“A Trip to the ‘Caliphate’: Oppressive Justice under ISIS,” By Omar al-Wardi

A Trip to the “Caliphate,” Oppressive Justice under ISIS
By OMAR AL-WARDI (a pseudonym for a Syrian who was brought up in the Jazeera region of Syria, where ISIS now rules and who has visited the region many times since.)
For Syria Comment, Nov 21, 2015

Translated by Richard Hanania, a political science PhD student at UCLA

Many believe the subjects of the Islamic State (ISIS) live in a constant state of terror. Some may also think that there is no such thing as normal life in these areas. I myself have written a great deal about the crimes and inhumane acts carried out by the group in its territories in Eastern Syria, particularly Raqqa and Dar al-Zour. Indeed, most of what has been written on these topics is true. But most authors have written from a narrow point of view and with one eye closed. Many of these authors haven’t spent time on the ground and only imagine the reality. They accept the stereotypes repeated ad nauseam by the media. I grew up in the Jazeera and have traveled their a number of times since ISIS took over, spending time in different cities in order to explore the attitudes of acquaintances and relatives alike.

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Region around al-Bukamal

When I traveled to al-Bukamal the first time since after had been conquered by ISIS in the summer of 2014, I believed that I was traveling to hell. I was terrified. At any moment, I expected to be picked out on my vehicle, manically and tortured. I thought I would never return from ISIS-controlled territory alive. I had internalized the notion that ISIS rules only through terror. I nearly passed out from fear at the checkpoints along the way. But, aside from the natural intensity of security barriers and checkpoints, I did not see a picture that fit with the ISIS stereotypes that I had accepted and which had been propagated by the media.

In al-Bukamal, I found a city that was surprisingly safe; one where individuals are unable to attack others, defraud people in the market, or festoon the streets with cigarette butts. Indeed, the city looked cleaner and seemed healthier than I had ever seen it; smoking has disappeared completely, as did any appearances of people sitting around wasting time in cafes as they used to do. It was a city completely different than the one I knew at the outbreak of the Syrian crisis. A consensus among its inhabitants, which number around 400,000 in the city and its surrounding towns, has emerged regarding ISIS rule. Perhaps the biggest proof of this is the fact that ISIS areas are among the regions of Syria from which young people are least likely to flee to Europe, a point that many seem to have missed. For if life were truly hellacious in this city and its surrounding towns, everyone would have migrated to Germany, Austria, or even Turkey. Yet most people have stayed put; they do not abandon their homes and land.

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I disregarded the well-known question: Do you hate ISIS? This is because I already know the answer of why some people hate this group, and the question I had come to answer was how others can love such a bloody and criminal organization, which cuts off heads and drags people in the street after killing and cutting them up. The answers I was given were realistic and coherent, converging on a single theme: ISIS had brought “justice” to the city.

With my own eyes, I saw how the people of al-Bukamal are not as oppressed as they had been in the past. In al-Bukamal most of the people that ISIS have imprisoned are ISIS members themselves. The ISIS regime does not hesitate to punish its own members when they break the law. Even an ISIS emir was prosecuted and thrown in prison by the local governor when it was found that he had abused his power and assaulted innocent people.

This is the model of justice that ISIS is strives to bring the residents of al-Bukamal as well as to Raqqa. The cities of the region have embraced ISIS and ceded their right to use violence in order to punish those who commit crimes or do wrong. They forfeit the use of violence willingly in order to live a life of greater justice and equity. The strong are not permitted to dominate the weak, nor the rich exploit the poor, nor tribal leaders their tribesmen. All live under ISIS law equally, without “wasta” or exception.

The single most important factor that has persuaded people to accept the “Caliphate” is the fact that citizens can go out at any time of day or night without being harassed by the Free Syrian Army or being robbed blind by men claiming to be from Jabhat al-Nusra. This is most true in the tribal areas of the province.

More than one person has told me that the honor of women is never violated. Even the enemies of ISIS in the region concede this. They admit that since ISIS assumed authority, not a single incident of assault against a woman or young girl has occured. This is contrary to the desultory state of social life when Jabhat al-Nusra ruled al-Bukamal. Then, brothels operated openly. Today, you can rest assured that traveling from Dar al-Zur to al-Anbar, a distance of some 350 kilometers, you will not be harmed as long as you obey the law.

One of the main reasons ISIS has been accepted by a vast majority is that corruption was rampant in the area during the first years of the uprising against Assad. First, the militias that called themselves the Free Syrian Army ruled. They disported themselves no differently than thieves and bandits. Civilians lived in a state of anxiety that their possessions would be lifted from them one after the other and fear that they would be harassed and possibly killed. Then came al-Nusra, which was concerned only with power and gave little care to justice or good government. Between the Free Army and Nusra, society was lost. No one dared approach the authorities to resolve disputes. Once the Caliphate established control over the region, however, people have breathed easier and feel less oppressed.

In fact, the residents of al-Bukamal cannot hate members of the organization and those who work with them when they see them trying to deliver water and electricity to the people at affordable prices. Nor can they hate the organization when prices are set at reasonable levels. The ISIS fighters are vigilant on their behalf and up into the night in order to provide for them. This reality destroys hatred, and although some people in the area may not want the organization to remain in power, the weak do, as do the poor who have no one else to fend for them. It is true that some fighters have special privileges, but these are a minority and do not compare to those enjoyed by the officials who were previously aligned with the government, or the fighters of the Free Syrian Army or al-Nusra.

ISIS has all the moral and material capability it needs in order to rebuild the cities it controls. More importantly, it possesses the will to provide a better life for the people. It is still unable to adopt the modern techniques necessary to improve the lives of its people as it promises, but it strives to attain them.

The planes that fly over ISIS-controlled territories have had only one real victory. It is not the killing of fighters or the obstruction of the movement of the organization. Rather, they have simply prevented the group from delivering services to the community, and this is the only real achievement of the coalition fighting ISIS.

I seek to draw a realistic image of ISIS, one that can be compared with and contrasted to the picture of a bloody organization. For it is impossible for a bloody murderous regime to rule without inducing physical and societal security. But this is rarely mentioned in order to tarnish the image of the organization, one that does not need any more than the truth to do so.

The question is, has there developed an ISIS society, meaning has the organization integrated into the larger community? Until now, the group cannot speak of an “ISIS society” in any real sense; in that it is fear and terror that still rules the community. But with the passage of time, if the regime stays in power at least three more years, I expect that there would be a real ISIS society, and this is the biggest fear with regards to the Eastern regions. From this ISIS society will be born extremist and terrorist ideas.

In the next report: How ISIS exploits societal contradictions and historical grudges.

Comments (163)

RighteousAqeeda said:

This Khilafah will stay, but not only stay, because it will survive attacks of Russia, United Snakes and arab tawagith, it will expand to Jordan, Lebanon and Bayt al-Maqdis will be liberated. All arab tawagith soon will be removen insha’allah

November 21st, 2015, 11:25 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

It will be nice to verify, I have serious doubt

November 21st, 2015, 2:27 pm


smhwhiteppl said:

Strongly reminiscent of how people perceived the Taliban in Afghanistan. Seems like they really follow Naji’s “The Management of Savagery”.
And the Afghanistan War has many interesting parallels to Syria too. Like the involvement of foreign powers, Western backed (non) Islamist rebels, conflict between the rebels, a non-existent border drawn by colonial powers (Durand-Line, Sykes-Picot), the Iranian Revolution/Arab Spring preceeding them, the influx of Muhajireen (foreign Jihadis in Syria forming groups and maybe exporting the revolution at a later point) etc.

Of course, there are notable differences. Like the fact that Israel is right next to Syria and the US actually caring about the aftermath, unlike in Afghanistan, where aid stopped once the communist regime fell.

Still, the similiarities are remarkable. Hopefully, Syria won’t become like Afghanistan.

November 21st, 2015, 7:33 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Let me wildly guess, the writer is Sunni.

“…More than one person has told me that the honor of women is never violated”. Sunni women, you mean. Because other women, not Sunni women, are being sold in Sunni markets to Sunni men.

For Sunnies, IS is heaven, for non-Sunnies, it’s hell.

November 21st, 2015, 10:54 pm


Hopeful said:

#2 Amir

For Nazis (not Germans) Nazism was heaven. For communists (not Russians) communism was heaven.

IS maybe heaven for radical Islamists, but keep the Sunnis out of it.

And aren’t Israelis settlement areas heaven for the settlers but hell for the Palestinias? Do the radical Israeli settlers speak on behalf of all Israelis? Doubtfully.

November 22nd, 2015, 12:03 am


Y. Ben-David said:

And Mussolini made the trains run on time.

November 22nd, 2015, 12:51 am


Badr said:

Read closely and slowly the last two paragraphs before judging what the author thinks of ISIS!

November 22nd, 2015, 2:58 am


ALAN said:

There is a joint Turkish-American military effort under way to fasten the border with Syria. Washington has been cagey about admitting the scale of involvement of the US military, but did not deny the Turkish media reports conclusively, either.
The ‘breaking news’ from Ankara says Syrian opposition group Al-Sultan Murad Brigades “supported by Turkish and US war planes took control of two Turkmen towns in northern Syria” early Saturday. The reports say six Turkish F-16 aircraft, four US F-15 fighter jets and an American AC-130 took part in the operation along with three drones. The joint Turkish-American move is the “first step for the creation of a Daesh-free zone in northern Syria (which) will further encourage the opposition forces to fight Daesh terror and help ensure Turkey’s border security”.
The US role in this daring Turkish enterprise remains hidden from view. Senior US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, are credited with privately expressing views supportive of the Turkish proposal on free-trade zone, and leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has openly backed the idea, but President Barack Obama has so far preferred to stand in the shade with an ambivalence that appeared to weigh against the ‘no-fly zone’.
Obama has given the green signal, finally, for direct American military participation in creating the ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria. Indeed, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Turkey last week, Obama and Erdogan had the opportunity for holding in-depth discussions on Syria.
Erdogan will watch how Moscow reacts. The Turks have great mastery in ‘salami tactics’. Erdogan gets an opportunity to sit down with President Vladimir Putin in late December when the Turkish-Russian High-Level Council is due to meet in the southern Russian city of Kazan.

November 22nd, 2015, 3:00 am


Akbar Palace said:

And aren’t Israelis settlement areas heaven for the settlers but hell for the Palestinias? Do the radical Israeli settlers speak on behalf of all Israelis? Doubtfully.


I keep hearing about “settlements”, and that’s because the Palestinians don’t want to “settle” their border dispute with Israel. Thanks for the reminder, again.

But let’s talk about Israeli – arabs with Israeli citizenship shall we? I really don’t think Israel is a hell for arabs, especially when you look at the neighborhood.


November 22nd, 2015, 3:34 am


ALAN said:

Suitable piece here…
“The use of terror makes a person like a child, disabling rational-critical function of thinking, and the emotional response becomes predictable and beneficial for the manipulator. Therefore, control of the levels of anxiety personality allows you to control large social groups ”
Launching to Europe huge masses of Muslims, the ruling class got their hands on a convenient weapon to control the political and social situation on the continent, which operates so effectively that in European minds, starting with the 90-th , Has consistently hammered the idea of “clash civilizations “. This idea, which is considered to be the author of Huntington, was actually invented by the English orientalist and military intelligence Bernard Luis who presented Islam as a reaction, did not succumb to the modernization of the religion, feeding insurmountable hatred toward the West. In turn, he is opposed to Western civilization, represented Christianity and Judaism, whose union gave scientific justification for the union of Europe and Israel against Islam.
The term “Judeo-Christian tradition” was still widely used in scientific first, and then in the political circles of Europe as the slogan of cultural mobilization of Europeans and for their support of Israel.
Given the power of Jewish capital and the effect of the pro-Israel lobby in the European policy, it could be argued that with the help of Muslim migrants is actually playing a model of confrontation Zionism-Islamism exists in the Middle East. It is no coincidence national-patriotic themes in Europe, is present mainly in the field of confrontation with Islam and Islamism as the main threat to a “European identity”.
In these circumstances, the nationalist camp itself with the European Zionism, which is extremely intensifies the confrontation and creates favorable conditions for the outbreak of clashes between Islam and radical nationalists at any time when it is needed the owners Europe. Thus both of these forces are in reality the product of Western intelligence agencies, and the victims of this conflict are all – Jews, Arabs and migrants, and Europeans.
Thus, Muslim migrants have become an effective mechanism for managing political processes by which to manipulate the feelings and consciousness of Europeans, the powers turn them into obedient biomass. Especially effective is it works in France in view of the fact that there is, on the one hand, there is the largest Islamic community in Europe, and on the other – the most powerful Zionist structures that control the action of the French authorities.
SO… France is waiting for a big change. And we are talking not so much about foreign policy and the transition to the active hostilities in Syria or changes policy with regard to refugees, many of the internal restructuring of the regime that will effectively integrate French society to the system of total control over the population, which is a necessary condition for the creation of a single world e-government.

November 22nd, 2015, 3:49 am


ALAN said:

Journalist who returned from Islamic State HQ tells RT how jihadists can be defeated

November 22nd, 2015, 4:21 am


Mina said:

Pure propaganda article. Remind me of a CNRS guy on French radio last year explaining that ISIS areas were functioning normally and that States should simply start taking them seriously as a state actor.
As if expropriation of non-Sunnis, propaganda magazines advocating slavery or purporting to sell hostages unless they’ll be killed, etc. were just normality (and there we see that indeed the banalization of ultra violence and ultra liberalism do have some effect on the intellectual brains)

November 22nd, 2015, 4:38 am


Hopeful said:

#6 Akbar Palace

No, I do not think Israel is hell for the Arabs either. Arabs in Israel have better rights/protections/justice than Arabs in many neighboring Arab countries. That is a fact.

And that is my point in my post. The settlers do not speak on behalf of the Israelis any more than ISIS thugs speak on behalf of the Sunnis.

November 22nd, 2015, 6:11 am


Syrialover said:

“They forfeit the use of violence willingly in order to live a life of greater justice and equity. The strong are not permitted to dominate the weak, nor the rich exploit the poor, nor tribal leaders their tribesmen. All live under ISIS law equally, without “wasta” or exception.” (from lead post)

Oh sure!!! Syrians are thrilled to be living under the self-appointed “rule” of misfit, fantasist, power drunk, thrill seeking(frequently criminal and mentally ill) invaders from Pakistan, Egypt, Chechnya, Belgium, Tunisia etc. Having their businesses, homes, school buildings etc commandeered, personal freedoms curtailed and a sinister atmosphere of brutal public punishments for alleged “spies”, blasphemers, homosexuals, cigarette smokers, adulterers – often people dobbed in for personal gain.

