Al-Qaida Targets Syria; Military Uses Hostages; World Fumbles for Syria Policy

Aleppo after two car bombs: Ehsani writes on Sunday, “Aleppo back to normal today. People learning to live with this stuff. Becoming like the Lebanese.”

Ayman al-Zawahri addresses Syrias, urging Muslims to fight for their Syrian brothers and urging Syrians to fight for freedom and liberation and to take heart in the support of the Muslim Umma against the cancerous and deeply sectarian regime of the Assads. “Wounded Syria is still bleeding day after day, and the butcher (Assad) isn’t deterred and doesn’t stop,” said Zawahri,

al-Qaida’s Plans for Syria: It is worth reading what al-Qaida strategists planned for Syria back in 2006. They believed that Syria would become the battleground after Iraq. Here are a few excerpts from the Quoted Wright article:

Al Qaeda, he writes, also expects the Americans to go after Iran’s principal ally in the region, Syria. The removal of the Assad regime—a longtime goal of jihadis—will allow the country to be infiltrated by Al Qaeda, putting the terrorists within reach, at last, of Israel….

The third stage, “Arising and Standing Up,” will last from 2007 to 2010. Al Qaeda’s focus will be on Syria and Turkey, but it will also begin to directly confront Israel, in order to gain more credibility among the Muslim population.

U.S. officials: Al Qaida behind Syria bombings
By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers,February 10, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

The officials cited U.S. intelligence reports on the incidents, which appear to verify Syrian President Bashar Assad’s charges of al Qaida involvement in the 11-month uprising against his rule. The Syrian opposition has claimed that Assad’s regime, which has responded with massive force against the uprising, staged the bombings to discredit the pro-democracy movement calling for his ouster.

The international terrorist network’s presence in Syria also raises the possibility that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the uprising, which would seriously complicate efforts by the United States and its European and Arab partners to force Assad’s regime from power. On Friday, President Barack Obama repeated his call for Assad to step down, accusing his forces of “outrageous bloodshed.”…

The U.S. officials said that AQI and Zawahiri apparently see Syria’s turmoil as an opportunity to reassert themselves after the battering the core group has taken with the death of bin Laden and the killing and capture of key operatives in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

They “are seeing space, seeing a vacuum, and opportunity to bounce back and they are taking advantage of it,” said the first U.S. official.

The U.S. intelligence reports indicate that the bombings came on the orders of Ayman al Zawahiri, the Egyptian extremist who assumed leadership of al Qaida’s Pakistan-based central command after the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden. They suggest that Zawahiri still wields considerable influence over the network’s affiliates despite the losses the Pakistan-based core group has suffered from missile-firing CIA drones and other intensified U.S. counterterrorism operations.

Jihadist Opportunities in Syria
By Kamran Bokhari | February 14, 2012
Security Weekly, Strafor

In an eight-minute video clip titled “Onward, Lions of Syria” disseminated on the Internet Feb. 12, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri expressed al Qaeda’s support for the popular unrest in Syria. In it, al-Zawahiri urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels battling Damascus. The statement comes just days after a McClatchy report quoted unnamed American intelligence officials as saying that the Iraqi node of the global jihadist network carried out two attacks against Syrian intelligence facilities in Damascus, while Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in a recent interview with AFP that Iraqi jihadists were moving fighters and weapons into neighboring Syria.

Al Qaeda’s long-term goal has been to oust Arab governments to facilitate the return of a transnational caliphate. Its tactics have involved mainly terrorism intended to cause U.S. intervention in the region. Al Qaeda has hoped such interventions would in turn incite popular uprisings that would bring down the Arab regimes, opening the way for the jihadists to eventually take power. But the jihadist network’s efforts have failed and they have remained a marginal player in the Arab world. By addressing Syria, al Qaeda hopes to tap into the past year of Arab unrest, a movement in which it played little to no part….

It is by no means inevitable that jihadists will flourish in Syria and use it as a launching pad to undermine regional security. The Syrian state is still very much holding, and rebel forces remain divided and do not appear capable of serious advances against the government….

Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri calls for war to oust Syria’s Assad
By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press / February 12, 2012

In a video message, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for Muslims to rally for a war to oust Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. …The regime has long blamed terrorists for the 11-month-old revolt, and Zawahiri’s endorsement creates new difficulties for the US, its Western allies and Arab states trying to figure out a way to help force Assad from power….

After Friday’s bombings in Aleppo, Zuheir al-Atasi, a member of the opposition Syrian National Council, accused the government of staging the attacks. “After the heavy explosions, members of the opposition went to the site to film it. There were ambulances but no corpses. We documented that on tape,” he said in Vienna during a gathering of Syrian opposition groups. “When the Syrian National TV arrived they started to bring out corpses. Once again we witnessed a theater play.”…

Thomas Pierret writes:
A video released yesterday on Youtube shows civilians walking beside a tank in a street of Saqba (eastern suburbs of Damascus) earlier in February. That the civilians are unarmed, and that they stand in the middle of the road while soldiers shelter on the sides lead to one obvious conclusion: they are used as human shields. Since such an advanced tank is extremely well protected (it is impenetrable to RPGs), one of the only ways to destroy it is to detonate a massive roadside bomb (as Syrian insurgents did with some success in Homs, Rastan and Zabadani), but in this case it would kill all the hostages.

Arab League calls for joint mission with U.N. in Syria

BEIRUT — The Arab League called Sunday for the creation of a joint Arab-United Nations peacekeeping mission to halt the escalating violence in Syria, as Syrian government forces sustained their assault against protest strongholds in the city of Homs and elsewhere.

