Assadism.

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October 21st, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

357. Ghufran said:

جواب حلبي ع أكاذيب المسلحين

“و تتمركز قوات نظامية في محيط و داخل المشفى الذي يقوم بمعالجة الجرحى العسكريين و الشبيحة”
يخرب بيتكم ما اكذبكم هدا المشفى بمنطقه السريان الجديده واصلا هنيك مافي تواجد للجيش النظامي اصلن ليش ليعالج جرحاه هون وما يعالجن بالمشفى العسكري ويا سيدي على فرض عم بيعالجم بهلمشفى هادا مبرر لهالاجرام والعمل القذر يعني بدكن تقولو ان كل الكادر الطبي والدكاتره والممرضين كمان شبيحه ولك هالعسكرين منن اهلنا وولادنا كيف بيجي منكم تفجروا قدام مستشفى ولك هدا مو ملك للشعب ما بكفي الي عملتو بمشفى الحياه هالحمير الي عم تنفذ هالعمليات بامر من بره ما في مخ طاول ما بفكروا انهم عم بيدمروا البنيه التحتيه وعم بيضروا الشعب مو النظام وكلو كوم وقوله الله اكبر , الله واكبر عليكم يا يهود يا كفره وعلى فكره هالمنطقه اغلب سكانها مسيحيه فعرفوا ليش صار هالتفجير.

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October 21st, 2012, 10:13 pm

 

358. Aldendeshe said:

God you are so boring Bill, poor guy, he is in his 40’s and still using sock for woman. Hey Bill, I wrote to 512 ladies and got 257 replies accepting my marriage proposal sight unseen, on the very first letter. Let’s see if you can get a 70 year old reply to you, go here, you will thank me dearly, and hopefully you will have no time to come over here and insult us. Let me know if you need help writing, because I can see you have zero chance of getting a single reply, women are smart, they can smell a Scherk half the earth away. Be on the safe side, start the letter with this, lie: “You will love me, I am the Un-Scherk type”

http://www.bride.ru

In the mean time, this decade, will send you dozen new socks, the one you got stinks.

When are you going to write about the Islamic terrorists?

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October 21st, 2012, 10:31 pm

 

359. Warren said:

Turkey ‘has trust issue with US on intelligence’

Turkey no longer entirely trusts U.S. intelligence despite its apparent offer to help eliminate Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) figures, according to a prominent scholar, adding that Ankara has been convinced that the U.S. military presence in Iraq since the Gulf War has fed the militant organization.

Washington has come to see the group as an obstacle in Turkey and wants to eliminate certain figures in the organization, Deniz Ülke Arıboğan recently told the Hürriyet Daily News, while explaining a recent statement on the matter by U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-has-trust-issue-with-us-on-intelligence.aspx?pageID=238&nID=32923&NewsCatID=338

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October 21st, 2012, 10:35 pm

 

360. Warren said:

Remember, Russia Is More Important Than Assad

Insisting on President Assad’s fall damages Britain’s relations with his longstanding ally, writes defence analyst Paul Smyth.

As someone who trained for potential war with the Soviet Union it is ironic to be writing something that is pro-Russian. Yet the West’s muddle over Syria makes it possible.

Turkey’s recent forced diversion of a Syrian airliner transiting from Russia to Syria without providing clear evidence of illegal arms smuggling was a strategic mistake that damaged Ankara-Moscow relations.

Instead of dealing with suspicions of Russia arms smuggling quietly through official channels Ankara chose unnecessarily overt action that antagonised Moscow for no good reason.

Turkey is not alone in neglecting strategic priorities (such as having benign relations with Russia) that should shape handling of the Syria crisis.

By adopting anti-Assad rhetoric and giving support to Syrian rebels the UK has abandoned previous neutrality, strategic sense and painted itself into a corner, calling for a regime change it may be forced to increasingly facilitate. Predictably, insisting on Assad’s fall damages relations with his longstanding ally Russia, indicating that ousting Assad is considered strategically more important than a good relationship with Moscow, which is astonishing.

http://news.sky.com/story/1000724/remember-russia-is-more-important-than-assad

__________________________________________________________________

Just like Georgia 2008, the West & NATO is not going to risk a confrontation with Russia. The Europeans have no interest or desire to fight a war over Syria, it’s not worth it. Especially as Europe is so dependent on Russian energy and Europe’s economies are in such a mess.

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October 21st, 2012, 10:49 pm

 

361. Warren said:

Western policy on Syria is failing on a monumental scale

The only way forward for Syria is to broker a political settlement, in consultation with Russia and Iran

If Russia and Iran have been culpable, there has been a catastrophic failure of diplomacy by the west and its allies. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s call for a ceasefire and an arms embargo is a welcome challenge to the west’s floundering policy. Britain, France and the US, as well as their allies, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, need to recognise that neither side is going to win the civil war engulfing Syria. Nor will the Turkey’s call for western military intervention to halt the humanitarian disaster resolve the crisis. A political solution has to be the priority.

The Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, is reported to be willing to consider the proposal by the UN-Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, for a ceasefire for the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday on 26 October. The western powers and the Arab arms suppliers should urge their friends in the opposition to declare they will reciprocate if Assad makes good on his tentative promise.

Western demands for regime change were never going to work because this isn’t simply a conflict between a savage regime and the Syrian people. Assad and the ruling Shia-aligned Alawite minority form a tenth of the population and fear being oppressed by the Sunni majority. Christians and other minorities are similarly nervous. Together, those behind Assad constitute nearly a third of Syrians.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/21/west-policy-syria-failure-russia-iran?newsfeed=true

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October 21st, 2012, 10:51 pm

 

362. Warren said:

Pakistan’s Reckoning

“I felt hurt on opening my wardrobe and seeing my uniform, school bag and geometry box,” Malala Yousafzai wrote in a diary she kept in the Swat Valley in 2009. “Boys’ schools are opening tomorrow. But the Taliban have banned girls’ education.”

Today, as the Pakistani heroine, now 14, fights for her life in a British hospital, nothing less than the fate of modernity in Pakistan hangs in the balance.

Malala and her devoted father, an educator who ran afoul of the masters of the Taliban, knew the risks, but would not be deterred. The masked assailants, who asked for her by name on a school bus and shot her at point-blank range, came out of a culture of darkness that has wrecked the dreams of those who want Pakistan to be a normal country at peace with itself.

It is hard to believe now that the founding dream of Pakistan, born out of the partition of British India in 1947, was a secular one. The founder of this oddest of nations, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a Bombay barrister who was a firm believer in British law and Indian nationalism. He had married his second wife outside the Islamic faith and had wanted nothing to do with the Mughal culture of North India that had yearned for a separate Muslim state.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-17/pakistan-faces-a-reckoning-because-of-malala-s-gift.html

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October 21st, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

363. Johannes de Silentio said:

354. Warren

“Western policy on Syria is failing on a monumental scale”

No. Syria is failing on a monumental scale, Warren. If the West continues to do nothing, what happens? Syria continues to burn. How does that affect the USA and the EU? It doesn’t.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:18 pm

 

364. zoo said:

Maybe its is time to send the weapons back to where they came from.
Jordan says its foils al-Qaida-linked terror plot

http://news.yahoo.com/jordan-says-foils-al-qaida-linked-terror-plot-175220742.html

He said the men had brought in arms from neighboring Syria to use them in the alleged plot. He also said al-Qaida operatives based in Iraq have been assisting the suspects with manufacturing home-made explosives.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:18 pm

 

365. zoo said:

Libya: NATO, Navy Pillay please help !

Fighting flares for 5th day in Libyan town

http://news.yahoo.com/fighting-flares-5th-day-libyan-town-153234447.html

Militias, many from Misrata and aligned with the Defence Ministry, have been shelling the hilltop town of 70,000 people for several days. State news agency LANA said on Sunday that 22 people had been killed and 200 wounded in the fighting.

WADI DINAR, Libya (AP) — Pro-government militias battled fighters in a former stronghold of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday, the fifth straight day of clashes that have killed at least 30 people.

The fighting in Bani Walid, some 140 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Tripoli, has overlapped with the anniversary of Gadhafi’s capture and killing on Oct. 20, 2011. A year since his death brought an end to Libya’s civil war, Bani Walid is the most significant city in the country to still resist the nation’s new authorities.

A resident said Sunday by telephone that pro-government militias and fighters in the city were clashing on its outskirts. The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said there were reports of new casualties, but that the fighting was less intense than a day earlier.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:24 pm

 

366. zoo said:

Kuwait has all the necessary kits to deal with 50,000 protesters without killing any.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/21/kuwait-politics-protest-idUSL5E8LL2MQ20121021

KUWAIT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Police in Kuwait used teargas, stun grenades and baton charges on Sunday to disperse tens of thousands of demonstrators protesting against changes to the electoral law which the opposition has called a constitutional coup by the government.

Demonstrators gathered in various parts of the capital, Kuwait City, to march towards the government’s headquarters, but riot police swiftly surrounded some groups and used teargas and stun grenades to disperse them, Reuters witnesses said.

A medical source said at least 29 people had been admitted to hospital, most of them suffering from teargas inhalation or from baton bruises. At least 15 people, including two former MPs and a reporter, were detained. An opposition activist estimated that up to 50,000 people had gathered in different locations.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:29 pm

 

367. Visitor said:

Dendeshe @351,

Another AAA video about cognitive dissodance.

Wow, and one more thumbs up.

Here’s another one for you and for the skeptics,

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October 21st, 2012, 11:39 pm

 

368. zoo said:

Why is Turkey so insisting on a buffer zone?

Because of the Turkish law, only foreigners coming from Europe are considered eligible for the status of “refugees”. Syrians are not eligible, therefore not receiving any UNHCR funds and assistance. Because of the growing financial burden, Turkey wants desperately to get rid of them in a “buffer zone” in Syria, so they become IDPs for whom they are no more responsible.