I didn’t read this, I have heard it from friends with family caught in the ISIS net around Raqqa.

But the author is 150% right about one thing – the Assad regime has managed to make ISIS look good, having set the bar so low it’s buried underground. After failing to make serious efforts to contain the spread of ISIS across Syrian territory, the regime ruthlessly cut the power and water supplies to the local population when its officials quit Palmyra, then came back and savagely bombed the town into dust without making a dent on its ISIS friends.

I suspect the writer would not necessarily know (or admit) details about the treatment of women by ISIS, especially those arrested or traded. That is one of their main recruitment drawcards.

There are also local collaborators and opportunists who are happy to offer their daughters as ISIS brides in return for loot and privileges, regardless of how the women are treated and subsequently handed on if their “husbands” are killed or leave. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/world/middleeast/isis-wives-and-enforcers-in-syria-recount-collaboration-anguish-and-escape.html)

November 22nd, 2015, 6:30 am


Syrialover said:

In the previous thread SIMOHURTTA challenged my criticism of Putin by asking if I had ever been to Moscow. My response is no thanks. I’d be too nervous about terrorist attacks – not just the threat of what islamist extremists might do, but even more so the danger from Putin’s inept and cruel security forces in the event of an attack.

It’s fascinating to read this comparison between the outcome of two eerily similar events, the recent terrorist attack on the Bataclan theatre in Paris, and armed jihadists’ invasion of Moscow’s Dubrovka Theatre 13 years ago.

“There is a fundamental difference between the inhabitants of Paris and Moscow, perhaps because of the fundamental difference between how the Élysée and the Kremlin treat the people they represent.

“If the concertgoers at the Bataclan were felled by Islamic State terrorists, most of the victims at the Dubrovka died at the hands of their rescuers.

“Before dawn, on Oct. 26, 2002, after three days of deliberation, Russian commandos from the FSB’s Alpha and Vympel special forces units moved in. But before they stormed the theater, they pumped it full of a fentanyl-based anesthetic, which knocked out the hostages and their captors.

“After neutralizing the terrorists, the commandos carried out the passed-out hostages, laying them on the pavement outside and stacking some of them upon one another. Ambulances didn’t arrive for over an hour, and when they did, there weren’t enough of them, so the stacks of human cordwood were put in buses where many choked on their tongues or vomit. One hundred thirty Russian hostages died that way, an outcome that earned only a grudging apology from Putin, the man who ordered the operation.

“The difference between Paris and Moscow is the difference between storming the Bataclan in a couple of hours and stacking still-living victims like firewood, between a sober public accounting of security failures and Putin’s threadbare apology to the families that lost loved ones in Dubrovka, followed by his silencing of those who questioned the Kremlin’s use of the gas. It’s not that one place is more deserving of terror, or sympathy, than the other, but that the responses to two eerily similar attacks can tell us so much about what it means to live in each city.”


November 22nd, 2015, 6:45 am


Louis Proyect said:

I am shocked to see such a report here. It reminds me of the Potemkin Village articles that were widespread in the days of Stalin.

November 22nd, 2015, 7:13 am


Akbar Palace said:

And that is my point in my post. The settlers do not speak on behalf of the Israelis any more than ISIS thugs speak on behalf of the Sunnis.


I hear what your saying, and I think I understand you. I would NEVER assume ISIS ideology is indicative of Sunni ideology. I am slowly learning that the majority of muslims are peaceful and HATE ISIS.

As far as Israeli settlers are concerned, they are defined as jews living across the imaginary green line. This means any jew living in the Old City of Jerusalem. My wife has a cousin who lives across the green line and he a very nice person. Most “settlers” are. Yes there are bad apples.

But I wouldn’t compare ISIS with jews living across an imaginary line. Settlers work everyday with arabs peacefully. Settlers aren’t knifing palestinians, it’s more the opposite.

My hope is the two people define their borders and define their relationship, so the two states can live peacefully in this ME drek. They can be an example.

November 22nd, 2015, 8:41 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Soon there will be two prong movements , safe zone. replacing ISIS, and negotiations for. Change. In Syria,
Liberation of. Lands controlled by ISIS , must be done byTurkey , as I suggested ,with condition that once Syria is liberated from Assad and Iran the land must return to Syrian control, U.S. And Russia must assure that.

As for the negotiation the U.S. And Russia must be active in making sure that Assad is serious and honest in accepting change for true democracy, it is no secret that he is sectarian dictator, tyrant, Tyrants do not accept democracy , so he must go, with no guarantees

November 22nd, 2015, 9:18 am


Mina said:

An answer to the “fascism is so cool” post above

How suddenly when interest change direction, the NYT allows its readers to know something about life “before”, how peaceful it was, with girls studying, reding English novels, going to cafes! So it was not all dark in “Asad’s Syria”?

November 22nd, 2015, 9:26 am


Joshua said:

“Is ISIS good at governing?” By @MaraRevkin Important quotes from citizens of the Islamic State. This was published at the same time by Brookings Inst.

November 22nd, 2015, 12:00 pm


Hopeful said:

#18 Akbar Palace

I, too, have a very good friend whose brother is a settler. He, too, is a very nice person… but only to his kind. To him, the land was given to him by God, and all the Muslims there must one day be deported. Only the most fundamentalist (typically Americas) agree to go live across the green line. For them, there is no compromise – even though they were born in America, God somehow gave them that land. Maybe not all the settlers think the same way, but most of them do. You know it and I know it. When I spoke with my friend’s brother, it was like speaking to a Muslim fundamentalist. No difference.

November 22nd, 2015, 1:43 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I, too, have a very good friend whose brother is a settler. He, too, is a very nice person… but only to his kind. To him, the land was given to him by God, and all the Muslims there must one day be deported. Only the most fundamentalist (typically Americas) agree to go live across the green line. For them, there is no compromise – even though they were born in America, God somehow gave them that land. Maybe not all the settlers think the same way, but most of them do. You know it and I know it. When I spoke with my friend’s brother, it was like speaking to a Muslim fundamentalist. No difference.


Thanks for the reply. Here are my thoughts from your last post:

If your friends brother feels that “Muslims there must one day be deported”, then he is NOT a nice person. So if this person’s opinion is indicative of all settlers, I would say no, it isn’t. And feel free to bring up the PA edict that no jew be allowed to live in Palestine. It’s always helpful to tell the whole story. The vast majority of Israeli jews are perfectly fine living with arabs and know it is stupid and impossible to deport them. As my link shows above, Israeli arabs have made excellent strides living and succeeding in israel.

But let’s get real. This area is shared by 2 people and it is up to them to figure out how to share it. Right now, the PA and the GOI seem satisfied with the status quo.

November 22nd, 2015, 6:43 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Peace in Syria can not be reach until there is stability, which is not possible until the different segments of the Syrian society reach an acceptable formula or a constitution that protect two third of the society at minimum, preferable to be over 90%,, I have discussed that before here on Syria comment, stability is important to. Have a functioning government, the constitution have to depend on rule of law that does not exclude any segment of Syrian society, in it there should no sectarianism , , where one sect control other sects, religion must not be a dividing factor, people with different religion should be free to practice their ideology , however political position must not depend on someone religion, no one ,because of his religion, should be afraid that he can not reach any job in the government if he proved he is qualified to do the job
Syria should be the example of peaceful country, specially after what Syria went through in the last five years, by that Syria must have small army, there is no need to have huge army anymore, Syria must have peace with its neighbors, all,
The emotional issue of Arabic nationality must end , to call Syria an Arabic republic is divisive, we have Arab and non Arab , and we must live togather, ,freedom and justice must be our goal, equality must be protected
Corruption must be fought and must be punishable, after it is proven by court , which must be independent, completely , people must elect their judges, not appointed, by president , the power of the president must be curtailed and limited, he or she must never have any authority over judges and legislation
The function of the government is to make sure Justice , freedom and security of the people are maintained, and to facilitate people affairs, also the government must fight povertly and support education of all
No more tyranny, no more divisive issues , our children must reap the fruit of this great revolution,and should learn we must never have dictators any more.

November 22nd, 2015, 8:18 pm


Roy Gutman said:

The writers is obviously a non-smoker, and probably doesn’t wear jeans and presumably has no problem with attending prayers. But what about Syrians who are of a different persuasion? There’s so little empathy with the non-like-minded that I wonder if he’s been in touch with them. And what about the IS taxes, which have driven residents from other towns? To say young people are not fleeing to go to Europe begs the question: how do you know that? And by the way, which IS is in charge there: foreigners, and if so from where? Syrians, and who are they? The entire piece is full of unsubstantiated generalizations. How long was the author there? How many people did he talk with? Why no quotes?

November 22nd, 2015, 8:40 pm


Babylove said:

When I read this post, all I can say is Islamic State will stay and will always stay. Alhamdulillah because the observer told us what he saw but my instincts tell me that people within the areas that ISIS controlled aren’t less oppressed but totally NOT OPPRESSED. The law of Allah swt teaches us to remove nationalism, racism, tribalism etc. like what the Islamic State is imposing. They want to represent equality. The rich can’t be the superior and the poor should be taken care of. I may not visited the places but through the videos I’ve downloaded, I can say that within 1 – 2 years, the Islamic State will build a strong state for its people. And that is the promise of Allah swt. May ALLAH swt bless and protect us.

November 22nd, 2015, 11:11 pm


Hopeful said:

#23 Akbar Palace

I won’t disagree with anything you said, with one exception – the settlers. Why would an American leave his home country to go live on land, disputed under international law, and is the cause of continued hatred and war between two sides? There is plenty of cheaper housing in the US, so why go there? The answer has to be a “strong ideology” – one that is not too different from Hamas’s ideology, in my opinion.

Maybe the “majority” of Israelis want peace and a just resolution. I do not know that. I know many Israelis who do – and some are close friends. But these friends are the first ones to say that peace cannot be attained with a right-leaning conservative government in Israel, because such a government is not willing to go after the most challenging obstacle to peace today: settlements.

I am not saying that if the settlement issue is resolved, there will be peace tomorrow. You are correct to point out that many challenges exist on the Palestinian side. Even if all Palestinians agreed to move forward, there will be a lot of pressure on them by any Arab or Muslim leader who feels he needs to score some popularity points with his public. But two wrongs do not make right. Israelis should not continue with the settlement policy just because “there is no partner on the other side”. The only way to explain this policy, in my opinion, is an ideological desire to expand territory, at the expense of international law and any possible future peace prospects.

November 22nd, 2015, 11:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I won’t disagree with anything you said…

That’s why you have 2 thumbs down!

… with one exception – the settlers. Why would an American leave his home country to go live on land, disputed under international law, and is the cause of continued hatred and war between two sides? There is plenty of cheaper housing in the US, so why go there?


I appreciate your attitude and you ask good questions.

Firstly, the “settlers”, those monsters who live on the east side of the imaginary green line, are not just Americans.  They come from all over the world including Yemenite Jews, French Jews, you name it.  It is true that there are more Americans living in these communities as a percentage, so I’ll give you that.

The people I met there are NOT fanatical.  They tend to be religious, but not all.  They work with arabs everyday, and do not have any desires to kick out any arabs from their homes.  I think they just feel that Jews should be able to live anywhere in their homeland, just like Israeli-arabs have the right to live anywhere in Israel.  And yes, they believe this is their homeland.  Of course, if the GOI makes an agreement with the PA, some may have to move, I don’t know, but it seems silly to me that Jews shouldn’t be allowed to live somewhere if the border is not defined.  That’s discrimination.

Actually, housing is cheaper in the “settlements” as the GOI gives incentives.

The answer has to be a “strong ideology” – one that is not too different from Hamas’s ideology, in my opinion.

Maybe the “majority” of Israelis want peace and a just resolution. I do not know that. I know many Israelis who do – and some are close friends. But these friends are the first ones to say that peace cannot be attained with a right-leaning conservative government in Israel, because such a government is not willing to go after the most challenging obstacle to peace today: settlements

I am not saying that if the settlement issue is resolved, there will be peace tomorrow. You are correct to point out that many challenges exist on the Palestinian side. Even if all Palestinians agreed to move forward, there will be a lot of pressure on them by any Arab or Muslim leader who feels he needs to score some popularity points with his public. But two wrongs do not make right. Israelis should not continue with the settlement policy just because “there is no partner on the other side”. The only way to explain this policy, in my opinion, is an ideological desire to expand territory, at the expense of international law and any possible future peace prospects.

I think the “ideology” is, “why SHOULDN’T we live there”?  It is Israel and jews should be allowed to live anywhere in Israel.  Living in Israel is an ideology all into itself.  Whether you like it or not, Jews believe Israel is our promised land as told in the 5 Books of Moses.  We could all be living within the green line and the attachment is still there.  And please save us the Hamas comparisons, muslims feel the Temple Mount is theirs from one sentence in the Koran.  So what?

The difference between Hamas and the GOI is that the GOI has always been willing to negotiate something less than ideal, they don’t put death over life, and they believe in tolerance and individual freedoms.

Maybe the “majority” of Israelis want peace and a just resolution. I do not know that.

I think they do, and the Oslo Agreement and Camp David 2000 proved it.  Israel proposed keeping settlements and offered land WITHIN the green line.  The Camp David agreements came AWFULLY close to 100% of the WB.


The land issues can be solved rather easily.  The hard part is the cooperation issues and dealing with the fanatics in Gaza.  If muslims can’t deal with other muslims, what makes you think Israel can?  Israel is right-leaning because of the on-going security issues.  Israel can ONLY make peace agreements (IMHO) with a right-leaning government, and they have!  The Israeli government has moved left.  Today’s Likud is yesterday’s Labor.  Today’s Labor is the arab and communist parties.

I am not saying that if the settlement issue is resolved, there will be peace tomorrow.

Israel isn’t going to give back land without a strong, verifiable peace.

Anyway, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, today, is a needle in a haystack.  Muslims today, I think, have bigger fish to fry.

November 23rd, 2015, 10:14 am


Hopeful said:

#26 Akbar Palace

“Muslims today have a bigger fish to fry”

Yes indeed.

The problems I have with the “settlers” (which I share with many of my Israeli friends and almost ALL of my Jewish friends) are as follows:

1. I believe religious fundamentalism, during times of conflict, provides a safe environment for radicals. So although many settlers are not radical or violent, I doubt for a second that they will turn against a fellow settler who’s done something wrong against Arabs. This is not a statement against Jews, but a statement against fundamentalism.

2. The “land” is illegally taken from Palestinain owners, or at least it is contested under international law. If the land is purchased properly from an owner under a land property law that is accepted by all, then there should be no problem, but this is not the case here. Jews, like anyone else, should have the right to buy land in any place where land can be freely purchased. But this is not the case here.