Syria ‘categorically’ rejects Arab League decisions
(AFP), 12 February 2012

CAIRO – Syria on Sunday “categorically” rejected the decision by Arab foreign ministers to back the Syrian opposition and call for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping mission, the Syrian ambassador to Cairo said.

“The Syrian Arab Republic categorically rejects the decisions of the Arab League” which he said “reflects the hysteria of these governments” after failing to get foreign intervention at the UN Security Council, Yusef Ahmed said in a statement…

Bahrain King dismisses opposition as disunited
Kuwait Times – 13 February, 2012

Bahrain’s King Hamad dismissed the country’s opposition movement as disunited and said the threat of Iran had compelled him to call in foreign troops to crush last year’s uprising.

“In a sense there is no ‘opposition’ in Bahrain, as the phrase implies one unified block with the same views,” the king said extracts from an interview with Der Spiegel. “Such a phrase is not in our constitution, unlike say the United Kingdom….

The  Arab Peace Plan

CAIRO: Arabs will end their observer mission to Syria and will ask the UN Security Council to send an international peacekeeping force to end the bloodshed there, according to a draft resolution obtained by Reuters on Sunday.

Arab ministers met in Cairo to revive diplomatic efforts after Russia and China vetoed a UN resolution that called for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside. That resolution was based on an Arab peace plan and had Western backing.

The draft resolution also called for tighter implementation of economic sanctions Arabs previously imposed on Syria, halting diplomatic cooperation with Syria and called for providing aid and political support to the Syrian people.

As part of the Arab efforts, Tunisia said it would host the first meeting on Feb. 24 of a “Friends of Syria” contact group made up of Arab and other states and backed by Western powers.
“How long will we stay as onlookers to what is happening to the brotherly Syrian people, and how much longer will we grant the Syrian regime one period after another so it can commit more massacres against its people?” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal asked ministers at the start of the League session.

“At our meeting today I call for decisive measures, after the failure of the half-solutions,” he said. “The Arab League should … open all channels of communication with the Syrian opposition and give all forms of support to it.”

The draft proposed scrapping the Arab monitoring mission which had been sent to Syria in late December but which was criticised by Syria’s opposition as ineffective from the outset. It also faced internal dissent and logistical problems.

The Sudanese general leading the observers quit on Sunday. “I won’t work one more time in the framework of the Arab League,” General Mohammed al-Dabi, whose appointment had been criticised because of Sudan’s own rights record, told Reuters. “I performed my job with full integrity and transparency but I won’t work here again as the situation is skewed,” he added.

The draft resolution instead called for “the UN Security Council to send an international peacekeeping force to Syria”.

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told the ministers he was proposing a new joint Arab-UN monitoring team to Syria, an idea he has already proposed to the UN secretary-general. That plan has drawn only lukewarm support from diplomats in New York.

Syria forces shell Homs, Saudis push U.N. resolution

Syrian state media: Gunmen assassinate army general in Damascus
By Associated Press, February 11, 6:10 AM

BEIRUT — Gunmen assassinated an army general in Damascus on Saturday in the first killing of a high ranking military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March, the state-run news agency said.

SANA said three gunmen opened fire at Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli in the morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine. Al-Khouli was a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital. No one claimed responsibility for the killing.

Ehsani writes: “Egypt stocks largest rise globally in jan 2012. They were up 28 percent. I guess salafists are not so bad for business after all.

Farid Zakaria: Arming the Syrian Opposition is Risky

Journalist accompanied rebels

The American journalist Clarissa Ward has accompanied a group of rebels in an attack on a checkpoint:

In normal life, they are farmers or ordinary workers – many are young and inexperienced military – as well as Fouad. The 23-year-old mechanic. Now he’s fighting on the front line. “You’re surrounded,” says the rebel leader at the checkpoints. “Come out and join us!” The answer: shots.

Determined to take the post, the rebels pull a hand grenade. Suddenly, the advance is stopped abruptly: Fouad has been hit. They desperately try to get him out of the firing line. The assault fails. Now they are fighting for Fouads life. But when they arrived at the hospital, he is dead – just like many other fighters who are there taken to. “The Arab honor is not there anymore,” said a rebel and does Assad responsible for this. “He’s a dog,” complained one woman. “Assad is nothing more than a dog!”

As night falls, the families come to mourn their fathers, sons and brothers. Then, under cover of darkness, they carry the dead to the grave.

click on the player in the article to see the video

Video: Syrian soldiers defect to fight against government

Aleppo bears the brunt in another day of carnage and defiance
By Alastair Beach, Saturday 11 February 2012

At least 28 people were killed when two explosions ripped through state security buildings in Aleppo yesterday, widening Syria’s conflict to a regime stronghold which has so far escaped major unrest.

One of the blasts tore through a street outside the city’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Footage broadcast by state television showed rubble strewn over the road and five corpses lying under blankets to one side of the street.

According to a state TV presenter, who was filmed crying as the footage was beamed back, a number of children playing in a nearby park were killed in the attack. It was not possible to confirm the account.

The second blast hit a police headquarters in another part of the city. State media said at least 175 people were injured in the explosion.

The government blamed the blasts, the first since three similar attacks hit Damascus in December and January, killing dozens, on “terrorists”. Opposition figures, however, accused the Baathist regime of staging the incidents to try to undermine the opposition.