The status of Syrians: “guests” or IDP?

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-status-of-syrians-guests-or-idp.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32930&NewsCatID=425

According to sources from the Foreign Ministry, the cost of establishing and running “accommodation facilities” for people fleeing Syria has exceeded $400 million. Probably not only accommodation, food, health and such expenses, but “logistic humanitarian supplies” to the Syrian rebels fighting the Baathist government in Damascus are also included in that figure.
….
What is the status of Syrians at Turkish camps? Turkey with a reservation it placed in the convention on refugees is not recognizing refugees coming from the east. Thus, Syrian people at camps here are just “guests” of Turks; none of them has filled “refugee form” and thus recognized as refugee by the UN High Commission on Refugees.

Why Turkey is demanding creation of a buffer zone in Syria? Because while Syrians in Turkey are guests not eligible for international assistance, people gathered there would be “displaced people” eligible for assistance. Got it?

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October 21st, 2012, 11:40 pm

 

369. zoo said:

A US foreign policy shift?

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/a-us-foreign-policy-shift.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32927&NewsCatID=406

It seems that the U.S. and the Western world were already alarmed by the rise of Islamists in the aftermath of the so-called Arab Revolutions. I think that such concerns have already had a great impact on policy changes and resulted in the U.S. being more reluctant to get involved in the regime change process in Syria. I think that we will witness a shift in U.S. policies concerning the relations not only with the “extremists” but also with the so-called moderate Islamic forces and regimes in the region, regardless of who wins the election.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

370. Syrialover said:

ZOO said #359:

“Kuwait has all the necessary kits to deal with 50,000 protesters without killing any.”

I see. The explanation and excuse now is that Assad didn’t have the “necessary kits” to avoid massacring unarmed protestors and setting Syria on fire.

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October 21st, 2012, 11:45 pm

 

371. Syrialover said:

To: ALEDENDESHE #351

Copy: WSS

Finish the story. How all those 257 fantasy women (likely male scamsters in Nigeria) you are raving about took your money, did high fives and collapsed over their computer keyboards laughing.

If you can’t critique WSS’s comments with anything less ridiculous and offensive than that, you should stick with those sites created for old-guy sex pests to get mugged in cyberland.

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October 22nd, 2012, 12:03 am

 

372. zoo said:

287. Tara

Sorry Tara, Jumblatt marmoset’s face gives me the creep.

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October 22nd, 2012, 12:07 am

 

373. zoo said:

Wasn’t that predictable? Only fools thought the contrary

Syrians fear their war is spreading ‘and it will destroy us and Lebanon too’

Phil Sands
Oct 22, 2012
http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/syrians-fear-their-war-is-spreading-and-it-will-destroy-us-and-lebanon-too

DAMASCUS // Given the extraordinary level of daily violence in Syria, a car bombing in neighbouring Lebanon might well have passed unnoticed.

But Friday’s assassination of Wissam Al Hassan, head of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces, has provoked worried discussion in Damascus, where the fates of the two countries are seen as irrevocably linked.

“It is a clear signal that our war is spreading, it will destroy us and I’m sorry to say it will destroy Lebanon too,” said Abu Anas, a middle -aged man from the besieged Damascus suburb of Spaina.

“It means there is no hope for any of us to avoid the worst, we are all marching toward hell,” he said.

Syrian opposition figures dismiss those protestations of innocence, but say it is too early to tell if the bombing will help or hurt Mr Al Assad’s rule.

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October 22nd, 2012, 12:12 am

 

374. Aldendeshe said:

عدو سورية
اللي في مسلّة برقبته بتنعرو
ببعتلك دزينة جرابات كمان
ولك انتى معتر لتصرف مليون دولار مابنت بتلتكش فيك

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October 22nd, 2012, 12:44 am

 

375. Syrialover said:

Incidentally ALDENDESHE you sure live dangerously.

I dare you to step outside your front door and market test your sex pest remarks – in a shop, office, restaurant, bus, aircraft, anywhere. The authorities will also then have a look at the contents of your computer and stash of “literature” and your worried, red face could be posted on a sex offenders register.

That’s how it is these days. Don’t believe me? Try it.

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October 22nd, 2012, 1:06 am

 

376. Aldendeshe said:

I thought they do that for ones having Quran in hand, don’t you Jews still do that.

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October 22nd, 2012, 1:19 am

 

377. Syrialover said:

ALDENDESHE

Go on, do it.

And no cheating by first getting rid of your computer hard drive and clearing out your videos and magazines in advance.

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October 22nd, 2012, 1:22 am

 

378. Syrialover said:

A new thread has just started

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October 22nd, 2012, 1:38 am

 

379. Citizen said:

321, 324, 327,342 :
the right adress is :
We are living at the dawn of the post falseflag era, as no one
michael mazur
http://whatreallyhappened.com/content/%E2%80%9Clargest-us-israeli-exercise-history%E2%80%9D-us-troops-israel-three-week-missile-defense-drill
you can contact him directly !

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October 22nd, 2012, 3:25 am

 

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