The “obsession” with land is a direct result of religion and nationalism. The less religious and nationalist people are, the better the odds are to find a working compromise. Unfortunately people will continue to die in the name of religion and nationalism.

November 23rd, 2015, 11:07 am


Ghufran said:

New York Times on the two faces of terrorism Isis and KSA:
“West wages war on one, but shakes hands with the other. This is a mechanism of denial, and denial has a price: preserving the famous strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia at the risk of forgetting that the kingdom also relies on an alliance with a religious clergy that produces, legitimizes, spreads, preaches and defends Wahhabism, the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on”

November 23rd, 2015, 11:36 am


Ghufran said:

Without direct Turkish intervention
Latakia province is likely to be free
from Islamist Turkman and foreign terrorist groups before the end of the year. FSA only exists on Facebook in that region.

November 23rd, 2015, 1:57 pm


ghufran said:

Qatar is reported to be buying SAM3 from the Ukraine and the likely destination is Syria. Putin will have no choice but to directly hit Qatar and even Turkey (the route thru which weapons will be delivered)if Nusra and its sisters shoot down Russian jets, Putin can use UNSC resolution #2249 . Qatari money is also linked to terrorist groups in Sinai-Egypt.
KSA’s only obsession now is to remove Assad and stop the UNSC from listing Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar (Ashrar) Al-Sham as terrorist groups.
You can tell a lot about the nature of the rebel force in Syria when it is main composition is islamist terrorists inspired by Al-Qaida and funded by KSA and Qatar, it is a pig even after thawrajiyyeh put makeup on its face !!

November 23rd, 2015, 9:50 pm


Observer said:

The latest news from Syria brilliant indeed

November 23rd, 2015, 10:59 pm


Passerby said:

So Sunni Turkey, giving massive aid to ISIS, all those fuel trucks Russia blew up (followed by Obama finally blowing up a few), going across the border ever day. All the Turkey support for ISIS recruits crossing their border. Turkey attacking the Kurds, the only ones fighting ISIS.

And now they have shot down a Russian jet.

Someone needs to tell the maggots that Russia had 100,000 Thermonuclear Weapons.

And worse.

I guess the maggots are counting on NATO saving them. Well, we know Russia could shoot up a few hundred Europeans and shut down European capitals in terror and NATO will do absolutely nothing. I wouldn’t bet the ranch they will go to WWIII because some maggots decide they’d like to kill some Russians to defend ISIS.

November 24th, 2015, 7:32 am


Tara said:

Bravo Turkey!

10 warnings , no response, jet is downed.

Next time, single warning is enough …

Let’s see how Putin will recover his lost pride. Hehe.

November 24th, 2015, 7:57 am


Passerby said:

Well, for starters, he could kill anyone or everyone in Turkey, and anyone that complains about it, in about 35 minutes.

NATO won’t fight back against ISIS when they shoot up hundreds of women and children,shutting down their capitals. They are going to be vaporized because some fascist maggot running Turkey is mad Russia cut off his billion dollar oil business with ISIS?

We’re about to find out.

Here’s a hint, read what Putin originally said, It’s not Just ISIS, it’s anyone that supports them, and you might want to read the Security Council resolution too, it’s the same thing. Not that paperwork matters now, it’s way beyond that.

November 24th, 2015, 8:24 am


Zigzag said:

Disgustingly isis shoots down parachuting jet fighter. Russia has all the right to retaliate which they seem to be doing already. Muslim extremist ideology is going to burn this country alive. Syria should resign to the fact that assad s unfortunately the only logical option. Otherwise Muslims rage will ensure a new caliphate with Christians and alawites genocides.

Personally, I value my freedom of faith and yes my personal choice of smoking a cigarette without getting killed and watching my wife raped more than I care about the country being corrupted.

November 24th, 2015, 4:11 pm


Tara said:

Putin is not but a paper tiger. He can’t and will not do a thing, not a one thing , except rhetorics and posturing . I applaud Erdogan. He is a real man .

November 24th, 2015, 4:39 pm


Zigzag said:

Relax tara, we are talking about the same erdogan who couldn’t do shit against assad for years… The same erdogan who buys isis oil. He is dependent on Russia for gas, tourism and plenty of other contracts. Russia can economically force turkey to vote out erdogan. Putin has actually shown the world repeatedly that he is not to be taken lightly. This was a cowardly attack and that I don’t think warrants a full out war vs turkey. Russia is already obliterating isis and Assad is in a very good position. Erdogan is still the same coward he was when the war started.

By the way, must be nice living in the West rooting for a change but who exactly are you hoping to come out victor? Unless you buy into that caliphate utopia crap

November 24th, 2015, 5:30 pm


Ghufran said:

Endogan did indeed scored and hurt putin’s pride but what is clearly
a short term gain can, and I think will, cost Turkey a lot. Turkey is a NATO
member and we are not likely to see a harsh and direct military response
but Putin is not Assad and Russia is not Syria. The coming days or weeks
will show how naive some of you are and how stupid Turkey’s actions were.
Turkey downed a Russian jet that posed no danger to Turkey and may not
even have entered Turkey’s air space, later on Turkmen terrorists shot at and
probably killed a Russian pilot or two and destroyed a Russian helicopter.
A lot of unanswered questions but Putin will certainly respond.
و الأيام بيننا 🙂

November 24th, 2015, 5:23 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

I disagree with you, I think Putin will shout a lot , will threaten, will get mad , I will not be surprised if he hit his wife ,or tear some pillows In his bedroom . He probably grind his teeth, bite his lips,, so to say he will not do anything is not right

He is bombastic conceited worthless man , what did he do for the plane that was. ElodedinEgypt? Nothing ,

November 24th, 2015, 7:04 pm


Tara said:

And here it comes: Putin’s response:😀😀

“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cancelled a visit to Turkey and Moscow has warned its citizens off travel to the country.

Putin called the downing a “stab in the back” committed by “accomplices of terrorists” and warned of “serious consequences”.

But Daragh McDowell, principal analyst on Europe and Central Asia for risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft said: “The Kremlin will want to minimise the adverse publicity arising from combat or other losses in terms of the Russian domestic audience”.

In addition to those noted by Majedkhaldoun


November 24th, 2015, 7:09 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Rumors that. The Rebels are getting SAM 3 bought from Ukraine

November 24th, 2015, 7:38 pm


Syrian said:

Watch the Russian helicopter being destroyed by Tow missile today

November 24th, 2015, 7:42 pm


Syrian said:

Watch the Turkish Air Force giving warning to the Russian pilot

November 24th, 2015, 7:54 pm


Ghufran said:

Jonathan Marcus-BBC
“The problem is that according to a radar map released by the Turks themselves, the Russian Sukhoi could at best be described as crossing over Turkish territory.
It flew over a small piece of Turkey that projects into Syria – a tiny isthmus of land that would have taken the fast jet only a few moments to fly over.
So if the plane was shot down, as the Turks say, after entering Turkish airspace, you could equally say it was downed on the way out of Turkish territory too”
Turkey shot the Russian plane as a retaliation for the bombing of Turkmen militia positions in Latakia, the cover story means nothing, even NATO could not substantiate Turkey’s claim.
Putin’s likely response is economic sanctions and a more intense campaign against rebel and terrorist groups supported by Turkey. The next time a Turkish jet is shot down over Syria or at the borders Russia will state that Syrian air defense forces acted in self defense but we all know who would be the likely shooter. Erdogan clearly made a big mistake.

November 24th, 2015, 8:05 pm


Tara said:

Turks should be proud on this day. i really am very proud of Erdogan .

And the rebels killed one of the Russian pilot who was bombarding Syrian children . To Hell!

November 24th, 2015, 8:05 pm


Tara said:


I applaud the Turks for giving the Russians 10 warnings. Such patient and kind people those Turks are. If I was there, one warning and the jet is downed . Ok, two….

وعفكرة براي الشخصي بيسووا راس احسن عربي

تعاملت معهم بغازي عنتاب ومافي منهم

November 24th, 2015, 8:12 pm


Syrian said:

The Turks had worn Putin last week to stop bombing Turkmen towns,but in his arrogance he stepped up the bombing and today he thought he can use Turkish air space to bomb them even more,
Erdogan today not just put many Arab leaders to shame but many western leaders who did not It know how to deal with Putin arrogance for the last ten years.

November 24th, 2015, 9:03 pm


habib said:

Wow, I didn’t expect that the “moderate” anti-Assad crowd here would be so blatantly pro-Erdogan.

Just shows the hypocrisy. Let’s replace one strongman with another. No moral high ground. No credibility.

November 24th, 2015, 8:49 pm


Hopeful said:

if the Russian plane crossed the border, it is Turkey’s right to shoot it down, if it did not cross, then Turkey is the aggressor.

Pretty Simlple equation, however, the truth is irrelevant here. No matter what the evidence is, Russians and their supporters will believe the Russian version, and the Turks and their supporters will believe Turkey’s version. Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

There will be escalation, but only inside Syria. Syrians will continue to pay the price. We now have some of the most egoistic arrogant leaders playing chess with Syrian lives: Assad, Putin and Erdogan.

November 24th, 2015, 11:57 pm


ALAN said:

/Pretty Simlple equation/
Obama on downing of Russian plane: “Turkey like every country has a right to defend its territory & its air space.”
Obama just gave Syria thumbs up to shoot down the next US warplane that violates their territory & airspace

The plane was shot down after, not during, the alleged violation of Turkish airspace? That makes the shooting an act of retribution, not defense. After-the-fact retribution is not in accordance with accepted non-belligerent rules of engagement for defending national airspace.

Obama is running amateur stupid? Will enter the maze difficult to get out from.

November 25th, 2015, 12:52 am


apple_mini said:

Absent from the site, many would be blessed not coming back at all because on this site: Islamists stay Islamists, narcissists never retreat, hypocrites pass off the same crap, inept commentators, like coma patients refusing to get out of it, march on with delusion.

In real life, outside Syria, Syrians are feeling the unwanted attention, and worse, are met with scowls. Syrian refuges arrived Europe in droves, earning some sympathy and disproportionally more disdain, probably swallowing some slur as well.

Cavemen don’t invoke God to slaughter their neighbors, but Syrians do in Syria.

The French got burnt and they want punitive revenge in Syria, but they dodge the searing question how NOT to be burnt again by the French who do not think they are French.

The Russian got stung but there is a motto: Don’t mess the Russians, especially when they know exactly where to hurt their enemy the most.

November 25th, 2015, 5:50 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

The only way to change Russia, Putin, plans is by series of military defeats by Russia, that will force Russia to change its position in Syria, so far we have two losses. By Russia.

Russia needs Turkey , economic sanctions will not work,do not mess with Russia is pure nonsense, Russia is no longer the superpower it used to be

November 25th, 2015, 6:43 am


SimoHurtta said:

Well the probability of a future independent Kurdistan is more likely after yesterday and that Turkey will be smaller in future. Erdogan can kiss goodbye to the last dreams of joining EU and becoming the main Russian southern energy hub.

Russia is Turkey’s second biggest trade partner after EU28. Import to Turkey from Russia worth over EUR 18 billion and export to Russia EUR 4.3 billion. In tourism Russians are the second largest customer group (4.5 million in 2014) and they bring USD 4 billion in revenues to Turkey. Who will replace those tourists and where does Erdogan get the trade to replace Russian. There will a lot of angry jobless Turks demanding answers from their the great divine leader. Maybe Erdogan recommends them joining ISIS and making ISIS to replace Russia in trade and tourism. Hehe eh Tara.

Turkey is a miracle country like we know from ancient tales,in the new one they manage to give 10 warnings during 5 minutes in 17 seconds and using the rest of that 17 seconds to fire the missile.

By the way Tara Erdogan’s son Bilal owns transport companies. Wonder what they transport and do their subcontractors have any trucks left. Well “the family” exports cheap oil got from guess where? Good governance seems to be impossible even in the “secular” Turkey for its religious leaders.

November 25th, 2015, 7:11 am



Russia is trying to defeat the FSA and other rebels factions while France, UK and USA hit ISIS. The chess master movement of Putin (and his terrorist attacks)is trying to break FSA, in a long war avoiding world criticism while appearing he fights ISIS and pushes others to hit ISIS leaving no alternative option to Assad.

If FSA and ISIS disappear in a coordinated way then Assad is the winner. This may explain why France and UK are urgently fighting ISIS and why Turkey is creating technical obstructions to Russia attacks to FSA and Nusra. Obama seems to be more sensitive to destroy ISIS and push Assad softly aside.

In a way the war has just started.

November 25th, 2015, 7:19 am



In a war where both sides are absolutely extremed in their positions being the poster with the most thumbs down may be a sign of common sense and reasonability.

November 25th, 2015, 8:37 am


Tara said:


“Who will replace the Russian tourists? ”

We! The rich Arabs. Don’t you worry. We spend much more money when we travel around than Russians.

November 25th, 2015, 9:21 am


Tara said:

Hardlyly a massacre came back .

You remind me with death smell

كنت خليكي بالضيعة. اشرحْلك

شمي نسيم جثث الولاد الزغار اللي فرحتي بموتهن.بتنتعشي

November 25th, 2015, 9:30 am


Passerby said:

Where is the US radar. We could produce that in minutes. Russia is telling the truth, they never entered Turkish airspace.

Russia just destroyed Turkey’s milti-billion dollar profit oil deal with ISIS last week. It’s not a coincidence.

Putin is right, the Turkish Military protects ISIS, they are terrorists.

November 25th, 2015, 10:18 am


Ghufran said:

The only thing that unites the opposition to assad is their
hatred towards minorities and that is not good enough to
make an uprising a revolution.
Regime opponents had almost 5 years to get their act together
and they failed at every front except in escalating the war
and making a bad situation worse, much worse indeed.
Every time anybody talks about the shortcomings of the opposition
boneheads in the opposition camps start throwing sectarian
bombs and packaged slogans and insults, this opposition
is clearly unfit to govern and unable to separate itself from
terrorist groups, this is why most thawrajiyyeh are simply
cheer leaders for Alqaeda and the filthy Turkish mafia of Erdogan
which made billions by stealing Aleppo factories and trading
with isis.

November 25th, 2015, 10:19 am



ISIS (Syria Branch) = RUSSIA = ASSAD = IRAN

By hitting ISIS, you hit Assad, Russia and Iran altogether and at the same time you can provoke some terrorist attacks in Istambul, Paris, Frankfurt or London.

French know that hitting ISIS is a sine qua non condition to destroy Assad.