For Iraqis, Aid to Rebels in Syria Repays a Debt
By TIM ARANGO and DURAID ADNAN

FALLUJA, Iraq — Not so long ago, Syrians worked to send weapons and fighters into Iraq to help Sunnis fighting a sectarian conflict; suddenly, it is the other way around.

A belated celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on the outskirts of this western Iraqi city on Saturday quickly took on the trappings of a rally for Syria’s rebels. Young boys waved the old green, black and white flag Syria adopted in the 1930s after declaring independence from the French. Others collected money to send aid and weapons to the fighters opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s government across the border.

“I wish I could go there with my gun and fight,” said Sheik Hamid al-Hais, a tribal leader interviewed at his compound in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

It is increasingly clear that Syria’s sectarian war is becoming the regional conflict that analysts have long feared. The rush of recent events — including bombings and assassinations in Damascus and Aleppo, and intensifying violence in northern Lebanon coming directly out of the sectarian hostilities in Syria — suggest that the Assad government now also faces antagonists across its borders.

Like Iraq and Afghanistan before it, analysts say, Syria is likely to become the training ground for a new era of international conflict, and jihadists are already signing up. This weekend, Al Qaeda’s ideological leadership and, more troublingly, the more mainstream Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for jihadists around the world to fight Mr. Assad’s government.

Nowhere is the cross-border nature of sectarian hostilities more clear than in Iraq’s western desert, where Sunni Arabs are beginning to rally to the cause of the Syrian opposition and, in the process, perhaps strengthen their hand in dealings with an antagonistic Shiite-led national government in Baghdad.

A weapons dealer who operates in Anbar, who said he goes by the alias Ahmed al-Masri, said, “Five months ago I was told that the Syrian brothers are in need of weapons. I started to buy the weapons from the same guys that I previously sold to — the fighters of Anbar and Mosul. I used to bring them from Syria; now it’s the other way around.”

A New Transition Council is to be Established, according to “Syria Politic”. It will call for Jihad

General Mustafa al-Sheikh, the highest ranked military defector who set up a military leadership under the name of the “Higher Military Council,” is part of it. He is trying to push aside Col Asaad of the Free Syrian Army and seems to have gotten the backing of the SNC, or at least some of it.

Other prominent members of this new “Transitional Council” are Shaikh Ibrahim bin Abd al-Aziz al-Z’ubi, the Director General of “The Liberal Syrian Party,” and Ausama Mardini, Director General of “The National Front for Salvation and Change.”

الإعلان خلال أيام عن “مجلس انتقالي” يسعى لـ”الجهاد”

13 فبراير 2012 : خاص ، سيريا بوليتيك

الشيخ الزعبي وأسامة مارديني

علم “سيريا بوليتيك” أنه سيتم الإعلان خلال الأيام القليلة القادمة عن مجلس جديد لبعض أطراف وجهات المعارضة السورية تحت اسم “المجلس الإنتقالي” وأن من أبرز أهداف المجلس “الجهاد”، على حد تعبير المصدر الذي كشف هذه المعلومات.

وقال المصدر “سينضم إلى المجلس العميد المنشق مصطفى الشيخ الذي أسس المجلس العسكري الأعلى، وضباط أخرون منهم الرائد ماهر النعيمي الذي انشق مؤخرا عن الجيش الحر”، وأضاف “سيضم المجلس أيضا إسلاميين ممن يؤمنون بالجهاد ويدعون إليه”، كما قال المصدر.

وكشف المصدر لـ”سيريا بوليتيك” أن من “أبرز من يقف وراء المجلس الشيخ ابراهيم بن عبدالعزيز الزعبي الأمين العام لحزب الأحرار السوري، وأسامة مارديني أمين عام الجبهة الوطنية للإنقاذ والتغيير”، وقال إنهما “وقّعا منذ يومين وثيقة لتأسيس جبهة عمل موحدة تدعو لتحرير سوريا والوقوف في وجه كل أشكال التفاوض مع النظام، ورفض أي جهة معارضة تقبل بالحوار مع النظام، ومشروعية حمل السلاح، والجهاد ضد النظام وحلفائه الفرس (كما جاء حرفيا في البيان المشترك)، ودعم قرارات مجلس التعاون الخليجي”، وفق البيان.

MEMRI

#3315 – Syrian Opposition Cleric Al-’Ar’our Appeals to Israel for Help in Treating Wounded Syrians
Safa TV (Kuwait) – February 10, 2012

Syria’s Kurds Could Lose Out in Post-Assad Scenario

By Idris Ahmedi | 13 Feb 2012

Although Syria’s Kurds have a long history of opposing the central government in Damascus, they have so far refrained from widespread, proactive participation in the ongoing rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist regime. However, if they continue to limit themselves to being mere spectators to the unfolding drama, they may well find themselves deprived of any long-term political gains in a post-Assad Syria.
..
Adding to this fear is the Kurds’ unease with Turkey’s influence over the Syrian National Council, the rebels’ Istanbul-based government-in-exile. As long as the Kurdish issue in Turkey is not resolved and decades-old fears on the part of the Turkish political establishment of a pan-Kurdish drive for independence are not ameliorated, Syria’s Kurds cannot look upon Ankara’s role favorably. Absent unequivocal guarantees from Syria’s Sunni elites, the Kurds in Syria appear to have concluded that it would be irrational to back the council wholeheartedly.

It is possible, however, that the Syrian Kurds are making a strategic miscalculation.