Wait and see who is right and who is wrong.

November 25th, 2015, 10:56 am


Passerby said:

Russia is deploying the S-400 near the Turkish border, not the S-300 Iran wants so bad. Here’s some statistics…

Name: Growler
Range: 400 km
Maximum Altitude: 140,000 feet
Speed: Mach 14, 5 km/second
Turkish Jets each system can engage simultaneously: 80
Missiles each system can control/launch simultaneously: 160

Translation: It can take down Turkish planes in the Turkish air force, at the same time, all the way to Ankara, most of Turkey, at about twice their altitude limit.

Time to intercept the next Turkish jets flying near the border, from launch to massive explosion (huge ground based rocket) and almost certain deaths of all pilots: 1-2 seconds.

For a while people thought jets were obsolete, sitting ducks for sophisticated rockets, that since the U2, the day of the jet was over. But it’s been decades since sophisticated rockets have been used. Is the Russian technology as good? Probably better, because they have all our wiring diagrams and codewords. Snowden and that transvestite corporal were just the ones that insisted on making it public. The NSA can’t keep a secret, good at collecting them, bad at keeping them.

November 25th, 2015, 11:49 am


Yasmin El-Sham said:

Are we now promoting ISIS? Is this what we are coming to in this world? It is rather disturbing that such an article would make it on such a reputable site. Is this an ISIS recruitment promotion? Is this real? It is easy to rule the dessert with no one in it, and it the land is only run by those who are from the same cult. Pathetic what people have come to and how they are willing to change their principals and beliefs.

And, please enough with the minorities talk. All excuses, combined with weak disjointed opposition.

November 25th, 2015, 1:38 pm


syrialover said:

I laughed when I saw that Russian jet falling out of the sky. So did a lot of the world.

Putin is a clown, caught out with his lies. Nobody believes him.

The world calmly stated the truth, exposing the tell-tale stain on his trousers (to quote the song “Putin wet his pants” he revenged by sending Russian girl singers Pussy Riot to jail in 2012).

First the west:

“President Obama pointed the finger at Russia over its warplane being shot down by Turkey, suggesting the incident might not have happened if Moscow were more concerned with hitting ISIS targets than moderate opposition to Syria’s Bashar Assad – a campaign that puts them dangerously close to the Turkish border.

“[standing next to French President Allende] Obama also suggested the nature of Russia’s air campaign is contributing to such confrontations.

“I do think that this points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations,” Obama said

“He said that if Russia directed its efforts toward the Islamic State, “some of those conflicts, or potentials for mistakes or escalation, are less likely to occur.”

Obama also said Turkey “has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.” (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/11/24/hollande-to-press-obama-on-russia-cooperation-in-isis-fight.html)

And of course Turkey:

Article: Turkey Warned Russia It Would Defend Its Border In Days Leading Up To Jet Downing

“ISTANBUL — Just days before Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday, Ankara’s envoys in New York sent an urgent letter to the U.N. security council decrying attacks by Russian forces on ethnic Turkmen living along the border.

“The ongoing intense aerial bombardment which reportedly included use of cluster bombs by the Russian air forces … have caused heavy civilian casualties,” said the letter. “The continuing grave violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the most recent offensive, are unacceptable.

“Ankara insists its two F-16 fighter jets downed the jet… because it strayed into Turkish territory along the mountains northeast of the Syrian city of Latakia — and disregarded 10 warnings.

“In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were [10 miles] or less away from the border,” said a Turkish official.

“The official added, “This isn’t an action against any specific country: Our F-16s took necessary steps to defend Turkey’s sovereign territory.” (http://www.buzzfeed.com/borzoudaragahi/turkey-had-warned-russia-that-it-would-defend-its-border-and?utm_term=.clL8ggq3x#.ni4A33XNK)

November 25th, 2015, 1:54 pm


Syrialover said:

PASSERBY #60 Please do not give us shallow ringside spectator talk, getting excited about Russian military technology and what you hope it can do to Turkey.

Putin is a dumb thug war criminal, running an economy currently about the size of Italy.

He has been slaughtering ordinary Syrians and destroying infrastructure to continue Assad’s “burn the country” program, telling colossal transparent lies about attacking ISIS.

Now he has been caught out. That’s the story. Full stop.

November 25th, 2015, 2:07 pm


Syrialover said:


You are stating the truth, comparing the crazy fanaticism blazing in the eyes of Jewish settlers to that of ISIS.

They are to Jewish people what ISIS is to Moslems.

I have seen interviews with Jewish settlement leaders – well-educated, affluent people with comfortable citizenship in the west, that made me shudder. In anger and disbelief that anyone is tolerating, let alone supporting them.

They tell their made-up story about their claim on the land with a monumental smugness and arrogance and hard-faced self-certainty that speaks of mental problems and delusions.

And it IS a made-up story. With substance only in their minds, not archaeologically and historically, let alone legally, ethically, politically. Their sense of entitlement and certainty comes from within, no external validation interests them.

It’s their “caliphate” and the rest of the world and humanity can just go to hell, accept their word and get out of the way of their bulldozers and massive ugly walls. And guns – they wouldn’t be there without the IDF.

November 25th, 2015, 2:35 pm


Akbar Palace said:

They are to Jewish people what ISIS is to Moslems.


Silly comment. Last I checked, most “settlers” (jews living over the invisible green line) are NOT:

– decapitating non-Jews
– calling for an end to democracy and freedom
– calling for Israel to be free of arabs (like the PA wants for Palestine to be free of jews)

November 25th, 2015, 3:55 pm


Syrialover said:


You skip away and dance around my main points. The Jewish settlers don’t have to do any of the things you list to get their way. They have state connivance and sanctions for their madness, which makes their actions in many ways worse.

My comparison was that they are the “torn pocket” the wound that festers in the reputation of the Jewish people like ISIS affects the credibility and tolerance of Islam in the eyes of non-Muslims.

Israel without the settlers and all they have caused would have more respect and acceptance. Bulldoze their territories, send them back to their dual citizenship havens and allow Palestinians to go back to where the map was only a few short decades ago.

Then you and others reasonable human beings can relax and stop being forced to defend the indefensible and excusing the inexcusable.

November 25th, 2015, 4:20 pm


ALAN said:

Whew!! Is Landis Who collected all those geniuses?

November 25th, 2015, 4:42 pm


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN #58 you now stop muttering out of both sides of your mouth and use a single megaphone.

The pro-Assad anti-Syrian people megaphone.

By being strangely silent about the on-the-ground intervention by Iran and Russia that saved Assad, and scoffing and sneering at Syrians who oppose Assad, you give your game away.

You expose your acceptance of the Assad-invited occupation of Syria by Iran, and the Assad/Iranian/Russian creation of safe zones for ISIS while they try to barrel bomb, massacre, infrastructurally demolish and terrorise away all home-grown opposition to Assad.

Why would any normal person hate Syria and its beautiful people so much?

November 25th, 2015, 4:43 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN, Putin might try to remove his wet pants but now his bare backside is exposed.

And wow, is Putin’s backside on fire!

MAJEDKHALDOUN in #38 describes him brilliantly.

November 25th, 2015, 4:52 pm


Syrialover said:

Sorry, I was getting carried away above with my suggestions on what to do about Israeli settlers.

I don’t really think settlers’ houses should be bulldozed.

No, they should becomes homes for Palestinians. With all their contents.

November 25th, 2015, 5:06 pm


Tara said:

ظهر التأثر واضحا على محيا رئيس وزراء تركيا أحمد داوود أوغلو، وهو يحاول مغالبة دموعه أثناء إلقائه كلمة في اجتماع دوري لمجلس حزب العدالة والتنمية، الذي يترأسه. وجاء تأثر “داوود أوغلو” مع تذكره موقفا لأحد المفكرين السوريين الذين قابلهم مؤخرا، عقب ظهور نتائج الانتخابات البرلمانية أول نوفمبر/تشرين الأول الحالي، حيث قال ذلك المفكر لرئيس الوزراء التركي ما معناه: الأتراك قاموا بالتصويت للانتخابات عبر الاقتراع في الصناديق، بينما قام السوريون بالتصويت لتركيا واستقرارها بقلوبهم ود
المزيد: http://www.souriyati.com/2015/11/25/31018.html (موقع سوريتي)

November 25th, 2015, 6:40 pm


Tara said:

Turkey to Putin:
By Thomas E. Ricks

It’s one thing to be a KGBeastie stylin’ around Dresden, East Germany. It’s another to ignore warnings from a NATO country about its sovereignty. That’s what Vladimir Putin has learned in the last day or so, I think.

Hahaha. Putin is becoming a mockery. Do not mess with a NATO country. Russia is nothing but a second rated country. Show us your muscle please or are they psuedo ones?

November 25th, 2015, 8:35 pm


Observer said:

The KGB thug can deploy all the missiles he wants and if he thinks he can shoot Turkish fighters in Turkish airspace he will have the Turkish army take over his bases in no time and all of NATO will be behind the Turks. The world is fed up with his thuggish behavior.
He needs the West because his companies cannot service and extend their debts while sanctions are in place and they cannot use the financial system to remain afloat while the sanctions are in place and the economy in tatters.
Ukraine just announced that it is closing its airspace to all Russian flights and Russia cut off the gas to Ukraine. Crimea is without electricity still. Next he will have his Sunni Muslim minorities up in arms and many of them have affinity with the Turks. He is trying to prevent a safe haven zone in northern Syria which will be the starting point to have the refugees resettled and a base for the opposition to organize.

In the meantime this is for Tara and Syrian Hamster and SL to enjoy; the regime trolls are too dumb to understand

November 25th, 2015, 8:50 pm


Passerby said:

Hi Syrialover,

Well, I certainly agree Putin is as much of a fascist as Erdogan, but Russia doesn’t openly support terrorists and Erdogan does.

Is Assad an unspeakable goon? Absolutely. Would the planet be blessed if the entire gang was blow to hell? Of course.

IF, there was anyone else that can run Syria, and as Joshua points out, and anyone can see for themselves, there’s nothing left but ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Amazing how the Saddam Regime/ISIS has gotten everyone to see it in their interest to have ISIS still around. Assad has always been in cahoots with them, exactly like Saddam when he created them. “See what happens when you don’t let me control my country.” And they’ve gotten the Saudis and Turks to excuse their open support for ISIS, and to use it as a weapon, with “If you don’t get rid of Assad I won’t help get rid of ISIS. Get rid of Assad first.” And of course, the multibillions Turkey got from ISIS for the oil, etc. to sweeten the deal.

Europe is too weak, more interested in group hugs, and the US is run by a traitor that goes along with it’s allies supporting ISIS and Al-Qaeda, but Russia is going to kill them. There’s a reason they are only in Sunni areas, they have support from the community they don’t get otherwise. You support terrorists, with a WMD program, you are taking a terrible risk.


On the thousands of oil tankers, openly crossing the border ever day, Traitorbama’s first excuse was that the US never ever bombs ISIS (unlike all other terrorists) if there’s any chance whatsoever of a civilian being involved, and the truck drivers were civilians.

And that the entire Traitorbama administration, and the entire US Military was too stupid to think of dropping leaflets, until the idea popped into their heads immediately after the Russians started blowing them up.

It gets better…

When asked why they didn’t drop leaflets before, the said they had no idea that hundreds/thousands of trucks were lined up every day at the crossing, until a defector told them about it.

And better…

That failing the laugh test, they now claim the real reason they didn’t blow up the trucks, and put ISIS out of business, is that the oil would be polluting.

Treason. Support for terrorism. And just about everyone is guilty except Russia on that one.

November 25th, 2015, 10:20 pm


Hopeful said:

#73 Passerby

In case you had not seen my comment from previous post, here is why I think the US never bombed the trucks before:

I remember hearing during the civil war days in Beirut (yes I am old too), that the fighters across East and West Beirut would cease fire for a few hours a day, to let convoys of goods pass across in both directions. Commercial interests sometimes trump any other interests.

I personally know a person in Syria, who works for an “oil services” private company affiliated with the regime. This person’s job is to negotiate with ISIS to buy oil for Damascus.

Additionally, despite what everyone says, I believe the Allies have been careful to avoid both civilian casualties and civilian hardship (as much as possible). Bombing the oil refinery and oil tankers will surely punish ISIS, but will also create more economic hardship for the residents of ISIS territories. Creating hell in non-regime controlled areas is Assad’s game, but it is not the Allies game.

Your answer lies in a combination of the factors above.

November 25th, 2015, 11:08 pm


Passerby said:

Facts about the shootdown:

1. Turkey now claims it didn’t know it was a Russian jet. So, any claim that Russia crossed into Turkish airspace in the past is absolutely no excuse.

2. Turkey claims it warned the Russian jet 10 times over 5 minutes to leave. (Making #1 almost certainly a lie.) That has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged 17 seconds it spent over Turkish airspace. 5 minutes before, there’s nothing to warn about. Russia claims there was no warning.

3. Turkey claims it was protecting the Turkmen, but the Russians say the jets had just come back from blowing up the Turkey/ISIS oil tankers that everyone knew about and everyone except Russia was protecting.

4. Bad news for the Turkmen, seems Russian attacks have ramped up. Seems the Russian fighter escort and existing ground based rockets are sufficient for for now. The Turkish air force is a bit skittish about actual interceptors, as opposed to defenseless bombers. Seems defending the Turkmen isn’t that important after all.

5. The initial universal knee-jerk propaganda condemnation of Russia in the US media is now less universal. Any honest person has doubts about the wisdom of Turkey’s murder of the Russian pilot, regardless.

6. Not a fact, a speculation but…the Syrian Kurds, the ones the Turks really hate, the ones that really hate ISIS and slaughter them, just won the lottery. If Turkey can support terrorists attacking Russia, (and shoot down Russian airplanes), Russia can support terrorists attacking Turkey.

November 25th, 2015, 11:31 pm


Passerby said:

Well then, Hopeful, we both agree Traitorbama is lying, because the current deliberate lie is that it was to prevent pollution.

There is no economic hardship in the country known as ISIS. Government and army salaries are through the roof. It’s a very prosperous country.

And no, the solution to ISIS is not to drench them in money, it is the opposite. It is the money that has made them powerful.

And they aren’t in Shiite areas, if you support terrorists, you share their fate.

November 26th, 2015, 12:05 am


Majed97 said:

Erdogan is acting as if stupidity is a virtue. He has just handed Putin and Assad a well done “turkey” on a plate, just in time for Thanksgiving.

The consequences of his reckless act in shooting down that Russian jet, which BTW was bombing Alqaeeda terrorists, will cost him dearly:
•Syria will have the best air defense system in the world. President Assad should send him a thank you note for that thoughtful gift.
•Those Turkmen terrorists in Northern Syria (his most valuable asset), will be eradicated in due time, especially after what they’ve done to that Russian pilot. As a result, Turkey will be sidelined at the negotiating table for Syria’s future.
•His NFZ plans, which he’s been lobbying hard for it for years, can now be safely and permanently placed in the dustbin.
•His economy will suffer dearly in the coming years from loss of Russian trades and tourism business, not to mention loss of appeal to foreign investors due to instability and weakening economic outlook.
•Turkey’s energy costs have just gotten more expensive and its future energy plans to build nuclear plants using Russian technology will have to be reassessed.
•Turkey’s dream of becoming an EU member is becoming less and less likely by the day, as European are discovering Turkey’s true color in light of its support of Islamic extremism. Erdogan is now fully exposed to the whole world for being the guardian of Islamic terrorism and if he thinks he can hide behind NATO while being the aggressor, then he is insane, not just stupid. NATO will not risk WWIII to save his ass. Its charter doesn’t have any clause to accommodate his recklessness.

Syria has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, now that the Russian bear has awaken and is ready for a well done “turkey”.

November 26th, 2015, 12:13 am



Syria, Iraq and Lebanon are new provinces belonging to the New Regional Persian Empire who at the same time is a creation of world powers (US, Rusia and EU) for the new Middle East economic project.

The only thing that need to be completed is the ethnic cleansing of Syria that may take one or two years more until Assad has no opposition inside.

November 26th, 2015, 6:54 am


Passerby said:

I’d like to ask a favor of the well informed people here on the habits of ISIS and Saudi Arabia. Seems it’s real important to convince the Saudis that ISIS is unspeakable, of the need for a Sunni army to defeat them. To that end, I’m trying to sort out the differences between ISIS and Saudi Arabia, to drive a wedge between them, other than fighting for the same job.

Do one or both ISIS and Saudi Arabia:

* Forbid women to drive cars, Forbid women to be in public without a close male relative, make them wear a tent, etc.

* Kill those that convert to a different religion

* Permit Christian Churches and services

* Permit Hindu Churches and services

* Severely punish any criticism of religious authority

* Conduct whippings/Chop off heads and body parts for things not even illegal in the civilized world.

* Support international terrorism.

* You tell me the important differences I’ve missed. I’d appreciate it.

Extra credit for including Assad.

November 26th, 2015, 7:30 am


Passerby said:

Ok, I was wrong. Show me someone that doesn’t admit it and I will show you someone that will never approach truth.

Of course, it’s not the Turkmen, CNN reports heavy air strikes, morters, and artillery hitting the area of the shootdown as we speak, and no sign of the Turkish air force. So far.

And it’s not the loss of the billions from the Erdogan/ISIS oil deal flowing into his pocket personally. Turkey just lost 18 billion in trade too. All of it bad for Turkey, little of it bad for Russia. The billions in tourism, the Russians can vacation elsewhere, no problem. The billions in fresh produce? All trucks have been stopped at the border and it is rotting. Seems there are issues with pesticides and terror concerns. Turkish food is also being removed from the shelves. Russia says it can sell it’s natural gas and wheat elsewhere, no problem. No natural gas for Turkey is a problem. A massive hit to the Turkish economy.

And it’s not even some vague notion of ISIS being a bulwark against Iran, and Turkey stepping in and preventing the destruction of ISIS, just “degrade and eventually destroy” it, but a handy thing for the time being.

It’s the goal of all fascists, Totalitarian Dictatorship…

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday renewed his call to parliament to draft a new constitution that will grant his office greater executive powers, arguing it better suits affluent nations…

It’s the golden ring, the big prize. Once he has total power, he can back off and hide behind NATO as he eliminates all political opposition. Russian jet shot down, and maybe Turkish jets shot down after he bravely defends ethnic Turks. The need for a strong leader in such dire times and there’s only one choice…

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, it’s the great message of history.

November 26th, 2015, 9:45 am


Ghufran said:

Bilal Erdogan is Turkey’s Rami Makhlouf except that he operates
in Isis controlled territories and is
widely believed to be the Turkish mastermind of Isis large oil smuggling operations.
Turkey’s ruling mafia loses money every time a Russian jet destroys an Isis oil transport truck.
Another development that angered turkey was attacking Turkmen terrorists
in north Latakia. Elements of this ethnic group took up arms against the syrian army before there was any military confrontations in the area. Turkmen thugs have pledged allegiance to alqaida and Tutkey and have taken parts in civilian kidnapping, summary executions of villagers and the launching of rockets on populated areas in Latakia,
For Syria’s borders with turkey to be secure a massive operation have to take place north of Latakia

November 26th, 2015, 11:15 am


Observer said:

Joshua is tweeting that Syria should be dismantled and separation accomplished. In this he joins John Bolton in essentially calling for a Sunni state an Alawi state and what have you.

If all had listened to me and done this peacefully we would have been in much better shape now.

The problem is a Sunni state is non viable for to me a religious based state is an oxymoron and likewise an Alawi state is non viable for this reason and for the fact that today the areas controlled by the regime have more Sunnis than Alewives.

So go figure the utter and complete failure of the secular forces and the minorities to build a civil state: in the end I would echo the regime troll

An Umma that is the laughing stock of the World: starting with the stupid hateful sectarian minorities who could not join the modern world after more than a century of being at the helm.

November 26th, 2015, 1:16 pm


Badr said:


Would you support an extensive ceasefire if it were to come in the near future?

November 26th, 2015, 2:27 pm


Observer said:

Sure a ceasefire is welcome but a ceasefire in a vacuum without a proposed solution is just a pause in the downward spiral of misery.
My ceasefire would be with 250 000 of outside troops to come and enforce it: Pakistan, Malaysia, Algeria, Oman, Norwegian, Canadian, Mauritanian, Brazilian. These troops come from countries that I think both sides can trust not to take sides. It also would include a no fly zone over all of Syria and Iraq and it includes the withdrawal of ALL outside forces and complete cessation of any arms shipment.
If after the ceasefire we are going to have another Lebanon compromise in Syria then we are just postponing another conflagration that would occur in 10-20 years. This will happen in Lebanon in the coming decade not necessarily in violent terms but in a failed political establishment.
Here is some reading on another modern but failed state as it is made up artificially Belgium


November 26th, 2015, 10:44 pm


mjabali said:


Why people should listen to you? You really do not know what you are talking about when it comes to Syria. So please stay as an observer.

For example:

In your comment above, you said that the minorities had been at the helm for the last 100 years. 100 years ago, i.e, in 1915 : there was not a single Alawite in Damascus, or a Druz or an Ismaili, where the Chrisitans and the Jews of Damascus were 3rd class citizens. So what you said is a clear fabrication, like the Turkish warning to the Russian bomber.

Also you enlightened us with the claim that the minorities of Syria failed to enter the modern world. That is really funny coming from a Sunni whose sect is marching fast to the 7th Century. Not marching: they are running.

Please enlighten us on what your plans for Idlib, Salqin, Izzaz, al-Bab etc?

The Sunnis, who can not find a solution to their young men killing random people like in restaurants (Paris) while having dinner, or at a concert, or at a soccer stadium, or on a plane (Sinai), or in a hotel (Mali)… think that the minorities of the middle east are the ones who failed to enter modern times. Please talk to your sect in this regard, did they know what modernity is?

The Sunnis emptied most of Syria and Iraq from the minorities ( who are in most cases been there before the arrival of any Muslim in that place), and now mr. observer want to tell us that we (Minorities) are responsible for this.

You could play this logic with your Sunni friends, but you can not pass this with Christians, Alawties, Druz, Ismaili…

Minorities of the Middle east should unite more against the well defined danger.

November 26th, 2015, 11:32 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Minorities in Syria are at disadvantage, they are small compare to the huge majority, worse is for minority to think in sectarian term , trying to monopolize the government and subjugate the majority, we had in Syria presidents from the minorities but they were not sectarian, and certainly they were not extreme sectarians as the Alawi Assad regime is , the Alawi Assad regime monopolized the government , they turn from sharing the rule , where people did not feel the president was sectarian the Alawis they monopolized the power , and the money turning the Syrian society to two tier society, where they the Alawis felt they are masters and the rest of Syrians were feeling as farm workers, along with this severely sectarian rule we have corruption ,inherited to the Alawi rule, and we have brutal tyrannical rule famous for kidnaping citizens and imprisoned them and torture and sexual abuse, , the Common Syrians among the majority has to revolt, it is natural and expected , the question was when?
This Alawi Assad regime further resorted to inheriting the regime in one family, this is another evils act committed by this sectarian tyrannical mentally sick regime, this way of rule can not last and it sure will lead to revolt the price of which will be the sectarian regime will suffer severely
However the sectarianism survived by foreign sectarian Iran , and by tyrannical Putin , where evils conspired togather, but the free world , is not supporting the freedom seekers, because they have Agenda of their own , this played to the luck of Assad whose survival now depends on the geopolitical environment, this is by no way is predictable

November 27th, 2015, 6:06 am


Syrialover said:

For anyone interested in learning and thinking about the realities on the ground in Syria with regard to Syrians involved in the fighting – both those in the army and those fighting against it – here’s a paper that offers constructive insights.

It looks at the importance of economic drivers, not just the political, and suggests how an international focus on this could help end the fighting.

Don’t be put off by the title, it’s a very useful read.

“For Money or Liberty? The Political Economy of Military Desertion and Rebel Recruitment in the Syrian Civil War”


It’s refreshing to read something on the Syrian conflict that gets beyond the shallow and sensationalist; offering information and facts, not theories and opinions.

November 27th, 2015, 7:03 am


Observer said:

Yes that is why the minorities should separate and run away from 7th Century Sunnis. Divide the place. I bet that a good number of Sunnis would prefer to live with these new minorities states than in a Sunni stan. I do not disagree. The Alawi regime in Syria failed to create a civil society and as a matter of fact exacerbated sectarian tensions. They are mirror images of the Sunnis. Look in the mirror and you find sectarian hatred like burying men alive and using chemical weapons and barrel bombs. No different than the atrocities done all over the place.

Please have these minority states see the light of day that is their only salvation from the hordes of Sunni fanatics. He who sows the wind harvests the storm.


November 27th, 2015, 8:02 am


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER AND MJABALI, through the scrapping and scuffles, you both come across as sound intellectuals, drawing on individual life experiences to analyse and explain what has happened in Syria.

May I suggest a fresh way to look at things – skipping discussion about sectarianism, minorities, Sunnis, Alawites, historic conflicts, the actions of the Assad dictatorship and so on.

Instead, maybe step back and look at the root cause as suggested in a new and influential work by Sarah Chavez, “Thieves of State” which links everything back to corruption. It puts a lens on corruption as the cause of local and global instability, and it offers an objective perspective that’s useful for Syria.

If you are interested, here’s a link on the book. Scroll down the page to the list of reviews and essays to get a handy insight into the subject: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/01/19/thieves-of-state-why-corruption-threatens-global-security/i5uy.

The true fragile character of the Assad regime and the inevitability of it ending in sectarianism, political violence and extremism becomes clearer with every paragraph.

November 27th, 2015, 8:04 am


Observer said:

SL I do not disagree fundamentally with MJABALI
I think that the 80’s hardened the sectarian nature of both the regime and its opposition during the MB violent campaign.
I do not think that there is such a thing as a Syrian National Identity that supersedes the ethnic or sectarian identification of the average person living in so called Syria today. Until that happens there is no common ground for living together under a political umbrella. So separate politically while uniting economically.
MJABALI and I agree that the clique of Assad Makhlouf and the other mafiosi are mainly corrupt power hungry criminals that are using whatever means including the fear of the minorities to be subdued again by a fanatic Sunni majority.
I am not Sunni for I do not believe that God exists and if he does exist I do not believe certainly that he exists in the way humans have portrayed him and used him to their glorious and base ends.
The minorities did take the area and influenced its direction since the Arab revolt for precisely the reason that under an Islamic hue they would not be full citizens. The Arab National movement is just that. The Baath party is an Arab Nation with An Eternal Message therefore the Arab Nation is the vanguard of the Eternal Message and that being Islam in its broad humanistic nature. That is at least the way one very high ranking regime General told me and that is how the idea of an Arab Nation with its 1400 year history of being organically intertwined with Islamic history could see the light of day.
Today Iran is anti nationalism for if not Persians represent only 50% of Iranians and therefore to keep them together they have to be Islamist. Today Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two major exporters of fanatic thinking and what we see today is not corruption only but deep seated hatred and it is now mutual.
The division of Syria will entail ethnic cleansing and movement of peoples. If a division is not possible 250 000 troops are needed for about 50 years to make sure the Alawis do not suffer a genocide and vice versa for in reality this is a genocide that is happening in this part of the world.

November 27th, 2015, 8:24 am


Observer said:

One more point: the minorities have truly not joined the modern world for it does not matter that they are not veiled or that they do not pray or that they like Scotch or whatever. It is precisely because the suffering they endured under Islamist rule in the past has seared their very identity to the point that the reading on this post show that to this day some of us are not even considered Syrian or Arab or worthy of living in this part of the world. Some of us are considered still after decades of living in this part of the world as outsiders.
This is still a locked system of thought that shows that this so called modernity is skin deep only and just under neath that veneer is nothing but hatred. In reality many minorities could not conceive of themselves except as what they are NOT. We are Christian by showing that we are not Muslim. I know Syrian Christians that rushed to join the US forces in Iraq to work as co-torturers and translators and thought that the US was coming to destroy this Islamist scourge and I read many tweets of Christians in the ME lamenting the shooting down of the Russian jet and asking for Christ to welcome the pilot as he is destroying the IS.

These are very happy that the pilot was bombing fellow Syrians but are they really Syrian or are they just NOT US.

That is why there is no modernity for excluding the other is the basis for their first step towards their extermination.

November 27th, 2015, 8:42 am


Syrialover said:


Thank you for your comments, but they are not relevant to the point I was making. I repeat my invitation to step back and consider what is being said in the sources I gave in #91.

Your remarks about minorities, religion, your own religious beliefs, the reactions of minorities in the Syrian conflict etc. are talking about symptoms, mutations and end outcomes of infection by a pathogen, not the root causes and bigger picture.

I see your observations as confined to the growing patches of wasteland and tangled weeds that have spread and displaced what could instead have been a viable, “normal” and very different world for people living in Syria – people who are exactly the same as all the human beings elsewhere who live in peace, freedom and prosperity.