Bahrain’s King Says Assad Should Listen to His People

Israel hedges its bets on Syria

Roxanne Horesh…al-Jazeera

…”[Israel] should look at Syria and see Syria as the Achilles heel of Iran. It is a great opportunity, an enormous opportunity, and this is where the strategy of the Israeli government should be,” former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy said at the Herzliya conference, the annual confab of Middle East security players and watchers, held in early February…

Trojan horse for the Syrian regime!
By Abdul Rahman al-Rashed – al-Arabiya
Monday, 13 February 2012

… The Arab League was used to prevent the European movement. It was used to conspire against Turkey during the Rabat meeting under the title of the “Arab solution” that aimed at keeping the Turks away. The Turks got angry and said frankly “we will leave you to resolve it”, although they were aware that no country is capable of confronting the Syrian regime except Turkey.

Is Israel being deliberately indecisive on whether or not to support the Syrian opposition?

Save Us from the Liberal Hawks
Syria’s a tragedy. But it’s not our problem.
BY DAVID RIEFF | FEBRUARY 13, 2012

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of (humanitarian) war. That, at least, is what much of the U.S. policy elite seems to be pushing for these days in Syria. That many of the “permahawks,” like Fouad Ajami, Max Boot, and Elliott Abrams, who championed the George W. Bush administration’s decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein, are now calling for supporting the uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship should come as no surprise to anyone….

Comments (142)


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51. Tara said:

Leo

I promised the moderator so we are not directing the discussion at any particular person. Agree 81 mg is the usual maintainsnce dose. 325 mg is used for acute coronary syndrome. Just called a cardiologist freind. It all depends on the intensity of the underlying condition ie islamophobia. I am glad we have a pharmacist on board. We may need you to recommended treatment for acute psychotic depression when Bushbush falls.

Talking about Aspirin, those of you who have family history of a parent or a sibling who died from heart attack at an early age (ie 60s and below), please do not smoke and take an Aspirin and a Statin.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

52. Revlon said:

((219 from previous post. REVLON:
[CAUTION -- please moderate use of sect/religious identifiers. There is a fine line between sectarian identification and unwelcome sectarian incitement]))

Dear Moderator,
I believe your note is uncalled for and amounts to censorship.
I made descriptive observations on an evidence; a video-clip in this case.
There was no insult to a person or a sect. There was criticism of a dishonourable practice sect based despotism and dishonourable practice decreed, commanded, and perpetrated by people of same sect.

Hundreds of comments have been posted on SC claiming, without even showing a single backing video of Salafists (Sunnis) beheading Christians, Alawis, or Assad army forces. Neither did I see you draw a fine line there, nor do I want you to. Leave the readers draw their conclusions.

My comments attempted to make two points about the presence and role of regime sectarianism in the daily practice of Assad-Makhloof headed, and Alawis guarded regime.

First, discrimination in jobs.
- Do you think Al Qsair has no able, qualified Sunnis to become a Generals and command the post in thei town.
- Or, would you point me to a single military, security, high or low public post in Alawis areas that is occupied by a Sunni?
- When a Sunni, Christian, and Alawis compete for a public post, who do you think would get the job?
The answer is Alawis, irrespective of credentials
If there was no Alawi applicant, it would be a Christian
If none, Sunni informant.

SECOND: treatment of prisoners.
I have invited viewers to compare the professional treatment of FSA soldiers of their prisoners, whom are being repeatedly accused under your watch, of being Salfists and AlQaida, henceforth Sunnis” with barbaric counterpart of Republican Guards whom are known to be Alawis and shown on myriads of video clips of speaking with Jabali accent, and claimed to be secular !

Which method of treatment of prisoners I was trying to promote would determine whether I was calling for prisoners rights to be held or abused; was that not clear to you?

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February 14th, 2012, 9:15 pm

 

53. ann said:

China’s position on Syria aimed at safeguarding Mideast peace, stability – 2012-02-15

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-02/15/c_122701728.htm

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said here Tuesday that China’s position on Syria is aimed at safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East and is in line with relevant international principles.

China, he said, is willing to continue its constructive role in easing the tensions in Syria and in safeguarding peace and stability in the region.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:16 pm

 

54. irritated said:

MAWAL95

“the army is calling upon the remaining civilians in Bab Amr to leave the neighborhood within 48 hours.”

I doubt the armed gangs will allow the civilians to leave. Without human shields the armed gangs are finished.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

55. Observer said:

يشترط في المرشح الى منصب الجمهورية ما يأتي

:
1 – ان يكون متماً الاربعين عاماً من عمره .
2 – ان يكون متمتعاً بالجنسية العربية السورية بالولادة من ابوين متمتعين بالجنسية العربية السورية بالولادة .
3 – ان يكون متمتعاً بحقوقه المدنية و السياسية و غير محكوم بجرم شائن و لو رد اليه اعتباره .
4 – ان لا يكون متزوجاً من غير سورية .
5 – ان يكون مقيماً في الجمهورية العربية السورية لمدة لا تقل عن عشرة سنوات اقامة دائمة متصلة عند تقديم طلب الترشيح .
المادة الخامسة و الثمانون
يكون الترشيح لمنصب رئيس الجمهورية وفق الاتي :
1 – يدعو رئيس مجلس الشعب لانتخاب رئيس الجمهورية قبل انتهاء ولاية الرئيس القائم في مدة لا تقل عن ستين يوماً و لا تزيد عن تسعين يوماً .
2 – يقدم طلب الترشيح الى المحكمة الدستورية العليا و يسجل في سجل خاص و ذلك خلال مدة عشرة ايام من تاريخ اعلان الدعوة لانتخاب الرئيس .
3 – لا يقبل طلب الترشيح الا اذا كان طالب الترشيح حاصلاً على تأييد خطي لترشيحه من خمسة و ثلاثين عضواً على الاقل من اعضاء مجلس الشعب و لا يجوز لعضو مجلس الشعب ان يمنح تأييده الا لمرشح واحدة .
4 – يتم فحص طلبات الترشيح من قبل المحكمة الدستورية العليا و يبت فيها خلال خمسة ايام تلي المدة المحددة لتسجيلها .
5 – اذا لم تتوافر الشروط المطلوبة للترشيح سوى بمرشح واحد خلال المهلة المحددة يتوجب على رئيس مجلس الشعب الدعوة لفتح باب الترشيح مجدداً وفق الشروط ذاتها .