Syria has not been a place where healthy, productive human systems and behaviour could flourish. Instead it became a place with its society, politics and economy diseased, stunted, rotted and now destroyed by corruption – the pure embodiment, source and host of which has been the Assad regime. And which has spiralled into the inevitable and terrible end result we see today.

Anyone intellectually open and seeking will be interested not only in the “corruption” explanation emerging in thinking circles, and increasingly supported by evidence from Afghanistan and the Middle East (ref in #91).

They will also be drawn to the growing body of theory and case-based literature that proves sectarianism has little to do with religion; it is 100% about some people trying to get political and economic power over others. That sees all sectarian situations as simply being created to be used as a tool by leaders of groups seeking (unearned, quick and dirty) power and privileges, pushing others into a mirror defense against this.

This stuff can help a lot in getting to grips with what is happening in Syria (and Iraq) and trying to see the way forward and beyond it.

But the approach you – and many others – take is one of intellectual immersion in the problems and symptoms, which I have believe to be limiting, blocking out the light and wider perspectives needed to produce curative solutions.

Still, and with respect, dear OBSERVER, if I distil your comments, I believe you already have much of the information and awareness needed to move onto the bigger platform and re-frame your perceptions and thinking along more solution-oriented lines*.

It would be wonderful if MJABALI also takes the time to consider my – and many others smarter and better-informed than I am – approaches and understanding outlined above.

* Excluding what I always feel to be your defeatist plan of simply breaking Syria into multiple unviable, unstable and vulnerable statelets.

November 27th, 2015, 3:33 pm


mjabali said:


The minorities of the Middle east has no where to go, to be able to survive, outside a modern state.

If you are inviting the minorities to live under al-Nusra, No thank you. Please “observer”, you can move to Idlib any time.

We, in minority land, see modernity as a savior for us from a relation with you Sunnis, based on this nasty history we are witnessing.

So please stop fabricating like the Turkish government these days.

Modernity and a modern liberal state are our (minorities) hope. Many Sunnis are with us in this, they are considered a minority too because you Sunnis are mostly these days want to go ISIS. Read the article above.

November 27th, 2015, 3:35 pm


Syrialover said:

MBAJALI (#95), please, be nice now, don’t be like that, saying most Sunnis want to go to ISIS.

Instead let’s concentrate on your very good point about the shared hope for modernity and a modern liberal state.

I thought the links given by JOSHUA in #21 provided a far more plausible and reassuring picture than the lead article above

November 27th, 2015, 3:54 pm


Observer said:

Sure SL. I proposed a unified economic development zones and to do that like the EU you also need an overarching independent incorruptible judiciary
Alas the Sunnis are running to the 7th century and the others are also stuck in fear
Modernity requires acceptance of the humanity of all
Again no difference in the fundamentals with either of you
Show me how to get there for at each turn the personal takes over the fundamental
I wrote I am an American and I donor believe in this or any other God

November 27th, 2015, 4:06 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER (#97), I have been talking about stronger, wider and more fundamental frameworks in which to think about these matters than that which you seem to be using. That’s the “way to get there” you ask about.

Sectarianism, religious fundamentalism and yearning for a fantasy past are not a fixed biological state, they are a symptom of and reaction to other things. Things which should be getting front-page analysis and attention but which seem to be lost far away in the smoke-filled distance in most commentary about the situation in Syria.

So it’s not useful to assess people by their religion. What matters is how much it has displaced other things in their heads, why this has happened – and what political, social, economic, demographic etc. changes and circumstances will cause its importance to fade.

When you say you do not believe in any God, that makes you an atheist or whatever, which is in fact a religious stance.

But you are a reflective and well-informed guy, and I suspect you would get intellectual satisfaction and stimulation from reading the sources I suggest.

November 27th, 2015, 4:48 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Dividing Syria will result in several mini states that they can not survive without outside support, and those states will not be in peace ,they will fight each other, history tell us that, dividing Syria means perpetuation of state of wars, not the end of fighting

November 27th, 2015, 6:04 pm


Ghufran said:

Turkmen civilians are paying the
price of Erdogan’s arrogance and
his evil policies, I doubt that the locals
in North Latakia will allow Turkmen villagers to live near them or at the borders with Turkey.

November 27th, 2015, 6:33 pm


Passerby said:

Yep, Turkmen taking it on the chin, and it’s not a defenseless bomber this time…

“…On the ground in Syria, heavy fighting has continued in the region where the Russian jet was operating before being struck down, with Turkmen villagers forced to flee.

Dr Kerem Kinik, vice president of the Turkish Red Crescent, confirmed reports in the Turkish press that inhabitants had left their homes because “they were afraid of a massacre” as the Syrian troops and their allies advanced.

He told The Independent that bombing had intensified since the downing of the plane, saying that it was “a fact” that Russia was punishing Turkey by attacking Syrian opposition fighters in the area. “In the Turkmen mountains the attacks have risen,” he said. “There is a hospital being run by Doctors Worldwide in Bayirbucak. It’s the only trauma hospital in that area. They are receiving 40 to 50 wounded people a day, some of them heavily wounded.””


November 27th, 2015, 8:10 pm


mjabali said:


Syria is divided today. It will stay divided for many years to come. The different parties are fighting not caring about the destruction they are bringing about.

Iranians, Russians, Shi’a Militias, Assadists…etc


Chechens, Saudis, Qataris, Turks…etc

It is a mess…

For you to fix the situation you need a miracle more than a dialogue.

So far. a dialogue proved to be fruitless because the different Syrian parties can not find the right middle ground and think of a common future.

November 27th, 2015, 9:30 pm


Observer said:

Not only Turkmen but average human beings in Syria have been subjected to the worst crimes against humanity and that includes minorities at the hands of this regime.

I would say that each community needs to have its political entity separated from a central state for till now there was a minority that has controlled the country by also being manipulated into fear by the regime.

I would say that there is now a clear recognition on the part of some members of this community that dying is now being done for the regime survival and not for the community’s survival as the regime has shown no compunction about sacrificing the minority for its sake.

I note that the young are not flocking to become members of the armed forces and the regime is forced to recruit by force whomever it can catch.

I note also that the regime has continued to lose ground despite the help it is getting.

I note also that voices with Souria Alghad are showing some independence from the regime and trying to forge a new way forward.

Now I do want a free economic zone with no customs,free flow of goods and a banking system with safeguards as well as an independent incorruptible judiciary.

If each community wants to have it leader in place politically on some tiny territory that should not make the region hostage to the whims of one community. That is the problem today it is not corruption, for corruption was used to allow for a minority of people using sectarian Machiavelli schemes to remain in power and it has come back to bite them in the ass.

The Hashemite family should not take Jordan hostage, the Assad family and its supporters should not run Syria as an animal farm.

Now I would not say that I am an atheist for those claim with utter conviction that there is NO GOD. I do not know if he does or does not exist. There is no proof that he does and there is no proof that he does not. Dawkins entire discourse to disprove the book of Genesis as mere fantasy but he cannot prove the non existence of God.

Just as saying all of the universe and life here are mere chance encounters is just as equal in my mind as saying that there is a God behind it.

My work on Transforming Growth Factor beta made me wonder on the beauty of the intricacies of this molecule in embryogenesis and in scar tissue formation and my daughter in law’s work on Dyniene the shuttle system between the membrane and the nucleus makes wonder how could this be due to chance but it does not disprove the possibility of chance and it does not prove the existence of God.

As for the minorities my only observation is that they are as backward and as sectarian as the fanatic Sunnis the only difference is veneer. Phalange militia killed the Muslim patients of the psychiatric asylum during the 70’s and Germans ever so organized and sophisticated had their holocaust and the Brits did the same with the Mao Mao.

To claim that they are different is to ignore human nature: it is capable of the worst atrocities no matter from what creed if the conditions are permissive.

The only ones that did not follow this were the Amish as they came to the funeral and comforted the family of the mass killer that entered the school and shot all the girls in Pennsylavania a few years back.

My barb was aimed at the double faced commentator here who continues to belittle the average Syrian and was meant to show him/her that it can equally apply very easily to the minority from which he comes from.

This regime for the sake of the Alawi community needs to be uprooted completely and in its place a federated region wide system put in place. If some want to join other countries such that Deraa wants to join with Jordan so be it and if Aleppo wants to join Turkey so be it and if Mosul were to return to Syria so be it and if the Alawi want to join with the Alevis so be it and if the Kurds want to have their state let them do it and if the Yemenis want to separate so be it BUT FOR PETE’S SAKE do it peacefully and by consensus and with compromise in mind.

November 28th, 2015, 12:17 am


Observer said:

Maybe SL is partly right that it all starts with corruption. I say it all starts with dictatorship


November 28th, 2015, 8:37 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Putin rhetoric is just for internal consumption, ,he suffered two major set back, he should have known that his army will suffer casualties ,Erdogan gained a lot among Turkish and Arab world, as he stunned Putin with the downing of the fighter Sukhoi jet, since then Russian jets do not dare to enter Turkish sky.
Putin is taking advantage of weak Obama, and the fact that he only has one year till Obama leave office,

November 28th, 2015, 10:07 am


Syrialover said:


Thank you for your response.

I was not talking abut “having a dialogue” – for the same reasons you give and with the parties you list.

But you also say something that is significant: “So far. a dialogue proved to be fruitless because the different Syrian parties can not find the right middle ground and think of a common future.”

There is a common ground, which is understanding and focussing on those root causes identified by the experts I mentioned above.

These are (i) corruption and (ii) sectarianism being whipped up as tool by small leadership cliques making a power grab.

Talking about “dictatorship”, “Sunni-Shia enmity”, “geopolitical rivalries”, “minorities distrust” and so on is just talking about symptoms.

It’s a big leap, but that’s where advanced thinking has arrived in 2015.

Syrians in the post conflict phase need a complete break from the trash poured into it by Russia and Iran, both mega-monster manifestations of those two elements above.

November 28th, 2015, 3:28 pm


mjabali said:


The goals of the “monitories” of the middle east is how to survive.

This was and is the exact goal of the Christians, Alawites, Druze, Ismailis….etc They fight to survive.

I, for one. will elect any Sunni president or official who could prove to me that he will protect the minorities and will create a state that will protect them and give them equal rights. So far this is not happening.

With all due respect to you Sunnis, you failed to provide someone the minorities could trust, or a platform at least. Come up with a modern constitution equaling all and see how most of the minorities will follow you.

November 28th, 2015, 4:10 pm


Syrialover said:


And Syrians DO have the necessary awareness, vision and determination to try for that approach.

You heard it in the spokesmen’s voices from all religions and communities several years go in the early days of an attempt to establish a united internal opposition against Assad.

Sunni, Christian, Shia and yes, Alawite voices – enlightened, wise, inspired, focused, optimistic and courageous. All singing from very similar sheets of music with their vision for Syria. It’s all there on the record, go back and read what they said, watch it on youtube.

What happened? The movement was hijacked and infested by groups driven by those two elements above – corruption and power-driven manufactured sectarianism.

Prime example: the Muslim Brotherhood jumped on the back of the others without doing the hard work; a parasitic worm with narrow, selfish aims that infested and helped disable the movement. They revealed what they were: underhand, power thirsty and anti-Syrian.

And the other “what happened” was the intervention and rescue of Assad by the fellow corrupt regimes of Iran and Russia.

November 28th, 2015, 4:18 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #104 Dictatorship is only a vehicle for corruption – a 100% symptom, not a cause.

November 28th, 2015, 4:24 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER, I read carefully your comments in #103.

It’s all true, but you are describing symptoms not identifying the core disease. Please take the time to scan some of the sources I gave above.

There can be zero chance of any free economic zones and independent judiciaries you talk of unless corrupt elements and sectarian power players are antiseptically excluded like lice.

And when you are talking of the sins of those minorities you are talking of a small clique of individuals who have manipulated and dragged their communities into hell for their own personal power.

Some time ago I posted a moving article here about the confusion, fear and desperation of many ordinary Shia in Lebanon who have had their identity hijacked and daily lives dictated by the self-appointed “leaders” of Hezbollah.

MJABALI in #107 has it right about the minorities.

November 28th, 2015, 4:52 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER, on religion, you come across as a thoughtful person with religious instincts — as opposed to doctrinal or ideological beliefs.

And working in sophisticated and significant scientific research should make you open to the fact that there are parallel advances in understanding in the fields of human behaviour, political science, organisational dynamics, conflict resolution, sociology and so on. Knowledge which could be constructively applied in post-conflict Syria.

Syrians are normal people. The situation is not irreparable or hopeless and should not necessarily require a permanent breakdown and complete breakup of their nation state.

November 28th, 2015, 5:07 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrians speak.

Letter from the British Syrian community to David Cameron explaining why ISIS can’t be defeated until Assad is stopped from bombing civilians

The truth. Spread it around.



“…the growth of ISIL is a symptom of Assad’s indiscriminate killing of civilians. There was no ISIL in 2011 when Syrians rose up peacefully against Bashar al-Assad to demand their dignity and their rights, only to have the regime use its full military might to crush them. As the violence and destruction increased, ISIL slipped across the border from Iraq, and like a parasite established itself in the rubble of Syria’s barrel bombed towns.

“Not long after, many Syrians bravely drove out ISIL. From towns like Atareb and Saraqeb in the north and large parts of Idlib and Aleppo, Syrian rebel groups routed ISIL. Entire communities resisted their advances, sometimes even peacefully. But this progress was impossible to sustain while Bashar al-Assad’s regime dropped banned barrel bombs on schools, hospitals and homes in areas resisting both his forces and ISIL. In the first four months of 2014, half a million people fled Aleppo as a result of the regime’s aerial campaign, many heading over the border into Turkey and on to Europe.

“If we want to drive ISIL from the land that it currently holds in Syria, we need to understand that the Assad regime is a much larger threat to people on the ground. It is responsible for more than 95% of civilian deaths in Syria since the beginning of the uprising. In the first half of 2015, the regime killed seven times more civilians than ISIL. A recent survey of refugees in Europe showed that twice as many Syrians were fleeing Assad’s forces than were fleeing ISIL.

“…. ISIL wants nothing more than to say to the communities that it occupies that the outside world does not care about them. ISIL wants to persuade Syrians that countries like the UK are turning a blind eye to the horrors of the Assad regime and are instead choosing to attack them because this is a wider clash of civilisations. Bombing ISIL while ignoring the much greater violence of the Assad regime would feed this narrative.

“The only way to defeat ISIL is by stopping the Assad regime’s indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, including areas controlled by moderate rebel groups. Once this happens, Syrians will be freed up to drive out ISIL themselves, as they have proved themselves capable of doing.”

November 28th, 2015, 5:47 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

U.S. Demanded that Turkey starts massing Turkish troops along Syria Turkish border, Turkey may deploy at least thirty thousand soldier, in preparation to fight ISIS, Putin was notified by U.S. , and was warned to avoid attacking Turkish troops, otherwise anti aircraft missiles will be sent to rebels, and Russian jets will be targetted

November 28th, 2015, 8:35 pm


Observer said:

First SL i urge to read Why Nations Fail. It is clear that you and I are talking about the same thing: corruption goes hand in hand with dictatorship and often the desire to control and to grab power is to establish an extractive economy on the majority by a small clique. I do not see a difference and all means are used by the dictator to remain in power.
Now one could argue that the leader of Singapore was not corrupt but autocratic and brought the country to being one of a very few able to jump the industrial revolution hurdle and fully integrated into the first world economy. ical

Second, I do think that the inner clique is power hungry and uses corruption to subdue people for corrupted people do not revolt; they continue to accept the rule of a dictator and the father and the son used corruption to subdue and humiliate and dehumanize.

Third, I do not believe that a Sunni president need to be elected regardless of what he has to offer. As a matter of fact I do not think that a strong executive is the solution and I think the idea of a strong executive has not worked in the Muslim Arab world. I do not think that holding political office should be tied to anyone’s ethnic or religious order. After all Fares Alkhouri was the leader and he was Christian. What is needed is a strong judiciary and free economic zones and let the genius of the people flourish and keep the executive out of it.

Fourth, the minorities to survive in my opinion and I may be wrong need to break with the regime for if they remain tied to it they will suffer its fate. They need to approach the moderate rebels and offer them an alliance. The Druze are trying to stay out of the conflict for as long as they can; and they are asking for the unity of Syria and the preservation of the armed forces ( not the Republican Guards or the Militia ). Likewise the Christians are trying and maybe fleeing now.

Fifth, I do think but I am not sure that Moaz Alkhatib would be a good compromise; and the name of Manaf Tlas was brought forward as someone acceptable as well as Farouq Alsharaa and I would consider the Alawi leader that is in prison now ( forgot his name ).

Sixth, a crisis brings a return to religion and at this time a return to religion is inevitable and therefore it may be too problematic now to bring the factions to agree on a secular compromise. Not sure what will happen now.

Seventh, just as the minorities I am told are trying to survive the same feeling is pervasive in the Sunni community for even though they may be numerically superior they feel that they are a minority undergoing genocide. David Brooks calls the massacres in Syria with chemical weapons and mass migration a genocide.

Eighth, the vacuum real or artificially wanted by the US after it upended the entire 100 year framework in the ME in 2003 is leading in a piecemeal WWIII but no single country or group of countries is capable of filling the void. Russia is stuck and Iran has discovered that the Assad regime is not what it is selling itself to be. Russia is weary of this alliance.
If you watch Turkey it actually did not fall into the trap of being a lackey of KSA or Qatar and is looking to remain the only country not burned and stuck in the quagmire when all are going to come out of it exhausted and bleeding.
Iran which usually has a long view has blundered this time and the aging leader is senile and making mistakes. KSA is determined to put Iran back in contained state not aiming to destroy it as it cannot. The fact that Pakistan did not rush to help is a godsend as for now KSA will have for its first time to stand on its own two feet and stop using allies and bribing its population.

Ninth, this WWIII does not allow in this day and age to have massive armies clashing and mobilization and invasions. The higher standard of living of the people and the one to two child family in Turkey Russia Iran and other places means that the families are doing their utmost to give the one to two children maximum advantage to get ahead not to die for a Syrian regime. Also, no economy is capable of being redirected to a war economy in a globalized world. So low level continued strife is the norm. Yet in contrast to the Soviet Union where the Politburo had a committee to discuss dangerous decisions, Putin has no one to disagree with him and hence his blunder to enter the Syrian conflict. Now all he can aim for is to join a Western coalition in which he is one among many. He bit more than he can chew and he is stuck and digging himself in. Contrast him with Erdogan who said that he regretted that this incident happened and that he would like to preserve the relationship with Russia with the sanctions that Putin just imposed at a time when he needs all the investments he can get. It will be short lived I can assure you.

Here is one article to whet the appetite


And do not forget go buy Why Nations Fail it reads like a thriller.

November 28th, 2015, 9:36 pm


Tara said:

Shiism is one big covert source of terrorism. Their main goal is to comit terrorism and frame the Sunnis.

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan security forces have arrested two Iranian men on suspicion of planning attacks in Nairobi, the Interior Ministry and Kenyan media reported on Saturday.

The two men had planned to attack hotels in the Kenyan capital used by tourists, business executives and diplomats, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said, according to a report carried by the website of Kenya’s Daily Nation.

November 28th, 2015, 9:55 pm


Observer said:


Eye opening for those who have their head in the sand

November 28th, 2015, 10:00 pm


Ghufran said:

Not sure what advocates of a political settlement want to do with Assad who
clearly has no plan to step down or how to deal with over 120,000 armed rebels
and terrorists who have no interest in talking to anybody or laying down their arms.
In areas like eastern Ghouta and much of idleb province (among other areas)
Nusra et al was only able to win control due to support from locals, who also composed
assassination lists and worked as informants against all alawites and pro regime Sunnis.
Saudi and Turkish support is not enough to explain why people chose nusra and similar
groups as an acceptable replacement to the regime.
Another issue is the Turkmen, I keep bringing back the subject because it tells a lot about
the war)who put all of their eggs in Tutkey’s basket and if Turkey does not come for their help
they will be expelled from north Latakia even if the regime agrees not to force them to leave.
No alawite will dare to enter much of idleb and many parts of Homs and Aleppo and Damascus suburbs even if rebels agree to stop their crusade against any breathing alawite and that will pose major challenges in the future.
There will be another wave (or waves) of forced immigration and relocation
of hundred of thousands of people out of areas controlled now by rebels and
being attacked by the Syrian army and its supporters, that will solidify the demographic
shift caused by 6 million refugees who left the country (very few were alawites).
Mark my words, turkey and the gcc who were instrumental in keeping the war raging
and encouraging people to revolt will be the last to help refugees return or pay money
to resettle those refugees who if they try to return will come back to a mostly destroyed
and impoverished country that can not feed them or give them jobs.
As devastated and drained alawite communities are, Sunnis, in rebel controlled areas
and areas that witnessed the worst battles like Homs, have paid the heaviest price in this
war, for any plan to work it needs to address Sunnis grievances and demands, minorities
fears and, yes Assad future. Assad presence, regardless of your opinion of the man, is
definitely a hurdle and his enemies want to see him go in a way or the other so they can tell
their people that ” they won” !!
أمه فاشله من الألف للياء

November 29th, 2015, 12:00 am


omen said:

hey kids, i just had to correct this:

33. Passerby said:

So Sunni Turkey, giving massive aid to ISIS, all those fuel trucks Russia blew up (followed by Obama finally blowing up a few), going across the border ever day. All the Turkey support for ISIS recruits crossing their border. Turkey attacking the Kurds, the only ones fighting ISIS.

turns out russia did NOT blow up a bunch of fuel trucks. photo was from afghanistan circa 2014. fuel trucks whom the taliban laid to waste.

as AEJ cleverly discovered. god knows how many thousands saw that telegenic falsehood floating around.

yet another pinprick to the hot air balloon lie that “putin is fighting isis.”

p.s. maggots? who are maggots? i dont remember passerby talking this way. what’s happened to him?

November 29th, 2015, 5:28 am


Observer said:

Here is the other mirror image of Wahhabi thought. No women in the Iranian National Orchestra


November 29th, 2015, 8:20 am


Tara said:


Wondering about “maggot “.?

I notice it too.

The rule of thumb is that closet tashbeeh unravels itself at the very little of a stressor .

It never failed that supporting minorities present themselves with civility, yet it takes the minor of stressor for them to shed the veneer of civility and show some of the real face.

November 29th, 2015, 8:57 am


Ghufran said:

This business about trying to stick the charge of terrorism to Shia is a form of projection
and it is used by every guilty party since the beginning of time to distort the truth and provide a sense of false relief to a like minded crowd. Terrorism is a filthy behavior that was and is being
used by all ethnic and religious groups but it is obvious to any sixth grader today that most terrorists today are Muslims and most of those are Sunni. You do not have to like the truth you just need to accept it.
As for putin’s attacks on Isis, foreign reports and Isis own reporting indicate that Isis targets were hit by Russian and Syrian jets but as we said before the immediate need is not in aljazeera, it is north of Latakia and in central Syria and Aleppo. Expect most of the fight to be there, let us see what NATO can do with Isis, after all Isis was the illegitimate child of NATO invasion of Iraq.

November 29th, 2015, 10:13 am


Hopeful said:

I am enjoying, and appreciating the constructive discussion among SyriaLover, Mjabali and Observer. It gives me hope.

If Syria is to emerge out of this crisis, its future constitution and democracy should reflect its special circumstances. For example, mechanisms should be in place not only to protect the minorities but to also guarantee their participation and voices, even if it means they would be represented by more than their fair share. We have Iraq to learn from. Another example, it is not enough that the future president should have a majority vote – he/she should not be strongly opposed/hated by a large segment of the society. So even if, theoretically, Assad is allowed to run, and actually wins the elections (a big if), he would not be allowed to rule since a large segment of the population considers him a criminal. These exceptional constitutional rules should be put in place for a period of time till such a time when Syrians are unified again and start trusting each other like other normal societies.

November 29th, 2015, 10:51 am


Observer said:

If you listen to Tlas he has proposed something that I learned from my life as a US citizen.
It is at the small community level that decisions are made and elections held including voting for your police chief, for the school board, the city or village council, the mayor, and I would argue to have a vote on who is the priest or sheikh or rabbi for those that believe with the salary and upkeep coming from tax exempt donations not from government salary.

For the minorities to be included it is also imperative that the majority needs to feel that these guarantees are not going to be used to skew the constitution towards persistent privilege and being above the law. It is imperative for the majority to understand that in a democratic process the majority rules BUT CANNOT exclude the minority. Hence if the legislative is in the hands of let us say Republicans, Democrats are still present on committees such as Defense and Appropriations.

It is also imperative that separation of powers be instituted and never again allow the army to be in politics.

November 29th, 2015, 1:01 pm



Putin the tzar of the imperial oligopolist mafious corrupt dictatorship is now playing the victim while supporting the chemical genocide dictatorship of Assad II who at the same time is hiding behind the psicopaths of ISIS phantom. Congratuliations to all of you. Definitely you have made the grade and have become crazy too.

November 29th, 2015, 1:54 pm



At the end the output is very clear: Rusia, US, UK and France will bomb Syria for wiping out sunni influence while Iran and Assad appear as the new allies of the new Middle East Order.

The first and only element that obstructed both US and Iran from coming to an agreement of political, militar, and economic cooperation in all of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Iran was the presence of a vast majority of sunnis in Syria that made impossible their plans.

Now that all of Rusia, US, Iran, France, UK and Assad have agreed to exectue the ethnic cleanse of sunnis in Syria the job will be clean and fast. No press, no judgment, no critics, the creation of ISIS will let these powers burn the syrian sunni land and let the country empty of sunnies and Christian, as well as other minorities.

November 29th, 2015, 6:12 pm


ALAN said:

It appears that direct wars between nations are extremely costly and inefficient in our days. The increasingly complex environment in the multi-polar world is not suitable for full-scale conflicts. The continuous armament even of less important regional powers, is another preventing factor towards this perspective.

According to the new perception, victory in a war is of less importance. What matters is to achieve specific goals that have been set. The United States were the pioneers of this strategy since the end of WWII, as they managed to fulfill specific goals, increasing substantially their global influence without actually winning any war!
But the ultimate victims are real and always the same. Thousands of innocents who lose their lives, or, being forced to abandon their homes, their countries, towards a totally uncertain future. In the “unofficial” proxy wars conducted by powers behind the scenes, there is no need of respect to human rights. Thousands can be killed, tortured, or, displaced, without these crimes could ever be punished.

November 30th, 2015, 1:08 am


Ghufran said:

Intellectuals and moderates never had a strong voice in the syrian conflict and their influence is even less now. I read with interest all the ideas floating around but realize that until this war is stopped only people with guns will call the shots.The regime and its opponents never had the intention to compromise and negotiate, they want to win and eliminate all opposition. The lack of good will and clean players is what destroyed the country and humiliate syrians inside and outside Syria. Erdogan is using refugees to milk and blackmail the EU, Turkey will have some difficult days ahead, Erdogan islamist mafia is to blame, his thugs are now killing Kurds, assassinating elected Union officers, jailing journalists and threatening judges, sounds like a dictator to me, the fact that he won 49% of the votes is irrelevant.

November 30th, 2015, 1:08 pm


Passerby said:

“turns out russia did NOT blow up a bunch of fuel trucks”

As a matter of fact, they did. And the US and France, two days after the Russians started. Hundreds each.

When asked why they waited until after the Russians started, they first said that the US never ever drops a bomb if a civilian is around. And that they were too stupid to think of dropping leaflets to warn the drivers until the Russians jarred their memories.

That not passing the laugh test, they next said they didn’t know about the thousands of trucks (about 1000 of which by then they had clamed to blow up) until a defector told them about the trucks. That it was a coincidence it was 2 days after Russia started.

After everyone rolling in the aisles with laughter on that, they said to forget all that, the real reason is they didn’t want to cause pollution. I guess they wore the press out, because no one asked why it’s not pollution now.

Nah, massive oil trade with Turkey whose oil business is run by his son in law.

As for Erdogan supporting ISIS, I think anyone that supports ISIS is at least a maggot. (With apologies to all self respecting maggots everywhere.) This is serious business, this thing could get orders of magnitude more ugly in a brief period of time.

November 30th, 2015, 2:26 pm


Passerby said:

Ok, just for laughs, one more try at cutting a deal.

(It would be informative if anyone can point out anyone actually in Syria you can cut a deal with, other than Nusra, ISIS and their ilk, but I’ll pretend there is. It’ll be interesting who shows up for the Jan 1 meeting, and who objects.)

Seems the big stumbling block is Assad and/or the Assad syndicate.

My recommendation is to offer a generous deal, guaranteeing that the Alawites/Christians/Etc. aren’t persecuted, if the Assad syndicate is removed from power. An amazing good deal.

It would be like heaping burning coals on Assad’s head. It would be the worst news he could imagine. They would have targets on their backs. The source of all the misery, looking out for themselves, etc.

If you really hate Assad, and it’s not some ethnic revenge, that’s what you would do.

Well, make an offer.