المادة الستون
1 – يحدد بقانون نظام انتخاب أعضاء مجلس الشعب و عددهم و الشروط الواجب توفرها في المرشحين .
2 – يجب أن يكون نصف أعضاء مجلس الشعب على الأقل من العمال و الفلاحين و يبين القانون تعريف العامل و الفلاح.

Someone sent me the new articles of the constitution
Disgusting and cruel piece of work, especially since Article 3 stays in place.

When I wrote before that the regime is incapable of self correction some objected. It is utterly beyond redemption.

Welcome to North Korea on the Mediterranean.
Germs and Rats are coming, watch out Fredo.

[Link added by Moderator: full-text of a supposed draft constitution, from Dampress.net ]

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February 14th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

56. Tara said:

Bronco

Read your post # 22. You wanted to draw a conclusion about Assad acceptance by the international community based on the number of embassies still open in Damascus. I wanted to make it easy for you and point you towards the upcoming vote in the GA which will reflect the world\’s sentiment.

While the GA vote is not legally binding and does not carry a weight, it still is a powerful indicator of the corresponding countries stand on the issue.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

57. Mawal95 said:

What! The moderator has banned JAD at #35 for one week for posting something from assafir.com! And the moderator does not even take the time to write up a justification for it! That’s insane! No moderator at all would be better than this stupid new moderator!

Fire this moderator!

[NOTE from SC Moderation: Please see http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13333&cpage=3#comment-294853 for reasonable guidelines for posting off-site sources. The suspended account has been warned several times to abide by the guidelines, to provide links, and to not post complete articles that are under copyright. The account is free to post on SC on 21 February 2012.

Badgering the Moderation Team in comments will lead to comment deletion and banning. See Syria Comment Rules and Regulations, notably:

Comments that violate these guidelines may be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderating team. Furthermore, commentators who repeatedly violate the site regulations may be warned, temporarily suspended from posting, limited to a set quantity of daily posts, or permanently banned. The moderators reserve the right to ban anyone who annoys or badgers them excessively.

Finally, we ask that commentators bear in mind that even well-intentioned humor or sarcasm can be "lost in translation" on an online discussion forum. As such, commentators should maintain a respectful tone with others and be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own

.]

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February 14th, 2012, 9:33 pm

 

58. Mawal95 said:

@ Irritated: There are practically no civilians in Bab Amr for weeks now. I’ve seen that at youtube.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:48 pm

 

59. Mawal95 said:

Debate about moderation policies is allowed.

Alright, if JAD did get very clearly warned more than once, then I suppose a ban is warranted, unfortunately.

I suggest a week is needlessly punitive, and a day would be sufficient to impress upon JAD that he has to comply with the rule to provide links, and the rule to not post complete articles that are under copyright.

Another thing about how moderation could be improved: The moderator should explain actions in writing to the rest of the board so we get to see the application of the rules more clearly.

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February 14th, 2012, 9:58 pm

 

60. ann said:

Syria reacts to Arab League’s proposal – 2012-02-15

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/video/2012-02/15/c_131411196.htm

An official said the move was blatant interference and encroachment upon its national sovereignty.He added that the real aim of some Arab League countries was to internationalize the Syrian issue and involve more foreign countries.The Syrian Deputy to the Arab League even describes the group’s decision as hysterical.Even the Syrian opposition seems to be split on the proposal.

The leader of one opposition party, Qadri Jamil, says that the Arab League’s proposal of sending joint peacekeeping forces to Syria is against the rule of international law and will contribute nothing to solving the crisis. However, another opposition party, the National Council of Syria, says it welcomes the proposal and is calling on the United Nations to pass the proposal.

Large portions of Syria say they oppose foreign intervention and believe that Syrians should be the ones dealing with the crisis.Some say they still believe in the government’s reforms and President Assad’s draft of a new constitution.

[...]

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February 14th, 2012, 10:16 pm

 

61. Mohammad said:

9. JAD

Danny was trying to make a point about how desperate the situation in Baba Amr is. Nobody is helping the civilians getting indiscriminately bombarded in there. What does it tell you if some people in Baba Amr would even accept help from Israel to stop the bombardment?
Hahahaa, the rebel Syrian officer calling Israeli official was funny, I don’t know how you believed that BS. It sounded so phony.
If the articles you linked about “opposition figures” asking for Israeli help are true then it’s their problem. It’s their individual position and they don’t have any real support on the ground, they don’t represent any Syrians with those statements.

Have you heard any chants by protesters calling for Israel to help? What about the SNC?

34. PIROUZ

For arguments sake, let’s say they were all captured insurgents. It’s still illegal under international law to use them as human shields.

37. SHABBI7

Yes you’re wrong. I don’t know how you heard an Egyptian accent.