November 30th, 2015, 2:39 pm


ALAN said:

The wave of terrorist attack that has struck Turkey last month shows that Turkish authorities do not control the situation in the country and cannot ensure the safety of their citizens. This state has clearly become a transit point for Islamists. In the light of Erdogan’s irresponsible policies and the growing contradictions within Turkish society, we may expect the imminent disintegration of the country.

Congrats Europe!
Turkey turn to a corridor for radical Islamists flowing.
Will you be entitled to withdraw all the preferences Turkey enjoyed as a state-candidate that was willing to join the EU?
I think you will never be! such as states employed for political consumption by the United States! you will have to endure the consequences! I despise your unprincipled position!

November 30th, 2015, 4:27 pm



Russia keeps on funding ISIS with chechenian and jihadists while Assad buys ISIS oil to provoke the salvation of Assad. But France started bombing the oil pumping centres two days before the Paris attacks. France was hit for daring to hit the Assad/Russian/Iranian toy.

Now Russia bombs rebels while France bombs ISIS. The russian plan is working. No one will remain after the total destruction of rebels and ISIS and Assad will get the victory.

Saudis have been beaten by the Yemen game where Iran and Russia have created a war to get saudis off Syria,

Now Turkey is the last column where rebels can trust.

Now Turkey will suffer terrorist attacks from ISIS (Russia, Assad alavis of Turkey, and PKK Assad puppets)

December 1st, 2015, 2:01 pm


Passerby said:

Ok, where are we at…Oh yeah, Putin says Turkey is consuming ISIS oil. Erdogan says he will resign if evidence is produced…

And today, Traitorbama, amazingly, said ISIS is smuggling oil into Turkey and demanded that Turkey quit.

So, seems the evidence has been presented and Erdogan needs to resign.


US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that there is some progress in sealing the border between Turkey and Syria but there are still some “gaps” exploited by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants to bring in foreign fighters and sell oil.

Obama said he has had repeated conversations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about the issue, including on Tuesday.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter also named Turkey as one of the countries that needed to do more in the fight against ISIL, including tightening control of its border with Syria.

“We all must do more. Turkey must do more to control its often porous border,” Carter told a congressional panel on Tuesday, noting that Saudi Arabia and Gulf states had been “preoccupied by the conflict in Yemen.”


December 1st, 2015, 4:55 pm


Passerby said:

And this afternoon, a regular drumbeat of how Turkey is supporting the terrorists in Western TV. BBC and CNN reporting it as fact. Not just supporting terrorism by buying the oil, but supplying them weapons, safe houses in Turkey etc. including ISIS.

Regular drumbeat. Turkey has blown it’s cover.

I listen to the grand conspiracy theories on this forum, many of which I don’t think even the person saying it really means. More a way of expressing bitterness and venting steam on some level. But in the case of Turkey, it really is all that twisted up and devious.

December 1st, 2015, 5:29 pm



Some remarks about some misunderstandings:

1- Al Bagdadi is not a jew and not a CIA agent but an iraqui national
his name being Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai (ابراهيم عواد ابراهيم علي البدري السامرائي ʔIbrāhīm ʕĀwad ʔIbrāhīm ʔal-Badrī ʔal-Sāmarrāʔ

2- Assad regime has been founding ISIS by buying their oil at least since 2013. US Dept has denounced some names with both russian and syrian passport that acted as intermediaires.

3- Assad and Malki freed thousands of islamists who are extremists to increase the level of terror and chaos.

4- ISIS and ALQAEDA never ever attacked Iran or iranian interests in the region which would be easy for them if they wanted to hit iranians. This shows the hidden Alliance among Iran, Assad and ISIS.

December 1st, 2015, 6:21 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

More troops from US to Syria, Obama said Putin will not change his strategy toward Assad IN THE BEXT FEW WEEKS, , I wrote before US demanded that Turkey mass thirty thousand soldier at Syria border, this means we should expect an attack in the next few weeks

December 1st, 2015, 6:51 pm


Badr said:

Does Turkey really get its oil from ISIS?

By David Butter
Chatham House

if oil was a consideration for the Turkish authorities in its decision to shoot down a Russian jet, it would have had good reason to hold fire

December 2nd, 2015, 2:22 am



Where are those retarded who were against any foreign intervention in any dictatorship like those of Saddam, Gadafi or Assad and now are greeting the foreign ocuppation of Syria by russian, iranian-afgan-pakistani-hezbolahis militias ?

December 2nd, 2015, 4:47 am


Akbar Palace said:

Sandro Loewe points to the naked King

Sandro Loewe,


If there is a choice between:

a.) a Western style government with freedom, elections and human rights


b.) a dictatorship, no freedom and no economic growth,

the “Wesistance Mavens” will choose b.) every time while living in the comfort of their Western host state of choice.

December 2nd, 2015, 9:02 am


Ghufran said:

Isis sells oil to the highest bidder through a network of merchants both local and
regional. Nobody seems to care about who sells and buys, Isis needs the money
and people wants cheap oil. Trying to stick the charge of buying Isis oil to one side
is not just wrong it is also dishonest.
Turkey is guilty as sin but it insists on getting the oil thru Kurdistan where it gets
labelled as produced in that region, that is why Erdogan challenged Putin to prove
that turkey is buying oil from Isis. As far as we know Isis oil is available to all buyers
and the recent report about involvement of the Syrian regime in the process is an
attempt to bail Turkey and discredit Russia by showing that its ally, the Syrian regime,
is working with Isis, those who are selective about the facts are half liars at best.
There are no good players in Syria, the opposition biggest mistake was allowing
the Islamists in and targeting the army without figuring out who will fill the vacuum
and secure the areas they occupy. The opposition got deeper in the mud and became
a tool in the hands of gcc and turkey, did not allow any opposition, allied themselves
with foreign jihadists and cleared every town they occupied from alawites but kept saying they are not sectarian and they want freedom and democracy for Syria !!

December 2nd, 2015, 11:01 am


SimoHurtta said:

No one has the right to insult Turkey for allegedly buying oil from ISIS, says Erdogan.
‘Great partners’: Pentagon rejects Russian evidence of Turkey aiding ISIS
U.S. rejects Russian charge that Turkey involved in Islamic State oil smuggling

This ongoing fierce propaganda war is amusing. Now we are demanded to believe, that those thousands of oil trucks have in reality gone back and forth to Assad’s Syria, the oil tankers had left from Syrian harbors and Assad has paid to ISIS. And USA, Turkey, Saudis with their mythical “moderate” rebels had let it happen uninterrupted for a couple of years. Come-on.

USA has on their Russian sanction list several Finnish citizens (some Russians some Finns) who have done oil and other business with Russians. The Finns in rather small scale and USA has been able to trace that business. But pretends not to know anything about what happens in Turkey while knowing astonishing much where and how Russian, Chinese, Cuban etc citizens and companies have their assets and use their money. One can not move large oil tankers and large amounts of crude so that they “vanish” from the world’s financial system.

Interesting to see how long Erdogan and the US regime can continue lying before this all really explodes to their faces. But the real question is what are they going to do then when the truth comes out. Saying sorry we did not know is not enough, not even for the US side.

December 2nd, 2015, 3:47 pm



May California shooting be the expected ¨terrorist¨ attack in the US ?

This is what has become the typical Russian ¨ISIS¨ style attack…. suspect acting professionally, fleeing the crime scene, AK 47… and of course there is the reason why US must be punished by Russia (who at the same time tries public opinion to put pressure on Obama).

France already received the punishment. Now US. Later UK if they vote for attacking Assad-Russian-Iranian ISIS in Syria.

December 2nd, 2015, 5:14 pm



It seems that Assad is not happy about european action against ISIS makes me be optimist about the intentions behind the Obama-EU-Arab Alliance.

France is now bombing ISIS, German assisting France, while UK has just voted for bombing ISIS too.

Why should Assad be against the destruction of ISIS? Because ISIS was created for bringing back Assad to the international scene. But if the Coalition does not count on Assad and Russia then it is very bad news for Assad.

Who will be the first to unmask ISIS? Who will be the first to get the prize? Who will be the first to help the rebels and the kurds advance and push Assad mafia aside?

France and UK were the only powers who wanted to bomb Assad by 2012-2013 (before Syria´s ISIS was created by Assad and co.). Now France and UK come back with renewed forces to hit Assad´s Veil (ISIS).

Drums of real war now… If Assad falls, Hezbollah falls, Huthis fall, then Iraq and Afganistan will remain the areas of influence of Iran but not more. This would probably be the more stable and natural status.

December 2nd, 2015, 6:03 pm


omen said:

A Trip to the “Caliphate”

what this article is missing is acknowledgment regime officials and isis members consult, cooperate and work together to keep city services (like lights, water) running.


December 2nd, 2015, 8:47 pm


omen said:

A Trip to the “Caliphate”

i also question towns people being candid with a stranger. if i didn’t know you and you asked me questions about isis, i’d say “sure, they are wonderful” just in case you were a spy and to make sure i didn’t get punished and suffer repercussion. naive to accept reaction at face value.

December 2nd, 2015, 9:05 pm


omen said:

120. Tara said: The rule of thumb is that closet tashbeeh unravels itself at the very little of a stressor .

you know, i didn’t know what “tashbeeh” was? i googled but couldn’t nail it down. then i had a vague hunch it was related to shabiha. sure enough, google led me back to an archived syria comment article with the explanation. this site is like the alpha and omega of all things syria! 😉

December 2nd, 2015, 9:14 pm


Erin said:

Any blame of Russia, is in question. No one knows who bombed the plane. it even could be the CIA to steer trouble.
it could be the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, they are known for such actions.
Syria is doomed country, nothing is going to save Syria, bc as the professor JL said in his interview; Syria is not important for the USA.
well, if this is true then why the USA is middling in Syria politics since the 1950 of the last century.
The American embassy in Syrian is the biggest embassy in Syria ( that was a fast trick the USA played against France) at that time and got the best location and size of an embassy in Syria.
USA never stopped messing with the politics in the Middle east doesn’t matter what country it is.
Iraq, Syria, Libya all have had CIA agents inside the government.
It is a joke that anyone believe this is about Assad, who ever killed the brother of Assad is the same one who is running this game in Syria
as Ghufran always said: this is a failed nation, can’t be fixed.

December 2nd, 2015, 10:07 pm


omen said:

well hello there.
someone spotted evidence of russian special forces in isis.
the mind boggles. (see photo)

this validates experts who’ve been making this case:

Russia Is Sending Jihadis to Join ISIS

Penetration of ISIS by Russian Intelligence

how dirty and lowdown is putin? world governments would have to be criminally negligent not to know this. yet they and msm keep it hush hush despite all the lives being sacrificed. govs play along because they profit off the charade somehow. certainly arms sales have skyrocketed. not to mention having isis as an excuse justifies turning countries into a police state. how will this end?

December 2nd, 2015, 10:23 pm


Ghufran said:

KSA wants to own the syrian opposition and has given the SNC an ultimatum to choose its reps to the conference or risk letting KSA decide who will represent the SNC. KSA also picked 15 militia leaders to attend the conference.
The SNC is now in chaos after Khoja hand picked the reps (Khoja’s chosen people have a number of certified ikhwanji figures) and Kilo called him a Basthist.
The whole thing is a piece of black comedy.

December 2nd, 2015, 10:53 pm


Hopeful said:

#148 Ghufran

This is the product of 50 years of Bathist/Mafia rule – Syrians killing each other’s and cannot agree on the simplest things and cannot reach any compromise. Sad!

December 2nd, 2015, 11:35 pm


Hopeful said:

#146 Erin

The mother of all “conspiracy theories”!

December 2nd, 2015, 11:39 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

Defeating ISIS in Syria is half way to get rid of Assad,

Putin knows he needs Erdogan, Turkey has a trump card against Rusia, Putin is nothing but bombastic conceited midget, he is a liar , Russia is no more super power

December 3rd, 2015, 5:15 am


SimoHurtta said:

143. omen said:

A Trip to the “Caliphate”

what this article is missing is acknowledgment regime officials and isis members consult, cooperate and work together to keep city services (like lights, water) running.


Hmmmm indeed Omen, the mother of modern developed thinking. Well lets assume you Omen are working as a professional toilet cleaner in a large federal building in Los Angeles. Then comes Mexico with its Pope’s herds (Catholic extremists) and establishes the Heavenly Kingdom of California (HKC). You continue to work as the toilet cleaner in the building used now by the Crusaders in order to feed your family and finance your Syria hobby and activities around that. Could we now assume that the US government is in secret co-operating with HKC because you as a (former) US civil servant continue polishing the toilet seats the crusaders now use?

Of course the civil servants who keep cities and their services running continue their work under the new rulers command in most cases. Those cities are their home towns where their families and people live. Did Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan keep the water, light etc services running after occupation started or did the local people whose job it was take care of that in the best ways they could do after Americans demolished much of the infra? The locals kept the services running and still hated deeply the occupiers. So it is always.

December 3rd, 2015, 5:38 am



The international war taking place in Syria is taking shape and offering a clear picture now:

Rusia, Iran, Assad and ISIS trying to develop the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut with political and militar assistance from Moscow.

Turkey, Jordan, Gulf countries, US, France, Great Britain trying to break the terrorist axis once they have got to the conclusion that ISIS is the creation of Rusia, Assad, Iran for covering their shoulders.

December 3rd, 2015, 6:43 pm



The international war taking place in Syria is taking shape and offering a clear picture now:

Iran, Assad, Hezbollah and ISIS trying to develop the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut axis with political and militar assistance from Moscow.

Turkey, Jordan, Gulf countries, US, France, Great Britain trying to break the terrorist axis once they have got to the conclusion that ISIS is the creation of Rusia, Assad, Iran for covering their shoulders.

December 3rd, 2015, 6:43 pm


omen said:

i am sure there is a perfectly innocent explanation, mr unicorn rainman, as to why the very criminals assad released from prison continue to do his bidding. so why keep it out of the article? and how often do you hear assad/isis collusion admitted to on cnn or msm if this set up is so legit?

December 3rd, 2015, 10:41 pm


omen said:

I hate to complain but I’ve been wanting to read the feedburner thread since last week or so but it remains wildly wobbly. Looks like a bug. could someone address? gracias! ☕️

December 3rd, 2015, 10:59 pm


omen said:

i like how rainman infers being an apologist for assad is the height of “modern developed thinking.”

like it’s backwards of you not to tolerate ethnic cleansing.

shades of you-know-who. what year is this again?

December 4th, 2015, 7:45 am



As I said one hour after St Bernardino attack it is a terrorist attack by Isis / Assad / Rusia as a punishment for Obama politics not allying with Russia to recognise Assad.

December 4th, 2015, 11:50 am


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