40. SHABBI7
(I like the name btw)
Did you read what Pierret wrote?
“Since such an advanced tank is extremely well protected (it is impenetrable to RPGs), one of the only ways to destroy it is to detonate a massive roadside bomb (as Syrian insurgents did with some success in Homs, Rastan and Zabadani), but in this case it would kill all the hostages.”
The human shields don’t have to be standing in front of the tank to “shield” it from a “massive roadside bomb”. Do you have another explanation as to what was happening in the video?

The tank is either a T-72 or T-80 (very similar appearance) with ERA armor added for extra protection.

A final message to the Shabbi7a and men7ebakjiyye on this site; please stop quoting regime propaganda news, nobody believes that trash anymore.

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February 14th, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

62. ann said:

JAD was a good man, a prolific reader and a passionate contributor on this blog.

Hang in there JAD, February 21st is just around the corner :)

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February 14th, 2012, 10:25 pm

 

63. Afram said:

Jad[EDITED:by Attila the Hun]

http://www.safeshare.tv/w/vthJCrdbSE

[NOTE - this account was previously banned until February 16, but has evaded the ban today. This poster is banned until March 16]

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February 14th, 2012, 10:42 pm

 

64. majedkhaldoun said:

فلاديمير بوتين يدعو الروس إلى المزيد من الجنس والتكاثر
This is interesting,since Putin himself has two daughters only, Russia population will decrease 50 million by 2050,and will be down to 110,million.
This means that immigration from Syria to Russia will probably increase, hopefully one day it will be named Arab Russian republic,and will join the Arab LeAGUE

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February 14th, 2012, 10:48 pm

 

65. Norman said:

Dear Moderator,

Few points that you can help me with,

I thought that article on the net are free for people to post as long as they do not credit for them and do not sell them,

Joshua used to like, i might be wrong, to put the whole article as the article will stay more than a link that will vanish with time, as you know SC is used for research,

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February 14th, 2012, 11:18 pm

 

66. ann said:

FM press conference on Feb.10 – 2012-02-15

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-02/15/c_131411405.htm

Q: First, What is your comment on the report saying that China sells weapons to Syria directly or by way of Iran?

A: We cannot accept such a groundless accusation. The Chinese Government rigorously manages military export in light of China’s international obligations and domestic laws and regulations with a prudent and responsible attitude and has forged a whole set of strict management system.

[...]

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February 15th, 2012, 12:05 am

 

67. ann said:

Opposition divided in Syria – February 15, 2012

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/feb/15/tdmain06-opposition-divided-in-syria-ar-1689367/

As the West and Arab states consider offering direct support to Assad’s opponents, there are serious questions about whether any opposition group is prepared to take the helm after more than 40 years under Assad family rule.

Indeed, Assad’s greatest advantage has been the weakness and lack of unity among the disparate forces opposing him.

Also within opposition ranks are various ideologies and motivations, from secular forces to religious conservatives to outright radicals. Separately, there are worries that al-Qaida will take advantage of the chaos to increase its clout and carry out attacks on Assad’s regime.

[...]

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February 15th, 2012, 12:12 am

 

68. ann said:

China says “wrong steps” by U.N. could worsen bloodshed in Syria – Tue Feb 14, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/15/us-china-usa-syria-idUSTRE81E07820120215

Missteps by the United Nations Security Council could cause worse bloodshed in Syria, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday after Vice President Xi Jinping finished a day of talks in Washington.

[...]

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February 15th, 2012, 12:20 am

 

69. Aldendeshe said:

There are new requirements mandated under new U.S. law that is not yet in effect, but better get used to it now than causing some liability issue. Also, Landis is getting to publish his first book and wants to promote selling it, through much more media profiles, he needs to clean and spiff up syriacomment so it look professional to his book buyers.

I rarely read books on politics or anything other than Aliens and Ancient history. The only set of books I personally bought, was not a gift given to me, were the late Zachariah Sitchin ones. But I will buy his just to see how off his writing will be and then I will mark it all in red ink and send him the book to read how the other Syrians, the non-Baathist Alawite point of views on Syrian history are. But he may surprise me with a picture that is more accurate than the one presented from his wife point of view. As you know, his wife is an Alawite Syrian, the daughter of a Baathist army man.

Look forward to read a zillion cliché like like this one: Alawites were downtrodden and poor with no opportunities made to them at all.

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February 15th, 2012, 12:21 am

 

70. ann said:

67. Aldendeshe

You might find the “Secret Doctrine” interesting reading:

http://www.blavatsky.net/blavatsky/secret_doctrine/secret_doctrine.htm

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February 15th, 2012, 12:29 am

 

71. Ghufran said:

Few notes about the proposed constitution:
1. The committee that wrote the draft was appointed by Assad who is the subject of much of the opposition wrath along with the regime he is heading. Those who believe that the regime can change itself by introducing a constitution that limits the regime’s power have a lot of explaining to do.
2. The current regime and the currnt PA do not reflect the real balance of political forces on the ground,only a freely elected PA should have the power to introduce a new constitution.
3. Without a major reform in security forces and the judicial system,any new rules and regulations will remain as ” ink on paper”.

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February 15th, 2012, 12:31 am

 
 

73. SC Moderation said:

Norman,

Thank you for the questions.

Moderation is solely used, in Dr. Landis’s words from the Syria Comment Rules and Regulations, “to promote informed debate, share pertinent information and news items, and encourage constructive criticism and analysis.”

Mawal95, thank you for your suggestions. JAD is a valuable, longtime member of the SC community. He is free to resume posting comments 48 hours from now. Moderators make mistakes, but please understand that moderation’s only purpose is to keep discussion flowing in a civil and responsible manner.

I quote here from a number of Dr. Landis’s posts:

  • I just want to thank those of you who are posting articles with the html links. Many hands make light work.

    It is a great help to me, especially as my new semester is about to begin and I will have limited time to update SC.

    UZAIR8, Some Guy in D, SYAU, Sy Expt. and particularly Beaware, I cannot thank you enough for formatting the content you bring in a way that makes it easy to collect it for a new post.

  • I get most of my stories by reviewing the comment section. Please remember to include the html link with the story. It is a big help.
  • I am sorry about the insults that have been cropping up among commentators. I will erase them and will ban Aldendeshe, but do hope that we can return to proper discourse about such important matters as the future of Syria.

    I do ask people to contain their anger and be civil. This is just a blog, not a battlefield.

  • I asked you before, and all commentators, not to turn this section into the mere repetition of insults and invective. It is tiring and unconstructive.
  • I will try to pay greater attention. They will also be asked to leave the comment section if they persist in the name calling and repetitive provocations that diminish the comment section.
  • I wish I had more hours in my day to devote to moderating the comment section. My family left for Syria yesterday and I am trying to write other things than SC. I wish I could rely on everyone here to temper their anger and rein in their passions, even when they are being intentionally provoked.

    Let us simply try to remain informative, by bringing new content to the forum.

  • Please no “takhween,” claiming that the other is not a real Syrian and absolutely no use of insults and personal attacks – which is what this has become.
  • We have been over this ground a thousand times. I am not asking Syrians to respect each other in their hearts or to be good Arab nationalists, but I do insist that discussion on these pages remain civil.
  • I do not restrict the content of the comment section, save to discourage insults, abuse, and attempts to drive out diversity or dominate with one line of conversation.
  • I agree with you about [XXX]’s articles. Many are simply mean and meant to provoke rather than promote constructive dialogue. Your patience is appreciated.
  • I have been unable to moderate the comment section because I am too busy, but a number of regular readers have complained about the rise in abusive language and aggressiveness in general from a number of commenters.

    I do not want to micro-manage the comment section – especially at time when everyone’s emotions are on edge, but it is important not to chase away those who take offense at repeated aggressiveness.

    We want to keep this a space that every feels comfortable commenting in.

  • All I ask is that comments stay away from insults and incitement or boring repetition. Adding content is the key to a good comment section. I am happy to have people pro and anti-gov arguments. Unlike most of the facebook pages, SC does not censure based on opinion or content.

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    February 15th, 2012, 12:39 am

     

    74. ann said:

    Pentagon plans attack on Syria despite the UN – Feb 13, 2012

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

    February 15th, 2012, 12:44 am

     

    75. Aldendeshe said:

    @ANN

    I know about her from rinse.com, but she missed a lot in her readings, she appear to me bordering the fortune teller in many of her writings that came through rinse.com. But like the Bibles, many of the writing proven to be very accurate to this day, and if you have the knowledge, you can view a map of events to the future, even 1500 years from now. So not necessarily everything written by the people who cross the line of our dimension to get information is all inaccurate, and it may be accurate but the message get scrambled during the transfer.

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    February 15th, 2012, 12:46 am

     

    76. Pirouz said:

    40. SHABBI7 said:

    Film is grainy but appears to be a T72M1V. This assault force is composed of well equipped infantry and a MBT; likely an element of a MECH unit.

    I’ve viewed the clip a couple more times and think it likely the men in civvies are prisoners. Can’t tell for sure if they are being used as human shields.

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    February 15th, 2012, 12:58 am

     

    77. majedkhaldoun said:

    The friends of Syria meeting will issue some decisions I believe will include
    1) support the opposition, this to me means supply the opposition with arms and money.
    2) will support forming Arab army to help the opposition, ,probably will agree to Turkish help, this will take time to develope, while during 1916-1918 Arab liberation of Damascus was successful,I think the time required and the logistic ,most likely make such endeaver very difficult.
    3) work on change the goverment in Lebanon(easily can be done), and the same in Iraq(this will be difficult), this will isolate Bashar .
    The Assad army is getting tired,and loosing morality, ,encouraging defection will reduce the army to less than 100,000, and this make the change possible in short time.

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    February 15th, 2012, 12:59 am

     

    78. Aldendeshe said:

    @74 MAJD
    How many decades should we wait for all that you exalting to develop? March 15 is coming and this day will be my 59th birthday. If my 60th birthday comes in and nothing new in Syria…well, will just wait.

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    February 15th, 2012, 1:26 am

     

    79. Syria no Kandahar said:

    أماه لا تبكي

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    February 15th, 2012, 1:31 am

     

    80. Syria no Kandahar said:

    End of game
    After Terrorists in Bab Omer terrorized Homs and all Syria,killed and kidnapped,lied….after killing Sari Saoud and George Gharam and lying and filming them and staging shows…just befor they go to hell they have been left with this to film:

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    February 15th, 2012, 1:41 am

     

    81. Syria no Kandahar said:

    Liberated Bab Omer

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    February 15th, 2012, 1:45 am

     

    82. ann said:

    Muslim group (OIC) boss: No Syria military intervention – 33 minutes ago

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j01dcc7Ca0E9TnW1DERiXf_b7YHQ?docId=e34e1a704d9940578d7c331cfbf5eb85

    Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said he remained involved in “quiet diplomacy activities” with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the power struggle that has cost more than 5,000 lives over the last 11 months.

    “What we really need to do is exclude military intervention from our side,” Ihsanoglu told the National Press Club of Australia during a visit to Canberra as a guest of the Australian government.

    Ihsanoglu, who was born in Egypt and lives in Turkey, said the lesson from conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia was that outside military intervention “did not bring any good to the people of those countries and to the region … and to the world at large.”

    [...]

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    February 15th, 2012, 1:46 am

     

    83. Aldendeshe said:

    I am willing to help feed the cats, if someone can arrange with the Syrian Government to make cat food delivery to Baba Omar and other places with abandoned cats.

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    February 15th, 2012, 1:55 am

     

    84. Syria no Kandahar said:

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

    February 15th, 2012, 1:55 am

     

    85. Syria no Kandahar said:

    Democracy

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    February 15th, 2012, 2:08 am

     

    86. ann said:

    Who is ‘very closely’ watching israel’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons?!

    US ‘very closely’ watching Syrian chemical weapons

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46392925/ns/politics/

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    February 15th, 2012, 2:08 am

     

    87. ann said:

    Mercenaries of the “FREE SYRIAN” army destroying Syria’s infrastructure

    Black smoke is seen from Homs refinery February 15

    http://static.stuff.co.nz/1329289538/690/6425690.jpg

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    February 15th, 2012, 2:33 am

     

    88. ann said:

    Syria’s Homs refinery pipeline attacked – 15 February 2012

    A major oil pipeline near a large district in the Syrian city of Homs has been attacked, causing a fire, according to reports.

    http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article303421.ece

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    February 15th, 2012, 2:43 am

     

    89. Syria no Kandahar said:

    Isreal will support Arabs in the united nations!
    Perez and Hamad are valentines

    وفي المقلب الآخر وبوقت متزامن مع وقوف روسيا المداقع عن الحق في سوريا تتكشف يوما بعد الآخر حقيقة الجهات التي ترعى عداء «صقور العرب» لسوريا، حيث كشفت صحيفة معاريف الإسرائيلية أمس أن شمعون بيريس رئيس دولة العدو أعرب عن تقديره الكبير لمشروع الاقتراح السعودي ضد سوريا في الجمعية العامة وفرض التدخل الأجنبي فيها وقال بيريس: “إن «إسرائيل» ستصوت إلى جانب القرار «لإسقاط النظام السوري»”.. وذكرت مصادر إسرائيلية أن وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية أعدت نفسها لاستخدام كل نفوذ ممكن من أجل تشديد الحملة في الأمم المتحدة ضد سوريا مادامت الدول العربية هي التي تطالب بإسقاط النظام وهو نفس الطلب الإسرائيلي. وذكرت هذه المصادر أن الأحداث في مصر جعلت «إسرائيل» ودولاً عربية كثيرة تبذل جهوداً من أجل بقاء (مبارك) وعدم التخلي عنه وأن الربيع العربي أصبح يوفر مواقف مشتركة بين «إسرائيل» ومعظم الدول العربية وخصوصاً الخليجية!؟

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    February 15th, 2012, 2:56 am

     

    90. Juergen said:

    Now its out: the eyedoctor asks his patients to line up for a collective paper folding ceremony starting february 26th.

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    February 15th, 2012, 4:56 am

     

    91. majedkhaldoun said:

    The new constitution proposed recently says.SYRIAN ARABIC REPUBLIC,contrary to what has been mentioned before who said the new name is Syrian republic,It also says SAR is part of the Arabic nation.
    So many fabrications were said before,I think the moderator should punish those who spread false informations, by banning them for a period of time
    Would the new constitution be explained to the people before 26 of february?
    Limiting the term to 5 years, does that mean Bashar term ends in june 2012?
    would the new constitution worth the paper it will be written on, or they will not abide by it?
    I think general election,honest one, must precede the election of the new president,the current people assembly does not represent the people,.

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    February 15th, 2012, 7:33 am

     

    92. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

    Criminals cannot write democratic constitutions.
    .

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

    February 15th, 2012, 8:07 am

     

    93. norman said:

    Amir,

    you are wrong, Israel did,

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

    February 15th, 2012, 8:19 am

     

    94. Tara said:

    The regime is shelling Hama and the world is watching. Shame on humanity!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

    February 15th, 2012, 8:50 am

     

    95. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

    Dr Norman,

    You are wrong. Israel does NOT have a constitution.
    .

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

    February 15th, 2012, 8:59 am

     

    96. majedkhaldoun said:

    Amir
    I believe Israel have proclamatin of independence which is close to constitution, the lack of constitution in Israel is due to conflict between secular and religious groups, correct me if I am wrong.

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    February 15th, 2012, 9:11 am

     

    97. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

    Homs today. 11 days before the new constitution referendum.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N50SWh7LBlA
    Will you go to vote?
    .

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    February 15th, 2012, 9:15 am

     

    98. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

    Majed,

    You are partly right. There’s a debate going on in Israel for many years now, about the necessity of a constitution. We have ‘Basic Laws’, which are one step before a constitution.
    Also we have a strong and independent supreme court, which can overrule undemocratic laws.
    .

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    February 15th, 2012, 9:24 am

     

    99. Juergen said:

    Not even Germany has an constitution.

    Amir

    what you think will the eyedoctor set the result of the “referendum” to over 90% approval or whill he modestly say 89% of the Syrians approved the introduction of Assads “Democracy light”.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

    February 15th, 2012, 9:27 am

     

    100. irritated said:

    #77 Majedalkhaldoon

    more predictions?

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    February 15th, 2012, 9:58 am

     

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